Wednesday, 29 August 2007
My first thought was to use the <code></code> tags but this wouldnt display properly so I also tried <pre></pre> but still I had the same problem the page was converting the HTML to an object and not displaying the code.
After searching the net for a while I found a site that would encode / decode HTML so that it can be displayed in a browser and not converted to an object etc.
The page is http://centricle.com/tools/html-entities/ give it a try,it's worked wonders for me!
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Using Orcas Beta 2 I was able to create a WPF form with 2 text boxes for user input, a combo box, button and a label for the result of the calculations.
I first started out with the combo box displaying text to signify different calculations (e.g. +, -, /,*) however as I was making the rest of the application found myself getting more confident and decided to add images to the combo box so that a user can select an image representing there choice. Implementing this was much easier that I first thought it would be and using only a couple of lines of code in the XAML file and altering some of the code behind file I was able to use the image combo box to select the type of calculation. The XAML for this is:
<ComboBox Margin="40,107.457,0,79.968" Width="120" Name="comboBox1" HorizontalAlignment="Left">
<Image Name="add" Source ="images\add.jpg" />
<Image Name="minus" Source ="images\minus.jpg" />
<Image Name="multiply" Source ="images\multiply.jpg" />
<Image Name="divide" Source ="images\divide.jpg" />
Hello World applications are normally the first application (if you can even call them that) that most people will make when they start looking at a new programming language or programming concept. So heres how I went about creating my first WPF application.
I used Orcas, which is really nice I love the split layout that is used to display the design in the top half of the screen and the XAML code in the bottom section, this reminds me of using Expression Web and how the design and code is split on a single screen making it easy to tweak little bits of the program without constantly switching to a code view. However to see the code behind file for the application (much like the code behind files in ASP.NET) you have to open a new tab to get to this.
So getting started I just dragged and dropped a button and text box onto the form, this like i said before generates the XAML in the bottom half of the screen, so you can see how buttons are made in XAML. The XAML is really easy to understand and if like myself you have had some previous experience with XML you will find it pretty straigh forward.
Once I have my form layout how I want it, I then have to get the XAML button to respond to an event, this can either be done just like in a C# windows application by double clicking on the button or it can be done in the XAML code itself. To add an on click event you simply add a "click" attribute to the button tag.
So we now have:
click = "button1_click"
added to the attribue list for the button tag.
For this event handler in the code it is extremly simple to display the desired text in the text box done just how you would if you were using any other language.
private void button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
textBox1.Text = "Hello, World";
This then just simply displays the text "Hello, World" in the text box we created in design view. Now we can run the code and see the amazing aplication in all its glory.
I am hoping to get a little time to play about with WPF before I have to start uni so hopefully will start to make some better appliations than this.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
I took a free e-course called "Clinic 5135: Introduction to Developing with Windows® Presentation Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005 " which can be found here. The course is split into a number of sections:
- Introduction to WPF
- History of WPF
- WPF Features
- Creating WPF Applications
- Building WPF Applications
- Hosting and Deploying WPF Applications and Custom Controls
- Interoperating WPF and Other Application Models
- Undestanding WPF Object Models
- The WPF Application Object Model
- The WPF Programming Object Model
Each of these sections of the course have content to either read, listen to or watch, when you have then completed the section there is a short self test to partisipate in making sure you have understood the section.
I found each of these sections easy enough to follow although at time I felt like some of it was going over my head and if I knew more about programming I would be faring a little better, in saying this the course has now given me a much better understanding of how WPF is incorperated into the development of applications.
The only disapointing part about the course is that it didnt run us thorough much more than how to create a simple hello, world application. I would of liked to of seen a bit more on the development side of this like a couple of videos that walked you through creating say an RSS reader or such like.
Overall the course was well worth the time spent reading throught the material (even with a bad internet connection in my new flat). I would advise anyone who is inerested in WPF or just wants to know some more of the technical stuff behind creating WPF applications to give it a shot.
Friday, 17 August 2007
To be honest I thought Google would be the first to offer such a service, but as far as I know they have yet to do so, this is good news for the guys at Microsoft to be at the forefront of this technology.
You log into SkyDive using your Live account, which is the same thing which you would use to log into your Hotmail accout, meaning that you dont have to remember any new username and password, this is why I really like the Windows Live services you can access them all from one username and password. If you do not have a Live account yet your really should jump on the bandwagon and go sign up.
SkyDive is a great online service once you log in you can upload and manage files just like you would on your hard drive and it seems to follow the same layout and icons as are used in Vista which is really cool. SkyDive also gives you the ability to share folders and make them public as well meaning everyone can assess what you published in that folder, all you have to do is send them a link to the folder or embed the folder into your website. This solves a lot of trouble with overly large emails and also problems with people not being able to pickup the files.
At the minute each user has been given 500 MB of space and seen as though SkyDive is still in its beta stages I can see this growing exponentially in the future, especially with the recent announcement that Hotmail are taking there inbox upto something like 4GB. File upload is very much dependent on your connection as you would expect so expect some waiting when trying to upload your favorite songs or video clips. However all is not glum, when waiting you can play a really cool bouncing ball game which is a nice addition to the site and makes uploading files less boring, however I find it a convenient break to go make a coffee.
This upload game is a really neat idea, I have also seen it put into action on the adidas site and makes waiting for long page loads much less of a hassle, however I would much prefer not the have the upload wait to start with.
Microsoft recently released Office Outlook Connector, this allows users for the first time to recive Hotmail emails through Outlook all you have to do is download the file here. Follow the on screen instructions and you should have Hotmail via Outlook. Then you can add your Google and other mail accounts via the normal Tools --> Email Accounts... route.
So setting this up should be a doddle, but it wasn't the case for me. I validated my version of Office and downloaded the file which pops up asking me if I want to save or open. So I save the file, which is called msnolcon.msi and follow the on screen instructions to install and set up my Hotmail Live account with Outlook. Now all I get in the bottom corner of Outlook is an error symbol and when I click on it, it kindly informs me that there is a connection error and the Outlook Connector is only available to subscribers.
Now I know that this isn't the case, as its all over the place that this service can be used without being a subscriber (paying for hotmail) however you will not be able to sync your calender and tasks, which I have no problem with. So After talking with various other people about the problem I go of on a mission to get it working correctly. I installed it on Vista, XP, Office 2007, Office 2003 and none of these seem to fix the problem.
After a good few hour I go back to try and find some help from Microsoft Download Center and when I get to the help I find a file called "OutlookConnector.exe" so I download this, follow the on screen instructions and ... bam it work!
Now trying to find this file again is a nightmare and I still havn't been able to find it again in the maze that is Microsoft Download Center. The difference between the two downloads is that one of the files are an old version and this is the one that auto downloads. Here are the version numbers:
OutlookConnector.exe --- Outlook Connector Version 12.0.4518.1058
Thats a massive difference in versions!!! So just make sure you are downloading the right file if you are having problems with trying to configure the Outlook Connector.
Anyway when I have got this download it works like a treat, I can now use this to download all my emails without having to scour the whole of the web and refreshing alot of different pages.
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Give it a try.
(Got to say I'm not running Vista so have yet to test out this little "trick" so please dont shout at me if it dosn't work)
Woohoo! I got some great news today, I have been given a ticket to attend MIX-UK 2007 this is a technology event held each year by Microsoft, displaying its latest technologies and gadgets.
I got the ticket as part of the MSP program and will be doing a video review, which hopefully will be put on channel8 and blogging about the experience. This is a brilliant opportunity for me to learn about the newest things that are about to be released.
The schedule for the event can be found on the MIX-UK web site and the current event which have been penciled in seem to focus heavily on Silverlight and Orcas. Which are tipped to be the hottest things for is year.
- Building Silverlight Applications
- Design for Silverlight
- Windows Live Services
- Visual Studio 2008
- ASP.NET 3.5
- 3D solutions on the web
Overall the event looks great and I'm really stoked to be attending, I will be attending along with my fellow MSP Kevin Pfiser who's blog can be found here.
I will keep you updated about what happens and the event and where the reviews can be found.
It will be the first time that this years UK MSP's will meet and I'm really looking forwards to meeting the rest of the crew, talking to each other in online forums is great but meeting and getting to know someone in person is much better. Hopefully this will make us a much tighter group and result in more topics and ideas being shared online.
At the current time I do not have a run down of what will be happening at the even, there will be some presentation techniques invloved which will help all the MSP's give better demonstrations and presentations to there respective universitys about the new Microsoft technologies. I am also hoping that there will be a number of workshops focusing on such things as WPF, WF, WCF, XAML and AJAX.
I will be traveling down to London the day before the event so that I don't have to rely on British transport to get me from Manchester to London for 10am. So if anyone else is in London at this time it would be great to hear from you and meet up.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
I am really looking forwards to getting my teeth into this project, I have yet to do any work with the SNMP protocol but find it an interesting subject.
No doubt I will be blogging about my ideas and how the project is maturing in the future.
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
The event will be split into 2 sessions the first covering LINQ (Language Integrated Query) which I am personally looking forward to as LINQ looks extremly promising and looks as though it will be easy to pick up due to the syntax being much like that of SQL. I can see LINQ being a major part of new development, especially if all documents etc. have an XML back end.
The second session of the day covers the remaining features of Visual Studio 2008.
The event will take place both in Reading and London with the same content on each day, links to the event are below:
Reading - 04 September 2007
London - 05 September 2007
If I can find a cheap ticket I will be attending, hope to see you all there!
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Hopefully the official SP will be release early 2008.