Official Blog of Shaun Walker


Getting Started with ASP.NET Core 1.0

By Shaun Walker on 4/7/2016

A few weeks ago I did a presentation at Spring Tech 2016, an IT Pro, Developer & Security Conference hosted by the .Net BC & VanTUG user groups in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. My presentation was titled "Getting Started With ASP.NET Core 1.0" and it kicked off an entire day of content focused on the next generation web development platform from Microsoft. I only had one hour for my session and that provided barely enough time to scratch the surface of this powerful new technology. The good news however is that if you want to dive deeper, you can go ahead and download the current ASP.NET Core 1.0 distribution for yourself. 

.NET Foundation at the Reactor

By Shaun Walker on 4/6/2016

Last week I attended the //build conference in San Francisco. On one of the evenings, Microsoft extended an invitation to user groups around the Bay Area to come to their new open space for developers at 680 Folsom Street known as the Reactor. The party was focused on open source and community engagement and I was privileged to kick off the Lightning Talks with a short presentation about the .NET Foundation. The goal of my presentation was to promote the Foundation and try to clear up any misconceptions which may exist about its purpose or mission. I also used the opportunity to share a story about how a presentation that I did for a Bay Area user group ultimately led to the initial round of funding for DotNetNuke.  To set the stage it was important to note that there would be no need for a .NET Foundation if Microsoft had not created the .NET Framework. Since its release in 2001, the .NET Framework has had tremendous adoption - with current estimates of more than 1.8 billi ...

Congratulations 2015 Microsoft MVP!

By Shaun Walker on 7/21/2015
On Canada Day earlier this month, I once again felt extremely honored to receive an email from support@mvpaward.com titled “Congratulations 2015 Microsoft MVP!”. This is the 12th consecutive year that I have been recognized by Microsoft for my community contributions. 

Breaking Changes

By Shaun Walker on 5/5/2015
The integration of the ASP.NET 2.0 Membership API resulted in a technical dilemma known as a “breaking” change. Essentially this occurs when the primary interfaces of a  platform are modified in a way that does not preserve compatibility with previous versions. As a result, extensions that were developed against previous versions will no longer function with the new version. In the case of DotNetNuke it meant that version 2.0 modules would need to be modified in order for them to work with the new platform, now identified as version 3.0.

Open Source Project Restructuring

By Shaun Walker on 4/28/2015
The summer of 2004 was a restructuring period for DotNetNuke. Based upon their contributions, thirty new community members were nominated for Core Team inclusion and the Core Team itself underwent a reorganization of sorts. The team was divided into an Inner Team and an Outer Team, a structure which better reflected the meritocracy within the open source project. The Inner Team designation was reserved for those original Core Team individuals who had demonstrated the most loyalty, commitment, and value to the project over the previous year. The Outer Team represented individuals who had earned recognition for their community efforts and were given the opportunity to work toward Inner Team status. Among other privileges, write access to the main source code repository is the pinnacle of achievement in any source code project, and members of both teams were awarded this distinction to varying degrees.

Contributions and Dependencies

By Shaun Walker on 4/22/2015
Following the success of DotNetNuke 2.0, we focused on improving the stability and quality of the application. Many production issues were discovered after the release that we would have never anticipated during internal testing. As a platform becomes more extensible, people find ingenious new ways to apply it, which often produces unexpected results. We also integrated some key Roadmap enhancements that were developed in isolation by Core Team members. These enhancements were quite advanced and added a whole new level of professional features to the DotNetNuke code base, transforming it into a viable enterprise application framework.

Open Source Myths

By Shaun Walker on 4/17/2015
When I talk to people about open source software development, there are a few aspects I find that are commonly misunderstood by the general public. The confusion comes from the fact that there tends to be a lot of propaganda which has been created about open source to make the concepts simpler for everyone to understand and to create excitement about its potential as a disruptive or revolutionary force. Ironically, some of these aspects which are widely accepted as facts, are in actuality myths. 

DotNetNuke 2.0

By Shaun Walker on 3/17/2015
After six months of development, including a full month of public beta releases and community feedback, DotNetNuke 2.0 was released on March 23, 2004. This release was significant because it occurred at VS Live! in San Francisco, California, a large-scale software development event sponsored by Microsoft and Fawcette publications. Due to our strong working relationship with Microsoft, I was invited to attend official press briefings conducted by the ASP.NET Team. Essentially, this involved up to eight private sessions with the leading press agencies (Fawcette, PC Magazine, Computer Wire, Ziff Davis, and so on) where I was able to summarize the DotNetNuke project, show them a short demonstration, and answer their specific questions. The event proved to be spectacularly successful and resulted in a surge of new traffic to the community (now totaling more than 40,000 registered users).

The Security Vulnerability Dilemma

By Shaun Walker on 3/11/2015

In January 2004, an interesting dilemma presented itself. I received an email from an external party, a web application security specialist who claimed to have discovered a vulnerability in the DotNetNuke application (version 1.0). Upon further research, I confirmed that the security hole was indeed valid and immediately called an emergency meeting of the more trusted Core Team members to determine the most appropriate course of action. At this point, we were fully focused on the development of DotNetNuke 2.0 but also realized that it was our responsibility to serve and protect the growing DotNetNuke 1.0 user community

Microsoft Sponsorship

By Shaun Walker on 3/3/2015

In August 2003, I came to an agreement with Microsoft regarding a sponsorship proposal for the DotNetNuke project. In a nutshell, Microsoft wanted DotNetNuke to be enhanced in a number of key areas with the intent being to use the open source project as a means of demonstrating the strengths of the ASP.NET platform. Because these enhancements were completely congruent with the future goals of the project, there was little negative consequence from a technical perspective. In return for implementing the enhancements, Microsoft would provide a number of sponsorship benefits to the project including web hosting for the www.dotnetnuke.com website, weekly meetings with an ASP.NET Team representative (Rob Howard), continued promotion via the www.asp.net website, and more direct access to Microsoft resources for mentoring and guidance. It took five months for this sponsorship proposal to come together, which demonstrates the patience and perseverance required to collaborate with such an influential partner as Microsoft. Nonetheless, this was potentially a one-time offer, and at such a critical stage in the project evolution it seemed too important to ignore.

Shaun Walker has 25+ years professional experience in architecting and implementing enterprise software solutions for private and public organizations. Shaun is the original creator of DotNetNuke, a Web Application Framework which is one of the pioneering open source software applications native to the Microsoft platform. He was one of the original founders of DNN Corp, a commercial software company providing products, services, and technical support for DotNetNuke, which raised 3 rounds of venture capital from top tier Silicon Valley investors. Based on his significant community contributions he has been recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) as well as an ASPInsider for over 10 consecutive years. He was recognized by Business In Vancouver as a leading entrepreneur in their Forty Under 40 business awards, was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Outercurve Foundation, and is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Council for Microsoft's .NET Foundation. Shaun is currently a Partner and CTO at Arrow Digital.

Shaun Walker
34825 1ST Ave
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 DNN is the most widely deployed open source .NET web content management platform that allows you to design, build, and manage feature-rich websites, web applications, and social communities.

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