I find myself doing quite a lot of work on performance for Sitecore websites at the moment. Whenever I do a similar job for a group of clients, I start to spot patterns in the sites I’m working on – and it struck me that there are some common performance issues that can be spotted just from the overview graphs you see when you collect trace data.
So to try and help you all improve the sites you ship, here are three that I’ve come across in a few projects recently: Continue reading
I spent some time working with some code recently, which had some annoying habits of failing oddly in scenarios where nulls got passed into constructors. While I was trying to work around some of these issues, it struck me that tests for parameter handling for constructors are one of those annoying things that tend to make unit testing frustrating. They’re annoying boiler-plate to write if you need them, and then a constructor signature changes, you end up with a lot of make-work test changes to do.
So as an exercise in “learning something new”, wondered whether I could automate them in a reasonable way… Continue reading
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
The one thing that is true of every aspect of IT is that it is always changing. And that change means that things you were confident of in the past may no longer hold true.
I was reminded of this while sitting in the pub with some developers recently, talking about querying for items by path in Sitecore. The debate about the best way to do this raged, but a common thread of the debate was that it is often said that the fastest way to find a set of items you needed is via a ContentSearch index. That assumptions has its roots in the time when most sites were using Lucene to run queries, and for queries with more complex matching rules. But does that hold true here?
A lot of projects I’ve worked on over the years have had requirements about consuming content feed data over the internet. Whether they’re Sitecore projects or not, “we need to display the contents of an RSS Feed” is a fairly common requirement. It should be nice and simple. There are standards and schemas for feed formats like RSS and Atom, so the data should be predictable and easy to handle…
Unfortunately, back in the real world, this rarely seems to be the case. I still regularly come across feeds which don’t match the schema, or in extreme cases feeds that aren’t even well formed. Sadly some people still seem to think that string concatenation is the way to build XML…
So what are your choices for handling feed data, and how can you try and get around bad-data challenges? Continue reading
Have you ever needed to write code that detects if the current computer has an internet connection or not? Having recently tried this, it turns out it’s not quite as easy as I expected it would be. So since I’ve banged my head against the challenge, here’s one approach to solving the problem that you might find useful: Continue reading
Every website needs to be able to deal with requests for pages which don’t exist – some sort of 404 handling is a feature of pretty much every Sitecore project. But, as I discovered when sorting out an issue on a client’s site recently, it’s a bit of code which can bite if you’re not careful… Continue reading
In my last post I was thinking about a more functional approach to defining pipelines, after having heard about some interesting new code that Sitecore had been working on. Since writing that I’ve had a few conversations where the topic “but what about if I want a pipeline to come from configuration?” has come up. I’ve been away from work for the last week doing my civic duty on Jury Service, but I’ve had some time in between court sessions that I’ve spent thinking about how last weeks ideas and configuration files might be combined.
So here’s one way it could work: Continue reading
There was a lot of exciting new stuff on show at the Sitecore’s recent MVP Summit and Symposium the other week. Plenty of others have written up the general goings on at those events (have a google – there’s lots to read), so I thought I’d focus on something more specific that piqued my interest: the novel approach that’s being taken to pipelines in some of the new code Sitecore are producing. Continue reading
One of the things that the masters of Unit Testing say is that tests should always be repeatable and deterministic. No matter when, or how many times you run a test, if the System Under Test stays the same, the results of the test should stay the same. So I found myself a bit confused recently when some tests went from reliable to unreliable results. Turns out the tests were right, and they were pointing out a silly bug I’d introduced by accident… Continue reading