Wrapping Up DevWeek 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I have landed from London six hours ago after a wonderful week at DevWeek. Three talks and a workshop made for a pretty busy schedule, but I still had time to enjoy London, with its unusually sunny weather. What's New in C++ 11 My first talk, at 9:30am in the morning, attracted a small audience of C++ developers. C++ 11 is a very extensive new standard, and if you read code developed in the modern C++ style, you might think it has nothing to do with your favorite language of the 1990's. Indeed, I tried to illustrate the major...
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Android Gesture Recognition and Animation with Xamarin

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In this post we'll take a look at how to recognize simple and complex touch gestures in an Android application and apply animations to views on screen. Touch gestures are a fundamental way for users to interact with mobile applications, and animations are key to designing a pleasant user experience. As with all other Xamarin APIs, the native (Java) versions are very similar, so it should be easy to port the examples below to Java if you need to. Let's get started with recognizing gestures. Gesture Recognition Android's support for touch begins with the onTouchEvent method that every View-derived class can override....
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Canada Tour 2014: Toronto User Groups and ConFoo

Friday, February 28, 2014

I spent a great week in Canada despite the super-cold weather for my taste. After all, in Israel, sub-freezing temperatures are enough of a reason to cancel school and bring public transportation to a halt. So for me, stepping outside in -15 degree weather was pretty much of a shock. The week started with three days in Toronto, visiting the Sela Canada branch and delivering two talks at user groups - an introduction to Android development with Eclipse and Xamarin, and an introduction to Node.js on Windows Azure. Then, I flew in to ConFoo, a conference for web developers in Montreal....
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Sela Open House: Android Development 101 with Eclipse and Xamarin

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Last week I had the pleasure of delivering a free half-day introduction to Android development at our Haifa branch. The day focused on both native application development on Android (with Eclipse and ADT) and C# development with Xamarin. We developed a simple "todo list" application that displays pending tasks, tracks the user location, and stores tasks in persistent storage on the device. Here are some useful links I promised to post during the session, which you might find useful when replicating this application's functionality: Download the Android SDK Bundle (get started with Android development in Eclipse) Xamarin.Android (get started with Android development...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 3: Authentication

Monday, April 8, 2013

Last time around, we explored the user interface and the server script for our apartment listings application. Today we'll see how to add authentication to the mix, and limit certain operations only to authenticated users. This is particularly important in the Rent a Home application, because you don't want anonymous users deleting and updating apartment listings! In fact, you'd probably want only the user that created an apartment listing to have the right to update or delete it. NOTE: Windows Azure Mobile Services is configured by default to enable any user with the application URL and application key to perform...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 2: UI and Data

Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the previous installment, we saw the general UI of the application. We'll now turn to see how that UI was implemented on all four platforms. If you're looking for a quick start or documentation on Mobile Services, you should take a look at the Windows Azure Mobile Developer Center. Android The model class for apartment listings on Android is the following: public class Apartment implements Serializable { private int id; private String address; private boolean published; private int bedrooms; private double latitude; private double longitude; private String username; //Getters and setters omitted...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 1: Introduction

Friday, March 29, 2013

For my Visual Studio Live! talk on Windows Azure Mobile Services, I decided to go beyond the "todolist" quick start samples and implement an application that illustrates more framework-specific and platform-specific features. The application is called "Rent a Home", and helps users share apartments for rent and view apartments for rent on a map around their location. Although this is not a production quality application -- for one thing, there is no way to contact the apartment owner! -- it's a more realistic illustration of why you would want a shared backend for your mobile application on all four...

Windows Azure Mobile Services Unofficial Android SDK: Authentication Support

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I totally forgot to blog about it, but my unofficial SDK has had authentication support for a few days now. This has been pretty easy to implement, actually, thanks to OAuth and the Mobile Services backend. If you haven’t gotten started with WAMS authentication yet, you really should try it out. It’s easy as pie, really, and you can set yourself up with 3-4 authentication providers in a matter of several minutes. I’ll leave the rest to this great tutorial on authentication with WAMS. So, if you’ve got the latest version from GitHub, you can now do...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services — Unofficial Android SDK

Monday, December 24, 2012

Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) is probably the most exciting Microsoft technology I have encountered in the last 5 years at least. This is a cross-platform framework that serves as a backend for your mobile applications, taking care of concerns such as data access and storage, user authentication, and push notifications. WAMS is the logical next step after PaaS offerings: it is a complete backend-as-a-service, which takes care of most (if not all) your server-side needs. For a general introduction to Windows Azure Mobile Services, I recommend that you take a look at the Windows Azure Developer Center, or --...
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