Silverlight Zone: News Archive - #2 - 3rd January 2011


Here is the 2nd news archive of Silverlight Zone. We have 16 new posts in this issue. Subscribe to the news feed and email digest to deliver it to your inbox. Also, follow us on Twitter @SilverlightZone for regular news tweet delivered to your twitter account. Find all the Silverlight related article links in this post.

 

 

Today's Posts in Silverlight-Zone:

  • Revamp your new Facebook Profile look using Picturize.me, a Silverlight Based
    Facebook application
  • What is the best book on Silverlight 4?
  • Using MEF to Expose Interfaces in Your Silverlight MVVM Apps - By Sandrino Di Mattia
  • Working with the RaiseCanExecuteChanged in MVVM Light (Silverlight) - by Gill Cleeren
  • Rebuilding the PDC 2010 Silverlight Application (Part 7) - by Mike Taulty
  • Rebuilding the PDC 2010 Silverlight Application (Part 6) - by Mike Taulty
  • Create Great User Experiences with Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone
    - by Ben Lower
  • An MVVM Approach to Telerik Domain Services for Silverlight - by Rossen Hristov
  • Why Telerik built RadDomainDataSource for Silverlight? - by Stefan Dobrev
  • Running a Windows Phone Application under the lock screen - by Jaime Rodriguez
  • WCF RIA Services Part 10 - Exposing Domain Services To Other Clients
    - by Brian Noyes
  • Look What I Built: GooNews for WP7 - by Shawn Wildermuth
  • A ReorderListBox for Windows Phone 7
  • Win7 Mobile: Uniquely Identifying a Device or User
  • Architecting WP7 - Part 8 of 10: Toast Push Notifications
  • Physics Helper 4.2 using Farseer 3.2

 

 

Revamp your new Facebook Profile look using Picturize.me, a Silverlight Based Facebook application

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 09:15 AM PST

Have you got the new Facebook layout yet, if you did? Don’t settle for an ordinary profile look. Revamp your new profile’s look usingpicturize.me

Picturize.me is a Silverlight Based Facebook application developed by Monir Abu Hilal, inspired by the new profile look and the way ‘tagged’ pictures appear in it. What Picturize Me does is basically take one (or more) picture and split them between the profile picture and the pictures bar on the right so the overall look eventually is one big picture for the whole profile.

What is the best book on Silverlight 4?

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 09:13 AM PST

I recently stumbled upon a post asking, “What is the best book on Silverlight 4?” In the age of the internet, it can be hard for anyone searching for a good book to actually find it. I have read a few Silverlight 4/Expression books in 2010 and decided to post the “best of” collection. Instead of reading multiple books, you can cut your list down to whatever category that you fit in. With Silverlight 5 coming soon, now is the time to get up to speed with what Silverlight 4 can offer. Be sure to read the full review at the bottom of each section.

Using MEF to Expose Interfaces in Your Silverlight MVVM Apps - By Sandrino Di Mattia

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 08:53 AM PST

While many developers may think of Silverlight as a Web-centric technology, in practice it has become a great platform for building any type of application. Silverlight has built-in support for concepts such as data binding, value converters, navigation, out-of-browser operation and COM Interop, making it relatively straightforward to create all kinds of apps. And when I say all kinds, I also mean enterprise apps.

Creating a Silverlight application with the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern gives you, in addition to the features already in Silverlight, the advantages of greater maintainability, testability and separation of your UI from the logic behind it. And, of course, you don't have to figure all this out on your own. There's a wealth of information and tools out there to help you get started. For example, the MVVM Light Toolkit is a lightweight framework for implementing MVVM with Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and WCF RIA Services helps you easily access Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services and databases thanks to code generation.

Working with the RaiseCanExecuteChanged in MVVM Light (Silverlight) - by Gill Cleeren

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:20 AM PST

When working with MVVM, the Command pattern is used to bind actions (such as a Click on a Button) in the View with commands in the ViewModel. The ICommand interface in Silverlight has 3 members.

The fact whether or not the command can be executed (read: a Button is enabled or not) depends on the boolean value returned by the CanExecute. By default, this value is evaluated on first load of the View: a Save button should initially be disabled. However, during user input, this value has to be re-evaluated: after the user has filled in a field, we need to check if the Save button should be enabled. For this purpose, the CanExecuteChanged event exist. This event should be raised whenever the value of CanExecute should be evaluated once again.

Rebuilding the PDC 2010 Silverlight Application (Part 7) - by Mike Taulty

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:18 AM PST

Following on from that previous post, the last thing that I wanted to do was just tidy up the styling around the new downloading dialog that I’d created and the UI for launching it.

Rebuilding the PDC 2010 Silverlight Application (Part 6) - by Mike Taulty

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:17 AM PST

As it stands in that previous post, when the user selects to download a particular PowerPoint deck or a hi-def or lo-def video for a session, that information is only being stored in a view model ( the SessionViewModel ) and so it easily gets lost if the user performs an action such as switching to a different track.

Also, there’s the small issue of not actually downloading any content files yet.

Create Great User Experiences with Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone - by Ben Lower

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:15 AM PST

About two months ago, Brandon announced our partnership with PreEmptive Solutions to bring analytics for free to every Windows Phone 7 developer. The reception has been great: developers are using PreEmptive’s Runtime Intelligence (RI) for Windows Phone to instrument their applications and get deep insights into user engagement with the apps they create. There are already hundreds of applications in the Windows Phone Marketplace that are using RI to improve the user experience and to make smart decisions about what to build next.

Back in November PreEmptive released a new version of the tools. Now, Runtime Intelligence is much easier to use: no more “starter template” and obfuscation is smarter and easier to configure. Good news if you’re in the “good artists borrow, great artists steal” camp: there are two new sample applications (one for Silverlight and one for XNA) included for your stealing/learning pleasure.

An MVVM Approach to Telerik Domain Services for Silverlight - by Rossen Hristov

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:14 AM PST

There are only about 7 hours we have left in 2010 and this will be my last blog post for this year. For those of you who are not familiar with the new RadDomainDataSource control for Silverlight, here is my introductory blog post. This one describes how to load data with the new control and this one is about performing CRUD. Having read these three blogs might lead you to the next logical question: What about MVVM support?

I truly believe that every time someone places an UI element or a control in his view model, a baby kitten dies somewhere. So what can we do about this?

Why Telerik built RadDomainDataSource for Silverlight? - by Stefan Dobrev

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:11 AM PST

Although Rossen has stated almost all of the things in his introductory blog post about RadDomainDataSource I wanted to create a separate blog entry which answers the most important question that you might be asking: “Why Telerik have developed their own version of a domain data source component?” Here is the answer.

Running a Windows Phone Application under the lock screen - by Jaime Rodriguez

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:09 AM PST

Last week, Microsoft published new Application content policies for Windows Phone 7 Apps. One of the changes that got attention was the ability to run applications under a locked screen. Refer to section 6.3 of the application certification requirements.

In reality, the change is pretty minor, the capability to run under lock screen has been there since RTM. Microsoft simply published some new ‘guidance’ on the expectations for applications that run under a locked screen. That said, the change was interpreted as Microsoft relaxing the guidelines, since now it is clear that running under locked screen is not going to be frowned upon as long as you meet the requirements.

WCF RIA Services Part 10 - Exposing Domain Services To Other Clients - by Brian Noyes

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 07:12 AM PST

WCF RIA Services only supports code generating the client proxy code in Silverlight projects. However, that does not mean you cannot call your domain services from other clients. If I were not going to have a Silverlight client application as my primary client application, I would not bother defining my services as domain services. I would instead define normal WCF services or possibly WCF Data Services. To me, most of the benefit of WCF RIA Services is in the code generated client proxy code and client side framework. The validation support, the security model, the service error handling, and the deferred query execution are the things I think are most compelling about using RIA Services.

But If I do have a Silverlight client and use RIA Services, I probably don't want to have to implement a separate set of services for my non-Silverlight clients. The good news is, you don't have to. It is easy to expose additional endpoints from your domain services that can be consumed by other clients. In this article, I'll show you how to enable those endpoints, and will show what is involved in consuming your RIA domain services from non-Silverlight clients. Your options include exposing a read-only OData service endpoint, a full functionality SOAP endpoint compatible with the basicHttpBinding in WCF, or a full functionality REST JSON encoded endpoint.

Look What I Built: GooNews for WP7 - by Shawn Wildermuth

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 07:01 PM PST

My new Windows Phone 7 application is live (called GooNews). I find myself having some down time when moving through my life. Sometimes its waiting at the bank or sitting at the airport. I looked through the catalog of WP7 apps to try and figure out a good news app so I can keep up with the world during these downtimes. I was looking for something specific and I didn't find it...so I built it.

A ReorderListBox for Windows Phone 7

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 06:51 PM PST

For a Windows Phone 7 application I was building, I needed a way for the user to easily drag to re-order items in a list. My searches for any existing examples turned up nothing, so I set out to build a custom control myself. It was challenging to say the least, and it forced me to learn a lot more about Silverlight including custom controls, ListBox virtualization, visual states and transitions. (I was certainly not an expert to start with.)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

  • It's a drop-in replacement for a standard ListBox. All properties including item templates still work.
  • It's compatible with data-binding: the reordering is propogated back to the items source list.
  • It works with ListBox's automatic virtualization to support large item collections efficiently.
  • The list scrolls automatically while dragging up or down near the top or bottom margin.
  • Visuals are fully template-driven, making use of visual states and transition animations.
  • When dragging, the other items smoothly move around to make space for the dragged item.
  • The reorder capability can be enabled or disabled via a dependency property.

Win7 Mobile: Uniquely Identifying a Device or User

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 06:48 PM PST

If you need to uniquely identify the phone or device your application is running on you can do so via the Microsoft.Phone.Info.DeviceExtendedProperties namespace. This post will help you to understand the code where you will get the Unique Device ID.

Architecting WP7 - Part 8 of 10: Toast Push Notifications

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 06:14 PM PST

In this eighth part of my series on architecting Windows Phone 7 (WP7) applications, i'll show you how to deal with Toast Push Notifications. When I say Toast notifications, I am specifically talking about being able to send the phone (e.g. the user) a push notfication that something is important and that the user might possibly want to launch the application. Its a near-time notification to the phone (if connectivity is there).

Physics Helper 4.2 using Farseer 3.2

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 06:12 PM PST

Physics Helper Library has been upgraded to 4.2v and uses the Farseer Physics Engine 3.2. Note that if you are alreay using the Physics Helper and upgrading to 4.2, you may encounter a few minor breaking changes in the Farseer Physics Engine. These are outlined on the Farseer download page under the Breaking Changes section.

Also check out all of the great New Features that the Farseer team has introduced in this version, including great performance enhancements!

 


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