Archive for December, 2010

Podcast #2 – Orchard Project 0.8

Microsoft Orchard is an exciting new CMS – Application Development Platform from Microsoft. It’s free, flexible and powerful.

As Orchard approaches V1 release Joe catches up with the driving forces behind the project!

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Dynamic Page Menus in WebMatrix Templates with CSS and jQuery.

A basic practice in software development of all types is to use mechanisms that allow us to write and maintain code in a single place no matter how many difference places that code is used throughout our entire application.

When we’re building web sites, and more specifically web pages, the reuse of UI code can be especially challenging as the nature of web applications are stateless and in most models there is a 1-to-1 relationship between endpoints and “files”.

In ASP.NET WebForms we have master pages.

In Microsoft WebMatrix we have Layout Templates.

One of the advantages of the general move towards “standards based” web development is that HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can generally be used across different web development platforms and the technique described below can be used no matter which ASP.NET Development model you choose. (WebForms, ASP.NET MVC, WebMatrix)

I’ll use WebMatrix for the example.

Given a WebMatrix site created using the default “Starter” template the following Home Page and About Page can be displayed when the project is run.

Note that only the text inside the white area of the pages is different in the Default.cshtml and About.cshtml pages.

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Building a Sample WebMatrix Application

Microsoft-WebMatrix-1278498927

Last year I built a sample WebForms application modeled after the original iBuySpy ecommerce application called TailSpin Spyworks.

I thought it would be interesting to build something “real” using Microsoft WebMatrix.

The web site I’ve settled on is a Kids Sports Team Portal. Here are some of the features I’m planning on.

  • Season Game Schedule with front page reminder.
  • Game Results archive with front page “most recent” game results.
  • Practice Schedule.
  • Push updates to parents email list.
  • Parent’s notification (option to advice coaches that a child will be absent.)
  • Restricted access photo gallery with parent’s contributions.
  • Restricted access video gallery with parent’s contribution.
  • Some social networking integration.

I’ll be starting with an open source template.

As I’m starting to plan and build, WHAT FEATURES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND !

Technorati Tags: ,WebMatrics,

Review of Windows Phone 7–a closet iPhone lover’s confession

Ya, I know that I work for Microsoft and am not supposed to admit to ever owning an iPhone, let alone liking it.

What’s more, I know working for Microsoft and being complementary about a Microsoft product (in this case Windows Phone 7) will have fans of “other” products coming out of the trees to call me a “shill”.

Fair enough. But I just calls ‘em as I sees ‘em.

I never set out to own an iPhone.

I was an AT&T customer because I live in the boondocks of New England and needed the AT&T Microcell technology. (There is NO actual Cell Service at my house.)

When my Windows Mobile / HTC phone died, Windows Phone 7 was still several months from it’s release date and I needed a phone. The ONLY phone my local AT&T store had in stock that could connect to my Microsoft Exchange server was an iPhone so I just sorted “ended up with one”.

I confess that the iPhone 4 (the first and only iPhone I’ve ever used) changed the way that I communicate with people and changed the way that I use the World Wide Web.

I liked it.

Then, Windows Phone 7 released.

I knew I would get one for two reasons.

  1. I want to be a team player and therefore needed to develop some hands on expertise with the new Microsoft Phone Platform.
  2. I want to develop some Phone Applications and while I have a Mac xCode and Objective-C just don’t “do it” for me.

So, I waited until the designated date and time and  went to visit my friends down at the AT&T mobile store.

Mind you I still had 2 1/2 YEARS on my contract.

I first selected the LG Quantum. I thought I wanted the slide-out keyboard but after using it for a day I realized that the recessed Shift/Alt keys killed whatever increase in typing speed that I gained from the physical keyboard so I returned it and got the Samsung Focus.

The Focus is a fine device it is lighter than the iPhone but feels well built. (Though at first the lack of weight feels a bit strange.)

The iPhone, especially in my bumper case, feels a bit like a small brick. The Focus is contoured, thinner and more elegant (also in a bumper case).

That makes it nicer to hold on to and more comfortable for longer conversations. There is also no signal degradation no matter how I hold the phone when talking.

Lets compare some of the standard features.

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