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Welcome to the second generation Clarion Magazine site! We're the web's #1 source for information on Clarion development. 

The original Clarion Magazine site is still online at

Recent Clarion blog entries

H5 first impressions

Rick Smith has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise $12,000 for a cancer treatment for Russ Eggen that isn't covered by Russ's health insurance. Read more about it and contribute here!

You probably don't need any incentive to give Russ a hand, but here are some anyway:

  • For each qualifying donation Pratik Patel will provide a copy of his CYA IDE tool. CYA exports a TXA of your app every time you build, so it Covers Your App.
  • Contribute $100 or more and get: 
    • A year's worth of ClarionMag for free
    • Rick Martin's Format Assignment Alignment Addin
  • Contribute $500 or more and get ClarionMag free for life! 
  • Contribute $299 or more and Mark Riffery will provide "The Interview" service to your or the business owner of your choice. This is a set of 40-50 tough questions about your business. You answer the questions, Mark answers. You'll gain critical insights and advice about growing your business, specific to your business and your situation. 
  • Contribute $250 or more get 16 hours of free consulting from Mike Gorman, via phone or GoToMeeting and you'll also get a five production user version of the Metabase System with one year of updates. 

Update: The campaign has exceeded its target with $13,719 raised as of June 25!

The office will be closed from March 23-31 but I will be checking email periodically. Please allow several days for subscriptions to be processed.

Dave Harms


A first cut of the rebuilt ClarionMag archive is online. There's still lots of work to be done, but you can log in, and search for and read articles. Other links do not yet work, and the look and feel is still pretty raw. 

As you probably know the site has been offline for several months now. It broke badly when we moved the site to a new server. My initial efforts to get the archive back online were unsuccessful and eventually I realized that a proper fix was going to take a lot more work. 

When I first wrote what is now the archive site I began with Castle Monorail, a Ruby on Rails-inspired framework for .NET web development. But shortly thereafter Microsoft announced its ASP.NET MVC framework, and I eventually switched to that with the idea that it would be a bit more mainstream and better supported. That was the right decision - Castle Monorail has languished, and ASP.NET MVC (which is now part of ASP.NET vNext) is bigger and better than ever. 

It wasn't a completely clean break in favor of Microsoft tooling, however. I needed a reliable data layer, and back then Entity Framework was still pretty green. I had previous experience with Hibernate and Java, so I picked up the .NET version (NHibernate) and another toolkit called Sharp Architecture which provided a framework for using NHibernate with ASP.NET MVC. 

Like Monorail, Sharp Architecture hasn't gotten much love recently. When the archive site first went down I tried to update its Visual Studio solution with current versions of the many different libraries it uses, but I ran into a brick wall of dependency errors especially around Sharp Architecture. NuGet is a wonderful tool, but it can't work miracles.

So I decided to rip out Sharp Architecture and some of its related tooling and upgrade everything to MVC 5. Although Entity Framework has pulled ahead of NHibernate in recent years, I chose to leave the EF migration for another time. NHibernate is still well supported and a new data layer would mean an unnecessary delay getting the site back online.

I'm through most of the technical hurdles now. I have a working data layer again, with a slightly different implementation of the repository pattern. The old site used Castle Windsor for dependency injection (DI); I yanked that in favor of Autofac. Actually at first I tried to do without DI at all; why, I asked myself, introduce unnecessary complication? But while creating a proof of concept solution that simply read data from the database and dumped it out to a web page, I had problems maintaining an open database session for the lifetime of the page request. That's just the sort of thing that DI containers do quite well, and Autofac does especially well. But that's another, longer story. 

There's a major change on the UI side as well. The original archive site uses ASP.NET syntax with a number of HTML helpers, but back in MVC 3 Microsoft introduced the very cool Razor syntax for web pages. So as I bring individual pages back online I'm also rewriting them using Razor. 

As you may recall the archive site used a radius-cornered layout, and it did so via a number of formatting tricks as radiused corners were not widely available in CSS at the time. In the event I have to fiddle much (or at all) with the new site to get the appearance right I may also switch over to a mobile-friendly Foundation-based layout (besides which, radiused corners just aren't that cool anymore). I've been using Foundation in a consulting project and I've been quite impressed with it and with the SCSS-based approach to style sheets. That too is a subject for another time. 

Meanwhile I'm working away at the rewrite. I'm not prepared to give an ETA yet but I'm pleased with the progress. 

I very much appreciate everyone's patience. It's been a challenging and stressful time in the magazine's history, and I hope it won't take too much longer to get the archive site back online. Meanwhile if you already have full rights to the archive I can set you up so you can search the PDFs on this site. Just drop me a note on this page or send me an email. 

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Recent additions and updates:

If you don't see any links in the blog entries or the links don't work...'s because you aren't logged on, or you are logged on and for some reason don't have access to the content referenced in the blog entries. 

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Clarion Magazine subscriptions are available at ClarionShop:

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Recent comments

Other content

We've lowered the Clarion Magazine subscription rate to $29/year and have extended all active subscriptions on a pro-rated basis retroactive to Oct 1 2015. We're still working hard on the archive site rewrite and hope to have that back on line soon, and will be back to publishing on this site once that's done. Details to follow. 

News from Thin@
CIDC day one summary

Today Johan van Zyl relayed a Node.js offer email in comp.lang.clarion. This is a promotional offer which is designed to get you signed up on a $29/month plan at The first month is just $9 and you get the Node.js course and ebook. I haven't had any experience with Learnable yet, and it's probably well worth the $$$, but do note that you can cancel any time if you just want to drop the $9.

I've gone ahead and signed up for the $9 offer. I've done some work with Node.js but I'd definitely like to learn more. If you haven't played with it yet, I suggest you take a look. From the web site:

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

There are lots of cool things you can do with Node.js - I've mainly experimented with it in conjunction with DocPad to create lightweight web sites. 

Here's the offer text:

In just a few years, Node.js has become the go-to technology for building scalable apps for thousands of companies.

Today, save $120 on our epic Node.js Bundle!

Now just $9 -

With this Node.js bundle, you'll learn to use JavaScript to build fast, scalable web apps.

You'll get...

COURSE: Node.js: An Introduction — Our brand new course will get you up to speed with the basics in no time.

EBOOK: Jump Start Node.js — Learn to develop a working Node.js application, from start to finish!

Learnable membership — One month's access to Learnable, including two (additional) free SitePoint book downloads. Membership renews at $29/month or cancel any time and keep all your downloads.
This very special early bird offer won't last, so be quick!

Demand for developers with Node.js skills is growing quickly. Stay ahead of the curve and SAVE $120 today!

Happy learning!

Last week was just jammed. It started off with two days of excellent NetTalk training, followed by three days of awesome DevCon presentations that ran to almost twelve hours on Wednesday and Thursday and about ten hours on Friday. Throw in some post-conference mini golf, a 5:45 a.m. wake-up for my morning flight, a lengthy (and unrelated to Clarion) meeting at a local community club barely an hour after my plane landed, an early morning sports practice for my daughter the next day, and by Sunday afternoon I was about as tired as I've felt in the last five years. I crashed for a couple of hours. 

And of course there's a lot of work to catch up on after a week away. But I still have a bunch of notes from DevCon, and once I get those posted I'll write up some of my conclusions. Among other things I had a lot of interesting conversations with ClarionMag and DevRoadmaps subscribers, and I've learned a thing or two. I've started implementing some changes that I think will make ClarionMag folk happy. 

Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience! 

CIDC training under way
Web? Mobile? Doom?
jQuery recommended reading

Check out these jQuery book recommendations.

Michael Dettmer has posted some information on the CodeCharge web development tool, which he points out has a lot of features that make it similar to Clarion and WinDev. Generated code can be in ASP.NET (C#), ASP, PHP, Java Servlets, JSP, ColdFusion or Perl.

RAD tool listing

Our focus at DevRoadmaps is on two RAD tools, Clarion and WinDev. But there are lots of RAD tools out there, and we're always happy to learn more. After a question from a reader about CodeCharge, we've gone ahead and created a new page listing the available RAD tools. There are just a few entries - help us add more!

Developers who use RAD tools like Clarion and WinDev do so because they believe those tools offer a very real advantage over traditional hand-coder development tools. But are those advantages as great as they seem? David Harms looks at when and why RAD is a help and a hindrance

Continuous compiling/testing

Mark Riffey brought Mighty Moose to my attention, which led me to a few other products that similarly compile your .NET code while you type, and run any affected unit tests so you get immediate feedback on how your changes affect your code base. This is pretty cool stuff. 

I've put up a couple of quick pages on Microsoft's Reactive Extensions (Rx) and Paul Betts' ReactiveUI, two libraries that are generating a lot of interest in the .NET world. 

While looking at ways to manage database changes that happen as a result of application upgrades, Dave Harms comes across SQL Server's snapshot capabilities. There are some issues to be aware of, but if you need to roll back a database change, snapshots can help you do it in a hurry. 



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