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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.



Write your Amazon Alexa Skill using C# on AWS Lambda services

After a sick day a few weeks ago and writing my first Alexa Skill I’ve been pretty engaged with understanding this voice UI world with Amazon Echo, Google Home and others.  It’s pretty fun to use and as ‘new tech’ it is pretty fun to play around with.  Almost immediately after my skill was certified, I saw this come across my Twitter stream: You can now write your AWS Lambda functions in C#! #reInvent https://t.co/LDOK0S1VwF pic.twitter.com/FpRUODgucv— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) December 1, 2016 I had spent a few days getting up-to-speed on Node and the environment (I’ve been working in client technologies...

Redesigning my blog for adaptive layout

My blog runs on Subtext which has a pretty good skinning model (albeit a tad outdated) and allows you to customize whatever you want.  I’ve had my own custom theme since 2009.  I figured I was due for an update.  I was further strengthened by a post from Jon Galloway last week. There wasn't a vote, but if there was: I don't like narrow, fixed width web designs. Use media queries, scale intelligently on widescreen. — Jon Galloway (@jongalloway) March 30, 2012 Now when I saw this I figured it was another nudge.  I did...

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...

Smashing Magazine May 2011 Windows 7 Theme

May is here!…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The May themes seem to be pretty random to me…no clear theme from contributors…zombies at a picnic?  Ok, I guess.  Here is your May 2011 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 26 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine May 2011 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine May 2011 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: May 2011 (original post) Special thanks to TransferBigFiles.com...

Smashing Magazine April 2011 Windows 7 Theme

April showers bring May flowers as they say…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The April themes follow the theme what you'd expect with some flowers and such...ad a few fun ones sprinkled in there.  Here is your April 2011 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 35 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine April 2011 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine April 2011 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: April 2011 (original post) Special thanks to TransferBigFiles.com for hosting...

Smashing Magazine March 2011 Windows 7 Theme

March is here…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The March themes seem completely random to me.  I guess I expected some St. Patrick’s Day themes.  We need some more participation from inspired designers/photographers/artists!  Here is your March 2011 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 35 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine March 2011 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine March 2011 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: March 2011 (original post) ...

Smashing Magazine November 2010 Windows 7 Theme

November is here…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The November themes mostly concentrate on a lot of fall themes.  I am particular fond of Movember and UX Cake (both shown above) as well as the Hendrix one with the lyrics – pretty cool.  So here is your November 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 50 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine November 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine November 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) ...

Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme

September is here (apologies for being late - in all honesty I wasn't inspired by this months' selections)…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The September themes seem to be continuing the focus on 'summer' things.  So here is your September 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 75 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: September 2010 (original post) For details on these...

Silverlight, HTML5 and the future

The Silverlight team today posted some information about what the future holds for rich Internet apps and where we have come with SIlverlight, where we see HTML5 playing a role and how Silverlight will be a part of the future of this next evolution of rich Internet apps. Brad Becker, Director of Product Management, provides some information behind the value of Silverlight in a world where HTML5 will also co-exist: Expect to see more from Silverlight in these areas especially in our focus scenarios of high-quality media experiences, consumer apps and games, and business apps....

StringFormat and CurrentCulture in Silverlight

I recently got a note about a nagging issue in using StringFormat in XAML binding expressions and how it doesn’t honor the current user’s culture settings.  This is true that there is an issue in that it doesn’t in WPF or Silverlight.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Silverlight introduced the ability to use StringFormat in data binding expressions (WPF has had this since 3.5 SP1) so you could do some formatting in-line in your binding.  Like this: 1: <TextBlock Text="{Binding Path=CurrentDate, StringFormat=Current Timestamp is: \{0:G\}}"...

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...

SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview

Building on the positive feedback of the previous Silverlight application themes released last month (Cosmopolitan, Accent Color, and Windows) the design team is working on another theme targeting business application developers.  We don’t yet have an ‘official’ name for this one yet (and to mitigate the confusion of internal code names again, I’ll spare you the code name), but I wanted to put up a preview.  We’re turning this theme around FAST and I wanted to throw it out here in an initial iteration for preview and comment.  This is the ‘dark’ version of the theme and there will be...

Smashing Magazine June 2010 Windows 7 Theme

June 1st is here…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The June themes seem to be focuses on 'summer' things.  So here is your June 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 55 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine June 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine June 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: June 2010 (original post) For details on these and to see past ones, visit the Smashing Magazine Windows 7 Theme information for the specifications I used for the theme...

Running WordPress on Windows Server

A few days ago, I saw someone posted on Twitter a question about running WordPress on Windows Server.  Since I had done this for a few sites, I responded with my thoughts and tips.  Another suggested that I post those here, and so here I go. WordPress is a blogging/content-management platform that has been around for a while.  It has been gaining more in popularity for general purpose content sites over the past year I’d say, but is primarily seen as a blogging platform by most.  Even though I use Subtext for my platform, I have to admit that...

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...

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: ...

SNEAK PEEK: New Silverlight application themes

‘Twas the week before MIX, when all through the tubes Not a developer was sleeping, not even the noobs. The laptops were paved removed of their glitz In hopes that they soon will get some new bits. A developer was coding, building an app Trying to build the next greatest XAP Battleship gray?! Now that’s obscene Check our designers’ latest theme Okay, so I’m not going to win any poetry awards.  Our UX design team for Silverlight has been thinking about app building a lot this past year,...

Using Silverlight Media Framework for simple playback

If you aren’t aware of the Silverlight Media Framework, you should take a look.  This is a media playback framework for Silverlight that is based off of a lot of best practices from such implementations as the NBC Olympics, Sunday Night Football and others.  It has a lot of features built-in to the framework such as: Logging DVR-style features Fast forward Slow motion Media Markers etc Basic stuff plus some great included features and extensibility points. Missing Features...

Silverlight Client for Facebook available

Remember the final moments of the Scott Guthrie keynote presentation at PDC09?  Where Brian Goldfarb came on stage and demonstrated a completed application using a lot of the features of Silverlight 4?  Yeah, that Facebook application.  Well, it’s here now! The Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook has been released as a developer preview sample.  In order to use it you must have Silverlight 4 developer builds installed. NOTE: When you run this application you’ll be installing the developer builds of Silverlight.  When Silverlight 4 releases, unless you are a...

Using Azure as a Silverlight Streaming replacement

Many have inquired if Silverlight Live Streaming had a replacement since the announcement of it being deprecated.  The SLS team blog pointed to Azure as a possible solution.  Since it doesn’t seem like anyone except James has really tried this, I decided to dust off my Azure account information and give it a try. First, a note about SLS.  As I’ve said before I don’t think the offering was named very well from the start.  “Streaming” implies a specific technical connotation to most folks.  In fact, the media (or other files) hosted on SLS were never streamed as you...

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...

Two Silverlight SDKs released – Bing and Facebook

Two SDK libraries have released this week, helping developers integrate Silverlight experiences into their applications. Bing Maps Silverlight Control At TechEd Europe, the Bing Maps team released version 1.0 of the official Bing Maps Silverlight Control!  This is a replacement for the previous Virtual Earth Javascript control and provides a great DeepZoom experience for using the mapping platform.  Here’s some of the great features for Silverlight developers: Built on Silverlight 3! Designer support for Expression Blend Support for out-of-browser Vector in Pushpin...

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...

Silverlight Audio Player for WordPress

As a follow-up to my Silverlight For WordPress plugin, I have just deployed Mark Heath’s Silverlight Audio Player as a WordPress plugin.  Thanks to Mark for changing his license to Ms-PL so that I could make this happen.  If you are a WordPress user and want to use Silverlight for audio playback, you use some WordPress macro language (in this case slaudio) and put it in.  The rendered output is like this: And when you click the play button it expands: Again, most of the actual Silverlight work is Mark’s, so be sure to...

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: ...

A plea to my developer brethren about designer/designers

Since we appear to be in another revolution on user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX), I’ve seen a lot of people, companies, sites refer to the designer-developer workflow, including Microsoft.  Heck we’re building tools around it for Silverlight and WPF development!  One thing I see too often though is the conversation being diminished to UI only.  I’ve heard conversations between developers saying things like yeah, now we just need a designer to make things look pretty or we take what the designer made pretty and put functionality behind it. I have a plea for my developer brethren: please stop...

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...

Silverlight Firestarter Seattle videos online

Mithun just posted that the videos are now available online from the Silverlight Firestarter Seattle event.  You can view the videos here in WMV form, but I also took a quick stab at putting them together in a playlist using the Silverlight Expression Encoder templates.  Here they are: You can click the little icon in the upper right to see the playlist option and to navigate.  NOTE: The offline mode doesn’t seem to work and likely because I didn’t populate the playlist option with the sizes of the videos, sorry about that,...

It’s Silverlight week in Seattle

I’m a little late to the game posting information about it, but there is a plethora of Silverlight stuff to do this week in the Seattle/Redmond area this week.  Sleepless in Seattle…definitely not – Silverlight in Seattle baby! Allow me to interpret Adam’s vector goods… 14 Sep (tonight!): Jesse Liberty is presenting at the .NET DA user group meeting on .NET RIA Services. 15 Sep: Nerd Dinner!!!  Just a casual gathering of people who speak in acronyms and like food.  Bellevue Crossroads food court (awesome choices for anyone). ...

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...

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 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,...

Upcoming Silverlight events

I have the pleasure of being invited to participate in two Silverlight events coming up soon (one very soon).  These are a part of a “firestarter” event that is intended to get you familiar with certain technologies, in this case Silverlight, rather quickly and gain a better understanding for the overall platform offerings.  I’m excited to have been invited to participate in both the Atlanta and Seattle events. Silverlight Firestarter Atlanta The first one will be in Atlanta, Georgia on 22-August!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to Atlanta and I’m very happy to be going...

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...

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...

FloatableWindow source on CodePlex

I got enough feedback and suggestions that I figured it would be better just to put the code up on CodePlex rather than package zips on my blog :-).  Here it is: FloatableWindow project.  The latest build I have is up there which incorporates some feedback that I’ve received. UPDATE: If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! Basically the ShowDialog() API operates the same way that ChildWindow.Show() does today.  No changes there, popup is used.  But when you just want some simple MDI type windows, use Show() which will not use Popup but rather add the elements...

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: Cached Assemblies and you can to!

One of the new features I mentioned in my What’s new/changed post on Silverlight 3 is the fact that any application developer can take advantage of the cached assembly functionality provided by Silverlight.  Let me show you how and start with the current situation. Current Situation with Silverlight assembly references If you are building a Silverlight application, chances are you are referencing assemblies either from the SDK, Silverlight Toolkit or other great Silverlight third party controls/frameworks.  When you Add Reference to these controls/frameworks, their assembly is copied to your application and packaged up in your XAP.  For some situations this is fine...

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 –...

Silverlight Coding Competition – win USD $10,000!

I was honored to be asked by ComponentArt to participate in a judging panel for their just now released 2009 Summer Silverlight Coding Competition.  The grand prize is USD $10,000.  Yes, that’s right: USD $10,000! ComponentArt is even kicking in 2 runner-up prizes of licensing to their products, which is also a sweet deal!  The contest is simple, and you are not required to use ComponentArt controls…in their words: Applicants are not required to use ComponentArt's products to enter the competition (or as the legal jargon requires us to say: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY). We'll obviously let you use our products...

.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...

Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead

At the Google I/O conference this past week, they announced Google Wave.  Almost immediately, I started seeing Twitter replies, blog posts and various articles talking about how Google Wave is going to kill Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX.  None of these made sense to me…and at that point I’d yet to see anything about Wave anyway.  I posed a few questions on Twitter as to why people felt Wave was an RIA platform killer (that’s what I was reading into a lot of the buzz against things like Silverlight).  I got more confused with all the replies :-).  So I had a moment this...

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...

Silverlight powers Netflix in Media Center

I’ve not hidden my love affair for Netflix both as a consumer and as a Silverlight developer and how they’ve implemented the technology.  Long before the instant watch came to the desktop and the XBOX, there were a lot of folks wanting the Netflix experience on their Windows Media Center boxes and extenders.  One such person was Anthony Park (who is now with Netflix as of this writing), who picked up a the MyNetflix media center plugin a while back. Well, today Netflix officially has a Media Center solution for their customers.  I just got done firing my media...

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...

Silverlight Contest app updated with new RadialPanel

Isn’t RSS great!?  Today I saw something wonderful pop in the feed from Jeff Prosise.  One of the problems with the ‘contest wheel’ app that Arturo and I did, was the CircularPanel we were using really at the time was only built for demo purposes.  There were issues in the spacing when different data items were bound to it. This morning, Jeff released some code for a RadialPanel (same concept).  It’s wonderful.  I just swapped it out for the contest app quickly and got it working.  I’ve updated the code: Replaced panel with Jeff’s code...

Expression for Art’s Sake – Silverlight and Blend in Wellington, New Zealand

What do you get when you invite 14 companies for 3 1/2 days and throw a bunch of new stuff in their face and ask them to use it?  Well, in Wellington, it was called Expression for Art’s Sake.  This was a bit of an ‘artist in residency’ program where Microsoft invited some companies to bring their developer and designer staff to this event to learn a little bit about Expression Blend and Silverlight.  Coming after WEB09 and ending our Auckland trip with a proper visit to a rugby game (here’s a scrum meeting for you agile developers),...

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...

Paste your REST API definition as strong types

If your a developer that spends any time with web services, you’ll basically probably end up working in one of two camps: REST- or SOAP-based services.  Now with SOAP services you’re likely used to having a WSDL document describing the service, providing type definitions, etc. – something you can use developer tools like Visual Studio to Add Service Reference and get a strongly-typed object model to work with. If you’ve been doing Silverlight or ASP.NET (or any other technology really) development with mashup services, you probably have been working with REST-based services.  These are services that don’t self-describe themselves in...

Adding jQuery to your site with Glimmer

Last week I was wanting to do something on my site sort of a ‘breaking news’ style banner that would span the entire site width but only when I wanted it too – based on a cookie or something else.  And I didn’t want to do something server side, because I was sick of doing stuff like that. Not having played with jQuery, I thought I’d take a dive.  Prior to MIX09, I’d been testing something that the MIXOnline team had been toying with, which has just been released: Glimmer.  Glimmer is described as a jQuery Interactive Design Tool. ...

Silverlight installation experience guidance posted

I’ve been promising this for a while and I’ve ranted about creating good installation experiences for Silverlight applications before as well here and here.  Well, our team rallied and created some new guidance and sample code to provide for you to implement the best possible experience.  The guidance whitepaper can be found on the Silverlight Community Site in the whitepapers section and includes: Documentation for defining a good user experience Sample code for media applications Sample code for non-media applications Sample code for implementing various states: not...

Grouping data in Silverlight DataGrid

UPDATED: If you found this post via a search, the below information was for Silverlight 3 beta and no longer works in Silverlight 3 release.  Click here for an updated tutorial on grouping in the Silverlight DataGrid for Silverlight 3. I got this question on how do you add grouping to the DataGrid in Silverlight without using the RIA Services ObjectDataSource.  Frankly I didn’t know off the top of my head either and I’ve since learned it isn’t obvious.  Allow me to explain the steps. In my simple app I have a static class that supplies some hard-coded data: 1:...

Startups welcome here – get a jumpstart with software you need

Are you a startup organization?  Perhaps your the next greatest Silverlight control vendor or have a great app?  I want to help.  If you’re a Silverlight startup (or any startup really for that matter), reach out to me.  If you haven’t heard of BizSpark yet, you’re potentially missing out. If you meet the following criteria: privately held company in business less than 3 years generate less than USD $1 million in revenue you may qualify to get access to production licenses for development tools,...

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...

Share DataContext among navigation pages in Silverlight 3

I got an email the other day about if there was a way to pass an object between the navigation pages in Silverlight 3.  The scenario was that the developer wanted to use the same data, but represent it visually in different ways. Silverlight 3 introduces a new navigation framework in the runtime making it easier to navigate to different areas of an application and assist in ‘deep linking’ concepts for applications.  More resources: Silverlight 3 Navigation Overview Silverlight 3 Navigation URI...

WEB09: Silverlight coming to Auckland!

In a few weeks I’ll be making the journey with Corrina and Arturo from ‘the states’ to Auckland, New Zealand for the WEB09 conference.  I’m honored to be joining some great folks like Ryan Stewart, Dan Rubin, Jarred Bishop and more.  I’m looking forward to learning a lot from this conference and having discussions about user experience and RIA development. The team at WEB09 released an introductory video for the conference and I must say, someone put a lot of effort into this video: WEB09 Intro Video I’m very much looking forward to my time at WEB09 and the time in New...

Silverlight for WordPress

I’ve made no hiding the fact that my blog is build on Subtext and that I’m very happy with it right now.  Lately though my wife has been blogging more (that’s another story) and she also started her own business.  Being curious about all the WordPress love, I decided to start checking it out. Thankfully, the Web Platform Installer helped me get started on WordPress without any troubles at all and I was up and running on my Windows server (I didn’t want to start another hosting account anywhere).  I have to say, I really like what WordPress has done, especially...

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: Navigation URI Routing

One of the new features in Silverlight 3 is providing an application navigation framework via the Frame and Page controls in the APIs.  If you saw my guide to Silverlight 3, you may have seen the section on navigation which describes the functionality and as well has a link to a video tutorial about it. I wanted to augment that tutorial with some additional information about URI routing, which I think is one of the great features of the framework.  You see typically your UriMapper might have a 1:1 mapping and look something like this (note in my sample here I’m...

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. ...

New Silverlight media experience for WindowsClient.net

Our team is working on a new design for the Silverlight Community Site and one of those aspects includes a new media experience for the online media/video portions of the Silverlight, Windows Client, and ASP.NET sites.  Today we rolled out the new experience first on the Windows Client community site.  It’s a subtle update but hopefully a welcome one. The older experience was a basic playback experience and was a Silverlight 1.0 application.  This update brings a few new things, but primarily is a Silverlight 2 player with some fun features to engage the viewer.  We’ve added some new...

Get inspired for web, photography, anything – SmashingMagazine.com

If you’re like me then you probably are more geekier than you are artistic.  I don’t think of myself AT ALL as a designer, but rather one who appreciates both good design and good user centric design.  You may look at this site here and say it doesn’t, and that is okay…I’m trying my best :-). But often I find that I need some tweaks, icons, templates, application design inspiration for a Silverlight application, whatever and just want to do it myself.  I’ve found the one place now where I start to look and be inspired: SmashingMagazine.com.  If you’ve...

Get a free ticket to MIX09 for having fun with Silverlight

Did I mention I’m going to MIX?  Will I see you there?  I could imagine that some have tight travel budgets, training budgets shrunk, yada, yada.  I’m telling you…if you are a Microsoft developer in the web and WPF space, you need to be at MIX09.  In an effort to help there are a bunch of ways to reduce some costs…here’s some: Register before 27 Feb 2009 with RSVP code: MIXLastChance and get $300 off the registration fee Share a creative picture about Internet Explorer (details and post yours here) and get...

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...

Silverlight Docking and Ribbon controls

A company called divelements has had Windows Forms products for a while that produced, among other things, the “docking” effect that you see with some applications, including Visual Studio.  This is the ability to drag a window to another area and have it automatically dock to that particular position of the parent window: This product is also available for WPF and for Silverlight.  So if you need to add this type of dynamic window moving to your applications, you can check out the SandDock for Silverlight controls. What is great is that in looking at what else...

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...

Updated SLS Plugin for Encoder Available

The Encoder team has updated their Silverlight Streaming (SLS) plugin for Expression Encoder 2.  On the surface pretty much nothing has changed, but it essentially updates the ability to use the plugin to publish Silverlight 2 templates to SLS automatically without getting the random error that you’ve probably seen if you tried. Since the new Silverlight 2 player templates are completely parameter-driven, which is awesome, it did present a small challenge for the plugin.  When you use the new plugin with a Silverlight 2 player template, you’ll notice that the resulting application uses a bootstrapping method to launch with...

Amazon S3 Publishing Plugin for Expression Encoder

One of the great things I like about some of our platform products is that they are building in extensibility more and more.  Take Windows Live Writer as an example.  It’s no secret on this blog that I’ve got a geek affair with that tool.  I use it daily and have customized it (via plugins) and my blogging platform (Subtext) to make it even more of a best experience for me for web authoring. Writing plugins for Writer has been a lot of fun and a great way to get the functionality I want/need into a workflow without having...

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...

Using Encoder 2 templates for existing media

In an email dialog today I saw someone asking how he could use an existing Encoder 2 template for existing media or streaming URIs when you don’t have something to encode.  After a few explanations, he replied that someone should blog this – and I agree :-). So what did he mean?  Well, when you use Expression Encoder, you are typically going to be encoding media to a format to consume.  Encoder also gives you an additional option in the output settings to generate a media player for that encoded content.  These are all based on templates that I’ve...

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 ...

Screencast of Silverlight installation on Linux

If you haven’t been aware, there has been a team at Novell working hard to make a version of Silverlight for Linux.  This version, called Moonlight, has been in development since WPF/e it was first shown at the MIX conference (which by the way is happening in March with some really exciting stuff, so be sure to register for MIX09!).  Moonlight hit beta this past December 2008 and the team has already been working on Moonlight 2 which is the Silverlight 2 compatible version. Right now, Moonlight 1.0 serves as a functional equivalent to the Silverlight 1.0 runtime, which...

Deep Zoom style on iPhone – Seadragon for Mobile

Who, didn’t think I’d see “Microsoft Corporation” listed in the Apple AppStore for iPhone this quick.  Want to view gigapixel images on your iPhone?  The team at Live Labs just announced their approved iPhone App – Seadragon Mobile. So what is Seadragon?  it was the original Microsoft Research project that many products are now based on.  Most popular probably is the Deep Zoom technology brought first to Silverlight 2.  This is the process of taking gigapixel image and providing a smooth viewing experience viewing that image over even lower bandwidth speeds.  One of the most popular Deep...

Event (analytics) tracking in Silverlight

A few days ago Google announced “event tracking” for their Google Analytics platform.  My account was invited to participate in this initial wave so I decided to take a look.  The main reason of course is because of a keyword in their email they sent to me (emphasis mine): “Event Tracking allows you to track interactions with Web 2.0 style content such as Flash, AJAX, Silverlight, social networking apps, etc.” I have the script already running on my site for general analytics so I figured I’d whip up a quick sample to see how...

The Silverlight Application Corner

One of the things that we have heard in feedback is the need to surface more end-to-end samples.  While the atomic learning videos/samples are great as are more in-depth tutorials, there is still a desire to see how to package all these things up into a single application.  Seeing from start to finish helps absorb the learning process and see how these atomic things fit together and interoperate. Today we added the “application corner” to the Silverlight community site.  Yes, I know the name is less than exciting, but hey I’m not a super cool marketing person with unlimited...

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...

New Silverlight Showcases and Feeds

If you want some great Silverlight information, be sure to subscribe to at least two feeds: Microsoft Silverlight Bloggers and Silverlight community feeds.  I’ve recently just added a bunch of great feeds to both of these including all the members of the Silverlight Toolkit team and some Silverlight MVPs such as John Papa. There are also a bunch of resources being added to the Silverlight community site over the next month.  We also added 27 new showcase entries to the Silverlight Showcase on the site.  One in particular that I think is interesting is a project Gantt representation done...

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...

Flickr4Writer Service Pack update

This is a public service announcement for my Flickr4Writer project.  It was recently brought to my attention that Flickr has some privacy settings that users can opt-in for in their account to protect their images.  Some users felt that my plug-in for Writer was not honoring these settings.  Truly, I didn’t know about them.  You can read the thread on the discussion lists here if you are so inclined.  For me it came down to a couple of items: Flickr enables users to set a flag to prevent “blogging” of their...

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...

TechEd 2008 North America DVD Update

Thanks for all the feedback on the TechEd North America DVD issues with viewing the content once Silverlight 2 released.  In trying to do a good job providing a good user experience to viewing the content easily, the TechEd team created a Silverlight 2 Beta 2 player for the TechEd Online site as well as the offline DVD content. Obviously, when Silverlight 2 released and people installed the final version on their machines, the DVD Silverlight player stopped working and presented you with an “Install Silverlight” badge.  This was, of course, due to the use of Beta 2.  This doesn’t render...

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...

Expression Encoder SP1 now available

Apparently “soon” means “the next day” to the Encoder team :-).  On 28 OCT James Clarke told us all about the goodness that is coming to Encoder SP1 and noted it would be available “real soon.” Little did we know he had already clicked the publish process to the download servers.  What are you waiting for, go start the download for Encoder SP1 and I’ll share my thoughts on some things here. What’s in it?  I’ll pick my favorites: New Silverlight output templates, H.264/AAC support and IIS7 smooth streaming support. H.264/AAC Device Encoding Support SP1...

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 ...

Windows on Amazon EC2

Amazon just released into public beta their EC2 features of enabling Windows instances.  I’m a fan of Amazon’s services and the route they’ve been taking.  I use S3 a lot, even only if as a file storage for now.  I’ve written a plugin for Live Writer so that S3 is basically my repository for everything non-text on this site and others.  Of course, if S3 goes down (like it did hard a while back) I’m screwed.  Maybe something like Reserve Chute will help me in the future. I’ve not messed with the EC2 side of their offering only because...

Silverlight 2 Watermarked TextBox Control

In the early days of Silverlight 2, one of the included controls was the WatermarkedTextBox.  In Beta 2 the control was removed from the runtime for among other things, WPF compatibility.  The control source code was made available for people to look at as it was referenced in a few projects, namely ScottGu’s Digg sample application.  There was hinting about future plans but nothing concrete.  Now that Silverlight 2 is released, the control is not there :-).  I’ve gotten enough requests about it that I wanted to provide some action for you.  First, let me say that there...

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)!...

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...

Silverlight 2 UI Templates

One of the things I hear a lot about it wanting well-designed control templates/styles for developers to use in Silverlight (and WPF).  As someone with that missing creativity gene, I agree.  While we wait for some of these galleries to emerge (and designers to contribute), there is some hope for the rest of us today. For WPF developers, there has been a commercial resource available (not free) in the templates provided by XAMLTemplates.net.  They provide various styles available for purchase for WPF templates and styles. There also have been some emerging in the Silverlight.net community gallery (look for...

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...

Software Mockups using Balsamiq

Lately I’ve been putting more design thoughts onto paper.  I used to try to prototype in HTML a lot, but it just got too easy to draw it out.  I liked the feel of being ‘less tech’ when it came to mockups, etc.  I was turned on to this program recently called Balsamiq Mockups.  It is a software program that basically allows you to quickly mock up web/software designs using wire-frame elements.  I know there are other methods (please post your favorites in the comments), but there is something about this product that makes me like it...

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 multi-file upload controls and patterns

One area where Silverlight can plat an interesting role for your web applications is wherever file uploading to your server needs to be done.  This may sound odd to think of it that way, but if you’ve ever done file upload in web apps (for larger sizes, chunking, etc.) sometimes it is no fun and involves a lot of Javascript.  There is a video demonstrating on how you can do file upload with Silverlight 2 and also helps demonstrate the OpenFileDialog API within the runtime. I remember seeing a multi-file uploader that Jose Farado had started back in Silverlight 1.1 days. ...

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...

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...

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...

IE8 Beta 2 release – my TinyURL Accelerator

I first saw the accelerators (the artists formerly known as activities) during The Code Trip, when Woody created an IE8 activity for Wikipedia.  It was a convenient tool to have in your right-click toolbox on IE and I loved it (and still do). Well, now that IE8 Beta 2 is out, I decided (well, my selfishness decided) that I should create an activity accelerator for something that I use often so I introduce you to: IE8 Accelerator for TinyURL.  So with a little XML, it was done.  Seriously, like < 5 minutes.  I ran into one problem...

Silverlight and MS CRM Services

Had enough media players, games, and animated shapes with Silverlight?  How about integrating into some line of business applications?  Microsoft produces an application called Microsoft CRM, now in it’s 4th release (those closer to the CRM information can correct me if I’m wrong…I’m actually not too familiar with the roadmap/releases of CRM).  What is CRM?  What you’d expect, a customer relationship management system…define your use of those systems as you wish.  There are many CRM systems out there, but what struck me as interesting about MS CRM is based on a demonstration I saw about a year ago when v4...

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...

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. ...

Play Olympic Games in Silverlight

With the Olympic ceremony only days away and being able to enjoy the Olympic experience online via Silverlight, why not get a little excited and play some casual games, Olympic style.  All of these were build using Silverlight and the Popfly game creator: Torch Lighting Soccer Track and Field Archery Long Jump ...

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> ...

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...

Low-cost SSL Providers

In IIS7 you can do very simple testing for SSL related site hosting.  It literally is like a 2 click process: Enter a name for the cert and done, you now have SSL on your box.  Of course this is a self-issued/signed certificate so it will do you know good in the real world, but for most of the developer world it will work fine.  There may be those times, however, where things may not be quite working right and you want to eliminate the self-signed cert form the equation to make sure it isn’t the issue....

Making SL2 Video Player an Encoder Template

Now that the Silverlight 2 Video Player is available from Codeplex, I wanted to make it a template for Expression Encoder.  I’ll attempt to articulate the steps below.  It’s actually pretty trivial.  In fact in the current incarnation, you have to throw some extra stuff in there you may not need :-). Step 1 – Creating the template folder While I’ve covered this in previous posts and this is also well documented in the Encoder SDK documentation. First you’ll navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Expression\Encoder 2\Templates\en and you’ll see the existing template folders.  The folders do not represent...

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 Streaming upgraded to Beta 2

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

Silverlight 2 Media Player project now open source

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

ATMs, design and XAML

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

Firefox 3 and Silverlight

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

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...

Silverlight Streaming adds video upload fix

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

MIX Essentials Mexico and unique cuisine

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

Free Silverlight DataGrid with source code!

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

A new Silverlight control - TabControl

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

Silverlight and the VisualStateManager

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

Skinning Silverlight controls just got easier

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

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

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

Silverlight Streaming won’t upload my video!

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

MIX Essentials Mexico!

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

SnagIt and PNGOut

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

RIApalooza wrap-up

I just finished up a day attending the Chicago RIApalooza event in, well, Chicago.  First, I must say that I love cities with great mass transit systems.  I’ve said this before and I keep threatening myself to move to one. For this event I paired up with a super designer Corrina Barber.  Corrina works as a user experience designer at Microsoft, is wicked smart and was a perfect compliment to this event.  Most of the attendees at RIApalooza I believed to be interactive developers, so most having a knack for design.  I figured rather than a developer...

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...

Silverlight Flickr Badge

Taking another cue from some great stuff Joel is doing, I liked his implementation of the ‘Leopard Screen Saver’ but wanted to make it more ‘real’ for me.  So I wired it up to my Flickr account.  Result here (using Silverlight Streaming): I only had to change a few things. First, in the Page_Loaded event, I removed the timer start function.  This was because with interacting with Flickr it was going to be async.  I didn’t want the timer to start until I knew the image collection was built. My BuildCollection function now looks like this: private void BuildCollection() { // get...

NY Times Reader on Mac with Silverlight

A while back the team at the New York Times newspaper produced a digital reader for their content, dubbed ‘Times Reader.’  The technology powering that reader experience (“the digital newspaper that reads like the real thing”) is Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), part of the .NET Framework.  It is a remarkable experience for viewing digital news in a traditional format.  It provided online and offline reading capabilities mixed with some new and innovative ways of viewing related stories. Portions of the reader were even transformed into a starter kit framework: Syndicated Client Experiences Starter Kit.  This kit provides the initial...

RIApalooza – I’ll be there!

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to attend the RIApalooza event in Chicago in a few weeks (31 MAY).  What is RIApalooza? RIApalooza promises a platform agnostic and "PowerPoint-Free" zone, which means we are going to forgo the boring marketing pitches in favor of talking technology. RIApalooza is about creating Rich Internet Applications; how to go about building them and what is being built.  source: riapalooza.com I love the PPT-free zone aspect of it.  I loving having the maximum time to show some real working code, answer questions and see what...

Write Silverlight, win XBOX

Want a Silverlight-branded XBOX console?  Yeah, me too, that would be cool.  Well, there isn’t one of those, but there is a chance for you to show your Silverlight prowess and win some cool stuff. The RIA development portal at DevX is currently running a contest (which ends next week, yikes, hurry!) for creating games in Silverlight 2.  The contest seems relatively simple: Step 1: Create wicked cool game in Silverlight 2 Step 2: Host it on Silverlight Streaming How simple is that…oh yeah, except for the ‘creating game’ part.  There are a few...

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...

Streaming media in Windows Server for Silverlight

When using media with Silverlight there are a few things that you should be aware of.  First, ensure that the media you are planning on using conforms to the VC-1 specification.  Your media files just need to then be accessible via streaming or http-based access for progressive downloads. The media files for progressive downloads can be anywhere: any web server, Amazon S3 storage, some HttpHandler, whatever – as long as they can be served. Streaming media is supported via Windows Media Services.  If you haven’t set this up before, there are a few things to note with regard...

Making use of your JSON data in Silverlight

Wait! Don’t throw out your JSON services! The Situation You’ve made an investment in exposing some services for client script consumption.  Most likely if you did it in the past 2 years, that involved exposing your data as JSON formatted objects. What is JSON? It is a text-based, human-readable format for representing simple data structures and associative arrays (called objects) Perhaps a search service returns a list of people formatted using your custom “Person” object and you’ve been using this in your AJAX applications for a while now.  Maybe your JSON data looks something like this: [{"City":"Queen Creek","FirstName":"Tim","LastName":"Heuer", "Website":"http:\/\/timheuer.com\/blog\/"}, {"City":"Portland","FirstName":"Scott","LastName":"Hanselman", "Website":"http:\/\/hanselman.com\/blog\/"}, {"City":"Redmond","FirstName":"Scott","LastName":"Guthrie", "Website":"http:\/\/weblogs.asp.net\/scottgu"}, {"City":"New Hampshire","FirstName":"Joe","LastName":"Stagner", "Website":"http:\/\/joestagner.net"}, {"City":"Boston","FirstName":"Jesse","LastName":"Liberty", "Website":"http:\/\/silverlight.net\/blogs\/jesseliberty"}] If you squint long enough you can...

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’: ...

Some minor Subtext enhancements

This blog runs on SubText.  I heart SubText.  I know there are others out there but for me SubText has met most of my needs.  And when it hasn’t I modify it.  Which brings me to this post.  There was a thread on an email list I belong to about Windows Live Writer (I heart Live Writer too :-)) and categories (adding new categories on the fly).  This got me to crack open the source and hunt.  Alas, there was no support for this.  I’ve been ranting about WordPress API support for SubText on the developer list and I think...

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...

Cross domain in Silverlight Streaming

In my previous post about cross-domain policy files I received some comments about whether or not cross-domain access is allowed on Silverlight Streaming.  I think really this is two questions that I'll try to clarify here. What is Silverlight Streaming? For those who don't know, Microsoft provides anyone with an account to "stream" Silverlight applications for free.  We'll give you 10GB of space to put your Silverlight applications.  There are some limitations, which you can read about in the service.  The "streaming" name has confused some.  It isn't only a "where can I put media files" location, but is a service to...

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...

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...

Providing a great Silverlight deployment experience

If you are doing Silverlight development, you are no doubt slapping in the <object> tag or using the <asp:silverlight> control (if in ASP.NET) to host your Silverlight content/application.  This is all great, but don't forget about deployment! When I talk about Silverlight I like to relay a story I heard from one of the Silverlight program managers (PM) a while back.  The PM was pretty excited about a feature just completed in Silverlight and one of the samples that had been created.  He went home to show his wife and told her to 'go to 'dub-dub-dub-dot-something-dot-com' (yelling from the other room...

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,...

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: ...

Open Spaces @ MIX08

Along with some of my compadres, Josh Holmes and Peter Laudati, we're helping our MIX team member Drew Robbins organize the Open Space @ MIX area.  What is it?  Well, sort of whatever you want it to be.  If you've never been to an Open Space event format before there are some things you should know... Four principles of Open Space: Whoever comes are the right people to be there Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened ...

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...

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...

easy mapping directions with live maps

just found out about a great feature on windows live maps.  how many times have you needed to provide directions to someone (or a group of people) that you may not know where they are coming from?  you could give them the address and have them map it out themselves, which is usually what most people do. on your web site you might even enable them to see a map and enter an address for specific location directions, after all, that person might know better shortcuts than the mapping services right?  well, windows live maps has a feature which can give...

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 ...

add free online web chat to your asp.net site

i've spoken a few times about axosoft.  they are a local ISV that does some great work.  their ceo, hamid, does a great thing every year for his employees (maybe more often) in encouraging and icubating new projects.  they have a core product, but also have incubated some great ideas.  some haven't lasted, but some live strong!  either way it is great to see what kind of ideas their group comes up with. PureChat is one of those new ideas.  this is an idea that was just released.  it is for asp.net sites and is built using c# and asp.net ajax...

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...

redesign the mix web site and win

got mad design and css skillz?  take a stab at redesigning the mix web site for a contest.  i saw through twitter that adam kinney noted only one person entered yet.  and there are three prizes!!! should make winning pretty simple right now ;-). of course i'm ineligible (that's my way of getting off, because i have no mad design skillz), but might i suggest a few themes to try out: halo 3 rockband/guitar hero - have you seen this and this...

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...

silverlight 2.0 for games, arrrr!!!

got an email today about something i hadn't seen yet, another silverlight 2.0 game, Pirates!  cameron emailed me about a cool prototype he's working on with the farseer engine.  here's a shot: as cameron puts it: "The goal of the game will be to attain the buried fortune of a long dead pirate named Rough Hand James. He created a map to his treasure and scattered the pieces all across the globe. It will be your adventure to find those map pieces and locate the treasure. You will start out on your ship with the first clue to the treasure and...

web deployment tool available for iis

today, the iis team released a preview of the 'web deployment tool' for internet information services (iis).  the tool has features that a lot of server admins would want such as deployment assistance, sync/migration of sites across servers (which includes config, content, certs, etc.). the core features are: synchronization and snapshot of IIS 6/7 migration from iis 6 analysis of iis 6 installed features troubleshooting and...

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...

feedreader gets a contribution

feedreader, my sharepoint web part originally built for sharepoint 2003, has been consumed by quite a few people (which i think is cool -- it is a rare moment when a lowly d00d like me can fill a gap).  while sharepoint 2007 has better built-in support for syndicated feeds (actually 2003 did already with the xml web part), i still think feedreader has some advantages that can be leveraged. a while back i put feedreader on codeplex, an open source sharing ground.  i used the microsoft public license so anyone can download, alter, and profit from the code.  i did this...

jumbling the encoder silverlight template files

i recently got an email from a rails developer who was using silverlight on a site to display high-quality media.  what?! you though silverlight was a windows-only technology? blasphemy!  you see, silverlight is a client-technology, which means as long as it can be served up to the browser (and the user has the plugin), the server can be your own custom version of l337hax0r web edition or whatever.  now, there are advantages of using internet information services on windows and some integration with asp.net, but that's not what this post is about.  on to the issue at hand will you... so...

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

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...

silverlight search app goes shared source

remember the tafiti site?  want to know how they did that tree visualization in silverlight?  now you can. the tafiti search site is now a windows live quick app -- and uploaded to codeplex.  you can download, view source, mess around and learn.  from the lie team: Today we are releasing the Tafiti Search Visualization source code to CodePlex, which means any developer can download, modify, and resell the code (see MS-PL License for all the details). very, very cool.  go to the codeplex site and check it out and check out the overview on LiveSide! tags: silverlight,tafiti,windows live,life platform services,open source,oss,codeplex

creating silverlight player templates part 2

i had previously written about creating custom expression encoder templates and integrating them into the encoder workflow (if you haven't read that, check it out, very simple process).  my process was simple and followed the "CASE" methodology*. Copy Always Steal Everything basically i would encode a video file to get the output of the encoder template, then blast away all the xaml in player.xaml, and create your own silverlight media player skin.  really the only thing you need to know is the 'well known names' for certain controls (the most common of which i outline in my blog post.  i've received comments...

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...

silverlight firestarter heads to philly

looks like the flame is making its way to the other side of the coast...the east coast.  looks like in a week (15 DEC) the silverlight firestarter will be happening in the philly area (malvern to be specific).  you can find the agenda here at dani's blog. it looks like a great line-up of speakers as well.  although i've not met pete brown in person, i've 'conversed' with him via e-mail and he's a sharp dude.  peter laudati -- well, if you are in the northeast, a microsoft developer, and don't know peter...what's wrong with you? ;-).  and then there is...

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...

what is a web stack?

one of my colleagues and super-star-wizard-man david chou posted recently on platforms. he previously was chatting about popfly as a platform and then thought it a bit more to back up from a larger view to help us ponder what exactly a 'web platform stack' means.  i think for people who haven't really distilled it down into any consumable thought areas, it does a good job defining where some web platforms fall in to the greater scheme of the overall goals of a web strategy. maybe i'm not saying it well :-) -- but you should go check out david's post about...

silverlight webcast series launched

brad abrams kicked off some webcasts regarding silverlight over on msdn.  you should check out the on-demand as well as the upcoming webcast series... Kickoff Webcast: MSDN Webcast: An Introduction to Silverlight (Level 100) designers: MSDN Webcast: Designer Series (Part 1 of 5): Getting Started with Silverlight for Designers MSDN Webcast: Designer Series (Part 2 of 5): Working with Expression Design to Create Visual Assets ...

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...

discountasp.net enables .net 3.5 hosting and cardspace support

the team over at discountasp.net have just launched .net 3.5 hosting platforms in their offerings!  that's right, you can host your .net 3.5 web apps with them!  if you need a space just head on over there and they'll give you 3 free months as well. in addition, they've enabled cardspace integration so you can login to your control panel using one of your personal information cards.  pretty cool, i'm going to have to check that out.  thanks to discountasp.net for continued support to user group communities as well as being an early adopter hoster so that early adopter developers can...

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? ...

coming soon: no more click to activate in ie

you may remember the result of EOLAS litigation a while back.  yes, the one resulting in what some feel is the annoying 'click to activate' functionality/feature/whatever that resulted when web authors chose to directly use <embed> or <object> tags in content, usually flash. this, of course, is mitigated when script creates the content, such as what silverlight does by default as well as the SWFObject script that many flash developers use (and if not, they should be).  well, while i still think a good practice in some instances, we may be looking at a solution. pete lepage of the internet explorer teams...

componentone releases alpha of silverlight controls

codenamed 'sapphire,' componentone was one of the first to the market with their plans of silverlight user controls.  initially they put a bunch out there on their lab site to play with, but now you can sign up for their alpha version.  that's right, get your hands on some silverlight controls from componentone! now named Studio Enterprise Silverlight Toolset, they are taking alpha sign-ups.  to me, this is definitely a product you want to look early at.  they've got: buttons containers ...

silverlight streaming for media apps made simpler

use expression encoder for creating silverlight media applications?  want to put them on silveright streaming?  frustrated perhaps that you have to create a zip file with manifests and such?  look no further! james clarke writes about a feature just added to expression encoder (via a download) where you can now add 'publish to silverlight streaming' after your encoding job is completed.  w00t! you'll need to get the encoder plugin (assuming you have encoder first) and just install that.  the post on james' site walks you through the steps, but it is a no brainer.  i'd previously written about customizing your own encoder...

cutting edge hosters provide .net 3.5 and iis7

in a world of changing technology, when we look for places to put our apps, we're probably looking for people who are on the cutting edge of the frameworks as well.  i want to draw your attention to discountasp.net.  why?  well, for one their feature set rocks. free iis7/.net 3.5 hosting during the beta (one of the early adopter hosters) real-time data backup tools great sql support with tooling as well ...

mixing silverlight and aol truveo content

my colleague kirk has been writing some articles for the AOL developer network.  his first articles are up and he talks about integrating with the truveo, aol's developer api for video.  kirk does some integration with truveo's ajax api and displays information back in silverlight. the first two parts are up, and the third is underway, planning on using wcf and managed code with REST services. go check it out on kirk's site. tags: aol , truveo , silverlight , kirk evans , ajax , wcf , rest , api

silverlight installer guidance posted

one of the things interactive developers sometimes (especially with new technologies like silverlight, flex, etc.) have to worry about is 'what if the end user doesn't have XYZ installed?' -- something that is likely going to be a question when implementing something so new like silverlight. in silverlight, if the user doesn't have the plugin installed, they are presented with a 'get silverlight' badge.  it really doesn't explain much about *what* silverlight is, or what they'd be missing (i.e., interactive, rich content) if they don't install it.  to me, the default badge doesn't pass the mother-in-law factor test.  i first wrote...

virtual earth and 3d tours of your locations

with the latest release of the maps.live.com site and virtual earth v6, there are some cool end-user features that you can take advantage of as well.  one of them is the ability to create a virtual tour of your collections (a collection is a group of waypoints you've saved in your profile. perhaps you have a collection of your favorite vacation spots, or your locations of your organization's offices, or your an individual speaker and want a virtual tour of your stops for some odd reason.  well now you can and there are a few ways to do it.  first, head...

silverlight and right-to-left (rtl) languages

okay, if you don't know justin-josef angel, that is a shame, the dude is smart.  he's an mvp for microsoft and has been active in the silverlight community now, trying to really start the community thinking different on extending silverlight.  lately he's done just that. anyone who has ever had to develop a global application knows the challenges of ensuring localization.  it is perhaps one of my weakest spots as a developer and i'm sure a lot of others as well.  since justin-josef speaks arabic and hebrew he wanted to tackle this problem...rtl language display in silverlight.  thus enter the Silverlight...

mozilla prism == hta?

looks like mozilla labs is cooking up something to bring web apps to the desktop.  their latest project, prism, aims to: bridge the divide in the user experience between web applications and desktop apps and to explore new usability models as the line between traditional desktop and new web applications continues to blur hmm..so at the surface without being able to get my hands on it, it looks like some type of desktop sandbox wrapper around a web application?  most likely relying on a web rendering platform to exist on the desktop already (i'm sure they are obviously depending on mozilla/gecko)?  wow,...

windows live ids -- now you can link them

some news on the windows live platform front...now you can link your passport live id accounts!  i like a lot of the windows live services, but one that i've struggled with is live id.  not the concept, but rather the implementation.  it is getting incrementally better day by day and this one change in particular made me happy. when passport first came out, most got one.  when messenger came out, you used your passport.  then you could create a passport/live id with your own email account (didn't have to be hotmail.com), then there were some changes and you might have had...

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...

arizona silverlight user group

mike palermo has decided to start a special interest user group around silverlight!  the first meeting in the arizona area will be at interface technical training on 07-NOV at 6:00 PM.  attendance and participation are both free! please feel free to invite your friends, colleagues, etc and spread the word.  for the first meeting it will be a bit ad-hoc, but i know i'll be there and have volunteered to talk about creating controls, etc.  what do you want to hear about? you can view the other user group schedules as well as get the address for this meeting by visiting the...

some interesting news in php land

while i'm off galavanting in the aspen trees, some of my counterparts are up in san francisco attending zendcon, a php conference. some updates on some news that microsoft is announcing at zendcon... FastCGI for PHP -- this was a collaborative project between zend and microsoft to build a better fastcgi implementation for windows.  announced today will be that zend will be redistributing FastCGI in Zend Core.  additionally, zend will make sure that FastCGI is supported in the server core installation option for windows server 2008! ...

integrating html and silverlight

in part 1 of my baseball example concept, i discussed how i was able to re-use some SVG vector art in XAML.  in that screencast i used an SVG file and a PDF file.  it set the stage for the remaining part of my samples here.  to recap, my goal is to show: using vector files for XAML (done), integrating that XAML and html functionality (here) and then to show a "game play" view of the vector art, extracting just the field information. in this part 2 of that goal, i set out to recreate a different user experience for the...

.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...

get a web invite in 5 minutes or less

remember the gmail style of invites and the days you were trying to find an invite?  you had to wait for someone who knew someone, etc.  maybe those days are over. how about a web 2.0 invite co-op?  that's what my friend scott mcandrew found.  he told me about inviteshare.com and in < 1 minute i registered and instantly got an email with an invite to yahoo! mash, one of the sought after invites (although i'm not sure why) right now.  interesting approach to broker invites among an anonymous network of friends. tags: inviteshare.com , inviteshare , yahoo mash , mash ,...

sIFR and silverlight = sistr

i saw over in the township of adam kinney that someone came up with a silverlight version of the sIFR concept. for those who don't know, sIFR (scalable inman flash replacement) in simplest forms is a method for using css to annotate elements of text that you might want replaced with higher-quality/different/pick-your-word-of-choice typography.  it provided a method on sites to essentially say "hey if javascript is enabled and flash is installed, replace this plain text header with some whiz-bang custom font to make the user say ooooooooohhhh yea" or something like that. filipe fortes, who apparently used to work on the wpf...

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...

expression encoder and custom templates

i've been asked recently why i use the expression encoder template code in my samples for media playback in silverlight.  simple: free code :-).  the templates in expression encoder provide very interesting stub code handling the simple and advanced media playback capabilities already for you.  if all you need is a simple mediaelement in your silverlight application, then sure, it's a bit heavy.  but if you are developing a media playback integration with end-user controls, you may want to consider it.  it provides all the simple play/pause/etc functionality, but also the glitz of volume slider handlers, time thumb handlers, fullscreen...

silverlight released, go to a devcamp!

now that silverlight is 'officially' released, maybe you've been waiting for that "RC" label to go away.  okay, no more excuses, time to start digging in.  what better way to do that then cuddle up with a few of your closest unknown friends and hack away, barcamp style! some fine folks have organized a SilverlightDevCamp in two areas and they are free to attend and get some SWAG, some learning, and make some connections.  designers, developers, people with macbooks, everyone is welcome. what is a silverlightdevcamp?  i'm glad you asked.   SilverlightDevCampSF is an upcoming gathering, inspired by BarCamp, to build Silverlight applications, It's...

silverlight runs on linux and other news

wow, what a day, i'm sure you're reading all about it but here's some recap: silverlight 1.0 release to web silverlight early adopters: Entertainment Tonight, Home Shopping Network, WWE expression media encoder 1.0 release (middle of press release) and holy cow here's the news for developers: microsoft officially partners with novell to deliver moonlight as the silverlight implementation for linux.  booyah.  you can read all the details about it here. ...

cheating at creating a silverlight media player

i just put up another podcast video of how to "cheat" at creating a media player for silverlight.  have you been looking at some of these media experiences with all their fancy buttons and dvd player-type overlays, etc. but didn't want to take the time to code your own?  well, you don't have to :-) (man that sounds like an infomercial) in this podcast i demonstrate using expression media encoder as a tool that will essentially generate stub code for you.  now keep in mind that expression media encoder itself generates some pretty kick arse templates that may perfectly suit you. ...

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. ...

rss and json format

i was working on a little sample and wanted to make it a bit easier on myself to work with my rss data.  my thought was to use the JSON format for the data and that way i could get at the data in super-cool-ajaxy-type ways.  what was cool was what i found as i began searching. ASP.NET Ajax provides a class library to javascript!  in System.Web.Script.Serialization.JavascriptSerializer is where you will find your magic.  the JavascriptSerializer can be used on anything that uses XmlSerialization.  sweet. so now all i had to do was take my RSS data (already in good xml format)...

silverlight on some free hosters

well, in my previous examples, i was using a free linux hoster.  i found another one that was much more reliable from a responsiveness standpoint, but found a snag and wanted to share. you see on some free hosters, in order to be free they'll add banner adds to your pages.  for my purposes, who cares.  i signed up with this particular one and none of my samples were working.  huh, weird i thought.  until you look at the error message of 'unknown namespace' from silverlight.  ahh... you see what the free host was doing was injecting their banner ad code into...

silverlight and php

i saw a post over in russell myers' land seemingly acknowledging the confusion that might be out there of hosting silverlight.  he noted my previous post about the topic.  in his note though, russell mentions: ...it seems entirely possible to take a Silverlight application and integrate it on an existing Apache server to create a Silverlight experience within PHP or any other language that can embed the XAML content. he's right on here, in fact, i'm not sure even samples will do it justice, but i tried anyway :-).  take for example another quick...

silverlight hosting and linux hosting

UPDATE: visit rob relyea's post on more mime types for all xaml supported apps including xaml browser apps as well. i've been seeing some discussion lately about hosting silverlight.  maybe i can take a moment here to help clarify some things and show some options. there are hosters out there that are promoting as silverlight hosters.  while i think that is great, i think some of the messaging has confused others.  for example, if you go to a hoster that doesn't list silverlight support, are they incapable of hosting silverlight?  no. in fact, a windows server isn't even required for straight-up silverlight hosting. ...

why tafiti is important

well, you've seen the flurry of tafiti no doubt (at least if you are a regular subscriber to things silverlight).  i'm not here to say "go check it out" and add another post to the flurry, but instead to perhaps look at why tafiti is important. you see, when i look at the site, i think it is cool, interesting, unique, <insert-favorite-word-here>.  but at the same time i'm a little opinionated about the ui design choice.  i should be clear that i'm no professional designer at all, and all of this is my opinion of course.  but i look at the...

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...

facebook and iphone sittin' in a tree

well, it looks like my efforts with facePhone were short lived.  i started out creating a better mobile UI for facebook on the iphone.  i was challenged, however as the API didn't provide essentially everything i needed/wanted, so i got a limited functionality, but for me, was fine (getting status updates): well, the guys at facebook (presumably joe hewitt -- i actually contacted him about my efforts and never heard back...maybe this is why :-)). i haven't tried on edge, but they are loading a lot of content there.  looks good though. tags: iphone , facebook , iui , facephone

silverlight controls start to emerge

as i've been traveling and talking about silverlight, there have been two main things people have been complaining discussing about silverlight, and one of them is the control set (or perhaps lack thereof).  i've had conversations with a lot of people trying to explain that you have the full HTML control set at your disposal, and that seems to work in most situations.  there may be, however, times when you want ultimate silverlight goodness.  i've been saying that i personally think that 3rd parties will beat us to the market with controls...and they are starting to emerge. take a look at...

silverlight: return of the clean and my toolbox

you can tell when a new fiscal year has started (or at least the month after a new fiscal year).  people are back from vacations, meetings are more frequent, last-minute trips are planned, you get the picture.  all of this has been counterproductive to me being able to really sit down and do some fun things with silverlight.  not to feat though, some great things have been going on. after i had helped "bcl man" :-) upload some videos of ironruby, i decided it did not do him justice to use one of the vanilla templates and altered it a bit...

silverlight: update your silverlight streaming apps

as you might suspect, if you are hosting silverlight applications via silverlight streaming, you may have to make some modifications there as well to support the release candidate.  when hosting the python cube for mark, i had to make a few updates and thought i'd give some quick pointers to information that already exists as well as walk through a simple example. if you have a streaming sample, you might be seeing it running and showing the "Get Silverlight" banner: this, of course, assumes that the user has the updated silverlight plugin installed (either 1.0 RC or 1.1 alpha...

silverlight: get your rc on and samples updated

i've been at OSCON all week (more day 3 posts coming up soon).  while i was out, if you are a microsoft dev, you no doubt saw the flurry of announcements of visual studio 2008 beta 2 (with golive), .net 3.5, and silverlight rc1 releases. for the silverlight goodness, you can check out all the new stuff: Silverlight 1.0 RC1 / Windows (direct link) Silverlight 1.0 RC1 / Mac (direct link) Silverlight 1.1 Alpha...

oscon: day 2 - windmill - automated ui tests for ajax apps

what is windmill?  it is described as: Project Windmill was created with the intention of reaching 100% automated testing of heavy Ajax web applications after trying desperately to make existing solutions work. i'm eager to listen to this one.  i've used selenium as a web testing UI platform in the past and like a lot of what it offers...i'm expecting to see what windmill provides better/different and if it is more simplistic...here we go. the guys behind this are mikeal rogers and adam christian of the cosmos web project(?) which is now the...

oscon: day 1 - eliminating rails envy with php5

okay, now in a session for php developers -- or maybe rails developers...don't know yet. this session is from simon minnee from silverstripe, a cms solution provider.  simon quickly adds this disclaimer: this presentation is not intended to be a language war.  he admits that he is a novice with regard to Rails versus what he's presenting, etc.  de admits, in fact, that his understanding is naive.  he says "i just thought the title would be edgy.  forgive me." hmm...clever simon, clever -- got me in the door. he talks about their choice using PHP over...

oscon: day 1 - is there a user in the house

i'm now sitting in a session entitled "hello? is there a user in the house?" with amy hoy.  amy is a user interface designer and has been around the block with regard to user centric design...something that is lacking in probably most software development processes. here's some of my raw notes/thoughts.  if you've done user-centric design before, most of this will not be new. creators == consumers (understand who they are building for because they are building for themselves) -- this is what makes some projects successful in the geek world -- we develop for what we want...

oscon: day 1 - rich internet applications in php

i'm sitting in andi gutman's presentation at oscon about building rich internet applications in php.  my expectations will be that this will be talking about ajax and flex (given the nature of the conference). andi's first talking about the nature of ajax for rich applications in php.  what is cool is that he mentioned the micorosft ajax client library and the codeplex php kit in the talk so far.  he said he likes talking about it because it demonstrates the nature of ajax standards.  he also talked initially about simplexml as a mechanism for communicating with ajax...

silverlight: preparing for rc demonstration and my contact info

after a few inquiries i thought i'd just put together a very simple, very quick demonstration of preparing an existing silverlight 1.0 application for release candidate.  i've posted previously about the preview sdk and breaking changes and this screencast walks through taking two simple samples from the silverlight.net site and prepping them for the release candidate.  you can view the screencast here. now, i know that every person's silverlight application may vary, but there will be common things you have to do.  this first screencast shows those very common things that likely everyone will have to change.  i'll post...

facebook and silverlight

after playing around with some facebook toolkits, i wanted to ensure that facebook could enable silverlight applications within their context.  you see facebook and silverlight already live in harmony in popfly where you can create oh, i don't know, whack-a-mole with your facebook friend profiles? (sidenote: popfly was just updated again...read more here.) i figured i'd whip up a quick and dirty proof using the python cube example (thus also testing to see if silverlight streaming in a facebook app would work). lo and behold, no problems: using my newfound friend jing, you can see a quick screencast of...

silverlight: breaking changes

i know i posted earlier with a pointer to the preview sdk over in sneathville, but i walked through the docs this morning and just wanted to re-iterate the need to look at the breaking changes document included in the preview sdk.  why? because when i look at the numerous samples i see that some are likely to be affected.  wouldn't you want your sample to run when the release candidate is put in the wild?  i would. breaking changes...ugh...they suck.  but bear in mind this is beta and we knew there could be some.  in looking through the docs,...

more facebook .net

i recently posted about working with facebook and using the facebook toolkit that microsoft apparently partnered with to create.  i just noticed that nikhil has created another facebook toolkit for .net, which he calls Facebook.NET.  i'm not sure if nikhil knew about the existing toolkit, but he did do some interesting things that i'll have to take a look at that will also enable writing facebook applications (i.e., *in* facebook). this will enable you to create FBML applications more easily through the use of ASP.NET controls and .NET wrappers of the REST calls he made...pretty cool, check it out. tags:...

facebook + code = facephone and virtual friends

what?! you don't know what facebook is?  haven't you heard all the cool kids are doing it so you should totally jump on it with complete disregard to whether or not there is any benefit to you at all.  then just accept every single friend request and you can have yet another disparate network of your own!  (i'm actually experimenting with adding random friends to see if people accept them the way myspace grew -- friends in myspace seem to almost be a chest-pounding reputation/currency thing.) seriously, though if you haven't heard about it, it is worth a read. ...

silverlight: prepare for the release candidate

in a few weeks microsoft will be releasing the release candidate for silverlight 1.0.  on joe stegman's blog, he posted about breaking changes, etc.  moving forward once the RC is released, the api will be stable and should have no further breaking changes between RC and final release.  however, there will be breaking changes in the RC from beta.  if you have a silverlight application, now is the time to start preparing for what you may have to change. microsoft has prepared a preview SDK release containing: new silverlight.js detection/installation file for both beta and RC breaking changes...

windows live quickapps

want to know how to use some of the windows live services?  announced at the partner conference this week, some beta windows live quickapps have been released.  these provide out-of-box implementations for certain scenarios and take advantage of live services like expo, spaces, silverlight streaming, virtual earth, etc.  and all source code is provided!  there are two of them available now, but more to come according to the site.  i downloaded the bike one, unzipped it and ran it right away...it was simple to set up. check them out here and download them at codeplex (with the source)....

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...

silverlight: get 40 controls for free

UPDATE: okay, so i dug a little deeper, it looks like these are implementing on a windows form host, so your mileage may vary.  getting interaction with other silverlight DOM/canvas objects might be tricky... well, i have to admit that i only spent about the last 2 minutes looking at these, so this might be an irresponsible post :-), but what i saw was impressive. netikatech just announced on their site that they are releasing 40 controls for silverlight for free!  the product, called "GOA Winforms" describes itself as an implementation of the standard System.Windows.Form class library for rich internet...

silverlight: creating video with timed overlays

just yesterday tim sneath posted a video on creating video with overlays.  as i saw that come in my reader, i was just finishing testing my code for a screencast i was recording on creating video with timed overlays.  i figured, what the heck, you can never have enough tutorials, and mine was demonstrating a different method for accomplishing the same thing. the scenario i was thinking of came to mind when i was lazy and watching television.  i saw a commercial where the person in the commercial said "if you call the number that is at the bottom of your...

silverlight: snack on some tutorials

the master of design, celso gomes, has done it again.  i got an email today about his new site, built completely in silverlight for silverlight tutorials.  check it out: http://www.nibblestutorials.net/.  it really was a good demonstration to me of something entirely built in silverlight.  well done, celso. tags: celso, celso gomes, silverlight, nibbles

silverlight and safari on windows

UPDATE: if it wasn't obvious i'll state it here...silverlight supports a specific matrix of browser and platforms (current released versions of Firefox/Safari on Mac; current released versions of Firefox/IE on Windows).  microsoft is continuing accepting feedback on platforms and take that feedback into consideration when adding new platforms/browser to that supported matrix.  the description below and others are workarounds that may result in other issues. since the immediate release of safari (beta) on windows, people are noticing (and asking) about silverlight support. well, you may notice that you'll see the default install image for silverlight when using safari for windows...

safari on windows, developers and choice

well, apparently there is a new browser in town for windows ;-).  if you haven't heard (then shame on you if this is your only source of information!), apple released a beta of safari for the windows platform. my initial reaction was..."hmmm" like any card-carrying geek member, i downloaded and installed.  yep, looks like safari.  so what.  on my mac i don't even use safari.  i'm not a fan of it.  people don't extend it very often.  (extend means different things to different people, what does it mean in the context of your situation tim? -- good point, i'm talking...

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...

winning an xbox couldn't be easier

one of my homies just posted a note about winning an xbox through blogging.  what?! surely you couldn't be serious...ah but he is. now you might consider it shameless promotion of events, and you'd be right, but there is a purpose here.  often times when we (as those field geeks with funny position titles) organize events there is certain targets that we are trying to meet (read: the people who pay for the events want to make sure they can direct some things).  if it were up to us, we'd always make everything free and always invite everyone.  but utopia...

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...

bad ux: features not available to users

i was recently logged in to a members-only web site (of which i'm a member) and noticed two buttons in the left navigation titled: Administrator Options Record Keeping Information upon clicking on either one i was presented with a pop-up and this message: Please note: In order to speed up some of the lookup functions of the website, it was necessary to enable the Website Admin Button for all user screens. The Admin Button is only functional for users with Admin Rights. Clicking on the Admin Button will check if the user is a current...

silverlight: breaking changes planned

felt this was necessary for a re-post (as i'm sure it will be all over the place).  joe stegman has announced some breaking changes and provides an updated silverlight.js file for us all to use. see his post: Some v1.0 breaking changes tags: silverlight

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

silverlight: layouts and control framework

one of the things that developers ask me about silverlight is regarding the control set...more specifically...where is it.  well, i don't have a timeline for you, but there are a bunch of other people working on some samples and frameworks for silverlight. dave relyea just posted a layout and control framework for the silverlight 1.1 alpha.  check it out. tags: silverlight plugin, silverlight, layout controls, wpfe, blend, relyea

truemors: another site i don't get

people are saying guy kawasaki is behind this latest truemors.com site.  while i'm starting to see less value in twitter, when i opened up truemors i shook my head.  it certainly looks/acts/feels like a twitter-ish type application...and the content surely has parity with twitter posts...here's a sample of some of the "rumors" posted: "Jello wrestling for Charity?  Yes, it happens." "the iphone gives you herpes" "hey mark, give me a call later and we'll get dinner" "the truemors homepage is easy to spam." "Guy Kawasaki started this up? must be losing touch with reality." "I heard that this...

silverlight: watch a ladybug poo

or at least that is what i think is happening ;-) check out silverlight from a flash developer perspective and some early findings...no IDE/tools used outside of a text editor and a very simple "game" is born... http://seeing-is-believing.blogspot.com/2007/05/sileverlight-demo-with-source-code.html tags: silverlight, flash, silverlight plugin

silverlight: in a dashboard widget

someone asked if silverlight would work in an osx dashboard widget...interesting thought i felt.  after all, the dashboard widget concept is similar to the sidebar gadget feature in vista in that it is essentially a packaged file with html, javascript, images, etc.  so i went to task and tried it out. i first started with a media player that i had been working on and it didn't go so well...more on that at a later time (startup javascripts, etc.).  after that i just dumbed it down to a simple sample that had some animation and stuff. packaged it up, deploy...

silverlight: app streaming versus media streaming

one of the most asked questions i've been getting lately has to do with the silverlight streaming service provided by the windows live services.  i think microsoft may have done ourselves a naming disservice with including "streaming" in the title.  i think to most in the tech world, the "streaming" term implies a media file streaming like .asx files or streaming audio files, etc. that are consumed by some type of player. well, silverlight streaming is a bit different in my opinion.  first, the services hosts silverlight applications.  the whole thing...xaml, media, etc.  so it isn't streaming your media directly,...

silverlight: not working on ie7?

a few users have reported some issues with silverlight plugins not working correctly on ie7 on windows...but working fine within firefox on windows, etc. this is due to a previous ctp build of silverlight not being fully uninstalled (hey, it's ctp isn't it) and residual registry grout hanging around... the silverlight community is live and well though over at www.silverlight.net where there are forums and an answer was posted: http://silverlight.net/forums/t/437.aspx.  hope this helps! tags: silverlight, silverlight.net, silverlight forums, wpf/e, silverlight plugin

silverlight: what you need, when you need it...compressed

one really great feature about silverlight is the packaging aspect of it.  what do i mean by this?  well, you can essentially put a ton of assets into a compressed file and pull them out as needed.  this would provide you the ability to have a single asset package that is compressed, and thus saving on some download time.  of course there would be tradeoffs that you'd have to consider, but for sample sake, let's assume they are good. so how would you do that?  well let's say you have a bunch of images in a file name 'assets.zip' (here...

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: 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...

web dev helper vista fix for non UAC

if you are a web developer, you most likely want all possible tools available to you.  and there are some great ones out there like firebug, ie development toolbar, etc.  if you are an asp.net developer, you most likely know about the best helper tool by nikhil called the 'web development helper' which is implemented as a browser helper object for internet explorer. nikhilk has evolved his tool over time and in the latest version has awesome support for reading JSON encoded information and visual representing them in a helper way so that you can see what is going on. ...

greasemonkey and gmail

man, i'm really impressed with what people are doing to create their own unique experiences.  since i'm mostly in internet explorer (and to be quite honest, it serves me well, i've found no reason (yet) not to keep using it) i've not been privy to some of the utility plugins for firefox.  firefox has an amazing plugin ecosystem that i wish would exist for ie.  the other day i posted about the stylish plugin and a custom interface for google reader.  well today, i've found two other gems with firefox.  the first is a greasemonkey script that adds a new...

stylish for firefox

i was messing around and following some rather deep links on some blogs i was reading and came across john hicks' site where he has been creating new skins for some web applications.  how you say?  well, unknown to me (i use IE mostly) there is a really cool firefox add-on called stylish, that enables you to create/manage custom stylesheets for specific urls.  so basically when you visit a url, you can say 'whenever i visit this url, use this stylesheet instead' and it renders how you want. you may wonder why you would want to do that, and in...

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...

wpf/e: zune miniplayer

i've been trying to learn more and more about wpf/e and the current functionality in the february ctp, so i decided to jump on the create-a-video-player-skin bandwagon and mock something up. i thought it would be quite the incredible thing (read: couldn't think of a better idea) to show a zune player...so whoala: and when you click 'start player' (yes i know it would be cool to show the player as a playlist and use the normal zune buttons, but c'mon, v.0.0.3 here...work with me people) it rotates to show you the video (if you don't own a zune,...

new subtext skins

after recently finding out about open source design sites, i wanted to cut my teeth a bit more and learn some css by just reading them...so i figure i would adapt a few designs for subtext (my blog engine).  i've created three subtext skins based on designs...you can see the screenshots of them at this flickr photostream. i adapted three designs: minty, greenway, and metic.  the only requirement to using them is that the footer credits stay in place.  these designs use the creative commons attribution licenses, so please give the original authors credit and honor that license.  i've zipped...

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...

open source web templates

open source in the design world...i love it.  i'm sitting at the microsoft technology summit and joe stagner just mentioned open source web designs...holy crap how did i not know about this. update: here's another: opendesigns.org -- this one looks more moderated hey joe (using my best borat impression): high five! tags: open source web designs, oswd, css, templates, stagner, joe stagner, opendesigns.org

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...

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...

smartpart + ajaxbasepart = yummy

eric schoonover pointed me to what jan completed late last night -- implementing ajax support in the smartpart...yippee... check out the smartpart for sharepoint now with asp.net ajax support! tags: sharepoint, moss 2007, sharepoint 2007, windows sharepoint services, ajax control toolkit, ajax, asp.net, asp.net ajax, microsoft ajax, ajaxbasepart, web part, smartpart, smart part, jan tielens

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...

ajax and sharepoint sittin' in a tree

have you been looking at sharepoint (yeah, yeah, okay "moss")?  wanted to add some ajaxified love to those new interfaces?  or perhaps some of your own web parts. take a look at some comments from mike ammerlaan on the topic.  in a recent post, mike talks about integrating asp.net ajax with sharepoint (see he doesn't even use moss).  there are some tips on extending the sharepoing web.config with the appropriate elements, yada yada. in addition to that, eric schoonover writes about the AjaxBasePart and provides examples and code for you to use. with these two resources it should be enough...

sharepoint: feedreader and flash web part on moss 2007

over the past few weeks i've been getting a few requests for if my web parts work on sharepoint 2007 (also referred to as moss).  well to be honest, time has been getting the better of me and i hadn't had a chance to test. well tonight i fired up a windows sharepoint services 2007 instance and loaded the web parts AS IS to see what they did after that i loaded them up.  here's the flash web part in action: and here's the feedreader in action: they rendered without issue for me.  there is something funkadelic in the upper left corner that i...

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...

wicked wpf/e demonstration

want to see a wicked demo?  well, if you know slovenian, you'll know what it actually says, but check out this demo anyway, using WPF/e -- www.windowsvista.si -- this is all WPF/e baby...check out the "glass" even on the toolbars :-) and yes, just like the real windows, the status tray keeps popping up something! tags: wpfe, wpf/e, windows presentation foundation, atlas, ajax


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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.