Monday, 2/27/2012 7:32 AM
by Peter Kuhn
In the previous part of this mini-series, we have learned about some limitations of agents regarding memory and execution time. Although these restrictions are severe in their details, they are nothing new to developers on the phone. Memory usage caps also exist for normal applications, and we do have quite some time-based requirements there too. When you work with background agents, you're however also facing a new class of problems that is completely irrelevant and non-existing to normal app developers. More...
Friday, 2/24/2012 2:21 AM
by Peter Kuhn
In the first part of this series, I mainly talked about issues with software design when you work with background agents. We saw that the partly really strict API limitations can have a pretty severe effect on how you need to structure your code to follow all requirements of the validation and certification process. This time, I want to get a bit more technical, when we learn about some other limitations of agents. More...
Sunday, 2/19/2012 10:24 PM
by Peter Kuhn
There's a ton of resources available on the web that talks about the new features of Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" for developers, and about background agents in particular. Unfortunately, a lot of these resources use over-simplified samples that have little in common with complex real-world setups, and often the articles you can find don't even mention the several restrictions in place for background agents at all. In this open-ended mini series I am going to talk about the various problems you will potentially run into with anything but the most trivial applications, what effects and consequences this has for your application development, and how you can avoid pitfalls and plan ahead for background agents. This is not a general introduction on the topic; I assume that you are familiar with the concept and have a basic understanding on how agents work. More...
Monday, 2/13/2012 1:24 AM
by Peter Kuhn
Almost two years ago, Firefox started to isolate plug-ins like Silverlight in a separate operating system process. One of the consequences was that debugging Silverlight applications with Visual Studio became somewhat more tedious, because the Silverlight debug engine was not able to automatically attach to the correct processes anymore. At that time, I started developing a small and simple Visual Studio Add-In named "Firefox Debug Helper". Later on, when I discovered that Visual Studio also had problems with other browsers like Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome, I extended support for this Add-In to these browsers, and renamed the tool to "Silverlight Debug Helper".
Today, the topic is still relevant for Silverlight developers, and this small tool continues to serve me and others well. Every now and then, someone asks for the source code of the Debug Helper Add-In, either to learn about how to extend Visual Studio by a practical example, to extend the existing features, or because they want to track down issues when they use the Add-In. I'm pleased to announce that starting today, the source code of the "Silverlight Debug Helper" is available for free to everyone (the tool itself always was available for free from the first day) on CodePlex. It's not very sophisticated and probably could be improved in some areas, but I still hope those of you interested in it can make good use from this release. The new project page also is the place where new releases will be made available at, if applicable:
This also means that the existing project page here on this blog will be suspended and link to the new home on CodePlex from now on.
Today, I've also released a new version of "Your Last About Dialog" for Windows Phone. This new release adds support for trial mode, which means that a "buy" button is automatically added to the about page if you are using this feature of Windows Phone. As always, I've tried to make the default behavior suitable for most scenarios, so you usually don't have to worry about it – it simply will work "out of the box". But if you want to override the default behavior and either force the buy button feature both on or off for your particular scenario, YLAD offers the flexibility to do so. The new version is already available on CodePlex and (recommended) NuGet, and in addition improves the default configuration template as well as fixes a potential bug with multiple successive taps on the "review" button of the about page. Learn more about the release and the new features on the project page and its documentation section:
Have fun ;)