In the previous days, I’ve received confirmation that I achieved the new certification
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: App Builder – it validates that you have the skills needed to build modern mobile and/or web applications and services.
The exams required are fully explained on the certification website: interestingly, the new MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) path is now a mandatory step for earning the MCSD and can be chosen between Web Applications and Universal Windows Platform.
A valuable post in the “Born to Learn” site describes the changes and the transition options available from the existing MCSD.
The new certifications will not have an expiry date, and there will be the possibility to re-earn them by passing every year an additional exam taken from a list of electives.
I’ve always been a great fan of XAML Behaviors: they help following good coding practices and keeping separation of concerns in your code. Ah, did I also mention that they help to write elegant code? 😉
Good news is that XAML Behaviors have been Open-Sourced and are available for download and contributions on GitHub: more information available in the official announcement here.
I already had fun submitting a couple of Pull Requests: head over to GitHub and enjoy!
I’ve just pushed to GitHub a first version of the Multi-Touch Behaviors containing a new sample targeting Windows 10 UWP (work in progress…) and some refactoring using shared projects in order to simplify the code and reusing it across different platforms.
For new contributions just send pull requests here!
A new version of the Player Framework targeting Windows 10 UWP is now available for download from Codeplex. Smooth Streaming support is provided via the Universal Smooth Streaming Client SDK available in the Visual Studio gallery.
PlayReady is now part of the UWP platform (read the original discussion here), so there is no additional SDK required.
Player Framework 3.0 can also be used on Windows 8.1 Store apps and supports both XAML and WinJS 4.
I’ve just received my copy of NDepend v5.0: this new version adds several great features to the product including
- Support for Visual Studio 2013 (yeah!)
- New Dashboard Panel
- Focusing on Recent Rules violation
- UI Enhancements
- Trend Monitoring
- Churning Rules and Queries
- Report Enhancements
Click here to read a detailed description of the new capabilities and access the download links (14 days trial available).
I already blogged about NDepend basic features here: I was positively impressed by the capabilities of this tool by fellow MVP Patrick Smacchia.
NDepend permits you to examine .NET projects and highlight different metrics in the code in order to better analyse what areas of your solution needs refactoring for improving performance, code maintainability, application stability and applying best coding practices (just to name a few).
Some features, already available in the previous versions of NDepend, include tools for visually representing dependencies between classes, defining custom rules on code, explore code diffs and analyse code coverage. These ones are particularly helpful when the size of the project grows: a visual representation helps the developer to better identify areas that needs more work (and then save development time).
Recently Patrick contacted me for highlighting the new features available in NDepend v4.1. I was very pleased to find support for Windows Store apps but another capability got immediately my attention: CQLinq.
This is a killer feature: CQLinq (acronym for Code Query LINQ) enables the developer “to query the code” for retrieving information about it. Some simple examples of queries could be:
- find me the methods too big / too complex;
- find the methods added but poorly covered by tests;
- get information about naming conventions;
- any other query you like: the possibilities are not limited at all!
Technically these queries can be constructed using the traditional LINQ syntax and the types defined in the NDepend.CoreModel of the NDepend API.
The best place to start using CQLinq is here by exploring the dedicated section on the site which contains a ton of different examples to start: I recommend to try and run the available samples which are an excellent starting point and then modifying them for custom queries.
I’ve been really impressed by CQLinq and I can’t wait to use it on real projects to enhance the quality of the code and then reduce the time needed for new implementations.
Happy coding everyone!
I’ve received several requests for publishing the MultiTouch Behaviors on the NuGet gallery so I created a simple package containing support for the Windows Phone and Silverlight platforms.
To enable your project for MultiTouch, just run the following command in the Package Manager Console and all the libraries and dependencies will be added to the Visual Studio project:
PM> Install-Package MultiTouchBehaviors
Alternatively just search for the package selecting Tools->Library Package Manager->Manage NuGet Packages for Solution from Visual Studio 2012.
If you are interested in creating a NuGet package for your open-source project, register an account here in the gallery and follow the instructions described in the section “Creating and Publishing a Package“: they are very clear and contain detailed information about the process.
The package definition for MultiTouch is also available in the Source Code section on CodePlex.
The last week has been very exciting for Microsoft developers: The //build/ conference in Redmond was full of amazing content including Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 SDK, Microsoft Surface, Xbox SmartGlass, Kinect for Windows and the new language TypeScript.
Unfortunately I hadn’t the possibility to participate at the conference but had some free time during the week-end to watch some of the recorded sessions available here on Channel9: this is really a great resource and I suggest everyone interested in Microsoft technologies to download some videos and have fun with it.
I decided then to take a look at the new features available in Windows Phone 8 and the related SDK: Justin Angel has a great article about this topic in the Nokia Developer Community.
To get my hands dirty I moved then on my personal Open-Source project “Multi-Touch Behaviors” on CodePlex: this is a set of Epression Blend Behaviors for different platforms including Windows Phone, Silverlight and WPF for applying gestures and manipulations (like the one available in the “old” ScatterView control) to generic XAML elements.
The project was not yet updated to Windows Phone 8 so I took this opportunity and experimented with the new SDK: this was really a great experience since I was able to upgrade quickly all my samples to the new platform using the same codebase used for the Silverlight version.
Unfortunately I haven’t the possibility to test the performance on a real Windows Phone 8 device at the moment but the first impressions are really positive.
I have already checked in the code for WP8 here, I’m planning more testing and development in the future.
Happy XAMLing everyone 🙂
David Catuhe has announced the availability of Babylon, a 3D engine written to demonstrate the power of Silverlight 5 Beta.
The source code is available for download here together with many other samples for Silverlight 3D in the MSDN Code samples gallery.
Also check out these useful resources by Aaron Oneal:
This year I’ll be presenting about “Silverlight, Multi-Touch and Natural User Interfaces” at the Techdays WPC 2010 conference in Milan on November, 25 2010.
The same day I’ll be also at the MVP booth, if you’re attending the conference come and say Hi! 🙂