June 2007 Entries

WPF training (Swiss edition) completed

Life is pretty good in the moment. I just finished giving the WPF fundamentals training to my Swiss colleagues. We also had the pleasure to host two US colleagues from Chicago who came specially for the training. I hope it was worth it, but I can safely say that everyone had fun and learned a lot in 3 days. That's a very short time to getting to know WPF, and noone became a WPF expert between Monday morning and Wednesday evening, but everyone improved their knowledge and, most importantly, I put ......

Various WPF resources online

Community WPF Community : http://wpf.netfx3.com/ Silverlight Community : http://silverlight.net/ http://wpfwiki.com/ Microsoft employees: http://weblogs.asp.net/scot... (Scott Guthrie) http://blogs.msdn.com/karst... (Karsten Januszewski) http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/ (Tim Sneath) http://rrelyea.spaces.live.... (Rob Relyea) http://www.beacosta.com/ (Bea Costa) http://work.j832.com/ (Kevin Moore) http://scorbs.com/ (Karen Corby) http://nerddawg.blogspot.com/ (Ashish Shetty) http://blogs.msdn.com/danle... ......

WPF: Finished the Expression Design / Expression Blend hands-on lab

Update: Removed the IFRAME, because of annoying "download" effect in Firefox. Added a link to the XAML page instead. Excellent lab!! I finished today the lab I started yesterday about Expression Design, Expression Blend and their collaboration. Actually, it's still not really a collaboration, to be honest. You export XAML from Design, and you add the exported file to the project in Blend. If you choose to modify the icons in Design, however, you must reimport and then make sure that the changes appear ......

Crazy work weeks

The first of the craziest work weeks I ever lived is over... I don't necessarily mean crazy as in stressful, just, you know... crazy. Last Monday, I attended Remix07 in Zurich, and spent quite some time with Scott Guthrie. It was just great to talk about WPF, Silverlight and the future. He is without any doubts one of the brightest minds I ever met (the second one who comes to my mind is Dr Jack Preger, whom I will meet again in 2 weeks time (see below)). Scott is also a very nice person, who gives ......

WPF: Expression Design hands on lab

I just finished the first half of the "Creating WPF buttons with Expression Blend and Expression Design" hands-on laboratory created by Karsten Januszewski. It's a really cool lab, especially for a WPF integrator with a developer education. I was always interested in design, but I am really not a designer, so it's quite nice to learn a few tricks and techniques. The lab introduces a technique consisting of using a picture on a layer, and then redrawing the object on a layer on top of that, using ......

Silverlight: More tutorials, and really good ones!

Celso Gomes, excellent designer working for the WPF team (Blend, Design and Silverlight) put together a Silverlight only website with great short tutorials. I just took the "Animations" ones, and I like the concept. Short lessons, easy to remember. Side note: This is the first Silverlight-only website I saw (after a looooong raw of Flash-only websites). While I find Silverlight much more appealing than Flash for the developers, the huge strength of SIlverlight over Flash is the ability to interact ......

Scott Guthrie talks about the future or ASP.NET and Orcas

The ReMix event was nice, well, not really comparable to Las Vegas, of course, but it was nice to see the demos again. For me, in fact, the real opportunity was rather to connect with other people interested in these technologies, and in this aspect it was really nice. I've been wanting to meet Ronnie Saurenmann (the guy behind the Zurich Airport XBAP and the "Outlook-like" WPF hands-on lab) for quite some time, I hope for the beginning of a nice collaboration. Of course the icing on the cake was ......

Road to Silverlight: My First Silverlight Application

I just published my very first Silverlight application to my website. OK, I just had like 1 hour to build it, so it's not very impressive, but still, I am happy that it works!!

OK, let's see if I can put an IFRAME in here to show the app (obviously, you'll need to install Silverlight to see it):

LiveWriter is watching you

Checking the LiveWriter developer page during the ReMix event, I noticed that I am getting stared at :-)

What are you staring at?

ReMix 07 in Zurich with Scott Guthrie

Today, the ReMix 07 event is taking place in the World Trade Center in Zurich, Switzerland. Lots of great speaker, includign Scott Guthrie, Wayne Smith, Beau Ambur and more. Wayne Smith just showed his video encoding and XAML editing demo, pretty much the same demo as in Vegas, but very well received here anyway! You got to love his accent :) but more important, the content is great. One new thing presented today compared to the Las Vegas edition is a new plug-in for LiveWriter which allows embedding ......

ReMix Zurich tomorrow

ReMix 07 Zurich I will be attending ReMix in Zurich tomorrow. This event will be specially interesting this year due to the presence of Scott Guthrie for the keynote and 2 presentations. I'll hear even more of Scott in the evening, at the DotMugs (.NET Managed User Group of Switzerland) where he will be speaking about ASP.NET and Orcas. I am very happy to hear Scott again, this will be the thrid time (after MIX06 and MIX07), and I sure hope I will have many more occasions ......

Road to Silverlight: Aaron Stebner is a great person!!

After I posted about the problems I was encountering with the Silverlight installation, Microsoft's Aaron Stebner contacted me and offered his help. Aaron is a .NET setup specialist. After enabling verbose logging and his inspecting my setup log files, the answer was to uninstall .NET 2.0 and then reinstall 3.5. Unfortunately, my .NET 2.0 installation was apparently corrupted, because the framework didn't appear in the "Add/Remove program" dialog. Thankfully, removing corrupted .NET installations ......

WPF: Synchronizing animations (part 2: Asynchronous by nature)

I published the second installment of this serie about synchronizing animations in WPF. This article walks the reader in creating a small application with multiple animations, and demonstrates that they are, indeed, asynchronous by nature. In the first article of the serie, we saw built-in ways to synchronize animations, using BeginTime, Duration, events... In the next article we will use a more elaborate way and I will guide the reader through the modifications needed to synchronize all the animations ......

Intercultural training today

Today I attended a very good training, which dealt with intercultural differences between Switzerland, USA, Italy and India (these are the 4 main locations for the project I currently work on). The training was excellent, and we all really spent a great time talking about experiences and studying what's probably going to await us in the next months. Because, yes like most firms we are outsourcing some software development to India, and we will have a team located in Pune (not far from Mumbai), and ......

Road to Silverlight: A few bumps...

You got to love this delicious alpha feeling, when you try to install something and it fails with an non-understandable error message... Yum!! In my case, installing Orcas fails. I managed to find out that the package responsible for the failure is the .NET 3.5 redistributable. While the error code is just a generic "error 1603", looking in the Windows Event Viewer shows that "Product: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 (Pre-Release Version) -- You must first install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0SP1 before ......

One year of blogging...

Exactly one year ago, I started blogging at GeeksWithBlogs. This has been an amazing year for me professionally. Promoting WPF in my firm has been a tough but rewarding experience. I got to say, ever since I attended MIX06, I've been enthusiastic about the technology, and it became almost a passion to talk about it to my colleagues and managers. While I hadn't been blogging before, I had been very active in the JavaScript community, and continuing this work in the .NET / WPF community just seemed ......

On the road to Silverlight: Download...

Now that my site has been cleaned up, I want to add Silverlight content to it soon. I blogged about my plans here, and first of all I need to download all the development environment. That also includes Orcas (Visual Studio 2007) which is currently still in Beta. I didn't install it before because Microsoft told us that it was a bad idea to install it on a non-virtual machine, and that uninstalling it was very difficult. Since the last Beta 1 version, however, things are better and I have been told ......

WPF: Synchronizing animations (part 1: Using built-in features)

One of the most exciting features of WPF is the animation system, which provides the UI developer with the possibility to create exciting effects easily. A previous article explains various ways to define and trigger animations using XAML or code-behind. However, the animations in WPF are asynchronous by nature, which means that when multiple animations are triggered independently, they will run without coordination, which may give the application an unfinished look. In a serie of articles, I will ......

Expression Blend labs / Losing the "-lb"

Expression Blend lab I downloaded Karsten Januszewski's Expression Blend labs, and I am going through them slowly. I finished the first one tonight. While it's relatively basic, it's still great to be able to consolidate what I otherwise learned through try-and-fail, and through reading parts of the user documentation. Additionally, it's a good support to learn useful shortcuts for some commands. I am looking forward to going through the remaining two labs, and I will highly recommend them to the ......

Back to ASP.NET this week / Silverlight plans / Chinese plans

ASP.NET: Updating RealSimpleBlog I decided to make an update (V0.5) to my RealSimpleBlog control. This control is used to display blog entries integrated in an existing webpage, without having to install a heavy infrastructure. Since it's a control, and not a framework like other existing blogging systems, it doesn't disrupt existing pages and integrates seamlessly without needing a lot of administration. To be fair, the control is still in an early stage, and I don't feel that I can distribute it ......