DarksideCookie

Come to the dark side...we have cookies!

SilverTweet – Building a Silverlight Twitter client part 4

And once again I’m back on my computer with Live Writer and Visual Studio open. I thought it was time to give you the 4th part of the SilverTweet series. If you have missed part 1, part 2 and/or part 3, I recommend heading back and looking through them.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be so obsessed with my work, that I would be sitting on a plane at 07:20 in the morning writing a blog entry, I would probably have said that they must have me confused with someone else. Software development is just a job, it isn’t my life… Well, I guess I care more about it than I would like to admit…

Anyhow, in this part of the blog series, I’m going to go on and show you the rest of the models/viewmodels used in the SilverTweet application.

More...

Posted: Sep 30 2009, 05:47 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

SilverTweet – Building a Silverlight Twitter client part 3

Once again I am back to my Twitter client. The next step in my application is to create some view models to bind the view to. This includes adapting the models I get from the Twitter service to the interface that I am going to create, as well as creating some models of my own. The modification of the auto generated ones, is pretty easy to do using the “new” partial class definition, that the objects defined in by the service proxy use.

Anyhow, let’s get started with some coding. But before I get started with the viewmodels, I am going to create a very simple little layer of abstraction. What? Why? Well, I want to de-couple the Twitter service as much as possible. The reasons for this are a couple, but mainly because of the way Twitter works. Since it is on the web, it means that I need to have internet connection to access it. It also has a limit to the amount of requests one can do per hour. This means that if I work without an internet connection or do a lot of testing with loads of requests to the service, it might cause some problems. By de-coupling it, I can switch the implementation to a mocked version, removing the need for internet access as well as the request limits. It also makes it possible for me to create unit tests for my viewmodels if I wanted that. So this layer of abstraction gives me some options. Not that I will use any of them in this example, but I have the option if I ever needed.

More...

Posted: Sep 23 2009, 12:14 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

SilverTweet – Building a Silverlight Twitter client part 2

Welcome back! Or at least I hope it is welcome BACK. If you are not coming back, that means that you have missed the first part of this blog series. And in that case, I recommend by starting out by reading the first part. If you have already done that…let’s get cracking…

In the first part, I focused on the connection to Twitter. That included implementing OAuth and the Twitter methods I need to get the client to run. In this part, which will be a lot shorter, I’m going to focus on creating a webservice that can expose the Twitter functionality to the Silverlight client.

More...

Posted: Sep 21 2009, 06:53 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

SilverTweet – Building a Silverlight Twitter client part 1

A while back, I wrote this blog series about how to build a Silverlight client for flickr. This seemed to be pretty popular among a bunch of the people who stumble across my blog. I don’t know if it was specifically because it was using flickr or if it was because it went through the entire application step by step or if it was something else. But since then, I have gone around thinking about other possible applications that I could dissect in the same way, and for some odd reason I stumbled across Twitter. I know…you don’t stumble across Twitter. It is all over the place, and anybody that hasn’t heard of it is probably dead or deaf  and blind. I’m personally not that active on Twitter, even though I try on and off. For anyone interested, I’m available here.

Anyhow, after having looked at it for a while, I decided to create a Silverlight based Twitter application. Even though it’s not as fancy or useful as some of the other alternatives out there, it will show the basics behind how to build a client. And not a client that just allows you to read a feed, but actually interact with it and send tweets. If you are not interested in how to develop a Twitter client and just want a Silverlight based client, I would recommend Gadfly, which is a fantastic client compared to what I’m going to show. But the idea behind this blog series is not to get the coolest application, but have a look at how one could go about building a client.

More...

Posted: Sep 16 2009, 12:28 by ZeroKoll | Comments (19) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

The CommandManager take 3…

[UPDATE]
The code for the CommandManager has been rewritten due to some memory management issues. And together with that change, I have decided to put it on Codeplex. My blog posts about it are still more or less valid, but I suggest also taking a look at the code at http://agcommandmanager.codeplex.com/.
[/UPDATE]

Once again I return to the CommandManager that I have blogged about before. And I know it is getting boring and that I some day must leave that behind me and go forward. However, after having had a look at Prism/CAG/CAL and seen how Microsoft solves the commanding infrastructure, I have decided that the CommandManager still fills a purpose.

I also had a plan to retire the CommandManager completely and implement something similar using Behaviors. However, Behavior<T> or what ever it is called, inherits directly from DependencyObject instead of from FrameworkElement. This made it really hard to use in this situation, since it doesn’t support data binding. So I had to scrap that idea for now. It seems as if Microsoft uses this idea in Prism, but introduces an extra static object to get it to work… At least in the Prism implementation I have been looking at.

So why do I return to the CommandManager again? Just to argue that it is great and boost my ego? No…apparently, my previous implementation had a flaw. I might have a lot more, but I discovered one that caused problems. So I have rectified that…

More...

Posted: Sep 14 2009, 05:25 by ZeroKoll | Comments (9) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

Adding some style to the loading screen…

There is a simple little feature available in Silverlight that I think everyone should use, or at least more or less everyone. It is the possibility of adding a custom loading screen that will be shown while the plug-in downloads the Xap. It is simple to implement and gives your application that little extra to make it stand out. If you look at Flash for example, you will see that every Flash application has its own loading screen. During the time that the application downloads, you can display how much has been downloaded, but you can also give the user something to look at or even do. My favorite loaders the ones that gives you a simple game to play with while the application loads. This however, is only useful if the application is really big. And in that case, I would recommend splitting up the application in smaller pieces and load them on demand. Anyhow, how do we do it?

More...

Posted: Aug 31 2009, 07:33 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

Adding transitions when changing DataContext

I have several times gotten in a discussion regarding the visual aspects around changing the DataContext. That sounds like a really interesting discussion, doesn’t it…? Well, why is it a discussion at all, why is it something that I even bother writing about (just wait until you see the amount of code I have written as well)? Well…as you might have noticed in my previous posts, data bindings are very central in Silverlight development. At least if you do it like I do it. And that means that we work quite a lot with the DataContext of different controls. And out of the box, changing the DataContext will update all the binding, which is exactly what we want. But what happens when we DON’T want the change to be instantaneous? What if we want to add some form of transition? Well…as far as I know, you are %$@ out of luck. That is why I decided to try and build something that can do it for us…in a nice re-usable package…

More...

Posted: Aug 25 2009, 10:13 by ZeroKoll | Comments (2) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

Live Writer plug-in for code snippets

I just remembered that I just HAVE to recommend this great plug-in for Windows Live Writer. It is the plug-in I use to add code snippets to my blog posts. There are a few things design wise I would probably want to be able to change. For example being able to turn off the scrollbars and show all the code formatted straight up in a nice way. But except those minor things, it is a great plug-in. You can find more info about it here and download it here.

If you know any REALLY good plug-ins for code blogging, don’t hesitate adding a comment about it. I’d love to find more goodies…I just don’t have time to go looking for them…

Posted: Aug 25 2009, 10:10 by ZeroKoll | Comments (0) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under:
Manage post: :)

Using DataTemplates in custom controls

I found this question on the Silverlight forum today (it might be “the other day” since I don’t know if I will even be able to publish this today) that I wanted to answer by creating a post. Why not just point towards someone else’s blog? Well…I tried that…but I couldn’t find one by doing a couple of simple Googlings (I love that new word…I will keep it and nurture it)…so I came to the conclusion that if it is that hard to find the information, it needs to made more available…on my blog…

So..what was the question? Well, the guy wanted to know how to use templates in a custom control. That sounds like a pretty simple request. There has to be lots of information available about this…well…not really apparently. In general I would recommend reflectoring it, but in this case I felt it was better to explain. So here we go…

More...

Posted: Aug 03 2009, 13:26 by ZeroKoll | Comments (10) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)

My thoughts about Expression Blend 3, aka Blend rant

I want to start off this blog post with saying that I love Expression Blend! I have only used Blend 2 SP 1 before today, but I love the idea, the interface and the program in general. But in Blend 2, there were a few things I missed. The most obvious flaw in Blend 2 is the missing intellisense. It also expected me to do ALL my coding in VS, which to be perfectly honest is a good thing. Coding should not be done in Blend. Blend is the tool for the interaction designer, or possibly the “devigner” and not for the developer.

But this is where I start getting a little ambivalent. I want to be a good developer and say that that is the way that I generally do my Silverlight problems. The developer doing the coding in VS and the designer doing the layout on Design and then the interaction designer/”devigner” putting it all together in Blend. Unfortunately that doesn’t add up in my world…sorry Microsoft…I love the idea, but in my world it doesn’t work, even though I wished it did.

More...

Posted: Aug 02 2009, 10:07 by ZeroKoll | Comments (3) |
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Filed under: Silverlight
Manage post: :)