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Show 109: Pull up Microsoft. Pull up.

What’s new in Silverlight This Week in Silverlight

Recorded October 22, 2010

This week we try something new.  Erik calls Kelly and does a speed round to figure out what’s the matter with Microsoft these days?  Why is Apple doing everything right?  All in 7 minutes.

Chatting with Kelly

  • Apple’s boring events are turing out some cool stuff.  As an example, they just announced an app store for the desktop.
  • Microsoft’s PDC conference.  Any chance they’ll release an app store?
  • What else was great about Apple’s “boring” event?
  • Windows Phone 7 is a bright spot.  Is it the only bright spot at Microsoft right now?
  • The HP Slate 500.  It’s a turkey.  Everyone knows it.  Why does this keep happening?
  • Will Windows Phone 7 work on tablet devices?
  • How are Scott Barnes and Edward Tufte the same?

 

Guest Hosts

Brian Hendersonis a Silverlight Designer/Architect and INETA Community Champion. A few of the activities Brian can be found participating are flying (pilot), kayaking, hiking, or just taking video/photos.

Kelly White is an independent Silverlight Consultant. He previously lead the PDXUX.Net user group, and now runs the Portland Silverlight User Group with Erik Mork. Kelly has presented at user groups and code camps throughout the northwest on both Silverlight and WPF.

Music kindly provided by YACHT.

 

Book Review: Silverlight 4 In Action. Buy it.

 Silverlight 4 In Action by Pete Brown

Silverlight 4 In Action is Available!!!

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for this book for a while.  It doesn’t disappoint.  Do these things:

It’s that good. 

What’s in the book?

Chapters on:

  1. Introducing Silverlight
  2. Core XAML
  3. The application model and the plug-in
  4. Integrating with the browser
  5. Integrating with the desktop
  6. Rendering, layout, and transforming
  7. Panels
  8. Human input
  9. Text
  10. Controls and UserControls
  11. Binding
  12. Data controls: DataGrid and DataForm
  13. Input validation
  14. Networking and communications
  15. Navigation and dialogs
  16. Structuring and testing with the MVVM/ViewModel pattern
  17. WCF RIA Services
  18. Graphics and effects
  19. Printing
  20. Displaying and capturing media (including webcam/mic)
  21. Working with bitmap images
  22. Animation and behaviors
  23. Resoures, styles, and control templates
  24. Creating panels and controls
  25. The install experience and preloaders

What’s good about it?

  • It’s really clear.  Rare is the technical book that reads this well.
  • It’s really complete.  Rare is the technical book that covers this much material in style.
  • It has tidbits.  If you know of Pete Brown, you know he knows Silverlight inside and out.  This books surfaces that knowledge in a really interesting and compelling way.

What’s bad about it?

  • It’s not really a cookbook.  If that’s what you need, look elsewhere.
  • Buying this book kills trees. (I’m trying here…)

Who should buy it?

*Anyone* who is interested in Silverlight.  You want it on your bookshelf.

Windows Phone 7 Unleashed Bellevue Recap

The Bellevue Unleashed event was great.  It was our biggest yet!  The day looked like our other events (lecture and hands-on-labs followed by an application contest).  At this event though, David Kelley was able to join us to talk about Blend and Ux design.  Those two facets are soo important to apps that will sell well.

We only have one more event that isn’t sold out – Boise on October 25th.  See: http://wp7-boise.eventbrite.com/

Contest

 The contest was the most exciting part of the day, and we had some great entries.

1st place - I’m loving WP7.  A pandering name perhaps, but what a game.  It looked super hard.  And super fun.  And used the accelerometers!

2nd place – Powerpoint Remote.  Pretty much exactly what it says.  Imagine controller powerpoint from Windows Phone 7.  A favorite in the Apple store and will be in the Windows Phone Marketplace (we hope).

3rd Place – Lockdown. Run this app.  Put the phone in your glove box.  Bam.  Lojack.

Honorable Mentions

 Apartment Finder – Bring in all kinds of nifty info to help find an apartment

Bosstinator – Estimates projects for your boss.

Druminator – Super great looking drum machine.  If only it didn’t have a fatal flaw at demo time :)

Episode Finder – What’s that episode where Jane is a hero on that mud planet?  Oh, it’s called Jane’s World!!!

Megamillions – Ever want to win a million bucks?  This app will tell you the right number to play in the lottery.  Well worth any price they decide to charge for it.

Nimby – Search Zillow for home price index.  Get out of bad neighborhoods fast! :)

Thanks to everyone who came! I think everyone had a great time.

sponsors

Special thanks to our amazing sponsors!

  • Agilitrain
  • Silver Bay Labs
  • Silvertail Software
  • Wirestone
  • Microsoft

Windows Phone Unleashed Portland Recap

Play Video

Thanks to everyone who came to the Windows Phone Unleashed event in Portland.  It was a super great time.  It was great to see devices, and it was even better to run apps on them :)

First of all, if you missed the Portland event, we have upcoming events in several cities around the Northwest:

  • Bellevue – October 7th, 2010
  • Seattle (downtown) – October 14th 2010
  • Boise – October 25th, 2010
  • Register now as seating is limited.  Portland sold out, and I would expect others will, too.

    What did the day look like?

    It was a giveaway of a seat on the Silverlight Tour course.

    It was sessions on sensors, navigation, web services, push notifications, launchers and choosers, etc.

    It was a Hands On Lab where everyone got to build a real Windows Phone 7 application.

    But best of all, it was an app building contest.  We worked really hard so everyone could have a chance to deploy their apps to an actual device.  The apps that were created were pretty amazing.  And some of them are pretty nearly ready for the app store… It was a jaw dropping contest.

    1st Place – Dawg application.  This application was created by an individaual with 0 previous .Net experience!  It allows a user to interact with Craigslist and had *tons* of features.

    2nd Place – Zoo Pals.  This app is a great idea.  I hope it makes it into the app store err Marketplace.  Your kids get to take picture of zoo animals and put them over cartoony animal pictures.

    3rd Place – Am I too Drunk? This app uses accelerometers to determine if a user is too drunk to accomplish certain tasks.  Great idea :)

    Honorable Mentions

    My piggy bank.  I missed the action shot on this app, but it’s another one for kids!  It keeps track of piggy bank totals to avoid kid fights.

    My baby. Info about pregnancy (what happens in the 2nd trimester and… that kind of stuff).

     

    Apple Killer.  Get it?? The WP7 devices are “killing” Apple?  Well, not quite yet ;)   It’s an XNA arcade app.  Again, I missed the action shot :(

    Caddie Mate.  Who needs a caddie with this application?  Well except to carry  stuff.

    Color Shaker. Shake the color out of pictures.  Another one that’s great for kids.

    Twitterly.  What hackathon would be complete without Twitter?  This app (among other things) shows tweets that happen in close proximity.  The Tweet is coming from inside the house!

    Thanks to everyone who came!  It was a super day.

    sponsors

    Special thanks to our amazing sponsors!

    • Agilitrain
    • Silver Bay Labs
    • Silvertail Software
    • Wirestone
    • Microsoft

    Show 108: The HTML5/Silverlight “Controversy” with Scott Barnes

    What’s new This Week in Silverlight

     

    Scott Barnes Interview

    • Silverlight was much more popular than expected.
    • Silverlight isn’t going anywhere :)
    • Enterprise adoption has been crazy good.
    • Is the “WPF replaced by HTML5″ thought even a possibility?  It sounds like such a weird idea.
      • The core problem is that the ranks of .NET developers isn’t growing.
      • PHP is the 800 lb gorilla inside of Microsoft – what to do?
      • How can more developers be brought onto the Microsoft stack?
    • Scott is extremely supportive of Silverlight.
    • HTML5 great, but it’s a celebration of mediocrity.
    • Plugins aren’t the best idea, but they’re better, faster and more mature than html5.
    • Scott’s frustration: Microsoft gets locked into a path without outside input sometimes.
    • How would the design story work in pure HTML5/Javascript?
    • Scott’s thoughts on Windows Phone 7.  He doesn’t like Metro.
    • Will Scott take us through the Windows Phone 7 development reset story?  No!!!
    • Can you tell us about the secret stuff you were excited about when you left Microsoft?  Have they come to pass?  Are they still

    Scott Barnes

    Former Product Manager (Silverlight/WPF) Microsoft Corp, UX Specialist, Chief RIAologist of RIAGENIC.com, Code Poet and Deep Sleep Pixel Zen Master.

    Guest Hosts

    Brian Henderson is a Silverlight Designer/Architect and INETA Community Champion. A few of the activities Brian can be found participating are flying (pilot), kayaking, hiking, or just taking video/photos.

    Kelly White is an independent Silverlight Consultant. He previously lead the PDXUX.Net user group, and now runs the Portland Silverlight User Group with Erik Mork. Kelly has presented at user groups and code camps throughout the northwest on both Silverlight and WPF.

    Music kindly provided by YACHT.

     

    Windows Phone Unleashed – Redmond

    Windows Phone 7 Unleashed is a free day of Windows Phone 7 training.  We’re coming to Redmond, WA.

    Windows Phone 7 at Mobile Redmond/BellevueOct 07, 2010
    Advanta
    3007 160th Ave SE
    Bellevue, WA 98008

     

    This is a combination hackathon/training. It’s meant for people who code and want to get a jump start at development on the new platform. It’s a BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) event. Registrations are limited so make sure you get signed up soon.

    Windows Phone 7 is about to be released! Come check out Windows Phone 7 Unleashed for everything you need to know to develop for WP7. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or you’re just starting with .NET development, there’s something in it for you. The first half of this deep dive event is lecture and hands on lab. At the half point mark of the day, you’ll have a solid foundation for building WP7 applications.

    Installing the Windows Phone 7 Tools In 3 Steps

    Here are some easy instructions for getting going with Windows Phone 7 development.

    Step 1: Remove Any Old Phone Tools

    If you’ve installed betas or any earlier phone tools, go to the “Programs and Features” control panel and search for “phone”, “visual”, etc. and uninstall all of the old phone tools and emulators.

    Step 2: Install the Phone Tools

    The Phone tools installer will download and install the necessary components.  But it takes a while.  If you don’t already have Visual Studio installed, Visual Studio Express (a free edition of Visual Studio) will be installed.  There are all kinds of goodies that need to be downloaded and put onto your machine.  Best to find something to do while you wait.

    The tools can be found on the Getting Started Windows Phone 7 page.  Click on “Download the Developer Tools!”

    The direct link for the install page is here but beware this may change in the future as new versions are rolled out :)   For right now, you can download all of the developer tools in an .ISO for burning to a DVD/direct mounting.  These can be super useful for training scenarios.

    Run the installer, you’ll get some great stuff including:

    • Visual Studio Express (if you don’t already have Visual Studio Installed)
    • Windows Phone 7 Add-in for Visual Studio 2010 (allows you to write phone applications in Visual Studio)
    • Microsoft Expression Blend (if Blend isn’t installed, you get a free version of Blend.  This allows WYSIWYG design of phone applications)
    • XNA Game Studio 4.0  (a free version of game studio for developing games on the phone)
    • Windows Phone Emulator (your own windows phone… in software.  used for testing applications)

    System Requirements are pretty basic and include:

    • Vista or Windows 7
    • 3Gb of disk space
    • 2Gb of RAM
    • Emulator needs a DirectX 10 capable graphics card with a WDDM 1.1 driver

    Step 3: Test the Phone Tools Installation

    Start Visual Studio 2010

    Either the one you already had installed or the Express edition that was installed for you.

    Go to File->New Project

    Select Windows Phone Application

    On the left pane, select “Silverlight for Windows Phone“.  On the Middle pane select “Windows Phone Application“.  Press OK.  Wait a few seconds and Visual Studio will generate your new project.

    Press F5: Your Application Runs

    Press the F5 key and wait a few moments.  Visual Studio will build your application, start the emulator, deploy your application to the emulator and begin running.  You should see something like this.  Notice the goofy numbers on the right hand side.  These may or may not be present (it depends on the template you use).   These are normal, and they’re there for debugging purposes.   Thanks to PHenry for pointing this out.

    Congratulations! 

    You just created your first Windows Phone 7 application.  For some more resources, see here:

    The getting started guide.

    The training kit.

    The Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events.

    A Podcast You Should Listen To

     

    Jesse Liberty has a podcast!  If you care about programming Windows Phone 7, it’s the podcast for you.  It’s called Yet Another Podcast, and it looks like it’s going to be great.  From the Site:

    I am pleased, excited and terrified to announce  that Yet Another Podcast will be launching on September  20, 2010.

    This is not your momma’s podcast.

    Here are my guiding principles:

    1. Do not waste the listener’s time
    2. This is not radio
    3. Discuss, don’t interview
    4. Focus, focus, focus

    These half dozen principles lead to the following decisions (every one of which may change over time!)

    • Focus: Our central topic will be Windows Phone 7, with secondary topics including Silverlight, Programming and Best Practices
    • Not Radio: No intro, no outro, no bumbers, no announcer
    • Don’t Waste The Lister’s Time: The shows run as long as they take.  No fixed format.  Count on something between 20 and 40 minutes, except when they are longer or shorter.
    • Discuss:  Lots of guests, but no interviews, no canned questions, lots of real programmers discussing real issues
    • Don’t Waste The Listener’s time:  Useful information or shut up.

    The show will be posted every other Wednesday starting on  September 22.

    Contact Information

    Show site: http://YetAnotherPodcast.us
    http://YapCast.us
    http://JesseLiberty.com/yap

    Comment line:  1-347-YAP-CAST  (1-347-927-2278)

    He’s even got a comment line which is just about the coolest thing ever :)  

    I’ve been honored to be on his 2nd show.  We talk about Windows Phone 7, iOS and marketplaces.

    Windows Phone 7 Comes to Portland

    The release of Windows Phone 7 devices is  close.  Are you ready?  In Portland, we have a pair of events that are going to be great introductions to Windows Phone 7.  We will have actual devices at *both* events :)

    Windows Phone 7 at Mobile PortlandSeptember 27, 2010

    This is a great high level overview of Windows Phone 7 and what it means.  It’s suitable for anyone including managers and other non-coders as there’s been a promise made that there won’t be too much code ;)

    Microsoft has a history of colossal successes and failures. As the Windows Phone 7 release approaches, it’s sure to be big (reports say the marketing alone will be a $400 million affair), but will it be a success? Early reviews are positive, but can a company miss the mobile boat by 3+ years and still make a competitive product?

    Windows Phone 7 UnleashedSeptember 30, 2010 - SOLD OUT (if more seats somehow become available, I’ll try to update)

    This is a combination hackathon/training.  It’s meant for people who code and want to get a jump start at development on the new platform.  It’s a BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) event.  Registrations are limited so make sure you get signed up soon.

    Windows Phone 7 is about to be released! Come check out Windows Phone 7 Unleashed for everything you need to know to develop for WP7. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or you’re just starting with .NET development, there’s something in it for you.  The first half of this deep dive event is lecture and hands on lab. At the half point mark of the day, you’ll have a solid foundation for building WP7 applications.

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