There are 29 entries for the tag design
BUILD 2013 Sessions–Building Great Windows Phone UI in XAML
Even the simplest of smart phone apps can be a challenge to give a compelling UI regardless of the platform. Windows Phone and XAML are no exception. That is what got my interest in this session by Shawn Oster. He took a checklist type approach to the subject is good considering that is about the only way that many us get things done. Shawn started out giving us a set of bad design/good design examples. They very effectively showed how good design gives a sense of professionalism to your app that ......
Posted On Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:54 AM | Comments (0)
Why You Shouldn’t Build An App In 1 Page
I have seen a number of people boast that they have a 1 page web application design. Congratulations. Now ask yourself why you did that and what the impact that design has. There are reasons that we modularize applications. One reason is to give the user logical separation of functionality. The fact that the application transition from one screen to another give the user a visual queue that something significant has changed and they should take notice. From a development standpoint all-in-on design ......
Posted On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 5:45 PM | Comments (5)
Why Do Computer Scientists Need To Understand Software Developers
I saw a tweet asking why do we educate computer scientists to get developers and compared this to structural engineers and stone masons. I believe this is a good question with a flawed premise. The flaw is in thinking that a developer’s job is as simple and limited in variations as that of a mason. Almost every problem attacked by a developer requires that they bend their tools and materials in a new way. This requires that everyone on a team communicate and at least on some level understand each ......
Posted On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:09 PM | Comments (1)
New Windows Phone 7 Stencil For Cacoo
I have created a stencil for wire framing Windows Phone 7 application in Cacoo. This is definitely a work in progress, but until it is complete I would suggest combining this stencil with the Android stencil that is available by default in Cacoo. Below are a couple of screen shots of the stencil so far. First here is what the stencil window looks like currently. Taking a closer look the main device frame is illustrated below Lastly is the button pallet which contains the icons from the Windows Phone ......
Posted On Monday, November 28, 2011 10:40 PM | Comments (0)
Review: ComponentOne Studio for Entity Framework
While I have always been a fan of libraries that improve coding efficiency and reduce code redundancy I have mostly been using ones that were in the public domain. As part of the Geeks With Blogs Influencers program a got my hands on ComponentOne’s Studio for Entity Framework. Below are my thought after working with the product for several weeks. My coding preference has always been maintainable code that is reusable across an enterprises protfolio. Because of this my focus in reviewing this product ......
Posted On Wednesday, November 23, 2011 3:44 PM | Comments (0)
Wire Framing WP7 Apps With Cacoo
While looking for a free alternative to Sketchflow I landed on the Cacoo web site. Any developer who decides to use the free Visual Studio tools may find themselves doing the same search. The base functionality of Cacoo is free although there are certain features that have fees attached to them such as extended stencils and templates. Cacoo doesn’t seem to have a template for WP7. It does have templates for iOS and Android development so I started with the Android template and started modidfying ......
Posted On Monday, November 21, 2011 4:21 PM | Comments (0)
Why We Need UX Designers
Ok, so maybe this is really why I need UX designers. While I have always had an interest in photography and can appreciate a well designed user interface putting one together is an entirely different endeavor. Being color blind doesn’t help, but coming up with ideas is probably the biggest portion of the issue. I can spot things that just don’t look like they work right, but what will? UX designers is an area that most companies do not spend much if any resources. As they say, you only get one chance ......
Posted On Monday, November 14, 2011 9:40 PM | Comments (0)
Styling Windows Phone Silverlight Applications
If you have not developed with styles in Silverlight/XAML then it can be challenging and resources can be sparse depending on how deep you get. One thing that you need to understand is what level you can apply styles and how much they can cascade. What I am finding is that this doesn’t go to the level that we are used to in HTML and CSS. While styles can be defined at a page level if you want to share styles throughout your application they should be defined in the App.xaml file. This is of course ......
Posted On Thursday, November 10, 2011 6:56 AM | Comments (0)
August 2011 Chicago Information Technology Architects Group Meeting
Our summer break is over and with the dog days of August we are getting back to setting up presentations of interest to Chicago area IT Architects. This month we will have Michael Kappel presenting on a topic we have been trying to get organized for a while. SOLID is an acronym for five object oriented design and development principles that everyone should know. Michael is going to give a platform agnostic discussion of these five key principles. Please join us by registering below. Register here ......
Posted On Monday, August 1, 2011 12:27 AM | Comments (0)
Alternate OOXML Document Generation Approach
Eric White has put out a document generation example which uses XPath and Word Content Controls. I applaud Eric for the amount of work he has done with his exploration of different ways to perform template base generation. This is a subject that is challenging and we need as many ideas as we can get. There are a couple of areas that I see room for improvement in this XPath design that I would like to bring up. The first is that Eric has chosen to put his document generation in the document itself. ......
Posted On Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:49 AM | Comments (0)
This Developers Life Podcast
This Developers Life is a podcast put out by Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery. In the most recent episode there were a couple of things that really struck me. The fist was on motivation. Why is it that we keep spending every free hour keeping up with the latest technologies and techniques? Personally, I have always enjoyed the satisfaction of solving problems with technology. Hey, if you aren’t one to join sports then you need some sort of challenge. Of course getting to play with new toys like Windows ......
Posted On Tuesday, November 30, 2010 4:27 PM | Comments (0)
October 2010 Chicago Information Technology Architects Group Wrap Up
Earlier this week Mike Vogt and I presented an introduction to design patterns. While I think that all developers should understand design patterns I don’t believe you can be a good architect unless you a firm grasp of patterns at at the application, system and enterprise levels. We had some fun with the subject by alternating between .NET and Java examples. I think if we had hidden certain parts of the IDE we could have challenged the attendees to tell us which example was in C# and which was in ......
Posted On Thursday, October 21, 2010 5:02 AM | Comments (0)
Review: Head First Design Patterns
Design patterns are an important part of understanding the best practices of software development. Head First Design Patterns is another great book in the Head First series which takes a more story based teaching approach. As you get past the format of the book there are specific things that I like about the subject matter coverage. Rather than just laying out the name, problem and solution for each of the original patterns, they compare and contrast them. In some cases they even pull in patterns ......
Posted On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 1:41 AM | Comments (0)
New User Group Name and October Presentation
For reasons that I will not discuss here the Chicago Architects Group has changed its name to the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group. It is the same great group of people discussing topics that are of interest to IT architects of all flavors. Whether your responsibilities are at an enterprise, solution or application level there is something here for you. For October the topic will be design patterns presented by Mike Vogt and myself. Mike has a Java background so we will be alternating ......
Posted On Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:38 AM | Comments (0)
Architects – Can’t We All Be Friends
Lately I have had some run-ins with structural architects who have warned me that calling myself or our user group Architects is against the law in Illinois. I still need to sort out if this is actually the case or not, but it makes me ask a number of questions. Clearly the law was not intended to protect the word Architect. It was meant to protect the profession and protect the public from people who were practicing architecture without proper training. We wouldn’t want buildings and bridges falling ......
Posted On Wednesday, March 3, 2010 2:50 AM | Comments (1)
The Challenges of Inconsistent Implementation and Office Document Generation
I have spent the last several months developing solutions with Office 2007 and the Office Open XML SDK 2. Our client has requirements that cross the suite from PowerPoint Presentations to Word Documents. The Open XML standard which define the structure of these documents is very powerful. My biggest frustration is the lack of consistent capabilities between the products. Since we are doing document generation based on templates it is very important we that the code can consistently identify any part ......
Posted On Friday, January 29, 2010 12:31 AM | Comments (0)
ArcSummit Thirsty Developer Episode Posted
Last month when I spoke at ArcSummit for about design patterns, object oriented programming and dependency injection Chris Woodruff and I sat down and recorded an episode of Thirsty Developer with Dave Bost and Clark Sell. Check it out here ......
Posted On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 1:22 AM | Comments (0)
New Architecture Guide From P&P
I try not to be too much of a reposter, but I got a little nostalgic on this one. I remember when the first version of this tome came out and I got a free copy when I visited Redmond for the Guided Design conference. You may not agree with everything you find in here, but it is definitely worth the read to see what Microsoft thinks architecture is. Technorati Tags: Patterns and Practices,architecture,appl... architecture guidance,microsoft ......
Posted On Friday, November 6, 2009 4:36 AM | Comments (0)
Speaking at the ArcSummit December 7th
I am branching out. is having an ArcSummit event and needed someone to speak on Dependency Injection. Sign me up. If you are interested in this or the other topics to be presented please join us. There is more information about the event and a registration link below. https://www.clicktoattend.c... About is a site dedicated to helping Architects, aspiring Architects and Lead Developers learn, connect and contribute. On this site you’ll have ......
Posted On Monday, November 2, 2009 12:40 AM | Comments (0)
Random Thoughts On Software Development
I was listening to an episode of .NET Rocks in which Ted Neward spent some time discussing the direction that languages are going. This was predominantly a discussion of the DSL concepts, but the interview got me thinking about languages and how we design the internal structure of applications. One of the main things that struck me was that something about objects has never felt quite natural. I have never found a decomposition technique that I was satisfied with. Looking at objects as nouns in your ......
Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:48 PM | Comments (2)
Standing Your Ground - Doing What's Right For The Project
Many times as you go through the phases of a project you may get pressure to do a quick fix just to be able to close a phase. You may even be told others what the fix to your work should be. The question is if you are sure it is the right fix. Sometimes even though those around you are ready to roll heads some times you have to stop everything, take a step back and research if the solution on the table is right or just fast. Often the fast solutions end up generating more problems because no one ......
Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 5:56 AM | Comments (0)
First Impressions of VS2008 Beta 2
I decided to take the time to download the latest beta of Visual Studio. Below are my impressions from initial usage. This mainly means I opened the environment and played a little. The first thing that you notice is that the IDE looks essentially the same as it did for VS2005. When you create a new project you will notice that there are now options for WPF, WCF, WF and AJAX projects. Seeing as I spend most of my time in web applications I figured that would be a good place to start. It is good to ......
Posted On Monday, July 30, 2007 10:37 PM | Comments (0)
What Is A Document Worth
I have been working on a documentation improvement project for my current client. This, along with a post by Jeremy Miller got me thinking again about the worth of documentation. The client uses a predominantly waterfall methodology, but their design documentation contained very little if any detail. The argument was the same as Jeremy's for not liking to do documentation. It becomes out of date. Now the big difference here is that Jeremy is talking about agile processes in which you discover your ......
Posted On Friday, April 13, 2007 3:39 AM | Comments (2)
So What Is .NET Again?
As I have mentioned before I am a consultant. Add to that the fact that I have been doing software development professionally for about twelve years and that means that I am moving into higher level work. Unfortunately that means less time that I am getting my hands dirty in the code. This is a painful transition, especially for a code junkie like me. So what is the prescription to ease my discomfort. I think it is time to bury myself in some serious code learning. I figure I have a number of books ......
Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
Team Foundation Server Frustration
Did someone set the way-back machine for 2001. I am trying to setup up a virtual server with TFS and it feels like I am installing Sharepoint Portal Server 2001. It is so unforgiving that if you miss a step it is hosed and it leaves you little or no way to fix the problem. It expects things the way it wants them and that is that. Of course some will say "just follow the instructions silly", and they would be right to a point. Still, I think application setup tools should be forgiving and make as ......
Posted On Thursday, November 30, 2006 2:48 AM | Comments (0)
Overcoming The Challenges Of Agile In The Enterprise
The idea for this blog entry came from a conversation I had the other week with another consultant in the company that I work for. He was saying how he had used TDD for several projects and believed it just won't work in an enterprise wide project. This surprised me since most of the articles I have read and podcasts I have listened to say that this is not the case. You will hear various people say that agile methodologies can or can not work in an enterprise environment. I believe it is true that ......
Posted On Friday, November 17, 2006 11:00 AM | Comments (0)
User Friendly Devices?
My MP3 player decided to take a dirt nap this morning so I went out to buy a new one. The first thing that I noticed is that all of the new players are USB changed. While this may be good for the environment it isn't good for long rides to work. Actually it is a conspiracy to sell more junk. Now you need a mobile changer for your MP3 player. SUCKER! I found one that looked like it had decent features and bought it. Now maybe I am just a geek, but I don't want to have to install software to deal with ......
Posted On Tuesday, October 31, 2006 12:00 AM | Comments (2)
Podcast on Extensibility
Craig Shoemaker has done is usual outstanding job with the latest installments of his Polymophic Podcast. The last two shows have been a thought provoking interview with Miguel Castro. In it they discuss design patterns that can be used to allow for greater flexibility and extensibility when building applications. This is a topic that has interested me for a while now, especially patterns such as Dependency Injection which give the ability to define at run time the way that an application will act. ......
Posted On Friday, September 22, 2006 10:45 AM | Comments (0)
Simplicity for Simplicity Sake
As architects we try to look for the simplest solution to a business problem. This is not just because we are lazy, but because simple solutions are easy to maintain and tend to be less tightly coupled. This does not mean that the simplest solution is always the right solution. If one aspect of a business requirement can be addressed by a pattern but it invalidates three related business requirements then it is the wrong answer no matter how simple it may be. In the end it boils down to coming up ......
Posted On Monday, August 14, 2006 8:44 AM | Comments (0)

Tim Murphy

Tim is a Solutions Architect for PSC Group, LLC. He has been an IT consultant since 1999 specializing in Microsoft technologies. Along with running the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group and speaking on Microsoft and architecture topics he was also contributing author on "The Definitive Guide to the Microsoft Enterprise Library".

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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