Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome Post from Matt

Hey this is my first blog post of any kind and I am pretty psyched up to get this thing rolling. A few years ago I would have told you that I am anti-blog and would have asked ‘what the heck is a blog anyways?’ but it seems the market has proven me wrong on this topic so why not join. This blog is going to deal with Smart Space and its surrounding technologies. I hope to have posts that deal with many topics including but not limited to the following.
  • Tips and tricks for smart space users.
  • Gadget samples and ideas.
  • Development kit samples, code snippets and tricks.
  • My views on delivering BI or EPM to the end users.

The reason I say ‘not limited to’ is because I, on occasion, have been known to rant about a few topics like the Bears, American Idol and my Guitar Hero band ‘Temporal Lobe’ so don’t be surprised if you see a post or two on these topics.

OK back on course. I want to start this post with something relevant for the early adopters of this product so I will start with a tip for developers or administrators. When you install the Smart Space client on a user’s desktop it will get laid down in some funky directories and understanding what the layout is and why can be helpful for Smart Space developers and administrators.

Where does it get installed?
Smart Space client gets installed using a technology called ClickOnce and therefore this technology dictates it installation location. You will find the install among other things in the following location.

Windows Vista - C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0
Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Apps\2.0

Once you are in this directory you will find different parts of the application in various different sub directories. You may also find other ClickOnce deployed applications here. The important thing is to understand the key locations. Here are the directories I most often find myself in:

Desktop, Gadget and Application preferences - \Data\[weird random string]\[weird random string]\[weird random string that starts with smar..tion]\Data\Preferences

Ex. Data\1H2AP0TZ.ENR\ON0QYBGW.60P\smar..tion_9bec160018cb55d5_0009.0003_3c33ae78baedec6c\Data\Preferences

This will vary from machine to machine so sometimes it is best to just drill into data and look around or do a search on the file ‘ApplicationPreferences.xml’ under the Data directory. Once you are here you can drill into the canvases directory to get the Desktop and Gadget preferences. Please do not mess with these file unless you really know what you are doing or are willing to reinstall because you can screw things up. If you go up one level from there to the Data directory you will find a History folder. This is where you can find the messaging logs for the product.

Ex. Data\1H2AP0TZ.ENR\ON0QYBGW.60P\smar..tion_9bec160018cb55d5_0009.0003_3c33ae78baedec6c\Data

Log Files - \[weird random string]\[weird random string]\[weird random string that starts with smar..tion]\Logs

Ex. R4MAR924.8AM\BXGAMVH9.C9Q\smar..tion_9bec160018cb55d5_0009.0003_3c33ae78baedec6c\Logs

If you have trouble finding these files just go to the installation directory (above) and search on the file named ‘SmartSpace.log’ or go to the Smart Space Control Panel and click the Logs icon.

Binaries – The binaries are simply one level up from the logs directory and you should rarely if ever be in this directory. Any binaries you might need for gadget development will ship with the Gadget Development Kit Wizard.

Ex. R4MAR924.8AM\BXGAMVH9.C9Q\smar..tion_9bec160018cb55d5_0009.0003_3c33ae78baedec6c\Logs

Why does it get laid down in these weird directories?
The only thing I can really say is that it gets structured this way because these are the rules for ClickOnce. If you want more details on why ClickOnce does this you should research this technology. Using this technology provides all kinds of good things to the Smart Space product like safe and secure deployments, infrastructure for automatic updates, and my favorite installation on a restricted user’s desktop (no administrative rights) so because of this we deal with the seemingly odd directory structure.

Well that concludes my first post and I hope it helps at least one person! If you are reading this post and have no idea what I am talking about then I invite you to find out more about Smart Space by visiting the Smart Space OTN page



josh.kamenecka said...

Cool stuff guys. This blog is an excellent idea to get some additional commentary and feedback plus it'll help evangelize this a little more. I love it!!!


Matt Milella said...

Thanks Josh!