Archive for the ‘Silverlight’ Category

VS2008 and .NET 3.5 SP1 Success

August 12, 2008 Comments off

Danger, danger!Well, I’m 1/4 now upgrading the VMs to SP1.  The “one” that worked is the one I least expected.

Machine 1:

A simple VM used for a basic web project.  C#, Web Developer Tools installed—not even joined to the network.  No “hotfixes” were installed, but I ran the tool anyway just to be sure.  It chugged for a while and then threw an exception.  Feeling daring, I went ahead and tried to upgrade to SP1 and it didn’t even detect Visual Studio or .NET 3.5.  Hah.

Machine 2:

A prototyping VM that I copy web apps onto to run and test—nothing major, just VS2008, C#, web test tools, etc.  This one did have SP1 beta on it that I was dinking with as well as various Silverlight tools.  The patch removal tool worked just fine.  After a reboot, the SP1 installation got about 20% complete then McAfee (mcshield.exe) threw about 70 exceptions all at once and flooded the task bar.  The system then BSOD’d and reboot.  I tried another couple times to install SP1 (I can’t disable McAfee, ePO prevents it) with no success.

Machine 3:

This VM provides a test system for our customers to connect to, evaluate applications, and such.  VS2008 and .NET 3.5 (no SP1 beta) was installed more for convenience than anything else.  The system isn’t in use for the next few weeks, so worth a shot on this one.  I didn’t run the patch removal tool (perhaps that was my mistake) on this workstation and proceeded with installing SP1.  About 80% through the installation, devenv.exe crashed and asked to be debugged—of course, when I tried to debug, it crashed.  Hah.

Machine 4:

This is the one that worked; however, it’s the oddest, most broken of the bunch.  It’s had SP1 beta on it, various MVC preview builds, Astoria, bunches of Silverlight tools as well as various libraries and code bunches I have for newsgroup and forum posts.  The patch removal tool found a bunch of stuff and remove it without any issues.  After the reboot, SP1 installed (took about 45 minutes) and the system reboot.

And it works…

It works!

Seriously… why?

I still have a few VMs left to dink with and plan to throw it on my development workstation later this week after I wrap up a few projects and have some down time (I had planned to rebuild the entire workstation anyway—so good opportunity).

I hope, after I find some basic installation method, to have time to dig in to the features…

Silverlight 2 Developer Reference Now Available

March 17, 2008 Comments off

As I’ve spent the past few days dinking with Silverlight 2, Brad Abrams has made the MIX08 Silverlight 2 Reference poster available for download and subsequent printing. 

There are a few versions available and kudos to the team who put these out—they’re great.  We have plans at our office to create a “map” pull down with the .NET Framework, various other references from Oracle and our vendors, and now this.  Cool.


Spring Break, oh how I love thee.

March 14, 2008 Comments off

The beach.Spring Break is great—especially when you work somewhere where it’s mandatory and paid

This is the first year in… well, ever, that I won’t have to attend college classes during my spring break holiday and can take the time to relax, catch up on projects I’ve been putting off, and sleep later than “almost going to be late” 6:00 AM.

Over the next week, I’m going to attempt to:

  • Catch up on all the new MVC bits from Release 2.  I really missed out being unconscious for a week with the flu and haven’t had time this week to dig in.
  • Now that Silverlight 2 is out, actually CARE about it.  Silverlight 1.0 was “neat,” but encapsulating videos into little boxes didn’t really appeal to me.  Full UI development does.
  • Build a desk, or a table, or something.  I’ve (well, my dad and I) had plans to build a new computer desk, recessed lighting, and shelving into my office area.  He’s been busy, I’ve been busy—it just hasn’t gotten done started.  There will be power tool usage, I swear it.  *Tim the Toolman laugh goes here*
  • WebGallery2 updates. I have made a few cosmetic and code changes to WebGallery2 to address performance issues and I need to get those changes tidied up and posted.

All in all, I honestly plan to spend as little time doing “work” as I can next week and just relax.  Of course, as fate may have it, it’s been sunny and in the 70’s all this week and is supposed to rain and be in the 40’s and 50’s all next week.  *sigh*

(Oh, and no, no beach for me—Kansas is about as landlocked as you could possibly get.)


So many .NET Frameworks – Which is which?

December 10, 2007 3 comments

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft have been hammering out frameworks and structures for .NET Development. 

Microsoft Voltron Volta

Earlier last week, Microsoft Live Labs released the prototype of Microsoft Volta, a “let’s do AJAX and control the DOM without writing JavaScript” framework that is pretty cool.  I’ve whipped up a few examples that I’ll post up later today. 

The dream is that the system manages the tiered architecture of design—and automagically refactors your code onthe fly.  Think of the syntax an odd mix of Astoria (web-based data services), Nikhil Kothari’s Script# access to the DOM from C#-esque code, and Volta’s new twist of tags and attributes for async transactions—all mixed into one bit application.

So, is this the platform of the future?  AJAX-ala-C# and full DOM control with automagic architecture separation?

And yes, I keep accidently calling it Voltron.

Microsoft MVC Framework (ala 3.5 Extensions CTP)

Finally!  Late last night, ScottGu announced that the .NET 3.5 Extentions were available; read all about it and download the bits from his blog.

The MVC framework sites at the same .NET revolutionary stage as LINQ (in my opinion)—something that .NET has been missing for quite a while.  During the short works I’ve had with Java, the clear break between the layers of development made swapping in and out forms quite simplistic.  I followed a similar path with .NET development, but this required a bit more work and didn’t flow quite as easily (and you had to hand code all the handlers).

So, is this the platform of the future?  True tiered separation at design time and a step closer to the Ruby/Java world?

Silverlight 1.1 2.0 Alpha

While the Silverlight still boasts the 1.1 version number, the drastic changes between the two version (and the rumors from Microsoft) will probably see it at 2.0 when it hits CTP.  I would like to have a few good examples to show regarding Silverlight (the prototypes on are fun to play with), however, I’ve yet to get the VS2008 Extentions to work—I can create, but it won’t accept that I have Silverlight installed.  :(.

So, is this the platform of the future?  Rich, interactive applications using XAML markup and XML templates?

.NET WebForms Development

This isn’t new, but the changes in .NET 3.5 for WebForms and AJAX can’t discount this medium.  I, for one, am still more comfortable with this than the “new fangled” technologies and find the latest tools that are out (VS2008, the new controls in .NET 3.5, and even the extensions that keep coming) are making WebForms easier and easier to create.  Also, while the “new” may be cool, we have a slew of existing applications that can’t be forgotten.

So, is this the platform of the future?  The pluggable framework and web forms that allows for the easy creation of anything from personal web sites to enterprise applications?


For now, the my gut feeling is that the “platform of the future” is what works for the situation.  I can think of a few of our minor “web applications” that have no need for the complexity of Volta, MVC, or Silverlight; however, I cannot ignore the specific appears to each of the technologies for future projects.  I do not believe that these REPLACE our current WebForms, but simply add additional tools to the toolkit (and requirements for us to learn).

It keeps it new and exciting!


Silverlight 1.1 Tools for VS2008 Available

November 27, 2007 Comments off

The Visual Web Developer team is on the ball and pushed out the bits for the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha add-in for Visual Studio 2008 RTM. 

Also, according to ScottGu, the “next public preview of Silverlight will include a ton of new runtime features, as well as a significantly enhanced VS 2008 tooling support.  I’ll be blogging more details about this shortly.”  Excellent.

Features for this add-in release are:

  • VB and C# project templates for Silverlight 1.1 development
  • Website item templates for Silverlight 1.0 development with javascript
  • XAML markup editing with colorization and intellisense
  • Intellisense against XAML elements in VB and C# code-behind files
  • Consumption of Silverlight 1.1 components inside Web Application and Website projects
  • Ability to create Web Services references in a VB and C# Silverlight component
  • Project compatibility with Expression Blend to enable developers and designers to collaborate on Silverlight projects
  • Very cool!

    You can download the toolkit here or read more about the release on the VWD Team’s blog here.  Also, if you don’t have the 1.1 Alpha installed, you can get it here for Windows or here for the Macintosh.  These are the September Refresh installations and are still in Alpha, so keep them in your testing environments.


    So many new technologies… where to start?

    June 12, 2007 Comments off

    The past few months have kept developers hopping with new technologies.  It’s actually difficult to know what cool new technology to latch on to and learn—because it seems that they are coming and going overnight.  Summertime is typically a bit more quiet at my office, so what’s on my list to play with this summer?  The ( ) numbers are somewhat the priority I have for learning them… 1000 is something that is my high priority and it tapers down from there.


    • Scrum (1000) – I’d love to take some time this fall and go to a ScrumMaster course in Denver, CO and really surround myself in it.  Many of the practices are odd to apply here, but over the next few months, we’re slowly going to be adding more developers into the mix; and more collaborative working.
    • TDD (800) – Even on the small scale that I’ve used, I see so much value to TDD; I just need to find a way to work it into our environment and methods.
    • Interactive Testing (400) – I’ve been rolling out NUnit tests for quite a while now, but never really saw the value in tests that I had to KNOW the answer to… The mocks (Rhino) look pretty interesting.
    • Architecture (600) – A lot of what I do now focuses more on building architecture and laying out rather than the actual coding (I code my own projects still, yeah…).  I am NOT as educated on this as I’d like to be, but honestly am not sure where to go beyond books and reviewing how others do it.  There are no leaders in our organization for this.  Hmmm.


    • ReSharper (1000) – I’ve used it for … hmm… two years now for C#; but the more I read, I’ve never “used” it, I need to change that.
    • Orcas (500) – Not really a “got to know,” but I just need to explore everything that’s changed in Orcas.


    • WCSF (800) – I’ve only used the Web Client Software Factory a few times, and for nothing that went into production. 
    • Acropolis / SCSF (600) – Ehh, this is a case where it seems like one technology is beating up another.  Acropolis looks VERY cool and slick on Vista for little applications, but I haven’t narrowed down what it offers yet besides “slickness”.
    • NHibernate (800) – I need to figure out what the pros and cons are to NHibernate or if I just want to focus on LINQ for SQL/Objects/everything.
    • Windsor/Castle/MonoRail (400) – While not things that I see getting implemented here at the office, the technologies greatly interest me.  I’ve been a bit captivated with RoR for a while now, just not the time to investigate it. 
    • Silverlight (500) – Just coolness factor.  I’ve loathed Flash for years and welcome a replacement. 
    • .NET  3.x (1000) – 3.0 came and went without much notice and now we’re to 3.5.  I hope to tackle some WPF, WCF, (D)LINQ before it’s already passè.
    • SharePoint 2007 (400) – We’ll eventually migrate from SPS2003 to MOSS2007. I need to spend some time with the technology and learn it.

    Looks like a busy summer.

    Popfly — More cool tools to play with…

    June 2, 2007 Comments off

    I recieved my invitation to join the Popfly Alpha at  It’s an online tool to create web sites, content mashups, and such… all using Silverlight.  It’s an AMAZING proof of concept in regards to the power of .NET 3.5 and I must find some time in the coming weeks to play around with it.

    I built a quick simple project to goes out, hits my photos web site (, pulls down the thumbnails and URLs, and then creates a slideshow.  Very cool… and very broken.  I did “something” and it broke, so as soon as I unbreak it, I’ll post up the public link.

    Check out the screencast for Popfly here.