Showing posts with label Silverlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Silverlight. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

.NET SDKs, Targeting Packs and Downloads Information and Links

.NET SDKs and Downloads

You can build apps for many platforms and services by downloading .NET Framework targeting packs and SDKs and using them with Visual Studio. Check out the .NET Framework blog for information on new releases.

The downloads available differ by Visual Studio version. Pick your Visual Studio version ...

SNAGHTML18d958e

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Given today's, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 Released, I appreciated the timing on this information...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

.toolbox is .going, .going, soon to be .gone... (.toolbox was a site to help you learn how to build Silverlight apps... so yeah)

.toolbox

image

As of February 28, 2014, we'll be shutting off the lights here at .toolbox...

 

overview

Welcome to .toolbox, a fun online learning environment, where you will learn basic design concepts and how to apply them, as well as the fundamentals of creating Silverlight applications using the Expression Studio tools. .toolbox features two learning options: Courses and Tutorials.

Makes sense, in that I don't think I've heard much about this since I first blogged about it in 2010... Given it was to help you learn how build Silverlight app's I'm surprised it has lasted this long. OMG, does this Silverlight is dead?!  :/

 

Related Past Post XRef:
.toolbox Free online Silverlight/Blend and/or Design training (or the “I’m a developer, can you teach me how to design?” site )

Thursday, October 03, 2013

XAML Spy v2 Beta Visual Studio now available... (think "Spy++ for XAML as a VS Extension")

XAML Spy - XAML Spy for Visual Studio [beta]

First Floor Software is proud to announce the immediate availability of the first beta release of XAML Spy for Visual Studio. XAML Spy for Visual Studio enables spying on Silverlight, Windows Phone, Windows Store and WPF apps right in Visual Studio.

XAML Spy for Visual Studio is a VS2012 and 2013 extension for XAML projects. The extension is part of XAML Spy 2. You are only three steps away from happiness:

  1. Download and install XAML Spy 2 (beta). Start Visual Studio and load your XAML project.
  2. Right-mouse click your XAML project, select Enable XAML Spy, compile and run your app in DEBUG mode.
  3. Switch back to Visual Studio, open the XAML Spy Explorer (View > Other Windows > XAML Spy Explorer) and start inspecting your app.

Tip: hit Alt-Enter to open the Visual Studio property grid for details on the selected object in the XAML Spy Explorer.

Introduction

XAML Spy for Visual Studio adds a XAML Spy Explorer tool window to Visual Studio 2012 and 2013. The XAML Spy Explorer provides a real-time view of your running XAML app, with access to the app's package, isolated storage, user interface, and more.

image

...

XAML Spy 2

XAML Spy for Visual Studio is part of the next major release of XAML Spy (version 2). At this point in time, version 2 only consists of the Visual Studio extension. The standalone XAML Spy app (with its Modern UI interface) will be added in a future update. This beta release replaces any XAML Spy version 1 you may have installed. If your environment doesn't meet the requirements for XAML Spy for Visual Studio, or if you require features not available yet in this beta release, do not install this beta release. Learn more about the requirements and features in the next paragraphs.

XAML Spy for Visual Studio requires at least the Professional Edition of Visual Studio 2012 or 2013. The Express editions of Visual Studio are not supported.

...

Beta

Feel free to install and use this public beta to spy on your XAML apps. The release is fully functional, and does not require a license. This version will cease to function on October 15, 2013. Your feedback is highly appreciated, be sure to send us your comments and questions. XAML Spy 2 is available in the download section.

While the beta is only free for a couple days yet, that still a few days where you can play with it and check it out...

Monday, September 09, 2013

Get Blue! (No, not that Blue...) Get the free Office 2010 inspired Blue theme, free from Infragistics

Brian Lagunas - FREE Office 2010 Blue Theme for WPF and Silverlight Microsoft Controls

Shhhhh…. Do you hear that?????  That’s the sound of another great FREE theme!

Today’s theme is the highly requested Office 2010 Blue theme.  The Office 2010 Blue theme takes it’s visual cues from the Microsoft Office 2010 product suite.  This is probably the most popular theme among Windows developers.  Why?  Well ,let’s face it!  Most clients want all their apps to look like Outlook and Excel.  Don’t ask me why, they just do.  Maybe they just feel more comfortable with apps that have that Office feel to them.  Because of that, most LOB developers have to provide an “Office” type theme to make their end-users feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Well, now you can!  I am giving you this awesome Office 2010 Blue theme for Free!

Now remember, there is a catch to this free theme.  I will NOT support every single Microsoft control.  Why?  Well, because I would prefer for you to use Infragistics controls instead.  For example, I will not be providing a style for the Microsoft DataGrid because Infragistics has a much better xamDataGrid control.  You get the idea.

Silverlight

First up is the Silverlight version of the Infragistics’ “Office 2010 Blue Theme”. ...

image

WPF

Next up is the WPF version of the Infragistics’ “Office 2010 Blue Theme”.  Just like the Silverlight version, we are providing you with styles for the primitive WPF controls that appear in the Visual Studio toolbox, as well as some controls in the WPF Toolkit.  Just like for the Silverlight version, we organized the themes by their respective source so that if you don’t use the WPF toolkit, there will be no need for your code to take a dependency on it....

 

Here is the full list of support controls:

  • Accordion
  • AutoCompleteBox
  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • Expander
  • GridSplitter
  • GroupBox
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • PasswordBox
  • ProgressBar
  • RadioButton
  • Rating
  • RepeatButton
  • Slider
  • TextBox
  • ToggleButton
  • Tooltip

image

Blue is coming back, as seems to be a theme that people like, so having a free version that supports many WPF controls, is nice...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
WPF/SilverLight IG Theme is now free from Infragistics
Brian (and Infragistics) is having a theme give-away... As in giving away some of their WPF and Silverlight themes

Friday, August 09, 2013

WPF/SilverLight IG Theme is now free from Infragistics

Brian Lagunas - FREE IG Theme for WPF and Silverlight Microsoft Controls

It’s that time again!  Time for another free WPF and Silverlight theme for the Microsoft controls.  The last free theme I gave away was the Metro Light and Dark Themes for WPF and Silverlight Microsoft controls.  Soon after I released that theme, there was an overwhelming positive response from the community.  So, I am fulfilling the promise I made in my last post.  I am releasing another free theme.

Today’s free theme is the standard Infragistics Theme, also referred to as the IG Theme.

Silverlight

First up is the Silverlight version of the Infragistics’ “IG Theme”.  We are providing a style for each primitive control that appears in the Visual Studio toolbox, the controls that ship with the Silverlight SDK, and of course some controls from the Silverlight Toolkit.  As you can see, we organized the themes by their respective source so that you have the option to use which ever control you need and not add any unnecessary dependencies on other assemblies.  Here is the list of resource dictionaries you are getting.

...

WPF

Next up is the WPF version of the Infragistics’ “IG Theme”.  Just like the Silverlight version, we are providing you with styles for the primitive WPF controls that appear in the Visual Studio toolbox, as well as some controls in the WPF Toolkit.  Just like for the Silverlight version, we organized the themes by their respective source so that if you don’t use the WPF toolkit, there will be no need for your code to take a dependency on it.

Here is the full list of support controls:

  • Accordion
  • AutoCompleteBox
  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • Expander
  • GridSplitter
  • GroupBox
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • PasswordBox
  • ProgressBar
  • RadioButton
  • Rating
  • RepeatButton
  • Slider
  • TextBox
  • ToggleButton
  • Tooltip

image

Kudo's again to Infragistics and Brian for releasing this theme for free...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Brian (and Infragistics) is having a theme give-away... As in giving away some of their WPF and Silverlight themes

Friday, May 31, 2013

Brian (and Infragistics) is having a theme give-away... As in giving away some of their WPF and Silverlight themes

Brian Lagunas - FREE Metro Light and Dark Themes for WPF and Silverlight Microsoft Controls

The quest for a good application theme never ends.  You spend hours scouring the realms of Google and Bing looking for a clean, modern, and touch friendly theme to use in your application.  That is, until now!  If you have been looking for a free Metro theme for WPF and Silverlight, then look no further.

Infragistics ships a number of great themes with their NetAdvantage for WPF and Silverlight products.  As the Product Manager for these controls, I started asking myself, “Why should we keep these great themes to ourselves?”.  If you know me, you know I am a hard core XAML developer and I am all about community.  Heck, I single handedly wrote the most popular Extended WPF toolkit in the world, and I provided it to everyone for free.  So starting today, I am excited to announce that I am going to be giving away, all of our themes for the standard WPF and Silverlight Microsoft controls.  Yes, I said GIVING AWAY, as in FREE.

There is a catch though.  We will NOT support every single Microsoft control.  Why?  Well, because we would prefer for you to use our controls instead.  For example, we will not be providing a style for the Microsoft DataGrid because we have a much better xamDataGrid control.  You get the idea.  Also,  I am not going to give them to you all at once.  I am going to release them a one at a time.  Why?  Well, I want to see what kind of response I get from the community.  If I get zero response or support from the community, then there is no need to keep releasing themes.  I don’t want to waste my time, or the developers who create these themes time.  On the other hand, if the community gives me an overwhelming show of support, then I will be releasing more themes.  Seems fair, wouldn’t you agree?

Today’s free theme is a clean, modern, touch friendly theme in the form of the Infragistics’ Metro Theme.  You will be getting both a Light and Dark version. ...

...

Silverlight

You can see the full list of supported controls in the list below.

  • Accordion
  • AutoCompleteBox
  • BusyIndicator
  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • Expander
  • GridSplitter
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • PasswordBox
  • ProgressBar
  • RadioButton
  • Rating
  • RepeatButton
  • Slider
  • TabControl
  • TextBox
  • ToggleButton
  • Tooltip

...

WPF

Next up is the WPF version of the Infragistics’ Metro Theme.  Just like the Silverlight version, we are providing you with styles for the primitive WPF controls that appear in the Visual Studio toolbox, as well as some controls in the WPF Toolkit.  Just like for the Silverlight version, we organized the themes by their respective source so that if you don’t use the WPF toolkit, there will be no need for your code to take a dependency on it..

Here is the full list of support controls:

  • Accordion
  • AutoCompleteBox
  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • Expander
  • GridSplitter
  • GroupBox
  • Label
  • ListBox
  • PasswordBox
  • ProgressBar
  • RadioButton
  • Rating
  • RepeatButton
  • Slider
  • TextBox
  • ToggleButton
  • Tooltip

...

image

..."

This made me chuckle, "There is a catch though.  We will NOT support every single Microsoft control.  Why?  Well, because we would prefer for you to use our controls instead..." GOT to love that kind of clear and honest answer. Will that me everyone happy? No, it's the internet. I'm sure someone will whine... But hey, what do you want for free, your money back?

I applaud them for looking at their stuff and saying, "you know, this isn't directly revenue generating and we could do something nice for the community by giving some of our theme's away." Or they could have been thinking, "OMG the WPF app's I'm seeing are pretty darn fugly. Maybe if we gave our themes away..." Or more likely, "Brian, will you shut the heck up and stop bugging us about 'community' if we give something away? Like maybe our themes?"

Anyway, no matter what they were thinking, I'm glad they are doing it.

Finally I also like that it's a a little WPF and Silverlight love... :)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sometimes you just need a donut [chart]... Free ModernUI Charts for WPF, Windows Store Apps (and SilverLight too)

SharePoint Software Quality, .NET and ModernUI apps - Free ModernUI Charts for WPF, Windows Store Apps und Silverlight published

Some days ago I have published a free library with chart controls which can be used in client applications. The library can be used in WPF desktop applications, in Windows Store apps and in Silverlight applications.

Download the binaries, source code and some test applications: http://modernuicharts.codeplex.com/

Or directly try them in the Silverlight application: http://www.spalmblogger.de/charts/

image

...

Modern UI (Metro) Charts for Windows 8, WPF, Silverlight

This project provides a small library to display charts in Modern UI Style (formerly known as Metro) in WPF, Silverlight and Windows 8 applications. You can check the charts with the Silverlight test application here: http://www.tetracon.de/charts

Available Charts

  • ColumnChart (ClusteredColumnChart, StackedColumnChart, StackedColumnChart100Percent)
  • PieChart (PieChart and Dognut)
  • BarChart (ClusteredBarChart, StackedBarChart, StackedBarChart100Percent)
  • Doughnut Chart
  • Radial Gauge Chart

News

  • 2013-05-05: Release of BETA version with several bug fixes and new charts (Doughnut, Radial Gauge, improved test applications and many more)
  • 2013-05-04: Availability of Silverlight test application via http://www.tetracon.de/charts

Screenshots

Default Layout

image

I love that the source for these are available. Also that they are cross XAML platform...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Shedding a little light in helping Silverlight Dev's move to Windows RT. "10 Things Silverlight Devs Need to Know about..."

Visual Studio Magazine - 10 Things Silverlight Devs Need to Know About the Windows Runtime

Now that the final versions of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 have shipped, most Silverlight developers are looking at ways to translate their existing skill set to Windows Runtime (WinRT) apps built with XAML. Because you're already familiar with XAML, you need to understand what the Windows Runtime consists of, and how it's different than what you're used to. In this article, I document 10 things I've found while building my first WinRT app using XAML/C#; I hope they'll save you time and energy getting used to this new platform.

1. Fundamental Differences
It's important that you first understand the fundamental differences between Silverlight and WinRT apps. Take a look at Table 1 for a quick comparison of each platform's technology.

...

SNAGHTML22406ab7

2. Application Lifecycle

3. XML and Code Namespaces

4. WebRequest

5. Storage: Files and Isolated Storage

6. Navigation: No More URI

7. Controls

8. Animations

9. Charms

10. Monetization

...."

This is a great article by the one and only Michael Crump. It does an outstanding job of help all you Silverlight dev's make the move to Windows RT.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wondering if you could host your Silverlight App in Dropbox? Yep. Here's how..

CodeProject - How to Host Your Silverlight App on Your Dropbox Account

"You're new to Silverlight App development. After struggling for a long time, the time to show it to the world has finally come. But, you don't have any web hosting account. So, what will you do?

Don't worry about it (and don't commit suicide just because of it). I have a solution. You can use your dropbox account to host it. Curious how to do that? Just follow these following steps!

...

image"

Yeah, yeah, I know... "Silverlight is dead..." whatever. I still think this article cool and was something I've wondered about myself.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MVVM Light Toolkit v4 RTM's

MVVM Light Toolkit - MVVM Light Toolkit V4 RTM

This version supports Silverlight 3, Silverlight 4, Silverlight 5, WPF 3.5 SP1, WPF4, Windows Phone 7.0 and 7.5, WinRT (Windows 8).

Support for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 RC.

MVVM Light Toolkit

Project Description

The MVVM Light Toolkit is a set of components helping people to get started in the Model - View - ViewModel pattern in Silverlight and WPF. It is a light and pragmatic framework that contains only the essential components needed.

Get started

More information about the MVVM Light Toolkit can be found on http://www.galasoft.ch/mvvm.

...

Galasoft - MVVM Light Toolkit

The main purpose of the toolkit is to accelerate the creation and development of MVVM applications in WPF, Silverlight and in the Windows Phone.

Like other MVVM implementations, the toolkit helps you to separate your View from your Model which creates applications that are cleaner and easier to maintain and extend. It also creates testable applications and allows you to have a much thinner user interface layer (which is more difficult to test automatically).

This toolkit puts a special emphasis on the "blendability" of the created application (i.e. the ability to open and edit the user interface into Expression Blend), including the creation of design-time data to enable the Blend users to "see something" when they work with data controls.

Much has been written about MVVM as a pattern. I recommend starting with the following:

Installation and Creation

The MVVM Light Toolkit installation procedure is described here.

To create a new MVVM Light application, check this article (for Visual Studio) and this one (for Expression Blend).

...

I don't think I've Laurent's MVVM Light Toolkit before (at least not directly). Given this is the v4 RTM, I think it's about time I do...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
SilverLight 4, RIA Services, MEF and MVVM, oh my… A four part series from the mind of Shawn Wildermuth (updated for VS2010/SL4 RTM)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Hawaii goes v2.0 (as in Project Hawaii Cloud Services SDK 2.0)

Project Hawaii SDK 2.0

"With the Project Hawaii software-development kit (SDK), you can develop Windows Phone applications that take advantage of cloud services and Windows Azure for computation and data storage. Project Hawaii provides the tools and services; you provide the creativity and imagination.

Download Details

File Name: HawaiiSDKSetup.msi

Version: 2.0

Date Published: 7 June 2012

Download Size: 3.72 MB

Note This version of the Project Hawaii SDK is intended for academic use only.

What's New

In addition to the services available in the previous version (OCR, Speech to Text, Relay, and Rendezvous), Project Hawaii SDK 2.0 includes these new services:

  • Path Prediction—Predicts a user’s location given a trajectory.
  • Key-Value Store—Saves key-value pairs in a simple cloud-based hash table.
  • Translator—Translates text between any of 38 languages.
  • Text to Speech—Converts written text to spoken speech.

This release also offers infrastructure improvements for more reliability and availability of all services.

..."

Project Hawaii

Project Hawaii Cloud Services

The Project Hawaii SDK for Windows Phone enables you to create of Windows Phone applications that take advantage of research cloud services.

The following cloud services are included in the Project Hawaii 2.0 SDK:

  • Path Prediction Service
    This service enables a mobile application to predict a user’s destination based on current route data.
  • Key-Value Store Service
    This service provides a simple key-value store for mobile applications. With this service, an application can store and retrieve application-wide state information as text by using key-value pairs.
  • Translator Service
    This service provides an interface to Microsoft Translator. It enables a mobile application to translate text from one language to another and to obtain an audio stream that renders a string in a spoken language.
  • Relay Service
    This service provides a relay point in the cloud that mobile applications can use to communicate. It provides an endpoint naming scheme and buffering for sent messages.
  • Rendezvous Service
    This service is a mapping service from well-known human-readable names to endpoints in the Hawaii Relay Service. This service uses well-known human-readable names as stable rendezvous points that can be compiled into applications.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Service
    This service takes a photographic image that contains some text and returns the text. For example, given a JPEG image of a road sign, the service would return the text of the sign.
  • Speech-to-Text Service
    This service takes a spoken phrase and returns text (currently in English only).

While this SDK is intended for academic use only there's still a number of items of interest (especially if you're in the academic space... funny that).

(via Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - More Cloud Services on Project Hawaii)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Updated Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 RP Released

Programmer Payback - Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 Release Preview

In case you missed the news, Microsoft just hit a major milestone on its road to shipping Windows 8 with the public launch of the Release Preview version. With this new version comes new features and as expected: a number of trivial, yet importing changes that will affect app developers and their apps.

...

One such effort that we were proud to release alongside the launch of Windows 8 Release Preview is the update to the Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework (an open source video player component for Windows 8 metro style apps).

...

While Windows 8 includes some essential and great components to help building top notch media apps (namely the MediaElement for Xaml developers and the Video tag for JavaScript/HTML developers), the purpose of these components is primarily aimed at providing the fundamentals and low level support for playing audio and video. We here at Vertigo Software know video and we know that there is still a mountain to climb before you can ship a great media app. In a joint effort with Microsoft, we’ve worked hard to fill this gap by building a media player framework to make it simple and straightforward to accomplish the vast majority of your media app needs in Windows 8.

The Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework ships with a JavaScript and Xaml version of the framework that offers out of the box features to build great video apps without the fuss and months of development required to build your own media player. Besides support for the Windows 8 Release Preview, our latest update also includes support for major features such as player DVR controls (scrubbing, FF, RW, play/pause, …etc), player styling and branding, closed captioning, and just released today: video advertising!

...

Player Framework: an open source component of the Microsoft Media Platform

An open source, robust video player framework for Windows 8, HTML5, Silverlight, Windows Phone and other application platforms.

Video players can be incredibly difficult to build. When developers require support for adaptive streaming, closed captioning, advertising standards integration, DVR-style playback control, and other advanced features, the complexity of their video player grows exponentially. Over the last few years at Microsoft we have helped build some of the most advanced video applications on the Web including the browser-based experience for the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics with NBC Sports, the last three seasons of NBC's Sunday Night Football (including the 2012 Super Bowl), the CBS March Madness college basketball tournament, Wimbledon, and a number of other major, live events with millions of simultaneous users. As a part of those projects we have developed one of the most powerful video players on the planet. And we've decided to share it with everyone, for free.

The Microsoft Media Platform's Player Framework is an open source video player that we continue to develop and evolve. It is available for Silverlight, HTML5, Windows Phone, Xbox, and now, in our latest release, Windows 8 Metro-style applications. And it's fully open source!

The Player Framework supports a long list of advanced features including:

  • Adaptive streaming and advanced playback heuristics via the IIS Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows 8
  • Closed captioning support via SMPTE-TT and TTML
  • Advertising standards support including VAST, MAST, and VPAID
  • Advanced DVR-style playback
  • Robust skinning and styling
  • A number of other powerful features

..."

Friends don't let friends write their own advanced video playback controls...(when instead they can just use this!)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
MMPPF - Getting started guide for the Silverlight Microsoft Media Platform
That's smoooootttthhhh... The Smooth Streaming Client SDK Beta and Player Framework Beta for Windows 8 Metro
Building your first HTML Metro Style app with the Style Smooth Streaming Player walk through

IIS Transform Manager 1.0 (RTW) An extensible media transform engine with "watch folder" job submission, queuing, management, integrated media transcoding/container format repackaging
IIS Media Pack 1.0 – Helps make IIS7 a happy, media serving, camper

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Say goodbye to the Moon[light]... Moonlight (Silverlight for Linux) is officially abandoned.

InfoQ - Miguel de Icaza on ASP.NET MVC, Moonlight, and the Android Lawsuit

"...

InfoQ: Before Novell was bought out, there were some people working on getting Moonlight to run on Android tablets. Is that effort still underway?

Miguel: We have abandoned Moonlight.

InfoQ: I'm sorry to hear that, Moonlight looked very promising. Was it just a lack of manpower or do you there is no longer a future for browser-based Silverlight/Moonlight?

Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought would have to become.

And Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming.

These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful. These days we believe that in the C# world the best option is to split the code along the lines of the presentation layer. The user would reuse a core part of their application across all platforms, and write a new UI specifically for each platform they target: iOS with MonoTouch, Android with MonoDroid, Mac with MonoMac, Windows with WPF or Winforms or Mac, Web with ASP.NET and Windows and Linux with Gtk

It is not write-once-run-everywhere, but the result are applications that can exploit the native facilities and create native experiences on each platform.

..."

While this is kind of sad, it makes some sense. I mean, I wonder what the real world usage numbers for this was? I'd much rather the team at Xamarin work on stuff that's truly viable for the long term...

(via I Programmer - Mono Kills Open Source Silverlight)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Moonlight (Silverlight for Linux) v1.0 RTM’s

Thursday, May 03, 2012

From Code-Behind to MVVM, a three part series...

CodeProject - Migrate from Basic to MVVM and MEF Composable Patterns for a Silverlight Application - Part 1

"Introduction

One of my previous posts shows a simple demo application that uses a WCF RIA Services class library with the code first domain data service for CRUD data operations. There are a main screen and a child window with basic navigation and code-behind patterns. What happens if we upgrade the application to that with the MVVM and MEF composable patterns? How easy are the approaches? What are the details of the coding? The article series will address the questions with the easiest approaches and detailed coding explanations. The application, after completed, will not be a full-fledged sample, but should include all major aspects regarding the MVVM and MEF composable pattern implementation without focusing on some other areas such as the UI, data validations, data service operations, or security. I'll also describe how to handle the popup child window with the new patterns, perform the composable part clean-up, and persist the state when switching screens in pure MVVM styles.

Contents

..."

CodeProject - Migrate from Basic to MVVM and MEF Composable Patterns for a Silverlight Application - Part 2

"In the Part 1 of the article series, we have started the work on changing to MVVM and MEF composable patterns for a Silverlight application previously with basic navigation and code-behind patterns. By the end of the Part 1, the application is capable of loading a xap, exporting a class module to the composition container, and rendering the same screen to the browser as that before the changes. We will implement the composable MVVM modules for the MainPage user control, the Product List parent screen, and the child window in this part based on the architecture design shown from the beginning of the Part 1.

Contents and Links

..."

CodeProject - Migrate from Basic to MVVM and MEF Composable Patterns for a Silverlight Application - Part 3

"After completing the work described in the previous parts of article series, we have created the main content holder project and upgraded the Product List screen with its child window from basic patterns to the MVVM and MEF composable patterns. In this part, we'll add another demo screen into the ProductApp.Main project and create another set of projects in the solution for a new xap assembly so that we can switch screens between exported modules and xap assemblies. We'll then implement the module clean-up processes and add the state persistence feature into the application.

Contents and Links

..."

While this was targeted at a SilverLight application, there's lessons here for anymore moving a WPF/XAML app from code-behind to MVVM.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Lighting up the CommuterAPI with LightSwitch

Heavily Caffeinated - OData Apps in LightSwitch, Part 3

"Welcome back! In this post we are going to wrap up the OData application we started back in Part 1 and continued in Part 2.

To refresh everyone on how we got here, we started with the idea that we would use some new features in LightSwitch for Visual Studio 11 (Beta) that would allow us to attach to an OData service. Specifically we are attaching to the Commuter API OData service.

We wanted to solve 4 basic problems:

  1. Where is my stop? (we solved this in Part 1 and 2 with a Bing maps extension)
  2. When is my train arriving? (we solved this in Part 1)
  3. How do I get there? (we solved this in Part 1 and 2 with Route information and maps)
  4. How many escalators will be broken today? (we saved this problem for Part 3)

To find a solution to this last problem we are going to pull in data from the “Incidents” entity in the OData service. This entity contains all the information regarding broken escalators and things of that nature.

...

image..."

I had blogged about the Commuter API here, OData your Transit (Think CommuterAPI OData'ified), so this caught my eye. Also I've been watch the LightSwitch OData news and have to say that that might be its killer feature. Being able to easily knock out a nice, usable front end to an OData source (and/or to mashup an number of them) looks pretty neat.

Now what I'd like to see is if LightSwitch can grow beyond a desktop app (well in 11 there's a server side, but that's not what I mean), to provide Metro/WP7 UI's. Given the separation of concerns that's the bedrock of LightSwitch, I believe it might be possible (not easy, but I think still possible). We'll see. It's SilverLight story is at its last chapter, in vNext (12) I wonder what we'll see for the UI side, assuming it lives that long...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
OData your Transit (Think CommuterAPI OData'ified)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

YLAD (Your Last [WP7] About Dialog) v2 released

Mister Goodcat - Version 2 of YLAD released

"I've released version 2.0 of my open source component "Your Last About Dialog". This major new release adds full styling support to the about page, which gives you complete control over the visual appearance of the component. This not only includes simple details like foreground and background colors, font sizes and styles, but also much more sophisticated things like the possibility to add page transitions from the Silverlight Toolkit, or control the visibility of the system tray and other details.

Version 2 also improves the install experience from NuGet by integrating some quick start help, to get you up and running in only a minute, without the need to study the documentation separately. As always, installing from NuGet is the recommended way, but you can of course also download the binaries and source code from CodePlex if you want. To learn about the new features in more detail, consult the "Styling" section of the documentation. The default styles that are created for you when you install the NuGet package also contains some pointers and comments on what you can do.

..." [GD: Post Leach Level: 99%]

Your Last About Dialog, 2.0.0

Are you tired of recreating the same about dialog logic and content for each Windows Phone app every time? "Your Last About Dialog" is a robust and generic, highly configurable implementation you can easily pull into your own app and set up for your needs. It is able to pull most data from your application automatically, supports fetching both text and Xaml content from remote sources (with fallback local content), and allows styling as well as localization of the complete dialog content to all of the languages supported by your app.

Your Last About Dialog - Documentation

Creating an about dialog, or something comparable, is mandatory for a Windows Phone app. In the technical certification requirements (5.6) you are required to include "easily discoverable" information about the application name, version and technical support contact options. On the other hand, statistics show that the about or help screen of an application is one of the least used features of apps (some claim something as low as only 3% of the users are accessing it). This results in the need for something that:

  • Is only loaded when the user actually requests it, to avoid unnecessary bloating of the apps memory footprint and wasting performance
  • Updates the information e.g. about the app version dynamically to minimize your efforts and to eliminate the risk of forgetting to do that manually
  • Looks good but doesn't require too much time to implement, and can be reused easily for future projects.
  • Allows you to easily extend the content with additional information or data you want to present for a particular app only.


YLAD is exactly that. It's easy to integrate into your own app, it pulls the required data from your application dynamically so you'll never forget to manually update it, it's loaded dynamically when the user requests it and still optimized to show first content as quickly as possible, and you can extend it easily with both local, static content as well as content that is fetched from a remote source and can be switched and changed dynamically even after publishing your app. In addition, the dialog supports localization. All this is achieved through configuration and doesn't require to write additional code. For more information, please scroll down.

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Features at a glance

The following is contained in the package:
  • Shows information about your app dynamically (name, version, author etc.), all of which can be overriden explicitly.
  • Shows a configurable list of hyperlinks to your web site or email addresses etc.
  • Shows a button that lets the user rate your app in the Marketplace.
  • Allows adding an arbitrary number of additional pivot items to the dialog, containing local or remote content.
  • Freely configurable fallback content for remote sources if there's no network connection or in case of network errors.
  • Supports both text content (with auto-formatting/highlighting) and XAML content.
  • Can be localized for any culture you want to support.
  • Can be styled to fit your particular needs
  • Allows pre-selecting a specific item (for example if you want to show the version history directly after your app was updated).
  • Supports trial apps in various ways

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I love this and how it keeps me from having to reinvent something that all apps should have... an About Dialog. And I dig how it's not just an about, but the History too (as I love seeing the version/change history in apps and hate when I get an update without one).

Look before you write your own About dialog, please take a few minutes and check this out, you'll save yourself a great deal of time at a great price (free and it's open source too)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
YLAD - You're Last [WP7] About Dialog

Monday, April 30, 2012

Need get a GW-Basic fix? Here's GW-Basic running in Silverlight

AddressOf.com - GW-BASIC

I've been working hard since I got back from England on all aspects of the interpreter.

Language

For the most part, I think I have most of the language covered. I've added a few extra keywords; however, the primary purpose is the have as much compatibility with the original as possible. Most of these have been implemented using the documentation as a reference; however, it has become apparent that the documentation might not be as accurate as actually running the code in the original. So I'm constantly finding cases where tweaks are having to be done to accomidate the differences between what the documentation states and what the original version actually does. With that said, everyday there seems to be less and less of these differences.

Editor

Spent a bit of time working on the "editor' in an effort to have it work similarly to the original; including a few quirks since some samples seem to rely on these in order to accomplish animations. I hear what your thinking; animations and the editor? Yes, the last line (line 25) is treated as a special case in not only in edit mode but at runtime. I had to do a bit of rework in order to accomidate this quirky behavior; but I think I've got a handle on it. Tests I've managed to put together are producing similar results.

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Yep, GW-Basic. You know that's kind of awesome.

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And of course, everyone's first Basic program...

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Not that I wrote programs like that on the PC's running at school or stores... :|

Thursday, April 05, 2012

"Everything you wanted to know about databinding..." series (Know it, live it, data bind it...)

ScottLogic - Colin Eberhardt- Everything you wanted to know about databinding in WPF, Silverlight and WP7 (Part One)

"OK, so the title is a little ambitious, but there is nothing wrong with setting yourself lofty aims! Because of the depth of this topic I have decided to split this tutorial up into a series of blog posts, each of which explore a different aspect of the binding framework.

I don’t usually write tutorial blog posts and series, preferring instead to develop new controls or novel techniques. However, I really felt this subject needed an in-depth tutorial. Databinding is a fundamental part of the WPF, Silverlight and the Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 frameworks. It is a powerful concept that once mastered allows you to write concise and elegant code. Yet for all its power, it is a little complex and that is my reason for launching into this blog series.

The rough outline for this series is as follows:

  • Part One – Life before binding, INotifyPropertyChanged and creating bindings in code-behind
  • Part Two – The binding markup extensions, the DataContext and path syntax
  • Part Three – Other binding sources, ElementName, TemplatedParent, TemplateBinding
  • Part Four – Value converters
  • Part Five – List binding

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Having recently jumped back into the WPF world for some personal utility app building, I'm again humbled on just how little I know (or have to relearn). You all know that if you WPF (or Silverlight or XAML) and you're not data binding, then you're doing it wrong. Code behind needs to be left behind if at all possible. Sure for the uber-simple app's, it's okay. And for the initial prototype, to get something working it's okay (but watch the techdebt), but there comes a time in the app where the complexity will screen for data binding, separation of concerns, some kind of model, like MVVM. You'll know when that time comes, I'm sure. but the key is building it right'er earlier if you can.

Anyway, this looks like a great series and one I'll be following closely.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Windows Phone Developer Guidance Updated. Building WinPhone7.1/5 apps with MVVM, that are testable and more...

Francis K. Cheung - SHIPPED!!! Windows Phone Developer Guidance updated for Mango (WP SDK 7.1)

We dramatically updated our guidance around Windows Phone development. Beyond recompiling our previous guidance against the Mango SDK, the latest guidance takes advantage of many Mango features such as fast app switching, background tasks, and new sensor APIs. We also did a fair amount of work showing how to create a layer of abstraction on top of the Windows Phone APIs that facilitates unit testing.

We split up our guidance into three parts:

  1. Developing a Windows Phone Application using the MVVM Pattern
    This guidance walks you through building a simple Windows Phone application using CodeBehind files. The guidance then shows you how the same app can be much more unit testable when built using the MVVM pattern.
  2. A Case Study for Building Advanced Windows Phone Applications
    This guidance takes an in-depth look at how to write an advanced Windows Phone application, using many features of Mango. Unit testability was an important factor that guided the design of this application.
  3. Building Testable Windows Phone Applications
    Taking the work on unit testability from the above guidance, this guidance provides shorter samples of how to build unit testable Windows Phone applications.

..." [GD: Post Leach Level 99%]

Developing a Windows Phone Application using the MVVM Pattern

This documentation and accompanying sample application will get you started building easily testable applications that target Windows® Phone OS 7.1. You will learn the basics of the Model View View-Model (MVVM) pattern and dependency injection through a sample application that enables you to track the petrol consumption of three vehicles. The sample application is authored two different ways so that you can see the progression from a code-behind implementation to a view model implementation whose dependencies are injected.

Some of the topics that you will learn about include the following:

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A Case Study for Building Advanced Windows Phone Applications

Windows® Phone provides an exciting opportunity for companies and developers to build applications that travel with users, are interactive and attractive, and are available whenever and wherever users want to work with them. The latest release of Windows Phone furthers this opportunity by enabling you to build many classes of applications that were not previously possible.

By combining Windows Phone applications with on-premises services and applications, or remote services and applications that run in the cloud (such as those using the Windows Azure™ technology platform), developers can create highly scalable, reliable, and powerful applications that extend the functionality beyond the traditional desktop or laptop, and into a truly portable and much more accessible environment.

This guide describes a scenario concerning a fictitious company named Tailspin that has decided to embrace Windows Phone as a client device for their existing cloud-based application. Their Windows Azure-based application named Surveys is described in detail in a previous book in this series, Developing Applications for the Cloud on the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform 2nd Edition. For more information about that book, see the page by the same name on MSDN® at (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff966499.aspx).

In addition to describing the client application, its integration with the remote services, and the decisions made during its design and implementation, this book discusses related factors, such as the design patterns used, and the ways that the application could be extended or modified for other scenarios.

Some of the topics that you will learn about in this guide include the following:

  • Using the MVVM pattern
  • Displaying user interface notifications
  • Managing state and performing navigation
  • Encrypting and decrypting credentials
  • Persisting data to and from isolated storage
  • Synchronizing data between a Windows Phone device and a cloud service, both in the background and the foreground
  • Pinning Application Tiles and secondary Tiles to Start
  • Capturing location data, image data, and audio data
  • Authenticating with a cloud service from a Windows Phone application
  • Pushing notifications to Windows Phone devices
  • Transferring data between a Windows Phone device and a cloud service
  • Abstracting the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK
  • Unit testing MVVM applications

The result is that, after reading this book, you will be familiar with how to design and implement advanced applications for Windows Phone that take advantage of remote services to obtain and upload data while providing a great user experience on the device.

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Building Testable Windows Phone Applications

"This documentation and accompanying sample applications will show you how to build easily testable applications that target Windows Phone OS 7.1.

Some of the topics that you will learn about include building testable Windows Phone applications that:

Audience

This documentation and accompanying sample applications are best suited for developers with the following experience levels.

Some experience with:

  • C#
  • Silverlight
  • Windows Phone 7.0 or 7.1 SDK
  • The Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern

Little or no experience with:

  • Building testable Windows Phone applications

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Some light reading for the week...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

XAML Language Specification (as in the in the full XAML, WPF and Silverlight XAML Specs)

Microsoft Downloads - Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML)

"The Microsoft Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) technical documentation set provides preliminary technical specifications for this language based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) that enables developers to specify a hierarchy of objects.

The XAML technical documentation set provides detailed preliminary technical specifications of XAML Object Mapping. This documentation set includes details on XAML’s data model for Types, XAML’s data model for object hierarchies, and the techniques with which one maps from XML to those object hierarchy data model. Also included is documentation of Windows Presentation Foundation’s (WPF) set of Types and of the Silverlight Vocabulary of Types that can be used in conjunction with XAML.

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The XAML preliminary technical documentation set is intended for use in conjunction with publicly available standard specifications, network programming art, and Windows distributed systems concepts. It assumes that the reader either is familiar with this material or has immediate access to it.
The technical documentation set provides the following levels of audience support:

  • Implementer: Sufficient conceptual and reference information for a successful implementation of one or more protocol specifications for a given task or scenario.
  • Reviewer: A definitive resource for readers who want to evaluate or understand one or more protocols.

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Not sure if I've seen the XAML language specification, and it's variants, distributed like this before (I'm sure it has been, but I've missed it). In any case, I thought this really kind of cool, so there... :)