dotGeek
by robert.owens

How to fix the Bootstrap issue on Windows Phone 8

Responsive web design is the way to go these days and with so many screen sizes from desktop and on down to the smartphones, making use of some design frameworks can make things really easy in developing sites quickly.

Twitter Bootstrap is just one of these frameworks and it has a lot to offer someone looking to get started in building some responsive web sites. The only problem is it will not display correctly on my brand new Windows Phone 8. It was almost a stopping point for me and a reason to look into other options instead.

What I later found out, is its more of a bug on Windows Phone 8 and perhaps even Windows 8 tablets than anything else. This means all responsive web design efforts might not look right for these users. Microsoft is aware of this and working to fix this issue, but we know it can take time for bug fixes to be released and sent out by the phone carriers to their end users. That means a number of sites being built with Bootstrap and viewed on a Windows Phone 8 device will have to pinch and pan around to see all the content.

WP_20130806

The other option is to come up with a fix to help out these viewers and provide a better User Experience. Here is the recommended fix that I added in my head tag of my Bootstrap project and as the very first JavaScript ran on the page, as suggested too.


<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
(function() {
    if ("-ms-user-select" in document.documentElement.style && navigator.userAgent.match(/IEMobile\/10\.0/)) {
        var msViewportStyle = document.createElement("style");
        msViewportStyle.appendChild(
            document.createTextNode("@-ms-viewport{width:auto!important}")
        );
        document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(msViewportStyle);
    }
})();
//-->
</script>

WP_20130806 1

The following article link pointed me in the right direction and detailed the cause of the problem on Windows Phone 8. They had about three suggestions to fix the issue and the only thing that I really needed was the adding of the UA sniffer JavaScript for checking for IE on a mobile device. Now my Bootstrap test project works like it should and displays just fine on my Windows Phone 8 device.

http://mattstow.com/responsive-design-in-ie10-on-windows-phone-8.html



The future Outlook for Hotmail users

Change comes and it’s a fact of life and there’s not much anyone can do about that. In some instances the change is good, but you’ll always find people divided where some will embrace the change and others will fight it.

So Microsoft has decided its time to make a switch up in the Hotmail Service, its not the first time they’ve made changes to the service. They are always adding and tweaking things as far as the service goes. So what is so different this time around?

For starters they are rolling out a new Email service called Outlook, one that has a more Metro look and feel. Whoops, that M term is suppose to be dropped from their terms now. They are going with a more simple and modern feel for their UI experience now.

Well I have Hotmail and I’m not looking to get another e-mail address, so what does it really mean? Well in time they will kill off the Hotmail service and make everyone switch to the Outlook service. You’ll be upgrading and migrating your account from one to the other when this is done.

Here’s the kicker, they are not auto setting up or saving your MyNameAs@Outlook.Com address. That means people can now snag up something you might already have. In turn if you switch your Hotmail over to a MyNameAs@Outlook.Com address, that means your MyNameAs@Hotmail.Com goes away.

So you might not be cool with all of that. For starters if you’ve used Hotmail for as many years as its been around and have a lot of people knowing that address, you might not want to loose it. On the other side you might not be cool with missing out on the new Outlook address or having someone pick it up and perhaps try and pass themselves off as others.

So the answer is simple. Microsoft is not killing off the old address, you’ll just get a new set of tools and UI for the old address. None of the e-mail will be lost and everyone can still e-mail you as normal.

What you should do is setup a new e-mail address to mirror the Hotmail and then you can forward that address. So you can migrate as you like and in the end perhaps have the old Hotmail address forwarded to the new.

Problem solved and Microsoft gains twice as many e-mail users in the end. Hope they are cool with that and can handle all of it. Perhaps they could have made this easier by auto setting up this and allowing both addresses to work. In the end, its up to the users to find ways to make it work for them.



Kinect for Windows coming soon

Slated to launch on February 1st is Kinect for Windows, are you ready to rush out and buy one of these? I don’t want to come down on this latest venture from Microsoft, but I don’t think its really geared to the average consumer and has a bit of a hill to climb.

Kinect-Windows

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Kinect for the Xbox 360 and get it hands down, no pun intended there. I think it by far beats out what the Wii or Playstation have to offer. But is it meant for Windows?

The answer in short is yes. Is it meant for everyone though? That is the real question here and I don’t think its ready for everyone just yet. For starters, I haven’t seen any news about any Kinect for Windows Apps being made available for consumers at launch.

Then why is it coming out and who will buy it then? I think this is really meant for developers and hobbyists to pick up and create stuff with to begin with. I think it has clear possibilities for non gaming use, but this is not for the general public just yet.

For starters, the device is pretty much the same size as the existing Kinects and if I’m sitting in front of my laptop, do I really want to setup something of this size and wave my hands in front of the screen to make it do things? I’m this close already and if I had a touch screen available, I think I’d rather do that for interaction with my PC.

If anything else, I’d rather just speak to my PC and have it do the things I tell it and that is something I’m looking forward to even more in the future. I think Kinect for Windows is a good idea, I just don’t think its quite ready for Primetime just yet.

I think it really needs to be way smaller in a form factor for up close use and perhaps even built into the laptop screens. Even then, I’m not sure if I want to waye my hands at it still. I think these Kinect Windows Apps really need to be built and pushed to the Xbox 360. I think it makes sense to wave your arms around from the comfort of your couch and I would like to see the Apps released here, perhaps even something that is accessed by connecting to your PC via the Xbox even.

It will be interesting to watch and see what happens and I do expect in the future we will see smaller form factors and find these Kinect features will be built inside things like laptops and other PCs, perhaps we'll even see Kinect built into some TVs in the future and have the ability to store Apps inside them or connect wirelessly to our Home PCs. What ever happens, some cool things are up ahead for sure.



My roadmap to becoming a Devigner

It’s time to dust things off here at DotGeek and get busy with learning some newer things in 2012 and in turn, hopefully providing myself some more opportunities in the long run too. I kind of let 2011 get away from me, but I had a later start to be fair. So what better time to start than at the first of 2012 and with a plan of action.

So I’ve known for sometime that I wanted to become more than just front man and I wanted to be involved more with the backend operations of various projects. Whether it be my daily 9 to 5 job or any of the various side idea projects that I have stuck in mind. Its important to me that I not only understand what takes places behind the curtains, I also want to help make it run behind those curtains.

For now I’m looking at teaching myself as much as I can here and will do that with the help of online training I find and any books I can get a hold of. I can’t simply leave my job and look at any formal training or really afford the training I’d like to get. Some continuing Education classes are available in the evenings and that might be an option later on, but for now I’m going to focus on any self-taught and online based learning options.

My approach towards this will be similar to that of a structured higher Education environment on the surface and I’ve already selected some key areas for me to focus on as I treat this like a semester of college on my road to becoming a Devigner in 2012.

So I want to learn more about being a Developer/Programmer and what makes things tick and run is my goal. I work mainly in Web Design and on the front end and have a very minimal understanding of the backend; aside from what its suppose to do and a very basic how it flows and happens to take place.

Now I want to help build those back end of projects more and the only way I can get to that level is to learn how to develop. People that do this are called Devigner’s and use the combination of Developer + Designer skills all wrapped up in one on a daily basis.

There is nothing wrong with someone who is just a Developer or just a Designer and in a lot of cases each will attempt to do some of the things in the others world. I would say people tend to be stronger in one area than the other. The best shops will have a good team of a Designer and a Developer working on projects hand in hand.

It reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a colleague while I was working as a photo editor for the college paper. One of the editor/writers told me, “If you can take photos that’s great, but if you can write the a story and take the photo that’s better. We can send a writer out to cover a story, but if he can’t take a good photo to go along with it, we’ve got a weak story, but if he can write and take good photos, then he’s golden.”

That’s stuck with me over the years and it makes a lot of sense and can be applied here as well. If you build something that works mind you, but doesn’t look that great it can be weak at best. Just as it can look great up front, but if it doesn’t work and doing anything worthwhile, then what good is it in the end, just another pretty picture to look at.

I’m done with taking just the pretty pictures here, its time I started to learn how to make the things work in the back end. Maybe I’ll be more of a Desigloper (Designer+Developer)when things are all said and done, but I’m going to do what I can to extend my skill sets and in those areas that I’m interested in as well.

My Spring Semester will last from January 2012 until the end of May 2012 and I’m taking the following classes Visual C# 2010 for Beginners, Windows Phone 7 Development, SQL Server 2005 Express, Silverlight 4.0, and XNA Game Studio. It’s a pretty full load I’d say and a good start as well with some overlap between each of these areas.

My goal is to schedule at least an hour and a half to two hours with each of these topics through out the week and to work through various books and online tutorials during this time, in fact I’m even working with a colleague on the Visual C# 2010 for Beginners.

When my Spring Semester is over, I’ll look at something for a Summer Semester of learning more and then repeat again with a Fall Semester session. The goal in the end for me is to learn the basics of C# and how to program some of the back end and if all goes well I’ll become a Devigner by the end of 2012 or at least a better Desigloper.



Heading out to Dallas GiveCamp 2011

GiveCampDallas_small

The day has finally arrived for twelve local charities here in the Dallas area, when they’ll get some help from various local Developers with their website initiative needs at this years Dallas GiveCamp.

I’m really looking forward to helping out at this year event and what I hope will be the start of many more GiveCamps to follow. Similar to Habitat for Humanity, where people gather to help build and improve homes for people in need, GiveCamp brings together programmers and equips them with the virtual tools they need to build and improve their existing websites.

Tonight is when things will kickoff for this weekends events and teams will start working on their various projects. The building continues on through the night then and all the way through until Sunday afternoon. The end goal for the teams and charities is to have a completed and working website for each charity to begin using and turn over all the production code and digital assets to them.

None of this would be possible with out the great sponsors we have returning once again and their donations of various products to help these charities out with their projects, like Telerik's CMS product Sitefinity 4.0, paired with a year of hosting from Verio to mention just a few of them.

Just like the skilled builders who might help train volunteers in the use of a nail gun in building a house. Training is also available here on site for the Developers and these local Charities. Giving them all the skills in how to manage and use these products, from site development and then into actual production is a key to the success of this weekends event.    

Tonight's training sessions will kick off with a real treat from Giovanni Gallucci, as he speaks about Social Media for NPOs and then later Gabe Sumner from Telerik will begin a training session on Sitefinity for Developers. These training sessions will continue through out the weekend with .Net Nuke and Mojo Portal sessions also planned as well.

If you’re a developer and would like to help out in the future, then check in your area and with your local User Groups to find out if you already have a GiveCamp near you to help out. If you don’t have one available, then consider starting up a local GiveCamp and then you too can help Code it Forward.

About GiveCamp
GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. This custom software could be a new website for the nonprofit organization, a small data-collection application to keep track of members, or a application for the Red Cross that automatically emails a blood donor three months after they’ve donated blood to remind them that they are now eligible to donate again. The only limitation is that the project should be scoped to be able to be completed in a weekend.

During GiveCamp, developers are welcome to go home in the evenings or camp out all weekend long. There are usually food and drink provided at the event. There are sometimes even game systems set up for when you and your need a little break! Overall, it’s a great opportunity for people to work together, developing new friendships, and doing something important for their community.

At GiveCamp, there is an expectation of “What Happens at GiveCamp, Stays at GiveCamp”. Therefore, all source code must be turned over to the charities at the end of the weekend (developers cannot ask for payment) and the charities are responsible for maintaining the code moving forward (charities cannot expect the developers to maintain the codebase).



Kindle App for WP7 arrives

If you had asked me if I was interested in owning a Kindle device, then my response a couple months back would have been a flat out no back then.

So what has changed between now on then you might be asking me then? I would have to say watching my wife enjoy the many books in digital form has peeked my interest to start with now.

Was that enough for me to buy a Kindle though? Not just yet, but that is where the Windows Phone 7 comes in for me once again. It’s no secret that I’ve wanted this device and yes it does have a number of Apps that I think I’ll really enjoy.

WP7kindelapp

The latest must have App for me, will most certainly be the Kindle App for Windows Phone 7, released from Amazon today. I’ve already started playing around with the PC version of Kindle software and I’m looking at purchasing any future books in digital form now. So it’s a given once I have a Windows Phone 7 device, that I’ll be enjoying some of my favorite books, while I’m on the go I think and via this App.

Tonight I actually had a chance to check out the WP7 Kindle App on a friends device and I was really pleased with how it looked and performed. Now if the planets could only manage to lineup for me and allow Verizon and Microsoft to come to terms on the releasing of WP7 CDMA devices, I just might be able to really enjoy some of this on my own.

Do I rule out ever having an actual Kindle device? Not at all, but I do plan on having the WP7 device well before that day ever comes though.



Microsoft and AT&T to Hold Windows Phone 7 Press Conference

Microsoft and AT&T to Hold Windows Phone 7 Press Conference

On October 11, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Ralph de la Vega, President & CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, will host a joint press conference in New York to discuss the latest developments for Windows Phone 7. View the live webcast here on Monday at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
Video: Windows Phone 7 Highlights

 



WIN a FREE Windows Phone 7 Device

Ok, you can’t WIN this if you don’t even try and its really simple to do. Simply link a banner off your blog to help promote the WP7 Dev Launch events and you just might win one of the available two phones, all thanks to Scott Hanselman.

The Winners will be selected within 10 days after the final Windows Phone 7 developer launch event. So don’t waste any time and slap the banner on your blog now. Click here to read all the rules and how to properly place the image and set the link to be entered.

Remember to follow the rules:

Here's the legal rules they wrote, but here's Scott’s four-step layman's version.

  1. Go get a Windows Phone 7 banner or badge
  2. Put the image on your blog
  3. Link the image to http://www.msdnevents.com/wp7devlaunch/
  4. Lie in wait

 

Do these steps and you just might be a lucky winner…

wp7_signature_banner_sm



The Monday Postback

Postback 09272010 – I had a pretty great week if you asked me and that led into a good start for this week I think. The first Sharing the Light event with Victor Guadioso was a huge success I think for our User Group and brought a pretty good crowd in for two days.

I’m loving Blend 4
So the idea behind Sharing the Light was to get a pretty good grasp on the Blend IDE and build some projects in Silverlight. What I liked was taking some of the project steps and pushing them into some real live app ideas of my own. I had such a good time each day, I found myself heading home and playing with Blend for a few more hours.

More SWAG for me an friends
One of the great features of these User Groups and events is the SWAG as always. I actually love and get a lot out of the sessions and find that to be priceless in most cases. Just the same its nice to win a few additional items. I was lucky to score a nice prize pack from Infragistics and Xceed at the Sharing the Light event.

Thank you to all the Sponsors and Supporters for helping local User Groups like ours and backing the Sharing the Light event.

WP7 Dev Days
I’m signed up for a couple of the Dev Day launch sessions and really looking forward to all the good stuff coming out of these events. I’m really looking forward to building Apps on this platform and try to hit as many of these events as I can. October 20th and 21st marks the dates here in Dallas, Texas.

That’s it for this weeks postback and I’m back to working more if Blend I think. I’ve already racked up three straight days of playing with the IDE and I think its best if I keep at it.



New WP7 Commercial Ads leaked

So the release of WP7 devices is drawing closer and closer and lots of my friends are know asking me about what I know that is new. I just can’t wait for the release and I like telling them what I find out when I can.

So here’s the good stuff… coming on October 11th is an expected launch party in New York from Microsoft in order to mark the coming of these phones. Hopefully this will be streamed over the web. Its then expected to see phones released in Europe starting on October 21st.

Here in the Dallas area I’ve signed up for a WP7 Launch day event on October 20th and sadly I missed out on the day 2 lab signup sessions. So perhaps we’ll see US release information coming very soon.

The phones will be available on GSM networks to start with and that goes along with what is available in Europe. Still no word on the exact launch dates for North America though, but it looks like sometime in November at least, but only on AT&T and T-Mobile on those GSM networks.

That leaves Verizon and Sprint users to sit and wait out on, if and when their networks will decide to pick up WP7 devices on their CDMA networks. This also hinges on if Microsoft will have CDMA ready for WP7 in 2011. I for one don’t plan on waiting around and will look at moving more and likely over to AT&T.

So lets take a look now and some leaked commercials from Microsoft and thanks to WMPoweruser for snagging these and posting them up on YouTube. I have to say, I really enjoy their funny approach in marketing these and hope to see them show up on the TVs soon.