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Tagged: June 2008 Blog Posts

Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting! Below is a list of entries related to the tag listed above.. My site contains more than just the information below and I'd encourage you to visit the home page to view current information as well as other items/categories that might be of interest.



Line Rider rides on Silverlight 2

One of probably the coolest casual ‘games’ I’ve ever seen is Line Rider.  It’s a fun game, but really gets exciting when you have an artist behind it.  Basically it’s a blank canvas for you to draw a route for the main character to hop on his sled and ride.  Sound lame?  Not when you see what some have come up with.  For example, here’s a very popular ‘ride’ on YouTube. Well, the Line Rider team has recently modified their beta version and implemented in Silverlight 2!  They’ve also added some social networking integration using Live Messenger and the ability to...

Silverlight community controls contest

I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these efforts for Silverlight and I love it.  In fact, INETA will be sponsoring the 2008 INETA Silverlight Challenge soon, so you should sign up for more information about that as well.  But until then… But until then, check out what some of the community MVPs and leaders are doing on their own!  They’ve started the Silverlight Control Builder Contest ‘08.  Two main organizers (Page Brooks and Dave Campbell) have put some time and thought into how they can get the community excited about developing solutions for the community and alas...

I <3 Zappos!

Zappos – a company that seemingly ‘gets it’ with regard to customer service, doing the right thing, and providing the best products at the best prices.  They have not paid/asked me for this comment.  When I find a company willing to provide the best service and put the customer first, I’m so impressed. I just ordered a new pair of shoes this afternoon (about 11:00 GMT –7).  I just received this email (emphasis mine) in my inbox (13:50 GMT –7): Although you originally ordered Standard (4 to 5 business days) shipping and handling, we have...

Learning ASP.NET MVC?

Are you poking around with the latest ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller) bits?  If so, hopefully you are already aware of the resources available to you and the fact that Phil Haack is one of the program manager’s leading those efforts, and Scott Hanselman has been providing the community with some resources to jump start your learning. Well, another member has just joined the ranks on the team I work for.  Stephen Walther, pictured here in his best book-cover pose ;-), has joined the team.  He actually joined earlier this month, but I’m just now getting around to welcoming him to...

Android, iPhone and Windows oh my!

I suspect Apple will have a good day on 11 July.  I’m pretty sue Apple could release the iGumWrapper and people will camp out 2 days before to be the first to purchase a gum wrapper made out of napkin and far less superior in functionality than what exists today.  It’s the lure of Apple, the marketing engine behind them and the fact that despite that napkin material, it would likely be so beautiful and make you forget some things that you’ve depended on for so long. But I digress :-).  In all seriousness, Apple excels at the hype and the...

FeedReader web part 3.0.0.2

For those of you who use my RSS FeedReader Web Part for SharePoint, it has been updated into an ‘official’ release for the project.  Version 3.0.0.2 is now the latest release.  It incorporates all the changes from our team’s contributor, Ryan – thanks Ryan!!!  You can read the checkin on the Codeplex site or review this previous post for Ryan’s checkin notes. As always, the source code is included on the site, licensed under the Ms-Pl. There has been some emails/work items/debate over the installer.  The installation is two parts: ...

Appreciate your blessings…

Yes, this is one of those posts where you reflect on ‘life’ and how precious it is.  Today was a weird day for me because of two things that caused me pause.  Allow me a little history… Just over 5 years ago now I received a call that my father was in the hospital as a result of a massive heart attack and was unconscious.  Those are things you never want to hear…ever.  Needless to say it was going to get worse.  In fact my father was in immediate need of a heart transplant to live.  In the interim, they would...

Some new Silverlight videos

Some new videos just got posted to the Silverlight community site.  Topics included: IsolatedStorage usage HTML DOM Integration Dynamic Assembly/XAP loading Working with Syndicated Data As always, feedback and ideas are welcome.  Ben’s been leaving some great comments here on suggested topics and I’d love to see more.  I’ll be starting a new ‘series’ soon…more to come on that in a week’s time. As a reminder, these videos are meant...

svn commit my_contribution_to_OSS

As I patiently awaited, here’s what was presented to my browser: I’ve made my first official “commit” to an open source project that I didn’t start.  I feel good.  I feel like cracking open a Mt. Dew and going crazy.  Honestly though it does feel good (and fun).  My blog engine I use is Subtext.  It’s the blog engine I’ve used almost exclusively (I actually started with .Text before scottw sold out went to Telligent to make Community Server.  I kid of course, Scott is a great guy, and very smart.  But when .Text was seemingly going to get stale, others...

Silverlight Streaming upgraded to Beta 2

The Silverlight Streaming service has been upgraded to support Silverlight 2 beta 2 applications. As a note to customers who were previously hosting Beta 1 applications for test purposes, as beta 1 is no longer a supported test platform for SLS.  Authors should update/upload their applications using the latest Silverlight 2 bits.  These are available (with the tools) from the Silverlight community site. Silverlight 1 applications hosted on SLS are not affected by this upgrade and still supported of course. Remember that you can also now directly upload a XAP file to SLS using the Manage...

Silverlight 2 Media Player project now open source

Over the past few months Joel and I have been back-and-forthing modifications to his original great idea and goal “build a re-sizable video player using no custom user controls, but instead leveraging controls styles and templates.”  Joel started in Silverlight 2 Beta 1 and implemented using the style method (aka ‘the MIX model’) available at that time.  I took it and added some functionality of scaling and startup parameters.  After the VisualStateManager model for styling was released, this project made perfect sense to demonstrate those abilities and thus I transformed the great styling work that Joel did into the VSM...

ATMs, design and XAML

I’ve been a Wells Fargo customer for a long time.  As a financial institution it has served me well.  I’ve never really put much thought into the services I use and the interactions I have with their systems.  Actually I take that back – I make heavy use of the online banking system and have noticed some likes/dislikes, but overall pleased. Over the past year, the automated teller machines (ATM) have undergone some design changes that, while subtle, have been impressive and welcome additions to the ATM experience for me.  It really made me actually notice a change in...

Microspotting

I’ve been watching Ariel’s blog for a while and really like the insight.  What is it? Microspotting, where she describes “Like the paparazzi, but for geeks.” I would say similar to the core tenet of Channel 9, Microspotting has the intent of turning the looking glass inward to get some profiles of key individuals you might recognize within Microsoft.  What is great is that the story is augmented by another of Ariel’s talents: photography.  She’s pretty good and I’ve enjoyed the photos that accompany the profiles and stories. From her site: My name is Ariel and Microspotting...

Firefox 3 and Silverlight

Well today (17 JUN 2008) will be the release of Firefox 3, a seemingly much anticipated browser update.  I checked out an earlier build (I think beta 2) and it was a nice browser.  I’m not a browser zealot, I use what works for me and IE works for me, has some tools that I like, etc.  Firefox is a fine browser as well and I do use some plugins from time to time in my Firefox install. Today, I assume a lot of people will be downloading FF3 whether by explicit choice or by a prompt from their FF2 browser...

Free Silverlight 2 training CD

The team att AppDev is providing a free learning CD-ROM for Silverlight 2.  They are providing it as a CD-ROM or download and said it represents a $115 value for their training…but are providing it now for free! If you are familiar with MSDN Magazine, ASPNETPro, and other online/offline publications, the name Dino Esposito might sound familiar.  Dino is the one providing the training walkthroughs for you in this offering.  It includes roughly 3 hours of training on Silverlight 2 content.  Get it now!  Thanks AppDev! UPDATE (30 JUN 2008): The team at AppDev has heard some feedback and has altered their offer. ...

Airlines raising fares in plain view…

I just received an email from US Airways (my preferred airline) in my inbox…here’s an excerpt: It's no secret that the airline business is facing difficulties of unprecedented proportions; and 'unfortunately US Airways is no exception. Surviving high oil prices is going to require some substantial changes to the way the industry is run. Today, we announced a series of changes designed to prepare our airline for these new ways of doing business. Specifically, we announced changes to domestic capacity, the Dividend Miles program and our overall business model. We're transforming our business by initiating a 'pay-for-what-you-use' model for items like...

Updated Silverlight media player using VisualStateManager

I’ve just finished updating my modification of Joel’s original concept.  Joel had a really great base for me to build off of and used styling and templates to create simple controls for a standard Silverlight media player that could be embedded.  I took his sample and made some minor adjustments to accommodate automatic sizing as well as make it a bit more parameter-driven.  The end result was (what I think at least) a fairly nice player that could be flexible if needed: Joel made great use of styling primitive controls to be able to leverage core...

Telerik drops some Silverlight control goodies

One of the things I love about the Microsoft developer ecosystem is the partner channels that are enabled to create great add-ons to our platforms and frameworks.  Our partners in this space usually get to the better implementations before we do, taking on the task of filling some gaps in unique implementations while our teams can focus on providing the best framework for enabling that construction. In December of last year, Telerik showed their intentions of making a control suite for Silverlight (then v1.1).  Well now that beta 2 is released for Silverlight 2, they’ve updated their RadControls for...

Silverlight cross domain services and a helpful tool

I’ve been getting a few notes on issues relating to people trying Silverlight beta 2 and WCF or other services.  The most common issue I’m seeing reported is “my exception is showing a 404-not found error message, but the service is there and works!” Okay, there could be several things happening here, but let’s tackle the “make sure it is plugged in” type situations.  I don’t mean to make light of the error, because at first I, too, was banging my head against a wall.  Sometimes it helps to have a second set of eyes or a deeper understanding...

Getting started with Silverlight 2

Now that beta 2 is out and some of the features or more solid, and a majority of the breaking changes have been announced, there is no excuse to hold back anymore.  Oh yeah, and there is a commercial go-live license available now, so no more excuses :-). So where to get started?  Well you should first head over to the Silverlight community site and visit the Get Started section.  There you will find a rather simple formula to get started: Download/install the tools ...

Important change to Sockets in Silverlight 2

An important note for those using Sockets in Silverlight 2.  In beta 1, Sockets were limited to site-of-origin (meaning you could only connect back to the same host that served up the Silverlight application).  This has changed in beta 2 to allow your Silverlight application to connect to any server exposing some Socket connections. One important note, however, is that a policy implementation has been added.  This policy implementation affects not only cross-domain Socket calls, but site-of-origin ones as well.  So if you are using Sockets, you must have a policy implementation in place. The policy implementation is done via a similar file...

Silverlight 2 Beta 2 updates for web services

We were all jumping for joy when Silverlight 2 beta 1 was released and the ability to connect to services was more readily/easily available to us.  For discoverable services that provided a WSDL we were quickly able to implement them using the Add Service Reference capability in Visual Studio 2008.  Beta 2 brings a few changes to the world of services that you should know about.  I’ll do my best to recap some of them here. Generating a WCF Service In beta 1 when we created a WCF service for use in Silverlight, we used the “WCF Service” template...

Silverlight Streaming adds video upload fix

I previously wrote about a known issue with Silverlight Streaming services and videos encoded with Encoder 2.  The quick recap is that a video already encoded to VC-1 using Encoder 2 will not process when using the Manage Videos feature of Silverlight Streaming services.  I provided 3 work around options (#3 being the easiest of those 3) to get you past the issue and get the video uploaded. The SLS team recently just added another option into the actual process and enables you to use the Manage Videos feature rather than act like uploading an application or renaming files. ...

MIX Essentials Mexico and unique cuisine

Well, I have about 3 hours until I leave this little city called Mexico City.  Sarcasm of course, did you know there are roughly 25 million people in Mexico City.  I didn’t.  It is amazing.  Traffic, however, is something to be desired.  I’m told that a 3 mile trip at times could take 1hr, 30 minutes.  Maybe I should stop complaining about my commute when I do it?  No, it still sucks. Anyway, on to business.  Yesterday I attended and spoke at the MIX Essentials Mexico conference.  These events are happening worldwide and if there is one coming up...

Free Silverlight DataGrid with source code!

Um.  Whoa. Okay, DevExpress rocks.  I think this will be very well received by the community and you’ll have to watch their page for when it is available and to get your license. From their site: As the release of Silverlight draws near, DevExpress has invested the engineering resources needed to deliver a feature-rich grid control for Silverlight. Not just a "preview" of what is possible with Silverlight, the AgDataGrid Suite was developed to fully exploit the power and flexibility of the platform… It looks like it will support pretty much everything you’d expect in a DataGrid and more…wicked cool.  Congratulations and thank you...

A new Silverlight control - TabControl

Silverlight 2 brings a suite of controls for designers and developers to leverage within their applications.  With the Expression tools helping us to be able to skin these controls, also comes some new controls you may not have used yet as well as a new one introduced with the latest release of Silverlight 2. Introducing TabControl. UPDATE: Video walk-through is now live. The TabControl is implemented in the System.Windows.Controls.Extended class library and not in the Silverlight core.  To use it make a reference to the Extended assembly and it will be available to you.  In Expression Blend you’ll see TabControl in the Custom...

Silverlight and the VisualStateManager

If you’ve heard the news about Silverlight 2 Beta 2 and Expression Blend 2.5 (June 2008 preview), you will notice something else in addition to being able to skin your controls easier.  Remember how you may have had to create different states for your element using “MouseOver State" and then create storyboards to transition to states?  There’s now a better way. Enter VisualStateManager. Let’s take a look and see if we can simplify this down a bit a basic understanding.  Let’s use something that most everyone should be able to relate to with states: Button.  A button has...

Skinning Silverlight controls just got easier

This has been one of the features that I’ve been excited about for a while since I heard we were changing it.  With the release of Silverlight 2 Beta 2 and the updated preview of Expression Blend 2.5 (June 2008), skinning and styling controls within Silverlight gets a bunch easier. When Silverlight 2 Beta 1 was released there was the possibility of styling/skinning controls.  It wasn’t impossible, but perhaps a bit obfuscated to the eye for people with short attention spans like myself.  You can read more about those methods here and here.  WPF designers were...

Reading data and RSS with Silverlight and no cross-domain policy

So you want to read an RSS/Atom feed on the interwebs and saw the SyndicationFeed class you could use in Silverlight to give a nice RIA display of the syndicated data.  Great, no problem right, just wire up an WebClient, point it to the RSS feed on something like http://silverlight.net or something and boom, done.  Wait, what’s this 404 Not Found error?  In most cases this is going to be a result of a cross-domain issue.  If you haven’t started working with services yet, Silverlight requires a cross-domain policy file to be in place to access remote data not on...

Silverlight Streaming won’t upload my video!

I’ve seen this issue a few times with people using the Manage Videos portion of Silverlight Streaming to directly upload a video file to be hosted.  Now with direct endpoints to the WMV files I’m seeing it a bit more.  Let me see if I can shed some light on this situation. First, there is a distinction between uploading an application to Silverlight Streaming versus just a video.  What I’m going to discuss here is working with video only uploads.  If you didn’t know, you can directly upload just a video and Silverlight Streaming will...

Download Windows Live Writer June 2008 Preview

Hot off the press, a new drop of Windows Live Writer was just released.  Get it here.  This is one of my favorite tools from Microsoft and the update brings a few new changes. First, I’m happy to report that Flickr4Writer and S3Browser still work fine and require no adjustments.  The other thing announced today from the Writer team is an updated SDK.  This new SDK includes a new type of plugin which enable plug-in activity for pre- and post-publish events.  Some of you following me on Twitter may have noticed something every so often that said...

MIX Essentials Mexico!

This week I’ll be traveling to Mexico City to meet developers and designers at the local MIX Essentials (English translation here – funny that RIA gets translated to LAUGHS) event.  I’ll be presenting two sessions there this week.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to kick-off the conference talking about building RIAs with Silverlight 2.  I’m particularly excited about this as I have some things to show that haven’t really been shown broadly yet.  I will also be speaking on working with data in Silverlight 2 later in the day.  This session will cover working with services, servers,...

SnagIt and PNGOut

I searched and didn’t immediately find anything, so I’m partly doing this for my own mental archive but also for others who might want this feature. First, I use two tools for snapshot capturing.  When I want a quick snapshot with no annotation, I use WinSnap, which rocks the hizzouse.  For when I need annotation (arrows, highlighting, etc.) I use SnagIt from the makers of Camtasia (Betsy Weber rocks).  Both of these tools are incredible and I’ve purchases full licenses for both and haven’t regretted it at all. In WinSnap, there is a feature that allows you to...


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The opinions/content expressed on this blog are provided "ASIS" with no warranties and are my own personal opinions/content (unless otherwise noted) and do not represent my employer's view in any way.