Silverlight Aggravation, Accounting Basics For Programmers, And Storefront

Last week I wasted a lot of time on Silverlight. I used the word “wasted” because after putting a lot of time in a project I discovered that it is impossible to create a simple hyperlink! I could scarcely believe it but the hot new Microsoft technology that is supposed to revolutionize the Internet with rich client web applications can’t even create a simple hyperlink! You are supposed to follow the convoluted instructions on “Simulating a Hyperlink using the TextDecorations Property” from the SDK. WTF!! This makes Silverlight pretty useless for web development because you can hardly create a web application without using hyperlinks. I did update my Silverlight 1.0 SDK from the Release Candidate version to the Release To Web version and carefully researched some other Silverlight aggravations. I’ll have to move on to Silverlight 2.0 but you need Visual Studio 2008 to create a project for Silverlight 2.0.

I’ve started to read a book on accounting, Alpha Teach Yourself Personal Finance in 24 Hours by Janet Bigham Bernstel and Lea Saslav. I don’t intend to get too deep into accounting but I want to know the basics so I can understand a system that I’ll be working on. The hotshot software engineers (I’m thinking Jeff Atwood) write a lot about learning source control, unit testing, and other high end computer science topics but they probably would not urge their readers to study accounting to become a better programmer. However, accounting is definitely an important real world skill for the business programmer.

Yesterday I added another minor Storefront 6.0 customization to my knowledge base. I needed to add a class to some tables so I could reference them in CSS for the print media style. This requires a minor change in the compiled code because the HTML is dynamically generated in the XEUITools project. If you did not have access to the source code for Storefront I suppose you could accomplish this using jQuery to add a class to the table but this would be a fragile solution because you would need to base it on the table count. That needs some further explanation. There is a collection of table elements in the web page’s document object model (DOM) so you can reference a particular table by its index number. However, if you later add another table its index number will change so that is not a reliable method.

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