Still looking for a sponsor Max Paulousky is looking for a Silverlight/.Net job in the Commonwealth

The Second meet-up of Minsk Silverlight/Windows Phone User Group

On Saturday, July 2nd, we had the second meet-up of Minsk’s Silverlight / Windows Phone user group. That time about 55 IT specialists registered on the event. The number of participants increased for two times against the first meet-up That time we had planned three sessions and understood that it was the optimal number of activities. The first session was dedicated for XNA. Ivan Suhinin presented ‘XNA and physical engines’ where he showed demo XNA application, described workflow and specifics of working with physical engines. Demo application can be downloaded here. The second...

The First Public Meet-up Of Minsk Silverlight/Windows Phone Group Has Happened!

I am proud to inform my readers that the first public meet-up of Minsk Silverlight/Windows Phone group has happened. I and my friends made great efforts to prepare that meet-up, prepare sessions, answered big number of questions. We planed five sessions but were able to perform just four. One session (3D in Silverlight5) was postponed till the next meet-up because of problems with beta version of Silverlight 5 runtime. To be honest, we were lucky that that session was canceled. Five sessions would take a lot of time and attendees would be exhausted. All other sessions were hosted on time and were really great! Ivan Suhinin, presented XNA...

Microsoft has updated Windows Phone articles on MSDN with 7.1 mango run-time update

Today I mentioned on Twitter that MSDN has published updates for Windows Phone documentation. It seems, the official name of a new Windows Phone version is Windows Phone 7.1 There are some useful links to new articles What's New in Silverlight for Windows Phone New APIs in Silverlight for Windows Phone OS 7.1 Networking in Silverlight for Windows Phone Also, today should happen a Mango event where Microsoft will talk about the future of Windows Phone....

The First Public Meeting Of Minsk Silverlight/Windows Phone User group

In one of my previous posts I wrote that I and my colleagues created Minsk Silverlight / Windows Phone user group. Today I am proud to announce that on Saturday, May 28th we are going to have the first public meeting. We will have following sessions: XNA Content Pipeline – Ivan Suhinin (@suhinini) Silverlight 5 and 3D – Anton Grinevsky (@agrinevsky) Windows Phone 7, BDD, TDD and Mocking – Max Paulousky (@paulousky) Testing for Windows phone Marketplace – Ivan Kirkorau (@kirkorau) ...

Minsk Silverlight / Windows Phone User group is Created!

I am excited to announce that the first meeting of the Minsk Silverlight / Windows Phone User group happened on Thu, Apr 21st. That was an administrative meeting where the core of members got acquainted and discussed future steps. I am happy to share their names: Alex Sorokoletov. Interesting in Windows Phone development. Winner of the Latest #EcoContest Anton Grinevsky. Silverlight and Windows Phone developer. Has experience in Android development. It should be helpful for us to compare different platforms Ivan Suhinin. Active member of Belarusian .net community. Has experience...

Announcement of future posts

Someone can say that I write blog posts not often. Well, probably, that makes sense. On the other side of coin, I spend great deal of time on projects that will become a basis for my posts. I want to provide in-depth analysis of a problematic area and, as a result, spend much time on implementation. In that post I would like to announce what major articles I am going to publish for next couple of months. Specifics of Windows Phone development (for Silverlight developers who want to start developing for WP7) (presentation) ...

Windows Phone Copy-Paste: How It Looks and Works

Microsoft has released Windows Phone Developer Tools January 2011 Update.  This update contains implementation of copy-paste operation, fixes in pivot and panorama controls, performance improvements etc. You can download it and read a full description of the update here. Copy-Paste One of the most expected feature is copy-paste. To start using it you need just update your phone’s firmware. The firmware is not available yet and it is expecting to be released in a few days. If you are a developer, you can test this feature on your emulator. Just install Windows Phone Developer Tools Update, Visual...

Windows Phone Looping Selector for Digits

Abstracts Windows Phone controls toolkit has a great control for displaying date/time (DatePicker and TimePicker). Fortunately, it is quite easy to build based on them a control that allows selecting digits. For example, I am working on a solution to allow users select metric parameters – height, width, cost etc. As a result, I implemented own control based on LoopingSelector and ILoopingSelectorDataSource. Implementation DatePicker and TimePicker controls are a set of primitive controls – box for displaying data, additional PhonePage and looping selectors themselves. If you activate a Picker, you will see the next screen: ...

Ownership of HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7) and My Impressions

I have had HTC HD7 since December of 2010. The first impression I experienced when I turned on the device was how fresh, cool, clean and quick UI was. I was happy to not seeing gradients, unnecessary borders and lines in lists. To be honest, I have the same feeling now, after two months of ownership of the device. Unfortunately (I know, it’s unavoidable for the first release of any new device), the phone has a bunch of issues. I have no chance to test other models of WP7 phones, so I will not separate issues on device-related...

Bindable Application Bar Extensions for Windows Phone 7

Abstracts Application bar is a very important way to control your application and and execute additional actions. However, this control has several limitations. First of all, I would like to have collapsible application bar. Some screens need that control but it is not used very often. For example, WinPhone Internet Explorer – I do not use favourites or tabs commands five times per minute and would like to be able to hide/show it. But there is no way to do it. The second limitation of AppBar is it is not bindable. At all. You can bind neither properties...

Future of Myself and My Blog

Everything changes and nothing remains still. (Heraclitus, c. 535–c. 475 BCE) Now I work at a mobile department of one of the biggest media corporation. And I hope, my future will be tied with mobile technologies. Right now I am working on a mobile application for a Blackberry device but I am absolutely sure that my main projects will be based on the WindowsPhone7 platform. It does not matter whether I will work as a developer/architect or as a project manager (the last one is highly probable). In several days I am going to start my first pilot...

Xaps Minifier. A Step Forward. New Options and New Features

Abstract Almost two months has come since the previous release of Xaps Minifier (see part 1 and part 2). This add-on has been downloaded from the Visual Studio Gallery site more than 450 times and I am sure it is pretty successful. I have some ideas and time to implement them has come. First of all, I want to add ability to avoid adding references to startup projects. Some professionals claim it’s essential to have a tiny startup project to avoid disappointing users. I do agree and I must implement an option to protect startup project from adding...

Visual Studio Solution Pivot Viewer. Add-on for VS2010 to Visualize Code Structure

My previous add-on for Visual Studio (Xaps Minifier) is extremely popular. Many developers and several MVPs use it in their projects already. I am going to extend its functionality to simplify developers’ life. I should say, in general, I like the way of developing extensions for Visual Studio 2010 and I am going to continue working at this area. Several weeks ago, Sergey Zwezdin announced a brainstorming to generate a bunch of ideas for Add-ons for Visual Studio 2010. I described Xaps Minifier and proposed one more idea. The idea was to use Pivot Viewer Silverlight control to visualize source...

Recent Silverlight-Related Releases

There have been announced several important Silverlight-related releases. It would be better for my readers/followers and for me to have them in the same place to be able to find links quickly. Silverlight PivotViewer Microsoft has published a great control to visualize enormous arrays of data. This control allows filtering, sorting, re-arranging of objects by one mouse click. Some people says it is the revolution in the data visualization. There are some implementation of that mechanism: Netflix Instant Watch Movies. Uses Windows Azure and Silverlight PivotViewer to visualize a search by Netflix movies...

XAPs Minifier. Avoiding Problem With Multiple Startup Objects

Abstract As mentioned in my previous post, the add-on can generate error if it finds more than one Startup Objects in a solution. Usually, it happens when developers add new Xap file via adding new Silverlight project (File-New-Project-Silverlight Application). They delete App.xaml file but do not clear Startup Object in the project properties and it is not cleared automatically. I decided to add additional check into the add-on to find out whether application has particular startup object or not. If the project does not have appropriate class, its startup object is just ignored. Implementation Following code...

XAPs Minifier. An Add-on to Visual Studio 2010 to Optimize and Minimize Size of Xap Files

Abstract I work at Silverlight applications every day and do releases every week or two. Some of them I publish on my blog other are published on other web resources. As a rule, I use MVVM as a basic pattern for Silverlight applications to divide them on logical parts, pack into XAP files and load on demand. XAP file is a logical item in any Silverlight application and it contains assemblies and app manifest. During the work I have noticed majority of XAP files contain duplicated assemblies. For example, if I...

Last Week Silverlight-Related Releases

Several Silverlight-related releases were being published during the last week. Expression Launch The last released product in line of 2010 releases is the Expression set. Microsoft is going to announce it on June, 7th at Information Week in New York. The product will contain updated version of Express Blend and Sketchflow. The trial version can be downloaded from the official web site. This release does not include any update for Windows Phone 7 add-in and is not suitable for Windows Phone 7 development. Continue using Expression Blend 4 and WP7 Developer Tools. See details here. Silverlight...

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Silverlight Applications. Part 2

In the first part of the article I described the way to implement the deep linking feature in MVVM-based Silverlight application. In this post I am going to describe two other important functionalities that  should be implemented to achieve great level of search engine optimization. First on is sitemaps and second one is html content providing. Sitemap for Silverlight applications As soon as the application is able to work with deep links, I can start implementing support of Sitemaps. The application should be able to generate automatically links to any content within the application or to...

Rumors: Silverlight for iPhone

About 5 hours ago people in Twitter started posting twitts that Apple was going to announce supporting of Silverlight development for iPhone platform. Probably, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer himself will introduce that fact. This should happen on the upcoming Apple World Wide Developers Conference in early June. read all details here. PS As the official twitter of the Microsoft corporation informed “Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI” Tagged: iPhone , Silverlight , Microsoft ,...

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Silverlight Applications. Part 1

Introduction As I announced earlier here and here, I prepared a session for the remix.ru conference about SEO for Silverlight applications and published a demo application. Several days ago all my materials (Power Point presentation, video tutorial, sources etc) were published on the Techdays server. As the main language of the conference was Russian, I had prepared all stuff in Russian as well. It was the first reason to write detailed post here in English. The second reason was I had no time to cover all details of implementation in the video tutorial. Basics I am...

Published Silverlight SEO Sample Application for the Remix.Ru Conference

I have published an demo application that covers implementing SEO rules in the Silverlight MVVM application. The application is a job board that contains two pages – List of vacancies and Vacancy details. An User can navigate between them and filter list of vacancies by Region. The The application implements the most important SEO rules - deep linking, Site map for the deep links and readable site content for non-Silverlight clients (Search engines, Browsers without Silverlight plug-in etc.). You can find and test the application here. Just click the mentioned link, if you want to open silverlight version...

To Remember: Deployment of Silverlight Applications With Wcf Ria Services

Load operation failed for query '...'. The remote server returned an error: NotFound.   at System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Client.OperationBase.Complete(Exception error) at System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Client.LoadOperation.Complete(Exception error) at System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Client.DomainContext.CompleteLoad(IAsyncResult asyncResult) at System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Client.DomainContext.<>c__DisplayClass1b.<Load>b__17(Object ) If you get the Load Operation Failed error, check following sections System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Hosting.dll,  and System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Server.dll System.ServiceModel.DomainServices.Hosting.OData.dll should be added to the bin folder of the web application (Select the assembly in the list of references, press F4, set Copy Local...

Modularity in Silverlight Applications - An Issue With ModuleInitializeException – Part 2

Intro In the previous article I described the problem and outlined how I would solve it. My solution was to understand what assembly(-ies) were not loaded into application domain and load them. Solution for Silverlight applications Let’s imagine, there is a module, that contains 3rd-party controls and the host module (Shell) does not have references to these assemblies. The key point in the MVVM Silverlight application, that is responsible for Modules loading, is the GetModuleCatalog() method in the Bootstrapper implementation. There are several ways to load modules: Using XAML file...

Silverlight 4, Silverlight 4 Toolkit and Expression Blend are released

That has happened! Initial point of Silverlight 4 web portal can be found here. Silverlight 4 Toolkit (April 2010) can be downloaded here. Silverlight Toolkit April 2010 changes can be viewed here. Silverlight Toolkit April 2010 does not support Silverlight 3 and Visual Studio 2008. Use November 2009 release with Silverlight 3 and Visual Studio 2008. Microsoft Expression Blend 4 RC has been released too. It can be found here. Great article about Silverlight 4, installation and other related things is here ...

.Net 4 and Visual Studio 2010 release

Microsoft has announced release of .Net 4 and Visual Studio 2010. This version of the VS has great number of improvements. It has been rewritten using WPF, intellisense and solution search have been improved, view call hierarchy, architectural features like sequence diagrams and dependency graphs have been added etc. Full list of Visual Studio 2010 changes and improvements can be found here. Silverlight and Silverlight toolkit will be released soon. Tagged: Silverlight , Visual Studio 2010 , .Net4 , .Net , Release This work is licensed under a Creative Commons...

Silverlight Release in 30 minutes

I and all progressive humanity, who like Silverlight, are looking forward to the announce of the new version of the Silverlight 4 RTM. It will be presented at the main Silverlight web site. Tagged: Silverlight4 , Silverlight , Release This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Wizards. Prototype of sketching Wizard for WPF – 2

In the previous part of this article I described sketchflow map for the wizard prototype and started describing wizard screens. In this article I continue describing screens, animation and transition approaches. Confirm options screen   The Confirm Options screen allows to review all options a user has selected. A multi-line textbox is used for that purposes. The user can go back (by clicking the button ‘Previous’), start processing data (by clicking the button ‘Start’) and close the wizard (the button ‘Cancel’). Progress screen   This screen displays progress of data...

Wizards. Prototype of sketching Wizard for WPF - 1

See the second part of the article here. Intro Developers implement wizards very often. This sort of application is required when customers should get simple and reliable tool to process, transform, convert, setup, transfer etc. Also, this tool should have a nice, clean, uncomplicated interface, shouldn’t it? It is especially important if users are going to use the wizard on a daily basis. So, developers should get exact and detailed information about user interface of the wizard and provide a prototype to discuss it with customers. That means, developers have to use Microsoft Expression Blend SketchFlow framework which is...

Modularity in Silverlight Applications - An Issue With ModuleInitializeException

Intro. Modularity is a great feature of Composite Application Library (Prism). Modularity is designing a system that is divided into a set of functional units (named modules) that can be composed into a larger application. A module represents a set of related concerns. It can include a collection of related components, such as features, views, or business logic, and pieces of infrastructure, such as services for logging or authenticating users. Modules are independent of one another but can communicate with each other in a loosely coupled fashion. You use modular design if you...

GroupBox Sketching Control for WPF applications Using Blend

Microsoft Expression Blend 3 has a great feature – SketchFlow. It allows creating gorgeous prototypes for Silverlight and WPF applications. But it has some disadvantages like shortage of controls. For example, there are no sketching GroupBox controls in Silverlight and WPF sets, sketching DataGrid (Silverlight and WPF) etc. So, I am going to create a sketching GroupBox control WPF. Every WPF Sketch Screens application has got the SketchStyles.xaml file. This file contains styles for all sketching controls. I am going to add a new style here. Initially, I create a stub for the GroupBox control there: ...

The official Web Site of Bill Gates

Mr. Gates has started his web site where he expresses ideas and thinkings. The only thing is on my mind is why developers did not use Asp.Net Mvc? As I know, Microsoft staff uses the latest versions of developments tools/products etc. In that case, they decided not to use Asp.Net Mvc. But they use Silverlight for videos. Tagged: Silverlight , Microsoft , Asp.Net Mvc , Bill Gates This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

How to get Xml InnerText in a Silverlight application – 2

There is an easier way to remove all xml tags from the document – regular expressions: Regex.Replace(text, @"<\/?[^>]*\/?>", string.Empty); Tagged: Silverlight , Xml , InnerText , Regular Expressions This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Performance of Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2

The performance of my instance of VS2010 beta 2 was not well. Especially, start of debugging process for silverlight applications was not fast enough. Loading of symbols files (to enable debugging) was taking about two-three minutes. BTW, there are a lot of complains on performance in beta 2. The situation was the same for silverlight 3 and 4 applications. The performance issue has been solved after installing MS Expression Blend Preview for .Net 4. The symbols loading time is almost the same as  for VS2008. I am absolutely sure, Microsoft will improve performance in the release. ...

How to get Xml InnerText in a Silverlight application

The Silverlight framework is restricted in comparison with .Net framework. It does not provide the XmlDocument class, that has the InnerText property. Silverlight applications should use XDocument instead of XmlDocument. Following code is an extension method for the XNode class that implements InnerText functionality. public static string InnerText(this XNode xNode) { bool isContainer = xNode is XContainer; if (!isContainer) { switch (xNode.NodeType) ...