Using the predefined buttons styles for the ApplicationBar in Windows 8

When you create a new Windows 8 application, the Common folder contains a file named StandardStyles.xaml. Amongst other styling resources, this file contains a trove of application bar buttons styles, including Microsoft Design-like icons.

In order to use these styles, however, you need to uncomment the corresponding one. Microsoft commented these styles out, because otherwise they would be instantiated by the XAML parser when the app starts, which would cause some delays and use unnecessary memory. That makes it a bit tricky to find the right button style you want to use for your app bar.

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Session material from TechDays BE and NL

UPDATE: Added the videos

Note: Like all material on this blog, this blog post and all the referenced material are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. You are free to reuse material from this post and from the referenced material, but you must attribute this material to me, and link to this blog post, or to my website. Thanks!

I had the chance to be invited again to speak at TechDays in Belgium (Antwerp) and in the Netherlands (The Hague), and delivered 3 sessions (one of them twice) to an audience of developers. It was as usual a very wonderful experience in two very well organized events. I also had the chance to speak to a number of great speakers such as Jeff Prosise, Ben Riga, Beth Massi, Iris Classon, Rich Griffin and many more who, in the past years spent travelling and speaking at various events around the world, have become really good friends. Meeting these old friends and talking to a lot of new people at conferences is really enriching and brings me a lot of joy. That is the real value of community in what we do, discovering new technologies together and sharing that knowledge.

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MVVM Light V4.1.27.0 in Nuget

I just pushed a new version of MVVM Light to Nuget. The new version is 4.1.27.0. The difference towards the previous version (4.1.26.1) and this one is that I am not depending on the CommonServiceLocator Nuget package instead of providing my own.

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Using async/await with WebClient in Windows Phone 8 (or: TaskCompletionSource saves the day)

When you share code between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, you can use async/await to code against asynchronous APIs, which is a nice step in the right direction. However there are Windows Phone APIs that do not support async/await yet. Probably the most annoying to date is the WebClient (which in Windows 8 has been replaced by a better API called HttpClient).

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2012 in review

It seems it was only yesterday that I was writing about starting my 4th year at IdentityMine, and here we are now, more than a year later.

The year 2012 has been particularly interesting for all of us in the tech space, and particularly for us who are observing the Microsoft brand. Now, those of you who know me also know that I am an undying optimist (something that is sometimes mistaken for fanboism), so I will make a big effort in adding a dose of realism into this billet. Nonetheless I think we can all agree that this year was a year seeing Microsoft react, with more or less success, in a few areas where it had been sleeping (and slipping, ha ha) for a few years, notably the slate and the phone markets. We can argue endlessly to know if these ventures will be successful or not, but honestly I don’t have (a) the time and (b) the interest to do so. Bottom line is, no one knows for sure what will happen next year (and the next and the next). Let’s rather discuss what happened.

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MVVM Light V4.1.26 change log

I just published the change log for MVVM Light V4.1.26, which is available on Nuget only at this time. The full version is available here, while the “libraries only” version is available here.

I am working on an installer which will also add a few more changes to the templates and one bug fix in the code snippets. Stay tuned for that installer as soon as I figure a few things out.

Important note: V4.1.26 is only available on Nuget (here and here) at the current time. An installer will be published soon with changes to the project and item templates too.

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A story of Murphy–my technical issues at TechDays Switzerland #chtd

I had two sessions at the recent Swiss TechDays. While the first one (Advanced Development for Windows Phone 8) went extremely well (I think), I had a very annoying technical issue in the beginning of my second session.

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Displaying the Saved Pictures in the Windows Phone 8 emulator

One cool feature of the Windows Phone emulator is that it allows you to select pictures from your app (using the PhotoChooserTask) without having to try your app on a physical device. For example, this code (which I used in some of my recent presentations) will trigger the Photo Chooser UI to be displayed on the emulator too:

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A fix for the design time error in MVVM Light V4.1

For those of you who installed V4.1 of MVVM Light and created a project for Windows Phone 8, you will have noticed an error showing up in the design surface (either in Visual Studio designer, or in Expression Blend). The error says: “Could not load type ‘System.ComponentModel.INotifyPropertyChanging’ from assembly ‘mscorlib.extensions’” with additional information about version numbers.

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Oredev 2012: Summary and source code

This week, I had the pleasure to be invited to talk at Oredev, a really cool conference taking place in Malmo, Sweden. The whole event is awesome, including a very special dinner on Monday including sauna and swimming in a 6 degrees cold Baltic sea, and a reception with dinner at the town hall, including the mayor himself. Considering Malmo is a town of 300'000 inhabitants, it is a pretty nice occasion and the historical building itself is really worth seeing. For those interested, I placed my pictures on my Flickr account.

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MVVM Light V4.1 with support for Windows Phone 8

Today is a very exciting day: After the official release of Windows 8 (and Microsoft Surface!) on Friday, and the official release of Windows Phone 8 on Monday, the Build conference is starting! This is the conference in which we will learn all about the developer experience for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

As a partner of Microsoft, I had the privilege of trying out some of the new things early, and this gave me the opportunity to port MVVM Light to Windows Phone 8 (it was already running for Windows 8), and today I am officially publishing this new version.

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“Using the MVVM pattern in Windows 8” in MSDN Magazine

These days I am swimming in Windows 8 code, and I must say it is a good feeling. This gives me the occasion to push MVVM Light and a few other components of mine to their limits, and to fix or improve a few things on the fly. All this goodness will be available in V4.1 which is scheduled shortly after Windows 8 launch.

In spite of the busy schedule, I couldn’t resist writing an article for MSDN magazine about, you guessed it, the MVVM pattern and MVVM Light in Windows 8. It is an article that goes quite in depth in some of the concepts, and provides an app demonstrating how to use them.

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Adventures in Windows 8: Working around the navigation animation issues in LayoutAwarePage

LayoutAwarePage is a pretty cool add-on to Windows 8 apps, which facilitates greatly the implementation of orientation-aware (portrait, landscape) as well as state-aware (snapped, filled, fullscreen) apps. It has however a few issues that are obvious when you use transformed elements on your page.

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Adventures in Windows 8: Solving activation errors

Note: I tagged this article with “MVVM” because I got a few support requests for MVVM Light regarding this exact issue. In fact it is a Windows 8 issue and has nothing to do with MVVM Light per se…

Sometimes when you work on a Windows 8 app, you will get a very annoying issue when starting the app. In that case, the app doesn’t not even start past the Splash screen. Putting a breakpoint in App.xaml.cs doesn’t help because the app doesn’t even reach that point!

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Adventures in Windows 8: Understanding and debugging design time data in Expression Blend

One of my favorite features in Expression Blend is the ability to attach a Visual Studio debugger to Blend. First let’s start by answering the question: why exactly do you want to do that?

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