Community report-Melbourne Azure UG May

Last month during the Windows Azure user group there were 2 main presentations.

The first one gave a quick 15minute overview of the latest news in the Windows Azure community


https://vimeo.com/44444090

The 2nd talk by Aidan Casey (@aidanjcasey) talked about how you can build Node.js apps on top of Windows Azure.

  • He gives an introduction on what Node.Js is
  • Reviews the tooling that is provided by Windows Azure
  • Demonstrates how to build and deploy a simple chat application
  • And finally explains in what situations Node.Js should be used


https://vimeo.com/44452495

By David Burela

I’m speaking at DDD Sydney

The “Developer Developer Developer” conferences have consistently been a great event. If you are in Sydney be sure to purchase your ticket and come this weekend! It is only $25 for a full day of talks, food & giveaways.

http://www.dddsydney.com

I’m also proud to say that I’ll be speaking this year on Windows 8 Development 101: The basics of XAML and ViewModels
The Windows 8 platform will soon allow people to build “Metro style applications” and sell them on the Windows Marketplace.
Join David Burela as he takes anyone who is new to Desktop development through the basics of developing for Windows 8. XAML, Databinding, DataTemplates and ViewModels will all be introduced.
Discover how to separate your UI from your business logic, how to create List Views that display your data richly, plus much more.
The techniques here can be applied to any XAML based application: WinRT, WP7, WPF, SL5.

By David Burela

The Microsoft surface tablet

It is difficult to have not come across the recent announcements, that Microsoft will be selling their own tablet known as the “Microsoft Surface Tablet”.
Rather than writing “yet another coverage article”, I’ll instead compile some of my favourite links & info.

The ‘coolest’ thing about the entire announcement is the integrated cover on the tablet, and how it folds out into a touch keyboard.
Be sure to check out the official website for some high resolution images http://www.microsoft.com/surface

The coverage

The specs

image
Specs taken from https://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/renderingassets/surfacespecsheet.pdf

The Images

gallery_2_large

image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpzu3HM2CIo


From http://www.scottlogic.co.uk/blog/colin/2012/06/microsoft-surface-vs-apple-ipad-a-visual-comparison/

What about the old surface tables?

The technology has been rebranded to PixelSense, with the devices being called the Samsung SUR40 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/pixelsense/default.aspx
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-surface-tablets-did-a-table-just-shrink-down-to-a-tablet/12970 

By David Burela

Background tasks in Windows 8 failing instantly

I have seen an instance where trying to instantiate a background task in Windows 8 results in it failing instantly, or throwing an UnauthorizedAccessException.

This happens when you have put the task is in a 2nd project whose build output is set to Class Library. Simply go into the project settings, and change the Output type to WinMD file.

image

By David Burela

My notes from the Windows Phone 8 announcement

Note: the first few screenshots were low quality, the later images are fine once the connection improved. I’ll update the images once the session is downloadable

Summary

(click to read more)

Windows 8 app finishing school–Melbourne

Are you in Melbourne and building Windows 8 applications for the store? Want to get some help to put that extra bit of polish on your app?

This Friday & Saturday there are events where there will be experts on hand to help answer your questions and give suggestions on how to make your application *pop*. You can came to either days, no need to attend both.
I’ll be helping out on both days, so I hope to see you there!

Details
Cost: FREE!
Date: Friday 22nd June & Saturday 23rd June
Location: Melbourne CBD.
Registration details: http://www.lalaninja.com.au/2012/06/13/first-windows-8-finishing-school-melbourne/

By David Burela

I am now the APAC Regional Technical Evangelist for Infragistics

I am very happy to announce that I have accepted a role at Infragistics as the Regional Technical Evangelist for the APAC region. I accepted the role last month, but I have just been way too busy to write a dedicated blog post about it.

I am currently in the USA visiting their offices in New Jersey. Their offices are amazing, and I hadn’t realised just how many hundreds of people Infragistics had working for them until I visited their office. I have had an amazing time here in the USA, absorbing the wide breadth of products that they have. I am getting very excited to get back to Australia and start sharing all this knowledge.

To give a brief overview, we have wide range of .Net solutions (WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, ASP.Net, etc.) as well as some jaw dropping jQuery controls (that work well with ASP.Net MVC). We also just released the first beta of our native iOS controls! There is so much going on. http://www.infragistics.com/

I’ve been attending TechEd in Orlando, Florida. Doing demos at our booth all week.

I am also a technical resource available for anyone that is curious to know more about Infragistics products in Australia. Send me an email at “dburela (@) Infragistics.com” and I’ll be happy to spend some time with you.

Below I have attached some photos of the Infragistics office.

IMG_8867IMG_8870IMG_8871IMG_8879IMG_8884IMG_8886IMG_8887IMG_8888IMG_8891IMG_8895IMG_8897IMG_8898

By David Burela

WinRT storage throwing UnauthorizedAccessException

I’ve been programming in .Net for many years now, but this one threw me off just because I was treating the WinRT api differently to standard .Net classes.

I was opening streams, writing to a file, calling .FlushAsync(), then later trying to open the same file again. I would continuously get an UnauthorizedAccessException. The answer was a simple “you forgot to dispose of the stream”, yes it is obvious in hindsight.

The solution is to simply call .Dispose() on your stream once you are finished with it, or surround it with a using statement.

By David Burela

What Windows 8 is missing – An airplay icon

I’ve had an iPad since they were first released, and my iPad 3 is my favourite tech device (Instapaper while sitting on the couch is the killer app). But it meant that i was able to pass my iPad 1 off to my girl friend.

At this point, one of my friends suggested that I should purchase an Apple TV as they are so cheap! I purchased one, and suddenly my girlfriend was watching TV shows by herself on the TV via iPad + apple TV AirPlay. I’d shown her a number of times how she can try getting things working herself with a laptop, through PC cables, windows media centre machines, etc. But it wasn’t until she saw the air play icon within all of her iPad apps, that she started taking advantage of connecting devices to the TV.

Which brings me to Windows 8. Microsoft keeps touting the “Play To” feature as a killer app for the OS, but unfortunately it just is not visible enough. I’m an avid user of Windows 8, but it took me active research on the internet to find out how to do the same thing with windows 8. The answer: you need to be in a Metro app that supports it, be in the correct place in the application, know that the app supports it, so that you know to go into the charms bar, select devices, select the correct device, etc.

Contrast this to the iOS method: whenever you are viewing media that you can stream to another device, you see this icon
image

And here is a screenshot of it in a typical media player app
airplay_screen
It is right there, built into the OS, and 3rd party developers know to use that standard icon. It is a design guideline that has helped make the feature so prominent through so many apps.

The closest I can find is a Windows Media Player Play To icon,
image
but it definitely isn’t “Metro” enough to be embedded in UIs.

If Microsoft wants to become a serious contender in the tablet + home device market, then I suggest they start coming up with their own standard icon for developers to embed into their apps, similar to the AirPlay icon.
Get on it Microsoft!

By David Burela

Online source control for your personal projects

Overview: This blog post covers how you can use “GitHub for Windows” with BitBucket to give you free online source control storage for your projects. Phil Haack recently blogged on how you can use GitHub for Windows with git repositories hosted elsewhere, I thought I would provide a step by step guide on how to do this with Bitbucket.

Many of us work on little side projects, it is what geeks do. But I am still surprised at the number of people that give me a blank look when I ask them what source control they are using on their personal projects. “We use TFS at work”, is the usual response, “but I don’t do anything with my own code. I just zip it up at now and then”.

Lets change this. It couldn’t be easier to get started!

Git is a great tool for doing source control locally, it supports change sets so that you can see how your code evolved over time. Unfortunately it can be difficult to get started with Git due to the number of command line tools and new concepts that need to be learnt. This is where GitHub for Windows comes in. It lets you easily create Git source code repositories and check your change sets in, via a nice visual interface.

To compliment this, there are 2 main websites that allow you to synchronise your local Git repositories with online cloud storage, meaning that your source code is safe from your computer blowing up, and also allows you to work across multiple PCs (or team mates).

  1. https://GitHub.com/ – Free for public repositories, but you pay for private repositories
  2. https://Bitbucket.org/ – Free unlimited private repositories, but you pay to add more than 3 team members

Personally, I use GitHub for anything that I share with other people (code samples, tutorials, etc.) and I use Bitbucket for my own personal projects. I previously blogged about my use of Github https://davidburela.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/developer-blog-banter-3-responsecommunity-coding/

Connecting Bitbucket with GitHub for Windows

It is really easy to connect and start backing up your projects to Bitbucket.

  1. Install GitHub for windows http://windows.github.com/
  2. Sign up for a free account at https://bitbucket.org/
  3. From Bitbucket, select Repositories –> Create new repository.
  4. Create a new Git repository
    image
  5. Once created, you will be taken to the repository’s home page. Copy the repository url
    image
  6. From the start menu, open the Git Shell and paste in the git command that was copied in the previous step. This will create a new folder, create a new git repository inside that folder, and link that repository with the online repository on Bitbucket.org. This means you’ll be able to keep the 2 in sync easily.
    image
  7. Open GitHub for Windows.
  8. To let GitHub for Windows know about the repository, simply drag the folder from windows explorer onto the application window. This will allow you to commit change sets and synchronise with the online repository.
  9. Start adding files to the folder (or create a new Visual Studio project inside that folder), then commit change sets periodically.
    image
  10. Once you have committed a number of change sets to your local git source repository, push the change sets up to your Bitbucket account by clicking the publish button.
    image
  11. If you browse to your repositories home page, you will see all of the change sets synchronised.
    image
  12. To retrieve the source code from another machine, simply repeat the first few steps to install GitHub for Windows, open a Git shell to run the initial command and drag the folder into the Github for windows app to start committing and publishing change sets.

Summary

With free tools and online storage, there are NO reasons for you to not use some form of source control to keep your projects safe. Start using it on one of your projects now and save your code from a lost hard drive!

If you want to start learning advanced git concepts, then here are some resources to help you get started

By David Burela