Karl’ Roadmap Nov – Dec 2010

October 31, 2010

While my blog has been a little on the quiet side, I’ve been going like a rabbit with his tail on fire.  Metaphorically speaking, “What lies beneath the water line of the iceberg is about to be unveiled.”

I’ve been getting emails, Tweets, and blog comments asking me about XAML Power Toys, Ocean, Mole 2010, my upcoming cruise, Prism, In the Box, patterns & practices 2010 Symposium code; so I thought a short roadmap post is in order.

Prism 4

Prism 4 will RTW either this Thursday, 4 November 2010 or early the following week.

The patterns & practices Prism team has invested a lot of resources in the Prism Library and written guidance.  The documentation has been completely rewritten with new topics added such as MVVM, MEF and navigation.

Once released, I’ll blog regularly on the features and content of the Prism guidance.  Additionally, I’m researching the possibility of conducting three Prism events; I’m thinking of using the two day event model, holding the sessions over a Friday and Saturday.  Once the dates and locations are firmed up, I’ll provide plenty of lead time to plan and register.

patterns & practices 2010 Symposium Code

On the day Prism v4 ships, I’ll post the MVVM Training that was package using In the Box.  In the Box is explained below.

This Friday, 5 November 2010 I’ll publish a blog post and video covering the Prism Region Navigation sample application that also demonstrated the Task Parallel Library Futures pattern that streamlines view model code.

XAML Power Toys

I was hoping to get to the next release in November but am putting this work off until early December.  I’ll release a new version with the suggestions and performance fix on 19 December 2010.  If you have a suggestion or requested fix, please leave a comment here.

Mole 2010

Team Mole has put in several hundred hours in this new release.  We have been cautious with our release, wanting to provide the very best product.  Mole 2010 is code complete, has a great new UI and many new features you’ll love.  Team Mole is completing the documentation and videos and hopes to ship very soon.

You can follow Josh Smith’s blog and my blog for the release announcement.

We can also be followed on Twitter:

Ocean

I’ve already ported Ocean to C#, Windows Phone 7 and released it here.

I’m currently porting Ocean for WPF and Silverlight to C#.

While on my cruise over Thanksgiving, I’ll write a reference implementation that shows Ocean v3 in action.

Expect this to be released on Sunday, 5 December 2010.

Mexican Riviera Cruise

It has been a year and the time has come to set sail again; this time to the Mexican Riviera.  With three full days at sea and each night spent at sea, kdawg will have plenty of coding time!  No email, no phone, no Internet, just heads down coding.  The sounds and scent of the ocean breeze; gentle rolls of the ship and room service grill cheese, sets the stage for a week of creativity and productivity.

I’ve been wanting to update my Stuff application to consume Amazon.com data and to support many more item types.

The core scenario is to be able to look up movies, books, games, music and software I currently own using a phone.  This would allow me to see what I own, if I don’t have it, quickly check the price at Amazon.com and either purchase it at the store (automatically adding to my database) or put the item in my Amazon.com shopping cart.

To accomplish this, I’ll be taking these three patterns & practices assets out for a test drive, Prism, Windows Phone 7 Developer Guidance, and Unity Application Block.  To those, I’ll add Ocean v3 to the supporting cast.

The application will have an oData cloud services component with WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and ASP.NET MVC3 front ends.  The cloud services component will be hosted on my Discount ASP.NET site.  Each developer wanting to have their own live service, will need to deploy the backend to their own hosted web server.

Developers will be able to compile and run the application locally on their system.  For Amazon.com access you’ll need a free developer account.  Again, to use the application remotely, you’ll need to host the cloud component on your web server.

What is exciting to me is the notion of a single cloud service consumed by the very cool UI stacks offered by Microsoft .NET.

It will a lot of fun working with the technologies that are new to me, Windows Phone 7 and ASP.NET MVC3.  When coding, I’ll be looking for code-reuse opportunities when writing the WPF and Silverlight applications powered by the above patterns & practices assets.  All-in-all, a very relaxing and fun vacation.

Just so you don’t think I’m insane and never stray from my keyboard, I’ve signed up for a 7 hour dolphin training experience and a day on the jet ski during my cruise.

The 7 hours with Flipper is one of those bucket list goals I can finally check off and is the main reason for visiting the Mexican Riviera.  The day on the jet ski will be one big nasty adrenalin rush.  The other day in port will be spent shopping for some cool shirts, a sombrero and tasting the local cuisine.

Expect this application to be released on Sunday, 5 December 2010.

In the Box

InTheBox_Large

At the patterns  & practices 2010 Symposium and at the post PDC 2010 Windows Phone 7 Lab Day, I previewed, “In the Box” and the first training package, MVVM Training.

So far response to this format and the content has been very favorable.

The training is unique because it’s consumed within Visual Studio 2010.  The interface is pictured below.

To create the content, I followed the training videos presented on Channel9 here.  For more information you can also follow Michael Lehman’s blog.

This will ship from the Visual Studio Code Gallery on the same day Prism v4 ships, either Thursday, 4 Nov or the following week.  My next planned training package for In the Box will be Prism v4.  Remember, every thing comes “In the Box.”

NewSolution

Click the image to view full size

Date Summary

Check my blog or follow me on Twitter for these announcements:

  • 4 Nov – Prism v4 (could possibly ship the following week)
  • 4 Nov – In the Box (could possibly ship the following week)
  • 5 Nov – Prism Region Navigation with Task Parallel Library Futures example  (could possibly ship the following week)
  • 5 Dec – Ocean v3, and the vastly upgrade Stuff application with multiple UI front ends
  • 19 Dec – XAML Power Toys update

Close

WOW – what a way to close down 2010!  Looking to power down after the 19th of December; then crank back up January 2011.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 for Cider version 2.1 Silverlight 4 Support

July 7, 2010

I have just updated XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 for Cider to version 2.1 adding support for Silverlight 4.

Please Note

I have two XAML Power Toys products on my blog.  They are not the same.  Get both, you’ll be glad you did. 

The first one is for working in the XAML Editor and to create ViewModel’s. 

The second one works with the Cider Designer.  This is post is about this product.

New Features and Fixes

  • Added support for Silverlight 4
  • Fixed installer for x64 systems.  Added workaround for Visual Studio 2010 issue with loading custom control designers for Silverlight 4

Download

You can get the new version on the XAML Power Toys for Cider Home Page.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 version 6.1 Silverlight 4 Support

July 7, 2010

I have just updated XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 to version 6.1 adding support for Silverlight 4.

New Features and Fixes

  • Added support for Silverlight 4
  • Corrected ViewModel creator spit
    • If you remove the CommandParameter type in the Command Creation Window, the spit will no longer add the CommandParameter type to the RelayCommand or DelegateCommand, to the methods or lambda’s.
    • If you specify a CommandParameter type in the Command Creation Window, the spit will add the CommandParameter type to the RelayCommand<T> or DelegateCommand<T>, to the methods and lambda’s.
  • Fixed the property discovery of model objects to add all public properties of all base types.

Upgrading

If you are upgrading from the previous version, PLEASE visit the Set Controls Defaults page and update this page for Silverlight 4.

You’ll want to change your Silverlight alias’s to “sdk” instead of “data” or “controls” as this is what Visual Studio 2010 with Silverlight 4 now uses.

When you drag a Label, DataGrid or DatePicker control from the Toolbox to the Silverlight 4 design surface, Visual Studio 2010 now uses “sdk” for the xamlns alias, so by changing your default you’ll be in sync with Visual Studio.  If you are a new user, “sdk” is defaulted for you.

You should also set the TargetNullValue option for both the Silverlight and WPF TextBox.

You should also set the Silverlight Textbox Validates On Data Errors, this is new to Silverlight 4.

Download

You can get the new version on the XAML Power Toys Home Page.

I was unable to establish a CodePlex project tonight because the source code server was off-line.

For now, the only download available is from my SkyDrive.  I’ll try and set XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 up on CodePlex this week.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


XAML Power Toys and XAML Power Toys for Cider – New Versions Released

February 13, 2010

I have just posted updates to three XAML Power Toys products.

XAML Power Toys

The new versions of XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate and later can be downloaded here on the XAML Power Toys Home Page.

I have also moved the videos for XAML Power Toys to Vimeo so they are all working now.

XAML Power Toys for Cider

The new version of XAML Power Toys for Cider, runs on Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate and later can be downloaded here on the XAML Power Toys for Cider Home Page.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


Updated Code: XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 Cider Designer

October 28, 2009

I was working on a post for T4 Preprocessed Text Templates (I’ll post it tonight) and found a bug in the XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 Cider Designer grid parsing code. 

Chances are you won’t hit it, but I did so I’ve corrected the code and posted a new update.  The code didn’t properly handle a null value in the CheckBox.Content property.  I’ve correct it and added additional null checks.

Please visit this page XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 Cider Designer and get the latest version v1.0.1.

You can go to the above page, download the install files and install overtop as it will remove the previous version and install the new one.

Sorry for the bug. 

Close

Hope you use and enjoy XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 for Cider.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 Cider Designer

October 25, 2009

Current Version 1.0.1, Last Update 28 October 2009

v1GridToo

These last few weeks I’ve been writing control designers for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 WPF and Silverlight controls.

Turns out this is much easier than I expected and is a lot of fun too!

This application is an example for writing a globalized WPF & Silverlight platform neutral control designer.  Both WPF & Silverlight applications use the same Design library.  You can check out the source code to see how this is done.  This source code is in VB.NET.  Later this week, I’ll be posting another full featured article and code example in C# and VB.NET for writing a platform neutral control designer for WPF & Silverlight custom controls.  The project also includes two controls you can use in your projects.  (Yes, Karl now speaks C#.  Took about 2 days to pick it up.  Still have to lookup some syntax but pretty fluent now.)

I must give credit where credit is due.  I got a good bit of feedback and suggestions from my teammates on the Cider Team (WPF & Silverlight Designer Team).  Thanks Mark, Zhanbo, Bin, Pav, Marco, Ben  and Ray.  My great friend Josh Smith also came over one day for some pair programming activities.  Thanks Josh!

For those that care, the above designer is an MVVM application that is completely data driven from the ViewModel.

Grid Layout Tool

The Grid Layout Tool provides an abstract view of the selected Grid control in the designer that enables editing the Rows and Columns of the selected Grid.

The above image is the Grid Layout Tool that allows you to:

  • Move (reorder) rows and columns
  • Move (reorder) multiple rows and columns (when multi-selected with CTRL+click)
  • Insert row or column before or after any row or column
  • Delete row or column
  • Set all row or all columns sizes using the TextBoxes at the top.  Enter value and press ENTER.
  • Set individual row or column size by clicking the text value the Azure row or column headers and then editing them.  Enter value and press ENTER.
  • To set size to auto type “a” or “auto” and press ENTER.
  • Designer is updated real time as you make your changes.
  • Clicking the “Save” button commits the changes into one Undo Transaction.
  • Clicking the “Cancel” button cancels all changes and puts the designer back in its original state.

Menu Options

v1Menu

This menu is only available when you have selected a GRID control in the WPF or Silverlight designer.

Chainsaw – Leaves Alignment

The chainsaw will remove all Margins, MinHeights, MinWidths and from CheckBox, RadioButton, Label, TextBlock will remove height and widths and on TextBox will remove height.  Will set all Grid Rows to Auto.  Will remove Name and x:Name if enabled.

Use this command if you do not have styles defined that determine layout for your form.  (see video)

Chainsaw – Clears Alignments

The chainsaw will remove all HorizontalAlignments, VerticalAlignments, Margins, MinHeights, MinWidths and from CheckBox, RadioButton, Label, TextBlock will remove height and widths and on TextBox will remove height.  Will set all Grid Rows to Auto.  Will remove Name and x:Name if enabled.

Use this command is you have a styles defined that determines layout for your form.  (see video)

Modify Control Tags on Create

If this option is checked the following controls will be affected when you create the control using the ToolBox.

StackPanel and Grid – Alignments and Name cleared  (note: when the StackPanel is created inside a GroupBox or Expander, the tag modifications are ignored and overridden by the designer.)

TextBox, TextBlock, Label, CheckBox, RadioButton – smaller sizes than the Visual Studio defaults and Named is cleared.  The smaller sizes widths were 120, now 80, except TextBox which is 100.  You can play around with control creation to see if this makes sense for you.

Modify Control Tags and Chainsaw Clears Name

If you want control names cleared by the Chainsaw or the control Modify Control Tags on Create feature check this menu option.  To turn off name clearing, uncheck this menu option.

Video

PLEASE view this short tutorial video.  You will get a full and quick understanding of this great feature.

This video is on my SkyDrive.  Silverlight Streaming is being discontinued and won’t let me upload any more video files.  Like many others, I’m trying to find an alternate location to host all my training videos.  Relocating and re-pointing all my videos will be a huge PIA.  Any suggestions for hosting would be greatly appreciated.

The below video can be downloaded and viewed.  Click the link to be taken to my SkyDrive.

  XAML Power Toys 2010 Beta2 for Cider Tutorial Video (13 minutes)

Downloads – Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 ONLY

This software will not work in the final release of Visual Studio 2010.  That includes RC/RTM releases.  I will release a new version when RC (release candidates) are published.

Remember – Please build your projects before attempting to create forms, ViewModels or using the Field List.

Please set your Control Defaults after installing, new options have been added.

Download now comes from my Windows Live Sky Drive.

Microsoft employees please read this:

If you are using the final Beta2 release these links and this software will work for you.

If not please  email me and I’ll send you an internal drop location you can get this software from.  (Just look me up in the Global address book.)

XAML Power Toys 2010 for Cider – for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v1.0.1 Release (459 KB)

XAML Power Toys 2010 for Cider – for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v1.0.1 Source Code not required (85 KB)

Alternate Download Site

Some corporate firewalls do not allow access to Windows Live Sky Drive.  You can download the installer here.  Remember to rename the file from .doc to .zip.  This is a requirement of WordPress.

XAML Power Toys 2010 for Cider – for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v1.0.1 Release (459 KB)

Your Feedback

I can’t not over emphasize the the importance and the weight of your feedback on this block post.  My team (Cider Team that delivers the WPF & Silverlight Designer) is eager to hear from customers on features you need in the WPF & Silverlight Designer and XAML Editor.

Close

Hope you use and enjoy XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 for Cider.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2

October 25, 2009

This post is the home page for XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2.  Please post all comments and suggestions for this version on this post.

XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 has all the same features as XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2008 except as noted below.  Please use the XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2008 page as a reference for how the the features work.  Please download this version of the software below.

During development of XAML Power Toys for Beta2 I ran into some bugs that are being corrected for the final release of Visual Studio 2010.  As a result I had to cut a few features for this release.

The below image displays the menu for XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2.  Users of the 2008 version will notice the “Group Into” submenu is gone; the “Tools” submenu is gone and that “Create ViewModel for Class” is displayed in the this submenu but it shouldn’t.

The bottom line is, submenus are broken in Beta2 and there is no known workaround.

Notice I have moved “Set Control Defaults” and “About” features from the “Tools” submenu to this submenu.

XPT2010Menu

The other grayed out menu options are not enabled because no XAML was selected when the screen shot was taken.  All features on this menu work as advertised.  “Create ViewModel for Class” just displays here in error and will never be enabled.  It does work correctly in the C# and VB.NET Code Windows.

The good news is, the above software has been updated and works great in Visual Studio 2010 Beta2.

When the final release of Visual Studio 2010 is public I will release a new version without these limitations.

Downloads – Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 ONLY

Remember – Please build your projects before attempting to create forms, ViewModels or using the Field List.

Please set your Control Defaults after installing, new options have been added.

Download now comes from my Windows Live Sky Drive.

Download XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v5.1.0001 Release Installer (809 KB)

Download XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v5.1.0001 Source Code not required (594 KB)

Alternate Download Site

Some corporate firewalls do not allow access to Windows Live Sky Drive.  You can download the installer here.  Remember to rename the file from .doc to .zip.  This is a requirement of WordPress.

Download XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 v5.1.0001 Release Installer (809 KB)

Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 Known Issues

The below issues are known, being worked on and will be fixed for the RC/RTM milestone.

1.  Can’t Add Menu inside an AddIn

This problem was first reported on MS Connect. 

https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=462766&wa=wsignin1.0

  ReferencesBug

The workaround for this bug is to set the “Embod Interop Types” property to False for the “Microsoft.VisualStudio.CommandBars 8.0 Reference”

2.  Submenus keep repeating

When adding a submenu to a menu you have added in an AddIn, the submenus will repeat the entire menu tree instead of just showing the submenu items.

This is why I had to remove the “Group Into” submenu and features.  The submenus were simply unusable.

3.  Setup project “Client Framework” problems

When I first compiled the Setup project for this release, upon installation I kept getting a message that I had to install the .NET 4.0 Framework.  Obviously the full .NET framework was installed on the machine.

The only way I could get the message to not show up when running the Setup.exe, was to remove all references to the “Client Framework” within the solution.

Remember, in Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 all WPF and Class Library projects will by default target the “.NET 4.0 Client Framework.”  This is a good thing as it makes application distribution and installation easier for customers of your applications.

However, in this Beta2 release, to get the files to install from the output of the Setup project I had to remove all references to the “Client Framework.”

Close

Hope you use and enjoy XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2010 Beta2.

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.


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