Scenes from May’s Metro Toronto .NET User Group

Better late than never! Here are a couple of pictures I shot at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group in late May, where I presented my walk-through of ASP.NET MVC, Canada’s Next Top Model View Controller.

Colin Bowern opened the session with some quick announcements about upcoming events as well as other .NET user groups in the Greater Toronto and surrounding areas:


He then introduced me, and I got started with my presentation. I did a quick walkthrough of the basic concepts behind MVC (that is, the Model-View-Controller design pattern), after which I introduced a special guest who I brought along with me: Paul Doerwald. Paul’s a Ruby on Rails developer, and he gave the audience a quick demonstration of building a Ruby on Rails project from scratch:


Bringing in a Rails guy to speak in front of a .NET crowd was a little unexpected, but I thought it was important to show them the inspiration behind ASP.NET MVC, whose creators acknowledge Ruby on Rails’ influence on their framework. I think that they benefited from this outside perspective, and it worked on Paul as well – he was impressed by the size of the crowd, the nice settings (the Metro Toronto .NET User Group has a nice arrangement to use the conference rooms at the Manulife office building), the extent and organization of all the .NET user groups in the Toronto area and even the male-female ratio (while the women were still vastly outnumbered by the men, the percentage of women at the User Group was still high in comparison to some open source gatherings).

Much of my presentation was a walk-through of building the basic structure of the NerdDinner application featured in the book Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and online at, with plenty of additional commentary by me, explaining in further detail why things were done a certain way. I encouraged the audience to download the free chapter from the book and actually build the application themselves; after all, the best way to learn is to do.

I had a wonderful time presenting in front of the very attentive and appreciative crowd at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group and would like to thank the audience for watching, Paul for helping out and the organizers for inviting me. I’d love to do it again sometime!

As for ASP.NET MVC, watch this space for more articles and code examples!


“Canada’s Next Top Model View Controller” Presentation at Metro Toronto .NET User Group Next Thursday

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

Canada's Next Top Model (moose) View (Lake Louise) Controller (beaver)

If you’re going to be in the area of downtown Toronto next Thursday, May 28th, you might want to check out my presentation, Canada’s Next Top Model View Controller at the next Metro Toronto .NET User Group meeting. I’ll be talking about the ASP.NET MVC Framework, Microsoft’s answer to MVC frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Django, CakePHP and Catalyst. As is my stock in trade with presentations, this will be informative, enlightening, entertaining and just might feature a rock and roll accordion performance.

The presentation takes place Thursday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m. at the Manulife Financial Building (200 Bloor Street East, Toronto, between Church and Jarvis – use the entrance on St. Paul Square). Admission for the presentation is free, but you have to register, and as of this writing, only 24 tickets remain.

For more details about the presentation, visit the Metro Toronto .NET user group site.


Colin Bowern at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group: Authentication Alternatives for ASP.NET

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

Slide: Passwords are like pants (with picture of boxer shorts): You shouldn't leave them out where people can see them, you should change them regularly and you shouldn't loan them out to strangers!Click the photo to see it at full size.
(And yes, he’s using the word “pants” in the British English sense, as in “underpants”.)

On Thursday evening, I caught Colin Bowern’s presentation, Authentication Alternatives for ASP.NET at the monthly gathering of the Metro Toronto .NET User Group. Here’s the abstract:

Asking someone to create another username and password is presents risk. Most people use the same password across sites, or worse yet they write it down! The good news is there are smart people thinking about how to solve this problem and for web developers there are easy ways to take advantage of their hard work. In this session we will take a look at the credential management from a user perspective. We will dig into the efforts made in Active Directory, Windows Live ID, OpenID, OAuth, and Facebook Connect and how you can take advantage of them in your application.

He covered Windows Live ID, OpenID and OAuth. Not only did he show the theory, but he also presented some reasonably easy-to-follow code and showed it in action. Colin’s got a good presentation style; perhaps he picked up a thing or two at the speaker’s workshop we had a week ago as part of EnergizeIT!

Here’s the “Call to Action” slide from his presentation:

Colin Bowern's "Call to Action" slide

…which says:

    1. Stop requiring users to create more identities
    2. Leverage OpenID for authentication – see the DotNetOpenID project at Google Code
    3. Investigate OAuth for delegated resource access
    4. For apps targeting corporate scenarios, read up on the Geneva product set – see items on Channel 9 tagged “identity”

Afterwards, I joined Colin, Metro Toronto .NET User Group President Graham Marko and a few others for some post-presentation Guinness at the nearby pub The Spotted Dick and told them I’d catch them at the Toronto Code Camp in a couple of weeks.

Next Presentation: Yours Truly on ASP.NET MVC

Metro Toronto .Net user Group logo I was invited to present at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group meeting. Graham said I could present on any topic I wanted, so I asked if anyone had done one on ASP.NET MVC yet. No one had, so I figured I’d cover it. I’ve been looking into it casually for the past little bit and I’ll be diving into it over the next month, with my experience using another MVC web framework, Ruby on Rails, as my guide. I promise I’ll be informative and entertaining! You might want to come even if you’re not a .NET developer.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, May 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the North Tower of the Manulife Financial Offices (200 Bloor Street East, on the north side, between Church and Jarvis). Yes, the meetings take place around dinner, but they provide some pizza and pop, and there’s always an opportunity for post-session nachos at the nearby pub.