Posts in Category: Development

Caught Off Guard Novell Forge svn is Gone!


Hi All,

This is a heads up to anyone working from our svn repository. Yesterday afternoon as I tried to do an svn commit I got an error that it could not connect to the server. I figured it was a temporary issue but it was down still this morning so I did a quick google for "novell forge svn is down" and what I found totally caught me off guard. Apparently the service is shut down completely and I was never notified it was coming and did not see the announcement about it. So I had no time to prepare and migrate to another project hosting. Of course I still have the latest version of the code on my machine but all the history of changes is lost as far as I know.

It sure would have been nice if this had been communicated through more channels like an email to project administrators or to the novell forge mailing list.

So, today I have to figure out the go forward plan and execute it as quickly as possible so I can get back to normal development tasks.

The 2 viable choices as I see them are either hosting the code at SourceForge where we can continue using svn and TortoiseSVN for all source control operations or hosting the code at Codeplex. The advantage of Codeplex would be that source code activities would now be captured as project activity and possibly help us get recognized on Codeplex as being a very active project whereas in the past we never got on the list of most active projects partly because they had no tracking of our source code activity when we were hosted on Novell Forge. The downside would be that we would no longer be able to do all source control operations with TortoiseSVN. There is an svn bridge built into the Codeplex service so it would still be possible to do svn checkout and svn update and probably commit would also work, but it does not support merge which is a very important function when you maintain different branches of code and want to merge changes from one branch to another. But the real source code control system behind Codeplex is Team Foundation Server and we would have the option of using Visual Studio Team Explorer. My perception is that branching and merging is a lot different in TFS so there would be a learning curve to get up to speed as compared with continuing to use svn at SourceForge. This would only affect those with commit access though, users just doing checkout and update could use TortoiseSVN to get the code from Codeplex.

Github would also be a possibility but would require a learning curve and different tools for working with source control. I would love to have been able to consider Google Code but they don't support our use of the Common Public License and I don't think we should have to change our license to make Google happy.

At the moment I'm leaning towards using Codeplex. It is the go to place for Microsoft centric open source projects and we already host our download files there and it seems advantageous to consolidate our source code repository there. If anyone has an opinion, feel free to weigh in with comments.

UPDATE: I've completed the initial checkin at Codeplex, you can now get the latest code again, using TortoiseSVN, the url is

It was a fairly smooth migration to Codeplex and it all seems to be working ok and back to business as usual.

UPDATE 2010-05-19: We had some issues where some client machines could not get all the files using TortoiseSVN while other machines had no problems. After trying for several days to figure out why it didn't work on a problem machine we had no success in finding the cause or solution. So yesterday we reset the repository and are now using Mercurial instead of TFS. New instructions for getting the code with TortoiseAG can be found here. At first I was a little hesitant to switch to Mercurial but after reading up on it, it seemed like it might have some advantages. So far I'm really liking it better than svn.

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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

5 New Developer Training Videos

Just a quick post to mention that 5 more videos have been completed in the developer series of videos. Here is the full list of videos so far and more are on the way soon. The newest videos are at the bottom of the list. The series is aimed at teaching how to build custom features that plug into mojoPortal by demonstrating step by step how to implement a guest book feature. Once the series is completed I will also make the source code available.

  1. Getting the code with TortoiseSVN
  2. Source Code Overview Part 1
  3. Source Code Overview Part 2
  4. Custom Solution
  5. Hello Web
  6. Hello Web Part 2
  7. Hello Guest Book
  8. Concepts Part 1
  9. Concepts Part 2
  10. Debugging in IIS
  11. Create a Table Using the Setup System
  12. Using The Setup System to Run Upgrade Scripts
  13. Generating a Data Access Class
  14. Generate the Business Layer
  15. First Guestbook Submission
  16. Form Layout
  17. Form Layout and Data Binding
  18. Upgrading from svn and Converting to VS 2010
  19. CSS Layout
  20. Using a WYSIWYG Editor and Captcha
  21. Default Button and Input Validation
  22. Protecting Against Untrusted Content
  23. Supporting Pages Part 1
  24. Supporting Pages Part 2
  25. Supporting Pages Part 3
  26. Enforcing Security Part 1
  27. Enforcing Security Part 2
  28. Implementing the update method

UPDATED 2010-05-11: added 3 more videos 26, 27, and 28

Also don't forget the mojoPortal online user group meeting is coming up on May 18, 2010 at 8PM EDT.

mojoportal online user group meeting


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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal Released

I'm happy to announce the release of mojoPortal, available now on our download page. This is primarily a minor bug fix release for issues reported in the forums since the last release, but also introduces alternate Web.config files that allow hosting mojoPortal in ASP.NET 4.0.

Hosting in ASP.NET 4.0 and the Plan for Transitioning to 4.0

Although the current release of mojoPortal is compiled for the 3.5 SP1 .NET framework, it is compatible for hosting under .NET 4.0, but requires different Web.config settings. So basically we have 4 different Web.config files

  • Web.config is configured for .NET 3.5 full trust hosting
  • Web.mediumtrust.config is meant for .NET 3.5 medium trust hosting
  • Web.net4.config is for .NET 4 full trust hosting
  • Web.net4.mediumtrust.config is for .NET 4 medium trust hosting

Whichever file you use needs to be named Web.config, so for example to run in .NET 4 medium trust you should rename the Web.config to Web.net35.config and then rename the Web.net4.mediumtrust.config to Web.config has been running under .NET 4 for several days now and seems to be working well. My recommendation would be for new installations to use .NET 4 hosting to be future proof. I might hold off a bit before migrating existing installations to .NET 4 but it is time to start thinking about migrating to .NET 4 at some point in the not too distant future.

UPDATE 2010-05-15 Several people have reported problems trying to get mojoPortal working in shared hosting under .NET 4. Therefore I recommend stay with 3.5 hosting until we put out a package compiled for .NET 4.

For developers

In the source code packages and in our svn source code repository, we currently have alternate project and solution files for Visual Studio 2008, but the main projects and solutions have already been converted to Visual Studio 2010. I recommend that everyone begin using Visual Studio 2010 as soon as possible. I will not be keeping the VS 2008 compatible files for long because it is more work to do so. You can also use the free Visual Web Developer Express 2010, so there should be no barrier to moving forward. After eliminating the VS 2008 project and solution files, I will then setup alternate project and solution files for .NET 3.5 and then the main projects and solution can be changed to target .NET 4. Once I do this, we will have to maintain separate release packages for 3.5 and 4.0 .NET and we will have to use conditional compilation to wrap any use of .NET 4 specific features so that we can continue to produce builds for 3.5 .NET. We went through a similar process with the transition from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0 back in 2005. it will be more difficult for a while having to manage supporting both 3.5 and 4.0 .NET while beginning to use some of the 4.0 features. We will probably do this for about 1 year and then we will drop the effort to support 3.5 framework. Hopefully this will give most users enough time to migrate to 4.0 .NET hosting.


  • Implemented option to allow users to choose which editor they prefer if enabled from site settings
  • Added setting to allow hiding the search box in forums per community request
  • made it possible to use a custom configuration file for the Vertigo Silverlight slideshow used in the Image Gallery and Flickr module, to be documented
  • upgrade from NeatUpload 1.3.22 to 1.3.24
  • updated Italian Translation from Diego Mora
  • added some Codesmith templates for VB.NET in source code package
  • some more refinements of TimeZone handling
  • previously we had added this to the layout.master file of skins to pre-zoom the screen for iPhone: 
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=670, initial-scale=0.45, minimum-scale=0.45"/>
    this has been removed from existing skins and I recommend you remove it from your layout.master if it is there after upgrading. The reason is that it also affects iPad, but we really don't want to pre-zoom the screen in iPad since the screen is much larger, so now we add this meta element from code only when the request is from iPhone, therefore it does not need to be in the layout.master file
  • fixed an issue where the wrong cart could be used if there were more than 1 WebStore in a site
  • other miscellaneous bug fixes for things reported in the forums

I'm still working on the series of developer training videos and you can expect to see more of them in May


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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal Released

I'm happy to announce the release of mojoPortal, available now on our download page. This is primarily a bug fix release, but also, this release marks the move to Visual Studio 2010.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that prevented changing the password format.
  • Reverted from TinyMCE 3.3.2 back to version 3.2.7 due to some bugs in the paste as text and paste from word in the newer version.
  • Reverted from jQuery 1.4.2 back to 1.4.1 due to a minor bug where a script error would happen in IE if the javascript debugger was enabled such as when working in Visual Studio
  • other miscellaneous bug fixes


This release will probably be the last one to support MS SQL 2000. Users running on SQL 2000 should plan to upgrade to SQL 2005/2008 soon or use the free Express version of SQL 2008. This will enable us to make the main MS SQL data layer also work for SqlAzure so that we don't have to maintain a separate version just for Sql Azure. The main changes that will be made going forward involve changing from ntext to nvarchar(max) and a few syntax changes in some procedures. ntext is now considered a deprecated data type, it is not supported in Sql Azure. SQL 2000 on the other hand does not support nvarchar(max), thus to move forward we need to be willing to drop support for SQL 2000.

Upgrade from CKeditor 3.2 to 3.2.1

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0

Yesterday, Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0, bringing us to a transition point similar to when we changed from Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2005, and then to Visual Studio 2008. For developers like me who spend their day in Visual Studio, it is always exciting to get the new version. Microsoft really delivers great developer tools and there are always a lot of great improvements in new versions of Visual Studio.

With a project such as mojoPortal that is widely deployed we cannot expect everyone to upgrade their servers or hosting immediately to ASP.NET 4. Therefore we will continue targeting .NET 3.5 SP1 for possibly up to a year to give time for ASP.NET 4.0 hosting to become widely available and to allow time for people to plan migrating or upgrading their hosting environments to ASP.NET 4. However, on the developer side we can immediately begin using Visual Studio 2010. Of course, just as in previous Visual Studio upgrades the project and solution files get upgraded and then can no longer be opened in the older version.

Visual Studio Project upgrade wizard screen shot

Things are a lot better this time than in previous upgrades because there is a free version of Visual Web Developer Express, that can be used with mojoPortal, so there is nothing holding anyone back from working with the latest mojoPortal using the latest tools. I have created temporary project and solution files that can still be used in Visual Studio 2008. These are named with -vs2008.sln and can still be opened in VS 2008. However I don't plan to keep them around for more than a month or so at most because it is more work maintaining these solutions and projects. So I recommend get yourself the latest version of Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer Express as soon as you can. It is time to bid a fond farewell to our old friend Visual Studio 2008, it is now officially a legacy tool. Back when Visual Studio 2008 was first released, we had to maintain projects and solutions for Visual Studio 2005 much longer because the free version of Visual Web Developer Express 2008 did not support class library projects until SP1, so we really had no free option available to work with mojoPortal and had to wait for most people to upgrade to VS 2008.

Today is my first day working in Visual Studio 2010, having not tried the betas or release candidate. It definitely feels more modern and smooth than VS 2008. Haven't spent enough time with it yet but so far it seems really nice, I love the ability to peel off a screen and move it to a different monitor!


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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

Anyone Still Using SQL 2000 with mojoPortal?

Hello mojoPortal community,

I would like to gather your feedback about something I am contemplating. Not long ago I implemented a new data layer for Sql Azure. I could have just made changes in the MS SQL data layer to make it compatible. The biggest change would be that ntext fields must be changed to nvarchar(max). There are a few other changes needed to support Sql Azure but that is the main issue as we are currently using ntext all over the place. The problem is that nvarchar(max) was introduced in SQL 2005, so doing this would be explicitly dropping support for SQL 2000 in mojoPortal. Doing this would be very beneficial to me because I could consolidate into 1 data layer that supports SQL 2005, 2008, and Azure and this would reduce maintenance by eliminating the need for an extra data layer for Sql Azure. 

So, what I'm trying to guage is how many of you are using SQL 2000?

It is 10 year old technology after all and at some point it seems like we should be able to drop support for it. If I were to drop support for it sometime soon how many of you would be chasing me with pitch forks?



Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.