Windows Store App Template to Live Data in 3 Easy Steps

One of the things that I like about building Windows Store apps using Visual Studio 2012 is the availability of several rich and useful templates. One of my favorites is the Grid App template, which demonstrates how to build an app with a hub page listing grouped items in a ListView control, a group details page, listing information about each group, and an item details page, for information about specific items.

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Quick Hits Issue #5: Resources for App Developers and User Groups

In this issue, I’ve got some great resources for app developers, as well as for user groups:

Get up to Speed on HTML, CSS3, and JavaScript

If you’ve done some web development, but want to kick your skills up a notch, check out Learn HTML5 with JavaScript & CSS3 Jump Start Training, a course from Microsoft Virtual Academy. The course covers HTML Semantic Markup, CSS3 Selectors, Layout and Animation, JavaScript Core and DOM Interaction, and more.

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Building Back-end Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps: OData – Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I showed how to create a SQL database in Windows Azure, create a schema for adding leaderboard functionality to a game, create an Entity Framework model for the database, and then create and test a WCF Data Service on top of the model that provides a rich REST-style interaction model with great query support via OData. If you have not yet read part 1, you should do so before continuing.

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W8WIL #7: Uniquely Identifying Items in the Grid App JS Template

In this installment of Windows 8: What I’ve learned, I’ll discuss a bug in my app that came from a poor understanding of the underlying template I’d built on.

Getting Started with a Template

To jump start the development of my Windows Store app, Community Megaphone, I used the Grid App JavaScript template, shown below:

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Windows Store apps and 3rd-party JavaScript Libraries

If you’ve attended one of my talks on building Windows Store apps with HTML5 and JavaScript, you’ve heard me say that although the default for our app templates is to use the WinJS library for providing rich databinding, controls, and a great look and feel that makes your app fit into the Windows store ecosystem, we also support the use of 3rd party JavaScript libraries as well, with a few caveats.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Windows 8 Game Development…

…but didn’t know to ask.

OK, perhaps not everything…but certainly all the options for developing great games on Windows 8.

Bob Familiar, who manages some of my fellow Technical Evangelists on our East Region team, managed to find time between updating SharePoint and emailing Excel files to do some really thorough research on the state of game development for Windows 8, and shares his results on his blog:

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Exploring HTML5 Canvas: Part 7 – Optimizing Animations

[This is part 7 of an ongoing series of posts examining the HTML5 Canvas element. In Part 1 of this series, I introduced Canvas and prepared a template to make further explorations a bit simpler, and also introduced JsFiddle, a neat tool for experimenting with and sharing web code. In Part 2, I demonstrated the ability of Canvas to allow your page background to shine through, and showed you how to render simple shapes on the drawing surface. In Part 3, I showed how to draw paths and text in Canvas. In Part 4, I showed how to transform the drawing context and scale, rotate, and skew your drawings. In Part 5, I introduced basic animation concepts, including the animation loop. In Part 6, I demonstrated some techniques for managing multiple animated shapes in your Canvas implementations.]

Performance Matters

As you start working with HTML5 Canvas, one of the things that you may discover is that the more things you’re drawing, the more likely it is that you will run into performance issues, particularly if your code is not optimized. This is also true the larger your canvas gets, which may especially impact full-screen games or similar implementations.

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Microsoft DevRadio: Developing a RockPaperAzure Windows 8 app

Abstract:
In today’s episode Developer Evangelists Andrew Duthie, Brian Hitney and Peter Laudati recap the “Rock, Paper, Azure” – (#BeatTheGu) challenge from this year’s TechEd as well as how they built a Windows 8 App for the competition. Tune in for this lessons learned session on what considerations and features Andrew took into the design of the app. Continue reading Microsoft DevRadio: Developing a RockPaperAzure Windows 8 app

Exploring HTML5 Canvas: Part 6 – Managing Animated Shapes

[This is part 6 of an ongoing series of posts examining the HTML5 Canvas element. In Part 1 of this series, I introduced Canvas and prepared a template to make further explorations a bit simpler, and also introduced JsFiddle, a neat tool for experimenting with and sharing web code. In Part 2, I demonstrated the ability of Canvas to allow your page background to shine through, and showed you how to render simple shapes on the drawing surface. In Part 3, I showed how to draw paths and text in Canvas. In Part 4, I showed how to transform the drawing context and scale, rotate, and skew your drawings. In Part 5, I introduced basic animation concepts, including the animation loop.]

The Part Where Things Get Messy

ManagingShapes1_7Now that you know how to get a shape moving across the screen, you’re probably wondering what’s next. Well, the truth is that the animation code we looked at in the previous installment of this series was fairly primitive, and if we tried to scale it to an animation or game with many shapes, we’d be writing a LOT of repetitive code, and we’d soon end up with a very messy batch of spaghetti.

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Databinding in Windows 8 JavaScript Metro style Apps

[ NOTE: This post was written using the Visual Studio 11 beta and Windows 8 Consumer Preview…as with any pre-release software, the code and concepts are subject to change in future versions ]

One of the nice features of the new JavaScript Windows Metro style app templates in the Visual Studio 11 beta is that they provide built-in support for databinding, using sample data in a JSON array. Folks who have experience in the XAML world may not see this as a particularly big deal, since Silverlight and WPF have supported databinding for a long time.

For web applications, however, data binding is still a concept that’s evolving. While there are third-party libraries like Knockout.js that provide client-side databinding (and my fellow DE David Isbitski recently published a blog post detailing how you can use Knockout in a Metro style app, if that’s your cup of tea), but in general the web world is a little behind the curve compared to XAML-based databinding.

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