W8WIL #5: Bringing the Awesome in Search

In this, the 5th, installment of Windows 8, What I’ve learned, I’m going to share a single line of code that can make your search-enabled Windows Store app absolutely awesome!

Start by enabling Search

For starters, if you haven’t enabled the Search contract in your app, you probably should. Unless your app is a game or other kind of app that has no content to search, implementing the Search contract will enable your users to more easily find content in your app, whether it’s running or not, and allow them to do so via a consistent UI that’s part of Windows 8 itself:

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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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W8WIL #4: Pinch-to-Zoom and Rotate in the Simulator

As most of you may have figured out, I’ve been doing a fair amount of Windows 8 development over the last year or so, much of it focused on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript apps. In this 3rd (whoops! It’s the 4th, not 3rd) installment of my Windows 8: What I’ve Learned series, I’ll share some tips on using the Windows Simulator for testing your Windows Store apps.

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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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Building Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps


In this post, I’m going to kick off a series in which I’ll walk through the creation of a back-end service for a Windows 8 app. This first post will provide an overview of the series, and introduce a couple of potential technologies you can use to build your back-end services.

The Challenge

As an example of a scenario that might merit a nicely abstracted back-end service, I’m going to create a simple leaderboard service that can store and retrieve high scores and win/loss/tie stats for a variety of games. Since it’s where I’ve spent the majority of my time lately, I’m going to focus on games built with HTML and Javascript, but the platform choices I’m going to describe will work just as well for games and apps build with C# or VB and XAML.

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Want to Match Windows 8 Colors in Your HTML?

My fellow evangelist Ed Donahue shows you the hex color codes:

In my own projects I really like to have correct colors. With Windows 8 coming out, more and more of my projects are around Windows 8. I’m not much of a designer, but sometimes I like to play pretend. I was able to grab these colors from Windows 8 RTM. I’m only including the HEX code because RGB would have been a pain to copy from the programs I use. If you need RGB, there are lots of HEX to RGB color converters online. I hope you find these useful!

This first set of colors is from the tiles found on the Start Screen, such as Mail, Calendar, Store, Video, Music and Messaging. With these tiles there is a gradient from left to right that is dark to light for both sizes of tiles. The colors listed are for the wide tile except for Sky Blue since SkyDrive only has the smaller tile.

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Microsoft DevRadio: Reasons Why You Should Develop a Windows 8 App

I’m pleased to announce the availability of my next episode of Microsoft DevRadio, in which I talk to my fellow Technical Evangelist Jennifer Marsman about the top reasons for developing applications for Windows 8. From market potential and size, optimized discovery, flexible and money making opportunities, as well as free tools and guidance— there’s no better time than right now to develop your Windows 8 app.

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