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About a blog
When you are a geek and spend ninety percent of you time in a virtual world you forget that the rest of the world spends their time doing things like going outside or actually talking to people. Not everyone has run across the "blog" phenomenon before. Blog is a shortened version of the phrase web log. Blogs are website where individuals may record their daily observations about various topics. They are a great way to disseminate information on a more personal level. In addition, you will find that most blogs include a link to an RSS or an Atom feed. These links are usually orange buttons, but may not always be so conspicuous. If you click one of these links you will get a page of text that is difficult to read. T Read more
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Published On : 06-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Thanks for coming
As a software engineer there is nothing more gratifying then having people actually use the software you have created.  Over the years as I have met new people, it is interesting to find how many have visited The Plan Collection.  We receive many visitors each day from all around the world.  When we moved our hosting services to a new provider this year our provider was shocked to see the amount of visitors that come each day.  Whether you are looking for a home plan or just browsing for ideas thanks for coming. Read more
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Published On : 07-02-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Apologies in advance
I haven't been posting very often latetly - again. We are currently working on a new version of software for The Plan Collection and it is taking up quite a bit of my time. Hopefully the new version will better meet the needs of everyone who visits. If you have any suggestions or features that you desire go ahead and post them in the comments and we'll do what we can to add them. Read more
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Published On : 11-23-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
New Technology Section
As part of our efforts to become more interesting and more transparent we have added a couple of new sections to This section will focus on the technology we use, updates to the website and other technical issues that we find are interesting or relevant. Hopefully everyone finds this useful. Read more
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Published On : 01-25-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
The Forums are Broken
The forums are busted at the moment. Sorry about that. We are currently using a piece of software called community server that we purchased so we didn't have to write our own. It has been nothing but trouble so now we are moving away from it to a simpler system. We are writing it so it will take a bit longer to finish, but you can expect to see it running within the week. The debate between whether to write your own software or to find something that exists is always a tough one. It is always nice to let someone else do the work for you, but over time it can actually be more cost effective to develop your own solution if: What you need is only a small subset of the off the shelf software and you want to simplify the experience fo Read more
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Published On : 02-14-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
Be Careful With Page.PreviousPage
I found something interesting while testing the website tonight. The new search we implemented was not working on the pages that display house plans. I thought that it was some kind of routing error that could be attributed to the url rewriting. However, closer examination showed that this is the error: 'Page.PreviousPage' threw an exception of type 'System.Threading.ThreadAbortException' For some reason ASP.Net doesn't like certain nested master pages and will throw this error. My solution was to remove the Page.PreviousPage reference and key off of a parameter value - in this case the value contained in the search box. All that I can figure is that the PreviousPage reference attempts to actually load the page which can result in Read more
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Published On : 03-04-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
Search Using ASP.Net and Lucene
Getting Started Getting Lucene to work on your website isn't hard but there are a few tricks that help. We decided to use the Lucene.Net 2.1.0 release because it made updating the Lucene index easier via a new method on the IndexWriter object called UpdateDocument. This method deletes the specified document and then adds the new copy into the index. You can't download the 2.1.0 binary. Instead you will need to download the source via their subversion repository and then compile it. Don't worry this is an easy step. Using your subversion client - I recommend TortiseSvn get the source by doing a checkout from this url: Next go into the di Read more
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Published On : 01-01-1753
Author : Steve Donegan

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