May 2007 Entries

Adobe ripping european customers off

Heard on radio last week: Adobe is selling their "Creative Suite 3" 40% to 100% more expensive here in Europe than in the US. Swiss netizen Danielle Libine is gathering signatures to petition Adobe to change this. While I have my doubts about the power of such a petition against software giants, I also remember that Microsoft decided to include Expression Blend in MSDN after users asked (and asked and asked) them to do so on the web and on usenet. So maybe it'll work if enough people sign the petition ......

WPF: Training other developers (Italy)

I am back from Milano, Italy, where I spent the last 3 days teaching WPF to some of our developers. It was a very new experience for me. In the past, I have organized and held demos and presentations already, but it's the first time that I am training other people for more than just one or 2 hours. I was quite nervous before starting the training, my main concern being to be able to say everything I wanted to say about the technology in the imparted time. The original material for the training was ......

WPF: Data Binding in Expression Blend

Intro Continuing my quest to make my applications as "blendable" as possible, and after noticing that Expression Blend doesn't execute a Window's or a User Control's constructor when the element is displayed, I thought I'd try to place my test data in the XAML itself, using an XmlDataProvider. Unfortunately, it still doesn't work as well as I had hoped. Purpose In order to allow designers to work in Expression Blend as much as possible, it is often necessary to create a test application. For example, ......

WPF: Debugging your UI in Expression Blend

What? Here's a cool trick, which I thought of after reading this comment and this post. The good thing to remember is that Expression Blend is a (maybe the first) Microsoft application entirely written in WPF. I always thought it was pretty cool. Well, even cooler than I thought: When load a project in Blend, the code you wrote is actually executed! Of course there are some caveats (see below), but what it allows is to place a breakpoint in your code (for example in a User Control's constructor), ......

Snapshots on my websites

I added a new feature on my website and my blog: PreviewShots by snap.com. When you see a small "balloon" icon next to a link, simply mouse over it and see a preview of the page this link leads to. I chose to add PreviewShots to external links only. By clicking on the "option" button, you can customize the way the snapshots are rendered on your web browser. I am just testing the service, so let me know what you think ......

WPF: The integrator

A new role It's hard to believe, but it's true, it has been already one week since I came back from MIX. During this week, I have been so busy with the project that I didn't even have time to blog. In the project we are currently developing, one of my roles is to be WPF integrator. This is a new role that has been discussed already quite a lot in various occasions. The WPF integrator stands between the designers and the developers. His role is to coordinate the work between these two very different ......

Pictures of Chicago downtown online

Alright, it worked! The pictures from Chicago I took yesterday are online, just posted from O'Hare airport. Also, the Las Vegas ones are online too.

And now for 9 hours in the plane...

MIX day 3 (cont)

Gee, I almost forgot one session I attended: Booyah! Designing and Developing Line-of-Business Applications That SIZZLE Once again a nice demo, concentrating on the specific problems and challenges you encounter when you develop 3D applications. Nathan designed beautiful glass tubes which are filled with data. I loved his mention that in WPF, he is actually working with materials and textures. When he says that, I get the impression that his working is actually sculpting 3D objects. I think that ......

MIX day 3

Today was MIX's last day, and it's almost painful to have to leave. I can't believe how fast it went, how packed with information it was, and how many great people I had the chance to meet. To all of you, I want to say thanks for the great time I spent here. The organization was, as usual, spotless. Now I have so much information to process and sort, this will keep me busy for a long time... Oh how I hope to make it to MIX08 ;-) Extending the Browser Programming Model with Silverlight If I had to ......

MIX07 day 2

On Tuesday, most of the day was packed with sessions. I managed to see very interesting information. Microsoft is really pushing SIlverlight a lot, and while it's great news for web applications, I really hope that they will not release their effort on WPF. We're waiting for V2!! Building Silverlight Applications using .NET (Part 1 of 2) This session was most probably great for developers without experience with WPF. For me, however, after a certain point, I found myself thinking "I know all that ......

MIX day 1 (cont again)

I attended 3 sessions yesterday afternoon, all very interesting. MySpace megasite Quite interesting talk by the MySpace team about what strategies they are using to run, maintain and upgrade what must be one of trhe busiest website worldwide. The sheer volume of video, MP3 and pictures theys deliver simultanously is tremendous. And all that runs on ASP.NET and Microsoft platforms. Very impressive. They also developed their own tools for code management, allowing to release and if necessary rollback ......

MIX pictures on Flickr and on my PhotoAlbum

I just posted a bunch of pictures from yesterday on Flickr and on my PhotoAlbum. More pictures will follow shortly. Stay tuned.

MIX: Debugging remotely from VS2005 on a Mac!!

I know, I posted about this already, but this is so great it deserves a separate post: Using Visual Studio 2005, you can actually remotely attach to a Silverlight process running on a Mac, and debug!

Isn't that cross platform pushed to the max??

MIX: Day one review (morning)

Amazing day yesterday. It all started with a great breakfast set up by the Venetian team. They really do an amazing job. The hotel is just great, not only because it's so big and luxurious, but also because every details is taken care of, every detail is perfect. I had the same impression last year, impression confirmed. The key note was great, though to be fair last year's was better. Ray Ozzie just cannot beat Bill Gates, charisma wise. I was very happy to see Scott Guthrie on stage again, this ......