Arjan's World: November 2005
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Getting AJAX.NET To Work

In me keeping up to work with state-of-the-art .NET thingies - ahum :) - I decided to start using AJAX.NET. After all, every one wants to AJAX these days, isn't it? Well, don't take that advise too serious, as it is nice to play with new technology, but always keep in mind that the user comes first. It's not for a developer to decide what is good for the user, but to listen carefully to his needs, and build upon the user's requirements. And even AJAX can have it's unexpected side effects.

Well, anyway, after following the direction for using AJAX.NET, I expected it to work out of the box. However, it gave the following error message:

Parser Error Message: Could not load type 'AJAX.NET.Global'.

This one was not indexed in Google yet (but probably is by the time you're reading this; giving me the exclusive rights to see if someone else had for the same problem), so either I'm stupid or the utility isn't in widespread use yet (entering AJAX.NET in Google only results in the completely unrelated website who's author probably underwent a stream of incoming g33ks, convincing him to give - among others - a nice pointer to the AJAX.NET website.

Searched a bit further, using an asterisk instead of AJAX.NET,. This quickly led me to the solution (which was not available at the time of writing this entry, long live the Google cache: Put all the global references in the Bin directory of the project. Finding out why is something for a later time. At least it works now, and I hope it's of a help for you.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Getting Rid Of Comment Spam

This morning I decided to dig into my comment spam. Blogger still doesn't have a nice way to handle comments. It would be really nice if you could just have an overview of all post / comments at the same time. Just do some clickety-click and spam>/dev/null. No, now I have to go through my archives, see which posts have comments, go to the post itself, and press the recycle bin for every comment spam. A new page opens up asking if I really want to remove this spam. It's not really convenient. But then again, it;s still a free service so you don't hear me complain :)

I noticed some time ago that Blogger doesn't send out email alert announcing new comment spam. That's (probably) due to the fact that spammers make use of a script to directly issue a HTTP POST to the comment script instead of going through the Blogger engine
- which leads to the nice idea that you can turn things around here for deciding whether something *really* is comment spam or just someone making a rather lame remark: If I'm not alerted by email, it's spam! On the other hand, why would I keep lame remarks in my comments. Well, that's another discussion -

Hmm, nice and all, but Blogger nowadays has a better solution which I immediately activated: Word Verification. It's Bloggers' way of a CAPTCHA scheme, trying to beat the spammers. Now, I just wait to see if it works.

There's also the option to do Comment Moderation. A new comment will first be notified to you by email, giving the option to publish the comment or not. Blogger says this will also prevent comment spam from entering your comments, but I'm not really convinced here: if I don't get an email alert when spam arrives (I do get alerted for *real* comments), why would I be notified after I turned on the moderation thingie. Ah, well, maybe it works, but it's just too much of a hassle. I have faith in the CAPTCHA for now...