Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Force Content Types to Json in .NET WebApi

I ran into a situation where I couldn't set the Content-Type header in the http request client I was using. (Crossrider's appAPI.request.post)

The client was either not setting a Content-Type or defaulting to application/x-www-form-urlencoded

If you put the code below in Application_Start you should be able to force form-urlencoded data to the JsonFormatter and by removing the XmlFormatter, Json will also be the default.

HttpConfiguration config = GlobalConfiguration.Configuration;
foreach (var mediaType in config.Formatters.FormUrlEncodedFormatter.SupportedMediaTypes)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Using Less and Twitter Bootstrap in ASP.NET MVC4

UPDATE 05/02/2013:

Changed ScriptBundle and StyleBundle to just Bundle, per Andrey Taritsyn:
Bundle Transformer it is not recommended to use together with the StyleBundle and ScriptBundle classes, because these classes already contain transformations (instances of the built-in minifiers: CssMinify and JsMinify). Use a Bundle class.

UPDATE 11/08/2012:
  1. Create a new MVC4 Internet Application
  2. Add the following Nuget Packages
  3. Rename /Content/site.css to /Content/site.less 
    • Edit BundleConfig.cs in the App_Start folder and update the css file name to site.less like so:
      bundles.Add(new var cssTransformer = new CssTransformer();
      var jsTransformer = new JsTransformer();
      var nullOrderer = new NullOrderer();
      var defaultScriptsBundle = new Bundle("~/bundles/default.js").Include(
      defaultScriptsBundle.Orderer = nullOrderer;
      var defaultStylesBundle = new Bundle("~/Content/default.css").Include("~/Content/site.less");
      defaultStylesBundle.Orderer = nullOrderer;
    • Add the following to the top of /Content/site.less in order to have access to all of the Bootstrap mixins:
      @import "less/bootstrap.less"; 
      body {
            padding-top: 60px;
            padding-bottom: 40px;
      @import "less/responsive.less"; 

    =================== THE REST OF THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE ==========

    UPDATE 8/20/2012: I've created a Nuget package that performs the steps below. I'd suggest reviewing what the package does below and then running:
    Install-Package Twitter.Bootstrap.Less.MVC4

    ASP.NET MVC4 has a great new feature that can bundle and minify your CSS and Javascript files.

    But in order to get Twitter Bootstrap to work it takes a bit more work. Here are the steps that worked for me.

    1. Create a new MVC4 Internet Application
    2. Add the following Nuget Packages
    3. Create an Infrastructure folder and add the following two files: (hat tip to this Stackoverflow question)
    4. Rename /Content/site.css to /Content/site.less 
    5. Edit BundleConfig.cs in the App_Start folder and replace the default Content/css bundle with the following:
      var css = new Bundle("~/Content/css").Include("~/Content/site.less");
      css.Transforms.Add(new LessMinify());

    6. Add the following to the top of /Content/site.less in order to have access to all of the Bootstrap mixins:
      @import "less/bootstrap.less";

    If you have "shared" .less files from other projects I found importing them in site.less right after boostrap.less to work pretty well. They'll have access to all the mixins.
    @import "less/bootstrap.less";
    @import "less/shared.less";

    The completed solution is available on Github here

    If there is a better/easier way to do this please let me know in the comments!

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Passing Cookies to a Node.js REST Client

    In Node.js if you want to pass the current user's Cookies to a REST call your making from the server here's a simple way to do it:

    var cookies = _.map(req.cookies, function(val, key) {
        return key + "=" + encodeURIComponent(val);
    }).join("; ");
    rest.get("http://makerocketgonow.com/", {
        headers: {
            Cookie: cookies,
            "Content-Type": "application/json"
      }).on("complete", function(data) {
        return console.log(data);

    This example uses the popular Restler library, but I assume you could do something similar with other libraries or without using a library.

    CAUTION: I'm using encodeURIComponent on the cookie value. Ruby on Rails seems to expect their cookies to be encoded like this. On the other hand, I've looked throw a few Node.js libraries that deal with cookies and they don't seem to manipulate the value at all. So you can play with adding or removing encodeURIComponent.

    If you start to get errors when making the REST request, be sure to check the cookie encoding/format versus what Firebug sends on a normal request to the site. Pay particular attention to any special characters.