Author Archives: Jeff

Fritz’s 10 Minute Tips – ASP.NET Core Configuration

I recorded another short video to show the various ways that you can configure an ASP.NET Core application.

In the video, I show how to configure your application with:

  • Strongly-typed configuration classes
  • appsettings.json
  • environment variables
  • environment variables in web.config
  • user-secrets

Interested in seeing more sample videos like this?  I have more ideas and demos that I show at events that I can convert to YouTube videos if there is interest.

Docker-Compose API too old for Windows?

I was working on some code with a Docker Windows container today and ran into this error message:

ERROR: client version 1.22 is too old. Minimum supported API version is 1.24, please upgrade your client to a newer version

What the heck is that?  When I go to the command-line and check the docker version, I get the following output:

My currently installed Docker version

I have the current beta track version of the Docker tools installed in my Windows 10 machine so that I can run a Windows container, so what gives?  Clearly 1.25 is more recent than 1.22

Here’s the catch:  the docker-compose file format has been versioned and we need to increment the version requested in our docker-compose.yml file.  In any docker-compose file that you are using with the 1.24 or later version of the Docker client, you should request version “2.1”

My docker-compose.yml file now looks like:

Big thanks to the folks on this Github issue for a pointer to the fix.

Programming Holiday Lights Big and Small

I’ve been spending some time this holiday season writing and setting programs for light displays.  Like many homes around my neighborhood, we’ve installed lights outside to make the house appear festive.  My daughters and I decided to go a little further and picked up a package at the local Home Depot called AppLights for the house this year.  Little did I know this would be the start of a holiday light programming marathon that also included Jewelbots.  More on that in a bit… Continue reading

When Docker and Win10 don’t mix

A quick note from something that I learned the hard way:  Windows 10 fast ring, specifically builds 14905 and 14915 do not work well with Docker 1.12.0.

In my experience, the Docker for Windows application would start and appear in the Task Manager but would not go to the system tray or appear on the task bar. My work-around to this is to install the latest beta of Docker 1.12.1 from https://download.docker.com/win/beta/InstallDocker.msi

This is likely a point-in-time break with both the Windows 10 and Docker teams iterating quickly on their products.

Muggles Don’t Understand Your Release Notes

Hey software friends, we need to talk.  In 2016, 61% of Americans are carrying smart phones and that means they’ve also got an app store on a device in their pocket.  My iPhone reports to me when I have updates to applications that need to be installed.  Many times, I see a screen that looks like this on my phone:

Release Notes Gone Bad

Release Notes Gone Bad

I’ve hidden the application names and icons in an effort to protect the innocent.  The problem with this approach is easy to identify when your non-technical friends and family members ask about the update notifications like this on their phones or tablets.  The conversation sounds something like:

“What are these updates my phone wants me to install?”

“There are some bug fixes for the applications you have installed that the author of those apps wants you to install”

“Will it fix that issue that I’m having and I’ve been calling you about?”

“I don’t know, the update just indicates, ‘various improvements and bug fixes'”

“Then I’m not installing it, it will probably just make my problem worse”

This is not a drill… Everyone is reading your release notes!

Seriously tech friends – when you publish software updates, people want to know what you are changing.  Other tech workers may stomach a “fixes and updates” release note every now and again, but in a world where the non-technical are seeing your notes, this is an opportunity for customer service engagement and you’re doing a TERRIBLE JOB at it.

When I used to publish release notes for NuGet, an open source project, I would give a one or two sentence description of the issue addressed and a link to the original issue on GitHub that discusses the reported issue and links to the software that fixed it.

Some of my NuGet Release Notes

Some of my NuGet Release Notes

Do you need to be this in-depth?  No… but give us a reason to install your update.  If you don’t have space in the minimal field size allocated on your app store or package management service, provide a link for more details.  You can list more in a blog post, a release notes part of your docs, and even include images to show off your cool updates.

Please software authors – start telling us a little more about what work you’ve accomplished in each release.  Its the right thing for your customers to show them that you are fixing things that they care about and gives credit to your development team for their accomplishments.