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Musing on .Net


5 apps done and available in Windows 8 store !

Wed, 30 Jan 2013 16:36:00 GMT

At the end of last year, I took the personal challenge to create multiple apps for Windows 8, XAML and C#. I had at the time one app ready but difficulties to pass the certification process. How things have changed since that dreadfu time ;-) The whole experience of submitting an app and get it approved is so much better than on Windows Phone  (or other platforms). All the apps below have been developed and released in less than 2 weeks! I don't consider myself a genius developer but as soon as you get the WindowsRT paradigms, like asynchronous features for example, everything goes fast, very fast. In fact I spent most of my time tweaking the apps design, and it's still something I continue to do. Because the update submission is so fast, it is not a problem anymore to submit multiple app version quickly. Thanks Microsoft for that, I wish you could apply this to the Windows Phone DevCenter. I am currently finishing few projects, but app #6, #7 and #8 very close to completion. #1 - BusFinder   BusFinder gives you access to live updates on the latest Dublin bus departures by searching for a bus stop or route. BusFinder now works with maps! - Search any route and stop - Display on the map any stop location- Display all the stops for any selected route- Get any stop info including Real Time departures. #2 - BikeFinder   Bike Finder is a free application that provides the bikes stations in Dublin.You can list all stations or search for a nearby one. You can also check if a bike is available, the maximum number of bikes for a selected station, the location of the station and if you can use your credit card.   #3 - Reskit   ResKit gives you easy access to educational resources, based on the official Irish Primary and Secondary level curriculum.With an access to 15,000 educational resources, this app lets you browse through the subjects from the curriculum and select useful and interesting articles or resources. All the lists are organized in an elegant way and a smooth animation to navigate through the selection process.  #4 - FotoBank   Browse more than 10 000 photos.Whether you are looking for famous buildings, breathtaking landscapes, flowers, history, etc... FotoBank is always there!Features:- Browse by category- Quick scrolling list- A single tap then to see the selected photo full screen- Save the picture to your phone to create high quality wallpapers (not available in Trial mode)  #5 - FotoIreland This app present a gallery of snapshots from Ireland. Browse an extensive collection of pictures all about Irish landscapes, plants and wildlife.[...]

BusFinder - Dublin bus Real time for Windows Phone 7

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:18:00 GMT

 (image) (image) That's my frst post in a year but hey what a year, busy with my little experiments on Windows Phone.

 The lates one BusFinder is doing well and with some other developers we are hoping to do even better in the next release.

I have to admit that the first version was a bit rough and we learned a lot from the experience. Open Data is not yet a reality in Ireland, looks like it's still too proprietary stuff to my taste.

We had reports that some routes were wrong.

But at the second release we got it better, the results provided by the real timeinformation is accurate. We are including in the next release a Report button for any missing data liek stops or wrong route. This will help us providing more reliable information.

Now we are finishing few things before releasing the version 2.0. We have decided to jump from 1.1 to 2.0 because so much has been done to improve the UI and the features of BusFinder.

One thing we are going to include sooner than expected is a Near By function. As you can see on this screenshot, the green pin is my current location and I can see with the help of a slider the nearest stops around me.

Tap on a pin and you get the next bus to depart. Quite cool.

So much fun with the maps that we are working on another future feature, a Route Planner.

Expect the version 2.0 to be published sometime next week.


Fri, 20 May 2011 09:48:00 GMT

 Cool app! Spritemapper is an application that merges multiple images into one and generates CSS positioning for the corresponding slices.



How to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 15:05:00 GMT

From the VBTeam

I have experienced lot of fun creating Windows Phone 7 applications in Visual Basic and writing about them here. In our last post, I explained how to create a Bing Maps application for Windows Phone 7. In this blog, I want to share a sample that will help you to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7. This application will display two setting pages - one where the setting changes will be updated immediately, and the other where the user will have to confirm the changes.

I will now demonstrate how easy it is to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7, using Visual Basic for Windows Phone Developer Tools. The settings page can be created in 6 simple steps as follows:

  1. Create a sample application and add controls
  2. Create a settings class
  3. Create a settings page that does not require a confirmation button
  4. Create a settings page that requires a confirmation button
  5. Build and debug the application
  6. Rebuild in the release mode before publishing



ASP.NET Mobile Handset Detection, Redirection & Development Made Easy

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 15:02:00 GMT

 Today almost all web sites are designed to operate on a desktop or laptop computer. Anyone operating marketing, ecommerce, information or entertainment web sites now needs to consider the mobile phone when designing content and services. Mobile web sites development is increasing day by day and so is the number of different mobile devices trying to access the web sites.

Major problems for web developers for mobile website development are following:

    * Detect mobile device and redirect user to mobile website E.g. practical client requirement: Apple users should be redirected to an Apple theme URL, RIM (BlackBerry) users should be redirected to a Blackberry theme URL and all other mobile devices should be redirected to a standard mobile theme URL.
    * Mobile device database to fetch mobile capabilities in order to deliver the best possible experience to mobile users

E.g. does this phone support java or flash, or what kind of entry method is available, such as a qwerty keyboard or a touch screen?



Handling XML data with Windows Phone 7

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 14:58:00 GMT

 Data storage and access is nearly an eternal topic in all kinds of applications. In Windows Phone 7, data manipulation still plays a fundamental and important role. Regrettably, in the current Windows Phone 7 Series there is no local database API that can be used. Windows Phone 7, though, does support access to data in several ways: XML, Isolated Storage, and Cloud Storage. In this article I will introduce to you how to handle XML data in Windows Phone 7 for Silverlight applications. In detail, we'll explore three cases: how to load and render a local resource-formed XML file; how to abstract components hidden inside an XAML (XML form in essence) file, and how to obtain remote XML data via a simple RSS reader sample.



Windows Phone 7 Isolated Storage

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 14:56:00 GMT

Isolated Storage aims to enable managed applications to create and maintain local storage. In Windows Phone 7 Silverlight-based applications, all I/O operations are restricted to isolated storage and do not have direct access to the underlying OS file system. Windows Phone application developers owe the ability to store data locally on the phone, leveraging all the benefits of isolated storage, such as providing security and preventing unauthorized access and data corruption from other applications.

As you may image, in Windows Phone 7 programming Isolated Storage manipulation is as important as memory handling in traditional desktop applications. So, in this article we are still going to focus upon the fundamentals associated with Isolated Storage via simple yet typical sample applications.

Read more....


Phoney Windows Phone 7 Project Now Available!

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 16:40:00 GMT

UPDATE: Phoney now has a NuGet package.  Search on NuGet to add Phoney to your project!

I started this project when I found I had a number of small classes that I'd built for my Windows Phone 7 application so I thought it was time to share. here is the information on the new library.  

It is currently in a very early Alpha stage, but I expect to have it at a release version by MIX 11 (Mid-April). Let me know what you think!

By Shawn Wildermuth


Windows Phone 7 Isolated Storage Explorer

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:31:00 GMT

WP7 Isolated Storage Explorer is a tool designed to help developers and testers interact with the isolated storage file for Silverlight Windows Phone 7 applications.
The explorer can work both as a desktop application for testers or integrated in Visual Studio for developers.
Whenever a WP7 application/project involves storing data locally the the device, it will be to the isolated storage file. A common difficulty is accessing the data for testing or rapidly restoring the application's data/state after the isolated storage has been reset, usually during the testing and development life-cycle.
One of the usual workarounds has been to add code to handle data transfers (to a WCF service or a remote Web Service) or just hard code test data, but this takes a lot of time and migrating the code from one project to another can take significant effort.
To help solve these issues and facilitate faster development for a WP7 application, the WP7 Isolated Storage Explorer includes the following features designed to make your life easier:
  • Easy installer. One simple setup file that sets everything up on a development or testing machine.
  • Easy integration. Add a single reference to your project and one line of code and you're done.
  • Display the isolated storage file from multiple applications at the same time.
  • Desktop client that handles all the common operations. The client handles operations such as bidirectional file transfer, creating folders, deleting files and folders and can perform parallel operations on multiple remote applications
  • The same intuitive client integrated in Visual Studio. Developers can debug and check the data in the isolated storage file without leaving the IDE.
  • Works in the background so your phone application will not be interrupted by operations. The explorer has been tested to handle invalid operations gracefully and to not interfere with the application's purpose.

Check here...


Why it is so difficult to find a good Ads SDK for Windows Phone 7

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:01:00 GMT

 This post try to address an issue with the Microsoft Advertising SDK, the main fact that today Microsoft is still refusing access to the Ad Center worldwide.Yesterday they generously increase the number of free apps we can develop from 5 to 100. According to talks with other developers and the Windows Phone 7 team, I have the strong feeling the model of publishing free apps supported by apps is the right course to take today.This probably why Microsoft has moved to a bigger figure. Am I the only software shop concerns by the lack of support tools fro WP7 outside the US? I don't think so.So currently I am trying to seek alternatives.First AdDuplex. The name is abit misleading, this is more like a link exchange system and it works quite well. But it won't give me any revenue even if it increase the visibility of my apps.Then one popular one is AdMob. However the lack of true WP7 Api make its implementation very difficult. A solution exist but it didn't work for me.The one I had real hope was Smaato. True Api, easy to implement. Unfortunatly it's really buggy. If you need to use IsolationStorage in your app (who doesn't) this kit delete your keys without reasons. Smaato is aware of the bug but seems to be verys low on the answer department.Finally by pure randomness, I found ZestAdz and they have released a native Api for WP7. However forget their support it's really too slow to get some answer to a basic question. At the moment I try the sample provided but no ads appears.I have also no idea if Microsoft will approve an app with Google ads. It is not really difficult to code, but due to the lengthy approval process, I don't want to be the guinea pig in that domain.  So at the moment I am left with no real strong solutions. Smaato display the ads but with a slight delay and the ad look and feel is really poor.If only they could fix their Api quickly it might be an intermediate solution until Microsoft finally push their borders to the world.  [...]

Coding4Fun Toolkit for WP7 Overview and Getting Started

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 14:59:00 GMT

This post is an overview of the new  Coding4Fun Windows Phone Toolkit. It offers developers additional controls and helper classes for Windows Phone 7 application development, designed to match the rich user experience of the Windows Phone 7.  The official Coding4Fun tools were released yesterday by the Microsoft Coding4fun team, as always the full source code and a sample test project are also available (the whole toolkit is completely FREE). Some of the "geeks" involved in this cool project are: Jeff Wilcox, Thomas Claudius Huber, Kevin Marshall, Stephanie Hertrich and others.




Create quickly an app for WP7 no code involved

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 14:49:00 GMT

 FollowMyFeedallows you to quickly create your Windows Phone 7 application for free without any technical knowledge.


Who ate all the pies!!

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 14:44:00 GMT

 Richard Griffin current project has taken him on an interesting journey of late and so he thought that it would be helpful to share with you some of his  experiences and of course some code. He have been taking a look into charting on WP7


(image) (image)

Jurassic a Javascript .Net compiler

Tue, 18 Jan 2011 17:26:00 GMT

What is Jurassic?

Jurassic is an implementation of the ECMAScript language and runtime. It aims to provide the best performing and most standards-compliant implementation of JavaScript for .NET. Jurassic is not intended for end-users; instead it is intended to be integrated into .NET programs. If you are the author of a .NET program, you can use Jurassic to compile and execute JavaScript code.


  • Supports all ECMAScript 3 and ECMAScript 5 functionality, including ES5 strict mode
  • Simple yet powerful API
  • Compiles JavaScript into .NET bytecode (CIL); not an interpreter
  • Deployed as a single .NET assembly (no native code)
  • Basic support for integrated debugging within Visual Studio
  • Uses light-weight code generation, so generated code is fully garbage collected
  • Tested on .NET 3.5, .NET 4 and Silverlight



How to write good code

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 14:39:00 GMT



Windows Phone Marketplace app-security cracked: Proof-of-concept

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:41:00 GMT

 I knew this was possible! WPCentral has released a video showing a software to download any app from the Marketplace, removing the DRM protection and download it to a Windows Phone device.

 I saw already some russian website releasing direct links to different apps, this is another proof that Microsoft has really some work to do to secure the Marketplace and bring its developers base some new confidence.

(image) (image)



WP7 Third party sample code repository

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 23:42:00 GMT

 Here you can find third party sample code that may be helpful while developing your Windows Phone 7 application.



New Prototyping Sketch Sheets for WP7

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 23:08:00 GMT


Sketching an app is probably one of the most important first step when I work on an app or a website. Those sketch sheets published by Sara  Summers will be useful to any Windows Phone 7 developer.

Grab them here in pdf format



Detecting collision on multiple objects with XNA

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 19:06:00 GMT

 So for this tutorial we will be detecting pixel by pixel collision on multiple objects and responding to each. This builds on Pong Part 2 So be sure to read that first before proceeding. Download the assets here



Multitouch articles

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 17:43:00 GMT

This is the first post in a week-long series on multitouch in Windows 7.

What is multitouch?

Most everyone is comfortable with using a mouse to navigate on a computer.  An alternate form of user input is touch.  For some time, we have had touch machines (such as tablets) that allow us to substitute one finger on the screen for the mouse.  Multitouch takes this paradigm one step further: the computer can recognize and respond to multiple touch points at the same time (for instance, multiple fingers on the screen).  Multitouch is a huge part of the NUI (Natural User Interface) movement. 

Multitouch Part 1: Getting Started with Multitouch in Windows 7

Multitouch Part 2: Support for Gestures in Windows 7

Multitouch Part 3: Multitouch in managed code and WPF

Multitouch Part 4: Multitouch in Silverlight