Story of Modularity: Loading XML Files

Previously I told about achieving modularity in web application and I mentioned about using XML files as a configuration script for our module. This session, I’m going to explain the easy way to load external XML file to your program. This method doesn’t only work on web application, but in any .NET application.

Where to Start?

I usually start developing custom XML structure by typing directly to my XML file. It is some kind of prototyping your XML structure. In this case, I am going to develop an XML file that contains a configuration information for my modular theming system. The XML file will describe the theme description and theme structure which is a list of ASPX pages that is inside that theme file. For each pages in theme, they should contains the type of the page, title of the page, identifier, and ASPX file name of the page.

From that requirement, I could derive my new theme file is something like this:

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Story of Modularity: Achieving Modularity in Web Application

In my Heliosky.Story project, I am planning to create modularity on every part of the system. To achieve modularity, my program has to be able to load module or application part dynamically. Achieving modularity in web programming is not an easy task. Basically I am amazed with WordPress style of modularity, where they provide a full set of modular API so you can easily develop your custom theme, page, or plug-in in a logical manner. As we know, WordPress is built on top of PHP, a scripting language. Every module or application part in WordPress is a PHP script.

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Control Your Source Code

You usually save your code on your development machine. When you need to share your code with your friend, or perhaps when you use multiple development machine such as desktop and laptop simultaneously, you share your code by copying the entire folder and share it to your liking. This is a very bad practice, especially when sharing involves changes and development from other party. Because of that we need a Source Control system.

So my friends, what is source control? Basically it is a software that controls the changes and revisions on each line of your source code. So every changes are tracked, every files in your software project are monitored, and it has revision history so you will never lose track with any changes happen on your source code. They say that source control only useful for large projects, I say NO! Source control is very useful for any collaboration between two people. Even I, the lonesome programmer, can really make use the benefit of source control system so that I can keep my development workstations, my desktop and my laptop, in sync.

Okay, so I need to find a source control system that is suitable for me. The main requirement for my source control system is: CHEAP, preferably FREE. I was searching for the best solution for me. So I travelled the journey to look for the best. Here’s the story of my journey.

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What The Hell?

So welcome to my dev-blog. So basically this blog is for my personal project called Heliosky. Yes. I have plenty of personal projects and STALLED! God.

So I developed this blog as a motivation to myself to keep on writing, in parallel with continuing my personal project. I will present some of my ideas, my implementation, geeky things, and so on here. What are my personal projects exactly?

The ultimate personal projects that I want to develop is my own blog system, using ASP.NET. Somehow I did not satisfied with many of blogging system on ASP.NET. While now I am using WordPress to do blogging (I used to blog with WordPress at gilang.hamidy.net back back then, well, 3 years ago), I want to create a modular blog management system with a graph concept. I will tell you later about this. In the end, when my new blog management system is completed, I will migrate every post here into that system.

So why Heliosky? Helios is Sun. My name is Gilang Mentari Hamidy, where Mentari means Sun. Thankfully no one takes the domain Heliosky yet, so I can name my project Heliosky, and purchase (another) domain for myself. I should think about purchasing the other domain too to secure my trademark. 😛

Ok, enough with What The Hell post, I want to continue a little bit of my job and side projects. Talk to you later!