Yet Another Coding Blog

A Redmond dev blog... from Sydney; by Avi Pilosof.

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  • Blog Post: Programmatically supporting Windows Phone themes with differing colors for text

    The marketplace guys just rejected my application because the text was unreadable when the user switched from the “Dark theme” to the “Light theme”. Firstly, amazing that they went through manual testing to find a bug like this. Secondly, I feel silly for not finding it myself :) My problem was that...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone: Frame/Page navigation and transitions using the TransitioningContentControl

    Windows Phone 7 supports the built-in Silverlight Frame/Page navigation system , which is easy to use and maintain. Unfortunately, it’s not as slick-looking as the panorama navigation shown in all the phone demos. Sooner or later there will be a few panorama implementations floating out there, but I...
  • Blog Post: MVVM – This might hurt a little…

    This is an attempt at a collaborative post; I’ll fill in more data if/when people make suggestions; please add comments on more problems and other/better solutions – I’ll add the links. Overall, MVVM is very attractive – but all the screen casts I’ve seen avoid some confusing pitfalls that you’ll come...
  • Blog Post: Real-time list filtering with Silverlight, MVVM, and PagedCollectionView

    The Model-View-ViewModel pattern is very good for forcing clean UI code. Ideally, you want to end up with zero code in your .xaml.cs file – everything should be data-bound. As nice as this sounds, sometimes it can get so tempting to break this rule in order to do something that should be simple. Here...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight RPG: Steel Saga

    My friend Darren who wrote the hilarious Buddy Knavery game has released a preview of his new project called Steel Saga. http://www.steelsaga.com It’s an old-style RPG written in Silverlight, and seems quite deep. At the moment there are only two “zones” (one outdoor and one dungeon), but Darren hates...
  • Blog Post: Live Mesh Applications – whoah.

    I’ve been playing with Live Mesh for a long time now, and have been loving it. During this time I’d been hearing about applications for Live Mesh, and while it sounded interesting in theory I didn’t really get what the point would be. Then I watched this video: http://briangorbett.com/mesh/mesh-video...
  • Blog Post: Drawing Fractal Trees - Part 3

    The Application Itself Firstly, here's what we're aiming towards: Live demo: Click to view live . Download the code: Screenshot: Writing The Application Now, when I originally wrote the bones of the app it was very simple; everything fit in the single Page.xaml.cs file; there's actually very little to...
  • Blog Post: Turn down the ugly...

    I've always struggled with making my apps look decent. In my head I can picture how it should look, but when it comes down to it, I often end up with stuff that looks like a dog's breakfast. Here's the cure: http://blogs.msdn.com/corrinab/archive/2008/07/22/8764478.aspx That post in particular helped...
  • Blog Post: Drawing Fractal Trees - Part 2

    L-Systems We've established that drawing the tree will use the concept of self-similarity. To put this in action, we're going to use what's called an L-System . Here's a crash-course... Firstly, we establish that we have a "pen" that at any given time has a current position and a current heading...
  • Blog Post: Drawing Fractal Trees - Part 1

    Table Of Contents Part 1: Basic fractal theory (this page) Part 2: L-Systems - drawing trees . Part 3: Implementation in Silverlight, live demo, code download . A Brief Explanation of Fractals In plain English, a fractal is a shape whose constituent parts are really just copies (scaled down) of the whole...
  • Blog Post: [The Global] War On Terrier

    I mentioned in the last series of posts that I'd written a small Silverlight game for an internal competition. Well, I'm finally able to put it online, here it is: http://silverlight.net/samples/2b2/waronterrier/waronterriertestpage.html It's very similar to the old Worms games (which I love!), but much...
  • Blog Post: Trivial Physics Simulations (...in Silverlight) - Part 5

    The finished product: I'm having trouble finding a way to embed the SL app inside this page, so let's see if this works (c'mon, skydrive!): CLICK HERE TO SEE THE APP IN ACTION. And download the solution from here: Taking it Further Particle systems are the basis for lots of very high tech graphics effects...
  • Blog Post: Trivial Physics Simulations (...in Silverlight) - Part 4

    Tying it all together has zip to do with the physics simulation, but there are a couple of interesting bits which I'll paste into here. The rest you can grab from the solution that I'll post up; feel free to ask questions. The Game Loop The heart of the app is a method call which renders one frame only...
  • Blog Post: Trivial Physics Simulations (...in Silverlight) - Part 3

    So now that we have vectors, we need to do something with them. We're going to use the concept of a Particle . This is supposed to represent a tiny object in our world that is affected by physics. For this reason, it has a position, velocity, acceleration, etc. For starters, let's define the basic particle...
  • Blog Post: Trivial Physics Simulations (...in Silverlight) - Part 2

    If you know how vectors work, this isn't going to be interesting. If you've never seen one before, I'll try to keep it simple. Keep in mind that throughout this post I'm talking in 2 dimensions. The same stuff applies for 3D work; you'd just add another variable (the Z component) to the vectors. A 2D...
  • Blog Post: Trivial Physics Simulations (...in Silverlight) - Part 1

    Table of Contents: Part 1: Introduction to simple physics and vectors. Part 2: Details of the Vector2D class. Part 3: The Particle class and basic physics-based motion. Part 4: Tying it all together. Part 5: The finished product, and "what next...?" Introduction I recently wrote a small Silverlight game...
  • Blog Post: Buddy Knavery - The Killer Riffs

    Some Silverlight goodness. My friend Darren wrote this amazing game that has strong ties to those 90's adventure games that I miss; Kings|Space|Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc. Writing a game engine is one thing, but doing all the artwork & scripting while holding down a full time job (at MS...
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