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School is done! On to Reports, and something else ;)

[Cross-posted from my personal blog]

Well, it's official.  Assuming I pass the two courses I haven't received grades from, I completed my final day of continuous education (well, except for the summer breaks/internships) for 18 straight years (K-12 + 5 years of post-secondary) today.  I've already got marks for 3 of the 5 courses I took this year, and they were pretty good (couple of A's and a B).  This semester has been a bit of a strange one, since I had only one computing science course and it was a "Writing for Computer Scientists" course which involved no programming! (Despite that, it was one of my favorite courses this semester :D).  I took introductory courses in Communications, Linguistics and Nutrition as well as a intro to the Physics of Sound and Music entitled "Logarithm and Blues" taught by a two-man team of a musician and a physicist (sorry "Writing for Computing Scientists", this one takes the top slot this semester :)).

Now that I'm finished school, probably for a while (still eying a part-time masters at University of Washington when I've been at Microsoft for a while), I can settle down and finish up a few side-projects and some DNN Reports work.  Reports Module version 5.1 is finished from a code perspective and contains a number of bugfixes (details to come) as well as two new features:

  • XSLT Extension Objects - The XSLT Visualizer now allows you to provide a list of .Net Types which are constructed at runtime and mapped into the XSLT file as XML namespaces.
  • Experimental and mostly hacky support for QueryString parameters in Report Queries - A number of people have been asking for this, and it's a relatively simple feature in the Reports Module architecture.  On the settings page, you can provide a comma-separated list of QueryString parameters which will be passed to the Report Query.  The parameters are prefixed with "url_" in the query to distinguish them from the existing parameters.  NOTE: Don't forget that many Databases use still another prefix, such as SQL Server ("@"), so for example, the full name of the SQL Server parameter mapped to "foobar" QueryString parameter is "@url_foobar".  This is only a stopgap solution to allow for some linking into Reports with parameters, so expect the next version to include a more detailed system (which may include breaking changes which will require that you update your queries). I'll do my best to support an upgrade path, but no promises, so use at your own risk

I just need to do some testing and then I'll put 5.1 into the release process.  I expect to do that this week, so depending on how long it takes the diligent reviewers in the release process to make sure that the new version won't obliterate your existing site (and believe me, you don't want to rush that!), it should be out very soon!

Moving on to a new project...  I've been hinting to some of the people in the internal project forums at DotNetNuke that I've been working on a top-secret project involving MVC.  I'm very close to releasing something which, I think, is pretty cool.  I'll keep the secret for now, but let's say this: I've been working on/with DotNetNuke for a few years, and I've a huge fan of ASP.Net MVC.  I've learned a lot from DNN and I think I can contribute some of that knowledge to the MVC community ;).  I'm hoping to have something ready on this secret project, which I call "MaVeriCk", in the next week or two (but Reports 5.1 is my priority at the moment)

Hope that teased you just enough to stay tuned :P.  Keep an eye here for DNN Reports news, and subscribe to my personal blog if you want to hear more about "MaVeriCk"


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