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Take the Rock Paper Azure Challenge: Spring Fling Edition

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I’m excited to announce that the Rock Paper Azure Challenge is back again for a spring fling!  If you want to learn about Windows Azure and have some fun doing it, your opportunity is here.  With a free 90-day trial, anyone who lives in the US (who is not a Microsoft employee) can take the challenge! The Spring Fling round of the Rock Paper Azure Challenge is open starting this week and runs through June 15, 2012!  Each week on Friday at 2pm, the top three “bots” will receive Best Buy Gift
Cards ($50, $25, and $10).  If you’re bot has staying power, you can win week after week! To keep it interesting for all players, there will be three sweepstakes prizes awarded at the end on June 15, 2012 to randomly drawn entries in the Spring Fling round. All you have to do is get in the game for a chance to win:
A Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone A 4GB XBox 360 with Kinect, or A Kinect sensor for XBox...(Read whole news on source site)

Episode 34 of Visual Studio Toolbox (Blend and HTML-flavored Metro Style Apps) is now live

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Previously on Visual Studio Toolbox, I showed how to use Visual Studio 11 and JavaScript to start building Metro style apps for Windows 8. In this episode, Kirupa Chinnathambi shows us how to use Blend for Visual Studio to create good looking apps. He demonstrates how Blend is an excellent tool for authoring HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 50 minutes of very cool goodness!

Using Flurry Analytics on Windows Phone

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source: Andy Pennell's Blog I recently added Flurry Analytics support to my application and in the few weeks it has been available I have learnt huge amounts about my users, their habits, and found and fixed several bugs that no-one has even reported. [This post is my personal opinion as some guy producing Windows Phone apps, and should not be taken as any kind of Microsoft endorsement for this company or its products] Flurry is an analytics engine that you add to your app and then it reports as much or as little as you
would like it to about your app, within about four hours. It is very easy to use (its documentation consists of a tiny text file), it works very well, and its web site lets you grok the information in an easy to use way. Oh and it is totally free! read more... ...(Read whole news on source site)

Taptitude - a Windows Phone Success Story

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source: FourBros Studio FourBros Studio began developing Taptitude early in 2011.  This article is going to look back over the last year as the game has evolved to see how far we've come and how we got here.  For those not familiar with Taptitude, it is a free Windows Phone 7 game with a collection of over 60 competitive minigames.  We initially launched Taptitude in March 2011 with just a handful of relatively simple minigames, and have since updated it every week adding new games and platform features.
target="_blank">read more... ...(Read whole news on source site)

The Manifold Blunders of Xaml–Part 1: Version and Platform Hell

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I started work with “Xaml-based” platforms in the pre-Beta days of WPF, so I’ve been working with this technology longer than most. Back then I was utterly awed and inspired by it’s capabilities. Today I’m frustrated and sometimes outraged. As I’ve traveled to various conferences, worked with various companies and interacted with the many Caliburn.Micro users, I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one who feels this way. This blog series attempts to catalog a number of the issues, some of which have been there from the very beginning; others creeping in over time. This is an aggregate
of my own observations and those of the community. Versions Let’s take a brief stroll through the platform timeline: 2006 – WPF 3.0 2007 – Silverlight 1 2007– WPF 3.5 2008 – Silverlight 2 2008 – WPF3.5 sp1 2009 – Silverlight 3 2010 - Silverlight 4 2010 – WP7 2010 – WPF4.0 2011 – Silverlight 5 2011 – WP7 Mango 2011 – Lakeshore1 2012 – WinRT/Metro2 If we focus on the platforms and ignore their various versions, we have something like this: 2006 – WPF 2007 Silverlight 1.0 (no CLR) 2008 – Silverlight 2.0 (CLR) 2010 – WP7 2011 – Lakeshore 2012 –...(Read whole news on source site)

Open DBDiff for SQL Server 2008

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Last few weeks , i have been playing around with this cool tool called Open DBDiff . As the name suggests Open DBDiff tool lets you compare the database schema for SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008  . Its a simple and effectve tool for database schema comparision . Open DBDiff is a open [...]

The Client - Server Continuum

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The web is trending towards single page applications. It won't happen overnight - but it will happen. Until then, the fully client-side web application is not appropriate for every scenario. There is a tradeoff between the ultimate user experience and development effort. The continuum ranges from the traditional server-side web application through to the fully client-side single page application that may not require a dynamic server at all. The Server-Side Application It's hard to imagine an application so unimaginative and boring that it requires no client-side enhancements. I doubt if I will ever build another one of these. The Server-Side Application With
Some Client-Side Enhancement If the functionality of your application fits neatly into the MVC pattern then you can get away with minimal client-side code. This begins to fall apart when you need to maintain client-side state (or the illusion of client-side state) between server interactions. An example of this is a tabbed interface. From the user's perspective all of the tabs are in the same context. They expect to be able to change tabs, and change back, without losing their work. The Server-Side Application With Embedded Client-Side Applications Sometimes, most of your application can be handled server-side but small complicated parts can...(Read whole news on source site)

The RavenDB indexing process: Optimization

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The actual process done by RavenDB to index documents is a fairly complex one. In order to understand what exactly happened, I decided to break it apart to pseudo code. It looks something like this: while database_is_running: stale = find_stale_indexes() lastIndexedEtag = find_last_indexed_etag(stale) docs_to_index = get_documents_since(lastIndexedEtag, batch_size) filtered_docs = execute_read_filters(docs_to_index) indexing_work = [] for index in stale: index_docs = select_matching_docs(index, filtered_docs) if index_docs.empty: set_indexed(index, lastIndexedEtag) else
indexing_work.add(index, index_docs) for work in indexing_work: work.index(work.index_docs) And now let me show you the areas in which we did some perf work: while database_is_running: stale = find_stale_indexes() lastIndexedEtag = find_last_indexed_etag(stale) docs_to_index = get_documents_since(lastIndexedEtag, batch_size) filtered_docs = execute_read_filters(docs_to_index) indexing_work = [] for index in stale: index_docs = select_matching_docs(index, filtered_docs) if index_docs.empty: set_indexed(index, lastIndexedEtag) ...(Read whole news on source site)

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