Dynamic Live Tiles in Windows Phone 7

September 30, 2011

One of the attractive features of Windows Phone 7 is the tiles in the start menu. It’s pretty easy to point the main application tile (and secondary tiles) to static URLs. It’s a bit more difficult to create a dynamic image for a live tile. Starting with tiles The easiest way to start is by tweaking the WMManifest.xml file (or even easier, but less flexible) the Project Properties Application Tab: The title appears as text under the background image. Ideally, the image should be 173x173 pixels in size. Otherwise, WP7 will stretch/crop as appropriate....

Encapsulation & Exposure

September 26, 2011

I like to keep a tight leash on my classes. No unnecessary exposure. Consider the following simple class: class PersonnelManager {     List<Person> _people = new List<Person>();     public void Add(Person person) {         // do some validation         _people.Add(person); ...
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Preview tools for Windows 8

September 13, 2011

I am one of the unfortunate ones that didn’t make it to Microsoft’s BUILD conference. But I managed to be home in time for the live streaming of the first keynote. Just finished watching (on and off) the live stream of Steven Sinofsky’s keynote on Windows 8 and friends. Definitely some intriguing stuff there! For me, as a developer kind of guy, the C++ comeback is noteworthy. Finally, C++ libraries that are on par with .NET libraries (and unfortunately HTML and JavaScript as well ). C++ has been neglected for too long. The best example (I think)...

C++ Tip: Go away, sprintf!

September 5, 2011

Recently I did some teaching of an Advanced C++ course, for various audiences. I noticed that many people coming from a C background sometimes have a hard time abandoning the “old way” of C style programming and thinking. This is hardly new or surprising. I try, whenever possible, to point out the C++ way of doing things, where a legacy C alternative exists. One of the obvious culprits is the infamous printf C function. That’s probably the first function to be learned by a C (and maybe even C++) programmer, and it’s a surprisingly complex function. Its prototype...
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Reminder: WPDUG September Meeting

September 4, 2011

This Wednesday (the 7th) will hold a Windows Platform Developer User Group meeting in Microsoft’s offices in Ra’anana (Israel). Our first session will be about adding realtime and deterministic capabilities to Windows and its impact on the system and the ways to program such a system (all based on addons by a company called TenAsys). The second session will demonstrate useful (and undocumented) debugging tips and tricks in Visual Studio (primarily for native developers). Should be interesting for all you Visual C++ developers, and others interested in low level coding. Use this link to...