Monday, August 07, 2006

Switching blog host

As you might have noticed, I switched from Blogger to WordPress. WordPress is one of the best blogging engine without a doubt. But some fundamental features are not included in the version hosted on like Markdown and Textile support.

Importing posts from Blogger to WordPress was a breeze. And setting up my new blog was equally delicious.

I now can blog from TextMate which make up a bit from the lack of markup support, plus I can add pages, widgets and stuff but not customize the templates... So I guess that when I'll have enough time I'll switch again to Typo on a free Rails host.

My new blog is located at

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Live coding with MonoRail

In my constant quest to bring Castle MonoRail closer to Ruby on Rails development style, one of the thing that kept me from choosing MonoRail over Rails for fun and pleasure was the code-compile-refresh process. Because we're working in the static compiled world, a usual scenario looks like this.

  1. Add or remove some code

  2. Compile from the IDE or run NAnt

  3. Restart the web server (under *nix XSP needs to be restarted to load the new assembly)

  4. Refresh the browser (and wait for the app to restart AR and all other services)

This is painful! Why can't we just code and refresh like with scripting languages?

While reading an article on reddit about Live coding, I had a idea...

# Rebuilds the project periodically and restarts the web server on success

import System
import System.IO
import System.Threading
import System.Diagnostics

SERVER_CMD = 'xsp2'
SERVER_ARGUMENTS = '--root public'
NANT_ARGUMENTS = 'build -nologo -q'
PROJECT_ASSEMBLY = 'public/bin/MyBlog.dll'
REBUILD_DELAY = 1000 #ms

serverProcess as Process
lastWriteTime as DateTime

print "Starting runner process, hit CTRL+C to stop"
while (true):
buildProcess = shellp('nant', NANT_ARGUMENTS)

if buildProcess.ExitCode == 0:
if FileInfo(PROJECT_ASSEMBLY).LastWriteTime > lastWriteTime:
print "Project recompiled, restarting the server"
if serverProcess != null:
# Stops the server
except e:
serverProcess = null
serverProcess = shellp(SERVER_CMD, SERVER_ARGUMENTS)
lastWriteTime = FileInfo(PROJECT_ASSEMBLY).LastWriteTime
print buildProcess.StandardOutput.ReadToEnd()

# Waits a couple of seconds

If you can't see what this is about...

The other thing that keep me from dropping Rails for MonoRail is C# extra verbose and lack of fun and style. But I can't do nothing about that, except use Boo whenever I can.

Note that this script will soon be integrated in the Generator so when you generate a new MonoRail project, the server script while run something like this.