Jerry Nixon on Windows

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I had a dream. And, I was in charge!

The way Microsoft acquires companies to solve niche problems is very interesting to me. It’s equally interesting to me how Microsoft determines what products and features to build and discontinue. I started considering how this might be streamlined. Yes, it’s just a dream, but isn’t it compelling?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Did you know you can use Visual Studio to write an Android app?

imageYou might think you need x-code to write an iOS app. You might think you need eclipse to write an Andriod app. Visual Studio, is it just for Windows?

The answer is a solid “No”. Since the recent update of Visual Studio 2013 Update 3, developers have comprehensive tooling to support Apache Cordova.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let’s Code! Strongly-typed Experiences in Prism MVVM for Windows Store

imageMicrosoft Patterns and Practices has created Prism MVVM for Windows Store Apps. This lightweight framework/toolkit gives you what you would get with MVVM Light but with some helper classes specific to Windows Store Apps – like app lifecycle management, extended splash screen, and orientation detection. 

Navigation Service

One key to Prism and every MVVM framework is the Navigation Service. Prism’s Navigation Service has a Navigate(string, object) method into which you do not pass the page type, no. You pass the Experience.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Designing Universal Experiences

With the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, Windows Phone 8.1, and Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, developers can now choose a different modern project type, the Windows Universal App. But with the Universal App comes three orientations, two platforms, and several new design considerations.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Merriam-Webster finally gives me what I have been asking for!

Listen, I love the English language as much as the next red-blooded American. A waiter’s improper conjugation and tense use can ruin a message for me, just like it can you. But if there’s any grammatical rule that has forced me to rethink my religious insistence on word choice, it’s this one:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Let’s Code! Handling validation in your Windows Store app (WinRT-XAML).

Many Windows Store apps are content presenters; they require very little data entry and, consequently, very little data validation. But data validation is a core component to a business apps. Is there validation built into the platform? No.

In several XAML frameworks data validation was baked-in. DataAnnotation and ExceptionValidationRule for bindings in WPF. IDataErrorInfo, INotifyDataErrorInfo, and BindingValidationError for setter exceptions in Windows Phone, Silverlight, et al. But these are not an option for a Windows Runtime developer, especially the Universal App developer. And, as we will see in this article, they were never really enough anyway. But, we have options.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let’s code! In WinRT-XAML you cannot bind to a nullable type. Or can you?

imageIn WinRT, you cannot bind to a nullable type. It’s just the way it is. This is strange when you consider the ComboBox and ToggleButton; they both have an IsChecked property of type bool?. Binding to them with a simple true or false works great. Attempting to bind the third state (null) doesn’t work – it is ignored by the control altogether. You can’t work around it with a converter. And, should you peek at your Output window, you will see a silent error that reads:

Error: Converter failed to convert value of type 'Boolean' to type 'IReference1<Boolean>'; BindingExpression: Path='State' DataItem='App4.MainPage'; target element is 'Windows.UI.Xaml.Controls.CheckBox' (Name='checkBox'); target property is 'IsChecked' (type 'IReference1').

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A closer look at the BirdBox app

imageWhen you take photos with your phone or home camera, how are they organized? How are they shared? What if there were a service out there that let you organize your photos, share your photos, and do it all for free. Welcome Birdbox. A simple Windows 8 app that lets you create nests of photos to share with groups of friends.

From holidays and parties to vacations and topics of interest, Birdbox is the easiest way to share and collect photos with groups of people. Choose which photos to share and invite friends to contribute theirs, all in one place.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Announcing: Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Prism 5.0 for WPF

imagePrism provides guidance in the form of samples and documentation that help you easily design and build rich, flexible, and easily maintained Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) desktop applications. Using design patterns that embody important architectural design principles, such as separation of concerns and loose coupling, Prism helps you to design and build applications using loosely coupled components that can evolve independently but that can be easily and seamlessly integrated into the overall application. In short, these applications are "built to last" and "built for change." These types of applications are known as composite applications.

Common Copyright Mistakes

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the US Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.image

  • WRONG:
    If an image is on the Internet/Bing it is in the public domain
  • WRONG:
    If there is no copyright notice, I don’t need permission
  • WRONG:
    If I don’t profit from the use, I don’t need permission
  • WRONG:
    If I remove the image after notice, I don’t owe any money
  • WRONG:
    If I alter the image X% I don’t need permission
  • WRONG:
    If I only use a part of the image I don’t need permission
  • WRONG:
    If I only include a hyperlink and click it to show the image I don’t need permission