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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.



Using vector data for AppBar icons in XAML

I was helping a friend today doing some over-the-shoulder code review and suggestions for his Windows app he’s writing for the store.  In doing this I asked a question about how to perform a certain action.  He indicated that he put those functions in the AppBar and was it not obvious I was supposed to use them.  I looked at the AppBar again and found out why I wasn’t drawn to them.  First, the labels he used weren’t descriptive to me and relied too much on me looking at the actual icon.  Second, however, is that when I hovered over...

HOW TO: Use SQLite in C# Metro style app

I got a few questions and comments about how to actually include SQLite in a C# Metro style app.  Since perhaps it wasn’t clear in describing in my post, I thought a quick video might help demonstrate the steps to build and use SQLite in a C# Metro style app. The video walks through actually building SQLite from the source (Visual Studio 2012 required…express is fine) and adding it to a C# Metro style app, create a database, populate with some data based on a class and databind the query to a ListView.  The video references my OneNote notebook on the...

Callisto: A toolkit for XAML Metro style apps

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

Using SQLite in a Metro style app

At the “Developing Windows 8 Metro style apps with C++” event that happened on 18-May-2012, we saw and heard some very interesting things.  If you were watching live then hopefully you didn’t see how I tried to work through my presentation while my disk was suspiciously guzzling every last byte until it eventually ran out of space!  But I digress… During the keynote presentation by Herb Sutter, we brought up several customers that are well-known in the native code world to talk about their experiences with Metro style apps and C++/Cx.  In particular hopefully this one caught your eye: That’s right, the...

Develop your app for everyone–localize your UI

Being more involved in the engineering process of a product I had the chance to participate in the design of various features instead of just the ones that I’m responsible for delivering.  One of those areas was the way we would enable developers to produce localized applications.  Before this process I have to be honest and as an app developer never really paid much attention to providing localized versions of any app that I wrote.  I had absolutely no good reason for coming to that decision, just never bothered.  In helping to design and understand localization a bit more I...

Metro app development hidden gem: anonymous type binding

Just a little post to point out a hidden gem if you are a .NET developer creating a Metro style app: you can bind to anonymous types.  This came up in a discussion with a customer today that I was having and, frankly, I never tried it until then because my mind was back in Silverlight where this isn’t possible.  There may not be a tone of cases where this is valuable for you, but knowing it is there may help. Let’s assume I have a basic class Person: ...

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...

Using a ToggleButton in your XAML Metro style AppBar

If you’ve been playing around with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview then hopefully you’ve seen the hundreds of samples provided and downloaded some apps form the store.  In a lot of those applications you’ll notice the common theme of the use of an AppBar…the command bar that shows when you swipe from the top or bottom of the screen.  You can also invoke the AppBar by right-clicking or using the Windows 8 keyboard shortcut of Windows key + ‘z’ to bring it up as well. Picture of the AppBar in the Bing Maps application ...

Monetize your Metro style app with Microsoft AdCenter

Today, the Microsoft Advertising team announced an update to their AdCenter SDK to include support for monetizing your Metro style apps. In a blog post announcing the update, Ian notes that if you were using the previous SDK that there have been breaking changes and to use the updated SDK.  This update includes support for XAML applications and adding the ad units couldn’t be easier.  After installing their SDK (which was developed using the same distribution concepts in my post about creating a distributable custom control previous post), you will be able to use Add Reference in Visual Studio,...

Building a deployable custom control for XAML Metro style apps

At //build one of the surprising immediate things I heard about was folks wanting to build custom controls right away.  I knew that would happen, but not so quick on something so new (WinRT).  The XAML platform did not have good support for building custom controls in the Developer Preview but now that the Consumer Preview for Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 Beta are out, there is much better support.  There are two key things when thinking about custom controls: 1) building it and 2) making it consumable by developers (even if those developers are your own company).  I’ll...

Use Bing Maps in your Windows 8 XAML applications

Today the Bing team announced the release of their WinRT Bing Maps control (BETA) for XAML applications.  First the goods: Read their announcement here: Bing Maps for Metro style apps Download the bits: Bing Maps SDK for Metro style apps (VSIX) Read the reference API docs: Bing Maps SDK If you are familiar with the Silverlight control, it is similar in nature to how you would use it in your XAML Metro style app.  Here’s some helpful tips that are in the docs but just wanted to elevate...

Building a good app settings experience in XAML

So you’ve started to kick the tires of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and now you are building an app.  You’ve read all the UX design guidelines and started looking at some great apps on the store.   Perhaps you’ve also viewed the online documentation and some samples?  And you’ve likely read about the contract implementations and other charms items like custom settings.  UPDATE: Take a look at Callisto: a XAML toolkit which has a SettingsFlyout control What is Settings? When I refer to Settings here I’m referring to that consistent experience in Metro style apps when the user invokes the charms bar...

XAML AppBar Button Styles for Windows 8

An old colleague of mine and now HTML extraordinaire, Adam Kinney, just recently posted on his spelunking of some styling in both WinJS and XAML runtimes with regard to icons/buttons to use in a Metro style app and the AppBar. Adam has two posts: (WinJS) Windows 8 AppBarIcons enumerated and visualized (XAML) Windows 8 AppBarButtonStyles enumerated and visualized Basically what these do is define a set of styles, both in CSS and XAML, that map back to unicode values in the Segoe UI Symbol font.  This contains a...

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Available!!!

Today, Microsoft will reveal the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for download to everyone.  This builds on the momentum and feedback from the Developer Preview released in September.  I’m very excited to get the developer platform in front of you so you can see the changes and new features we’ve made available as well as fixes based on your feedback. Along with the release of the actual bits, we’ve updated many resources for you to take advantage of as a developer, so allow me to iterate my top resources for you now… First, download the Windows...

Code signing for the independent developer

One of the features introduced with Silverlight 4 was the out-of-browser feature, enabling you to create an application that can be installed, run offline, automatically updated, etc.  As a part of that feature, some of the major code signing certificate vendors (for Authenticode certs) provided our team with test certificates so that we could go through the same process as a developer would to acquire the cert and apply it to an app…and, of course, validate it works. During that time some of those vendors had promotional codes for the first year for Silverlight developers, providing reduced-rate (but not...

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...

Windows Store details announced and a contest

Today there was an event in San Francisco which introduced the Windows Store for Windows apps as well as some details on revenue sharing and policies.  As a part of that Antoine LeBland, Vice President for Windows Web Services, also opened up a new dialog about the store specifically in a new blog Windows Store for developers.  This blog will help developers learn about aspects of the store as well as serve as a place for dialog between the store teams and you, the app developer.  I think it is great that the store team is following in the footsteps...

XAML Sessions at BUILD

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

Silverlight 5 RC available for developers

The Silverlight 5 Release Candidate (RC) is now available for developers to download.  As with previous preview releases, this is a developer-focused release, which means no production releases, no go-live license, etc.  This is made available for you to test your apps, upgrade to get latest features and to deal with the changes from beta to RC. The beta was a great release and preview of what the team had introduced as new features.  You can read back on my Silverlight 5 guide to new features post regarding if you haven’t understood the latest and greatest additions.  However there...

BUILD with Windows 8

In case you haven’t paid attention today, Microsoft announced the upcoming developer conference in September: Registration is now open so get registered…and save $500 now.  For a preview of what is coming in Windows, be sure to check out all the details at the company release “Previewing ‘Windows 8’” which includes a video walk through of some of the features. Then go register for BUILD! tags: windows, win8, build, pdcThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Silverlight 5 Beta–A guide to the new features

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

Silverlight 4 February 2011 Update Released Today

Today (at approximately 10:00 AM PST) our team released an update to the Silverlight 4 runtime.  This update, dubbed internally as “GDR3,” provides an update in the following key areas (KB2495644): Timestamp issues with media playback and VC-1 codec Visual Studio IDE crash when profiling a Silverlight application which has a pixel shader Enabling Silverlight to run as a 32-bit process in 64-bit Firefox on OSX DRM fixes for a “6207” error when playing protected content after upgrading to a version of Silverlight Memory leak...

Silverlight Toolkits now on NuGet

Last night after a quick e-mail exchange with Phil, David and Scott I revised my Silverlight Toolkit “NuPack” packages I had previously created when NuPack NuGet first came out.  At the time there were a couple of things still not supported and frankly, I got busy and never bothered to check back.  Scott had seen something on a forum inquiring why Silverlight stuff, namely our open source controls, aren’t deployable via NuGet.  There wasn’t any other reason other than resources not currently scheduled to add this to the build flows, etc.  So I spent a few minutes revising the packages...

Silverlight is dead. Long live Silverlight!

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

Deploying Silverlight assemblies via NuPack

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

Welcome New Silverlight MVPs for October 2010

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 2010) we welcome some new folks to the Silverlight group: Colin Melia (@colinizer) Kunal Chowdhury (@kunal2383) Tetsuji Kato (@iwiz_sophy) Kelps Leite...

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

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

Windows Phone 7 Developer Training events

It looks like the MSDN team has arranged some deep dives into Windows Phone development across the country.  I am sure that for Microsoft developers Windows Phone 7 represents a new opportunity to get out in the marketplace with your XAML skills and get recognized (paid) for your work!  It has been exciting to see a lot of interest from Silverlight developers in Windows Phone 7. If you are one that hasn’t had the time to soak in the platform or simply haven’t been paying attention, you are in luck.  There are a series of launch events...

Handling picture orientation in CameraCaptureTask in Windows Phone 7

I was spelunking around playing with Silverlight in Windows Phone 7 and specifically the CameraCaptureTask.  The “tasks” are APIs that allow you to interact with phone-specific functionality like the camera, picture picker, phone dialer, etc.  A whole list of the available tasks in the Microsoft.Phone.Tasks namespace can be found in the developer documentation. I was basically creating a simple application that would allow you to choose (PhotoChooserTask) or take a picture (CameraCaptureTask) and then display the picture (and later post it online or something).  Here was my basic XAML structure: ...

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

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

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tips and Tricks

On the heels of the Windows Phone Developer Tools and Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit releases I saw a lot of exhaling going on in the hallways today.  Apparently Jeff saved his largest one for an avalanche of knowledge on Twitter in the late afternoon.  Jeff Wilcox is a developer on the Silverlight team and has been working on the Silverlight for Windows Phone initiative as well as the toolkit released today.  He was headed out on vacation but decided to throw out some words of wisdom for Windows Phone developers working in Silverlight.  Here’s some of those nuggets –...

Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone 7

Well, the official Windows Phone Developer Tools are out!  Go get them. (warning likely some caching issues..direct installer here.) The awesome Silverlight toolkit team is at it again, this time for Windows Phone 7.  The team is releasing a series of controls/libraries to help WP7 developers fill some gaps and simply make things easier and more consistent.  The initial set includes the following: ContextMenu control DatePicker and TimePicker controls ToggleSwitch control GestureHelper library WrapPanel control These...

Writing plugins for Seesmic Desktop

Today, Seesmic more broadly launched Seesmic Desktop, a refreshed platform for interacting with various social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, etc.  Seesmic has been one of the leaders in this space providing client applications on various platforms across web, desktop and mobile and providing us with unified views of our interaction with others online. You may have remembered seeing Loic on stage at MIX last year demonstrating their first preview of this updated platform and inviting developers to be a part of extending the shell.  That’s right…their platform is extensible!  A great application that I can also...

Introducing JetPack–a new Silverlight 4 application theme

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

Silverlight, 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....

Silverlight 4 service release (September 2010)

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

Storing and playing media on Windows Phone 7

In talking with a friend about some Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight stuff recently.  He was giving me some great feedback about a few things (all of which I’ve passed along).  One of the things was what I felt was a common task that might exist in the mobile space but admittedly isn’t as clear if you are just coming to WP7 development.  The scenario is that of downloading media files and storing them for later playback. WP7 does not have a storage mechanism like SQLLite on the device, but since it is Silverlight, you do have Isolated Storage you can...

Debugging Silverlight with Visual Studio and Firefox

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

Pano versus Pivot: Windows Phone Design Days content available

One of the biggest discussions I started getting into when Windows Phone development was announced to the world was sparked with this single question I posed to our internal Windows Phone developer teams: What is the use case for when you would want to use a Pano versus Pivot application layout? I asked this in the context of an application for Yelp that I was writing.  Information was similar but not identical.  It was only similar in the sense that the data was all about user reviews and venues.  In my eyes I saw this like the fact...

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\}}"...

Smashing Magazine August 2010 Windows 7 Theme

August 1st is here (well okay, so I'm a little late)…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The August themes seem to be continuing the focus on 'summer' things.  So here is your August 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 35 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine August 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine August 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: August 2010 (original post) For details on these and to see past ones, visit the...

Microsoft PDC10 Announced–Book hotel early

So it appears we’ll be having a Professional Developer’s Conference after all this year.  Today we announced the PDC10. Unlike previous ones in ‘conference cities’ this one will be held at the source of the information, on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington.  The price looks to be less than previous as well, so check out the details at the Microsoft PDC event site. If you’ve never been to Redmond before, or if you have, allow me to give you some friendly advice.  If you think you might be coming, book a hotel room now.  Redmond isn’t a conference city like LA, Atlanta,...

Quick Steps to displaying data using PivotViewer and Silverlight

Last week or so the PivotViewer control was released, which is from the Microsoft LiveLabs team.  It’s a Silverlight control that enables you to visualize data information in a DeepZoom type experience.  Be sure to check out the PivotViewer learning section for some initial information if you haven’t seen any demonstrations. I received an email a few days back hoping for a more quick “how to” on using this control.  After all, it is a control for Silverlight and requires some implementation.  Honestly, I hadn’t even used it myself until I got that note.  I thought I’d jot down...

Silverlight Media Framework 2 released–integrate with Live Writer

Yesterday (7-Jul-2010), the Silverlight Media Framework v2 was released on Codeplex (yeah, it’s Open Source).  If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a Silverlight framework encapsulating the best practices for media playback for Silverlight applications.  It is both a framework and, in v2, they also provided compiled simple player XAPs that you can just drop in HTML.  If you are building apps, you’ll want to take a look at the framework in more detail, but if you want a solid media player experience grab the players too. Since I use Windows Live Writer as my blogging tool, I...

Silverlight bookshelf from SilverlightShow

SilverlightShow.net is one of those great community sites providing information, tutorials and general developer information around Silverlight.  They’ve done a great job providing a spectrum of beginner to advanced topics on Silverlight development.  At MIX10 I was talking with one of the brains behind the site (and Silverlight MVP), Emil Stoychev, one one of the ways they had been displaying book recommendations on their site.  It was a bookshelf view that I thought was cool and I wanted to use it for my own book recommendation list on my blog.  NOTE: It was...

July 2010 Silverlight MVP Awards

Each quarter, new MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) candidates are awarded.  January 2010 is the first awards of the year and so I present the new/moved/re-awarded Silverlight specific MVPs: Alex Knight (@agkdesign) – started SilverZine and is a XAML designer extraordinaire Cigdem Patlak  (@crocusgirl) – doing some really fun stuff with Silverlight Show and a talented developer/designer Rodrigo Diaz Concha (@rdiazconcha) – doing some really great things in our Latin America countries!  Gracias! Jeremy Likness (@jeremylikness) – seriously, go subscribe now.  Jeremy is too...

Top issues for Silverlight

A while back I had sent out an update on Twitter that I was sitting in a meeting reviewing some “top issues” for Silverlight as reported through various channels (official support, forums, social media outlets, blogs, incoming emails, etc.).  It really seemed to be a holistic view of incoming feedback from all over the place.  People asked if I’d share the issues we discussed and I thought it would be interesting to see what people are facing.  Interestingly enough, almost all of these are solvable and, at least in my mind, not ‘issues’ but learning opportunities (for developers *and* us)....

Hosting cross-domain Silverlight applications (XAP)

In the Silverlight world, there are two types of “cross-domain” things that may leave some banging their head against a wall for a while.  The first involves making network-based calls (WebClient, HttpWebRequest, etc) to services hosted on a domain other than the one that is the site of origin for the XAP.  This is solved by ensuring the service provider enables a clientaccesspolicy.xml file for their service.  More information here: Cross Domain Policy Files with Silverlight. NOTE: “site of origin” is a term you might see a lot with regard to Silverlight.  This refers to the URI domain of the Silverlight...

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...

Silverlight 4 Theme refresh including RIA Services templates

The feedback from the Silverlight 4 application themes released and the latest in process have been overwhelmingly toward the positive.  We appreciate the feedback and hopefully you appreciate the transparency in the process.  As a developer I want my fellow brethren to appreciate good design and use it whenever possible … even as a default if you don’t have designers on board. In the initial release we had some issues getting the RIA Services ones out at the same time but we’ve got those finished now for Silverlight 4 Business Application Template.  Download the refreshed Silverlight 4...

Silverlight 4 minor update–June 2010

Today we released a service update for Silverlight 4.  This is a minor release that addresses some items found immediately after release that have now completed our test passes with those who reported them.  Most of the items found won’t affect all users, but media developers will want to get this update for their applications and encourage their users to upgrade. This update (4.0.50524.0) addresses a few media-related items found by some of our media customers.  A few items were serviced for DRM users as well as 2nd monitor usage for media on the Mac platform.  If you are...

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...

Microsoft Translator client library for Silverlight

A while back immediately after MIX10 I started messing with Microsoft Translator APIs for Silverlight applications.  I also got some people asking about Windows Phone 7 stuff and messed around with that a bit.  Here’s some post for reference: Make your Silverlight applications speak to you Using XNA libraries in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 (with Translator as an example) In talking with the Translator team following MIX (where they announced they were working on a Silverlight class library for the API.  It was good to interact with their...

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...

Silverlight 4 Tools, WCF RIA Services and Themes Released

This morning we published the final release of the Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio and WCF RIA Services.  In April, when Silverlight 4 was released, the tools were still in “RC” status.  Today, they are no longer and are officially released.  There is no new update to Silverlight itself, but these tools are the final bits of this version. Get the Tools If you have a clean machine you can get everything you need using the Web Platform Installer by clicking on the link at the Silverlight community site.  This will install Silverlight Tools, Silverlight, WCF RIA...

Silverlight XAP Signing Certificate promotion from Thawte

And the offers keep coming in!  Another one of our key partners for testing XAP signing for trusted applications was Thawte.  Their group helped provide us with valid certificates to verify their process and signing worked as expected (and verified) for Silverlight 4.  Today I just got an email from their marketing department that they would like to offer Silverlight developers a discount on Thawte code-signing certificates to $89 for a 1-year…about 70% off their current rate.  That’s pretty amazing of them to do. Here’s their terms and details on how to get it… Terms ...

New Silverlight 4 Themes available–get the raw bits

NOW OFFICIALLY RELEASED: DOWNLOAD HERE A while back I posted a sneak peek preview of 3 new themes that we were working on for Silverlight 4 applications.  Our team wanted to do more than just the overall base theme and provide the themes for the core, SDK and some Silverlight Toolkit controls as well.  In addition, there was a lot of internal chatter about how cool these new themes were and a lot of teams wanting to adopt them as default, including WCF RIA Services. While we finalize a better distribution plan for these templates (and some may show up as defaults...

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools April 2010 Refresh

As most of you know at MIX10, we released the first version of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools (which are free) targeting Silverlight and XNA development to the world.  This was a community technology preview (CTP) release and targeted Visual Studio 2010 RC at the time (which was the publically available version).  Since MIX10, Visual Studio 2010 has released in final form and the phone developer tools team has been working to get a working version finalized. Today is that day – we’ve just made available the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (April 2010 Refresh) (direct link download).  This is...

Seesmic and Silverlight Provide an Extensible Social Platform

This week, Seesmic announced a new Seesmic Desktop platform.  They finally revealed more details to the public and released developer previews of their shell, SDK and some sample plugins.  You can get them on the Seesmic Developer Wiki. The best part?  It’s built on Silverlight 4 and the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)!  This is awesome news for those of us who have been using various clients that have been locked down to specific use scenarios.  There always is a few things I want/need/etc in software and it’s great now that (at least in this space) I can...

Backward Compatibility with Silverlight 4 applications

Each release of Silverlight it is the goal to make sure existing Silverlight applications continue to work.  Since I think what this means causes some confusion I’m going to do my best to explain what we mean by this. Silverlight 3 application working with Silverlight 4 Okay, scenario 1 is I have a Silverlight 3 application (XAP), will that still work as-is in Silverlight 4?  Yes, this is the situation we refer to as backward compatibility.  What this means is that existing compiled XAPs under previous versions should continue to work as-is even if your users...

Silverlight Client for Facebook updated for Silverlight 4 release

Yet again, we’ve updated the Silverlight Client for Facebook for the Silverlight 4 release version.  In order to use the updated one, you must follow these instructions: First, uninstall the previous version you have.  This can be done in Add/Remove Programs on Windows or by just deleting the app on Mac. Ensure you have Silverlight 4 installed.  If you are using the development tools and have installed Silverlight 4 developer tools, that’s fine.  If you are not a developer, visit http://microsoft.com/getsilverlight to get the latest Silverlight 4 version (4.0.50401.0). ...

Silverlight 4 released. Availability of tools announcement

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

Using XNA libraries in your Silverlight Windows Phone 7 applications

I recently got an inquiry to my Microsoft Translator sample on if this would work with the Silverlight in the Windows Phone 7 SDK.  I hadn’t tried it before, so I created a sample Windows Phone 7 application and copied the code over.  I used a basic UI to mock up the similarities: And then clicked the button.  The text translated fine, but no audio.  I didn’t get any warnings that the WaveMSS code sample I was using wouldn’t work.  Then I remembered about XNA. NOTE: I actually think this is a bug...

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...

Congratulations to latest 2nd quarter Silverlight MVPs

Congratulations to all the new/returning MVPs from all competencies, but I wanted to call out the newly awarded Silverlight MVPs for this latest round.  Please join me in congratulating them: Xuan Qin (China) Mark Monster (The Netherlands) (@Mark_Monster) Rene Schulte (Germany) (@rschu) Seungmin Ha (Korea) Jaana Metsamaa (Estonia) And a specific call out also to Colin Blair (@SLColinBlair).  Colin’s work in the WCF RIA Services space gained him recognition from the connected systems division.  Since Colin...

Smashing Magazine April 2010 Windows 7 Theme

April 1st is around the corner…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! As you might expect with April the general theme is Easter and Earth day type things.  There are a couple of nuggest in there, my favorite being the Reservoir Dogs tribute.  So here is your April 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 80 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine April 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine April 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: April...

New hard drive means re-install everything

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

What tools are the minimum to get started in Silverlight?

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

MSDN Radio follow-up answers: Prism for Silverlight, DomainServices and relationships

This morning I was on a weekly (new) radio show from MSDN, hosted by Mike Benkovich.  The show, MSDN Radio, features live call-in questions that you can ask.  It was a better format than the typical live meeting text-based QA I thought.  I think hearing questions gives you a better chance of articulating your inquiry more.  Thanks to all those who listened and asked questions.  I know it seemed short and there were a few more questions in the queue – feel free to send me questions you may have. UPDATE: The audio from the show was just posted here. There were...

MIX10: Yet another way to view video content sessions using their OData feed

Well, MIX10 is over.  It was a great time to meet a lot of people and see friends from afar.  As anyone knows, the networking is a HUGE part of being in-person at any conference…that vibe, value and friendship cannot be matched online. But the sessions – there were a TON of them.  It is quite impossible to be in 3 places at one time.  Thankfully the MIX team record all regular sessions and make them available for viewing online or offline.  For you Silverlight developers here are my picks to ensure you watch: EX55: Building the eBay...

Silverlight Client for Facebook updated for Silverlight 4 RC

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

Make your Silverlight applications Speak to you with Microsoft Translator

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

Simulate Geo Location in Silverlight Windows Phone 7 emulator

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

Getting Started with Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Development

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

A guide to what has changed in the Silverlight 4 RC

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

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,...

Silverlight MVPs of the Year (2009)

This week at Microsoft we are hosting roughly 1,300 of our top community experts around the world in various technical competencies.  For Silverlight, we have about 80% of our group in attendance from all over the world. At the beginning of the year the Silverlight team asked our MVP group to identify the individuals within their group have done a lot for Silverlight community and that they would consider worthy of being named an ‘MVP of the year’ award. First to be clear, ALL of our MVPs are top notch and all have contributed significantly to...

Silverlight DataGrid quick styling tip: keep selected row focus state

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

Reading MP3 metadata with Silverlight and drag-drop

I’m working on a little sample application for music management in Silverlight using WCF RIA Services and some other new Silverlight 4 features.  One thing that I wanted to add to the application was the ability to drag an audio file and either lookup the data and/or add a new album/artist/song to the library automatically. Audio formats have a ‘tag’ format known as ID3.  It’s a format used for audio file metadata that is used in Windows Media Player, iTunes, and various hardware devices as well.  Over the years there has been an evolution of this format, with the...

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...

Silverlight 4 NotificationWindow and Queuing multiple notifications

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

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

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

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...

Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development

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

Silverlight Toolkit adds DragDrop targets!

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

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...

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and Silverlight updates

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

Silverlight Live Streaming service update

Yesterday, the Silverlight Live Streaming team (SLS) posted an update on their blog regarding the future of the Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live service. SLS was a beta service to users to have a place to host and deliver their Silverlight-based applications or media to be delivered by Silverlight players.  It was launched at the time of Silverlight 2 as a free beta service to users under the Windows Live brand and offered 10GB of free storage to beta users. In summary, the SLS service is being discontinued.  Effective immediately no new account...

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 ...

Changing DatePicker in Silverlight to show current date

This past weekend during a conversation about Silverlight controls at the San Diego Silverlight Education Day, someone asked about the DatePicker control and why the “15” is there and how come they can’t change it.  Here’s the control that was being referred to: The calendar displays an icon to the right of the text box area which, when clicked, displays a drop-down calendar picker.  The icon always says “15” and is intended to look like a little calendar date sheet (you know, like those desk calendars). The question was how to change that icon.  Well, easily. ...

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...

How you chose and learned Silverlight

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

Compiling pixel shaders for Silverlight

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

Silverlight minor update released today

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

Help drive VS/Silverlight user experience

One of my colleagues, Corrina, pointed me today to some research her team is conducting on user experience with Visual Studio and Silverlight.  From her post today, …that my co-workers on the Visual Studio User Experience Team are doing focused on professional and non-professional web/application developers. The research involves… A short survey A telephone interview to discuss your development experiences A gratuity will be offered to individuals selected to participate in the telephone interview,...

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...

Silverlight misconceptions, bad reviews, bad comparisons

UPDATE: Michael has posted a comment here and offered himself up to the gauntlet and apologized for his article.  He writes below: Tim did me a favor with this article, and his comments on Connected Internet. I have left the article up on Connected, because frankly, I deserve the lumps I get over it. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes talking with me, reading this blog, or listening to me on podcasts (Herding Code, Thirsty Developer, Misfit Geek) will know that I LOVE Microsoft.  I’m not ashamed to admit it and I’m not ashamed about my passion for the company...

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...

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...

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

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

Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

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

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...

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 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 3 Sample Application: Slidentity

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

ClearRx Medical Prescriptions and Software Design

I understand that there was some folks at MIX09 who weren’t happy (or maybe ‘were bored’ is the better term here) about the day 2 keynote session with Deborah Adler, a designer from New York who created the ClearRx system for medical prescriptions.  Yes, it was not your typical Microsoft keynote presentation and in fact, followed by IE8 announcements, had nothing to do with releases, Silverlight or anything like it.  Sort of.  Robby said it was the best MIX keynote ever, and if I wasn’t a geek, I’d agree (I mean, c’mon, I’m a ScottGu fanboy too). I’m guessing...

Silverlight 3 Out-of-browser Update Model

PLEASE READ UPDATE: While the API for checking for updates has changed, the update model *after* that method call to CheckAndDownloadUpdateAsync is the same as described below.  See this note for updates since this article to the Out-of-browser experiences. Wednesday at MIX09 was a great day.  I was exhausted, but after the keynote I was so high on excitement it was great.  Throughout the day Twitter was buzzing (or is it fizzing?) about all the news around Silverlight 3.  In one conversation around the out-of-browser experiences with Silverlight, I caught a conversation on Twitter about it with questions about the update...

A guide to Silverlight 3 new features

Well, by now the interwebs are getting busy with the news about Silverlight 3 details announced at MIX09.  The team has been hard at work (and still aren’t resting) pushing out this beta release.  Over the next week you’ll see lots of blog posts by team members and Silverlight MVPs who have been enthusiastically waiting to share what we’ve been working on and show you some sample applications they’ve been working on.  Quite frankly, so will I :-). But in the meantime, allow me to share my thoughts and perhaps some deeper details with you if you can’t discern them in...

Silverlight Smooth Streaming: UX Simulator

I’m sure you’ve heard of the IIS7 Smooth Streaming information and perhaps even experienced it if you watched some of the NBC Olympics streams last year or the Presidential Inauguration this past January.  It’s a great experience for online media being able to seamlessly deliver quality media online without constant buffering when latency occurs in networks you don’t control, such as your customers’ ISP accounts. You may have wanted to try out this experience yourself to see exactly what it does and how it works…as well as to simulate bad/good bandwidth.  Well, you can.  Here’s what you do: ...

Follow Silverlight updates on Twitter

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

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. ...

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...

A comprehensive list to Silverlight Controls for developers

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

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...

Hosting Silverlight content on a CDN

Over the holiday this past week I got a ping from Scott Cate about some Silverlight media questions, namely a player and Silverlight Streaming.  The gist of the conversation was that the Encoder 2 SP1 templates and the SLS Plugin don’t play nice together (yet).  I know that the team has been testing some updates to the plugin for uploading Silverlight 2 templates to SLS, but for now if you tried to do that you’ll get a random error message that won’t make sense to you (something along the lines of template not found). After talking with Scott and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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 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...

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? ...

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...

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...

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: ...

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. ...

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...

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...

Some new Silverlight videos

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

Silverlight 2 Media Player project now open source

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

ATMs, design and XAML

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

Updated Silverlight media player using VisualStateManager

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

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Silverlight and Media Encoding

While you may not personally work with a lot of media solutions in your Silverlight application, it is nice to know the quality is there when you need it.  Silverlight supports the VC-1 codec for media which provides a standards implementation for high quality media.  I would imagine that most developers probably don’t know/care what all that means.  But if you are deploying a high-touch media solution (i.e., online TV, etc.) you want that high quality. Our resident media expert, Ben Waggoner, just put up a great (and detailed) post about some ‘high-touch encoding’ techniques he uses and does some comparisons...

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 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

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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? ...

expression design sp1 improves xaml export

yo, check it.  expression design has released a service pack.  what!?  i know how can that be?  a service pack < 8 months after its release?  i say awesome.  i've been wanting microsoft teams to continue to become more and more agile especially with regards to very helpful features or great improvements of existing features based on user feedback. one such point of feedback that is implemented in expression design is that of xaml generation of the layers and/or complete surface.  you didn't know design can generate xaml?  shame on you.  i did a podcast (you should really subscribe to the...

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...

using expression for manipulating paths and points

while perusing the silverlight.net forums i found a question of "creating half circle in blend" and posted my answer (actually posted the xaml of my answer). rather than try to articulate it in text, which i started out doing and was failing in my own mind, i decided to do a quick screencast demonstrating what i did.  keep in mind i'm not a vector guy but did it the way i knew how.  i hope that someone can correct me with a super easier way of doing it, but until then i'm fine with my method :-).  essentially i used expression...

expression blend 2 september preview

the expression team has made another drop of their blend tool.  the september preview of 'blend 2' is available on the site.  i installed it yesterday and it has some nice improvements for both client and silverlight development.  some better control over keyspline animations if you need them, more properties exposed on things you would have liked not to edit xaml on :-), etc. have fun and get it!  you have to uninstall the august preview if you have it.  blend 1 (rtm) and blend 2 preview can run side-by-side (that's how i run them) fyi. tags: blend2 , expression , expression...

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. ...

convert svg and vector to xaml with expression design for silverlight

i recently started to embark on a little 3 part series involving taking a pdf document of a baseball field and doing some silverlight and asp.net ajax love with it.  it led me along a path of creating some intense xaml design elements actually and i thought i'd share (in simpler form) the process i used. expression design is a graphic tool that enables creating vector art that can then be exported to xaml (either WPF or silverlight).  it is a great tool that i'm starting to be more and more familiar with.  design understands various import and export format but...

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. ...

updated blend 2 august preview

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

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...

post mix expression training

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


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