Reuse in action: Bing Maps REST API and Community Megaphone

I am a fan of small changes that open up big opportunities. I’m also a fan of reuse, and leveraging code in multiple apps or scenarios. And those of you who’ve known or read my blog for any length of time also know that I’m fond of talking about Community Megaphone, which is my current case in point for reuse.

Overview

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a project which will remain secret for now, but which will be revealed early next year. During the course of this project, I was doing some work with geolocation and mapping, specifically building a list of maps for items from the Community Megaphone OData feed. In my initial experiments, I was rendering the maps using the Bing Maps JavaScript API, and I quickly realized that rendering dozens of interactive maps was not conducive to good performance, and practically speaking, wasn’t necessary to give the user the information I was looking to provide.

Continue reading Reuse in action: Bing Maps REST API and Community Megaphone

Are you a Gadgeteer?

In a recent post, I mentioned that last week I received a very cool package, the GHI FEZ Spider .NET Gadgeteer Starter Kit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take the kit with me to Roanoke, but I did record an unboxing video last week.

The Unboxing


(note to self…need to get a macro lens for my video camera…sorry for the focus issues)

Continue reading Are you a Gadgeteer?

Kinect Resources and News

Last week, it was my pleasure to present at the Roanoke .NET User Group on the Kinect SDK for Windows beta. In the presentation, I demonstrated the application I created for last summer’s Mid Atlantic Developer Expo, which used the Kinect to provide both skeletal tracking to move the mouse and select items, and also used speech recognition for easier access to items on the page. The application also demonstrated interoperation between the WPF host application, which handled speech recognition via Kinect, and a client web page, which used a nifty JavaScript library called isotope.js to provide snazzy animations and sorting/filtering. You can read more about that project, and view a video demo here.

Continue reading Kinect Resources and News

jWorldmaps: Anatomy of a jQuery Plugin

I just found out that my first article for the Script Junkie website is now live!

The article, which can be found here, walks through the fundamentals of authoring a jQuery plugin, and then walks through the example code from the jWorldmaps plugin itself, which I wrote to provide an easy way to implement animated transitions from a thumbnail to a larger map for my colleague Brian Hitney‘s WorldMaps IP geolocation service. Continue reading jWorldmaps: Anatomy of a jQuery Plugin

MADExpo Keynote Videos

Anyone who missed this year’s inaugural MADExpo missed a fun show, and one of the best parts was the day 1 Keynote featuring Wintellect‘s Jeff Prosise.

Instead of regaling us with his expertise on Silverlight or other technologies, however, we decided to try something different, so Jeff spoke on his passion for his hobby of building and flying radio-controlled jet aircraft…as in with real jet engines. These babies fly at scale speeds of upwards of 2000 miles per hour, and can cost 10s of thousands of dollars to build. Jeff brought a couple of models to show off, including his 1/6th scale F-16 model (photo by David Giard):

Continue reading MADExpo Keynote Videos

MADExpo Additional Thanks

I realized this evening that in my MADExpo wrap-up post, I left out some pretty critical players. For those of you who aren’t aware, the team I work on at Microsoft is unusual, in that I and my fellow Developer Evangelists do not work in Redmond, nor do we all work in an office together. We live and work in the local communities that we cover, so we don’t get to see one another in person all that often. Continue reading MADExpo Additional Thanks

MADExpo Wrap-Up

A couple weeks ago, the Mid Atlantic Developer Expo wrapped up, and I’ve finally had a chance to recover from the event. This was the first time that I’ve been involved in planning a conference of this scale, and while there was a ton of work involved, I really enjoyed the process, and I’m looking forward to starting on MADExpo 2012.

To wrap up the 2011 conference, I wanted to share some links to other folks who’ve blogged about their experience, as well as some selected photos and tweets from the conference as well. Continue reading MADExpo Wrap-Up

Tweaking Add Item Templates for Better Script Performance

[This is the second in a 3-part series. Part 1, “Make Script Performance Automatic with Custom Templates in Visual Studio 2010”, can be found here.]

In part 1 of this series, I showed you how you can improve the script performance of your websites by using Visual Studio’s built-in support for exporting templates to create a new MVC3 web site template that relocates <script> references and blocks to the end of the page, where they will not interfere with the loading of the main visual elements of your site.

In this second part, I will show you how you can customize the T4 templates used to create new items in an MVC3 project, so that when you add new views to your project, they also have the scripts located at the end of the page. That way both the Master page / Layout for your original project AND any views you add have the scripts in the best location for performance. As a reminder, if your scripts dynamically add content to the DOM, you may want to leave those scripts in the <head> section of the page, since locating them at the bottom of the page may impact the page visibly during rendering. Continue reading Tweaking Add Item Templates for Better Script Performance

MADExpo Kicks Off in Style!

Day 1 of the inaugural Mid Atlantic Developer Expo is done, and I’m settled in to try to get some rest for day 2, which promises more awesome content and great conversations.

We kicked the day off today with an incredible talk by Wintellect‘s Jeff Prosise, entitled “Why I Love the Smell of Jet Fuel in the Morning” discussing his love of R/C jet aircraft, and how that passion relates to his success in the software development world.

The two highlights of the keynote were the 1/6th scale F-16 that shared the stage with Jeff (and which Jeff built by hand), and the final video Jeff showed, which featured clips of what happens when things go wrong with R/C jets. Suffice it to say, there were several fireballs involved (I’ll see if I can get a copy of the video from Jeff to share). Continue reading MADExpo Kicks Off in Style!

Video: Kinect-enabled MADExpo Session Finder

I’ve been working on a fun and cool project for the Mid Atlantic Developer Expo, which opens NEXT WEEK, namely a Kinect-enabled Session Finder.

The project uses the recently-released Kinect SDK for Windows beta, a custom version of the Session Sorter code from the MADExpo website, hosted in a WebBrowser control within a WPF application. The WPF application is useful since I can use it to capture audio from Kinect and enable speech recognition, as well as to run the app in kiosk mode. Meanwhile, in the background, I’m running the Coding4Fun Mouse Cursor sample that I blogged about earlier today, which captures my gestures and turns them into mouse moves and clicks. Continue reading Video: Kinect-enabled MADExpo Session Finder