HTML5 – My adventures….

So I have been keeping an eye on HTML5 for a while now. I am pretty confident using Javascript (hey I wrote close to 500k lines for a Silverlight 1.0 project). I am not going to shift away from C#/XAML as I honestly believe they are my bread and butter, but there is no harm in having a play with HTML5.

I like the MVVM pattern as I feel my code is cleaner. I guess it’s because I feel comfortable with it but it’s great to see KnockoutJS being adopted to allow this pattern into the HTML5/JS world.

I have started using KineticJS today to start and again I am impressed with it.

Windows 8: MVVM and SettingsPane issue?

Today I reported to Microsoft that there appears to be an issue with the SettingsPane in Metro apps built using the MVVM pattern. The app throws an ‘System.AccessViolationException’ throws when you call SettingsPane.Show();

I have emailed over the code to Matt Small (Microsoft) and hopefully I will hear back shortly.

Google Drive Is Live – 5GB storage!

I have always like Google products and I have high hopes for Google Drive. I have been using Dropbox for a while now and I love it but I need more space. It looks like Google and Microsoft (Skydrive) have saved me a few pounds! Thanks!

Below are the screen grabs from my Google Drive install. The install was very quick on my Windows 7 laptop. No reboot was required.

Step 1: Go to and click sign up.

Step 2: Accept the Terms of Service.

Google Drive Terms

Step 3: Let the Google Drive installer download the files it needs.

Google Drive Download

Step 4: Sign into your Google Account.

Google Drive Sign In

Step 5: Click close once the installation has been complete.

Google Drive Install Complete

Step 6: Click next on Google Drive wizard.

Google Drive Wizard

Step 7: For default installation click ‘Start sync’ or click ‘Advanced setup’ to specify your installation.

Google Drive Wizard

Step 8: Configure and click ‘Start sync’ once you are complete.

Google Drive Wizard Advanced

Step 9: In the Notification area on the task bar (by the clock) look for the Google Drive icon and right click to access your Google Drive menu.

Google Drive working in taskbar

Windows 8 Boot Camp – Day 2

On the second day of the Microsoft Windows 8 Boot Camp we continued on with the Contoso reference app that we started building on Day 1. This covered aspects like search and share contracts, notifications (tile AKA live tile, badge and toast) and getting the app ready for the Windows 8 app store.

Again the app store lab was the most informative and was the one most people seemed interesting in. Surely Microsoft need to look at the feedback and start addressing this. The other general feel I got was people who had the skill sets to develop apps that Microsoft are crying out for wanted access to tablets. Microsoft can you please send me one?! :-p

The event was held at the awesome Paramount tower in central London. It gives some great views over London’s skyline. These are a few pictures I took on my phone.


Windows 8 Account types

To use Windows 8 you must have an account to log in with. There are 3 types of accounts on Windows 8.

  1. Local Accounts – These are local accounts only accessible on the local device.
  2. Domain Accounts – These are accounts created and controlled by Active Directory.
  3. Microsoft Accounts – Previously known as Windows Live ID. These accounts sync your settings with any machine you log into.

For further details on Microsoft Accounts you will find this post interesting –

Windows 8 Snap View

Windows 8 Snap view is the process by which two apps can be displayed, or docked, side-by-side in Windows 8. These apps can consists of two Metro-style apps or one Metro style app and one legacy Windows app. The Snap View, takes up 320 pixels of the on-screen real estate, while the rightmost app takes up the rest.

When developing a Windows 8 Metro app you are required to cater for Snap view if you wish to submit your app to the Windows 8 app store.

Windows 8 Boot Camp – Day 1

It’s fair to say Windows 8 could easily become Vista part II (mainly because it is so different to anything Microsoft have built before and with Microsoft’s bad handling of its release to the developer community).

But today was the first time I actually felt positive about Windows 8. The Boot camp I attended in central London was an ideal format. It allowed us as developers to get up close and personal with it.

A few things to note:

  • Most of the people that attended the camp were .net developers
  • The Windows app store was the subject most people wanted to talk about

Thanks to the Microsoft team (Mike Taulty, Mike Ormond, Paul Lo) I am now feeling more confident about its coming release.

Windows 8 Boot Camp


Windows 8 Boot Camp

Mike Taulty invited me to attend a 2 day Microsoft Boot Camp on Windows 8. As I wasn’t able to attend the last Windows 8 event I was very keen to sign up! The boot camp covers html/css/javascript and .net/xaml application development. While I have been playing around with Windows 8 for a while now I am interested to hear which route the MS guys feel would be the most beneficial for my long term development future. I am also keen to find out more on the Windows 8 app store and the submission process.

Here is the 2 day agenda:

Day 1 Agenda (Thursday 19th April 2012)
Lap around Windows 8 Development
Windows Store Overview
Windows 8 Metro Style UX Overview
Lab – Controls & Data Binding
Lab – Views, Orientation, Semantic Zoom
Lab – Contracts

Day 2 Agenda (Friday 20th April 2012)
Lab – Media
Lab – Process Lifecycle Management
Lab – Settings & Preferences
Lab – Notifications & Tiles
Lab – Windows Store