Monday, 30 October 2006

It is Q4/2006, where is the WPF/E CTP?

At Mix06 Microsoft said a CTP of WPF/E should be available in Q3/2006. Well Q3 has come and gone and there is still no CTP. I was begginning to wonder if WPF/E was going to end up just another big cloud of MS FUD.

JCooney wondered the same thing recently:

It's a few days into October, so where is WPF/E? At Mix06 the date for the first CTP was announced as "Q3 2006" or "summer 2006"...So where is it, huh? WPF/E PM bloggers Mike Harsh and Joe Stegman have been very quiet since then...

He pointed to a post from the Firefox team that seems to suggest that WPF/E does exist in some form. That makes me feel a little better, but I'd still like to see some running bits make it public to get a feel for how far away it truly is.

10/30/2006 09:18:13 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Monday, 11 September 2006

What order should you install Vista RC1, .NET 3.0 RC1, Visual Studio, and Expression Interactive Designer?

I'm in the process of installing .NET 3 on Vista RC1 and I was looking for a good guide on doing things in the correct order. I should have known that Sam would beat me to it. Sam Gentile has a great guide on getting started with Windows Vista RC1.

09/11/2006 08:07:42 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Saturday, 09 September 2006

The XNA Game Components Demo Rocks!

Mitch Walker recently posted a short screencast showing off the Game Components features of the XNA Framework.

This is awesome. I completely wrote off the XNA Framework when I read the FAQ and learned how crippled the functionality is in this initial beta. But this short screencast got me very excited about the possibilities.

The idea of component based game development could be huge. If this takes off it could really revitalize the game development world. Personally I'm tired of paying $50+ for another rehash of the latest First Person Shooter. I long for games that focus on new and interesting game play rather than glitzy graphics and crappy stories. Here's hoping that XNA can do for game development what VB did for Windows software development. Good job XNA Team!

This also helps reinforce the idea that a focused, short, concise screencast is incredibly powerful. Thanks to Jon Udell for having the vision, passion, and patience to lead the way. He truly is one of my heroes.

09/09/2006 10:51:07 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Thursday, 07 September 2006

Beware BestBuy Pricing Games

I'm in the market for a new digital video camera. After doing some research I decided to buy the .

Yesterday Amazon had this camera in stock for $507. BestBuy's web site said it was in stock at my local BestBuy store. When I added the camera to my online cart to check the price I saw that they wanted $527. I decided to pay BestBuy the extra $20 for the convenience of getting it locally.

When I got to BestBuy last night they did indeed have it in stock. But the price was $569. I told the sales clerk that their site listed it at $527. He said that was strange because they usually sell it in the store for the same price as they sell it online. He went to check. When he came back he had a printout of a BestBuy online shopping cart. The price he was quoted online was $569, the same price the store had it listed. When I got home later I checked again and the price was still $527 when I added it to my cart.

This morning I'm ordering the camera from Amazon. Not only am I saving money on the camera, I'm also saving a bunch of money on MiniDV tapes.

From now on when BestBuy says they are hiding the price from me because the manufacturer requires them to I think I'll be a little more skeptical. And before I go to the local store I'll print the price that I was quoted online. If they don't match the online price, I'll buy from someone else.

It wasn't a completely wasted trip though. I did get to see the camera and compare the size of it to other cameras I was looking at. It is a little bigger, but not too much. And the quality is much better than my old camera and the other cameras I was considering.

09/07/2006 07:24:38 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Wednesday, 06 September 2006

HOWTO Screencast: Use IronPython and Snoop to explore the Windows Presentation Foundation

In this short screencast I show how you can use IronPython and Snoop together to explore the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

IronPython is a wonderful dynamic language with full access to the .NET Framework. Snoop is a great WPF debugging tool. Together they can help you climb the steep WPF learning curve.

A flash version of the screencast is available here.

UPDATE: Rob Relyea points out a way for me to simply my code. Instead of doing:

b.Content = TextBlock()
b.Content.Text = "Hi"

I could do this instead:

b.Content = "Hi"

WPF creates the TextBlock for you automatically when you set the Content property to a string. That does work from IronPython. Thanks Rob.

UPDATE: In the comments to Rob's post above he points out that there is a way to refresh the Snoop visual tree (the treeview on the left side of the window). All you have to do is press F5. Very cool.

If you don't have IronPython installed see: HOWTO Screencast: Install IronPython

If you need to know how to build Snoop without Visual Studio see: HOWTO Screencast: Build Snoop without Visual Studio

09/06/2006 07:31:56 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Tuesday, 05 September 2006

IronPython 1.0 Shipped Today!

Today Jim Hugunin announced the release of IronPython 1.0. Congratulations to Jim and everyone on the IronPython team.

09/05/2006 15:40:25 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

HOWTO Screencast: Build Snoop without Visual Studio

Snoop is a great Windows Presentation Foundation debugging tool.

The Snoop download includes the source code and the Visual Studio project files needed to build it. But if you don't have Visual Studio installed you can use MSBuild to build Snoop. In this screencast I show you how to do just that.

A flash version of the screencast is available here.

09/05/2006 07:12:42 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Sunday, 03 September 2006

HOWTO Screencast: Install IronPython

Now that the Windows Presentation Foundation APIs have stabalized it is time for me to start seriously playing with it.

Jon Udell recently posted the screencast of a interview he did with Jim Hugunin. In this screencast Jim demonstrates IronPython. Jim & Jon do a great job explaining why you should install IronPython. Dynamic languages are a great way to explore new APIs. And IronPython is a great way to explore .NET APIs. But there weren't any demonstrations of how easy it is to install IronPython; until now.

In this 5 minute screencast I show you how to install and set up IronPython so you can use it to explore WPF.

A Flash version of the screencast is available here.

09/03/2006 08:32:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Microsoft should kill Internet Explorer and support Mozilla development

Jon Udell thinks Microsoft should Open-source WPF/E. I almost always agree with Jon. And when I don't at first I find that I eventually do. Maybe I should outsource my thinking about this industry to Jon. Anyway, I agree with Jon this time too.

Late last year Dare suggested that Microsoft should either disband the IE team or transfer it to the MSN division. I agreed with Dare too - again, this happens a lot.

Now Microsoft Offers To Help Firefox Run On Vista. Here's a silly idea. Microsoft should kill IE and then let the MSN division support development of Mozilla.

I wonder what it would look like if Google, MSN, and Yahoo were all contributing code and patches to Mozilla? Could it work? Would it work better than trying to hammer out specs? After all, isn't the code the spec anyway?

08/22/2006 15:10:56 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback