Mister Goodcat

Peter's home of all things life

Thursday, 3/28/2013 7:00 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Print Article: dotnetpro 04/2013 – Nicht nur mobil

Thursday, 3/28/2013 7:00 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

dotnetpro 04/2013

In the current issue of German print magazine "dotnetpro" (04/2013) I write about the features and chances of Windows Azure Mobile Service, using a practical sample as introduction on the topic. The online description (also in German) can be found here:

http://www.dotnetpro.de/articles/onlinearticle4434.aspx

Have fun!

Monday, 2/18/2013 7:57 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Developer's Best Friend

Monday, 2/18/2013 7:57 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

No matter how much touch and gestures talk is around, the keyboard likely will continue to stay developer's best friend for a long time. My personal companion for serveral years has been the Logitech UltraX keyboard [1]. It sure isn't a high-end or premium model, but it suited my style of typing extremely well. It's not particularly durable either, at least not for someone who's using it several hours a day and likes to write both texts and code – in the last years I have worn out approximately one every year. They start to turn ugly quickly, because the silver color is rubbed off in only few months if not weeks, but technically they're robust enough to see all four seasons. At a price of less than 20€ this is something I was willing to accept. More...

Monday, 1/7/2013 5:26 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Localization

Monday, 1/7/2013 5:26 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

With Windows Phone 8 the number of markets where users can get apps and games has been increased to a whopping 191 [1]. And even with Windows Phone 7.8, by the time of writing 95 markets are available [2]. These are quite impressive numbers compared to the opportunities we had when Windows Phone was released initially. Naturally now topics like localization become more and more interesting even for smaller apps, to stimulate customers' interest outside the English-speaking world. Windows Phone supported this from the beginning, however the tooling was somewhat inferior to what we were used to from other Microsoft platforms. In Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has improved the developer experience for localization and made it significantly more comfortable to translate your applications to different languages. In this article, I'll take a detailed look at what has changed.

You can find the full article on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Localization.aspx

Tuesday, 12/11/2012 4:34 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Developer Tools

Tuesday, 12/11/2012 4:34 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

In the last part of the series [1], we talked about the new screen resolutions that have been introduced with Windows Phone 8. This is one of the features not only exciting for end users, but also important to learn about for developers. However, one thing we didn't see was how the development eco system enables you to actually test your apps with these different device features. Time to get our hands on the improved developer tools, including a detailed look on the emulators, the Windows Phone Profiler, the Store Test Kit and the new Simulation Dashboard. The full article is available on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Developer-Tools.aspx

Have fun!

Friday, 11/2/2012 8:46 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Installing the Windows Phone 8 SDK

Friday, 11/2/2012 8:46 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

I finally came around installing the SDK for Windows Phone 8 that has been released just a few days ago. The download page can be found here, where you can choose from using the web installer or download the whole package as iso file. I choose the latter because I wanted to put the SDK on multiple machines and not download the components multiple times. When I double-clicked the downloaded iso, I was presented with a rather bland error message though:

image

Not very helpful, and I wasn't able to figure out what Windows 8 didn't like about the iso. Downloading the file a second time resulted in the same problem. I was however able to handle the file using the excellent open source tool 7-Zip. It would open the iso, verify the contents and extract everything without errors. So if you run into the same error, I suggest you go and try alternate ways to open the file too – it may indeed be a glitch with the current version available for download.

Edit: the iso file correctly mounts on another machine, so apparently it’s an isolated issue with the computer I was working at before.

Installation Experience

The SDK has some particular system requirements (all of which can be found on the download page also), one of them being support for a CPU feature called Second Level Address Translation. This is required for the emulator in the SDK, or more specifically for Hyper-V which the emulator runs on. If you want to learn more about it, a starting point is the corresponding Wikipedia article, and in particular the additional link provided there that provides information on how to find out whether your CPU supports it or not. During the installation, Hyper-V (which is a Windows feature) will be turned on automatically for you if necessary and if it is supported by your CPU.

image

This may result in the irritating experience that the SDK setup prompts you to restart the computer, and when you do that, the system may restart a second time automatically just after it finished booting. Don't worry, that's normal, at least in the Microsoft world :-). If your CPU is not supported by Hyper-V, you will still be able to install the SDK, but you can't use the emulator during development.

After the reboot(s), you can start developing for Windows Phone 8 right away. Have fun!

Monday, 10/1/2012 6:12 PM
by Peter Kuhn
1 Comments

Windows 8: Using WinRT APIs in Desktop Apps

Monday, 10/1/2012 6:12 PM by Peter Kuhn | 1 Comments

It's not a secret that desktop applications are able to use certain WinRT APIs too. In some of the documentation, for example that of the Accelerometer class, you can read:

Applies to: Windows Store apps | desktop apps

There's even an overview list of all the WinRT classes that can be used from the desktop, conveniently compiled and linked to on a single page. So clearly there must be a way to include them in your normal, non-Windows Store applications. But when I tried to actually do that, I found little to no documentation on it and was struggling to set up everything. More...

Monday, 9/17/2012 8:00 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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What's new in .NET 4.5

Monday, 9/17/2012 8:00 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

Our team started a new (German) blog post series on the new features of .NET 4.5. My first post is about the nature of .NET 4.5 in general, platform support, explains the concept of in-place updates and how this might affect your team and projects, and what other issues may arise when you update. You can find the post here:

http://blog.aitgmbh.de/2012/09/17/neu-in-net-4-5/

Saturday, 6/23/2012 1:00 PM
by Peter Kuhn
1 Comments

Silverlight Debug Helper for Visual Studio 2012 RC

Saturday, 6/23/2012 1:00 PM by Peter Kuhn | 1 Comments

My small add-in for Visual Studio to help you debug your Silverlight applications had problems running on Visual Studio 2012 RC. It installed correctly but did not show up in the respective menu, and wasn't able to do its work either. Time to introduce some changes I wanted to do for a long time anyway!

The Debug Helper now is a Visual Studio Extension rather than an add-in, and can be installed directly from the Extension Manager from within Visual Studio, or downloaded from the Visual Studio Gallery here:

http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/b5f1634e-1608-4376-8f00-caf93f5f58c8

Of course, the source code is still available through CodePlex, on the project's hompage:

http://sldebughelper.codeplex.com/

There you can also find more documentation and information on the motivation to create the extension. Things that have changed in the new version besides the packaging:

  • Made detecting Silverlight projects more robust.
  • Made selecting the Silverlight debug engine more robust.

The extension has been tested on both Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. If you run into any issues, please feel free to contact me, preferably on CodePlex.

Thursday, 5/10/2012 5:55 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Slides and Source Code for etka12

Thursday, 5/10/2012 5:55 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

I once again would like to thank everybody who attended my session about Behavior-Driven Development with Windows Phone at this year's Entwicklertag Karlsruhe (#etka12), and for the great feedback and discussions afterwards. I offer both the slides and the shown demo code for download here:

Slides: BDD mit Windows Phone (German)
Source Code: [Will follow soon, currently there's a NuGet issue]

As requested by someone, here also is the link to my free Windows Phone training videos again:

http://www.goodcat-trainings.net

This can be used to get started with Windows Phone programming from scratch, and to learn about the special features and inherent problems of the platform discussed during the session.

I hope you enjoyed etka12 as much as I did; happy coding!

Tuesday, 5/1/2012 1:46 PM
by Peter Kuhn
4 Comments

Version 2 of YLAD released

Tuesday, 5/1/2012 1:46 PM by Peter Kuhn | 4 Comments

I've released version 2.0 of my open source component "Your Last About Dialog". This major new release adds full styling support to the about page, which gives you complete control over the visual appearance of the component. This not only includes simple details like foreground and background colors, font sizes and styles, but also much more sophisticated things like the possibility to add page transitions from the Silverlight Toolkit, or control the visibility of the system tray and other details.

Version 2 also improves the install experience from NuGet by integrating some quick start help, to get you up and running in only a minute, without the need to study the documentation separately. As always, installing from NuGet is the recommended way, but you can of course also download the binaries and source code from CodePlex if you want. To learn about the new features in more detail, consult the "Styling" section of the documentation. The default styles that are created for you when you install the NuGet package also contains some pointers and comments on what you can do.

Have fun :)