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

Source Code Available for the Kinect Mouse Cursor Project

Getting the Code

Last week, I noted the release of the Kinect SDK for Windows beta, and at the end of the post pointed to some cool projects put together by the folks over at Coding4Fun on Channel9. One of the projects I’ve been playing with a bit is the Kinect Mouse Cursor project, which at the time of my post last week was only available in binary form. Continue reading Source Code Available for the Kinect Mouse Cursor Project

Kinect SDK for Windows beta Now Available

In case you missed the big announcement yesterday, the wait is over and those of you itching to try your hand at some NUI goodness on Windows with an official SDK can go grab the bits for the Kinect SDK for Windows beta.

tracking_2

I downloaded the beta SDK yesterday during the all-day Channel 9 Live event showcasing what you can do with the SDK (the recording of the stream is available here…eventually, the recordings will likely live elsewhere on Channel 9). So far, I’ve just run some of the samples that come with the SDK, including a skeletal tracking sample, and a sample game that uses both skeletal tracking and voice recognition. Very cool. Continue reading Kinect SDK for Windows beta Now Available

Make Script Performance Automatic with Custom Templates in Visual Studio 2010

Background

If you’ve ever used a tool like Yahoo!’s Yslow to analyze the performance of your web application, you’ve probably run into the recommendation that you should put your scripts at the bottom of the page, unless those scripts insert page content (a good example of this, which we’ll see later in this post, is modernizr.js, which dynamically adds support for semantic HTML5 elements to older browsers that do not natively support them).

Unfortunately, if you use the default MVC 3 templates in Visual Studio 2010, things like the script reference for jQuery are added in at the top of the page, in the <head> section of the document. This works fine, but may potentially delay the loading of the page while the external script is downloaded and loaded. You could, of course, manually move the script references each time you create a new project, but this would result in unnecessary duplication of effort. Continue reading Make Script Performance Automatic with Custom Templates in Visual Studio 2010