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Thursday 19 August 2010

Generate lowercase URLs with T4MVC templating tool

I noticed that my URL paths that are being generated using using T4MVC's excellent MVC templating were coming out in title case. This is a problem since we try to keep all URLs lower case since Google deems URL in different cases showing the same result as duplicate content.

I looked through a lot of the code that is generated by the tool and traced the problem all the way to the MyController.generated.cs file:
public class ActionNamesClass {
    public readonly string Index = "Index";
    public readonly string Edit = "Edit";
    public readonly string Create = "Create";

Great now I have to edit the way the code is generated... or do I?


Turns out David Ebbo has thought of everything! There is a setting in the T4MVC.settings.t4 file specifically for that, which I just need to set to true:
// If true, use lower case tokens in routes for the area, controller and action names
const bool UseLowercaseRoutes = true;

Now when I look at the generated code in my MyController.generated.cs file I can see:
public class ActionNamesClass {
    public readonly string Index = ("Index").ToLowerInvariant();
    public readonly string Edit = ("Edit").ToLowerInvariant();
    public readonly string Create = ("Create").ToLowerInvariant();


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Thursday 12 August 2010

Remove HTTP response headers to hide your framework

There are a number of infrastructure details that are passed with your HTTP response headers when serving a page. The security conscious developers out there will be aware that hackers and other malicious people will enjoy learning that information to target their exploits for that framework. If you want to remove the HTTP response headers of Server, X-Powered-By, X-AspNet-Version, X-AspNetMvc-Version or any others I will show you how.

I will show you the less hacky ones first. I.e. the ones where it is designed for you to remove them easily:


This can be removed simply using the enableVersionHeader attribute of the httpRuntime section of system.web section of your web.config:
  <httpRuntime enableVersionHeader="false" />
  <!-- other settings -->


In your Global.asax.cs you can add the following to your Application_Start method:
protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
    MvcHandler.DisableMvcResponseHeader = true;
    // RegisterRoutes etc... and other stuff


Instead of removing this I have decided to change it to something different so as not to cause suspicion to a potential hacker:
      <remove name="X-Powered-By"/>
      <add name="X-Powered-By" value="PHP 5.2 Ubuntu"/>
  <!-- other stuff -->


This one is harder since you can't actually do it anywhere else. Of course you could have changed all the other Headers here too but it feels messy doing it this way so I opted to change the others using the intended way.

First, make an HttpModule (essentially a class inheriting from IHttpModule) like this:
namespace HttpModules
    public class SecurityModule : IHttpModule
        public void Dispose()
            //intentionally do nothing

        public void Init(HttpApplication context)
            context.PreSendRequestHeaders += new EventHandler(context_PreSendRequestHeaders);

        private void context_PreSendRequestHeaders(object sender, EventArgs e)
            var context = ((HttpApplication)sender).Context;
            context.Response.Headers.Set("Server", "Apache 2.0");
Note: I have gone for lying about the server over removing it (which is also possible) since I'd rather fool hackers than annoy them.

Next you just need to register that module in your web.config:
    <add name="SecurityModule" type="HttpModules.SecurityModule, HttpModules" />

Now use Fiddler to have a look at your Response Headers. Hopefully wonderfully deceptive like this:

If you have more to remove/change you can do it in much the same way as X-Powered-By (using web.config) or if not the Server one (using the Security HttpModule).

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Wednesday 4 August 2010

IntelliSense for jQuery in Visual Studio 2010

I read this morning in Steve Sanderson's Pro ASP.NET MVC 2 Framework book that it is possible to get IntelliSense when using the popular JavaScript library, jQuery.

Microsoft have decided to implicitly support jQuery by including some of its libraries in their sample MVC project. This is as well as their own AJAX library that comes with a lot of support for ASP.NET Web Forms specific features, which of course you won't be needing in ASP.NET MVC.

Part of their support translates into working with them to provide IntelliSense support to Visual Studio. It is not entirely integrated so will need a touch of set up and here's how to do it:

Let's do it!

First, you need to get the jquery-1.4.1-vsdoc.js file. I got mine by creating a new ASP.NET MVC2 sample web application. You will find it at /Scripts/jquery-1.4.1-vsdoc.js. Copy it from here and put it in your application somewhere sensible.

Then you simply reference the file like so:
<% /* %><script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jQuery/jquery-1.4.1-vsdoc.js"></script><% */ %>

Now you can enjoy such delights as this:


  • You may want to put that reference in your MasterPage so it will work for all pages that use it. It will not work in miscellaneous pages or user controls (unless you add your own reference in those pages).
  • Also note the syntax I used so that users will not download the file as part of their request.
  • This works for VS2010. For VS2008 you may need to download a path that allows Visual Studio to find *-vsdoc.js files automatically

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