Essential NuGet packages for ASP.Net MVC

Here are some useful packages I came across in recent years:

Topic Package NuGet Source
log4net nuget apache
Error Logger
elmah.corelibrary nuget github
Elmah.Mvc nuget github
ElmahAppender.log4net nuget github
Glimpse nuget github
Glimpse.AspNet nuget
Glimpse.Mvc5 nuget
NHibernate.Glimpse nuget github
Minifier, Bundler
BundleTransformer.Core nuget github
BundleTransformer.Yui nuget github
Data Access
Nhibernate nuget github
Identity Management
NHibernate.AspNet.Identity nuget github
Handlebars.Net nuget github
RazorEngine nuget github
EPPlus nuget github
CsvHelper nuget github
PdfSharp nuget pdfsharp
HtmlRenderer.PdfSharp nuget github
DocuVieware Lite
HTML5 Document Viewer For ASP.NET

Some useful Web Applications

Link clearance, and closing some browser tabs 😉


A Hassle-Free Way to Self-Host Google Fonts


A Quick Spreadsheets-to-HTML <Table> Tool

.Net Regex Tester

Test regular expressions with real-time highlighting.

Port Scanner

Port scanner shows which ports are open on your (or someone else’s) computer and what they are accountable for.
Verification is performed via the scanner nmap, and shows the extend to which your PC is open to the outside world.


Rover Code

If you were ever curious about the software driving the Mars rovers, I came across a good question on Programmers today.

The JPL LaRS lab provides a couple of documents on coding standards and monitoring, and NODIS has a document on Software Engineering Requirements. The Workshops on Spacecraft Flight Software also offers a couple of slideshow presentations.

I find this topic very interesting (how would you debug a piece of code that is executing on a different planet?), but unfortunately there are not that many related questions (and answers!) on Programmers.

What about the Soviet space program?


I admit it was very tempting to celebrate the 404th post on this blog, rather than the 400th. Just like 1024 instead of 1000.

Incidentally however, recent events mean that the 404 jokes may turn into reality as two proposed bills are discussed and probably passed in the US.

Normally we stay away from from politics here at the official WordPress project

but the proposals of SOPA and PIPA have serious impacts on the way we can use the internet. From the Wikipedia article:

Threat to online freedom of speech

Negative impact on websites that host user content

Weakening of “safe harbor” protections for websites

General threat to web-related businesses

Threat to users uploading content

Threat to internal networks

Threat to free and open source software

Ineffectual against piracy

Deep-packet inspection and invasion of privacy

Negative impact on DNS, DNSSEC and Internet security

No doubt that in recent days SOPA is covered more frequently in online tech magazines:


Reddit is ready for SOPA and PIPA protest

Fighting Internet piracy: CES takes on SOPA vs. OPEN debate

Is a pro-PIPA lobbying group guilty of e-mail “content theft?”

Congress considers anti-piracy bills that could cripple Internet industries

How SOPA would affect you: FAQ

Over 40 Internet Companies Come Out Publicly Against SOPA (Including Us)

Anonymous will shut down to protest SOPA

reddit going dark for a day to protest SOPA online censorship bill

See Ars Technica for stories about some supporters of the bill

MPAA attacks Ars for “challenging efforts to curb content theft”

Smoking guns, dark secrets aplenty in YouTube-Viacom filings

At least one of the upcoming episodes of The Daily Show promises some fun. Can’t wait for January 18.

Open Data

When I developed my YuJisho online dictionary web application, I was looking for freely available fonts and dictionary data related to CJK languages.

For my dbscript database schema management application, I tried to find as many database schema samples as possible to test the application against.

There is a lot of data (raw, processed and visualized) available on the Internet, but occasionally it is hard to find. This raised the idea of providing a collection of references to free data sets on the web like the Guardian Data Store, and I was thinking about a platform to provide such links.

Now news is out that plan to release their platform as open source software (GitHub), but the code is still labeled as alpha. ( HTML says it is based on Socrata, which also provides lots of links to open data).

Let me know what’s your experience with OpenData, or similar platforms.

TSQL String Functions

While searching for appropriate string comparison functions in TSQL, I came across these pages implementing a couple of

string functions: Capitalize, Center, Count Substring in String, EndsWith, ExpandTabs, IsAlnum, IsAlpha,
IsDigit, IsLower, IsTitle, IsSpace, LJust, LStrip, RFind, RJust, RStrip, Strip, SwapCase, Title, Zfill

and string tuple functions: Split, SplitLines, Within, EndsWith, StartsWith, Contains, Join, Parts, Partition, RPartition

See here for more TSQL articles by the authors.

CSS Link List

In a web application with its custom CSS that also defined hyperlinks, Internet Explorer would render disabled hyperlinks greyed-out, whereas Firefox showed them as normal text.

Tracking down this different behavior, I found that you can define CSS styles not only by class and tag, but also by attributes using the [attribute] notation:

*[disabled], a[disabled]:hover, a[disabled]:visited

If you are looking for CSS definitions for fixed headers, footers and sidebars, take a look at these sample CSS. I’m thinking about including them in the next version of dbscript.

Free Unicode Fonts

This seems to be a re-occurring topic on Stack Overflow: where can you get free fonts for Unicode characters?

There may be some misunderstandings on Unicode and fonts and Unicode fonts which cause the question, and makes the answer more difficult than you would expect:

From the Unicode website:

The Unicode Standard is a character coding system designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages and technical disciplines of the modern world.

The standard defines 107,361 characters or code points as of version 5.2. Unicode also defines a set of properties for each character, and algorithms such as line breaking.

Fonts that “support Unicode” promise to the operating system or to the application that uses them that they provide an accurate graphical representation (glyph) of the code points they implement. A “Unicode font” typically does not cover each and every Unicode code point, but rather only subsets of the standard (Unicode Blocks).

Typically it is the operating system’s responsibility to find a matching font when displaying Unicode text.

So how can you find a free Unicode font supporting most of the characters? Here’s a list of links:


Alphabetical scripts

CJK fonts

  • Hanazono (52,809 CJK characters, full Ext A, Ext C, partial Ext B)


Font Lists