Mister Goodcat

Peter's home of all things life

Monday, 5/14/2012 12:30 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App: part 4

Monday, 5/14/2012 12:30 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

When you create an app like the SilverlightShow app, that accesses remote data frequently, thinking about a suitable strategy for local storage and caching is vital to provide a great user experience. In the previous parts of this series, we have already seen how several optimizations are used to improve the networking performance of the app. Overall, the costs to pull data from the portal could be reduced to far less than 1/10th of the original traffic by applying some relatively simple changes. However, this is only half the story. What we also wanted to achieve is that content that has been retrieved once should not be fetched again – we needed a solution for storing those items locally.

You can read the full article at SilverlightShow here:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Creating-the-SilverlightShow-Windows-Phone-App-part-4.aspx

Thursday, 4/12/2012 6:30 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App: part 3

Thursday, 4/12/2012 6:30 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

In the first parts of the series about developing the SilverlightShow Windows Phone app I explained the general development process and the technical details of accessing and optimizing the RSS feeds of the site. Now that we are able to access all of the content from the phone, the next step is to take a look at what was necessary to display what we have to the user while preserving a native look and feel. If you haven't seen the app in action, here is a short video about it.

When you recall the details of the previous part or simply take a quick look at the RSS feeds of the SilverlightShow site again (sample), you will see that the content of each category (news, articles, events) is stored as fully formatted HTML already. All of it is produced by authors in WYSIWYG tools like Windows Live Writer and directly uploaded to the site's content management system. Even though we receive a slightly optimized and cleaned version of that rich content on the phone, it's still HTML. The fundamental decision to make hence was whether we would take that content as-is or transform it into something more native to the phone platform.

You can read the full article at SilverlightShow here:

Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App: part 3

Thursday, 4/12/2012 1:00 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App: part 2

Thursday, 4/12/2012 1:00 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

In the first part of this mini series I was mostly talking about the process of developing the SilverlightShow Windows Phone application, and didn't discuss any of the technical specifics. Today I want to dive into some of the details around downloading and optimizing RSS feeds. I not only want to give you insight into the particular problems we were facing, but also some hopefully useful advice and guidelines should you ever want to develop a similar feature for your own application. If you haven't used or seen the app yet, you can watch a quick intro video here and find it on the Marketplace here.

You can read the full version of this article for free at SilverlightShow:

 Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App: part 2

Wednesday, 3/21/2012 2:30 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Creating the SilverlightShow Windows Phone App - Part 1

Wednesday, 3/21/2012 2:30 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

The guys over at SilverlightShow just released my first article on the creation of the Windows Phone app accompanying their web portal. In this mini-series of articles I share some of the experiences during the development of that said app, and focus on things that you probably don't see that often in other tutorials about Windows Phone on the web. One of the particular goals of the articles is to give you some insights in the development process of a real-world project, what problems you might be facing in such a project and how to deal with them. The first part solely talks about the development process itself, and what steps we performed to get the app development up and running. You can find the full article here:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Creating-the-SilverlightShow-Windows-Phone-App.aspx

I'd be glad to hear some feedback or receive comments, either here, over at SilverlightShow, or through the contact options of my blog. Also, if you are interested in reading about a particular details of the app in a future part of the series, let me know. It's still time to integrate your suggestions if they're reasonable.

Sunday, 3/11/2012 2:09 PM
by Peter Kuhn
3 Comments

SilverlightShow Windows Phone App

Sunday, 3/11/2012 2:09 PM by Peter Kuhn | 3 Comments

A few weeks ago, I submitted the official Windows Phone app accompanying the SilverlightShow.net portal to the Marketplace. The app is completely free (also ad-free!) and presents you the content available on this platform. Today I've pushed a first update of the app to the Marketplace for certification, with some improvements to the notification tiles. You can now choose the interval the app goes out to check for updates to optimize battery life on your phone. I've also been eating my own dog food and have improved memory consumption of the involved background agent using the tips of my article series on the topic. If you haven't checked out the app yet, you can find it on the Marketplace here:

SilverlightShow App

Creating the app was an interesting experience, because it wasn't a greenfield development but had to accommodate to the already existing infrastructure and of course the particular requirements of the guys over at SilverlightShow. We thought it would be nice to share some of these experiences to give developers an idea of what creating such apps looks like, off the beaten paths of simplified tutorials and scenarios. Watch out for some upcoming articles on that, with particular details about the problems and issues we were facing, and some recipes for how to solve them.

As always, feel free to leave comments, thoughts and suggestions – we particularly want to improve the app in future versions based on your feedback.