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How to fix problems with Application Pools not starting in IIS manager

How can you fix the problem of the application pool refusing to start and throwing the error message of “The service cannot accept control messages at this time”?

Happily all you have to do is to go to task manager and kill the W3WP process – then restart the app pool.

Aug 23

Written By Steve French


How to run WordPress on Azure App Service Linux with NGINX

I recently had to start moving my various WordPress sites from the standard App Service to a standard app service on Linux, using NGINX. However, this does not work out of the box. After much googling and experimentation I came across this extremely well written blog post on the topic.

Basically just follow those instructions the letter and all your problems will be solved!

I like to do a little value add on these blog posts, but really the first has everything you need – this post is just to give credit and to find the solution again later.

Update March 23rd, 2023

You do have to add the following to the wpconfig file for it to work – that is the missing link – for some reason when the sites “transition” there is something off about their behavior to ssl – this fixes it

define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);if (strpos($_SERVER[‘HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO’], ‘https’) !== false)   $_SERVER[‘HTTPS’]=’on’;

Mar 23

Written By Steve French


Remember to await everything in Playwright and Typescript

I’ve recently fallen madly in love with the PlayWright web testing platform. Seemingly is has all of the strengths of every other testing platform, while being legible, transparent and actually working. However, I was thrown for a week by mystery timeouts, failures and heisenbugs.

The culprit happened when I all of the repeatable steps into components. The components themselves contained nothing but await statements, but I was not awaiting the components themselves. Against all logic, awaiting components that consist of nothing but await statements is necessary for playwright to work properly.

Feb 23

Written By Steve French


How to fix your web.config files not transforming in Azure Pipelines and Releases

After much sturm and drang I finally found that if you change your build arguements to

msbuildArgs: ‘/p:DeployOnBuild=true  /p:WebPublishMethod=Package  /p:PackageAsSingleFile=true /p:SkipInvalidConfigurations=true  /p:PackageLocation=”$(build.artifactStagingDirectory)”  /p:AutoParameterizationWebConfigConnectionStrings=false’

And do the the other tips listed on this blog then the web.config files should transform like they are supposed to.

Jul 22

Written By Steve French


A quick write up to document web config changes when deploying to azure using release pipelines in azure devops

So – you want a step by step guide to deploying web apps to azure web apps from azure devops and changing config files in the release pipelines? Look no further.

First create the new web.config files, as seen below

In the file properties – make sure they are set to “Content” and “Copy Always”

In the pipeline properties – make sure that xml transformation is checked, and that there is the proper value of

In Make sure your azure stage has the same name as the web.{name}.config file

May 22

Written By Steve French


How to Get the ID of the logged in user in mvc web api apicontroller

After much googling, and evening Bing-ing revealed nothing I discovered that for some reason I had the line


In my WebAPIConfig.cs file – I removed that and everything magically worked and I could use User.Identity.GetUserId();

Feb 22

Written By Steve French


Dynamic page redirects in TestCafe

So – you need to redirect to a dynamic page in TestCafe you say? Try the below

const setValue = ClientFunction(() => {
var idToUseForRedirection=document.querySelector(‘input[name=”ID”]’).value;
document.location.href=”” + idToUseForRedirection;


await setValue();

Jun 21

Written By Steve French


More Test Cafe Goodies

Generating a random string in some logical order

const setValue = ClientFunction(() => {
var dt = new Date();
var dateString =”Steve French Test – ” + dt.getTime();
document.querySelector(‘input[name=”ctl00$CPHSIURate$txtRiskName”]’).value =dateString;
document.querySelector(‘input[name=”ctl00$CPHSIURate$txtRiskName”]’).dispatchEvent(new window.Event(‘change’, { bubbles: true }))

await setValue();

as well as

const setValue = ClientFunction(() => { document.querySelector(‘input[name=”CaptchaAgentValueAsSupplied”]’).value = document.querySelector(‘input[name=”CaptchaAgentValue”]’).value;});
await setValue();

to play with dates

const setValue = ClientFunction(() => { var dt = new Date(); dt.setDate( dt.getDate() – 10 ); var dateString = ((dt.getMonth() > 8) ? (dt.getMonth() + 1) : (‘0’ + (dt.getMonth() + 1))) + ‘/’ + ((dt.getDate() > 9) ? dt.getDate() : (‘0’ + dt.getDate())) + ‘/’ + dt.getFullYear(); document.querySelector(‘input[name=”ExpirationDateOfPriorCoverage”]’).value =dateString; document.querySelector(‘input[name=”ExpirationDateOfPriorCoverage”]’).dispatchEvent(new window.Event(‘change’, { bubbles: true }))});
await setValue();

Mar 21

Written By Steve French


How to change out appsettings.json files upon in an Azure DevOps Release

As I continue to explore Blazor I came across an interesting problem – to wit – how does one change the appsettings.json in an Azure Release? Ideally you would want to use the appsettings.QA.json in your QA environment, your appsettings.Dev.json in your dev environment, etc. I could not find any obvious way of doing this.

Were is regular mvc 5 I could just name the release stage “QA” and the magic of Azure would do the necessary web.config changes (i.e. change to web.config upon release/publish.)

After writing out an email to a friend to ask him how he would do it I came across the answer – on this blog post actually. The key is to add an ASPNETCORE_Environment variable to whatever it is you want your environment to be, i.e. if you have appsettings.PublicDev.json you would just need to add an ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT value of “PublicDev” – then release!

Dec 20

Written By Steve French


How to fix problems with Test Cafe Studio and Datepickers

I’ve become quite a fan of Test Cafe Studio this past year – I’ve found it to be an excellent mix of automated testing and browser automation. One persistent problem I’ve had is how it treats the datepicker – specifically it works for one month, and then doesn’t work at all (due to the position of the numbers changing on the datepicker).

One convenient way of always selecting the last item in the datepicker is by selecting the last table cell using css, namely by using this as the target of the click event


However, that doesn’t work if there are other tables on the page. The workaround I’ve found is to add the following to the click event. That will find the right box and click it properly.

Oct 20

Written By Steve French


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