Quick Tip: Processing HTML Content in Windows Store Apps

The WebView control allows you to display content from sites in your app using a small window that renders the HTML using the same rendering engine as Internet Explorer. It does have some limitations and most likely if you are providing content in your app, your goal is to augment your app with fresh data…

A Fluent Approach to Windows Store Tiles

Windows Store apps have a variety of tricks up their sleeve for engaging the user even when they are not running. Tiles are a perfect example because they provide at-a-glance information to the user from the start screen. Tiles can provide images, text, or a combination of both and support queuing multiple notifications. Tiles are…

Custom Layout Controls for Windows Store Apps

One of the things I enjoy doing most is teaching developers how to write Windows Store apps using XAML and C#. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, both for Microsoft and for other customers as well. But it has become clear to me as I teach these classes that in a typical class,…

Visual Studio vs. the PowerShell Command Line

Numerous times in the last month I’ve been working with different teams and when I whip out my PowerShell window and start doing all the magic, especially with Visual Studio command line tools, the young kids go crazy. The mix of command line development tools and PowerShell is a powerful aphrodisiac. Too bad that Visual…

Proceed with Caution – Windows Phone 8 App Lifecycle Events vs Async Methods

“We are on the path to Windows and Windows Phone Convergence” (//Build 2012 – How to Leverage your Code Across WP8 and Win8, Slide 6) I often hear people saying the phrase “Windows 8 Phone” when they are talking/asking about “Windows Phone 8”.  Throughout presentations that I’ve given and other discussions I’ve had over the…

In Seattle/Olympia/Portland? Want to learn how to maximize IntelliTrace?

On May 9th, I’ll be speaking at the South Sound .NET User Group in Olympia, WA on all about IntelliTrace. See location and signup info here. IntelliTrace is the first real Windows debugging technology since the hair band days of the 1980’s. This session will be PowerPoint free and nothing but demos and questions on…

Proximity Networking (NFC) in WinRT

I’ve spent a lot of time this spring learning about Near Field Communication (NFC) and the NFC networking API in WinRT. That part of WinRT is present both in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, which means it’s relatively easy to get tablets and phones talking to each peer-to-peer. One of the things I love…

Reflection Shader for Silverlight 3

I’ve become enamored with Silverlight behaviors lately because they provide a clean and easy-to-use mechanism for encapsulating complex behavioral logic and applying it to XAML elements. And I’m equally enamored with Silverlight pixel shaders, which allow similar encapsulation of complex visual effects implemented using Microsoft’s High-Level Shader Language, better known as HLSL. Last spring, I blogged about a technique…

Silverlight 4 is Here!

Silverlight 4 shipped this week, and you can download it along with all the tools you need to develop for it from the Silverlight Web site. Silverlight 4 represents a milestone of sorts in that it adds the features you need to build line-of-business (LOB) apps that run inside or outside the browser. Among the…

Silverlight for Windows Phone Programming Tip #1

I’m spending the bulk of my time these days writing applications for Windows phones using Silverlight for Windows Phone (and having a blast doing it, I might add). As I write, I think of lots of little tips that can save time, reduce aggravation, and help all of us build better applications. So I thought…

Silverlight for Windows Phone Programming Tip #4

Here’s a quick one that’ll save you a lot of time and trouble if you’re not already aware of it. One of the coolest features of Visual Studio is that you can launch a debug run of a phone application on a phone rather than in the emulator. Since the emulator can’t emulate everything, sometimes…

Silverlight 3’s New Element Data Binding

One of the improvements you can look forward to in Silverlight 3 is element data binding, also known as element-to-element data binding. Silverlight 2’s {Binding} expression allowed you to specify the name of the property you were binding to, but not the element that owned the property. This typically meant you had to write a…