Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Development Trivia

[This was originally posted at]

Real-world development has so many miscellaneous facts and trivia, so I'm going to experiment writing a "Friday Trivia" blog post. The intent is to discuss trivia that arose during the week.

Specify the default editor for a file

In windows explorer, right click a file, select "open with" > "choose program", and then check the checkbox that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file". You can then automatically open the file (in the designated editor) just by running System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(strFullFileName).

Selecting Comments with XPath

XPath is a powerful way to select nodes from an XML document. While XPath commonly selects normal nodes, you can also use it to select elements. For example, you may want to select a comment if you're inserting a node into a document, and want the comment to be a placeHolder for where you append that node.

      XmlDocument xDoc = new XmlDocument();
            Additional Notes
            Text notes


      XmlNode n = xDoc.SelectSingleNode("/employees/comment()");


MSBuild - Command line properties that contain CSV strings

In MSBuild, you can specify properties via a or with the /p: switch in the command line. These two are supposed to be identical, but they're not. You can specify a CSV string in a PropertyGroup just fine, but you can't in the command line switch because it interprets commas as a property delimiter (just like semi-colons). A work around is to use another character (like a hyphen '-'), or have the MSBuild script import the PropertyGroup from a separate file and write the CSV string to that file. Perhaps there's also a way to escape the comma (maybe with a carrot '^')

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