Posts in Category: Tutorials

mojoPortal 2.x Works on Mono!

I've fallen a little behind in my blogging due to life but I'm very happy to announce that as blogged by Marek Habersack and also as blogged by Miguel de Icaza, mojoPortal 2.x runs on the latest build of Mono from svn!

Not everything is working perfectly yet but its mostly working and this is a major milestone both for the Mono Project and for mojoPortal. Its a milesone for Mono because mojoPortal 2.x uses many of the new features in ASP.NET 2.0 including custom SiteMapProvider, custom MembershipProvider, custom VirtualPathProvider, custom RoleProvider, Master Pages, ASP.NET localization and more and that means all these things are working in Mono's 2.0 ASP.NET implementation albeit likely with a few bugs here and there. The only significant new ASP.NET feature that is not yet implemented in Mono is WebParts which I have left out of the mojoPortal MonoDevelop solution for now until it does get implemented.

Huge Thanks to the Mono Team, especially Marek Habersack for all the great work in making this happen!

For those of you who would like to try it out yourself, I've added some documentation with instructions that should help you get setup and running.

You may also want to checkout my series of tutorials on setting up a test/dev machine for working with ASP.NET on Mono

Camtasia still having some issues

I've setup a page here that will list the tutorial videos as I create them during the implementation of ecommerce for mojoPortal.

Here's a direct link to the first one:
Setting up The Solution and Projects

I'm still having trouble with Camtasia. I've tried a number of different audio configurations but after about a minute of capture the pitch of my voice seems to go up and the audio gets ahead of the video. I don't know if this is a bug, or  a secret limitation to the free trial version (which is supposed to be fully functional), or if there is still some configuration I need to make to get it to work correctly. Anyone with any advice or experience in solving this problem please let me know. I'm hesitant to purchase this product if I can't make it work easily. The quality of the video and audio output seems very good but timing is critical and not having it in sync is a major problem.

If it would just work I could crank out tutorials easily but if I have to do 5 takes of each one like this its not going to be very helpful. I'm a busy developer and can't afford to waste a bunch of time on these, it needs to be easy and it needs to just work as expected.

Update 7:18 pm EST I just tried an experiment changing the default format for the Camtasia Recorder to .avi instead of .camrec. I watched quite a bit of the result andit seemed to be staying i sync but I haven't watched the whole thing yet. I am about to go out for the evening so I'll check it later but here is the link for anyone who wants to watch it, it about 29 minutes long

Setting Up the Module Control and Pages

Hopefully this is better.

Update 2/27/2007
The above linked Flash movie stays in sync for about the first 20 minutes then the audio gets ahead of the video, so still having the problem. It seems somewhat iproved since it lot longer in sync before it goes out but its still not appealing to spend a lot of time making a tutorial only to find that it didn't produce what you wanted and there is no apparent way to get it to do what it should.

I'm thinking Camtasia

Though my initial experiments with Wink seemed promising as I tried to use it for more tutorials I ran into problems. After what I thought was a good take for a particular demo it crashed and lost my work. Then I did it again and the rendered content audio sounded slow and very deep, unintelligible.

So I downloaded the trial version of Camtasia Studio. It lasts 30 days fully functional and I think I'm going to have to buy it. It seems more feature rich and most importantly stable.

Here is the second take of a tutorial I did with Wink after the first take crashed

then I re-did it with Camtasia as seen here

It was an unscripted session both times I think I probably did a better take in Wink but the quality of the result with Camtasia is much better it seems to me.

Hopefully Wink will improve over time, I'll certainly keep my eye on it, but I need something more robust if I'm going to spend my time creating tutorials so it looks like I will pony up the dough for Camtasia soon, it seems very impressive to me.

Wink Wink Nudge Nudge

Todd Stone nudged me to try Wink, a free demo/tutorial creation tool that allows you to do screen capture and audio capture to produce Flash movies. I finally got around to it just now and tested it by making a quick demo of the mojoPortal personalization features. Click here to watch it.

So far I'm really impressed with Wink, its easy to use. The audio sounds a little broken up but not too bad. I'm using a really good mic and preamp, I think its just the compression that makes it sound a little choppy. I used the web safe color palette to help make the file a little smaller. Wink outputs both the.swf Flash file and a .htm file to host the Flash movie.

I'm definitely going to do more tutorials this way, hopefully I will get better at it as I go. The personalization demo I did today was unscripted and done mainly as a test to get the audio levels right.

Update: I moved the .swf file for this tutorial over to my google pages site to reduce load on the web server hosting this site since the file is almost 6MB. IE doesn't seem to want to play the movie because the html page is not in the same domain as the movie file. This is probably a security feature of IE. If you are having this trouble use this link instead, it goes directly to the .swf file and IE seems willing enough to load it without a page wrapped around it.