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How to begin? Windows 8 Development

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Ok. I convinced you in my last post to do some Win8 development. You want a piece of that cake, or whatever your reasons may be. Good! Welcome to the club! Now let me ask you a question: what are you going to write? Ah. That’s the big one, isn’t it? What indeed? If you have been creating applications for computers before you’re in for quite a shock. The way people perceive apps on a tablet is quite different from what we know as applications. There’s a reason we call them apps instead of applications! Yes, technically
they are applications but we don’t call them apps only because it sounds cool. The abbreviated form of the word applications itself is a pointer. Apps are small. Apps are focused. Apps are more lightweight. Apps do one thing but they do that one thing extremely good. In the ‘old’ days we wrote huge systems. We build ecosystems of services, screens, databases and more to create a system that provides value for the user. Think about it: what application do you use most at work? Can you in one sentence describe what it is, or what it does...(Read whole news on source site)

Why bother writing an Windows 8 app?

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So you want to know more about development for Window 8. Great! There are lots of reasons you should be excited about this. Since I don’t know why YOU are interested in this, I’ll make a list of reasons people can choose from. (as a side note: whenever I talk about Win8 development I am referring to the Metro Style / WinRt side of things. Apps for the ‘classic’ desktop side of Win8 on Intel are business as usual…) So… Why would you care about making an app for Windows 8? 1. It’s cool.
Let’s not beat around the bush: if you like development for a hobby then you’ll love to work on this new platform. You can create apps in a relative short time (short time as in compared to writing a new CRM system) and that makes it great for a hobby product. 2. You’ll stand out. Hey, we all need an ego boost every now and then. We all need to feel special. So if you can manage to be one of the first to have you app in the Store then you’ll likely to be noticed....(Read whole news on source site)

Lynda’s Windows Phone SDK Essential Training by Michael Lehman

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A new Windows Phone SDK Essential Training video tutorial series is now available in the Online Training Library. Windows Phone SDK Essential Training’s author is Michael Lehman who is managing director of DreamTimeStudioZ , LLC , a boutique app development and consulting company based in Seattle, Washington. Windows Phone SDK Essential Training has 55 + videos with nearly 4 hours that explains how to develop Windows Phone Apps with step by step instructions describing how to build the apps while simultaneously learning the Windows Phone concepts. Few selected sections of the videos are available for preview on YouTube. Know
more about Lynda’s Windows Phone SDK Essential Training by Michael Lehman here...(Read whole news on source site)

Smarter Settings in June 2012 Azure SDK

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Looking over the features in the newest Azure SDK, I was interested in the new CloudConfigurationManager class and its GetSettings method.  It looked like it was smarter than the RoleEnvironment.GetConfigurationSettingValue method.  Here’s why I think something as  mundane as settings method could be interesting: Azure opens up some new features to take advantage of in your application like table [...]

WMemoryProfiler is Released

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What is it? WMemoryProfiler is a managed profiling Api to aid integration testing. This free library can get managed heap statistics and memory usage for your own process (remember testing) and other processes as well. The best thing is that it does work from .NET 2.0 up to .NET 4.5 in x86 and x64. To make it more interesting it can attach to any running .NET process. The reason why I do mention this is that commercial profilers do support this functionality only for their professional editions. An normally only since .NET 4.0 since the profiling API only since
then does support attaching to a running process. This thing does differ in many aspects from “normal” profilers because while profiling yourself you can get all objects from all managed heaps back as an object array. If you ever wanted to change the state of an object which does only exist a method local in another thread you can get your hands on it now … Enough theory. Show me some code /// /// Show feature to not only get...(Read whole news on source site)

Automate or Not

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When system is built, no one want to baby sit after its up and running. Therefore, there is a strong desire to automate everything, including error handling. But sometimes automation is not suitable for every error, and here is a good example. An email signup service that I have created is using a 3rd party service to discover city, region, and country from city name only.  Easy and intuitive for customers, head ache free to maintain (no need to keep data source up-to-date). All good and nice till I got an error reported by someone on the team –
instead of City the system reported “junk” (see screenshot). After debugging a little, it was simply bad data coming back from the 3rd party service (which I have to admit was extremely reliable and accurate for the most part). So what do you do? Initial response in the team was “lets code it so that when a city has a comma and space, we strip it along with the rest. I.e., when “Calgary, Alberta” is received for a city name, we strip the “, Alberta” portion. Sounds like a great idea, can be automated and be...(Read whole news on source site)

Community day 2012 recap

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It’s becoming a bit of a tradition in Belgium. No I’m not talking about the great beer or the weather this time but about Community day, again like last years a fest for community minded people like myself. The sessions One of the important parts to gather a lot of people together is content and this year again there were lots of sessions to choose from. I took the following: Brewing beer with Windows Azure (Maarten Balliauw – Panagiotis Kefalidis):

A very nice session by 2 of my buddies and AZUG comrades. The first part was about a
new hobby they’ve mastered: brewing beer. Then the session took a small turn and showed the new site running on Windows Azure Web Sites, integrating temperature probes via Service Bus and making use of ACS. A very interesting concept of what can be done with Azure and all the new stuff that shipped only a couple of weeks ago.
Creating rich, responsive display and editor user interfaces with KnockoutJS (Tom Van Gaever):

KnockoutJS is that one very interesting MVVM javascript based framework. Both Tom and me were amazed to see that practically no one in the audience had tried, used or...(Read whole news on source site)

Developing Windows 8 Apps

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Right. So it’s all set up now. Windows 8, Build 8400 Release Preview: check
Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate Release Candidate: check
Windows Live Writer: check
An audience (yes, that would be you): check
Lots of ideas: check Be prepared for a series on Windows 8 development. Yes, it’s touch so it fits this blog, right? Ready?

DevExpress announces full coded UI support

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Visual Studio has a variety of ways to test your code. – one of them we call “Coded UI”.  Coded UI testing is useful when you want to automate a full functional test, as a user would do it, against the UI of your application.  You usually start by recording a test case – you manually execute the test in the app and the recorder watches what you do.  You also define as set of things you want to verify about the result.  It turns your actions into a sequence of events to send to controls in your application.  It
can generate code for that sequence of events and you can then tweak that code if you like. In order to do this, the Coded UI tools have to be able to reach into your app and automate actions against its various components.  As a general rule, doing that at the top level – key strokes and mouse clicks is a bad idea because it makes the test too fragile and too difficult to maintain.  Those lower level events are turned into application level actions – button pushes, list selection, etc.  In order to do that, your app must...(Read whole news on source site)