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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 across the country (US) starting May 29.  it is only $175 to attend for a 2-day training course where you will learn:

    • expression design and blend training
    • xaml
    • vector drawing and transformations
    • end-to-end design activities
    • controls and layouts in blend
    • triggers and animations
    • media integration
    • data binding
    • custom windows
    • working with visual studio and blend together
    • end-to-end WPF solution scenario of a retail store implementation

it should be a great opportunity to learn...the shows are coming up quick with las vegas being the first followed by san francisco.  see the schedule and register here...reserve your seat now!

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they keep coming don't they.  personally, i crack up when i see them.  i, like others, share some feelings that i wish they would be more accurate in their advertising comparisons (like the fact that apple has a UAC feature themselves!...or perhaps that some hackers feel vista is more secure).

i just saw on adwatch that three more just came out -- again with some inaccuracies -- so i went and saw them online...got a chuckle again.  i was *very* surprised with the comments on the post though...people basically telling apple to start to "think different" as their ads are getting stale, only attacking vista and not really talking about why a mac is better, etc.

anyhow, interesting reads on the comments.

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now that the virtual earth version 5 sdk/control is out and available, some that may want to quickly move to v5 may find some refactoring required.  for me, it was pushpins.  when using v4 of vritual earth, i would normally create a VEPushpin first like this:

var pin = new VEPushpin(
        someId, // unique identifier of the pin 
        latLon, // a VELatLong object
        "images/custompin.png", // custom pin object
        "some title", // title
        "some details", // details
        "pinIcon", // icon style
        "pinTitle", // pin title style
        "pinDetails"); // pin details style
    
map.AddPushpin(pin);

when i changed my app to use the v5 control, that instantly broke.  in v5 the pushpin is elevated to the same level as other shapes (or other shapes are downleveled to the same place, whatever you want to think of it).  now when you want to add a pin with some customization, you will want to create a shape like this:

var shape = new VEShape(
                  VEShapeType.Pushpin, // the type of shape
                  [latLong] // a VELatLong object
                 );

shape.SetCustomIcon(pinIcon); // if you wanted to set a custom icon

shape.SetTitle("<div class=\"pinTitle\">" + title + "</div>");
shape.SetDescription("<div class=\"pinDetails\">" + details + "</div>");

map.AddShape(shape);

as you can see basically it isn't too much work, but essentially everything you add is a "shape" (either a pushpin, polyline, polygon).  the only thing i don't like about the new v5 way of doing things is in the v4 way, you could set the css class of the icon, title, details and it would apply it.  i think that was very simplified and allowed me greater control and separation of my styles from my code.  in v5 i now have to do that within my script.  :-( -- hey VE guys, can we change this?

of course, all this is documented in the updated , but i thought it might find it helpful real quick-like for those who may happen to read this :-)

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attention site builders: if your site copy has any words that are similar to "disable your pop-up blockers" please change now.  i've been seeing this a lot lately and it really bothers me.  i haven't seen it on any microsoft site yet, but if someone has, please let me know so i can pester the site owners as well (you know, trustworthy computing and all).  here's an example of one from samsung:

If you selected the "Software" link from the SGH-i607 (BlackJack) page and reached article regarding the Update for your BlackJack but were not taken to the End User License Agreement (EULA) page for acceptance and download of the file, it is because there is a PopUp Blocker is enabled on your system.  Please temporarily disable any PopUp Blockers that you have in order to download this file.  The PopUp Blocker can be enabled again after the download is complete. (via samsung.com)

generally these are pretty easy to get around without disabling them (i.e., hold ctrl key down while clicking) but samsung has succeeded in ensuring that i must disable my security features for a moment. 

seriously, this is horrible and DEFINITELY does not pass the test.  you can tell i'm serious because i took the time to capitalize definitely in the previous sentence.  if you are building a site that requires another page to 'pop up' then ensure you aren't asking your users to disable some form of security like blockers, virus, etc.  that is just plain bad internet citizenship.

(oh, and for the record, yes i did disable it, which the link launched a pop-up window which launched another pop-up window, which inevitably launched another pop-up window -- i'm currently looking at 4 samsung pop-up windows on a single click -- so there is more than just bad citizenship design going on here, but removing the pop-up would be a start...jeez)

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a few users have reported some issues with plugins not working correctly on ie7 on windows...but working fine within firefox on windows, etc.

this is due to a previous ctp build of silverlight not being fully uninstalled (hey, it's ctp isn't it) and residual registry grout hanging around...

the silverlight community is live and well though over at www.silverlight.net where there are forums and an answer was posted: http://silverlight.net/forums/t/437.aspx

hope this helps!