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while reading the silverlight.net forums, i came across a post by mark easton where he posted some python code with a cube and photos.  he referenced an article regarding manipulating transform matrix concepts and although it is for flash, it equally applied to silverlight.  i thought it was interesting and got the code and ran it.  pretty cool to see python code driving silverlight applications!

i offered to put the sample up somewhere for mark, so here it is below.  i actually used the silverlight streaming services to post it since it was a simple enough sample.  great work mark!  the code files used to generate this are attached to this post as well, and reference the article for the background on the logic.

Code files: python.zip

 

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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 have been working on a little lab project using .  first let me tell you about the team...they rock.  i figured there would be a ton of questions, etc., but from our first initial meeting, their team was already spouting off xaml in conversation and talking about the animation engine in silverlight.  these guys don't go into anything blind and did their research and gained some super knowledge.

many of their clients rely on them for interactive design and development, and trust me, they know what they are doing.  their project here was a simple idea, take a concept which they've done over and over for clients, a game, and see if can be proven as a platform for these types of games.  they set out building a 'twitch' game...something that can be played quickly, that you'd play again and send to your friends for some quick rivalry for high score.

after about 4 weeks involving designers (using expression design and expression blend), developers (using visual studio 2008 beta 1) and animators, they've delivered on their goal.  in my last meeting with the team they had a ton of ideas for the game, but wanted to get this first version out there.

so what is it?  well, is a game and involves our absent-minded astronaut, lt. bennett, who continues to crash his ship into an asteroid.  your objective?  help lt. bennett find his way back to his ship in each level through various mazes.  there are different types of levels and different types of obstacles involving teleports, asteroids, ice blocks, pipes, etc.  once you get lt. bennett back to his ship, you advance.  your score is based on time and moves.

so try it out, get the high score, send it to your friends and see if they can beat you.  follow lt. bennett and his journey via myspace, facebook and follow him as a friend in twitter.  he'll be posting pictures from the milky way, comments about his journey, and reacting to your feedback about the experience.  he'll also be taking questions, suggestions and possibly accepting ideas for new missions (game levels).

zero gravity requires the silverlight 1.1 alpha plugin to be installed.  this plugin works with internet explorer and firefox on windows, as well as safari and firefox on the max osx platforms.  you can read about silverlight and platform support at the silverlight.net community site (which has great resources as well to learn from).

this game was written entirely in 1.1 using the .net framework and the tools provided.  it was really great to see the designers working in blend/design and passing their xaml assets on to the developers for integration.  in fact, the continuum seemed to work well as the developers were working on the gameplay well before any assets had been created...the nature of xaml allowed them to quickly swap out the user interface elements without changing their code at all.

i know the team has visions for people creating their own levels and submitting, perhaps even hosting your own version of the game.  you can follow their blogs for samples on how they implemented certain scenarios, what challenges they faced, what they liked/didn't like in silverlight, etc.  for now, give them feedback and see if you can become the zero gravity master.

congrats to the team.  i trust they will be doing more advanced experimentation with silverlight and their clients.  if you need someone to implement some silverlight applications for you, for sure you need to contact these guys.

now, go play ... and digg it!

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over at the , the posted a great post everyone using silverlight 1.1 should read.  it's about the removal of some non-generic collection from silverlight.  take a moment and read it...they've been marked obsolete, but will be completely removed from Silverlight so make sure you are taking a look at these removals.  there is also a link to a post on details of how and why to convert your non-generic collections.

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UPDATE: okay, so i dug a little deeper, it looks like these are implementing on a windows form host, so your mileage may vary.  getting interaction with other silverlight DOM/canvas objects might be tricky...

well, i have to admit that i only spent about the last 2 minutes looking at these, so this might be an irresponsible post :-), but what i saw was impressive.

netikatech just announced on their site that they are releasing 40 controls for for free!  the product, called "GOA Winforms" describes itself as an implementation of the standard System.Windows.Form class library for rich internet controls...these controls include:

    • Control, ContainerControl, ScrollableControl, Panel
    • Button, CheckBox, RadioButton, GroupBox, Label
    • TextBox, NumericUpDown
    • ImageBox, ImageList
    • ScrollBar, HScrollBar, VScrollBar
    • Form, MessageBox, Cursor
    • ListBox, CheckedListBox
    • ComboBox
    • TreeView
    • MonthCalendar
    • TabControl, Splitter
    • ToolTip, ProgressBar, Timer
    • ToolStrip, StatusStrip, MenuStrip, ToolStripButton, ToolStripComboBox, ToolStripDropDown, ToolStripLabel, ToolStripProgressBar, ToolStripSeparator, ToolStripSplitButton, ToolStripTextBox
    • XamlCanvas (Silverlight specific)

i'm in the process of installing right now (you must have visual studio 2008 beta 1 to install :-( ), but you can get them by downloading here.

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just yesterday tim sneath posted a video on creating video with overlays.  as i saw that come in my reader, i was just finishing testing my code for a screencast i was recording on creating video with timed overlays.  i figured, what the heck, you can never have enough tutorials, and mine was demonstrating a different method for accomplishing the same thing.

the scenario i was thinking of came to mind when i was lazy and watching television.  i saw a commercial where the person in the commercial said "if you call the number that is at the bottom of your screen" and then the number popped up.  i thought this concept would make a good tutorial on using markers in media files.  for advertisers, this would allow media to be re-used, but leverage different messaging in the form of language, promotional offers maybe,  especially in the web space, you'd probably want to provide specific marketing depending on the placement of the media advertisement.  or at least that was my thinking...

Creating Video with Timed Overlaysanyhow, so i put the screencast up and added it to my TimCast feed.  it demonstrates first using (preview) to import a quicktime movie file recorded with my isight camera and placing media markers within the media, then encoding the file to a consumable format by .  the next step is leveraging expression blend 2 (preview) to render the media and add event handling looking for the media markers and responding to them with different animations and functions.

it's about 19 minutes, and might be some good peripheral learning.  i'm hoping to do more of these, so any suggestions of topics is appreciated...feel free to leave a comment about a suggested topic.

you can also view the video on channel9 if you don't like subscribing to podcast feeds.