Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Building a project skeleton, using CSS3 layout and styling WinJS controls

This past week was spent turning wireframes and workflows into a moving prototype using static data. Not only does this action of sketching out the project inform architecture, but it also allows us to create the placeholders once we get the visual design.
Building a project skeleton, using CSS3 layout and styling WinJS controls

As a bonus, a short screen cap of the prototype can be a valuable asset while the app concept is still forming in our heads.

Here’s the process I’ve been using to build the project skeleton.

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RadControls for Metro (XAML)–Date and Time Pickers

RadControls for Metro (XAML)–Date and Time PickersSurprisingly, Visual Studio for Windows 8 does not come with either a date or a time picker. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

The RadControls For Metro suite of controls includes a very flexible DatePicker and TimePicker control that I’ll illustrate in this posting.

To get started, be sure to add a reference to the RadControls for Metro to your application.

As usual, we’ll begin with the data. This time the data is very simple. We start by creating a class representing a hotel or conference reservation.

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First Look at RadComboBox and RadAutoComplete for Windows 8 - HTML

First Look at RadComboBox and RadAutoComplete for Windows 8 - HTMLHello and welcome to our “First Look” of Telerik’s Windows 8 UI Controls. In this post, we are going to specifically target Windows 8 Applications built using HTM5/JS/CSS3 and our new Windows 8 control suite.

Have you ever wanted to create a Metro Application that had a more powerful ComboBox with functionality such as auto-complete or placeholder text? What about an AutoCompleteBox with the same functionality, but found that control completely missing? Maybe you are writing an application that needs the user to select from a list of World Countries, but don’t know where to start. In this blog post, we are going to show you how to implement these features using RadComboBox & RadAutoComplete found in Telerik’s Windows 8 UI Control Suite.

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Building a Windows 8 app? Pick your favorite flavour!

When building an app for Windows 8, you have three programming models to choose from: .NET, HTML/CSS JavaScript, or C++

When I started coding, I quickly discovered that a big part of development was making choices. I also discovered myself frustrated when working with tools and platforms that did not give me choices and forced me down a specific path.

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Lessons learned porting Wordfeud (an iOS, Android and Windows Phone Game) to Windows 8

Lessons learned porting Wordfeud (an iOS, Android and Windows Phone Game) to Windows 8
Wordfeud is a word game with more than 15 million players on iOS, Adroid and Windows Phone. In this article we will discuss how we ported the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) version of Wordfeud to Windows 8 (Win8), what we did to make the game conform to the Win8 Metro design language, and techniques used to achieve maximum code reuse across WP7 and Win8.

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Creating a WinRT component using C++/CX Part 2: Adding a custom Direct2D effect to DeForm

Creating a WinRT component using C++/CX Part 2: Adding a custom Direct2D effect to DeForm
The previous article introduced the DeForm Library: A WinRT component that used Direct2D to apply filters on a picture.

You can download DeForm from CodePlex

This article will show you how to use the Direct2D effect pipeline to create a custom Direct2D effect. This effect will try to apply some kind of Polaroïd effect by applying many filters in a row:

  • Black&White
  • Sepia tone
  • Saturation
  • Brightness

To do so, you have to create a COM component for Direct2D (handling reference counting and interfaces querying):

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ObjectStorageHelper : Generic Object Storage Helper for Windows RTM Now Available

Project Description
ObjectStorageHelper<T> is a Generic class that simplifies storage of data in WinRT applications while still maintaining the Async principles of Windows 8 apps

While exploring WinRT I came up with this, ObjectStorageHelper<T>, a Generic class that wraps (and greatly simplifies) use of the RoamingFolder, TemporaryFolder & LocalFolder storage folders within the ApplicationData class.

With ObjectStorageHelper<T> saving and loading an object to/from disk is now just a simple method call.

I blog about ObjectStorageHelper<T> at ObjectStorageHelper

Under the covers ObjectStorageHelper<T> uses XML Serialization hence T needs to be an object that can be serialized as XML. There is a useful thread on Stack Overflow Using .Net what limitations (if any) are there in using the XmlSerializer? that talks about those restrictions better than I ever could.

Check it out on CodePlex

Lessons Learned Designing a Windows 8 App

Lessons Learned Designing a Windows 8 App
Windows 8, expected to be released in October 2012, is the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Its release also marks the first time that Microsoft has significantly evolved its design since 1995. Microsoft’s new, touch-oriented design language opens the door to designers, giving them a chance to reconsider their existing applications.

Christina and I are graduate students in Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. In April we were hired as interns by Blink Interactive, a UX research and design agency in Seattle, to become their resident Windows 8 experts. We scoured the Internet for articles and videos, attended Windows 8 developer events, spoke with Microsoft evangelists, and spent a good, long time using Windows 8 on both tablet and desktop computers.

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Minimalistic MVVM for Windows Runtime XAML Platform Development with C#

I have been using MVVM for a few years now and always felt it needed a summary of the state of things as well as my own opinion about it. This is it today. My approach to MVVM has been changing from the time when I was an eager student, through a devoted disciple, till today when I see it as a small tool in the toolbox of a XAML developer.


The Model View View Model (MVVM) pattern is an architectural pattern used for separation of concerns in applications. It is popular in Microsoft’s XAML-based UI frameworks such as WPF, Silverlight or WinRT/XAML.

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Stimulsoft Reports.WinRT : Generate Reports & Export To HTML & Excel

Stimulsoft Reports.WinRT : Generate Reports & Export To HTML & Excel
Stimulsoft Reports.WinRT. Design Great Reports in Windows 8 Today! Creating reports usually consists of two parts – creating reports in the report designer and delivering reports to end-users. For the first part we provide a good reports designer with the great set of tools to increase quality of finished reports, decrease time of reports creation and providing easy way to design reports for non-developer users. For the second part we are happy to propose the pure Metro reports viewer to display all possibilities of created reports to customers. Both parts are important and both parts must be perfect! This is why we recommend using Stimulsoft Reports.WinRT in your Metro apps, to make the both parts of the report rendering perfect! Designed for Touch Stimulsoft Reports for Metro is specially designed to be touched! We provide great touchable interface of the reports viewer. We make work with reports more comfortable and ergonomic

Check out Stimulsoft Navigator in Windows Store
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