Monday, April 11, 2005

There are some problems for us with Windows 2003 SP1 after all

Originally posted on:

I'm done checking SP1, if you think it was done too fast, you are right. But luckily I'm not the only one checking it and I have some good backup forces on this one. I knew I wouldn't be satisfied until I found some issues - and I wasn't disappointed.

These issues are sort of interesting, because I couldn't find any reference on these changes, so I am still in doubt on how to solve them.

1. A function we use for setting up IIS Virtual Directories fails to do what it should. It fails when we attempt to set a Parameter called IPSecurity of the virtual directory (affects if this directory is secured to be allowed access only from a specific list of IP's). This is a method/property that worked fine in previous versions of IIS (including IIS 6.0), and fails for SP1. A little searching in the documentation, provided no answer.
2. I Also tested Windows 2003 SP1 as a client platform to our application, and attempting a specific action on our website isn't working. The feature in question is using an IE embedded option called oClientCaps and specifically a function called getComponentVersion is returning an error of not being known. This part too used to work in previous versions.

These two issues appear to be reltively minor (not to us as a company - they are pretty disturbing), but as a whole compared with the huge amount of code written for the service pack. The quality of backwards compatibilty in Microsoft operating systems is quite amazing. Obviously they break it sometimes - but that is to be expected - I know, I do things like that all the time.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Technical Javascript question

Originally posted on:

Due to the success I had in the past asking technical questions in this blog, I will make another attempt, please note that I looked around before asking, but was unable to come up with an answer by myself. This question was asked by one of my colleags here.

In Javascript you can assign a number to a var in the normal way
var x;
var y;
y = 3;
alert(y); //(shows 3)
alert(y); //(shows 10)
//And so on, math seems to work pretty well.

//But something else that works is:
x = [3];
alert(x); //(shows 3)

alert(x); // (shows 10)

//But here is the interesting part:
alert(y+x); // (shows 1010)

I haven't found anything about this in documentation, it seems that though until that point it does treat them as numbers, the fact that x is enclosed in [] turns the result into a string. Can anyone give a complete explanation about this feature?

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Windows 2003 SP1 - Checking it out

 Originally posted on:

I've been assigned the task of checking how SP1 will affect our software.

SP1 is a major update for Windows 2003, which is supposed to enhance security to a much higher level than before (where Windows 2003 is already quite a jump ahead).

So, after some researching on Microsoft, I wrote small document, on where I think the issues will be, and I'm off to installing the service pack and seeing if anything else has gone amiss. This is a process that I already did with the introduction of Windows 2003, up until then we were runing on Win2000 machines, back then a lot of changes were made to the application to support the new defaults, and in fact I believe application security was enhanced because of these changes. forgive me for not providing details. We had some major changes in the code, actually quite small changes but a application wide change that required a lot of time to accomplish. We actually figured out before even installing the Application were the issues will be, and I have to give high praise to Miscorosft for doing such an excellent job of documenting the new features and changes. Of course it didn't go as smoothly as we hoped, it never does - but at least we knew what we needed to do.

This time around I hope there won't be any changes to our code, as far as I can see, some changes will need to be done to documentation of the product installation and maintaining, so that administartors will not have a hard time of doing the job.

Right now I'm downloading the SP from windows update, our connection is not the fastest, so it will take some time to download the 350 MB package. I hope it doesn't destroy my machine :-)

Labs Continued...

Originally posted on:

As I wrote here before I really love the labs concept, and recently I heard a recording on by some of people at each and everyone of the labs I had mentioned. It was extremely interesting, although a little outdated by recent events, it still shows some of the spirit in which these organizations work. I am envious.