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Windows 8 Design insights from Shazam`s Senior UI Designer

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source: Ubelly spoke to Richard Earney, Shazam's Senior UI Designer and Product Manager for Windows Phone. Richard spoke to us about developing the music recognition app for Windows 8. Ubelly: What was your inspiration for the design?
Richard: I had been redesigning our Windows Phone app, and had been wrestling with the Panorama screen and creating a really interesting parallax effect. Out of that came the colour scheme for the app (along with the fact that it was the first of our apps to rebrand).
The rest of the design was kept fairly simple to show off cover art as much as possible. Ubelly: What's your process for designing the user experience / journey?
Richard: This is where we used Sequence most. We had some basic ideas of what we wanted but they had more experience of the platform and the dos and don'ts of Windows 8. So they really helped with Snap View and Semantic Zoom. We started with some designs I had produced. They worked on the wireframes and fleshing out the areas my design didn't cover. We had...(Read whole news on source site)

Implementation details: RavenDB Bulk Inserts

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With RavenDB Bulk Inserts, we significantly improved the time we take to insert a boat load of documents to RavenDB. By over an order of magnitude, in fact. How did we do that? By doing a whole bunch of things, but mostly by being smart in utilizing the resources on both client & server. Here is how a standard request timeline looks like: As you can see, there are several factors that hold us up here. We need to prepare (in memory) all of the data to send. On the server side ,we wait until we have the
entire dataset before we can start processing the data. Just that aspect cost us a lot. And because there is finite amount of memory we can use, it means that we have to split things to batches, and each batch is a separate request, requiring the same song and dance just on the network layer. That doesn’t count what we have to do on the server end once we actually have the data, which is to get the data, process it, flush it to disk, register it for indexing,  call fsync, etc. That isn’t too much, unless you are trying...(Read whole news on source site)

The Morning Brew #1264

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Back on the usual posting schedule today - and the 2012 review post will make an appearance later this week. Information When in doubt, turn on Tracing - Scott Hanselman reminds us of the importance of taking a look under the hood using Tracing in order to better understand, and in this case diagnose problems occurring in [...]

MVVM in Windows 8: Part 1

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Welcome to a 3 part series on learning to develop Windows 8 applications using the MVVM pattern. MVVM stands for Model-View-ViewModel. The goal of this series is showing you how to get started with building a complete Windows 8 Store application based on this pattern. In this first part, we will look at the pattern itself, describe the key concepts and look at a basic architecture setup. In the next part, we’ll start with the implementation of the basic concepts. In part 3, we’ll finish the series by adding the more advanced concepts. The final goal is having a base architecture that you can use as source of inspiration for your own Windows 8 applications. Let’s get started! The code for the entire application can be downloaded...(Read whole news on source site)

Implementing The GeoCordinateWatcher As A Reactive Service

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With Rx, events are first class citizens that can be passed around and composed as needed in a very simple way. “The Reactive Extensions (Rx) is a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs using observable sequences and LINQ-style query operators. Using Rx, developers represent asynchronous data streams with Observables, query asynchronous data streams using LINQ operators, and parameterize the concurrency in the asynchronous data streams using Schedulers. Simply put, Rx = Observables
+ LINQ + Schedulers.” – from the MSDN page. The library also provides a considerable amount of helpers that make it easy to warp events into observables. Wrapping the GeoCordinateWatcher as a reactive service is quite simple. All it takes is creating observables and exposing the events as observables: public class GeoCoordinateReactiveService : IGeoCoordinateReactiveService, IDisposable { private readonly GeoCoordinateWatcher geoCoordinateWatcher = new GeoCoordinateWatcher(); public GeoCoordinateReactiveService() { this.StatusObservable = Observable ...(Read whole news on source site)

Re-Awarded Microsoft MVP for 2013!

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The first day of a new year is always a special moment for me, one of the very first email of the year announcing my MVP Award, since 7 years in a row now. 2012 has been an incredible ride, I got a second child, I turbo boosted my company with tons of great Windows Store apps projects, got awarded Microsoft Windows 8 App Partner of The Year. Now I have sold the company and ready to explore new challenges. I am thrilled to continue as an MVP for one more year as I plan to get closer
to technical stuff, more than ever. Only drawback is I am still under the Silverlight category, which doesn’t make much sense for me now, as I have been focusing exclusively on Windows 8, Windows Phone and Azure for more than 1 year now. I can just think of it being a temporary period and I will be moved to something closer to Windows 8 later, waiting for this product group to establish how to deal with MVPs (they had a darn busy year I guess!). Let me be clear on Silverlight: it still is an awesome technology, it...(Read whole news on source site)

A Backup Strategy

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Anyone using computers for any amount of time knows that backups are a must.  We’ve all heard or read that it’s not if your hard drive fails but rather when your hard drive fails you’ll wish you had backed up your files.  However, history has taught me that it’s not always a failed hard drive that makes me run to my backups but the more likely catalyst is my own actions.  For example, have you ever re-imaged a computer, thinking you’ve backed up everything you considered important, only to realize five minutes after installing the operating system that you forgot
to include something really important in the backup set?  I have! :-) So, with the new year starting, now is a great time to think about a backup strategy.  Even if you have a backup strategy, it’s still a good idea to review your backup process to ensure everything that needs backing up is actually getting backed up. If you have ever researched backup strategies it’s no doubt that you have heard of the “backup rule of three” also known as the “backup 3-2-1” rule.  I have no idea how long this rule has been around as I...(Read whole news on source site)