Blog - Title

  • The Bardakist

    A little about me - Dec 1st 2006


    Hello readers.

    My name is Barak Cohen and I am the Product Manager of "WPF/E" (codename). I have been in Microsoft for 5 years (wow) and am excited to have the opportunity to work on something that will have such an impact on Microsoft's customers in addition to many other connected people.

    I used to be a Windows device driver developer in the past (can you belive that) and also was involved in other Microsoft runtimes such the the .NET Framework and the .NET Compact Framework. I have so much to tell you about "WFP/E" but I will keep this to my next post.

    Until next time. 

    To "WPF/E" and beyond

  • The Bardakist

    The hidden secret of the "WPF/E" SDK - QuickStart



     I wanted to share somethign that many designers and developers miss when they install the “WPF/E” CTP SDK Download" . It is the Quickstart. The Quickstart is a step by step guide to "WPF/E" that uses very simple live examples. Try it out. Let me know if it is useful (images blow are not clickable). And best of all the team posted the quickstart at:

    Quickstart menu  Quickstart

  • The Bardakist

    Yes it works on the mac too!


    Just a quick note to remind you that "WPF/E" is indeed a cross platform presentation technology. Look at the screenshots of the samples on Firefox, Mac and IE7 (yes it also works also on IE6)

    MacOS Safari

    FireFox 2.0

    IE7 on Windows Vista

  • The Bardakist

    Excitement is in the air - "WPF/E" is finally here (well at least a CTP)


     It is an exciting day for me as today we release the first community technology preview of "WPF/E".
    “WPF/E” (codename) is Microsoft's solution for delivering rich, cross-platform, interactive experiences including animation, graphics, audio, and video for the Web and beyond. Utilizing a subset of XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language)-based Windows Presentation Foundation technology, “WPF/E” will enable the creation of content and applications that run within multiple browsers and operating systems (Windows and Macintosh) using Web standards for programmability. Consistent with Web architecture, the XAML markup is programmable using JavaScript and works well with ASP.NET AJAX. Broadly available for customers in the first half of 2007, “WPF/E” experiences will require a lightweight browser plug-in made freely available by Microsoft.

    There is already a lot of information available for you to munch on starting 09:00AM PST:

    A new MSDN dev center at

    MSDN library nodes on "WPF/E" that includes:

    “WPF/E” SDK – if you want to develop “WPF/E” content, you need to use that. Having Visual Studio will help the process be smoother.

    “WPF/E” white papers.

    Downloads for you to play with:

    “WPF/E” CTP for Windows – this is what you need to install on IE (6 or 7) and Firefox (1.5 or 2.0) on Windows

    “WPF/E” CTP for Macintosh – this is what you need to install on Safari and firefox (1.5) on the Mac.

    “WPF/E” Samples – after you install “WPF/E” CTP on a pc or on a Mac you can use these samples to get a feeling to how “WPF/E” works.

    Channel 9 zone for WPFE

    And of course the complementary tools and designers sites at site and the

    We also have 3 MSDN forums to discuss "WPF/E". You are invited to ask questions: General, Designer, Developer.

    The last thing I want to share with you is an internal Microsoft "WPF/E" site, that looks like the image the the bottom. 

    You can not see the graphic effects from this image, so I want to let you know that the buttons you see are actually floating on moving water and the images at the bottom are floating. Nevertheless, the text you see is standard HTML text. This page shows how you can mix HTML and XAML on the same page and get the benefits of both. You can do it too. 

    So, it is time for you to start trying “WPF/E”. Let me know how it goes and stay tuned to some more information.

    "WPF/E" internal site image

  • The Bardakist

    Getting ready for the new year with a refreshed "WPF/E" SDK


    North Pole Image

    Our SDK team just announced that the "WPF/E" SDK was refreshed today on the "WPF/E" Dev Center and MSDN Library. 

    The WPF/E SDK refresh includes:

    -       Updated SDK docs

    -       Updated QuickStart (which uses "WPF/E" for navigation!)

    -       Visual Studio Template support for Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

    See the new content at:

     “WPF/E” (codename) Software Development Kit (SDK) Community Technology Preview (Dec 2006)

     "WPF/E" on MSDN Library

     In addition, the QuickStart is now available at the following publicly-accessible Web location:




  • The Bardakist

    The story about Silverlight and aghost.js


    Microsoft Silverlight Logo 

    As many of you already noticed, the official name for "WPF/E" is out there, it is Microsoft Silverlight. We are very happy to have something that is easy to remember like Silverlight instead the former code name. Note that if you have the Feb CTP version of Silverlight (Windows or Mac) installed, the site will look slightly different than the way it looks like if you do not have it installed (specifically the online video playback as well as samples are displayed with Silverlight installed).

    Now that the brand is out, it is time to solve the old speculation on the source of the name aghost.js. Although we knew the name Silverlight for some time, we could not use it on the actual product. However, the product team came up with a clever idea to have the name already inside the product without actually saying it. Ag is the chemical sign for Silver; hence aghost is the hosting environment for Silverlight.

    Let me know if any of you made the connection.

    Happy times.



  • The Bardakist

    Windows Phone 8, what should I choose?


    Today was the ship party of Windows 8 in the Microsoft Campus. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon where there in addition to Nokia and HTC trying to sell their services and devices.

    Click here to play this video

    There is a Microsoft program that subsidizes the phone (with a new contract) and since I am out of contract I need to select a phone.

    I have looked at the following phones and have some Pros and Cons:

    Nokia 920

    Pro: Good camera (actually the best camera out of all the other models)

    Con: Big and bulky

    HTC 8X

    Pro: nice slim design. Good grip. The sexiest phone for sure

    Con: Lousy camera

    Nokia 820

    Meh: size not too big but design is not unique

    Meh: Camera is OK


    A camera is important to me but does it justify the bulkiness of the 920?

    What do you think? Should I wait for the Samsung ATIV?

    Let me know.

  • The Bardakist

    Teaching and learning is so much better with Office 365 and Windows 8 - The learning companion sample application is available


    Some of you heard that part of what I did in Office 365 was thinking about education and how to help students and teachers. Well, my team just released a sample app that does just that.

    The Contoso Learning Companion is a sample Windows application that demonstrates how students and teachers can run their teaching and learning more effectively with the help of Office 365 services and a modern Windows 8 application that eliminates the need to visit multiple Web sites that represent different classes. The application allows developers to easily build solutions to the education market.

    Take a look at: 

    You will need an Office 365 account to get this to run (if you are a school or just want to try, it will not hurt you at all to try), you can start here:

    Until next time...



  • The Bardakist

    With "WPF/E" embedding video in HTML is easy.


    I would like to thank Chandu Thota for this code. THis is a common scenario where you want to point to an external video. Chandu wrote the following IFRAMed code that does that:  

     <iframe frameborder=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 scrolling=no height=330px width=400px src=></iframe> 


  • The Bardakist

    We released "Tafiti" Search Visualization (w/source code)


    In December we released the source code for "Tafiti". A search visualization app that uses Live Search in the background and Silverlight on the front end to render search results in a compelling way. Tafiti is the first example we had for a dynamic application that renders temporal service data using Silverlight. We expect this area of synamic application to evolve and offer users more compelling experiences with their online services.


    Now is your chance to look at the guts of this app and think how you can use this wizdom to create your own application.


  • The Bardakist

    Share your love for Valentine's day with Silverlight


    What would be a better way of sharing your love other than using a free Silverlight customizable Valentine's day card?

    The Silverlight and Windows Live teams collaborated on creating such a card as can be experienced here:

    Note that the card was implemented in a way that allows universal use of it. You can use any language to compose your message. This is done by overlaying HTML DIV on top of the Silverlight UI.

    Enjoy and remember to send your own card on time, Valentine's day is Feb 14th


  • The Bardakist

    Silverligth 2 beta 2 is available today


    As announced earlier this week in TechEd, Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is available today. Silverlight 2 Beta 2 has many new features and enhancement over beta 1. These include the following:


    ·         UI Framework: Beta 2 includes improvements in animation support, error handling and reporting, automation and accessibility support, keyboard input support, and general performance.  This release also provides more compatibility between Silverlight and WPF.


    ·         Rich Controls: Beta 2 includes a new templating model called Visual State Manager that allows for easier templating for controls. Other features include the introduction of TabControl, text wrapping and scrollbars for TextBox, and for DataGrid additions include Autosize, Reorder, Sort, performance increases and more.  Controls are now in the runtime instead of packaged with the application.


    ·         Networking Support: Beta 2 includes improved Cross Domain support and security enhancements, upload support for WebClient, and duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client).


    ·         Rich Base Class Library: Beta 2 includes improved threading abilities, LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support, better support for SOAP, and various other improvements to make networking and data handling easier.


    ·         Deep Zoom: Beta 2 introduces a new XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom. Better notification for sub-images enter the view is another improvement in Silverlight 2 Beta 2.


    Silverlight 2 will be availble on download center and on

  • The Bardakist

    My new Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7


    The phone is here as well as the jury verdict. It is a good device.

    I just got the new phone this week, and here are the 10 things I like about it:

    1. Metro is a good UX paradigm, it is just a nice design
    2. Email and Facebook interfaces are somewhat better then the original desktop/Web versions.
    3. Office apps are actualy useful
    4. It is so easy to get on various types of wifi networtks
    5. Zune interface is nice and there is an FM radio
    6. Integrated search works correctly
    7. Browser can read bi-di text and is quite good. I thought I would miss some plug-ins, but I don't
    8. There are many apps to choose from, and I already installed Netflix, Weatherbug, Level and several more
    9. There is plenty of space on the device AND a place to add Micro SD memory (although I did not do it yet due to the issues around it)
    10. The lock screen provides needed information

    Overall, this is a very good device that IMHO is a good alternative to Android and iPhone. I wish MS had a better business model to generate revenue from this business.

    Happy Holidays


  • The Bardakist

    Why don't you try a nice Silverlight game on Facebook?


    Our dear friends in Plexipixel  have created a nice Silverlight based game on Facebook. It is called Roshamboom! (  

    Roshamboom! is inspired by David C. Lovelace’s extreme rock-paper-scissors concept called RPS-101.  The RPS-101 ( game got a ton of web chatter when it was released back in 2007 because it took David over a year to concept the game and produce the 5000+ outcomes.  The Plexipixel folks thought it would make an ideal (and silly) turn-based game for Facebook.  Plus, it allowed them to practice some Silverlight skills.  You can read more about the game here: 


    Try it and let me (and the Plexipixel folks) know what you think.



  • The Bardakist

    The new Silverlight 4 powered Bing Webmaster Tools shown at SMX


    Earlier this week, the Bing team showed a complete revamp of Bing’s Webmaster tools at SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle. The Bing Webmaster team chose to focus on three key areas of interest to webmasters: Crawl, Index, and Traffic. Each area will offer detailed data going back as far as six months with dynamic charting capabilities, enabling webmasters to focus on the timeline trends that are most meaningful to them. The Tools are web-based, and basic functionality is available through most web browsers. However, to achieve the full potential of the Tools, a Silverlight 4 powered version is available. Silverlight enabled the Bing development team to provide a smooth, visual experience, enabling webmasters to better analyze important trends through connected visual data about their websites. Read more here:

  • The Bardakist

    Emergence of social networks for kids with Silverlight


    In my last business trip I had the pleasure to meet the leaders of a small company that is betting big on Silverlight. 

    Shidonni is a collaborative that is targeting kids between the ages of 4-8 (way lower than other social networking sites) and is encouraging the concept of creation (kids can create their own interactive creatures), sharing (they can share them with their friends), interaction (playing games with their characters) and learning. Targeting kids of smaller age is interesting and possibly marks a trend. When I was 4 I was not interested in social network 9I did not know what they were), but my little kids certainly are more exposed to the digital world and this seems like an interesting approach for introducing kids to this virtual world in a safe manner.

    shidonni site 

    Let your kid try it and let them know the reaction.


  • The Bardakist

    Israeli food report


    As some of you know, during most of Dec I spent some time with my family in Israel. Since some of you asked me, I hereby provide a short report of the food you can experience in Israel. Starting from the foods in the markets to the restaurants. I also added rating (****: good , *****: super)

    1.  Shook Hakarmel and Nachlat Biniamin in Tel Aviv (****): this is a nice and busy open market where you can find everything. I especially like to drink fresh pomegranate juice in one of the shops that offer it in the season.

    2. Machne Yehuda and Azura in Jerusalem (*****): This is the open market of Jerusalem with its special tastes and smells. Inside it there is a hidden small restaurant called Azura that serves traditional food that is cooked on petrol burners. They select food that is fresh, cook it and sell until they run out. We had rice, beans, meatballs and musakka.

    3. Falafel Yad Eliyahu (***): Falafel is one of Israel's (and the middle east) traditional foods. I liked to stop by the Falafel hut in Yad Eliyahu next to the Nokia basketball arena and have a pita bread with Falafel and some cold non alcoholic black beer.

    4. Gam ve Gam restaurant in Rosh Hain (****): This is a traditional Yemenite restaurant where I used to eat when I worked in Goman in Rosh Hain. They are several young brothers who manage the restaurant and serve traditional food. The Cow Leg soup is especially yummy.

    5. Barabunya restaurant Tel Aviv (Ben Yehuda St) (****): This is one of the seafood restaurant that start with serving mazzet salads and then bring a nice fresh fish grilled.

    6. Jako (Hetzel st. Tel aviv) (****): Another excellent and typical seafood restaurant.

    7. Ben Ezra Hadayag in Atlit (****): Atlit is a fisherman small city near Haifa and you can find nice fresh fish and salads in this restaurent.

    8. NG Bar, Tel Aviv (****): good quality meat and wine at this renovated historic part of Tel Aviv.

    9. Susanna, tel aviv (*****): an excellent small restaurant near the susan Dalal dancing center in Tel Aviv. Don't miss the Haraima, Bamya and the Kube Soup.

    10. Herbert Samual (****): nice and fancy restaurent near the Carmel market in tel aviv. The design of the restaurant has 3 floors. The kitchen is on the top one and you can look at the food being prepared.

    11. Toto restaurent (*****): a stylish Italian restaurant with a very creative chef. Enjoy the gnocchi and seafood.

    When you visit Israel, feel free to use this info.

     Happy New 2008



  • The Bardakist

    Good news: Silverlight is available on WSUS starting from today


    Many IT managers and system administrators are using WSUS to update their enterprise networks.

    Well, we have some good news for you folks:

    Starting from today, you can obtain Silverlight for Windows XPSP2 and Windows Server 2003 from WSUS. This blog has more details:

    In parallel Silverlight is also available for Microsoft Update customers that run XPSP2 and Windows Server 2003. This blog has more details:

    Going forward Silverlight will also be offered to Windows Vista customers, we do not have time table yet for that.

    This is another step in making Silverligth broadly available.


  • The Bardakist

    Gizmox and bridging the gap between Windows Forms developmnent and Silverlight/Ajax style applications


    During my last visit to Israel I had the pleasure of meeting an interesting company that is called Gizmox.

    Gizmox logo

    Gizmox had developed an application UI framework that bridges veteran practices of building enterprise applications (using WinForms) with web 2.0 style application delivery (AJAX style). The idea behind their solution is that the WinForm application style can be sub classed to have a class that separates the UI implementation (and optimizes the communication between the UI and the application logic) from the UI logic. The result is that one can develop a Windows Forms style application and the WebGui class underneath emits an ASP.NET application that maintains states and conencts a JavaScript based UI to the application UI logic that runs on the server. The result is a modern Web 2.0 style application that was developed with the Windows Forms UI paradigm. Note that the application is an ASP.NET application and can be extended in a standard way. The technology is licensed under an LGPL license and already in use by large enterprise customers (SAP is using it for their labs application). 

    Feel fee to explore a little more of the workflow in their web site: 

    The next generation of this technology will be using Silverlight to achieve a more powerful UI for this new type of rich interactive applications. Once it is ready, I will cover it again.

    Until next time...


  • The Bardakist

    The amazing story about timing and the Silverlight sites


    (MIX 2007, Las Vegas) It was a busy day yesterday (Apr 30). With the exciting keyote by Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie (see the video here: and with 5 new external web sites that needed to go online ( , ,, the Silverlight documentation on MSDN at and the hosted Silverlight SDK documentation ar and 1 internal one for Microsoft's intranet.

    The momentum around Silverlight is great and I could hear the buzz for every person I interacted with here in Vegas.

    It took a lot of coordination and effort of many good people in our web operations, designs agencies (Both Ascentium and Avenue A Razorfish and other Microsoft groups to get this going and I was still perplexed that the second Scott mentioned our web presence in his keynote, the servers went live.

    I am thankful to all the people that helped with this.

    Now we can get back to the day to day process of updating the content to help the world build better web experiences with Silverlight.


  • The Bardakist

    MSN delivers Election Central with Silverlight



    The Podium ’08 -- ( is Live on the MSN US Election Portal.


    This is just the first of many innovations MSN (one of the largest online sited in the world) will deliver on Silverlight.


    I had the pleasure of working with the MSN team on this and although this site looks simplistic, it actually encapsulate some innovative approaches to online application delivery (that leverage the Silverlight architecture):

    • The site is actually template driven, MSN integrated Silverlight into its publishing system and thus it can create template driven applications; the editors are just updating meta data in Infopath xml files and the application markup is generated by the publishing system accordingly.
    • The architecture of the application is an example of Software plus Services approach that uses Windows Live Search behind a modern user experience.
    •  Search  visualization and rendering of service generated dynamic content is an area that Microsoft is trailblazing (please take a look at which is another exploration of search visualization).


  • The Bardakist

    Happy Holidays



    I spent the last month traveling, visiting the UK and my home country, Israel. Sun was abundant and thus my spirit is high.

    Beyond some vacation and very close ancounters with Alpakas and Lamas (images will follow) I had the pleasure to meet some design firms that are already doing great things with Silverlight and some startup companies that are lookign into harnessing what Silvelright can do to the innovation they want to bring (more details about these in my next blog).

     But now it is time to relax and enjoy the holiday season. It is my pleasure to introduce some jems that you can share with freinds:

    1. - design your own gengerbread and share it.

    2. - view a pencil drawn London

    3. - from the MSDN norway team

    4. And my favorite:  - absolutly a contender to the next eurovision song contest

     Until next time.


  • The Bardakist

    Under the Surface


    This week Microsot revealed Microsoft Surface. A new computer platform that is based on Windows Vista and WPF that enables users to grab data with their hands, interact with physical objects that are positioned on the surface using natual gestures and touch.

    You may ask, what is the connection with Silverlight? well, WPF and Silvelright share the same XAML based presentation markup. And shortly after Surface was released, a Silverlight sample that shows a similar interface was posted here.

    Finally it is fare to note that the Microsoft Surface site is not implemented yet on Silvelright (due to the fact that Silverlightis not released yet). 



  • The Bardakist

    On the Surface

    • 1 Comments today shipped is second brand campaign that is based on Silverlight.

    This time the Microsoft Surface team campaign is powered by Silverlight.

    Hurry up and view this over the weekend here: 

    Once it expires I will update the blog with an alternative link. 



  • The Bardakist

    Internet Explorer Develoepr Toolbar is worth a spin


    A new beta of the develoepr toolbar for Internet Explorer was released on Jan 12 2007.

    The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar provides several features for exploring and understanding Web pages. These features enable you to:

    • Explore and modify the document object model (DOM) of a Web page.
    • Locate and select specific elements on a Web page through a variety of techniques.
    • Selectively disable Internet Explorer settings.
    • View HTML object class names, ID's, and details such as link paths, tab index values, and access keys.
    • Outline tables, table cells, images, or selected tags.
    • Validate HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS Web feed links.
    • Display image dimensions, file sizes, path information, and alternate (ALT) text.
    • Immediately resize the browser window to a new resolution.
    • Selectively clear the browser cache and saved cookies. Choose from all objects or those associated with a given domain.
    • Choose direct links to W3C specification references, the Internet Explorer team weblog (blog), and other resources.
    • Display a fully featured design ruler to help accurately align and measure objects on your pages.
    • Find the style rules used to set specific style values on an element.
    • View the formatted and syntax colored source of HTML and CSS.

    The Developer Toolbar can be pinned to the Internet Explorer browser window or floated separately. This Beta 3 version of the toolbar contains functionality and stability enhancements over previous versions, including:

    • Style Tracer: Right mouse click on a style value for an element and select Style Tracer to find the style rule that is effecting that value.
    • CSS Selector Matches: View a report of all style rules set and how many times they are used on the current page.
    • View Source: View the formatted and syntax colored source of the original page, currently rendered page, element or element with the styles that are effecting it.

    Give it a spin. Download and install today.

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