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Tagged: visual studio

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.



Microsoft Ignite for .NET Developers

This was the first time in a long time (I think maybe 10+ years) that I didn’t go to TechEd…err, I mean Ignite :-).  Was I sad to miss seeing old friends and hearing about TwoWay binding woes?  Sure.  Did I miss Orlando in the summer…nope (I get, it’s an easy shot, but yeah no).  I watched from afar though and found some really great stuff for .NET developers on different spectrums.  Ignite is Microsoft’s opportunity to share what is happening in the tech now versus only focus on futures.  I think for .NET developers we long for the ‘vNext’...

Build 2015 recap for XAML and native apps

Wow, what a week.  I have to say even as employees of Microsoft, we get surprised when we go to our conferences and see some of the bigger announcements.  There are things that are being worked on that are new or just in different divisions that we’re not focused on.  This past week at the Build 2015 conference was an example of that for me.  Lots of good stuff for developers from client to server! Universal Windows Platform At Build this year we introduced the Universal Windows Platform v10 with a set of new APIs and unified features...

Working with Portable Class Libraries and porting TagLib#

A long while back I had written a quick sample when Silverlight introduced drag-and-drop into the framework.  Then I decided to show dragging MP3 files into a Silverlight app and reading the metadata and album art.  In order to accomplish this I had to read into the ID3 data from a Silverlight library.  I found a few libraries but settled on TagLib# to do the job.  I had to modify it a bit to get it working in Silverlight as the .NET profile wasn’t the same.  Recently a surge of people have been emailing me for the code.  I spent...

Using SDK/library references in Universal Windows Apps

I’m just coming back from Build 2014 and it was a great pleasure to talk to customers/developers.  It is one of the best parts of my job right now in seeing how customers use the technology our team represents.  If you are a XAML developer and didn’t have a chance to go to Build or haven’t watched all the sessions, here’s a quick short list of recommendations I’d have: Common XAML UI Platform overview (Tim Heuer) XAML UI Controls (Shawn Oster) Developing across multiple form factors (Peter Torr)...

Getting rid of StandardStyles.xaml in Windows 8.1

If you’ve created a Windows 8 app using XAML then you’ve likely seen a file in the project called StandardStyles.xaml in the Common folder and merged in with your application.  As I’ve seen apps developed I’ve seen people pretty much treat this as a system component and not change it at all.  Sometimes that’s good, but mostly it has been bad.  There are a lot of apps that I’ve seen that don’t use a lot of the styles in that dictionary, but don’t do anything to trim the file or even remove it if not needed. The file was...

Callisto Migration Tip: Use Windows 8.1 SettingsFlyout

As a part of my promise from my previous post talking about migrating to new Windows 8.1 controls instead of some Callisto ones, I’ll talk about how to leverage the new SettingsFlyout control provided by the framework. Without a doubt one of the two most popular Callisto controls is the SettingsFlyout. This is a marquee experience for Windows Store apps to provide the “charm” area for managing settings for your application. This control provides the animations, near pixel-perfect UI and behavior for handling the software keyboard movement. Like everything in Callisto, it is simple...

Callisto Update for Windows 8.1

As I spent time last week updating my Callisto library for Windows 8.1 I realized it was a long time between the last release.  Well, I’ve finally updated it for Windows 8.1 release which is now available.  This is a major, yet minor release…allow me to explain. Windows 8 Support As of the Callisto 1.4.0 release, Windows 8 support ends.  Support in the non-commercial Open Source world is a bit of a funny term as the support has always been provided by myself and Morten.  I wrestled for a few days trying to keep a source code base,...

Creating XAML Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2013

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of being in front of you, our developer customers (and friends) at the Microsoft BUILD conference. (I never know how to write “build” in a sentence and refuse to use the “//” in front of it.) These are things that I LOVE doing and wish I could do it more. I had the privilege of introducing an overview of what was new in the XAML UI framework for Windows 8.1. All the sessions are recorded so please go view mine and review it how you think so they...

Remote Debugging your Windows Store app on your Surface

So you got that shiny new Surface device today?  I’m sure you spent the first few hours just opening it up, setting your personal experiences to your desire, re-installing and discovering new apps. But you are a developer and now you want to see how your app looks on this great device…Here are some tips to get you quickly started. Setting up the tools One thing to keep in mind is that Surface is NOT a full ‘desktop’ machine and runs on an ARM processor.  This means to that you cannot install Visual Studio directly on the...

AutoHotkey–my new snippet tool

This week was TechEd North America, a conference from Microsoft for technical professionals covering the span of pretty much everything Microsoft produces to support IT professionals and software developers.  I was pleased to have been invited to speak on developing Metro style apps in XAML for .NET developers.  Like most developer presenters, I planned on showing a lot of demos, using different tools, editors, and varying code samples, URLs, etc.  When you are a presenter at a conference you usually don’t have the luxury of sitting in your office and doing things without distractions.  You want to get across your...

Callisto: A toolkit for XAML Metro style apps

With the announcement of the Windows 8 Release Preview and matching Visual Studio 2012 RC I’m pleased to share some work that has been a result of my own personal app building, collaborating with some friends during their app building as well as porting some helpful projects that I’ve found helpful in my development. Disclosure: At the time of this writing I do work for Microsoft, but this has been a personal effort from my own app development and during my own time (late nights and weekends).  I am not able to upload apps to the...

Silverlight 5 Released with awesome samples in the Silverlight Toolkit

Silverlight 5 is finally released!  Congratulations to the team for getting through some of the toughest parts of finishing a product and validating with customers.  It’s been a pretty crazy year for the Silverlight team and this is a really good release for the product bringing some solid features to the platform for folks to leverage in building their apps. In addition to the platform having a release, I was really pleased to see an update to the Silverlight Toolkit, which has been one of the most popular things almost every Silverlight developer/application uses.  If you didn’t know where...

The joy of running daily builds

It seems like a daily question I’ve been answering lately when working on internal email discussion groups and folks report an issue, my initial response is: what build combination are you working on?  As a part of my job, I like to ensure the fastest resolution (or awareness depending on how you look at it) to issues that affect our product.  This involves staying on top of ‘latest bits’ as we call them.  Every morning I come in and install the latest Windows build as well as the latest Visual Studio build.  We have an automated Hyper-V environment...

XAML Sessions at BUILD

By now hopefully you’ve seen a lot of the revealing of what the next version of Windows has in store for developers.  Trust me there is a LOT to absorb as the week continues and you should absolutely keep your eye on the BUILD conference site where session information will likely start to appear. I know that a lot of readers here will be interested in the XAML-specific sessions so I thought I’d iterate them here real quick.  NOTE: Anything on the agenda with a “C” after the session number is a chalk talk...

Life at the Mothership: an introspection

Are you one of those people who hate when people post to their blogs about how it has been so long since they’ve blogged and they apologize for the delay and cite all sorts of excuses?  Yeah, me too ;-) I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my move to the mothership this past year.  I’ve been journaling things all along the way about my feelings, frustrations, personal tribulations and great experiences I’ve had this past year.  I thought I’d share some of that with you all to provide some behind-the-scenes aspects of how some, not all,...

Silverlight 5 Beta–A guide to the new features

At the MIX11 conference Scott Guthrie announced the availability of Silverlight 5 Beta.  I suppose this doesn’t come at a surprise to most as this is now a regular annual occurrence.  In fact it is almost exactly a year ago when Silverlight 4 was released. The team has been working very hard to deliver on the features we discussed at the Silverlight Firestarter event last December 2010.  That was a flurry of revealing that happened in December showing the world what the Silverlight team has been working on.  There was no rest for them of course and they continued to complete...

Visual Studio Template Behavior Research

I’ve been working on some stuff around templates lately and had my own opinions of some of the value of certain features of the Visual Studio template functionality.  What I’m speaking of here is when you choose File…New Project or on an existing project Add Item.  Both of those show you a list of templates.  When you select one most typically you get new files in your project.  It is one area of Visual Studio that is the simplest to extend and provide specific templates for your developers. There is an option for template developers to specify what, if...

Coded UI testing for Silverlight 4 now available

In the release of Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 one feature that might be interesting to Silverlight developers is the introduction of support for the coded UI test framework and Silverlight 4 applications, specifically: Use Microsoft Test Manager to capture and playback action recordings for Silverlight 4 applications Create coded UI tests for Silverlight 4 applications with Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Ultimate There are more features in the feature pack (see link above for more details) but also some videos to help you understand these features.  Here’s a video of the...

Silverlight is dead. Long live Silverlight!

Well PDC10 is over (note: head on over to the PDC site to view all the sessions).  There was a lot of talk about Internet Explorer 9 (and another preview update) as well as general web development.  There had been some reports on the 2nd day of PDC commenting about the shift in strategy about Silverlight. You may have read the initial story from Mary Jo Foley which led to the tsunami of information about Silverlight being done, over and killed except for the Windows Phone 7 platform.  Other popular news outlets picked up on the story,...

Deploying Silverlight assemblies via NuPack

Yesterday there was quite a buzz around something Microsoft just released called “NuPack” which is described as: NuPack is a free open source package manager that makes it easy for you to find, install, and use .NET libraries in your projects. It works with all .NET project types (including, but not limited to, both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC). NuPack enables developers who maintain open source projects (for example, projects like Moq, NHibernate, Ninject, StructureMap, NUnit, Windsor, RhinoMocks, Elmah, etc) to package up their libraries and register them with an online gallery/catalog...

Understanding Silverlight releases (and the September 2010 2nd service update)

Recently our team released a service release for Silverlight on 1-Sep-2010.  We affectionately call these “GDR” releases (general distribution release). NOTE: Other teams have different names for different things.  I’m not sure why Microsoft doesn’t have a standard on these things and it’s funny to hear marketing teams argue the benefit of one name over the other.  For what it is worth, in my eyes, if it isn’t a major milestone release (or at least a ‘dot’ release [4.0->4.1 for example] then it is a service update.  Call it a GDR, Wave X, Service Pack, R2, blah blah. In the GDR1 release...

Lt. Bennett returns and brings his Silverlight source code with him!

Three years ago I wrote about one of the first full-featured casual games built in Silverlight (at the time Silverlight 1.1) which we called Zero Gravity.  It was a game featuring Lt. Bennett a character who was lost in space and your job was to navigate him through simple puzzle boards back to his space ship.  It is a fun little game that can keep you busy for a while and even get you frustrated on some of the harder mazes.  The project was done in concert with Terralever, an agency who has great experience in building great online casual...

Introducing JetPack–a new Silverlight 4 application theme

After a longer-than-should-have-been delay (you can blame me for that) allow me to introduce JetPack. I’m really excited about this theme and the work that our team put together here.  You may have see Tsitsi talk about theming in general and introduce this theme on Silverlight TV.  The challenge behind this theme was to take some of the excitement around other Silverlight themes and create a great looking overall theme that could be used for line-of-business applications, but also extended as desired by any other application. Working with the team at Pixel Lab, our small team...

Silverlight 4 service release (September 2010)

Today we released an update to Silverlight 4 (update build is 4.0.50826.0) along with an updated SDK.  We appreciate our customers’ patience on working with us to help identify and verify necessary updates to this service release.  You can find all the details in KB2164913.  Here are the relevant highlights: SDK feature to enable Add New Row capabilities in DataGrid control Improving startup performance of Silverlight applications Adding mouse wheel support for out-of-browser applications on the Mac platform Various media-related fixes around DRM content ...

Debugging Silverlight with Visual Studio and Firefox

Suppose you use Firefox as your default web browser and you are a Silverlight developer using Visual Studio.  You may have been frustrated at times in being able to get the debugger to attach to your breakpoints.  You’ve triple-checked that you are in debug mode, that the Silverlight checkbox is marked in the hosting web application’s property pages and it still is not breaking for you.  You stare at the dreaded empty red circle in Visual Studio reading the tooltip of “No debug symbols have been loaded…” a thousand times. But it works in Internet Explorer. I’ve faced...

Expression Studio 4 launch–Blend, Web, Encoder, Design

Today (7-Jun-2010) at Internet Week in New York, Microsoft announced the general availability of Expression Studio 4 which includes upgraded versions of Expression Blend (including Sketchflow), Encoder, Web (including SuperPreview) and Design. You can find out the details of each product and download a trial at http://www.microsoft.com/expression right now. With this release comes a free Upgrade for licensed version 3 (Studio or Web) users!  All you need to do is install the trial version of v4 on top of your licensed version of Expression Studio 3 or Expression Web 3 and the installer will find your license and upgrade it to the...

Creating Visual Studio Extension Files (VSIX) for Template Deployment

While working on some plugins for the new Seesmic Desktop Platform I got sick of copying and pasting some boiler plate code over and over.  I had created some helper templates for myself so that I could say File…New Seesmic Desktop Plugin and get everything I needed initially.  This weekend I had some time and formalized those templates into an easy-to-use installer for anyone to consume.  NOTE: It is likely that Seesmic themselves will create developer project/item templates…these were for my own use and I shared them on the Seesmic Desktop Platform developer forum for anyone...

Silverlight 4 released. Availability of tools announcement

Today’s the day!  Tuesday at DevConnections in Las Vegas, Scott Guthrie just announced the ‘launch’ of Silverlight 4.  We wanted to take the opportunity at DevConnections to let a large audience of our customers online/offline know that we’re done and shipped Silverlight 4.  As of today it’s now available for you to download/use.  Here’s some helpful quick update information for you: Download the bits Understanding what is in the bits RIA Services Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools VS2008 and VS2010...

Watch the Silverlight 4 Launch event and LIVE QA with ScottGu and others

Next week on 13-April at 8:00 AM PST Scott Guthrie will deliver a keynote address for the DevConnections conference being held in Las Vegas, NV.  Scott will provide updates on the progress made in Silverlight 4 and will provide the details of availability of the developer tools, runtime and other news. Mark your calendars and return to the Silverlight community site to tune into the LIVE event.  After the keynote, Channel 9 will be hosting interviews with Scott and other key members of the Silverlight and Expression teams.  I’ll be hosting one of those interviews as well...

Managing service references and endpoint configurations for Silverlight applications

You’ve written your service.  You’ve written your Silverlight application.  You Add Service Reference to your application and got the client proxy code.  Your app ‘works on your machine’ and you push it out.  FAIL. NotFound. Crap.  You forgot that your service reference had your local URI endpoint in there and when you moved it to staging and/or production it failed.  You start cursing Microsoft and the Silverlight team and add to the threads in the forums or perhaps initiate a new wishlist item for the team and throw it out on Twitter and encourage votes. ...

New hard drive means re-install everything

I recently found a good deal on a 7200 RPM 500GB latpop drive and decided to upgrade myself to that.  I’ve been operating on a 150GB drive for a long time and hadn’t been cleaning up old projects, encodings, etc. so it was running thin on space.  This was a cheap upgrade (< $90) so I opted for it.  I finally got a moment last evening to pop it in and start the fresh installs of everything.  Doing so reminded me of how long this process takes for us geeky people.  Luckily I do a backup first using my Home...

What tools are the minimum to get started in Silverlight?

Help me out with a bit of some research here.  In your opinion…what tools (from Microsoft) are the MINIMUM needed to get started with Silverlight?  I’m not talking about full-blown MVVM, MEF loading, Live Smooth Streaming applications…I’m talking about if you were to tell someone who has a bare hard drive and wanted to start learning Silverlight, what tools would you tell them they simply cannot do Hello World++ without? Please respond to my survey: [embedded survey removed please vote here: http://twtpoll.com/em387c] Thanks! tags: silverlight, tools, riaservices, ria, xaml, expression, toolkit This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Silverlight Client for Facebook updated for Silverlight 4 RC

If you installed the Silverlight Client for Facebook, and also upgraded to the release candidate for Silverlight 4, you may have noticed it stopped working :-). NOTE: Applications compiled on Silverlight 4 beta will not work on machines with Silverlight RC runtime.  This is known/expected.  As with all pre-release software, this type of breaking can be expected. We’ve recently updated the Facebook application, and you will have to re-install.  Follow these steps: Uninstall the Silverlight Facebook client.  You can do this in a few ways.  First on Windows through the Add/Remove Programs or by...

Make your Silverlight applications Speak to you with Microsoft Translator

One of the announcements that happened during the MIX10 conference was the availability of the V2 of the Microsoft Translator API.  This is the engine that powers the translation behind http://www.bing.com/translate and some other Bing-related properties as well.  A lot of research has gone into the engine from Microsoft Research and others.  Language translation isn’t an easy task especially taking into consideration cultural significance of words, etc.  I have heard that the most challenging in machine translation is to Asian languages.  I will admit to not speaking any of them, so I don’t know how well we are performing here...

Simulate Geo Location in Silverlight Windows Phone 7 emulator

If you’ve been excited about Windows Phone 7 development and the platform being Silverlight for application development, you probably rushed and downloaded all the tools (which are free by the way).  You may have even got the samples from the SDK and noticed the Location services example…but wondered why it doesn’t work. If you are just getting started, I created some quickstart videos to help you through some of the basics.  You can view them here. In case you haven’t figured it out: Location services (aka, GPS) is not emulated in the developer tools CTP.  As you might expect, this makes it...

Getting Started with Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Development

So the news is out!  Silverlight IS the platform for Windows Phone 7 Series development! Sweet.  We also made available an update to Silverlight 4 that you might be interested in too! You may be wondering how you get started.  If you are new to Silverlight, I recommend getting familiar with Silverlight first.  You can find all the tools you will need at the Silverlight community site.  In addition to the core tools you’ll want to get the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP.  This will add to your Visual Studio 2010 installation (or install Visual Studio Express) to enable Windows Phone...

A guide to what has changed in the Silverlight 4 RC

UPDATE: Silverlight 4 is RELEASED!  READ HERE! At MIX10, Silverlight 4 released an update, the Silverlight 4 RC (release candidate).  A few things have changed since the beta which was released in November.  If you haven’t read my guide to Silverlight 4 you may want to check that out.  The features still exist, but there are some changes to the implementations of some of the features as well as some new ones.  Please go read the previous post to familiarize yourself with the features.  This post will be complimentary to that and identify new/changed. First let’s get you going with the tools: ...

Quick FAQ on Visual Studio 2010 RC release (February 2010) and Silverlight development

Yesterday Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate was available for MSDN subscribers and would be generally available on 10 February 2010 for the public.  This release represents a significant improvement in the overall Visual Studio product and a lot was based on beta tester feedback. Of course, as a Silverlight developer you will be wondering: Can I still develop Silverlight 4 applications with the VS2010 RC? Here’s the simplest form of a FAQ I could provide for you: Q: What was released this week for Visual Studio 2010? A: The Visual Studio...

Silverlight DataGrid quick styling tip: keep selected row focus state

A developer asked me this question and while a simple answer, I thought it would be a good quick tip to share for those who may be in similar situations. The scenario is the classic master-details scenario where perhaps you have a grid of data and when a user selects the row, the details are enabled in a form (or perhaps the child of the element) for editing.  Maybe something like this: See you can see the row clearly selected (note: this is using the default DataGrid styling).  But watch what happens when you go to the form to edit: Notice the focus...

RIA Services and relational data

As we’ve all been guilty, when you see demonstrations of technologies most of the time the data samples show single table solutions.  When was the last time you’ve developed a single-table system? :-)  Thought so. In RIA Services demonstrations, most of them have been single-table samples as well.  So how do you go about retrieving relational data (master/details type) with RIA Services?  Here’s an option.  I’m using VS2010, Silverlight 4 and the WCF RIA Services preview using the below sample.  I’m also using the Chinook sample database which has become one of my favorite simpler relational data samples to...

Silverlight 4 NotificationWindow and Queuing multiple notifications

One of the cool features for Silverlight 4 Out-of-browser applications that was announced as a part of the Silverlight 4 beta release is the NotificationWindow class.  Most commonly referred to as “toast” these are the little notifications that popup in the system areas of your operating system to provide helpful (and sometimes annoying) information.  Any user of Microsoft Outlook no doubt has seen them.  They look something like this (Windows system tray area shown here): After reading Corey’s post showing a quick FAQ on customizing the experience of the NotificationWindow, I was drawn to the comment he...

Fixing Visual Studio 2010 and Blend Preview for .NET 4 integration

If you’ve been working with Visual Studio 2008, Expression Blend 3 and Silverlight (or WPF) development, you’ve likely used the Open in Expression Blend feature in Visual Studio.  This occurs when you right-click on a XAML file in your project/solution and you’ll see that option as long as you have Expression Blend 3 installed. Well…if you are an eager developer and have installed VS2010 and the Blend Preview for .NET 4, you may have noticed that integration broken. Problem 1: VS2010 and Blend Preview for .NET 4 on a clean box – NO LINK You’ve just fired up a new virtual PC or...

RIA Services templates not showing in Visual Studio 2010?

Last week, the Silverlight 4 beta release included the Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010.  This single installer would perform the following (assuming you had either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer Express 2010 already installed: Install a Visual Studio 2010 service pack (KB976272) Install Silverlight 4 Windows developer runtime (4.0.1108.0) Install Silverlight 4 SDK Install WCF RIA Services (November 2009) That is all you really needed.  But some may have had an experience afterwards of launching VS2010 and...

Microsoft PDC09 and Silverlight Round-up

Well, PDC09 is over and it was a blast.  What a relief it is to finally be able to show the world what the Silverlight team has been working on since Silverlight 3.  Based on the feedback at the conference, people are excited to dig into the new bits and start building solutions.  As a round-up of resources from PDC, I’m putting some of my favorites here. Video Content For some of the PDC09 key Silverlight sessions, these are what I recommend: CL01 – Microsoft Silverlight 4 Overview (Karen Corby) ...

Silverlight 4 Beta – A guide to the new features

At the Microsoft Professional Developer (PDC) conference, Scott Guthrie announced the availability of Silverlight 4 Beta. UPDATE (March 2010): Silverlight 4 RC made available!  Go read my updated post on what has changed after you read below about the core features. WHAT?! That’s right, we’ve released an early beta of the next version of Silverlight.  It’s really amazing to think what the team is accomplishing at the pace they are accomplishing it!  Silverlight 3 released just over 3 months ago and here we are with yet another release full of features that our community has been asking for.  This beta release...

Grouping data in a Silverlight DataGrid

I previously wrote about DataGrid grouping using the declarative model of adding GroupDescriptors.  Unfortunately that feature (the declarative part) never made it to the release of Silverlight 3.  It was pointed out to me that I should update that post and it has been on my //TODO list for a while.  Here’s an update… First, I’m still using a sample data class of Person as my test data: 1: using System.Collections.Generic; 2:  3: namespace...

Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development

Previously I made note of things about the release of Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 with regard to Silverlight development.  I’ve gotten a few questions about if people should start using it for Silverlight development.  Perhaps I can help provide you with the best information I can to make that decision…so here it goes. Go-live support Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 both have “go-live” support as indicated in the license terms (which are available on the VS2010 download).  If you have never bothered yourself with previous go-live products at Microsoft you may not understand what that...

Silverlight Toolkit adds DragDrop targets!

One of the cool things I came across the in the October 2009 Silverlight Toolkit release was the addition of drag-n-drop targets for some of the core controls.  Now I know you are thinking great, another drag-n-drop useless control?!? and you’d be wrong.  I’m talking about things that make it easy to do do things like moving items from one list box to another, without writing code, but with it actually doing what you expect. Let’s take the simplest example here: ListBox and moving items from one to another.  Using Expression Blend I’ve set up my XAML to be like this: ...

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and Silverlight updates

Today (19 Oct 2009) the Visual Studio team released the second beta for Visual Studio 2010 to the public.  This is a significant milestone for the team and a huge improvement over the previous beta in my opinion as a user.  As a developer, you can find out how/when you can download Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 beta 2 from here. After installing the tools, one thing you may notice right away is a different look of branding of Visual Studio going forward for now.  Gone is the beloved multi-colored infinity looking thing (that’s what I call...

Updated Silverlight getting started for beginners

If you’re a pro Silverlight developer, this post isn’t for you.  Just a brief update that I’ve updated some of our getting started material for beginners – those who really haven’t done anything.  These will be showing up on the Silverlight Community Site soon, but I wanted to post a link to it here first. Getting Started with Silverlight Development is a 7-part series where I aim to do my best in trying to stuff as much as possible about Silverlight development in a simple application we develop at different steps.  It uses: Navigation ...

Congratulations to Q3 NEW Silverlight MVPs

Just a quick shout-out to congratulate the latest Silverlight MVPs to the program.  The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) program is a recognition program that is in place to recognize and reward those individuals who have been identified by individuals (peers, Microsoft staff, etc.) as experts in their technology field and global contributors to the technology.  As of today (01 OCT 2009) we welcome some new folks to the Silverlight group: Rick Barraza (@rickbarraza)– wicked interactive design/developer with kung-fu XAML skillz Bryant Likes (@bryantlikes)– great contributor to the...

Visual Studio – A documentary

Most of you who are Microsoft developers probably are aware of Channel 9 and have benefited both from the deep technical screencasts to the behind-the-scenes interviews that the team has provided with such luminaries as Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Guthrie, Bill Gates, etc.  Tina Summerford and the C9 crew produced what I feel is one of (dare I say number one?) the best Channel 9 pieces of content yet (besides the ScottGu intro video for MIX09).  Today they present to you The Visual Studio Documentary in two parts (with full detailed interviews to be posted later).  You can view...

Army of One…and Silverlight

Just doing some getting caught up from my holiday recently and I was reminded of a “line of business” application that was completed in Silverlight for the United States Army.  It is a bit of a supply chain management application…where the supply is soldiers! This is a pretty cool application that was taken from a full client (Windows Forms) application and brought to Silverlight by ProModel.  They specialize in supply and demand issues.  Take a look at the interview/demo that Adam Kinney did with Dan Hickman of ProModel.  Sure, it would have been cool to have a drill sergeant...

Silverlight feature suggestions

I’ve been doing a lot of asking and listening lately…to you, the Silverlight developers!  I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and “thank you for asking” comments and it has been real encouraging.  If you haven’t seen some of them, here’s some of my recent inquiries: Do you have a need to convert Flash applications (not just assets, but ActionScript)? How do you prefer to learn Silverlight (and how do you decide on choosing Silverlight)? Are you using the provided Silverlight Toolkit themes in your applications? If you...

How you chose and learned Silverlight

A few of us in the Silverlight team have been talking about various things and speculating on how we think the universe works.  We’ve been wondering how people best learn at different levels and how they come to decisions on what tools of their trade to use, etc.  I had a novel idea – let’s ask them.  I’m curious if you might help us stop speculating and get a broad picture of these ideas.  If you would, that would be great and help us understand better where we need to fight for prioritization of certain resources.  Please forward this along...

Compiling pixel shaders for Silverlight

I saw a note on Twitter come through yesterday about building pixel shaders for Silverlight in Visual Studio.  The question, from @blamborn was: Does anyone know if there is a Shader Effects BuildTask like the #WPF one here http://bit.ly/gCkNT only for #Silverlight? I replied that you can use the same build task and thought I had written my work around on how to do that, but apparently I never clicked published somewhere along the line.  I recall doing some work for this for a presentation a while back on VSLive and started to write...

Silverlight minor update released today

Small public service announcement here for Silverlight developers…we released a minor update to the runtime and SDK today.  You may see this referred to as Silverlight 3 GDR2.  Formally it is version 3.0.40818.0.  Usually when a release pops up people are curious about what is in it and why there wasn’t some major announcement. NOTE: “GDR” is Microsoft-speak for general distribution release. If you are interested in the full release history for Silverlight it is always available online (click the deployment section).  This latest minor release really had several updates for improving some media and network scenarios, but namely the main driver...

Silverlight community samples – what do you want?

I normally hate short posts – but my friend John Papa put a poll up that I wanted to make sure gets some attention…please provide your opinion on this poll: What kinds of samples would you most like to see in a community Silverlight code sharing site? Help John out shape something useful! tags: silverlight, riaservices, ria, xaml, communityThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Silverlight and localizing string data

While I was at the Silverlight Atlanta Firestarter event I had a chance to meet some great people.  One of them was Sergey Barskiy.  Sergey was doing a session on deployment and while in the speaker area we were chatting about overall feedback on Silverlight.  One of the things he mentioned was what he thought was a bug in Visual Studio Tools for Silverlight.  It was around RESX files and the modifier setting (Internal, Public, etc.).  More on that later.  Sergey was using RESX files for localization.  While investigating the bug for him, I realized how many people might not...

More Silverlight application themes and fixes

When Silverlight 3 launched, we also published several additional application themes for the navigation and business application (for .NET RIA Services) templates.  I just uploaded two more themes from one of our designers, Corrina, to the Expression Gallery.  There are versions for both navigation application template as well as the .NET RIA Services business application template. Mediterranean Sun (RIA Services): Seeing Sound (RIA Services): Additionally, several fixes were made to the existing templates that some users reported.  I also added .NET RIA Services templates for those that were missing based on requests (Retro,...

An out-of-browser install pattern for Silverlight

One of the features that a lot of developers seem to enjoy is the out-of-browser feature in Silverlight.  This is the feature that allows you to take your Silverlight application and run it like a desktop application (without some of the trust levels right now).  If you aren’t familiar with the feature, take a moment and familiarize yourself with it…here’s some info: Silverlight 3 Out of Browser developer APIs Sample Application Feature overview (from the PM that owns the feature) Now that you have some...

Silverlight 3 “toast” notifications

I was messing around with a new internal application the other day and made a wise crack about some of the features out in the open.  And by wise-crack, I mean ‘feedback in the nicest way possible’ of course.  On one of my suggestions someone pointed out a RTFM moment that the feature was actually in there but had a dependency.  The feature I was requesting was “toast” notifications. What is “toast”?  Aside from a delicious breakfast treat, it’s a term that most people refer to those little notification windows that popup from applications in the Windows system tray. ...

Silverlight DataForm and confirming deleting an item

I was talking with a good friend the other day about some feedback about DataForm.  It’s great to get raw and honest feedback…that’s where you improve more than ‘it sucks’ type feedback.  One of the use cases he felt would be common with the Silverlight DataForm control (available in the Silverlight Toolkit) was the concept of confirming the delete action.  I agreed as well that confirming permanent delete actions is a common line-of-business application pattern.  It got me thinking about some things… The Problem DataForm is a great control.  I love it.  It will benefit many developers in...

Silverlight at Microsoft PDC09 – we will be there!

It’s getting to be that time of year again…PDC!!!  For those who may not know, “PDC” is the beloved TLA for Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference.  This is it.  The geeks conference.  If you are a bit twiddler, this is for you.  PDC is where most of the forward-looking stuff is revealed.  It is also where certain executives come out for their semi-annual keynote ;-). PDC is in their 14th year!  Amazing.  The conference, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 17-19 NOV (with pre-cons happening on 16-NOV), will be awesome.  Learn about new stuff, see things...

TabStudio add-in for Visual Studio

I came across this add-in for Visual Studio the other day that is subtle but added some productivity features to Visual Studio for me.  It’s called Tabs Studio. NOTE: I’m not getting a complimentary license for this add-in and have already purchased my own license with my own money.  This is an unsolicited opinion. For me Tabs Studio does two things: organize my open content better and enables me to more quickly close/manage the open tabs.  Take a look at the before after of the same content open in VS: In...

Silverlight 3 Multi-touch: The Basics

One of the new features to Silverlight 3 is the ability to add multi-touch capabilities to your application.  When I posed the question on Twitter, I got some responses of ideas people would use this for.  Honestly most of them could be accomplished with mouse events today and X/Y calculations.  These would be the touch applications that are pretty singular.  But I did get some multi-touch ideas that I think I’ll try to explore.  First though, let’s look at the basics of what Silverlight provides for multi-touch application development. Hardware Hopefully I’m stating the obvious here, but your...

Silverlight 3 Bouncing plane gratuitous demo

I’ve received a few emails about updated code for the Scott Guthrie MIX09 keynote demo referred to as “bouncing plane” Silverlight demo.  A screenshot of this demo is seen here to refresh your memory: There really isn’t anything ‘new’ about this demo code for SL3, other than being recompiled.  Perhaps the only real change is to accommodate the new requirement that pixel shaders are resources of the project.  You’ll see the Effect1.cs code file where the constructor code for the shaders uses: 1: pixelShader = new PixelShader(); 2: pixelShader.UriSource = new Uri("/BouncingPlane;component/ShaderBytecode/Ripple.fx.ps", UriKind.Relative); If you are writing shaders,...

Building Silverlight 2 and 3 applications with Visual Studio 2008

As we’ve noted before, Visual Studio 2008 doesn’t have multi-targeting support for Silverlight development.  Generally speaking what this means is that if you install the Silverlight 3 tools, you have a Silverlight 3 development environment with VS2008.  True multi-targeting for Silverlight in the IDE will come in Visual Studio 2010 (you can see how that works in this post). NOTE: Visual Studio 2010 beta 1 (current version available at the time of this writing) does not fully support Silverlight 3 *release version* (also referred to ‘RTM’ or ‘RTW’) development.  There are a few things missing in VS10 beta 1 for full...

Silverlight 3 Released! What is new/changed?

At last, Silverlight 3 is released!  It has been a long road…wait a minute, actually it’s only been 8 months since the last release!  Whoa, that’s some wicked supersonic Microsoft time there!  Anyhow, we are finally released.  A while back I wrote a post on What’s New in Silverlight 3 and it still all applies.  I’d encourage you to read that post as well.  There are, of course, some subtle changes in a few things from an implementation side of things, but those are all documented in the release. Here’s where you go to get the exhaustive goods.  First...

Silverlight 3: 7 additional application themes!

With the Silverlight 3 Tools for Visual Studio, developers get access to the Silverlight Navigation Application template.  By default the styles (which are located in the project’s Assets/Styles.xaml file) are really good and neutral for the application layout.  Now, keep in mind this is an overall application layout style and not control styles/templates. In addition to the default look provided by the tools out of the box with Silverlight 3, we’re providing 7 additional application template themes for you to enjoy, extend, whatever.  Corrina and team had developed these for the community to consume and we’ve put them up on the...

Silverlight FloatableWindow update: start position and resizable

UPDATE: FloatableWindow is now on CodePlex for easier community contributions and management of latest source and builds.  FloatableWindow CodePlex Project. If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! A while back I wrote a post where I refactored the Silverlight ChildWindow to create a non-modal window and I called it FloatableWindow (you can see why I’m not a good marketer…hey I could have called it Microsoft Silverlight ChildWindow Refactored Edition Express).  A few folks found it useful, for which I’m appreciative of the comments. My buddy Karl Shifflett decided to use it in Glimpse as the diagnostic window –...

.NET RIA Services roadmap update

Today, we posted on the .NET RIA Services forum an updated roadmap for the timing and thoughts around the product offering.  What is .NET RIA Services? Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the...

Check your Silverlight 2 apps for compatibility with Silverlight 3

One of the goals of new versions of Silverlight is to be be backward compatible with previous versions.  We make this a priority goal so that people can keep their previous applications deployed while not worrying that people with newer Silverlight will have a broken experience. Silverlight 3 has been out in beta form since March 2009 and hopefully if you are a Silverlight developer you’ve had a chance to work with the new features and tools.  If you have existing Silverlight 2 applications that are deployed, I wanted to draw your attention to some action items if you...

Silverlight DataForm helpers

If you looked at the updated RIA Services Business Application template which had the authentication built-in, you may have seen the login screen with a little icon next to the password field: When you hover over this some helpful information displays in tool tip form: So how did that get there?  The power of the data annotations.  If you look at your model definition, you can add a DisplayAttribute and provide some additional information.  Let’s take a look at a simple example.  Here’s the simple model: ...

Clearing some air in Silverlight, Blend and Visual Studio Beta land

In a previous post I wanted to call attention to the multi-targeting and design surface improvements for Silverlight developers with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1.  There has been some comments on that post and a few emails and Twitter replies as well with some great follow-up questions.  I thought I’d post a sort of what works with what information to help you navigate Betaville as a Silverlight developer. NOTE: We’re talking about Beta technologies here.  That means things may not work, that you shouldn’t count on them for production releases at this time, etc.  In the ‘release...

Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

Well today was the public release of Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1.  It is the first time developers will have the chance to take it for a spin and kick the tires.  I wanted to share some information specific for Silverlight developers with regard to Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1. Visual Studio 2010 is the first IDE that will support two key features for Silverlight developers: multi-targeted Silverlight development and editable design surface for Silverlight.  The second point also comes with things you might expect (like data binding wizards and dialogs as well – I’m lumping all of that...

.NET RIA Services Update with new Silverlight project template

We’ve update the .NET RIA Services build for May 2009.  The updated May preview can be downloaded here: .NET RIA Services May 2009.  You may have to uninstall your previous version before installing this one.  What is .NET RIA Services? Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support...

Silverlight Best of MIX in Phoenix

I’ll be joining Dan Wahlin and Rob Bagby on 18 May in Phoenix for a Best of MIX event.  I’ll be presenting Silverlight 3 and building data-driven line-of-business applications.  All demo, all tech, all Visual Studio as my presentation tool :-). Come out and join us for the event! Best of MIX Agenda Monday, May 18, 2009 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Wells Fargo Conference Center 100 West Washington Street, MAC S4101-017 Phoenix Arizona 85003 What’s New in Silverlight 3? ...

Refactoring Silverlight ChildWindow for a non-modal use

UPDATE: FloatableWindow is now on CodePlex for easier community contributions and management of latest source and builds.  FloatableWindow CodePlex Project.  If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! I’ve seen a few comments/requests incoming lately that people like the ChildWindow control in the Silverlight 3 SDK.  This is a great control that creates a modal dialog for you.  When you use it, it disables your root layout application and shows the dialog you provide: This is great for those true modal needs.  It responds to normal windows DialogResult type responses if you have buttons, etc. – great...

WEB09 – Silverlight and Blend in Auckland, New Zealand

I’ve just returned this past week from a trip to New Zealand with Arturo Toledo.  We were invited to come by Nigel Parker, who if you live in New Zealand and don’t know him…take a moment and subscribe to his site for information about what’s happening in that area. Our first stop in New Zealand was the WEB09 conference, which was organized by John Ballinger.  Prior to the actual conference, John managed to get all the speakers together for a reception and then a dinner afterwards.  Within those 4 or so hours of time, I’ve met more...

Arizona: Silverlight, MVC, MEF, WPF

It’s that time of year my friends in Arizona.  No, I’m not talking about when the air conditioners start get turned on, nor how the golf green fee rates are reduced or the snowbirds fly away…although those are good things as well. I’m talking geek fest time.  Mark your calendars: 26 May 2009 – 8:00 AM The community leaders in the area have organized another big event for your benefit.  So who is coming?  Here’s the rundown: Glenn Block – come see why you should get addicted to MEF.  Don’t know what it is?  That’s...

Learning WPF at the WPF LOB tour and XAMLFest events

There seems to be a lot of buzz around Silverlight lately and I admit, I like it :-).  But I also think that there is a huge misconception about Silverlight “replacing” WPF.  I get emails a lot about people asking me questions about Silverlight and after a bit of prodding, I see that their target platform for their application is Windows.  I then begin my rant on why it should be WPF if that is the target platform.  I’m usually met with some weird looks being that I do a lot of Silverlight, but I state my case accordingly. The...

Managing Silverlight 3 navigation behavior

I’ve been playing around with the Silverlight 3 navigation framework some more (thanks for the comments/thoughts on the last post about sharing data).  I got a few emails about understanding how the navigation works and people coming up with interesting uses.  Let’s take a moment to explore two of these concepts: out-of-browser navigation and controlling your navigation in your app. Navigation Basics If you are using Visual Studio 2008 and the Silverlight 3 tools, you’ll notice that when you choose to create a new project (or perhaps you didn’t notice and this will be new to you) that...

Silverlight 3 Beta install experience for users

If you are like any other developer, including me, you probably disregard most warnings and are usually the same type that keeps clicking next when installing things without paying attention to detail.  That’s okay I do it too. In the release of Silverlight 3 Beta, we noted that this is a developer release and that no “Go Live” licensing was going to be available for this release.  What this means is that we don’t recommend putting things in production as we’ve not exposed or wired up the end-user runtime for Silverlight 3.  The only way people can view Silverlight 3 content...

Silverlight 3 Sample Application: Slidentity

One of the great things about the Silverlight team is that usually in the home stretch most of the feature samples of numerous ‘hello world’ type examples start shaping into creative ideas to demonstrate various features.  One such example is a full Silverlight 3 application that Mike Harsh created to actually demonstrate various features and it is what he used to present his session talk as well.  He currently calls it Slidentity and it demonstrates: Various skinned control usage Perspective 3D (when you view the slide show) Open/Save...

Follow Silverlight updates on Twitter

I was just thinking the other day that I have some decent subscriber numbers here, but the same volume isn’t matched on my Twitter account.  For those who don’t know about Twitter, it’s a great short message service that kind of works like a global messaging system.  The best description I’ve heard has been: Twitter is like an ongoing conversation at a party.  Come in and listen/participate whenever you want with whomever you want.  Leave at your leisure.  Come back often if you’d like. I use Twitter to communicate along with friends, family and...

Silverlight Business Application Development faster with IdeaBlade

Okay, about a month ago I was shown this demonstration by my new favorite friend Ward Bell of IdeaBlade.  Why is he my new favorite friend?  Well besides being a great guy, wait till you see what he has to show you.  I briefly alluded to my excitement via Twitter as a teaser.  I previously mentioned that we saw some sneak peeks of Silverlight 3 added features for line-of-business application development with Brad Abrams.  Today, check out what Ward has to show you: I am...

Silverlight Sneak Peek: Building line-of-business with Silverlight

Want some sneak peeks at Silverlight enhancements for line-of-business applications?  Check out the video with Robert Hess and Brad Abrams where Brad shows some some sneak preview of some feature enhancements. If you want to download the episode above, visit the Channel 9 page here.  Be sure to stay tuned for MIX09 for more announcements and updates! tags: silverlight, lob, xaml, wpf, navigation, deep link, deep linkingThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Using Silverlight for workflow creation

The other day I was given a peek at a company who implemented a full-frame Silverlight application that when I saw it it was one of those “wow” moments.  A lot of the public-facing Silverlight examples are very different from one another and sometimes you see some that are full Silverlight applications that really give you a glimpse of how people are thinking about using the platform and how creative you can get.  Colaab is one such example that I saw at PDC last year (check it out if you haven’t). Another example is a recent one called SnapFlow. ...

POLL: Silverlight developer patterns

My friend Joel Neubeck is doing a survey on his site about what patterns people prefer for Silverlight development.  I’m very interested in these results as well, so if you have 2 seconds, please post your vote: Link: Poll: What separation pattern do you prefer in Silverlight development? tags: silverlight, mvvm, mvc, mvp, xaml, wpf, patterns, m-v-vm, viewmodelThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Integrating Silverlight and ASP.NET MVC

[previously named "Silverlight as the V in ASP.NET MVC" but changed per comments] One thing that I’m excited about is learning new technologies.  Moving to the Silverlight team, I’ve moved away from a breadth of technology knowledge to something a bit more narrow.  Now I feel like all other developers trying to keep up with the technologies we are releasing.  As such, I’m a beginner for most.  One such technology is ASP.NET MVC, which was just released to release candidate stability. I thought I’d play around with it in the context of Silverlight and use Silverlight as the “view” in the model-view-controller...

A comprehensive list to Silverlight Controls for developers

I’ve written a few times about some of the controls that have been provided by organizations like Telerik and ComponentOne.  I figured it would be a good idea to do a larger dump of those that I’m aware of (and hope you add comments to point me to others so I can amend this list) and help make you aware of them as well.  There are a ton of great resources out there for Silverlight developers and I’m always impressed how our developer partners are extending our platforms to make tools for developers (and most of the time better than...

Visual Studio tricks in video form

Over the past year Sara Ford had created a Visual Studio tip-of-the-day feature of her blog that eventually was aggregated pretty much everywhere and also in the Visual Studio community page displayed within the product itself!  The tips were plenty and great…a ton of gems that you may not have known before and a subtle reminder that there is so much more to learn. This year Scott Cate has decided to take this one step further.  He’s begun taking this tips concept and providing actual walk-through and visual demonstrations of these tricks.  One thing that I really like about...

I’m going to MIX09, will I see you there?

I have to admit, when the first MIX was happening it confused me.  Yet another conference?  In my usual pessimistic self I tried to convince people that it was wrong, blah, blah.  But I was wrong.  MIX has become of of my favorite conferences to attend.  Not only for the announcements that likely happen, but for the networking with industry folks in an area I’m most passionate about. Enough gushing though.  I’m going to MIX09.  Will you be there?  If you register before 13 Feb 2009, you’ll be able to get $400 off the registration fees!  Register on the MIX09...

InitParams in Silverlight Live Streaming services

One of my favorite implementations is to leverage the initParams feature for the Silverlight plug-in.  This enables you to send parameters to your application prior to it starting up.  These parameters are in plain text and can be seen in the HTML source of your page, so obviously you wouldn’t want to include any sensitive information there like passwords, connection strings, etc., etc.  But it can be very helpful for re-using application logic while providing an configurable experience.  You can view a video demonstration of this and other methods of using initialization parameters on the Silverlight Community site here: Using...

Source code for Silverlight controls published

The source code for the Silverlight 2 controls was just published!  This is the source for the controls as shipped in the runtime and the SDK.  When you download the project you’ll see the structure: The source, released under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL), includes the source for the following controls in the runtime: ButtonBase Button HyperlinkButton CheckBox RadioButton ToggleButton ...

Silverlight install experience best practices

First a word on the “continuum” I keep hearing about for applications.  I’d like to apply it to my digital lifestyle.  You know that vision where you only have one place to keep your music, but can access it anywhere, etc., etc.  I still haven’t hit nirvana like that yet, but for movie watching it’s getting close. I used to be a customer of Netflix when they first launched.  To be honest, at that time their pricing was singular and I just wasn’t watching enough movies at home to warrant the cost, so I ended my relationship.  Now I...

Øredev 2008 Summary

Sharing Knowledge.  That was the theme of the Øredev conference held this past week in Malmö, Sweden.  I was invited this year to participate in this conference in the Scandanavian area to speak on Silverlight technologies.  I am very humbled to have been invited.  This was truly a great conference and let me tell you my impressions. I’ve attended Microsoft’s PDC, TechEd, VSLive, DevConnections, etc.  I’ve got most of them all under my belt (as an attendee).  They are all good in their own regard.  The ones that are most interesting, however, are those that have an intensity about...

WPF Toolkit and Silverlight compatibility

At PDC the WPF Tookit was made available which provides several new controls to WPF to help bring even more compatibility to the WPF and Silverlight story.  The new controls were the DatePicker, Calendar, DataGrid and the VisualStateManager concept to WPF.  Ribbon controls were also provided to the WPF Toolkit, but are not covered here. With the introduction of this toolkit, developers now have a way to get some even more common XAML code-base between projects. Let’s take a look at a very simple example of both UI and code sharing with WPF and Silverlight.  Here’s the simple...

Use Styles for an editable Silverlight ComboBox

Sometimes I think reading materials get overlooked in SDKs and we miss some hidden gems.  One such gem I’d like to bring to your attention is the ability to add some subtle styling to an AutoCompleteBox from the Silverlight Toolkit to provide you with a cheap version of an editable ComboBox. Sure Silverlight 2 has a ComboBox as part of the core controls now, but as I’ve previously noted, the ComboBox in current form exhibits only DropDownList behaviors.  I’m sure this will likely change with future versions, but if you have a need for an editable ComboBox feel, here’s...

Hey Startups – get some BizSpark

Remember DreamSpark, the program for students in higher education to get access to the developer tools and platforms from Microsoft at no charge?  How about some love for individuals in startup organizations trying to create the next great innovation in technology as a service, an application, some Silverlight love perhaps :-)? Done. A new program has just launched for startups.  From the site it is described as: Microsoft® BizSpark™ is a global program designed to help accelerate the success of early stage startups by providing key resources when they need it...

Silverlight 2 Launch Party in Portland

PDX baby.  That’s where I’m headed next week.  The Portland area user experience group (a SIG formed out of the Portland .NET user group) is hosting a Silverlight 2 launch party next week (11 NOV 2008).  They’ve invited me to attend and share some fun stuff about Silverlight 2.  I’m very excited to be going there because Portland is one of my favorite towns.  It has some of the best public transportation there and I think that makes for a great downtown experience and a lot of personality in the city. Aside from the city itself, there are some...

Using Encoder Templates in your Silverlight Application

I received a comment regarding the new Expression Encoder SP1 Silverlight player templates and how they can be used within your own application.  Right now the templates appear to stand on their own.  That’s only because the output of an Encoder action will be an encoded file, the template you chose (XAP) and an HTML page to host the Silverlight player application. But what if you already have an application and are trying to integrate media playback within it?  How can you take advantage of the Encoder templates, but just drop them in your existing application?  Let’s take a...

Using Silverlight AutoCompleteBox on custom types

The other day I wrote a simple little Silverlight application using a DataGrid to help navigate the TechEd DVD contents.  My code was admittedly quick and dirty.  I loaded up some data, and based on some events re-filtered and re-bound that data.  After thinking about it I am not sure why I didn’t just use some existing controls to help me do that work.  I found that AutoCompleteBox from the new Silverlight Toolkit would do this for me. One thing that the AutoCompleteBox does quickly is provide filtering for simple string data.  But what about custom types?  My data in the...

Aggiorno, XHTML, your site and added value

My friend Gilbert Corrales has been working for a company called ArtinSoft who has a product Aggiorno.  They describe Aggiorno as: Aggiorno is an automated HTML, XHTML, ASP.NET, PHP… expert that transforms Web site code into fully accessible, Web standards compliant, fast-loading dynamos. A few clicks will analyze your pages and perform any number of time-saving code Transformations that will improve the quality and reach of your Web sites. The best part? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use it. (source: http://aggiorno.com) I’ve been messing around with it for a...

Silverlight Tools RTW

UPDATED: See last paragraph about offline installation. Sorry for the short post, this is more of a public service announcement.  When the Silverlight 2 runtime shipped, we shipped the Visual Studio tools along with it.  The tools download was labeled “RC1” and caused some confusion.  There were some reasons for this, but regardless it still targeted the Silverlight 2 release runtime. Today we released the RTW (Releast To Web for those who are wondering what that means) of the tools.  There is no need to re-download the runtime or anything.  All you need to do is download the...

Silverlight Toolkit Released – More controls!

Today at Microsoft PDC, Scott Guthrie demonstrated some of the new controls that have been provided as a part of the Silverlight Toolkit.  The Silverlight Toolkit was what was previously named the Silverlight Control Pack in the press release when the runtime was released.  This toolkit provides a set of controls and themes for Silverlight 2.  In this initial release, they are: AutoCompleteBox Chart DockPanel ...

SilverlightContrib releases Silverlight 2 Controls

Last week I had the pleasure of talking with the crew from the Herding Code podcast.  Among the questions was one about the open source community and Silverlight.  There was mention about MVCContrib and how that community sprouted almost instantly with the ASP.NET MVC initial releases.  I let the Herding Code crew know that I believe there already is a vibrant open source community around Silverlight and pointed to things like DevExpress’ AgDataGrid control which is free and provides source.  I also mentioned a project that did start right away around Silverlight 2 initial releases: SilverlightContrib.  The project, started by...

Silverlight.net updated code samples

With the release of Silverlight 2 many people faced the task of ensuring their applications/code written targeting Beta 2 was upgraded to release.  The team at the Silverlight community site was no different.  We’ve updated almost all the content so far, but I wanted to draw your attention to a few things. Get Started – http://silverlight.net/GetStarted As noted on this page for those getting started, there are links to Scott Guthrie’s 8 part example of building a Digg client in Silverlight (and then using that code for a WPF desktop application).  Scott has updated his code, so that...

Honoring your user’s culture settings with Silverlight

One thing that I’m just as guilty as probably most of some of my peers is creating US-centric applications.  Forgetting to think globally for your users is something that I think happens too often.  We operate in our US-centric worlds and forget that sometimes even the simplest things can make a difference. Take for instance, honoring your user’s culture settings (region/locale/whatever you want to call it).  Even if you have a US-based application for a US-company, how do you know that a user might not be of French origin and still perhaps like to view their operating system information...

Silverlight and ADO.NET Data Service proxy generation

One of the nice little additions to the data client services in Silverlight 2 is the removal of the need to drop out of Visual Studio to do some proxy code generation.  Prior to Silverlight 2 release, if you wanted to consume an ADO.NET Data Service (the artist formerly known as Astoria), you had to drop into a command line and execute something like: 1: datasvcutil.exe /out:"MyDataService.cs" /uri:"http://foo.com/MyDataServiceEndpoint.svc" While that isn’t difficult, it just wasn’t convenient as a developer productivity workflow.  I mean who wants to have...

Calling secure (SSL) services from Silverlight 2

Now that Silverlight 2 has been released, one of the features (or should I say fixes) that is included is the ability for non-secure applications to call secure services.  Previously this was not allowed and we referred to it as “cross-scheme violation.”  That means that a particular protocol scheme (file, http, https) could not access another.  Prior to release this meant that a XAP hosted in an HTTP context could not call a secure service.  Now we no longer have that restriction with the release.  There are some things you have to do, so let me take a brief moment...

Silverlight 2 Released: New controls, tools, announcements!

Whew, we made it!  Silverlight 2 is now released (and available for download)!  (Official press release here.)  I know we’ve always said “by the end of the year” but the team has worked really hard to get Silverlight 2 released well before then so you can start building and deploying your applications.  A lot of people don’t realize that “Silverlight” is actually a team of many that make up the runtime, media, tools, controls, etc. teams.  Hats off to all those involved who pushed hard to get Silverlight 2 out the door (and are already working on the next version)!...

Hey, who took my Chiron?

If you’ve been playing around with Silverlight 2 for a bit now, you may have heard about/used the tool chiron.exe.  It was a tool in the SDK that shipped in Beta 2 that was responsible (for among other things) at that time for packaging the XAP.  Fast forward to release builds for Silverlight 2.  No Chiron.  Hey, what’s up? Chiron is still available for you if you want it.  It is a part of the Silverlight Dynamic Languages SDK which is available on Codeplex.  So if you need/want it, there you go.  Some people were using Chiron...

Silverlight in SharePoint web parts

Are you using SharePoint and want to know how to leverage Silverlight?  Have you seen the Blueprints project on Codeplex?  But what if those particular implementations don’t meet your needs and you want to create your own contained web part with your Silverlight 2 application? Kirk Evans writes about a method of doing this in a recent post: Hosting Silverlight in SharePoint.  Take a look at Kirk’s post with a step-by-step guide of getting started with his method.  In looking at the method he describes, it is conceivable that you actually could make a more generic web part that...

Update your Silverlight Gallery Samples!

Did you know that the Silverlight community site has over 150 Silverlight 2 Beta 2 samples submitted by the community?!  These range from short samples of specific functionality to full-fledged applications that people can use.  I recently spoke of 2 of the multi-file uploader controls that were features in the gallery.  There is a lot of good information being shared by our community. WE NEED YOUR HELP – UPDATE YOUR SAMPLES! Today I sent around a note to those who I could identify who had submissions in the gallery with some information pointing them to Silverlight RC0 information...

Writing text on a Path in Silverlight

One of the things that I’ve wanted to do since Silverlight released was two things with text, enable a Stroke and layout text on a Path.  Both of which in Silverlight 2 aren’t readily available.  Luckily we have a great ecosystem of developers and MVPs who love to extend our frameworks and create new capabilities for developers. Bill Reiss has done just that.  You may recognize Bill from some XNA and Silverlight gaming fame.  His game of Dr. Popper still remains my daughter’s favorite computer game!  Bill has created a new Silverlight user control he calls PathTextBlock control.  Bill...

XAML Power Toys for Silverlight

If you live in the WPF world, you may know the name of Karl Shifflett.  If you’ve heard the name, but just not have met the man…next time you’re at a developer conference, look for the guy in the Hawaiin shirt, shorts, some ink on the arms and is probably passionately talking to some other geeks about the innards of data binding in XAML. Recently, Karl has joined Microsoft to work on the “Cider” team.  The Cider project is a key part of the developer story for WPF and Silveright.  It is the XAML designer/editor/etc for Visual Studio.  Some...

Silverlight and Web Service Errors

When working with data and Silverlight there has often been the questions of wondering why when a service call fails that Silverlight returns the HTTP 404 status code.  In fact I’ve written about troubleshooting those types of issues in the past and tools you can use to help investigate some problems. Still people mostly ask "if there is an exception, why is Silverlight telling me ‘not found’ instead of sending me the exception?'”  Eugene Osovetsky from the connected systems team aims to answer those questions in a recent post with a little more detail than has been provided in...

MediaStreamSource sample for Silverlight

You may be reading the title and wondering what is MediaStreamSource?  MediaStreamSource is a piece of the Silverlight runtime that removes a the influence of a media file's container, giving developers direct access to APIs for manipulating encoded elementary audio and video streams. Huh? Basically it can enable you as the developer to implement file parsers/etc. in managed code instead of Silverlight, enabling support beyond the native built-in formats for media.  There hasn’t been much information about these types of topics, and I’d agree that for the mainstream, they may be a bit more advanced media scenarios for when...

Installing Silverlight Offline

I’ve gotten a few questions (including a great comment) about needing to install Silverlight under offline or administrative-restricted environments.  There are two ways you can install this. First, you’ll still need the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio installer.  Next, make sure you download the Silverlight Developer Runtime (Windows).  There is a Mac runtime for developers as well, but if you are wanting to install the developer tools for Visual Studio offline, I’m guessing you are on Windows :-). Okay, here’s the two options.  These really should only be done if you need an offline install experience.  If you don’t, let the installer...

Silverlight 2 RC0 Released for Developers

Today we released Silverlight 2 RC0.  This release is for a very specific purpose and although the information will likely be repeated, I wanted to try to help answer a few questions. What is this release? RC0 is a developer release only!  The intent of providing these bits is to provide developers with ample time to have access to the release candidate runtime/controls for Silverlight with the primary goal of making sure that developers with Silverlight 2 Beta 2 applications that are live today prepare for the release of Silverlight 2. What should a developer do? ...

IsolatedStorage as a Silverlight object cache

Someone posed this question (“Can you use IsolatedStorage in Silverlight as a more reliable browser caching technique?”) to me and I answered with my usual optimistic “in theory, yes” answer.  Of course I had never tried it which is horrible to answer that to someone without trying it.  In working on creating some Silverlight business application samples, I figured I should probably look at this scenario to see if a) it would work and b) it makes sense.  I’ll at least try to answer “a” here. The Setup Let’s look at the setup.  The goal here is to...

Expression Encoder 2 SP1 Announced

The Expression Encoder team has announced the plans for SP1 of their product (announced, not released).  You can read all the details on their team blog for more information, but two things caught my attention that are probably of most interest: H.264 encoding and a Silverlight 2 template in the box. The H.264/AAC encoding support is a result of customer feedback (as well as preparing for future Silverlight support).  While the profiles in this service pack will be limited and may not meet the needs of everyone immediately, it is a great step and will probably meet the needs...

Add mouse wheel support to ScrollViewer

As you may know, most wheel support is detected at the browser level.  In Silverlight, this makes adding mouse wheel support an interop action with the HTML host.  While people have implemented it, it has mostly been for the use of DeepZoom applications.  In fact, the latest DeepZoom Composer tool actually adds this support now if you choose to have a Silverlight project as a part of the output of the collection. But what about other controls, namely ScrollViewer?  Having content in ScrollViewer enables ScrollBar functionality but doesn’t automatically respond to mouse wheel actions.  Adam Cooper has solved this...

Silverlight Casual Game Series

Silverlight MVP and friend, Joel Neubeck, has started a series in the Expression Newsletter.  The first article is available now and is part of a 6-part series in building a casual game in Silverlight: Getting Started – Architecture / framework Movement and collision detection Design – Sprites, boards and dialogs Animations and sound Initialization and Deployment Advanced concepts (Physics, Multiplayer, Optimization)...

Some Silverlight effects libraries

While you can do a lot within Silverlight with effects, as demonstrated by techniques used like seen in Shine Draw, you may also want some helping hands to implement these.  It’s not always fun to write some code for when you just want to be able to drop in an effect on your application.  You want to concentrate on your application logic and get assistance in creating some of the visual effects. If you didn’t know, there are some libraries out there that can help.  I’ll highlight two of them here (if you know of more, please post in...

Some cool Surface examples

Saw some posts today over at Don’s site about Surface.  The Surface SDK is starting to get more visible whereas before it seemed a little black-boxish to me.  Turns out (as we all knew) it really is just WPF with some unique Surface-like behaviors in the SDK.  Take this quick demonstration from a program manager on the SDK.  With using the same concepts that we use in WPF and Silverlight for data binding, etc. you can come up with a quick application using the inherent gesture support from a Surface device: Pretty cool huh?  Same XAML concepts...

H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight

So you want H.264 support in Silverlight?  So do we.  In fact we will be showing a preview of H.264 and AAC support in Silverlight at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) this week in Amsterdam.  Scott Guthrie comments on this saying: “At IBC 2008 we will be demonstrating a technology preview of H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio playback support in Silverlight, and H.264 authoring using Microsoft Expression Encoder and Windows Server 2008 for delivery. Until now, Silverlight has supported the SMPTE VC-1 and Windows Media formats, as well as MP3 for audio, enabling customers to take advantage of...

Silverlight install experience too hard?

Man, I feel like I’m constantly on this soapbox about creating a good non-installed experience.  I’m recently sparked again by reading a recent post from Pascal Leloup entitled “Silverlight – It’s too damn complicated to setup.”  These are the times that I wish I could sit next to every developer at the moment they experience this frustration. Part of the time it can be dealing with beta software (as is the case in one of Pascal’s scenarios here), and others I think just take some time to understand the why behind certain things.  Let me take a stab at...

Silverlight Slider and Absolute values

If you use the Slider object in Silverlight (or WPF for that matter) you may have experienced some similar frustration that I have recently.  Let’s take a look at what the Slider is first. The Slider is a simple control on the surface providing a track and a “thumb” (if you aren’t familiar with that term) that enables value changing.  Some of the key properties are: Minimum – the number that represents the lowest (left or bottom) value Maximum – the number...

Silverlight resources for Flash developers

Two new resources came to my attention recently that could be helpful resources for Flash developers wanting to learn Silverlight.  The first has been out there for a bit actually, but the other is new.  Let’s start with the new one, Project Rosetta (video).  As Adam Kinney said this week while in meetings in Redmond, “because we need another web site.” Project Rosetta describes itself as: Project Rosetta is a site dedicated to helping designers and developers build applications in Silverlight while taking advantage of skills they already know. There are two articles...

Troubleshooting data/service access in Silverlight

A while back I pondered doing a “live” debug session with people who were/are working with Silverlight 2 and data access via services, etc.  I really like a live concept because it allows people to ask real questions and feels more conversational than a one-way presentation.  After some consideration, I’m not sure I could quite guarantee the environment I was looking for to accomplish this type of style. So as a second best, I’ve set up a webcast: Troubleshooting Silverlight Data Access.  I hope to keep the question channel open during the webcast though and answer as many questions as possible. ...

4 new Silverlight hands-on labs

We just put up 4 new hands-on labs for Silverlight 2.  These labs are based around some of the training that partners and early adopters had received over the past few months.  A guided lab document and source code (before/after) is provided. The 4 labs include building a web application based around a travel site. Building the UI: using different layout with Grids, StackPanels, etc. Styling the UI: use styles, templates and VisualStateManager…work with default templates in Expression Blend Binding...

Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com

How does 2000+ machines sound?  Transforming a Saturday Night Live recording area into a live commentator section full of workstations and bloggers?  Scoble had a chance to sit down with Eric Schmidt from Microsoft to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes information about the NBCOlympics.com Silverlight experience.  Despite the video quality not being great, the information is very good.  I recently saw a few other partners involved in the NBCOlympics.com project talk about things and kept feeling like they were really missing a great opportunity to talk about one of the key aspects in the implementation.  Eric covers the basics...

Visual Studio SP1 and Silverlight tools

Today Visual Studio 2008 has released SP1 which not only brings some fixes, but also is an added value service pack, bringing some new functionality to WPF as well as enabling a “client” deployment pack of the .NET framework so that those deploying .NET framework with your client applications can have a much smaller footprint (by about 80+%). With the release of SP1 for Visual Studio 2008 today, the Silverlight team has also updated their tools for Silverlight 2 Beta 2.  Read again: a tools update for Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is needed and available for you.  If you install Visual...

ReMIX UK – 18 SEPT

Well, I wish I was going to this event: ReMIX UK!  For one, it would be starting the day of my birthday and would be a great birthday treat!  Secondly, I would be able to meet up with my fellow escamoles chaps and maybe take in some local cuisine instead. If you are in the UK, or for some reason really wanted to see the current value of the US dollar, make sure you head to ReMIX UK!  The lineup is pretty incredible when you look at it…here’s some Microsoft favorites: ...

Woohoo! Subtext 2.0 released!

I’ve just completed my upgrade to my site of the official 2.0 release of Subtext, the Open Source blogging engine that I use to manage content on this site.  You can read the full announcement from grand poohba Haack himself here. I’m loving this release because of the improvements made but also a little selfishly because the modifications I’ve made to my own fork I’ve been using have made it into this release!  These modifications really make this the best platform for me when using Live Writer.  This may not make a difference to a lot of you,...

Some Silverlight ecosystem updates

I’ve had a couple things sitting in my inbox for a week or so and rather than call them out individually and take up your precious aggregation space, I’ll summarize them here. 3rd Party Silverlight Controls Got a note from Valentin about the roadmap for the Telerik Silverlight controls.  As they’ve previously noted, they are planning a set of controls: Window, Menu, TreeView, TabControl, PanelBar, Cube, ComboBox, Upload, Calendar, DatePicker, NumericUpDown, MediaPlayer, Range Slider, ProgressBar, WrapPanel, DockPanel, UniformGridPanel.  Right now it looks like they are incorporating the feedback provided and doing some polish work like adding Blend tool support for skinning, etc. ...

Compare on Kelley Blue Book with Silverlight and DeepZoom

Have you seen those television commercials about used car markets and someone standing in a white background and as they vocalize their automobile preferences the selections fly in and around them.  That’s what I was reminded of when I came upon the new feature on Kelley Blue Book’s comparison feature on their site.  I had previously written about some innovative uses of DeepZoom with Jose’s samples and I like what KBB has done here as well. They’ve leveraged Silverlight with DeepZoom in a way that provides some good user functionality but at the same time provides a line-of-business application...

IronNails = Silverlight + IronRuby + Patterns

If you already pay attention to the IronRuby dev group and are on the distribution list, apologies for the dupe.  I’ve just got back from a camping trip and rifling through all my emails now.  I checked in on the IronRuby group and noticed a new project emerging from someone. It’s from Ivan Porto Carrero and he calls it IronNails.  It was previously called something else (quite frankly I liked the other name better myself) but there was already a project named after his chosen name.  So alas, IronNails it is!  Ivan describes this as: ...

Silverlight tip: shortcut simple properties

I’ve seen the rumbling a few times now about property setting in Silverlight.  The rumblings are along the lines of “why do I have to use SetValue for setting simple properties like the x/y positioning?”  To those points, I agree from a fundamental standpoint.  From a technical standpoint SetValue is there and serves a great purpose for providing a common way of setting properties on XAML elements regardless of the element.  As a developer, I like it actually.  I do, however, see the point about wanting to set simple properties and it just looks a little verbose.  Take for instance...

Silverlight data binding and value converters

If you are working with Silverlight and data you most likely are going to leverage data binding at some point and run into some needs to format the data in the XAML.  Luckily this can be done using value converters, which have been available for WPF since it’s inception as well.  Let’s explore what I’m talking about using a common formatting need: dates. Consider this list box output binding: 1: <ListBox x:Name="FeedList"> 2: <ListBox.ItemTemplate> ...

Silverlight at Gamefest

This week I had the privilege of attending and helping with some Silverlight in casual games presentations at the XNA Gamefest conference happening in Seattle.  I say helping because the real game experts were there. Two Silverlight presentations were given.  One by Bill Reiss/Joel Neubeck and the other by Mike Snow.  Between the two sessions we covered concepts in Silverlight game development as well as a walk-through of starting out to create a simple game.  I consider these guys to be the foremost experts on the topic given their experience in creating games like Dr. Popper, Stack Attack, Zero...

Providing startup parameters for Silverlight

One of the things that makes Silverlight 2 great is the ability to create a very flexible framework application that others can use and can be embeddable with some dynamic properties.  This is the method used in the SL2 Video Player to provide a completely dynamic player that is portable. How?  Using the initParams property of the plugin.  There are a few ways you can do this.  I’ve just uploaded a video demonstrating three of them: Creating App Resources Passing into the root visual constructor...

Updates to Amazon S3 and Silverlight

After posting my sample implementation of accessing Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3) via Silverlight, I reflected quickly and also chatted with some AWS engineers. Cross-domain Policy One thing that you should never do is just deploy a global clientaccesspolicy.xml file blindly.  Often times in samples, we (I) do this.  I need to be better about this guidance to be honest, so I’ll start here.  As an example, for the S3 cross domain policy file, we really should add some additional attributes to it to make it more secure.  Since we know it is a SOAP service, we can...

Embedding Fonts and File Upload in Silverlight 2

Two new videos were just posted on the Silverlight learning section. Embedding Custom Fonts in Silverlight 2 This video demonstrates the supported method for embedding your custom font files into your Silverlight applications and how you might use them in your application as well as how to provide fallback fonts for your application. OpenFileDialog and File Upload in Silverlight 2 Two for one.  Check out the OpenFileDialog control and how you might even use it with UI-less Silverlight applications.  Also, look at OpenFileDialog in conjunction with uploading files via Silverlight 2 applications. Make sure to...

How about some LIVE Silverlight service debugging?

I’ve got a thought lately and curious if I’m thinking crazy.  You see, probably the most asked questions I get are around working with services within Silverlight.  Although I’ve got some helpful (at least I think they’re helpful) posts on the subject: Silverlight, 404 and some tool help Updates for Beta 2 Working with Syndicated Data Calling WCF/ASMX Services Calling REST Services Cross-domain policy files ...

Accessing Amazon S3 with Silverlight

I ran into an interesting situation last week…the desire to access some of my Amazon S3 services from within a Silverlight application. Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3) is a pay service provided Amazon for object storage ‘in the cloud.’  Although there is no UI tool provided by Amazon to navigate your account in S3, a SOAP and REST API are available for developers to integrate S3 information into their applications or other uses.  You can view more information about Amazon S3 on their site. What is S3? Since S3 is a pretty flexible service, it can be used for many different things including...

Updating Silverlight.js and Firefox 3

I’m hoping this post will help explain a few things with regard to Silverlight detection scripts that some sites may be using.  This is related to the silverlight.js Javascript file that was deployed with a lot of Silverlight 1.0 applications/sites and is also available as a part of the Silverlight 2 SDK tools. What the heck is this Silverlight.js you speak of? Simply put, Silverlight.js is a helper file which enables Web sites to create advanced Silverlight installation and instantiation experiences.  It was a resource file that was initially shipped along side several templates and helper projects to aid in the detection...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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,...

Innovative use of Silverlight and DeepZoom

Take a few minutes and look at this video of Jose Fajardo re-demonstrating one of his ReMIX features shown using Silverlight and DeepZoom.  Are you kidding me?!  Seriously, Jose has a great imagination and an incredible sense for effectively demonstrating things. In this video he answers questions posed to himself like “what if all web images were DeepZoom-able?” and “what if all the documents on the web were DeepZoom-able?”  Then he gets crazy and suggests that people could collaborate with a DeepZoom image and demonstrates this using a Silverlight chat experience built using network sockets.  I love his context...

New and great Silverlight examples

There are some really great application concepts emerging using Silverlight.  I cam across two that I feel are really demonstrating great use of the technology, both in the code as well as attention to detail in the user interface.  Both of these examples make great use of layouts, controls, etc. within Silverlight 2 to show what is possible with some imagination and the platform. The first is the “My Travel Management” site which leverages real travel information to represent the scenario of looking at flight arrangements.  It definitely is a twist on the Silverlight Airlines, providing a little more...

Skinning an embeddable Silverlight 2 media player

While Silverlight 2 brings us great capabilities as .NET developers and opens many opportunities for creating rich clients in the browser, it still supports strong media features that have been available since the initial release of Silverlight.  The ability to deliver efficient, high quality media in the browser is an increasing need in a lot of sites producing content for their members.  Traditional ‘podcasts’ which were historically audio-only, are moving increasingly faster to richer media.  This is nothing new of course, but being able to quickly distribute the media on your sites efficiently and provide methods for your users to...

Rich Text Editor for Silverlight 2

For Silverlight 2, we finally have some native controls to leverage.  Most of them are to aid in input scenarios.  The text input, however, is currently scoped to be plain text input.  Some have desired a richer input control.  You knew it wouldn’t be long before someone in the community stepped up to the challenge.  Christopher Husse has done just that. Enter: Silverlight rich text editor. He posts a detailed description of all the capabilities on Michael Syncs blog.  The effort is also posted on Codeplex for you to peruse. Here is what he calls the ‘incomplete feature list’: ...

New Silverlight videos posted

The first of my Silverlight videos have posted which cover some networking stuff that I’ve been blogging about already.  If you want to see a walk through of things you might have already read, please take a look at them: Cross domain policy files with Silverlight 2 Using WCF and ASP.NET Web Services with Silverlight 2 There are more coming and I’m interested in hearing your comments so please give them.  If you have suggestions for things that...

An awesome Silverlight Digg mashup

I know ScottGu already did a good sample showing integration with Digg and Silverlight, but check out what Jose did! Jose does a great job explaining each of the components here and what he is doing to develop this application.  A good experience demonstration with a lot going on there with Silverlight.  I really encourage you to check out this read and subscribe to Jose’s feed – he’s what I’d call ‘wicked good.’ tags: silverlight, jose fajardo, cynergy, digg, wpf, xaml, ria

My Silverlight application cannot access my service!

I’ve started a dialog with a few of you about getting Silverlight and service integration working, specifically with ASP.NET web services (and even WCF ones).  A few have downloaded some of my samples, but others have started from scratch.  A few have reported getting some interesting errors, ASYNC_blahblah and NotFound errors specifically.  While this was boggling my mind (as I wasn’t getting them), a reader’s comments pointed me along the lines of something…he mentioned “maybe it is because my web service is ASP.NET 2.0 and not 3.5” – of which that shouldn’t be the case, so I went to test...

Ik kom naar België voor MIX Essentials!

Je viens en Belgique pour MIX! In one of my previous posts I made reference to the MIX Essentials event happening in Belgium later this month (24 APR).  Well, it turns out that I will be there!  I'll be speaking on Silverlight 2 and creating rich applications and am joining the company of Gil Cleeren and Catherine Heller...oh yeah and Ballmer (I tried to catch a ride with him, but couldn't cash in my frequent flyer miles).  My session will provide an overview of everything new in Silverlight 2 and how you can start building your applications using it...

Anaheim Silverlight presentation

Firs, thank you for all that came to the presentation in Anaheim.  The room was full, and hopefully you learned something while there (and hopefully it was along the lines that video in text boxes might not be good design, but is doable :-)). I got a bunch of really great questions and concerns and hopefully answered all of them that were asked.  I saw many more hands lifted than we could get to, so if you have more questions, feel free to send them to me, or join the forum discussions as well!  The Silverlight community site is a great...

Silverlight cross domain policy file helpers

If you are starting to get into integrating web services with Silverlight, you'll notice that you have to have a cross domain policy file in place on the target server, that is to say, the server hosting the service you want to implement.  There are some public web services (Flickr, YouTube, Digg, etc.) that already have these files in place for Flash, but implement in a slightly different way. When calling a cross-domain service, Silverlight will check for the existence of clientaccesspolicy.xml first.  This is the format defined by Silverlight and provides a pretty flexible way to define who can access...

My new role on the Silverlight team

I've been with Microsoft now for over 3 years and have loved every minute of my time here.  For the time leading up to being hired at Microsoft, it was a professional goal of mine to work for the company.  Fanboy?  Sure, call me whatever you want.  I prefer to just call it passion.  I joined as a developer evangelist for my community (an area we call desert mountain which spans Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana).  This was an easy thing to say yes to because everything I learned I learned from being a part of...

Foxit Preview Handler for XP

Ever since I released my version of the Foxit PDF Preview Handler, I've been flooded with comments about building a version that works for Windows XP.  You see XP doesn't have the preview host that Vista has built into the operating system. Well, I finally had some time to hunt down some code and get it working, thanks to the help of Ryan Gregg from the Outlook team.  I released the sample code I used as a base for this as a part of our Code Trip project.  You can view my short screencast explaining one of the core pieces here...

Write code for a chance at an XBOX

One of The Code Trip sponsors, InnerWorkings, has teamed up to have a coding challenge for developers.  This is open to everyone to participate.  The winner gets an annual subscription to InnerWorkings as well as an XBOX 360 game console. If you aren't familiar with InnerWorkings, consider this a shameless plug.  I really do believe in their product as it is a unique learning experience from what we traditionally have (i.e., lab manuals with step-by-step instructions).  They have a wide catalog of topics including ASP.NET, WCF, WPF, Silverlight, CSS, etc. for organizations to choose from.  You really need to check them...

Calling services from Silverlight 2 part 2

In a previous post, I wrote about some samples of calling various types of services from Silverlight 2.  In the code, I was using constructors in my ASMX and WCF services with specifying a binding type and endpoint address. It was called out to me that in other demonstrations, people did not use this construct.  While the method I demonstrated works (explicitly specifying the binding and endpoint), in some cases it may not be necessary.  One such case would be if you only have one endpoint and it is basicHttpBinding. The error in my code/instructions was about changing the binding information in...

Shared project templates and ASP.NET Empty Web Site

If you are like me, you probably create a lot of projects in Visual Studio that end up getting thrown away and are intended just to test out a theory you have, double-check yourself when you are going mad because you can't find a bug, testing out something you read on a blog post, whatever. Most of the projects I create are web projects.  I've started to adopt the "_Delete" mechanism to help me identify what I can truly delete in my folders later.  But is not the point here.  One thing that I do when creating web projects is...

IM UPPIN YR RUBY

The MountainWest RubyConf 2008 is upon us just 2 weeks away in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to be there given my travel with The Code Trip.  IronRuby, however, was able to be a sponsor of this year's conference as a Gold Sponsor.  This sponsorship is one part that enables video production of the conference for afterwards as well as a few other things.  The organizers have done a great job getting great sponsors to make this happen, and IronRuby is grateful to be a part of that. One thing that was recently released was...

Calling web services with Silverlight 2

UPDATE: Source code posted here. Now that Silverlight 2 is out to the masses (even in beta form), there are likely a lot of developers looking to wire-up web services with their applications in .NET rather than the Silverlight 1.0 method of Javascript.  I thought I'd give you some quick examples of how to do this using some different methods: ASP.NET Web Services (ASMX), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), REST service, and talk about cross-domain calls.  These are meant to be examples using very much 'hello world' style services, but demonstrating at least how to execute the call. If you are an ASP.NET...

Awesome Silverlight Samples

I just saw two links that I simply have to promote as they are very helpful to people doing Silverlight development and one specifically with ASP.NET. The first is a site on silverlight.net (you should bookmark this site as a resource and subscribe to all the feeds), there is now a Silverlight 2 Beta 1 control sample page, which hosts all the new Silverlight controls on the site.  It shows some different usage of all the controls: Very cool to see all the controls implemented in one section, play around with them and see different styles in some as well. The second link...

Embedding fonts in Silverlight 2

UPDATE: The supported method for Silverlight 2 release is shown here: http://silverlight.net/learn/learnvideo.aspx?video=69800.  You basically have to make it an assembly resource. Since the beginning of Silverlight you've been able to embed fonts within a Silverlight application.  The challenge in version 1.0 was that you essentially had to use a downloader and some SetFontSource methods on a TextBlock (for example) to do it.  I wrote about this a while back when using my own handwriting as a font within Silverlight.  It looked something like this: this.downloader = control.createObject("downloader"); this.downloader.addEventListener("completed", Silverlight.createDelegate(this, this.handleFontDownloaded)); this.downloader.open("GET", "timheuer.ttf"); this.downloader.send();handleFontDownloaded: function(sender,...

Amazon S3 Browser for Live Writer

For about a year now I've been using Amazon S3 services.  Mostly I'm using it for image storage for my blog and web site.  I decided to stop using Flickr for screenshot stuff and keep it to 'photographs' when I can.  I signed up for an S3 account and have been using it for screenshot type stuff since then.  If you don't know, S3 is a service that basically enables 'object' storage in the cloud.  An object can be anything really, but I'm treating it like a remote host for images. The one thing Amazon doesn't provide themselves is a tool...

Calling Javascript functions from Silverlight 2

When working with Silverlight 2, most will be working with managed code (c#, vb, etc.).  But likely people are working with Silverlight as an additive value to their web application, providing some enhanced user experience to an application.  there may be times where you will still need to call back into the hosting html context.  For then, you'll want to be familiar with two objects HtmlDocument and HtmlPage.  Both of these objects provide access to the page context hosting your silverlight control.  If you need to seek things in the HTML DOM, you could use the HtmlDocument class.  For example,...

Terralever featured in Silverlight case study

The group that brought you one of the first Silverlight end-to-end games (Zero Gravity) is now featured for some of the work they've done with Silverlight 1.0 and Silverlight 2 for Miniclip.com, the largest online gaming site in the world. You can view the Terralever case study online here.  The Terralever crew is interviewed in four different segments talking about the project from a designer, developer, business and technical perspective. The team built two casual games for Miniclip.com on both versions of Silverlight.  The first, a Silverlight 1.0 game called 'Zombomatic 3000' has been on Miniclip's site for a few weeks now. ...

The Code Trip begins...Silverlight Tour redux

Wow, it's been a few months now since I thought about doing a road trip talking about the next wave of technologies.  I originally thought it would be the "Silvertour" but we've now actually made it happen.  I can tell you that the behind the scenes of this has been a long process.  It seems so simple and I can hear the people now saying 'why was it so hard, c'mon you are Microsoft and have zillions of dollars.'  Sure, maybe that is true about a big company, but that's also the point.  We are a company of companies and...

Silverlight for Sharepoint

I've gotten a few requests from internal local sales teams, Sharepoint professionals and developers about how to implement Silverlight in Sharepoint.  I usually try to explain that since Sharepoint is essentially an ASP.NET application it is relatively simple to implement.  Of course, that usually doesn't help :-).  What helps is some documentation and samples that show how you would use Silverlight to enhance a Sharepoint experience. As a part of the Software+Services Blueprints series, a new bundle has been made available to download to provide guidance and source code to help provide some information.  In the blueprint you'll get: ...

Silverlight 2 with Expression Blend

From the 'does the guy ever sleep' category, ScottGu enlightens us all again with a very great tutorial on using Expression Blend 2.5 (March preview coming soon) to work with Silverlight 2 content. Scott walks through a tutorial on using the design-time features of Expression Blend 2.5 and some tips along the way to produce a chat-like application using Silverlight: Definitely worth a look to study before MIX.  Someone might want to pull Scott aside about the font choice though... tags: silverlight, mix, mix08, scottgu, expression, expression blend, silverlight 2, comic sans

Intellisense for Virtual Earth API

When developing Virtual Earth applications I find myself always having the SDK documents open in the background for reference.  While this isn't a bad practice, I've historically only used them for parameter reference, etc.  I longed for the time that I could get cheater help intellisense for the Virtual Earth API.  When Visual Studio 2008 came out with Javascript intellisense, I figured the day has come.  But unfortunately, the Javascript intellisense isn't enabled for external (external==not-the-same-app-domain) files.  The thing about the implementation of the Javascript intellisense in VS2008 is that you can just make a reference to a file for...

MSDN improves search, breaks my gadget

Ah, the joys of using non-API APIs :-).  I say that in jest because essentially my first stab at the MSDN search gadget wasn't using any *real* API, but rather just formatting queries correctly and hoping that the format would stay the same. Well, when you do this you run the risk of things changing.  For MSDN (and TechNet) search, things have changed 3 times now.  Mike Ormond points out that another change breaks the default MSDN gadget that I had created.  He's posted a fix that works for him (until the next change) and should for others. Thanks Mike for posting...

New power tools for Office development

If you develop Office applications, then hopefully you've seen some of the great improvements for developing Office applications using Visual Studio 2008.  I recently spoke about these at an event in Denver and demonstrated some of the capabilities. Of the many new features in streamlining the process for creating Office applications, there are two that required some extra hoops.  Now granted they are minor, but if you are doing a lot of Open Office XML and Ribbon customization, it was a bit of a snare to always refer back to other applications and documents for reference. Well, the Office team has released...

Silverlight 2 kimono opened

Very cool think popped in my RSS reader this morning.  Scott Guthrie (now a corp VP, congrats Scott) put up a first look post at Silverlight 2.  Not just a 'here's what is coming' but an 8-part tutorial as well as he built a sample application trying to leverage and demonstrate various parts of Silverlight 2. These tutorials should be extremely helpful for those wanting to understand some of the newer concepts brought to Silverlight.  If you haven't done a lot (or any) WPF coding before, some of this should jumpstart your knowledge a bit. take a look at 'First Look at...

students can get developer and designer tools for free

bill gates announces on channel8 a program called 'DreamSpark' which is enabling students of higher education to obtain microsoft developer and designer tools for no charge! over at the channel8 downloads page you'll see what is available: visual studio professional, expression studio, windows server 2003 standard, and xna game studio.  wow.  for now this is available in United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium.  the program looks to bring more countries on in the future so check back. there is a student verification process that you have to go through and some of the...

phoenix silverlight user group

i was able to make it to the phoenix silverlight user group last night (2 separate trips downtown, yikes) and had a good time chatting with everyone there.  i understand that there will NOT be a separate march meeting because it essentially falls very close to when scott guthrie and others will be coming to town.  the group is recommending that people attend that to learn the latest and greatest about silverlight 2 right out of MIX!  we had a good discussion about various things.  mike palermo showed a couple of things he'd been working on including a simple game...

free silverlight workshop in dallas

looks like the silverlight tour is giving a free ride for a half-day session on silverlight in dallas.  i've sat in on one of the early silverlight tour stops before silverlight even was officially released.  i can only imagine that it has gotten more exciting as time goes by. the dallas event is limited to 32 attendees, so register asap if you can make it.  this free session looks to discuss: Why should I care about Silverlight What is Silverlight? ...

silverlight 1.0 game on miniclip.com

miniclip.com now has a silverlight 1.0 puzzle game to their catalog.  this is pretty good to see among the massive catalog of casual games they offer.  this game is built using silverlight 1.0 and is a good use of a lot of the capabilities (and in some cases maxing them out) for the 1.0 platform. Zombomatic ...

denver big event follow-up

thanks to all who came out to the denver devdays big event this week.  this was the first time i've traveled in a while since various family ailments and situations.  i had a good few days in denver with some good peeps.  thanks to beth massi for joining our developer crowd in denver.  she was awesome and had a crowd wherever she was. i attempted to do justice to office development in one of the sessions.  one of the challenges on that topic is that 'office' now encompasses a lot of things...here's my known short list: ...

automating an encoding pipeline

while preparing for the code trip, we have several 'on-board' needs.  one of which is a quick method to get our content encoded for consumption by devices and frameworks (i.e., silverlight).  we want a smooth method so that we aren't boggled down with multiple tools opening and changing settings, cutting and pasting, etc. so, inspired by my colleagues post about using workflow to automate, i set about the task.  we're going to be making several assumptions along our production, one of which is we know we'll have multiple video/audio sources and that there *will* be some post-edit being done.  but once...

calling services with ajax

recently i've been getting a few notes/questions about working with web services and asp.net ajax.  my colleague, rob bagby completed a series of great web casts last year covering the topic of the ajax libraries in detail, one of which deals with web services.  there are also two webcasts that deal with calling WCF services using the ajax libraries.  i highly recommend checking them out! tags: ajax, asp.net, asp.net ajax, atlas, aspnet, wcf, services, web services, bagby, silverlight

intersoft now has beta of silverlight controls

intersoft just sent me an email that the beta versions of their WebUIStudio.NET 2008 R1 is available, which includes a few new silverlight controls: WebAqua and WebCoverFlow. i'm curious how soon the apple attorneys might prepare a cease-and-desist on the naming of both of these controls, but that's for them to figure our.  I'm more interested in getting my hands on them and playing around.  you can read their press release here on where to get them.  it's very exciting to see so many controls popping up.  i hope that when silverlight 2.0 releases that these will all be ready for...

visual rails workbench preview

the guys at sapphire, whom i'd previously written about their ruby in steel developer tools, just posted a preview of 'visual rails workbench,' which is a visual designer for ruby on rails.  here's one of their preview shots: this design mode with ERb is just one of the elements of the workbench it looks like.  get the full details (as well as some comments on IronRuby support in their other tools that they've been working on) by reading the update on the sapphire site. tags: ruby, rails, ruby on rails, ror, rails ide, saphhire, sapphire in steel, visual rails workbench, rails...

scott guthrie to visit phoenix

the leaders of the arizona .net user group have convinced scott guthrie that phoenix is nice in march (and it is...spring training baby!) and he should visit.  they've organized a super user group meeting and you can find information on when/where here.  it will be hosted at scottsdale center for the arts, which is a pretty killer facility.  i'd recommend carpooling and not messing with the no parking signs (those scottsdale folks like to watch those meters). having ScottGu come to phoenix immediately after MIX08 is a great thing for the community.  if you couldn't make it to MIX, you'll be...

.net framework reference source now available

finally want to try out that feature to debug your apps and step into System.Web.dll?  it has arrived. shawn burke has all the blow-by-blow details on setting it up. tags: visual studio 2008,.net framework,shared source,open source,.net source,.net,orcas,vs2008,debug

ruby on rails and visual studio 2008

the guys over at sapphiresteel software released ruby in steel text edition, a full-featured ruby on rails IDE built on the visual studio 2008 shell. as a microsoft developer interested in looking at ruby on rails early on, i loved when the sapphire project was first released.  i had played with earlier version and after re-paving my machine need to take a look at the updated versions. if you don't own a copy of visual studio 2008, when you get the ruby in steel text edition, you get visual studio 2008 (ruby language support only) -- so this isn't an add-on...

join us for a big dev event

miss the days of devdays?  me too.  my team is trying to bring a little of that spark back!  joe shirey on my team has organized a full-day of developer and architect goodness.  we'll be hosting two events, one in the phoenix, arizona metro area and one in the denver, colorado metro area.  here's the gist: keynote: microsoft patterns and practices is being shipped in to talk about what they've produced and the logic behind it! developer track: exposing and consuming data using the microsoft stack (rob bagby): take a look...

silverlight firestarter (seattle) online

at the end of november i had a chance to visit seattle to attend the silverlight firestarter event.  the entire day was captured on video.  those videos are now available at the visitmix.com site.  you can stream them directly on the site or download them for offline viewing.  the sessions include content from jesse liberty, arturo toledo, laurence moroney, adam kinney, ernie booth and adam nathan. all good stuff.  enjoy. tags: silverlight,firestarter,silverlight firestarter,visitmix,mix08

phoenix installfest wrap-up

well, it's been a while since the phoenix installfest and i've been behind on a few things.  on 20 dec 2007, the arizona user group communities hosted the phoenix installfest in tempe, arizona.  special thanks to a lot of people, but namely scott cate, spike xavier, lorin thwaits (cameraman), steele price and my comrades rob bagby, eric strait and dan willis.  tempe center for the arts was our host venue for the night.  i personally thought it was a kick arse venue even if the food was not the greatest (blame me for that, but you shouldn't complain, it was...

more silverlight controls emerge

this time from telerik.  telerik has just announced their RAD Controls for Silverlight 1.1(2.0).  they have a site up with some demonstrations, etc. (obviously requiring silverlight 1.1 to render).  they have controls like: upload button combobox listbox menus progress bar tab...

create silverlight 1.0 project in vs 2008

i've got a few messages about 'hey, where did the silverlight project template go in visual studio 2008?  what the heck, doesn't microsoft want us to create projects?' trouble is that it is there, but different...you know same, but different. if you have visual studio 2008 installed, make sure you install the silverlight tools for visual studio 2008.  yeah, i know it says 'tools for alpha' -- just install it would ya.  after you install it, you'll have the project templates for silverlight 1.1 2.0 as well as for 1.0.  but where is it? File...New Web Site... then you should see this: that's what...

linq cheat sheet

just saw in my feed reader...a cheat sheet by keith rull for LINQ.  keith purports that this isn't a definitive list by any means but says: "It consist of a few snippets that you might commonly do when doing LINQ processing." he uses this for his most common tasks.  when i first start learning anything new, i do the same thing keeping snippets around to help me remember certain things.  as an example, can't remember how to do the paging?  use keith's cheat: //take three records var takeThree = listOfPerson.Take(3); //go to the 10th record and then take 3 records from there var skipTenTakeThree = listOfPerson.Skip(10).Take(3); thanks...

write a plugin for expression encoder

remember that feature i was mentioning that is a plugin for expression encoder?  you know the one that enables you to publish the output immediately and directly to the silverlight streaming service? well, how would you like to write your own encoder publishing plugin.  perhaps you have a process with a content delivery network?  or have some custom process you want to implement in your own workflow (save as an encoder job file, etc.) for ongoing media encodings?  james clarke just announced a quickstart guide on developing publisher plug-ins for encoder. the code looks relatively simple to implement: [EncoderPlugin("Zip Plugin from scratch","Enables output...

phoenix installfest announced

of course if you are already a part of the broader .net user group community, you've seen this already.  but if you aren't (shame on you), you should head on over to azgroups.com and look at the event on the 20th of December.  be sure to sign up to the AZGroups mailing list as well for updates and future events. at the phoenix (tempe) installfest, people who are registered and attend will receive a special trial DVD of visual studio that will enable them to get a visual studio 2008 professional licensed copy sent to them as participating in this event...pretty...

licensing changes in team foundation server 2008

wow, some great news from the tfs group... i'm not sure how this slipped my feeds, but must have been while i was out...at any rate, if you want to hear some good news on the team foundation server front.  i love it when companies listen. from bharry's blog (emphasis mine): We made one significant licensing change for TFS with the release of TFS 2008.  We've gotten a lot of feedback over the past 2 years that there are classes of users who make very light use of TFS and for those users a $500 CAL (list price) is just too...

flash releases update, changes prices, and the update process

"Competition is dropping prices, increasing quality and making everyone’s internet a better place." (ryan stewart) flash just did an update to the flash player.  i believe (according to their site) this takes it to v9.0.115.0 (at least for IE on windows).  what's included in this update?  primarily H.264 encoding support in the player.  this has been in beta for a while, but now 'official' from adobe.  the second announcement involves their (adobe) pricing/licensing changes around flash media server products, something that has been somewhat criticized for a while as cost-prohibitive.  the new pricing looks like a real aggressive price drop based...

headed to the city of angels

"Go back to Jersey, Sonny. This is the City of the Angels and you haven't got any wings." (from LA Confidential) i'm headed to los angeles, ca tomorrow for a week of the phizzpop design challenge.  while last week already yielded some training in some of the expression tools and silverlight, i'm headed out to do my best to mentor those that are taking advantage of the microsoft working areas. what is the phizzpop design challenge? The PhizzPop Design Challenge pits top interactive, Web, and design agencies against one another to push the limits of technology and creativity in a battle royale. Think...

this one time at...er..um...firestarter

i hopped on a plane at 4am this morning to head back to phoenix from seattle.  oddly enough i landed in rain.  what gives phoenix?  actually it is a welcome refresh for me. i was in seattle for the silverlight fire starter event with my comrade mithun.  this was basically a one-day silverlight lovefest.  and the lineup of people was awesome: jesse liberty adam kinney laurence moroney ...

.net web platform roadmap for asp.net and silverlight

this morning, scottgu posted details on the roadmap for the .net web platform.  it is an exciting roadmap to me, so let me hit some of the highlights: ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions - this will include the MVC framework, AJAX improvements, dynamic data support, asp.net and silverlight support, and ado.net data services (entity framework).  this release is expected to be available for download on the web next week in the first preview mode. silverlight: because of the significant effort being made and...

busy month -- upcoming stuff

i'm surprised how much is going on in the month of december...usually it is pretty idle...but this is my largest travel month. after just visiting the tucson .net user group and the denver visual studio user group (thanks to both for hosting), i'm off tomorrow to redmond for the silverlight firestarter event.  i come home just in time for our annual festivus party which i'm super excited for.  i've been storing some prizes that i've gotten throughout the year and am stoked for this weekend.  i'm pissed at myself for not getting t-shirts made this year...argh...oh well, i hope everyone enjoys...

get visual studio 2008 pro for free

[UPDATE: I added other US cities I am aware of, any not listed here, I'm not aware of them.  Reminder that these are being hosted by user group communities in partnership with Microsoft.  If you don't attend the user groups sponsoring these events, you have them to thank and you should start attending and getting involved!!!! These events are made possible by the commitment of user groups.  You should absolutely participate in them, show your support, be an active member and get to know your local developer contact at Microsoft :-).] want the latest IDE toolset and start developing solutions in .net...

silverlight tools for vs2008 (orcas) rtm

sure enough as i told the denver visual studio user group last night that the only reason i was still running visual studio 2008 beta 2 was because the silverlight tools had not been updated yet.  check my email later...they are updated :-). the silverlight tools for alpha have been updated to work with visual studio 2008 release version (now available).  you can download the updated bits here.  i'm headed up to redmond for the silverlight firestarter event on thursday and maybe to heckle jesse a bit :-).  if you are going to be in town, drop me a line (my...

introducing: the code trip

this week at devconnections a few of my comrades were there and started to spread the word about our planning on something we are doing in the western united states.  we're calling it 'the code trip' and the plan is simple, get us (the developer evangelists who interact with our community groups) out hitting the streets and talking code.  we're in planning stages right now for sure, and brewing up some things for our stops.  we want our communities to participate in that planning.  have a good idea?  let us know.  want to ride on the RV for a leg? ...

integrating data with silverlight and media

a video screencast that jesse and i collaborated on was just posted.  in the screencast jesse demonstrates the code we did to demonstrate a concept he calls "hypervideo" which is basically leveraging media metadata, and simulating retrieving related data information to display in the experience. this concept is very similar to the experience at HSN.tv of showing "related products" using the metadata being streamed in their experience.  i hope you find it useful and if you have any questions, please let me know! again, my goal is to try to help provide you with relevant information about microsoft web platform technologies like...

.net framework source code released

yeah, me too.  the news of the day is that microsoft's developer group is releasing portions of the .net framework base class libraries (bcl) under the microsoft reference license (ms-rl).  in a nutshell the license enables the viewing of the source code, but no modification.  even so a step in the right direction in my opinion.  while it isn't an open source license, this is a part of microsoft's broader shared source initiatives to aid developers in the understanding of the innerworkings of the .net framework. we'll also be introducing capabilities in visual studio 2008 to allow .net developers debugging their...

using silverlight, expression encoder and asp.net ajax

in my previous sample i talked about creating custom expression encoder templates.  good times.  also jesse alluded to a something him and i have been working on with regard to what he calls "hyper video" and what i've previously referred to as 'timed overlays' in an example. in going through both of these i found an issue that i forgot to write about (but a helpful commenter reminded me: thanks ernie!) with regard to using the expression encoder templates and asp.net ajax. the problem expression encoder uses a model of encapsulating silverlight and the media elements within an asp.net ajax control.  because they...

voted off on visual studio survivor island

i had my first full fledged second life experience today.  i had signed up a while back out of sheer curiosity, didn't get it really, and just fell by the wayside.  today i saw that brad abrams was presenting a silverlight session "in second life" i figured i'd check out what this experience is going to be.  after all, he was presenting on visual studio island and i figured, cool. to be fair, i'm not a gamer, or alternate world-ist at all, so i absolutely entered this with preconceived notions.  but nonetheless i entered...as a noob. so off i went to the...

font embedding and rss data in silverlight

in my previous post i talked about converting rss data to json using the asp.net ajax javascriptserializer class.  i wanted to use this because i wanted an easier way of interacting with some simple data for a sample i was messing with.  i didn't really see the need to wrap it in a web service call, etc. and in the end i wanted json data.  period. so why did i want the json data?  to mess with it in silverlight of course! what i wanted to do was display my rss feed data in a different way, just out of curiosity. ...

implementing user controls in silverlight 1.1

following up in part 2, we build upon part 1 of our demonstration of using user controls in our silverlight applications.  in part 1, we created our user control in xaml using expression blend and then wired it up in our silverlight 1.0 application using javascript as the code. in part 2, we take the same xaml, but this time compile it into a managed assembly for consumption in a silverlight 1.1 application.  the result is that we now have a modular approach to reusable components in silverlight and the user control in managed code also affords us familiar implementation style...

implementing silverlight controls in 1.0

i just put up my latest screencast featuring a sample on how to create your own user control in silverlight version 1.0.  this is about a 24 minute screencast that walks through creating the XAML as a user control (not the primary focus) quickly, and then consuming this user control in a silverlight 1.0 application, creating the control dynamically using createFromXaml. i also realized that in the screencast i mentioned that i was using the 'open as web site' feature in visual studio 2008 instead of just right-clicking the project in blend and choosing 'edit in visual studio' -- but then...

updated blend 2 august preview

there were some issues with the blend 2 august preview tool when used with the silverlight 1.1 alpha refresh-refresh :-).  you could probably see some issues on the forum or if you launched blend 2 and didn't have the .net project types, you were probably frustrated to. in case you haven't heard, i thought it was valid to repeat the echo here on my blog.  the blend guys have refreshed their build to help alleviate this.  i guess it should be called blend 2 august preview refresh edition?  anyway, you can download the update here. tags: silverlight , blend , expression blend...

the silvertour

in my previous post about a road-trip television show i've been watching, i mentioned that i have been noddling on an idea that i've wanted to do for a while.  i've wanted to get out and meet as many developers as i can and it just seems that the same user group meetings aren't attracting new blood...why is that?  so i thought how can my peers get out there and really reach some people in a different way...and more importantly in different places.  i want to see first-hand the great things people are developing with microsoft. so my thought is road-trip. ...

guide to team development and team foundation server

the patterns and practices team released the final version of the TFS Guide, a guide to using team foundation server effectively in development environments. it includes: fundamentals source control builds large project considerations project management process templates reporting setting up/maintenance vs2008 tfs pretty cool, check...

silverlight: who needs inertia, introducing lt. bennett

UPDATE: for international users, the team is aware of this limited functionality...and the current build works with US English keyboard layout and US English regional settings.  sorry about that, but it's a lab project that will evolve. for the past few weeks i've had the pleasure of really seeing this whole designer-developer continuum really work.  the team over at Terralever have been working on a little lab project using silverlight.  first let me tell you about the Terralever team...they rock.  i figured there would be a ton of questions, etc., but from our first initial meeting, their team was already spouting...

msdn search gadget updated

thanks to mike ormond for prodding me about updating the msdn search sidebar gadget.  i had found this issue as well myself when i realized it wasn't working anymore.  well, it was because msdn went through a redesign and their urls changed...so much for scraping :-) well, i updated mine and i'm sure nikhil is swamped and may not have a chance to update his (and i didn't want to redist his code, but here's what i did). on mine you can just download the new one here: MSDN Search Sidebar Gadget when i say "mine" it is just a...

eulas, express, and lawyers oh my

a friend of mine send me a note today asking my thoughts on the whole testdriven.net situation.  i was surprised in anyone asking me about it (not because i'm a snob or anything, just that it had been all over the place).  i then realized that the register and /. picked it up finally and that's were it is getting some rebuzz. if you don't know what i'm talking about, basically the author (jamie) of TestDriven.NET (a great tool btw) had been enabled for visual studio express. The Express Editions are an expansion of the Visual Studio and SQL...

onramp: follow-up from silicon valley

first, thanks to all who came out to the microsoft silicon valley campus on thursday to listen to me babble about microsoft and web developer technologies.  as promised, i said i'd make a post with answers to unanswered questions and/or concerns... so here we go! logistics: expression web product: i learned some clarification on the fulfillment of the expression web product (note: if you didn't hear, those that registered and attended will receive a not-for-resale copy of expression web, one of the products we discussed and showed in the morning for developing/authoring standards-based web sites/pages/applications.  there was confusion (mostly on...

portland code camp wrap-up

i had a great time at the day i attended at the portland code camp!  i'm sorry for those who couldn't make it, you missed out!  we also had a great time at the kennedy school afterwards on saturday (an old elementary school transformed into a bar, restaurant, movie theater, hotel, etc. -- very cool, all the insides of the school left in tact). i delivered 3 presentations at the saturday session of code camp: virtual earth, sidebar gadgets and popfly.  first and foremost, thank you for those that attended my sessions (i apologize for the room changes again), i...

popfly is launched

check it out -- microsoft popfly is an online environment to easily (and in a fun way) create apps, mashups, gadgets, etc.  the "ide" is built on silverlight too! there is also a plugin for visual studio to look at the community submissions. view the overview and sign up for the waitlist. tags: popfly, springfield, express, coding4fun, gadget, mashup, silverlight

post mix expression training

okay, are you coming off of a high of MIX (or the information surrounding it)?  i know i am, heck i've seen a lot of the stuff and i was still amazed at things that i saw.  there are some great designers and developers building fantastic user experiences with windows presentation foundation (wpf) and silverlight...i was impressed. if you are like me and searching for the best way to get a leg up on this technology and the tools, you're probably hunting around for the opportunity to learn some more.  there is currently an expression blend tour that is coming...

silverlight: embedding the plugin

so what happens when you want to embed silverlight in your page?  well if you have absolute control over your site, you may not need to worry as you'll post your silverlight applications as-is.  but what if you want to just output some smaller silverlight applications in specific areas in your site, blog, etc? enter silverlight streaming.  this was announced at mix07 where you get 4gb storage for free.  now, there are some caveats that you should read about -- the 4gb is total storage, but the per-app upload has some limits...so be sure to read...it may not meet...

mix07: ruby for .net and an interview with john lam

scottgu just announced microsoft is providing a ruby implementation for .net...nice. before mix i had a chance to sit down with john lam, a program manager at microsoft working on the dynamic language runtime that was announced at mix07.  i went to seattle and carved off a moment to talk with him as they prepared for mix07.  i've put the recording up on my *cast site for you to view/listen to.  some interesting things he talks about and how happy he is to finally break his silence.  in the middle, the small edit you'll see is when his office-mate, tomas...

mix07: key announcements today

well, some pretty good news coming out of mix07 today...here's a quick recap... release of Silverlight 1.0 beta supporting ajax/javascript release of Silverlight 1.1 alpha supporting .net programming model announcing cross-platform (windows/mac) .net as a part of Silverlight 1.1 alpha announcing support for dynamic languages (ruby, python out of the gate) as a part of Silverlight 1.1 alpha rtm of expression studio preview of expression blend v2 (supporting richer Silverlight development) expression media encoder preview for Silverlight Silverlight streaming by Windows Live whew, that is a lot to swallow.  i'm most excited...

expression blend training coming to a city near you

i have to say, i'm really excited about this...for a while now i've been talking to customers and communities about wpf and expression blend.  i have to admit though, i'm not a designer, not even a good novice designer :-).  but i "get" expression blend -- the framework is much simpler for me to understand as a novice...and when i see experts open the tool i'm amazed at how quick they understand it and begin to create some compelling visuals/applications. anywhoo, there is a roadtrip happening...expression blend near you!  so check out the city list and register.  you'll learn some...

migrating to sharepoint 2007 as a developer...

...and missing the CAML love?  you got so used to the template structure for sharepoint 2003 didn't you :-)  take a look at some information to help you understand if you don't know much about master pages (the ASP.NET template framework that sharepoint...err...um...sorry, MOSS uses now) this is a good primer especially if you are using sharepoint designer to manage your sharepoint site. when you visit the sharepoint designer tutorial link you'll see information about: introduction to asp.net master pages modify the default master page modify the default sharepoint content placeholders create a content page...

expression tools available to msdn subscribers

one thing that i really have been liking about microsoft over the past year is the teams that have been listening to feedback.  here's one case in point. previously it was discussed (i'm not sure if was even officially 'announced' or not announced, but there was some discussion at best) that the expression tools (expression web, blend, design, and media) would not be available to premium visual studio subscribers (also known as 'msdn subscriptions').  this caused quite a bit of uproar in the community (and candidly i'll share with you that the uproar internally was ten-fold).  microsoft embarking on...

the summit recap

last week i was a part of something that has become a bit of an annual event -- the 'microsoft technology summit' as we call it...it originated from the group that i am a part of 3 years ago, and has continued since then (with some bumps admittedly).  the goal of the summit is quite simple really (from the organizers' perspective) -- gather the not-so-typical-if-any-microsoft crowd (read: not the i hate microsoft crowd, but those that don't frequent our diner so to speak), bring them to redmond, and attempt to gather the brains of microsoft that they may want to...

team foundation server web edition...

...or microsoft acquires devBiz and TeamPlain. read about it here. download it free here. tags: visual studio, visual studio team system, team foundation server, tfs, devbiz, teamplain, vsts, team system

wpfe samples and walkthrough

what i love best about new technologies is when developers start figuring things out for themselves and providing knowledge sharing to their peers.  in the case of "wpf/e" that is exactly what dave campbell has been doing lately...and he's updated his site with some latest samples of rectangle animation, etc.  if you haven't seen some of his stuff it is a great place to learn about some of the fundamentals of some things and dave provides some walkthrough as well as tutorial type content. clipping "wpf/e" animated rectangles other code samples (click on the blue circle to start...

vista dev: updated sidebar gadget templates

i did a quick refresh on my windows vista sidebar gadget templates for visual studio.  it is a simple refresh that accomplishes the following: puts both the VB and C# web project templates in the same visual studio content installer moves the structure around to demonstrate how to use locale folders within gadgets (see image below) i get questions on the first one (VB/C# templates) a lot.  really there is no difference between the templates, the only reason i created two is so that when you choose "new web site" it will show up under both language options.  that's...

php interop with .net

thanks to those who joined us for my learn2asp.net session on interoperability with php and windows.  i apologize for the rescheduling (if you even knew about it) that had occurred, but glad you could make it to the session.  in the session i stated that i'd post the information and sample code i referred to on to my blog so here it is :-). in the session i mentioned a few things, so i'll dump them to you here: VS.php - the editor i was using that integrated into Visual Studio 2005 from JCX.Software ADO.NET provider for MySQL...

PHP mash-up sample code

thanks to all who attended my learn2asp.net session on creating mash-ups with php on windows and using microsoft web api's.  whew, that was a mouthful.  anyway, i said i'd post the sample code i used, so here it is (at the end of this post).  in the zip file there is an index.php file describing the APIs used.  I stripped out my personal application id's from some of the services, so you'll have to obtain your own. there are plenty of other sessions going on the learn2asp.net site so i'd encourage you to take a look at them and register. ...

ajax: script references and javascript file references

do you ever wonder how some of the asp.net ajax extensions or ajax control toolkit send down their javascript code that it handles?  have you ever sat back and said, "wait a minute, i'm not adding any scripts here"?  well, if you haven't, then move along, there is nothing to see here. but if you have, read along.  i know i have as i think i've always taken for granted the feature of how this is being accomplished in both the ajax tools as well as some things that asp.net 2.0 uses as well...so let's see what's going on here....

ajax: interface training dvd

i was just sitting on a plane with simon back from redmond where i was doing some mobility developer "stuff" and simon was at some top secret, could-tell-you-but-i'd-have-to-kill-you type things.  we were chatting about, well, you know geek stuff.  i was droning on about some vista stuff and he was talking about the smart stuff he works on. it reminded me about their (them being interface, who simon is one of the 'fellows' -- well if he isn't they should institute some plan) ajax training.  he put together some great content on asp.net ajax in a self-paced DVD format and...

using c# and vb in the same web project

every once in a while i get asked if you can have both c# and visual basic in the same web site project.  my gut response is always to ask "why would you want to" as i always assume it is a new project, etc.  to me, it simply wouldn't make sense from a new project standpoint, code reviews, coding standards, continuity, project maintenance, etc. however, people still ask.  to-date i never really tried (and that's been my answer).  i was presented with a usable scenario of why you may need (not want, need) to do this, so i finally...

virtual earth: drawing a radius

as i continue to build on top of my virtual earth example that uses proximity searching, i found myself wanting to add more visualization to the mix.  i wanted the radius being searched to actually show a radius ring for the area...so the user could see the proximity being searched where the results are plotted. so, i started digging -- how do you draw a circle using the polyline api?  hmmm...rounded corners with straight lines...seemed like a challenge. well after a prod to some people i was pointed to a solution already doing this! and thus the ViaVE Wiki had...

asp.net ajax: using scripts without server controls part 2

in my first attempt i used fake targets to create server controls to wire up the animation extender, then during execution, changed the target and executed the animation.  a little kluge i thought, but it worked -- and under the cover essentially that's what happens anyway on a server control. well today, ajax wizard and poker maven steve marx pointed me to a post where it talked about using the client libraries directly.  basically when you add an animation extender control it tells the runtime what client-side script references it will need.  so the first step is for us to...

vista dev: msdn search gadget in script#

a while back i posted a gadget i wrote to demonstrate writing vista sidebar gadgets.  this was my msdn search gadget. well, i am giddy that nikhil decided to use that model to improve it and leverage script#, which is something i'm deeply interested in.  check out nikhil's much improved msdn search gadget...installed.  it demonstrates some really cool features and brings script# as a model to develop sidebar gadgets...very very cool. tags: vista, gadget, sidebar gadget, sidebar, windows vista, script#, nikhilk, nikhil kothari, msdn gadget, msdn

ajax: using update animation without server control

i recently wanted to add some more visual cues to my application when a search was happening.  i already had the "searching, please wait..." note on there, but since my app was an 'in your face' application experience, i thought i could make that message more in your face as well.  so i added a fade effect to the entire map control as seen in this image: as you can see when the search button is clicked, the entire virtual earth map control fades out until the results come back.  so my only problem (as i wanted to use...

sample: wcf, wf, wpf and free code

trying to wrap your head around .net 3.0 technologies?  well, here's a free sample to help you see several different aspects of it.   DinnerNow is a sample application that leverages all aspects of .net 3.0 -- and the source is provided!  workflow -- it's there, communication foundation? -- yep.  sprinkle in some cardspace and some wpf and there is a full application with different aspects demonstrated. this sample is a pretty good starting guide (with some advanced features) to learn these technologies. check it out at www.dinnernow.net and download the code! tags: dinnernow, wcf, wpf, workflow, .net, asp.net, asp.net...

implementing a proximity search in sql server

or "find stuff near me" and how i did it. (long read sorry) after my last post about using the proximity search article for sql server 2000, i received some requests for a simple walkthrough on how i implemented my app.  well, here's an attempt at a very simple sample. first, so we are clear, my scenario was as follows: given a known single point, search a database of other known points and return a result set of those points that are known to be within a certain mile radius of the single known point.  better put "find locations near...

visual studio keyboard shortcuts

we've been handing out these keyboard shortcut pamphlets at various conferences around the world.  now i'm glad to say you can download them online now rather than wait for your lazy busy developer evangelist to bring them to you! download links: visual c# keyboard shortcuts visual basic keyboard shortcuts have fun! tags: visual studio, keyboard shortcuts

dev: visual studio sp1 released

visual studio service pack 1 has been released.  you can get it at the Visual Studio Dev Center.  additionally, the sp1 update for vista is released in beta if you are developing on vista. tags: visual studio, .net, service pack

vista and office dev: creating preview handlers

(long, informative post with images -- apologies aggregates...click on the link :-)) in outlook 2007, when you have an attachement in a mail message and click on the attachment file, you are presented with an option to preview this attachment directly in outlook...just like the preview pane for a normal message: likewise in vista's file explorers, you can enable a preview pane and get the same functionality for highlighting a file in explorer as seen here: for productivity, namely in outlook 2007 for me, this is a great advancement to the platform.  i now don't have to double-click...

game dev: xna game studio express released

today over at the xna team blog, michael klucher announced the release of the xna game studio express.  this is a free tool to aid in the development of pc and xbox360 game development. yes, xbox360.  .net + xbox360. how you say?  well, although the xna game studio express tools are free, the ability to deploy them to the xbo360 will require membership in the xna creator's club.  oh sure, wha'ts that a million dollar fee? actually no.  it's $99 US a year.  pretty reasonable i would say.  this helps you get it on the xbox and in the creator's...

flickr4office: office add-ins for your pleasure

building upon the model of Flickr4Writer, i decided to take a look at doing some simple add-ins for Outlook and Office to look at vsto and the extensibility vsto se has offered the developers.  i started documenting some of my findings in part 1 of office dev.  i'll continue that in a later post and ask some questions there as well. for now, i wanted to let you know that the two add-ins i created are ready for your consumption, source included. Flickr4Outlook - enabling inserting of images from your Flickr account into a new mail message. Flickr4Word - you...

wpf/e: plugins and firefox 2

since the ctp of wpf/e became available, there have been some interesting discussions and demos happening in the world.  again, if you haven't seen theWPFBlog.com check it out...one of the latest samples (Microbe) shows what appears to be a single animation, but is actually half WPF/e and Flash.  it is so visually clean, it is hard to tell the difference -- i had to put a mouse over each half to even notice a difference.  very interesting. two other questions have popped up to me.  first, the installation.  yeah, you have to go to a site and download an exe/msi...

wpfe stuff

for some cool things wpf-related, i highly recommend looking at theWPFblog.com.  some interesting examples being posted there. right now there is a side-by-side wpf/e and flash control: and also there is a cool demonstration of a SWF->XAML converter tool showing the resulting output side-by-side as well. tags: xaml, wpfe, wpf, windows presentation foundation everywhere, windows presentation foundation, winfx, flash

express yourself with avalon in the browser: wpf/e

today, microsoft announced the first preview of the windows presentation foundation (formerly codename "avalon") everywhere framework (aka wpf/e).  so what is it? essentially wpf/e is a strategy of bringing that rich windows presentation foundation (wpf) experience to the web.  oh yeah, but only internet explorer right? wrong.  ie, firefox, safari, opera.  bring it.  the december ctp of wpf/e includes support for windows media technologies, 2d animation, vector graphics, etc.  it is an interesting technology -- check it out. okay, so the other cheesy part of my post title was alluding to the other part of the announcement today...the expression...

office dev: creating an outlook add-in part 1

okay, so if you haven't downloaded it yet, why not?  visual studio tools for office 2005 second edition, aka visual studio tools for office 2007, aka vsto SE was released at devconnections earlier this month.  if you have a license to visual studio 2005 professional or a license to vsto 2005, then this is a free tool for you. how do you get it? go here: vsto se what is it?  it enables easy office development using visual studio.but hasn't this been around? yes, kinda.  vsto 2005 has been there and really did make things easy.  vsto se adds support...

BLINQ and IE7

my compadre ai was hacking away on some linq/blinq stuff the other day (well last week or so, i took a long time looking at the issue myself because i was in vegas last week) and found that the default BLINQ'd site does not render well at all in ie7. well, it turns out the css isn't too friendly.  i initially put in the latest css adapter base into a BLINQ'd site and it worked fine, but paulita quickly pointed out a much simpler fix. she outlines it here: fix CSS for blinq'd sites in IE7 tags: asp.net, asp.net ajax,...

developing on vista: sidebar gadgets part 1

i've been experimenting developing windows vista sidebar gadgets lately.  one thing that is lacking is a core template for all things sidebar gadget (or at least i've not found one). i'll save my thoughts on developing a sidebar gadget for a 'part 2' post once i finish the simple one i'm working on (well, not 'simple' but simple enough with some different features). in the meantime, i've cooked up some sidebar gadget templates for visual studio 2005.  now keep in mind that sidebar gadgets don't themselves run c# or vb code, but they are HTML, Javascript, etc. files that interact.  so...

develop an internet explorer addon

microsoft is hosting a contest for ie7 addon development.  all you have to do is create an interesting addon to submit and you could win: $2500 plus some tickets to MIX07 $2000, $1000, $500, Zune to learn how extensible ie7 is and some starting points, check out the ieblog article from ericlaw. here's more information from pete on the contest as well. tags: ie7, internet explorer, addons, contest, mix, mix07

devconnections day 2: who's line is it anyway?

so i've decided that i'm likely not going to see any sessions at devconnections.  i'm doing some major booth duty :-) -- but that's okay, the conferences are for the attendees to hammer on the microsoft guys anyway...i enjoy listening to the questions. today we have Greg Proops (who at least i know from the show who's line is it anyway? running around the conference and harrassing people.  okay, he's not doing much of that, but this guy is funny.  we had a chance to talk with him as well...he was pretty funny and asked us some great questions about...

devconnections day 1: big dev announcements

following the rtm announcement of office 2007 (if you hadn't heard), the evening keynote at devconnections had ScottGu give the following announcements: ASP.NET AJAX Beta 2 Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007 note: this is being made as a free download to licensed VS2005 Pro users as well as VSTO2005 licensed users Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET 3.0 (Workflow) Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET 3.0 (WCF/WPF) .NET 3.0 Visual Studio 2005 extensions: SharePoint Services 3.0 lots of great stuff and i'm sure more to come this week! tags: visual studio, vsto, office, vista, .net, asp.net, ajax,...

john lam joins microsoft

okay, now that john let the cat out of the bag himself, i'm glad to say that john lam of rubyclr fame has joined microsoft and will begin january 2007. see john's post: dynamic languages, microsoft and me for his story. i think this is a great hire for microsoft and the clr team.  will this mean ruby will instantly be a part of the .net framework and take on the roadmap of an ironpython-ish project?  let's wait and see.  i, for one, hope so and welcome john to the organization -- a great move for the clr guys. tags:...

ie7 released

well, it's out in the wild now -- ie7 has been released.  you can read dean's (gm for IE) note on the IEBlog regarding the release. now that it is out -- and likely windows update people will start downloading it, there may be some adjustments that sites may want to consider.  why?  because even in ie7 we are more standards compliant to the point that ie7 may break some of the hacks you had to do in ie6 browsers, etc. to understand more about ie7 development here are some resources: IE7 Readiness Toolkit IE Developer Center two great...

AJAX500 - accelerate your web development

                     Interface Technical Training and Microsoft have partnered to present AJAX500, a one-day intense seminar designed to accelerate your web development with ASP.NET AJAX technologies.  In this one-day session you will learn: The simplest, most scalable ways to add AJAX support to your applications When using an AJAX library beats hand-coded JavaScript The reality of cross-browser support (it may surprise you!) Technical concerns of file size, testing and debugging Common AJAX design patterns How and when to extend the ASP.NET AJAX libraries this is a great opportunity to hear from local experts. ...

free .net 3.0 elearning clinics

wow, i just got an email with a great deal on training.  available now are some e-learning clinics around .net 3.0.  and guess what the price is: free.  this will be free until the launch of .NET 3.0 and even after that they will only be $9.99 per collection...but that's beside the point...THEY ARE FREE TODAY. spend some time and register for these...a great way to jumpstart learnings on WPF, WCF and Workflow! the collection is 3 2-hour clinics.  here's the registration link: FREE .NET 3.0 eClinics tags: elearning, microsoft, wpf, wcf, workflow, windows communication foundation, windows presentation foundation, indigo,...

visual studio team system chat OCT 4

sorry for the late notice, but if you haven't heard (and are interested), there will be a visual studio team system chat tomorrow at 10:00 am "california" time (for those of us 'zonies who don't convert time really well) -- that's 10:00 AM PDT for the rest of you. come join members of the vsts team to talk about features available and features to come (database edition).  bring your tough questions! join the chat on wednesday, oct 4 @ 10:00am PDT links: chat link, calendar link, local time converter tags: visual studio, visual studio team system, team system, team foundation...

deploying office 2007 add-ins

UPDATE: visit http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2006/10/01/13547.aspx for the link to download SnopeIt! if you've installed the visual studio tools for office beta 2 second edition (man everytime i read our product names, it hurts), you'll notice that when you create an add-in project, it automatically creates a setup project along side it for you -- great idea (since you'll need a method to deploy it anyway). when i started to play around with the vsto tools and my SnopeIt add-in, the installer wasn't working for me.  it deployed fine, but outlook was giving a runtime load error.  after some investigation i figured it was something...

.net guidance explorer

back in june, there was a release from the patterns and practices team of their .NET and ASP.NET Guidance Explorer.  it is a tool that provides some analysis and resulting suggestions (with reasons/instructions on how to implement) for ASP.NET projects. well, the team has just placed the guidance explorer on codeplex.  what is cool about this is not only can you look at how the explorer works, you also get source to the user interface to see how they may have done some cool things.  go check it out. codeplex is growing to be quite an interesting microsoft community.  my...

visual studio support on vista

some important news came out today regarding visual studio 2005 and visual studio version support on vista.  you can read about it on soma's blog here, but here are some nutshell bullets: Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Beta released today - pending feedback over the next few weeks, this is planned to be released out of beta in the next 3-4 months VS2005 SP1 will run on Vista, but may have some compat issues, teams are working together to find those issues and provide a set of fixes beyond SP1. .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0 applications will work on Vista...

msft web developer summit

i'm in redmond the rest of this week for the 'microsoft web dev technology' summit.  similar in nature to mts, however much more web developer specific (hence the name).  there are about 25 people here from various non-msft technology worlds, mostly php (with a hint of java/rails/css). john bland is here and had this first comment regarding some of the microsoft people he's met: All of them were cool. I honestly thought they’d be ultra techie or something but, well…some are techie but none ultra, most of them are very open to other worlds, etc. So far, it is a...

a tool for your gullable family and friends

well, i decided to play around a bit with the new visual studio tools for office second edition that was released today.  a while back (actually at codeslam before the microsoft mvp summit), i was talking with richard Hundhausen about some ideas to code about -- he needed a good one.  he came up with the idea of an outlook add-in for those people who keep thinking that bill gates will send you $5 if you forward the email to 11 of your friends. an add-in that would simply scour snopes.com to see if it is a hoax.  i decided...

vsto 2005 second edition beta released

sweet...the update to visual studio tools for office (vsto) has been updated and released!  just updated on the office developer center, vsto 2005 second edition is released in beta form. this represents an opportunity for visual studio 2005 developers to do some development on the office 2007 platform now much easier.  what is great is the vsto team also created a tutorial to walk through some examples.  granted the examples are very simple, but it gives you an idea of how to leverage things like add-ins, task panes, integrating with the ribbon UI.  it's 58 pages of goodness to get...

why sharepoint 2007 makes me happy

two words (separated by a dot): default.master having worked with sharepoint technologies since "v1" (dare i call it alpha?), those could appreciate the likes of using such rich development tools like notepad to modify themes and templates.  i mean, who needs designers and other productivity greatness like color coding, intellisense, previews, etc.  after all, they only save time... as a long time fan of web development and lover of all things asp.net, i was so happy to learn early on that sharepoint v3 (i much prefer that than MOSS) was going to be built on asp.net.  don't get me wrong,...

visual studio team data and vista

are you excited about the visual studio team edition for database professionals (whew, that was a mouthful, let's just call it team data)?  i am, i think it is a great addition to the suite, and i'm sure i'm only using a portion of the features (i.e., data generation, schema compare, etc.). one thing to note is that on vista rc1 you may experience an immediate frustration.  go ahead, try it...i dare you.  open up team data and create a new database project. you should be presented with this: why?  well, team data basically uses a sandbox environment for the...

atlas naming and update

jut got back from a small extended weekend, so apologies for the reprint here (i'm sure it is all over the underbelly right now)... see ScottGu post for full details...highlights: "Atlas" v1.0 will ship before next release of VS Features may be different than current CTP Naming: Microsoft AJAX Library (Client), ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions (Server), ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit (Atlas control toolkit) Technorati tags: asp.net, atlas, aspnet, ajax, visual studio

msi for simple deployments

in writing some plugins for windows live writer i started out creating a deployment package.  first, i suck at writing installers.  i rely on tools to do it for me.  for writer plugins, it really is a simple process to ensure the plugin is installed in the right directory, that's it. so using the visual studio 2005 package project, i went about creating my msi.  add file, put destination directory, build.  when i run the msi, it takes FOREVER.  what gives?  why does a simple operation take so long. it frustrated me, so i gave up and went to inno...

calling all plugin developers!

the windows live writer team has just announced that they will be supporting a new section in the windows live gallery for writer plugins.  this is a great opportunity to get your plugins ready for primetime and ensure that you are listed in the directory.  jeff has been doing a good job keeping track, but now he won't have to worry about it :-). submissions aren't automatic, so be sure to review the criteria.  namely, you need to ensure that you are putting them in an installer package (apparently the preferred is an MSI - more on my opinion here)...

flickr4writer: another update you will want

okay, so one thing was bothering me about the flickr retrieval and sizing for thumbnails, the performance. so, i implemented a background worker process and wow, what a difference in the user experience. please get this 1.1.60817.1 update instead of the other...trust me. tags: flickr4writer, windows live writer, windows live, writer, flickr

microsoft and open source

there's been a lot of coverage lately about open source and microsoft projects, namely sparked by the 'death of ndoc' postings all over the internet.  this has caused me some pause to reflect on why...and i'm not sure i have the answer, but it is just interesting to see the surroundings discussions on this. here's one comment i found interesting (speaking on ndoc, etc. -- tools ported from java tools)... The big difference is that the ports are usually maintained by a single person or a very small team whereas the Java tools have a thriving community supporting them...

windows live writer plugins: flickr and tagging

okay, codeplex projects approved!  i've just uploaded the plugins (binary setups and source) for the two plugins i wrote for windows live writer. here's a brief description of them. Tag4WriterA *very simple* content source plugin for enabling quick insert of formatted tags using a URL template.  This one is simple and could be converted to a smart content source for better usability.Codeplex Project: Tag4Writer Flickr4WriterA simple content source for browsing/inserting images from Flickr services.  Enter a user name, click search and view pictures.  Currently does not support uploading (hoping that another extensible model from Writer will enable that, but could...

hacking windows live writer

i've gotten a few comments privately about some questions and thought i'd offer some opinions here. first, regarding my flickr/tagging plugins.  again, i've chosen codeplex to be my source of distribution/collaboration and i'm just waiting for project approval -- hopefully i'll get it shortly and then the plugins will be up there in no time. now, on to the hacking :-) i should point out that windows live writer is beta right now and they've acknowledged more work to come.  still, it's an awesome tool and kudos to the team, especially joe for championing some of my feedback :-).  because...

enter windows live writer

it's official! for the past few weeks i've been able to use a new tool just released, called windows live writer.  at it's core, writer is a blogging client (i'm sure there will be other uses for it in the future, but for now, this is what i use it for).  after seeing the announcement of the tool, i was skeptic.  YABC is what i thought (yet another blogging client, for those not familiar with the YA* acronyms). but i bleed windows blue, so i installed it.  i should point out at this point that i amwas a blogjet...

visual studio eye for the dba guy

okay, i'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but today i finally saw the visual studio team edition for database professionals in action.  vsts expert rich Hundhausen was demoing to a customer and i wanted to tag along to see this new feature set available to the team system family. after 40 minutes of seeing some of the simple features all i could say was: cool. seriously.  it was so simplistic, yet so necessary and needed for the db developer world.  here's a run-down of some of the features i saw today: creating db schemas by reverse engineering diff'ing schemas...

mobile software factory

my comrade woodyp led me on to the mobile client software factory.  looks pretty cool and stuffed chalk full of a bunch of patterns and goodness. if you do mobile development, this is *definitely* something to check out   tags: mobile, compact+framework

some cool interactive sites

a friend of mine who's a designer/developer type of fella turned me on to some interesting links today, and i thought i'd share. first, Max Kiesler -- a 'strategic designer' -- he has a ton of posts on ajax designs, etc. -- interesting reads for web developers second, is computerlove...a fun site, but as a golf fan, here's one of the links (in case it isn't on the home page when you visit) that i thought was awesome: a phantom5 digital camera (4000 shots per second) captures tiger woods' golf swing.  very cool. and design 101 for programmers :-) tags: ajax, atlas, web2.0, tiger...

primecondition.com beta uses atlas

[warning: if you are reading in an aggregator, this post has some video, so visit the site if you can’t see it] well, some cool stuff hapening in the land of heat.  two really smart guys have been working on a project that one of them alluded to earlier this year. well, i’ve been invited to beta test the site/product.  this isn’t necessarily a review of the product…i’ll have to download the end result and get motivated to exercise first :-), but i thought their use of technology use is cool and they are microsoft developers who are passionate about technology. i think simon got motivate when...

eweek open source vs .net

eweek labs did a bake off recently and published some findings yesterday in their eWEEK Labs Bakeoff: Open Source Versus .Net Stacks article. some soundblogbytes: Even if the .Net stack had bombed convincingly in these tests, it would probably still maintain popularity in many companies. But its strong showing should give companies confidence that the .Net stack will handle most high-level enterprise needs. the one thing that i didn’t like about the article was the raw publishing of the test results…

interesting blogging from a flex-er

some interesting posting going on over at john c. bland ii site. john is a great guy who is well versed in the adobe realm of things (digging flex right now) and attended our mix conference and (i think) actually walked away with an appreciation (and changed perception) of what we are doing on some of the user experience areas. his post on installing vista beta2 his post on toying with the expression tools tags: asp.net, vista, wpf, expression, acrylic, sparkle, cider, avalon

best practices for asp.net

along with the other ‘best practices’ analyzers that have been released (sql, security, etc.), microsoft’s now released one for asp.net 2.0! pretty cool: The Best Practice Analyzer ASP.NET (alpha release) is a tool that scans the configuration of an ASP.NET 2.0 application. The tool can scan against three mainline scenarios (hosted environment, production environment, or development environment) and identify problematic configuration settings in the machine.config or web.config files associated with your ASP.NET application. This is an alpha release intended to gain feedback on the tool and the configuration rules included with it. download best practice analyzer asp.net tags: asp.net

hard core css - interface redesigned

i just noticed the boys at interface (simon and spike — i’d link to spike, but he hasn’t told me his blog yet ;-)) completed their redesign of the interface site. if you’ve ever met simon or heard his philisophical tirades on how you are evil if you ever implement a <td> element for positioning, you’ll notice the site is some serious css goo.  i bet if you took the stylesheet away it would be all sorts of white-as-milk love. anyhow, mad props to simon and spike (and whomever else geeked out on it).  interface for me locally is a premier partner,...

doclibutils source code released

following releasing code for feedreader, the source for doclibutils is now available as well. this is far less mature and has a few known scripting issues, but now those can tinker away! codeplex: DocLibUtils

.net v3 install white paper

via jasonz: there is a new white paper posted on msdn outlining .net fx 3.0 install/detection/etc.

FeedReader open sourced...finally

well, for those that have been emailing, i hope you stayed subscribed.  feedreader has finally found a home and the complete source code is available.  as i’m sure most of you have reflected the code ;-) you’ll know it isn’t brain surgery, but that there are probably some things that could be cleaned up and we know there are areas that need to be fixed. so visit the feedreader codeplex today and get the source released under the creative commons attribution-sharealike 2.5 license. remember, the purpose of open source is to share :-D, so be sure to contribute back your fixes and...

origami for subtext updated

i’ve updated the origami skin for subtext…although gotdotnet is having some problems and i can’t upload it just right now. i’ve fixed a few things thanks to phil and matt pointing out some areas…namely fixed css for safari, opera and ie6 removed the need for modifying the DTP.aspx body element fixed the cookie preservation of the user personalization areas fixed the css images references there are still a few config things that you have to do for your config that will be outlined in the README file. there are still some things i’m working on and one thing that i had (google ad support) was screwing up...

trouble with vista and asp.net installs?

are you running windows vista beta 2 or later?  i am.  more about that some other time and my frustrations as a developer workstation! at any result, one of the problems i’ve been having is getting use to the user access control features (basically run as a least privelege user).  i couldn’t take it anymore and made myself an administrator.  guess what, still didn’t help, imo (again, more about that when i have time to document the scenarios fully — after all, i’m giving the team a chance…it is beta ;-)). UPDATE: scottgu pointed me to this post on how to turn...

blinq part 2: comparing rails scaffolding

in a previous post i started to take a quick look at the new BLINQ bits released this week at teched.  to recap, essentially the core functionality of BLINQ (i love saying that…they should have named it bling) is to generate a CRUD structure of code and asp.net pages for your data structure.  the “inq” in BLINQ is because the code generated uses LINQ.  okay, all that aside, let’s start taking a look. BLINQ is a command-line tool.  type BLINQ to see the options.  for simplicity comparison sakes for rails, i chose the /noStyle option so it would generate the vanilla-plainjane-nofrills-whiteasmilk...

php is better because it's free

recently i posted an opinion to one of my local user group lists in response to something that irks me as of lately.  granted a few years back this may have been a valid statement, but i don’t think it is anymore. the comment was something along the lines of this (paraphrasing): why use asp.net when you can use php and get what you need for a fraction of the cost. it caused me pause to consider the various scenarios, but i’ll settle for simplicity on the hosted scenario for comparison, because quite frankly, i’m calling b.s. on those type of comments...


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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.