That sound you can hear? It’s your log files weeping…

Every so often I get asked to look at existing Sitecore installs and write up reports on what’s good and what’s not so good about them. I spend time looking at lots of stuff, like the infrastructure, the databases, the code and security. But time after time I find myself writing up a similar issue… Continue reading

So you’re thinking about an upgrade?

I’ve been involved in a few discussions about the scope of projects to upgrade existing Sitecore instances in the last few weeks, and quite a lot of that discussion has focused around the “development environment” aspects of the upgrade work. So I thought I would write down some of the things that have come up in my conversations. This isn’t supposed to be a “how-to” guide, or a complete list of everything you need to worry about. But hopefully this post will provoke thought and discussions on some important topics around what might need to change – especially if you’ve not done an upgrade before… Continue reading

Games that appeal to the programmer in me

It’s school holidays as I type this, which means I’ve been out of the office keeping kids entertained rather than doing anything interesting with code. But all is not lost – because it leaves time for playing some games instead. That reminded me of a conversation I had at Sitecore’s Symposium last year about “games I like because they appeal to me as a programmer” – so I thought I’d make a list of the stuff I’ve enjoyed wasting time with in the last few years (When I’ve not been playing Minecraft or Terraria with my eldest), in case they appeal to anyone else… Continue reading

It’s never the runtime… (Except when it is)

BugSomething I’ve learned over the course of many years working in IT is that when you hit a difficult to explain problem it’s very easy to say “it’s the runtime’s fault!” or “that’s a compiler bug” to cover for the lack of explanation for your problem. The vast majority of the time, it’s not true though. It’s just a subtler bug in your own work that you can’t see yet.

Every so often, however, it is true. And it turns out the issue I discussed the other week about Sitecore rendering a Razor error when you asked for a media item may well be an example of this. Continue reading

The rise of the machines

I wasn’t at SUGCON this year, but I followed the event on Twitter and have read a few of the write-ups that have been posted since the event. A popular topic this year has been applying machine learning to Sitecore in the quest for ever cleverer personalised experiences. It’s fascinating stuff to read about, and I’m sure it has great potential for the future, but what I didn’t see much discussion of was the possible down-sides of using “AI” for these tasks rather than people making choices. So allow me to put on some comedy horns and play devil’s advocate for a bit… ->

What went wrong with my media?

Edited to add: With help from Sitecore Support, there’s an explanation for what was going on here now.

If you spend your life working with software, you can’t help but collect a few stories of issues that defied your understanding – and I came across a great example with Sitecore recently. I haven’t managed to decide if this is an issue that can happen to others, or whether it was completely specific to the setup of this particular site. But since I got few useful results from Google when I was trying to solve this, I figure it’s worth writing about it just in case someone else sees a similar problem in the future… Continue reading

Chasing down a browser detection bug

A colleague of mine recently hit upon an odd issue with the Sitecore integration for the 51Degrees browser detection service. It worked fine for most of his testing, but raised an exception in some circumstances. Trying to dig into this and create a test to demonstrate the bug kept us amused for a few hours – maybe it will help you to? Continue reading