Production Debugging talk at Code Camp Philly

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk on Production Debugging. You can now download my slides and code samples from the talk. I have listed some questions and answers from the talk at the bottom.

Where can I get Reflector?

It is a free download on Red Gate's site. You don't have to buy the Visual Studio in­te­gra­tion. When it starts up you are asked for the version of .NET to use. I always select the latest version as .NET backwards com­pat­i­bil­i­ty is good. Of course this can be changed later.

How do you stop someone from de­com­pil­ing your code with Reflector?

The truth is that you cannot stop a determined hacker from getting at your code. Your best option is to make it harder by using an ob­fus­ca­tion tool such as PreEmptive Dot­fus­ca­tor, Red Gate Smar­tAssem­bly, Remotesoft Salamander, Xheo Code Protection, or one of the many other .NET ob­fus­ca­tors.

You should be aware that ob­fus­ca­tors can make your life more difficult. One way they make code harder to read in Reflector is through method renaming. This can result in the stack traces from the obfuscated code being out of sync with your code.

Can I use ELMAH with Windows apps?

Not easily. ELMAH relies on various features of ASP.NET to do a lot of it's work. Some people have make their own mod­i­fi­ca­tions, but it not something that a beginning developer might want to attempt.

I wrote a sample ages ago called BugBack that works for WinForms. It is old and in need of some love but it is a starting point. If you want an off the shelf solution you should look at Red Gate Smar­tAssem­bly.

Tagged with asp-net, codecamp, debugging, fiddler, http, philadelphia, presentation, sharepoint and talk.

Return of the blog

Maybe this year will be the one where I get back on the path to regular blogging. Between 2002 and 2004 I was a fairly frequent blogger and then things got sub­stan­tial­ly busier when I moved to the US. The obligatory first post these days seems to be some background in­for­ma­tion on the blogger, but I'm leaving that for my about page.

Instead I'll just talk a little about some highlights of 2008. By far the biggest highlight of the year was my wedding in October - Sarah really is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I find it hard to believe that in a couple of weeks we will be cel­e­brat­ing our fourth year together, as they say 'time flies when you are having fun!'.

The other main highlight of 2008 was my cycling progress and I completed 3 big rides: the 5 Boro Bike Tour, a metric centrury in Lancaster, and the Lance Armstrong ride in Philadel­phia. Cycling was something that Sarah got me interested in, and I am looking forward to lots more in 2009!

Tagged with bicycling, blogging, brian, cycling, philadelphia, philly and sarah.