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Some new in-mix downloads

There are some very cool downloads suddenly appear on MSDN download site due to all new technologies, presented at Mix ‘09. So let’s start

To learn more about Silverlight 3.0 and Blend 3.0, you can see first day keynotes at mix 09, Rollup of what’s new in Silverlight 3 by Joe Stegman. This includes offline mode support by Mike Harsh. I’ll write another separate post for this topic, due to the fact, that I’m a desktop guy, so wary about the future of WPF.

To learn more about how to use new Expression Blend, it worth to see this session by Pete Blois. Another good sessions are also wrapped for you by Scott Hanselman.

After we done with all web stuff, let’s speak about a client

That’s all by now, going to write a review for new book and will publish it soon (probably even before, you’ll finish with all those downloads and readings). So, stay tuned and be good people.

WPF Line-Of-Business labs and Silverlight vs. Flash

Small update today (mostly interesting links)… During my last “Smart Client” session I was asked about WPF LOB application development labs. So, there are two full labs, I noticed about:

Both labs include WPF ribbon and DataGrid, Southridge also come with M-VV-M design sample and some other interesting features. As for me, it seemed, like some parts of those labs can be easily used “as-is” for production level applications, like it was done with SCE starter, which turned into TimesReader (by the way, it has free version again).

Line of Business Hands-On-Lab Material

For those, who still trying to consider what to use for their next killer app, I propose to read following article from Jordan, which compares between Silverlight and Flash. And then see composite application guidance to use Prism for Silverlight development. Here the video of it usage by Adam Kinney from Channel 9

Prism for Silverlight

Have a nice day and be good people

Source code for Silverlight 2 controls

Too much exciting news today. Shortly after announced about Windows 7 beta download, I found, that Joe Stegman, Seema Ramchandani, Andre Michaud, Jon Sheller and other guys from Silverlight team released the source code of managed Silverlight controls, included in System.Windows.dll, System.Windows.Controls.dll, and System.Windows.Controls.Data.dll. Get it, you have a lot of thing to learn from this package.

image

Download Silverlight 2.0 controls source code >>

New version of Hebrew and Arabic support for Silverlight was released

Please notice, that new version (RC1) of Bidi support for Silverlight was released. What’s new in this release?

  • Initial version of bidi DataGrid
  • Listbox, CheckBox, RadioButton, DatePicker, Tab and TabItem controls were added (tnx to Yasser Makram and Emad from Santeon)
  • There are some changes in nBidi algorithm by Itai Bar-Haim
  • Button and ToggleButton base fixes + valid default templates for all controls
  • Some performance and stability issues.

So, be sure, that you have the latest release and take a part of tests, which were also updated to new version.

silverpeace

Great thank to all contributors for huge united work done. If you want to take a part in development drop me a note.

Download latest release (RC1) of bidirectional text support for Microsoft Silverlight >>

Quick Silverlight (and WPF) tip: How to write program without XAML

From the moment, 10K MIX09 contest was launched, I got more, then 20 people, asking the same question: Is it possible to have Silverlight program up and running without XAML at all?

image

The answer is “YES, IT IS”. Here is how:

All you need for run WPF or Silverlight application is

  1. Class inherited from System.Windows.Application
  2. Class inherited from System.Windows.Controls.UserControl

So, Let’s create new WPF or Silverlight application and delete all files from the project directory. Then add one file, named App.cs (or Foo.cs or Whatever.cs – the length of the file name is not included :) ) and write there :

using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows;

public class App : Application {public App() {this.Startup += (s, e) => { this.RootVisual = Foo.M; };}} 
class Foo: UserControl {static Foo _b = new Foo();public static Board M { get { return _b; } }

We done. F5, be happy. You just wrote first officially smallest Silverlight functional application. Good luck with Mix09 contest.

Programming for Windows 7

Well, Windows 7 is going to be released by the end of next year. This is great news, because it seemed, that Microsoft finally understand how to get the best of Windows Vista and make it to work not only on monster machines.

image

It even works on new brandy my wife’s pinky machine. And if it works there and my wife is happy with it, this OS going to be very impressive.

image

But from the other hand, we, as developers should be ready today to developer Windows 7 ready application (by the way, Vista Battery Saver works for Windows 7 as well as for Windows Vista, in spite of the fact, that power management in Windows 7 was improved dramatically). So let’s start!

First thing we need is to read big Windows 7 Developer Guide. This document will explain most of new features for developers to build applications right. What is includes?

Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 3.0

Basically, Windows 7 works with Vista drivers, however, hibernation, power management, networking, PREfast will work much better. You also will have new WMI access for reliability monitors and ACPI.

Management and deployment

By default Windows 7 uses PowerShell 2.0 and Windows Installer. For PowerShell it includes enhanced cmdlets to manage Active Directory, IIS, etc. For Windows Installer, you finally can build “chainers” by yourself (the same approach, used for latest deployment of Microsoft products such as Silverlight, Visual Studio 2008 SP1 etc.) Also, you can get advantage by using Windows Filtering Platform (Firewall) and User Account Control (UAC) from inside your application by using new APIs.

Performance

The most significant change in Windows 7 for end-user point of view is improved performance. Windows 7 kernel is much smaller, that kernel of Windows Vista. Also it uses specific patterns to decrease background activities on low power, based on system triggers. New user-mode and kernel-mode APIs are used by Windows Drivers Foundation much more efficiently. Also system services are much smarter. For example, DCIA starts only when you connect new hardware. After drivers were installed the service shuts down. The same approach used by domain join, GP changes, new IP fetching etc. Windows 7 knows to run and stop services, based on system events, which decreases average work load and enhances whole system performance.

Multi-touch gestures and Interia API and used interface in general

Yes, you can use this API for your applications. Finally we can have more, then just mouse. And it is not only about multiple mouse devices. We can use single finder panning, raw touch input data, internal multitouch ink recognition, which is also supports math. Also it uses build-in MathML export feature.

There are a lot of other enhancements, such as smart bars, windows’ stacking, gadget desktop (it does not eat battery as external process anymore), system ribbon menu integration. etc

Graphics

Direct 11, new Direct2D, DirectWrite (we can turn text anti-aliasing for small fonts, hurrah!), improved WIC, DX/GDI interoperability on system level with automatic fallback for weak hardware (yes, you should not be worry about it anymore). Also new video and audio format support with human readable interfaces. Yes, no more DirectDraw hacks. We can use new high level interfaces such as MFPlay to manage playbacks, Source Reader for decoding, Sink Writer for transcoders and re-coding compressions.

Web and communication

WCF is inside, as well as distributed routing table for peer-to-peer operations. BranchCache – new technology to reduce WAN traffic and latency.

Also Windows 7 is compatible with OpenSearch (I told, that Microsoft does not know to build search engines). Sharepoint integration and environment sensors platform, that can be used either for desktop and web applications.

There are much more features, that makes Windows 7 to pretend to be very good operation system. If you want to learn more about all those Windows 7 new features, I highly advice you to download and read this document. It includes most of new features of new OS with explanations and screenshots to make your learn and understand what can your future application do with all those new features.

Have a nice day and be good people.

BTW, if you have PDC version of Windows 7 and want to unlock it for using of some cool features, introduced during keynotes, it worth to visit here and learn how to :)

Download Windows 7 Developer Guide and start programming.

Silverlight Bidi Controls Library RC0 and movement from Beta 2 to RC0

Finally, I got free minute to convert Silverlight BiDi controls from Silverlight beta 2 to RC0 (you can download SL rc0 tools for VS2008 here) and as usual some breaking changes (the full list is here)

  • Calendar and DatePicker moved from System.Windows.Controls.Extended into System.Windows.Controls – Extended namespace is now deprecated.
  • CalendarButton is not inside System.Windows.Controls.Primitives
  • TypeConverter.CanConvertFrom(Type sourceType) was changed and now it has new first parameter ITypeDescriptorContext context
  • TypeConverter.CanConvertFrom(object value) was changed and now it has new first parameter ITypeDescriptorContext context and second parameter System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture
  • TypeConverter.ConvertFromString is not virtual anymore
  • TextDecorationCollectionConverter was removed
  • generic.xaml should be placed into themes directory (as in WPF)
  • VisualTransition.Duration is not VisualTransition.GeneratedDuration
  • ContentPresenter has no HorizontalContentAlignment and VerticalContentAlignment. It has HorizontalAlignment and VerticalAlignment now. Also it has no Background, Padding,TextAlignment,TextDecorations and TextWrapping properties

Those, basically, all changes done in Silverlight RTL support library. So, you can download and use the latest version within Silverlight RC0 version

Have a nice day and be good people.

Developers academy 3 – vote your choice

If you’re “in” WPF and/or Silverlight development and want to learn more about high performance programming in WPF or your ability to develop once for WPF and Silverlight, you’re invited to vote for my session in Dev Academy 3 and attend it:

  • High performance programming with WPF in .NET framework 3.5 SP1
    .NET 3.5 SP1 (Arrowhead) brings you full power of WPF by taking into account huge performance enhancements for Line-Of-Business by using data virtualization and high graphical applications by access to DirectX surfaces. This session will round up all new features to Arrowhead
  • Unified development experience with Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight 2.0
    Two years ago, Microsoft introduced Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) to provide a unified platform for Rich Windows Client Applications development. A year later Silverlight was introduced as similar platform for Rich Internet Applications. Is it possible to use XAML based approach to share and reuse code for both frameworks? In this session we will learn how to develop reusable code base for productive, usable and well branded Client and Internet applications to wider distribution, demanded today.

Also, you can advice another session, you might be interested in via comments in this post

Thank you and see you there…

Slides and desks from my Expert Days’ sessions

Because of the new job, I’m bit tight in time, however, I  found a time to post slides from my sessions in Expert Days. Also, hand-on labs used for WPF beginners’  released as open source to CodePlex for your convenience.

Windows Presentation Foundation for Fellow Developers [4 MB]

Mastering Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 [11 MB]

Have a nice day and be good people.

Expert days – last minute changes

Next week we’ll starting Expert Days, so you have a last chance to register for Windows Presentation Foundation for fellow developers (12-Aug) and Mastering Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 (13-Aug). Those sessions will take place in Bein-Thumi Herzeliya and start in 8:30.

We have not enough participants to open Advanced .NET 3.5 SP1 (14-Aug) [not enough people know WPF so far in Israel?], thus I would like to propose another kind of session – something like we used to do in Dev Days. You’ll come with your WPF applications, prepare to ask questions about problems with those apps and we’ll solve it together during the day. I will not have slides for this session – it will be live QnA+Discussions meeting. This specific session will take place in Megamot college in Petah-Tikva (not in Bein-Thumi, like all others). What do you think?

Last notice, if we will not have at least 26 attendees (currently for this session we have only 10), neither Advanced .NET 3.5 nor WPF QnA will be opened. Also, all people registered for those sessions will be refunded. So, now you will choose whether and which session about WPF we will open Thursday next week.

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