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OpenXML + Silverlight

I’m back again with another one of my interesting and insightful posts…or well…at least another post. Unfortunately, since it is quite a big subject, I will have to divide it in to two parts. This first part contains information about what OpenXML is and how to use Silverlight to creates office documents. While the second part will show the how to use the simple library I built to make it simpler.

For those of you who don’t know what OpenXML is, it is a standardized XML based format for storing Office type documents, which is used by MS Office as well as some other office packages. It is certified by ISO as well as ECMA. You can read a lot more about it at http://www.openxmldeveloper.org. Normally you work with it using the OpenXML SDK, but that is not available to Silverlight…yet at least…

I personally had very little experience in the format as such, until recently. Just before x-mas, I got assigned to a project at my company that opened my eyes to it though. I got the honorable task, together with another developer at our office (who actually did most of the work), to update the lab material on the OpenXML Deverloper site and make sure it worked with the upcoming Office 2010. After just a few slides about the standard, it dawned to me that it seemed like a pretty simple task to implement a small, but extensible, OpenXML library for Silverlight. So I did…

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Posted: Jan 11 2010, 06:16 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
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Silverlight 3 multi-touch development 101 – pt 3 - Rotation

Welcome back for the 3rd part of the multi-touch 101 series. If you haven’t already read the previous parts I suggest that you do so as the code in the current part will build on top of the code from the previous parts. Part 1 is available here and part 2 here.

This part will cover the last type of gesture that the demo application uses – rotation. For me, the rotation is by far the most complicated thing to implement. Not because the code is very complicated, but because the math behind it isn’t that simple. Well…the math is actually not that complicated, but most of the developers I know are not big fans of trigonometry and thus couldn’t really help me out when I had questions. I even called up my dad who used to be a math teacher. But when I explained what I was trying to do, he just shook his head and wondered what I was talking about…But let’s get started.

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Posted: Dec 21 2009, 05:11 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
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Silverlight 3 multi-touch development 101 – pt 2 - Zoom

I’m back with the second part of my series about multi-touch in Silverlight 3. This time I am going to tackle zoom, or pinch depending on who is talking. The zoom will be handled by pinching, but I prefer the term zoom for some reason. Go ahead! Flame me in the comments… :)

This part builds a lot on the previous part about Pan. So if you haven’t read it, I suggest you do so before reading any further… Otherwise, here we go!

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Posted: Dec 14 2009, 09:07 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Silverlight 3 multi-touch development 101 – pt 1 - Pan

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I have wanted to try it out ever since I heard that it was available. But as I also mentioned, there has been a certain lack of access to multi-touch enabled devices. However, this is easily solved by using an iPod touch or iPhone, which is what I started out using. Unfortunately, that solution doesn’t really give you the right “feeling” as you are using it as a touchpad instead of actually “touching” the object.

Luckily, the nice Chris Auld went to PDC and got a multi-touch enabled laptop that he happily lent to me (unfortunately I believe he expects me to give it back at some point). And with this new toy, I got started… (If you are wondering what hardware I am actually using it, it is this. And I highly recommend it…)

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Posted: Dec 07 2009, 08:29 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Microsoft PDC 09 and Silverlight

As you might have noticed, Microsoft PDC ‘09 has “just” finished. Unfortunately, like with all other conferences, I didn’t get to attend. PDC did however give me a lot of good things. First of all, the most obvious, a new Silverlight beta. Silverlight 4 includes a lot of interesting stuff that will be really interesting to play around with. Among the interesting features to note is webcam support, COM integration, support for external devices, access to local files, support for showing HTML, RichText and lots more. Oh…yeah…they have also added a bit of commanding support… And a few nice Visual Studio enhancements for Silverlight, such as Intellisense for bindings…

Another cool thing about PDC was that even if I didn’t get to attend, I was still sort of there. I was involved in building three Silverlight applications for Microsoft. If you attended, or have looked at some of the videos from PDC, you might have seen one or two of them.

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Posted: Nov 25 2009, 07:52 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Getting started with multi-touch development in Silverlight 3, using Windows 7 and an iPod

I’m finally back with another blog post. I have been really busy and have not had time to blog as much as I wanted to, but I have finally got around to get together a hopefully interesting post. Ever since I heard that Silverlight 3 had multi-touch support, I have wanted to try it out. Unfortunately I’m not wealthy enough to be able to run off and get a new laptop just because the one I have doesn’t support multi-touch. So I have had to wait, until a couple of days ago, when I finally got around to buying an iPod Touch. Using the iPod Touch’s multi-touch support to do Silverlight multi-touch development is actually not that hard, just a bit fiddly.

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Posted: Nov 19 2009, 10:41 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
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A couple of naming issues when working with Silverlight in Visual Studio 2008

I’m currently working on some cool demos for PDC09. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them yet, but I can tell you some interesting things that I have found along the way. Since I do a lot of different development on a lot of different projects, most of my projects are built inside a VM. This makes it really easy to keep the projects separate and keeps the host machine clean. However, Hyper-V seems to kill the performance of graphics intensive tasks. So, Blend work is really slow. And besides, I’m among other things running some things that work with Azure, which is kind of slow. So I have opted for a solution where I share the Silverlight project between my VM and my host, making it possible for me to do the graphically intensive things on the host, but keep the source and source control in the VM.

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Posted: Nov 10 2009, 07:00 by ZeroKoll | Comments (1) |
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Styling a ListBox aka Autopsy of a ListBox

For some reason, I keep ending up with restyled ListBoxes in my projects. I don’t know if it is because I lack imagination or if the ListBox is just such a useful control. Anyhow, it is a control that most people will use in a lot of projects and that often needs to be restyled. However useful it is, the layout is pretty stiff and Windowsy and unless you are going for that old school Windows look, you will most likely want to style it and make it a bit flashier. Unfortunately, after having had a look around the web, I still haven’t found a good resource explaining the innards of a ListBox, so I decided to create one. It might not be a complete one, but it will cover most of the things you need to make some serious layout changes… So here we go

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Posted: Nov 04 2009, 08:26 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
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Inversion of control, dependency injection, service locator and so on. Feeling lost?

Lately, I have been bombarded with talk about inversion of control (IoC), dependency injection (DI) and service locators. Unfortunately, I have also heard a lot of odd comments that doesn’t really make sense. But I think that is because people are having trouble separating the different words and understanding what they actually mean.  So I thought I would try to explain the different things as I have understood them. And do so using a simple understandable language, instead of the often overly complex way that a lot of other people use.

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Posted: Nov 03 2009, 05:01 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
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SilverTweet – Building a Silverlight Twitter client part 5

I’m finally back after a couple of weeks with too much stuff to do. It is definitely time to finish off the blog series about SilverTweet, the Silverlight twitter client that you can build on your own. Hopefully you can then take this thing and extend it with the features you need.

For those of you who haven’t read the previous parts, I would recommend doing so. Otherwise, this part will give you just about nothing valuable. And for those of you who have, and did so before I posted this part, I just want to mention that I found a pretty obvious bug in part 3.

The example code in this post will create a functional, but fugly UI. The downloadable code will contain this UI, as well as an extra UI with better layout, some animations and so on. The reason for the fugly UI here is simplicity. Not that the other UI is REALLY beautiful, but it is at least a lot better…

But let’s just get started straight away and have a look at the UI that we need to start using the application.

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Posted: Oct 19 2009, 07:07 by ZeroKoll | Comments (4) |
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