Tag Archives : Silverlight


Morning Coffee 160

I took most of last week between jobs and have spent much of this week getting machines setup, access to builds, etc. Furthermore, RSS Bandit ate my feedlist and I am still soldiering on sans mobile phone so I was pretty much unconnected for about a week and a half.

IPy Stuff

  • Laurence Moroney demonstrates how to configure a web site project in VS08 to use Dynamic Silverlight’s development web server Chiron. I looked at turned it into an exported template, but I think the Start Options are stored in the suo file and I’m not sure how to include that in the template. Maybe it could be set w/ a macro or at worst a GAX recipe?
  • If you’re a regular reader, you might as well get used to the name “Michael Foord”. He’s a developer @ Resolver Systems, makers of the IPy based Resolver One app/spreadsheet hybrid I’ve written about before. He’s also the author of the upcoming IronPython in Action book and the maintainer of Planet IronPython and the IronPython Cookbook. I’m going to try very hard to only link to Michael at most once per day. Frankly, that’ll be tough.
  • Today’s Michael Foord Link: Michael turned his PyCon talk on IPy + SL2 into a series of articles entitled IronPython & Silverlight 2 Tutorial with Demos and Downloads.
  • Ken Levy (who now sits just down the hall from me) clued me into the 1.0 release of IronPython Studio, which is a free IDE based on the VS08 Shell for IronPython (based on code from the VS SDK). Big new feature in this release is support for the integrated VS08 Shell, which means it’ll snap into your existing VS08 installation (well, not express) rather than forcing you to install the 300 MB isolated shell.

Other Stuff

  • Caps had a BIG win last night when they needed it most. Now they’re tied with Carolina for the SE division lead, but they lose the tiebreaker so unfortunately, they can’t make the playoffs without help. ‘Canes have to head back home last night to play Tampa Bay, they have to win tonight and Friday to clinch. Loss in either gives the Caps control of their own destiny. Caps are only one game back of Ottawa, Boston and Philly, none of whom have played well down the stretch. It does mean I have to root for the frakking Penguins to beat Philly, twice.
  • Now that I’m in a job where I’ll be traveling occasionally, I really appreciated Scott Hanselman’s travel tips, though I’m not sure “Don’t look like a schlub” is in the cards for me.
  • Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Scott Guthrie blogged that the ASP.NET MVC Source Code is available on CodePlex. The project name is “aspnet” not “aspnetmvc” which makes me wonder if they might release the source to more ASP.NET stuff over time.
  • Speaking of Scott Guthrie, today he blogged about unit testing in SilverLight. Jeff Wilcox appears to have the definitive post on the subject, including links to the SilverLight testing framework (it’s included in the SL Controls source code release). He also provides a prebuilt “SilverLight Test” project template for easy download. Personally, I really like the in-browser test runner. I wonder how hard it would be to hook that up to DySL so you could write your tests in IPy? (given that IPy doesn’t have attributes, I’m guessing there’d be at least a bit of work involved in making this happen)
  • Speaking of SilverLight, apparently the next version of Windows Mobile (i.e. 6.1) will support it. Since I’m in the market for a new phone anyway, I’m thinking of getting one of these. Also, it’s nice to see a marketing site for WM 6.1 using Silverlight instead of Flash like WM 6.0 marketing site does.(via LiveSide)
  • Ted Neward turns the news that MSFT is releasing XAML under the OSP into a long and fascinating history lesson that is well worth the read. I’m going to skip commenting on it, beyond advising you dear reader to read this if you haven’t already, except to wonder: how many sides does a “Redmondagon” have?

Morning Coffee 157

  • My Xbox 360 started flashing the dreaded Red Ring of Death on Friday. <sigh> I’m not going to have much time to play in the next week, so it’s not the end of the universe, but I did have to dig an old DVD player out of the garage for interim duty.
  • My Caps really stepped in it over the weekend dropping two games they had to have and by most reports (aka according to my dad) that they dominated most of the way. Caps Playoff Math isn’t as dire as say Clinton’s Nomination Math, but they are three games back of the Hurricanes with twelve to play.
  • Ted Neward has a pretty good F# overview article in the most recent MSDN Magazine. I say pretty good because I wonder if someone with no functional programming experience will “get it”. As much as I like F# and functional programming, I think some of the basic concepts don’t pass Don Box’s two beer test.
  • Speaking of Ted, somehow his feed fell off my radar (bad DevHawk!) and I missed several great posts like Modular Toolchains (note to Ted, check out A Research C# Compiler), Why we need both static and dynamic in the same language (note to self, check out Cobra) and The Fallacies Remain…. (recently, I’m the guy shouting about risks).
  • Speaking of MSDN Magazine, have you seen their new site redesign? I can’t find any announcement of it, but man the site looks great.
  • If you missed MIX, the sessions are all online already. That was fast.
  • John Lam blogs about the availability of the Dynamic Silverlight bits. Apparently, Dynamic Silverlight includes more recent bits than the Silverlight 2 SDK, which does includes binaries and tools for IronPython, IronRuby and Managed JScript (quickstart). So you can get started with dynamic languages on Silverlight using the SL SDK alone, but I expect that the Dynamic Silverlight bits will be updated more regularly than the SDK.

Morning Coffee 156

  • My hockey team won last night 4-2. No points for me, but I was even on the night. I did spend some time in the penalty box, but I was serving a two many men on the ice bench minor. We only had nine skaters, not enough for two full lines, so I’m pretty tired today. However, I’m not as tired as I was two weeks ago – that’s a good sign.
  • Politics 2.0 watch: The Obama campain announced yesterday that they raised $55 million in donations in the month of February. That’s significantly more than Clinton ($35 million) and McCain ($12 million) combined. Even more impressive is that $45 million of that was raised online, of which $40 million were from donations of $100 or less and $22.5 million were from donations of $25 or less. I guess in Politics 2.0, individuals contribute more than online punditry and video parodies of political commercials.
  • TextGlow is a Sivlerlight 2 based Word docx file viewer, created by James Newton-King. Nice, but what I really want is “SlideGlow”, a SL2 based PPTX file viewer. (via DNK)
  • Speaking of Silverlight, Windows Live launched an experimental site called PhotoZoom which will let you create DeepZoom photo albums. (via LiveSide)
  • Charlie Calvert has created a home for Language Futures discussion on MSDN Code Gallery. If you’ll recall, back in January he asked for input on Dynamic Lookup. Now he’s looking for feedback on Call Hierarchy, a proposed VS IDE feature to help you visualize how your code flows. Great idea, but the Call Hierarchy dialog mockup isn’t very intuitive. Couldn’t we put these visualizations into the code editor window directly, like CodeRush does?
  • John Lam continues his Dynamic Silverlight series, first building a Flickr image browser in Managed JScript then showing how to integrate an IronRuby version of the Flickr image browser with an ASP.NET MVC app.
  • EdJez is inspiring. Subscribed. (via Brad Wilson)

Morning Coffee 155 – Dueling Conference Edition

  • If you don’t want to watch the video of yesterday’s MIX keynote but still want a sense of what happened, check out Tim Sneath’s keynote liveblog. (via Sam Gentile)
  • Other announcements from Mix day one keynote that I missed (all via Tim Sneath)
  • Quick side note – Installing Silverlight 2 in order to check out the DeepZoom Hard Rock demo was smooth, fast and easy. It’s hard to believe there’s a whole CLR in there.
  • Now on to public stuff I saw @ TechFest:
    • One of the problems with touch screens is that your fingers obscure what you’re trying to touch. Lucid Touch solves this by having you touch the back of the device, while rendering a virtual shadow of your hand – a technique they call “pseudo transparency”. You really need to watch the video to “get” this. It’s not currently feasible – the prototype uses a webcam on a foot long boom to track hand and finger position. However, they expect a future version will have some type of imaging sensors embedded in the body of the device.
    • The Berkeley Emulation Engine version 3 (aka BEE3) (video) is a high powered hardware simulator. Apparently several orders of magnitudes faster than conventional simulation. Frankly, most of this demo was over my head and I’m not really a HW guy. But it sounds really fast.
    • BLEWS or “what the blogosphere tells you about news”. Given my interest in political blogging, it’s not a surprise I was interested in this project. This tool categorizes news stories according to their reception in the political blogosphere. It provides a visualization showing not only how many links from a given ideological sphere there are, but how strong the emotions are running. Kinda like Memorandum on major steroids.
    • Music Steering (video) is an “interactive music-playlist generation through music-content analysis, music recommendation, and music filtering”. Sort of like LastFM + Pandora on your Zune.
    • In-Depth Image Editing (team site) showed some cool photo editing software that reminding me of Microsoft Max.
    • MashupOS (paper) is a set of abstractions to improve the browser security model, allowing for isolation between blocks of code from different sources while still allowing safe forms of communication.
    • MySong (paper, video) “automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody, allowing a user with no musical training to rapidly create accompanied music”. Karaoke singers rejoice! Actually, it’s pretty cool. You can adjust sliders to adjust characteristics of the generated music like “Jazz factor” and “Happy factor”. Actually, I just want a happy factor slider in all my software.
    • I saw some cool projects from the Socio-Digital Systems group and MS Research. My wife is a sociologist and always says there’s no way she could ever get a job in the big house. Maybe after she checks out this team, she’ll stop thinking that.
    • The Worldwide Telescope booth was so crowded that I couldn’t get anywhere near it. From what I could see from standing in the back, it looked fantastic. It’s not live yet, but you can check out the video from the TED conference to get a sense of it.

Morning Coffee 154

  • Did you see yesterday’s Dilbert cartoon? Classic.
  • MIX isn’t the only Microsoft conference this week. It’s also time for the annual MS Research TechFest conference. It actually started yesterday, with a keynote from Rick Rashid and Craig Mundy (available on demand). I’ll be heading up there later today and will blog everything I saw that is public, like I did last year. In the meantime, you can check out some cool MS Research projects on the TechFest video page.
  • Speaking of MS Research, they’ve published the Singularity source code (for academic and non-commercial purposes) on CodePlex. Singularity is research OS “focused on the construction of dependable systems”. I’ve wanted to play with this, but I’ve never had the time. Frankly, that hasn’t changed, but now that it’s available to the community, I’m hoping I can live vicariously thru other people hacking around with it.
  • Some announcements coming out of MIX won’t be a surprise to anyone:
  • Here some primarily “new” news from MIX:.
    • I’m not sure which team owns it, but I’d say the biggest previously-unannounced news was SQL Server Data Services (aka SSDS), a “highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing utility services.” In other words, SQL in the sky. There’s a free beta sometime this month you can sign up for. Very cool, though no word on what it’s going to cost. If you’re interested in this, I’d keep an I on the Data Platform Insider blog.
    • John Lam announces the Dynamic Silverlight extension that lets you run DLR languages on Silverlight. Given that they talked about this last year, I’m not sure it’s really “news”, but John provides lots of gory details so it made the cute. But are they really using “DSL” as the acronym for this? Guys, that acronym’s already taken.
    • Mary Jo Foley has a scoop on Silverlight for Nokia Symbian mobile phones.
    • There’s a new beta of Expression Studio 2 as well as a separate Expression Blend 2.5 preview for Silverlight 2. Soma has the details. This isn’t really a surprise, but I hadn’t seen any news on new versions of all the Expression Studio products.