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  • UML 2, de l'apprentissage à la pratique de Laurent Audibert, critique par Fleur-Anne Blain

    Comme le précise la 4ème de couverture, ce livre est destiné à un public large : du débutant aux professionnels qui souhaitent rester à la page. L'auteur met à notre disposition 10 chapitres d'une introduction à UML en passant par les différents diagrammes à leurs mise en oeuvre. Chaque chapitre est introduit très clairement à travers son sommaire détaillé et surtout des objectfs clairs. Retrouvez la critique complète en ligne.

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  • Python et l'agrégation d'outils, Par Laurent Pointal

    Bonjour Voici un nouveau article Intitulé: Python et l'agrégation d'outils Citation: Cet article est paru originellement dans le numéro 3/2007 de la revue francophone du Linux Developer Journal. La version présentée ici reprend globalement l'article paru, en y ajoutant des liens hypertext et des références. Ce document est mis à disposition sous un contrat Creative Commons Paternité. Bonne l...

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  • Fixing the #mvvmlight code snippets in Visual Studio 11

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    If you installed the latest MVVM Light version for Windows 8, you may encounter an issue where code snippets are not displayed correctly in the Intellisense popup. I am working on a fix, but for now here is how you can solve the issue manually. The code snippets MVVM Light, when installed correctly, will install a set of code snippets that are very useful to allow you to type less code. As I use to say, code is where bugs are, so you want to type as little of that as possible ;) With code snippets, you can easily auto-insert segments of code and easily replace the keywords where needed. For instance, every coder who uses MVVM as his favorite UI pattern for XAML based development is used to the INotifyPropertyChanged implementation, and how boring it can be to type these “observable properties”. Obviously a good fix would be something like an “Observable” attribute, but that is not supported in the language or the framework for the moment. Another fix involves “IL weaving”, which is a post-build operation modifying the generate IL code and inserting the “RaisePropertyChanged” instruction. I admire the invention of those who developed that, but it feels a bit too much like magic to me. I prefer more “down to earth” solutions, and thus I use the code snippets. Fixing the issue Normally, you should see the code snippets in Intellisense when you position your cursor in a C# file and type mvvm. All MVVM Light snippets start with these 4 letters. Normal MVVM Light code snippets However, in Windows 8 CP, there is an issue that prevents them to appear correctly, so you won’t see them in the Intellisense windows. To restore that, follow the steps: In Visual Studio 11, open the menu Tools, Code Snippets Manager. In the combobox, select Visual C#. Press Add… Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)\Mvvm Light Toolkit\SnippetsWin8 and select the CSharp folder. Press Select Folder. Press OK to close the Code Snippets Manager. Now if you type mvvm in a C# file, you should see the snippets in your Intellisense window. Cheers Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • #mvvmlight V4 for Windows 8 RP is available

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    I took a moment out of a very busy weekend to publish an update to MVVM Light for Windows 8 Release Preview. You can download the DLLs from the Codeplex site. Or, if you use Nuget, you can update the MVVM Light package, which will install the newest DLLs. For more information about Nuget, visit Nuget.org as well as the MVVM Light Nuget page. Note: I also took the occasion to fix an issue where the DLLs for the .NET 4 framework were not signed. The DLLs contained in this package are properly signed. As usual, feedback is very welcomed! Happy coding Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Visual Studio Talk Show #116 is now online - Les nouveautés de la conférence MIX 2010 (French)

    - by guybarrette
    http://www.visualstudiotalkshow.com Laurent Duveau: Les nouveautés de la conférence MIX 2010 Nous discutons avec Laurent Duveau des nouveautés annoncées dans le cadre de la conférence MIX 2010 à laquelle Laurent a assisté. MIX est une conférence tenue annuellement pour les développeurs et les designers Web qui présente les dernières nouveautés produites par Microsoft pour la programmation Internet. Laurent Duveau est un consultant et formateur pour la firme RunAtServer Consulting. Il se spécialise dans un domaine qu'il adore: les applications web avec Silverlight et l'outillage Microsoft Expression. Laurent est certifié MCSD.NET, MCTS, MCPD et MCT. Il participe fréquemment aux activités de la Communauté .NET de Montréal. Il est également l'auteur d'articles techniques pour TechHeadBrothers et asp.net et contribue activement aux forums asp.net. Pour la quatrième année consécutive, il a obtenu de Microsoft le titre de MVP. Et cette année, il est parmi les premiers récipiendaire de la reconnaissance MVP Silverlight. Suivez son blog ou il écrit sur les nouveautés de Silverlight. Télécharger l'émission Si vous désirez un accès direct au fichier audio en format MP3, nous vous invitons à télécharger le fichier en utilisant un des boutons ci-dessous. Si vous désirez utiliser le feed RSS pour télécharger l'émission, nous vous invitons à vous abonnez en utilisant le bouton ci-dessous. Si vous désirez utiliser le répertoire iTunes Podcast pour télécharger l'émission, nous vous encourageons à vous abonnez en utilisant le bouton ci-dessous. var addthis_pub="guybarrette";

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  • Visual Studio Talk Show #116 is now online - Les nouveauts de la confrence MIX 2010 (French)

    http://www.visualstudiotalkshow.com Laurent Duveau: Les nouveauts de la confrence MIX 2010 Nous discutons avec Laurent Duveau des nouveauts annonces dans le cadre de la confrence MIX 2010 laquelle Laurent a assist. MIX est une confrence tenue annuellement pour les dveloppeurs et les designers Web qui prsente les dernires nouveauts produites par Microsoft pour la programmation Internet. Laurent Duveau est un consultant et formateur pour la firme RunAtServer Consulting. Il se spcialise dans un...Did you know that DotNetSlackers also publishes .net articles written by top known .net Authors? We already have over 80 articles in several categories including Silverlight. Take a look: here.

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  • #twitter for Windows Phone 7 protips (#wp7)

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    I started tweeting a list of “protips” (or whatever you want to call that) related to the Twitter for Windows Phone 7 application. Since I worked as integrator on this app, my tasks involved integrating design assets in all screens, and so I had an insider view on all the screens (and that is really a LOT of screens :) Seeing some comments about the app made me understand that most users out there don’t realize how rich the application is, and how many features are available. So without further ado, here we go, a list of Twitter for WP7 protips: (note: I will extend the list if I think of new stuff, and maybe add some screenshots later). Check the dark theme in the application settings! Select a tweet, menu, Translate. Search, Nearby looks for tweets near you Custom searches can be saved. They synch up with web twitter too! Multi language support, independant from OS. supports EN, FR, DE, IT, ES Multiple accounts are supported, simply define them in the Settings Even without a Twitter account, experience is super rich. Trends, Suggested, Nearby, searches etc... Select a tweet, then press Replies To to see the whole conversation Compose, menu, Hashtags. Enter a hashtag and press Add. List is saved for the next time. Select a tweet with location info (like my own). Press the location name to see all Nearby tweets Want to remove location information just for one tweet? Press on the Places button in app bar then Clear Place Settings, General to toggle between Username/Fullname display, Relative/Absolute date/time and more Upload a picture directly from compose screen to TwitPic, yFrog or TweetPhoto (service selection in Settings) Settings, About, Support to see a log of app errors and email it to support (use wisely please) Tap your username to see your profile. Then Menu, Edit Profile to edit your info, including your picture Tap on any user's name to see his profile, tweets, mentions and favorites in a Pivot Happy Tweeting! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Crowdsourcing MVVM Light Toolkit support

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    Considering the number of emails that are sent to me asking for support for MVVM Light toolkit, I find myself unable to answer all of them in sufficient time to make me feel good. In consequence, I started to send the following message in response to support queries, either per email or on the MVVM Light Codeplex discussion page. Hi, I am doing my best to answer all the questions as fast as possible. I receive a lot of them, however, and cannot reply to everyone fast enough to make me happy. Due to this, I would like to encourage you to post your question on StackOverflow, and tag it with the tag mvvm-light. StackOverflow is an awesome site where tons of developers help others with their technical question. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/mvvm-light I will monitor this tag on the StackOverflow website and do my best to answer questions. The advantage of StackOverflow over the Codeplex discussion is the sheer number of qualified developers able to help you with your questions, the visibility of the question itself, and the whole StackOverflow infrastructure (reputation, up- or down-vote, comments, etc) Thanks! Laurent Bug reports Regarding bug reports, feel free to continue to send them to the Codeplex site (preferred), or to me directly. I hope that this will help all support queries to be answered faster, and with the great quality for which the StackOverflow users are known!   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • DEEP DIVE MVVM at #MIX11

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    The public (you!) has spoken, and “Deep Dive MVVM” was selected (along with 11 other open call talks) out of 217 proposals. There were 17’000 votes! These are pretty amazing numbers, and believe me when I tell you that I still didn’t completely realize what just happened! I want to really underline the outstanding quality of many of the talks that were proposed. I decided not to reveal my votes, because I just know too many of the candidates and I had only 10 votes but let’s just say that some of my favorites were picked, and some were not, and I really wish that I can see them all either at MIX or in another conference. I already started putting down ideas for the talk (not too many, because I didn’t want to jinx it) and it should be a really great session. We will, as the title shows, dive deep into the subtleties of MVVM, and explore some techniques that allow to overcome some of the hurdles presented by this pattern. This session will be shaped by many emails that I received over the past year, since “Understanding the MVVM pattern” was presented, and offered, for many, a first look into Model-View-ViewModel. So now’s the chance, comment and let me know what topics you would like to discuss. If you had not done so before, go ahead and watch last year’s session, it will be a great preparation. Let’s talk real life development, let’s explore the problems and find solutions. I already have a nice collection of emails asking questions around MVVM and my goal is to answer as many as I can. Leave a comment and I will do my best to answer these as well. The date/time was not announced yet, so watch this space for details. I am really looking forward to seeing many of you in Las Vegas, and for those who cannot make it, don’t worry, all the sessions will be published in video by the amazing MIX team a few hours after the session actually takes place. Thanks for your confidence and in the meantime, Happy Coding! Laurent Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Multithreading in Windows Phone 7 emulator: A bug

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    Multithreading is supported in Windows Phone 7 Silverlight applications, however the emulator has a bug (which I discovered and was confirmed to me by the dev lead of the emulator team): If you attempt to start a background thread in the MainPage constructor, the thread never starts. The reason is a problem with the emulator UI thread which doesn’t leave any time to the background thread to start. Thankfully there is a workaround (see code below). Also, the bug should be corrected in a future release, so it’s not a big deal, even though it is really confusing when you try to understand why the *%&^$£% thread is not &$%&%$£ starting (that was me in the plane the other day ;) This code does not work: public partial class MainPage : PhoneApplicationPage { public MainPage() { InitializeComponent(); SupportedOrientations = SupportedPageOrientation.Portrait | SupportedPageOrientation.Landscape; var counter = 0; ThreadPool.QueueUserWorkItem(o => { while (true) { Dispatcher.BeginInvoke(() => { textBlockListTitle.Text = (counter++).ToString(); }); } }); } } This code does work: public MainPage() { InitializeComponent(); SupportedOrientations = SupportedPageOrientation.Portrait | SupportedPageOrientation.Landscape; var counter = 0; ThreadPool.QueueUserWorkItem(o => { while (true) { Dispatcher.BeginInvoke(() => { textBlockListTitle.Text = (counter++).ToString(); }); // NOTICE THIS LINE!!! Thread.Sleep(0); } }); } Note that even if the thread is started in a later event (for example Click of a Button), the behavior without the Thread.Sleep(0) is not good in the emulator. As of now, i would recommend always sleeping when starting a new thread. Happy coding: Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Handling DataGrid.SelectedItems in an MVVM-friendly manner

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    An interesting question from one of the MVVM Light users today: Is there an MVVM-friendly way to get a DataGrid’s SelectedItems into the ViewModel? The issue there is as old as the DataGrid (that’s not very old but still): SelectedItem (singular) is a DependencyProperty and can be databound to a property in the ViewModel. SelectedItems (plural) is not a DependencyProperty. Thankfully the answer is very simple: Use EventToCommand to call a Command in the ViewModel, and pass the SelectedItems collection as parameter. For example, if the command in the ViewModel is declared as follows:public RelayCommand<IList> SelectionChangedCommand { get; private set; }and (in the MainViewModel constructor):SelectionChangedCommand = new RelayCommand<IList>( items => { if (items == null) { NumberOfItemsSelected = 0; return; } NumberOfItemsSelected = items.Count; }); Then the XAML markup becomes:<sdk:DataGrid x:Name="MyDataGrid" ItemsSource="{Binding Items}"> <i:Interaction.Triggers> <i:EventTrigger EventName="SelectionChanged"> <cmd:EventToCommand Command="{Binding SelectionChangedCommand}" CommandParameter="{Binding SelectedItems, ElementName=MyDataGrid}" /> </i:EventTrigger> </i:Interaction.Triggers> </sdk:DataGrid> I slapped a quick sample and published it here (VS2010, SL4 but the concept works in SL3 and WPF too). Cheers! Laurent Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • With WPF and Silverlight against cancer

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    MVPs are well known for their good heart (like the GeekGive initiative shows) and Client App Dev MVP Gregor Biswanger is no exception. At the latest MVP summit (beginning of March 2011), he took over a DVD about WPF 4 and Silverlight 4 and asked a few Microsoft superstars to sign it. Right now, the DVD is auctioned on eBay and of course the proceeds will go to a charitable work: The German League against Cancer (Deutsche Krebshilfe). The post is in German and English (scroll down for the English text). This sounds like a great idea, and considering who signed it, it is going to be a real collectible: Scott Hanselman (Principal Program Manager Lead in Server and Tools Online) Tim Heuer (Program Manager for Microsoft Silverlight) Rob Relyea (Principal Program Manager Lead - Client Platform WPF & Silverlight) Pete Brown (Developer Division Community Program Manager - Windows Client) Eric Fabricant (Program Manager WPF) Jeff Wilcox (Silverlight Senior SDE) Jeffrey R Ferman (SDET Visual Studio Client Dev Tools) Chan Verbeck (Expression Blend Team) Yaniv Feinberg (Expression Blend Team) Douglas Olson (Director Dev Expression) Samuel W. Bent (Principal Software Design Engineer WPF) John Papa (Technical Evangelist for Silverlight) So if you feel that you could do a generous gesture, go ahead and take a look at the auction, and talk about it around you. Let’s prove again that geeks rule, also when it comes to giving to a good cause! Cheers! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • How to work around a possible XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone SDK install failure on Windows 8

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    I am not sure if you guys know Aaron Stebner. Aaron works at Microsoft, and has pulled thorns from my side many many times already. His blog is at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner and it is a gold mine of tips and tricks to debug and solve many cryptic issues happening during installation and removal of programs. For example, Aaron taught me how to remove programs that do not appear in the Programs and Features list, amongst many other things. The last nugget I used from Aaron’s blog saved my butt just before a presentation where I had to run both Visual Studio 10 with the Windows Phone SDK, and Visual Studio 11 for WinRT development. Of course this had to be on Windows 8. Unfortunately when you install the Windows Phone SDK on Windows 8, you may (or may not, I saw both scenarios) encounter an issue with XNA, and the installation fails. Unfortunately, even if you don’t use XNA in your apps, this will prevent even normal Windows Phone app development. Fortunately, Aaron has a fix for that. I hope that this helps spread the word, and increase Aaron’s blog’s visibility! Happy coding, Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • #mvvmlight V4 update for Win8 RTM

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    With Windows 8 RTM out of the doors (at least for some of us), it was also time to create an update to MVVM Light. I selected the V4 RTM to do this (V4.0.23).This RTM version was released a few weeks ago with no much bells and whistles because I was just too busy to write much about it. Now after some vacation, I will resume blogging on all my favorite topics including of course MVVM Light. Upgrade Upgrading the installations should not require an ununistall, so try to simply run the MSI downloaded from the Download section at http://mvvmlight.codeplex.com/. Should you encounter any issue, try to uninstall the old version first following the steps at http://galasoft.ch/mvvm/cleaning/. Upgrading current apps from Win8 RP to Win8 RTM I didn’t recompile the assemblies of MVVM Light, so if you had a version running with V4.0.23 on Windows 8 RP, you should be able to use the same DLLs on Windows 8 RTM. If you were using earlier versions however, I would recommend doing an upgrade. I noticed a warning regarding the signing certificate. It is due to the PFX key which appears to be outdated after the upgrade to Windows 8 RTM. I solved this warning by replacing the old PFX key with a new one I copied from a new project. The warning did not cause the build to fail though. About MVVM Light V4 RTM The RTM is finalizing quite a lot of issues. The change log is available at http://galasoft.ch/mvvm/installing/changes/. There are some issues that are either still open or that popped up since then, and I am working on V4.1 to be released in the next few weeks. In addition to that, I have plans to support Windows Phone 8 (when it comes) and have a nice list of ideas for V5 with a few new components. Thanks again for your continuous support of MVVM Light! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Displaying the Saved Pictures in the Windows Phone 8 emulator

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    One cool feature of the Windows Phone emulator is that it allows you to select pictures from your app (using the PhotoChooserTask) without having to try your app on a physical device. For example, this code (which I used in some of my recent presentations) will trigger the Photo Chooser UI to be displayed on the emulator too: private Action<IEnumerable<IImageFileInfo>> _callback; public void SelectFiles(Action<IEnumerable<IImageFileInfo>> callback) { var task = new PhotoChooserTask { ShowCamera = true }; task.Completed += TaskCompleted; _callback = callback; task.Show(); } void TaskCompleted(object sender, PhotoResult e) { if (e.Error == null && e.ChosenPhoto != null && _callback != null) { var fileName = e.OriginalFileName .Substring(e.OriginalFileName.LastIndexOf("\\") + 1); var info = new FileViewModel(e.ChosenPhoto, fileName); var infos = new List<IImageFileInfo> { info }; _callback(infos); } } In Windows Phone 8 however, when you execute this code, you will be shown an almost empty Photo Chooser UI: Notice that the “Saved Pictures” album is missing. At first I thought it was just not there at all, but you can actually restore it with the following steps: Press on the Windows button On the main screen, press on Photos Press on Albums Open the so called “8” photo album Press Back until you are back into your app and try again. This time you will see the saved pictures, and can perform your tests in more realistic conditions! Happy coding! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • MVVM Light V4.1 with support for Windows Phone 8

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    Today is a very exciting day: After the official release of Windows 8 (and Microsoft Surface!) on Friday, and the official release of Windows Phone 8 on Monday, the Build conference is starting! This is the conference in which we will learn all about the developer experience for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. As a partner of Microsoft, I had the privilege of trying out some of the new things early, and this gave me the opportunity to port MVVM Light to Windows Phone 8 (it was already running for Windows 8), and today I am officially publishing this new version. Before you go and update, please not the following: V4.1 (4.1.24.0) only supports Visual Studio 2012 (and Express). If for some reason you are still using Visual Studio 2010, don’t despair! In the next few days I will publish an update supporting these versions as well. But for now, please only upgrade if you are on VS12! That being said, here we go: The download page is available on Codeplex and you can download the updated MSI and install it. Please make sure to read the Readme HTML page that automatically opens in your web browser after the MSI completes! It contains important information on how to install selected Project and Item templates for the frameworks of your choice. This version also support the following versions of Visual Studio: Visual Studio 2012 Pro, Premium, Ultimate Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone 8 Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web (Silverlight 4, Silverlight 5) Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Desktop (WPF3.5, WPF4, WPF4.5) We also support Expression Blend of course. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 are very very exciting opportunities for developers in the whole world. There are already a number of apps running on top of MVVM Light in the Windows Store and of course a large range of apps for Windows Phone too. With this release, we hope to support the developers and speed up application development. It is a pleasure to serve such an innovative and creative community! Happy coding Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • MVVM Light Toolkit V3 SP1 for Windows Phone 7

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    He he I start to sound like Microsoft… Anyway… I just released a service pack (SP1) for MVVM Light Toolkit V3. Why? Well mostly because I worked a bit more with the Windows Phone 7 tools that were released at MIX0, and I noticed a few things that could be better in the Windows Phone 7 template. Also, I only found out at MIX that you can actually install custom project templates for Visual Studio Express. For some reason I thought it was not possible. The best way to solve these issues is through a service pack, which consists of a few zip files. Simply follow the instructions on the “Installing Manually” page. You can go ahead and overwrite the files that were installed with V3, all the file structure and names are exactly the same. What? So what do you get in this service pack that was not already in V3? (for more info about what’s new in V3, check the What’s New page). Project and Item templates for Visual Studio 10 Express (phone edition). Unzip these files in your “My Documents” folder, and you can now create a new MVVM Light application in the WinPhone7 version of Visual Studio 2010 Express. Signed assemblies: All the assemblies are now signed, which is a requirement in certain build configurations. XML documentation files: Thanks to Matt Casto for pinging me and reminding me that I had forgotten to include them (doh). New and improved Windows Phone 7 assemblies and templates: This one deserves its own section (see below). What was wrong with the old Silverlight 3 assemblies in Windows Phone 7 projects? It was kind of weird. Functionality wise, it was working just right. However, if you noticed, the EventToCommand behavior was not visible in the Assets tab of Expression Blend, under Behaviors, where it should normally have been. The reason was that even though the Windows Phone 7 is using Silverlight 3, the System.Windows.Interactivity that Blend was expecting is the version that is normally used in Silverlight 4. Yeah, I know, it’s weird. This led me to create a specific version of these assemblies for the phone. The assemblies are located into C:\Program Files\Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)\Mvvm Light Toolkit\Binaries\WP7. There are 3 DLLs: GalaSoft.MvvmLight.WP7.dll with RelayCommand, Messenger and ViewModelBase GalaSoft.MvvmLight.Extras.WP7.dll with EventToCommand and DispatcherHelper System.Windows.Interactivity.dll which is the same DLL installed in the Blend SDK, and which is needed for the EventToCommand behavior to work. Happy coding! That’s all! Download and install the service pack according to the instructions on the Installation page, and create your first MVVM Light application for the phone (a blog post will follow later with more details).   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Silverlight User Group of Switzerland (SLUGS)

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    Last Thursday, the Silverlight Firestarter event took place in Redmond, and was streamed live to a large audience worldwide (around 20’000 people). Approximately 30 if them were in Wallisellen near Zurich, in Microsoft Switzerland’s offices. This was not only a great occasion to learn more about the future of Silverlight and to see great demos, but also it was the very first meeting of the Silverlight User Group of Switzerland (SLUGS). Having 30 people for a first meeting was a great success, especially if we consider that it was REALLY cold that night, that it had snowed 20 cm the night before! We all had a good time, and 3 lucky winners went back home with a prize: One LG Optimus 7 Windows Phone and two copies of Silverlight 4 Unleashed. Congratulations to the winners! After the keynote (which went in a whirlwind, shortest 90 minutes ever!), we all had pizza and beverages generously sponsored by the Swiss DPE team, of which not less than 5 guys came to the event! Thanks to Stefano, Ronnie, Sascha, Big Mike and Ken for attending! We decided to have meetings every month. Stay tuned for announcements on when and where the events will take place. We are also in the process of creating various groups online where the attendees can find more information. For instance, I created a group on Flickr where the pictures taken at events will be published. The group is public, and the pictures of the first event are already online! We also have the already known page at http://www.slugs.ch/, check it out. A national group Even though the first event was in Zurich, and that 3 of the founding members live nearby, we would like to try and be a national group. That means having events sometimes in other parts of Switzerland, collaborating with other local user groups, etc. Stay tuned for more Join! We want you, we need you If you are doing Silverlight, for a living or as a hobby, if you are interested in user experience, XAML, Expression Blend and many more topics, you should consider joining! This is a great occasion to exchange experiences, to learn from Silverlight experts, to hear sessions about various topics related to Silverlight, etc. If you want to talk about a topic that is of interest to you, If you want to propose a topic of discussion Or if you just want to hang out then go to http://www.slugs.ch and register! Cheers, Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Sample code for my #mix10 talk online

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    I just saw that the video for my MIX10 session is online already! Impressive work, MIX10 team. I also published the sample code on my web server, so here are the links: Powerpoint slides Video MVVM Demo 1 (start) MVVM Demo 1 (final) Command sample RelayCommand sample Messaging sample MVVM Demo 2 (start) MVVM Demo 2 (final) MVVM Light Toolkit Version 3 It was a real pleasure and an amazing experience to have this talk and to get all the great feedback! Thanks all for coming, and as usual don’t hesitate to send your feedback! Laurent

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  • Referencing a picture in another DLL in Silverlight and Windows Phone 7

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    This one has burned me a few times, so here is how it works for future reference: Usually, when I add an Image control into a Silverlight application, and the picture it shows is local (as opposed to loaded from the web), I set the picture’s Build Action to Content, and the Copy to Output Directory to Copy if Newer. What the compiler does then is to copy the picture to the bin\Debug folder, and then to pack it into the XAP file. In XAML, the syntax to refer to this local picture is: <Image Source="/Images/mypicture.jpg" Width="100" Height="100" /> And in C#: return new BitmapImage(new Uri( "/Images/mypicture.jpg", UriKind.Relative)); One of the features of Silverlight is to allow referencing content (pictures, resource dictionaries, sound files, movies etc…) located in a DLL directly. This is very handy because just by using the right syntax in the URI, you can do this in XAML directly, for example with: <Image Source="/MyApplication;component/Images/mypicture.jpg" Width="100" Height="100" /> In C#, this becomes: return new BitmapImage(new Uri( "/MyApplication;component/Images/mypicture.jpg", UriKind.Relative)); Side note: This kind of URI is called a pack URI and they have been around since the early days of WPF. There is a good tutorial about pack URIs on MSDN. Even though it refers to WPF, it also applies to Silverlight Side note 2: With the Build Action set to Content, you can rename the XAP file to ZIP, extract all the files, change the picture (but keep the same name), rezip the whole thing and rename again to XAP. This is not possible if the picture is embedded in an assembly! So what’s the catch? Well the catch is that this does not work if you set the Build Action to Content. It’s actually pretty simple to explain: The pack URI above tells the Silverlight runtime to look within an assembly named MyOtherAssembly for a file named MyPicture.jpg in the Images folder. If the file is included as Content, however, it is not in the assembly. Silverlight does not find it, and silently returns nothing. The image is not displayed. And the fix? The fix, for class libraries, is to set the Build Action to Resource. With this, the picture will gets packed into the DLL itself. Of course, this will increase the size of the DLL, and any change to the picture will require recompiling the class library, which is not ideal. But in the cases where you want to distribute pictures (icons etc) together with a plug-in assembly, well, this is a good way to have everything in the same place Happy coding, Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Increasing touch surface (#wp7dev)

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    When you design for Windows Phone 7 (or for any touch device, for that matter, and most especially small screens), you need to be very careful to give enough surface to your users’ fingers. It is easy to miss a touch on such small screens, and that can be horrifyingly frustrating. This is especially true when people are on the move, and trying to hit the control while walking and holding their device in one hand, or when the device is mounted in a car and vibrating with the engine. In my experience, a touch surface should be ideally minimum 60x60 pixels to be easy to activate on the Windows Phone 7 screen (which is, as we know, 800 pixels x 480 pixels). Ideally, I try to make my touch surfaces 80x80 pixels minimum. This causes a few design challenges of course. Using transparent backgrounds However, one thing is helping us tremendously: some surfaces can be made transparent, and yet react to touch. The secret is the following: If you have a panel that has a Null background (i.e. the Background is not set at all), then the empty surface does not react to touch. If however the Background is set to the Transparent color (or any color where the Alpha channel is set to 0), then it will react to touch. Setting a transparent background is easy. For example: <Grid Background="#00000000"> </Grid> or <Grid Background="Transparent"> </Grid> In C#: var grid = new Grid { Background = new SolidColorBrush( Colors.Transparent) }; Using negative margins Having a transparent background reactive to touch is a good start, but in addition, you must make sure that the surface is big enough for my clumsy fingers. One way to achieve that is to increase the transparent, touch-reactive surface, and reposition the element using negative margins. For example, consider the following UI. I changed the transparent background of the HyperlinkButton to Red, in order to visualize the touch surface. In this figure, the Settings HyperlinkButton is 105 pixels x 31 pixels. This is wide enough, but really small in height and easy to miss. To improve this, we can use negative margins, for instance: <HyperlinkButton Content="Settings" HorizontalAlignment="Right" VerticalAlignment="Bottom" Height="60" Margin="0,0,0,-15" /> Notice the usage of negative bottom margin to bring the HyperlinkButton back at the bottom of the main Grid’s first row, where it belongs. And the result is: Notice how the touch surface is much bigger than before. This makes the HyperlinkButton easier to reach, and improves the user experience. With the background set back to normal, the UI looks exactly the same, as it should: In summary: Remember to maximize the touch surface for your controls. Plan your design in consequence by reserving enough room around each control to allow their hit surface to be expanded as shown in this article. Do not cram too many controls in one page. If REALLY needed, use an additional page (or even better: use a Pivot control with multiple pivot items) for the controls that don’t fit on the first one. This should ensure a smoother user experience and improved touch behavior. Happy coding! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Two small issues with Windows Phone 7 ApplicationBar buttons (and workaround)

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    When you work with the ApplicationBar in Windows Phone 7, you notice very fast that it is not quite a component like the others. For example, the ApplicationBarIconButton element is not a dependency object, which causes issues because it is not possible to add attached properties to it. Here are two other issues I stumbled upon, and what workaround I used to make it work anyway. Finding a button by name returns null Since the ApplicationBar is not in the tree of the Silverlight page, finding an element by name fails. For example consider the following code: <phoneNavigation:PhoneApplicationPage.ApplicationBar> <shell:ApplicationBar> <shell:ApplicationBar.Buttons> <shell:ApplicationBarIconButton IconUri="/Resources/edit.png" Click="EditButtonClick" x:Name="EditButton"/> <shell:ApplicationBarIconButton IconUri="/Resources/cancel.png" Click="CancelButtonClick" x:Name="CancelButton"/> </shell:ApplicationBar.Buttons> </shell:ApplicationBar> </phoneNavigation:PhoneApplicationPage.ApplicationBar> with private void EditButtonClick( object sender, EventArgs e) { CancelButton.IsEnabled = false; // Fails, CancelButton is always null } The CancelButton, even though it is named through an x:Name attribute, and even though it appears in Intellisense in the code behind, is null when it is needed. To solve the issue, I use the following code: public enum IconButton { Edit = 0, Cancel = 1 } public ApplicationBarIconButton GetButton( IconButton which) { return ApplicationBar.Buttons[(int) which] as ApplicationBarIconButton; } private void EditButtonClick( object sender, EventArgs e) { GetButton(IconButton.Cancel).IsEnabled = false; } Updating a Binding when the icon button is clicked In Silverlight, a Binding on a TextBox’s Text property can only be updated in two circumstances: When the TextBox loses the focus. Explicitly by placing a call in code. In WPF, there is a third option, updating the Binding every time that the Text property changes (i.e. every time that the user types a character). Unfortunately this option is not available in Silverlight). To select option 1, 2 (and in WPF, 3), you use the Mode property of the Binding class. The issue here is that pressing a button on the ApplicationBar does not remove the focus from the TextBox where the user is currently typing. If the button is a Save button, this is super annoying: The Binding does not get updated on the data object, the object is saved anyway with the old state, and noone understands what just happened. In order to solve this, you can make sure that the Binding is updated explicitly when the button is pressed, with the following code: private void SaveButtonClick(object sender, EventArgs e) { // Force update binding first var binding = MessageTextBox.GetBindingExpression( TextBox.TextProperty); binding.UpdateSource(); // Property was updated for sure, now we can save var vm = DataContext as MainViewModel; vm.Save(); } Obviously this is less maintainable than the usual way to do things in Silverlight. So be careful when using the ApplicationBar and remember that it is not a Silverlight element like the others!! Happy coding! Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • Taking a screenshot from within a Silverlight #WP7 application

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    Often times, you want to take a screenshot of an application’s page. There can be multiple reasons. For instance, you can use this to provide an easy feedback method to beta testers. I find this super invaluable when working on integration of design in an app, and the user can take quick screenshots, attach them to an email and send them to me directly from the Windows Phone device. However, the same mechanism can also be used to provide screenshots are a feature of the app, for example if the user wants to save the current status of his application, etc. Caveats Note the following: The code requires an XNA library to save the picture to the media library. To have this, follow the steps: In your application (or class library), add a reference to Microsoft.Xna.Framework. In your code, add a “using” statement to Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Media. In the Properties folder, open WMAppManifest.xml and add the following capability: ID_CAP_MEDIALIB. The method call will fail with an exception if the device is connected to the Zune application on the PC. To avoid this, either disconnect the device when testing, or end the Zune application on the PC. While the method call will not fail on the emulator, there is no way to access the media library, so it is pretty much useless on this platform. This method only prints Silverlight elements to the output image. Other elements (such as a WebBrowser control’s content for instance) will output a black rectangle. The code public static void SaveToMediaLibrary( FrameworkElement element, string title) { try { var bmp = new WriteableBitmap(element, null); var ms = new MemoryStream(); bmp.SaveJpeg( ms, (int)element.ActualWidth, (int)element.ActualHeight, 0, 100); ms.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin); var lib = new MediaLibrary(); var filePath = string.Format(title + ".jpg"); lib.SavePicture(filePath, ms); MessageBox.Show( "Saved in your media library!", "Done", MessageBoxButton.OK); } catch { MessageBox.Show( "There was an error. Please disconnect your phone from the computer before saving.", "Cannot save", MessageBoxButton.OK); } } This method can save any FrameworkElement. Typically I use it to save a whole page, but you can pass any other element to it. On line 7, we create a new WriteableBitmap. This excellent class can render a visual tree into a bitmap. Note that for even more features, you can use the great WriteableBitmapEx class library (which is open source). On lines 9 to 16, we save the WriteableBitmap to a MemoryStream. The only format supported by default is JPEG, however it is possible to convert to other formats with the ImageTools library (also open source). Lines 18 to 20 save the picture to the Windows Phone device’s media library. Using the image To retrieve the image, simply launch the Pictures library on the phone. The image will be in Saved Pictures. From here, you can share the image (by email, for instance), or synchronize it with the PC using the Zune software. Saving to other platforms It is of course possible to save to other platforms than the media library. For example, you can send the image to a web service, or save it to the isolated storage on the device. To do this, instead of using a MemoryStream, you can use any other stream (such as a web request stream, or a file stream) and save to that instead. Hopefully this code will be helpful to you! Happy coding, Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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  • A story of Murphy&ndash;my technical issues at TechDays Switzerland #chtd

    - by Laurent Bugnion
    I had two sessions at the recent Swiss TechDays. While the first one (Advanced Development for Windows Phone 8) went extremely well (I think), I had a very annoying technical issue in the beginning of my second session. First let me add that I talked to Microsoft about that and I hope they will change a few things in the room assignment for next year. My two sessions were one right after the other, with only 15 minutes break to change room. I don’t mind having two sessions so close from each other, but I would really like them to be in the same room in order to avoid having to move my laptops (plural, that will become important later) and redoing the tech check. That being said, I am guilty of not checking where my talks would be before the day before the conference, and when I did notice, it was too late to change it. After my first session, I quickly moved to the other room and setup my main laptop, a Dell Precision. We tested the video output (VGA) and didn’t notice anything special. The projectors are using a fairly high resolution (kudos to the Basel conference center for not having old school 1024x768 projectors anymore, that makes Blend really hard to demo ;) but since everything went great during the first talk, I was not worried. In fact I even had some time to chat with some early attendees about my Microsoft Surface and the Samsung Slate 7, which I had carried with me in addition to the Precision. I just thought it would be nice to show the hardware that Windows 8 can run on, without thinking any further. When the session started, I immediately noticed that the main screen was not showing anything. I thought I had just forgotten to switch to “duplicate” for the video output, and did that with a quick Win-P. However it didn’t “hold”. After 2 seconds, it reverted back to a black display for my attendees. Then I started to really worry. We tried everything, switching from VGA to HDMI, changing the resolution, setting the projector as primary display, but nothing did the trick. The projector was just refusing to show my screen. Now, to show you how despaired I started to be, I even considered using the “extend” setting (which worked just fine), and to use one of the feedback monitors on the floor but really it was super cumbersome. Eventually, my last resort arrived: I started my Samsung Slate 7, which by chance has Visual Studio 12 and Blend 5 installed, plugged the HDMI projector in the dock (yes, I had the dock with me, which I usually don’t!), connected it to internet (had to enter a long password for that), loaded the source code from my main machine using a USB stick and…. finally started to give my presentation. All in all I think we lost about 10 minutes. Amongst the most horrible minutes of my whole life, truly (yes I am blessed, I didn’t have that many horrible minutes in my life ;) I really want to apologize to my attendees. We joked a bit during the attempts to resolve the issue, the reactions I had after the session were all very nice and sympathetic. Only a handful of people left my session while I was having the issues, and I really don’t blame them (who knew how long the problem would last!!). But still, I probably talked at more than 60 sessions over the years, and this was by far my most painful moment. What did I learn? So what did I learn from this? Well from now on I will always have my slate ready with the latest source code, internet connection and every tool I might need during the presentation. This way, if I detect even a hint that the Precision might not work, I will just switch to the Slate. The experience of presenting on the slate is actually not bad at all, it is just a bit slow for my taste, but it does work. By the way, I will be posting the code and slides for my sessions very soon, I just need to “clean it and zip it”. Stay tuned, and thanks again for your patience in that horrible circumstance. Cheers Laurent   Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Subscribe | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | LinkedIn

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