Using Something You Can’t Implement Yourself

January 30, 2013

I have found that the biggest obstacle I face when adopting a new language, technology, or framework is using something I don't fully understand how to implement myself. I read hundreds of blog posts every week talking about language extensions to JavaScript, cool new iOS application frameworks, and brand-new SaaS offerings on top of Windows Azure -- just as a small sample. Obviously, just using some piece of technology or adapting a sample to my needs is usually not that hard. The thing is, I can't bring myself to adding code to my arsenal if I don't understand how...

Taking Windows Azure Media Services on a Real-World Spin

January 20, 2013

During the last few weeks I have been involved in a very interesting project with lots of potential, using Windows Azure Media Services. In a nutshell, Windows Azure Media Services supports encoding, management, and streaming of media from Windows Azure, in a completely hosted solution. The client requested a proof-of-concept end-to-end solution that involves uploading existing media assets to Windows Azure, encoding them to smooth streaming formats, and delivering them to an audience using Windows computers, iOS devices, and Android devices. (The client’s current solution involves shipping of media files to a third party company, which takes care...

P/Invoke with C++ bool Return Values

January 17, 2013

I encountered an interesting gotcha today, which I thought would be interesting to share with you. The symptoms were the following: I wrote a simple C++ function exported from a DLL, and tried to invoke it using a P/Invoke wrapper. The C++ function returns a bool, and was declared as follows (the code was simplified for expository purposes): extern "C" __declspec(dllexport) bool IsPrime(int n) {     if (n <= 1) return false;     if (n == 2) return true;     if (n % 2...
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Announcing: SELA Developer Practice, May 5-9, 2013

January 14, 2013

I’m very happy to announce our next conference—the biggest one yet—SELA Developer Practice, May 5-9, 2013. This time we opened the call for papers to local and international speakers, and here are the results, in numbers: 5 conference days: 3 days of full-day workshops and 2 days of breakout sessions in 4 tracks each 37 speakers, including 11 international speakers Among the speakers are 11 Microsoft MVPs and tech rockstars including Jesse Liberty, Shawn Wildermuth, and Udi Dahan A total of 76 sessions...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services Unofficial Android SDK: Authentication Support

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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