Dante's blog

Tester by day, teacher by night, and learning a bit more each day.

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  • Blog Post: The next page!

    Well, the link isn't QUITE active yet, but if you go to http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/dd565875.aspx you will see the Overview information for Blend 3, and there's a link to download the Blend 3 RC. Now, at *THIS* particular moment, it doesn't seem like it's up there, but the link on that page...
  • Blog Post: Working with Drawing Brushes

    Ok folks, I've got a few minutes, and I've been seeing some discussion on our internal lists about Drawing Brushes, how to use them, what they're good for, etc... Sounds like a good time for a Blog post. First off, what is a DrawingBrush? It's one of the three kinds of TileBrushes that WPF recognizes...
  • Blog Post: Cre8 and ZAAZ

    This is particularly overdue, but now that I've been featured on the Expression community site, I really need to get back to posting again :). Last month ago, I got the opportunity to present at the Cre8 summit in Orlando. I gave two presentations, one on Sketchflow in Expression Blend and one on...
  • Blog Post: Featured!

    Well, I just had it pointed out to me, that my blog is now listed on http://expression.microsoft.com . I'm actually pretty excited to see myself up there. It does, however, make me realize that I should spend a little time sprucing up the look of my blog. The current theme is something like "Fire...
  • Blog Post: Moving objects around interactively

    I was playing around with Blend today, and decided that I wanted to write a function to allow my user to drag the shapes around on my artboard. Granted, this could use a bit of polish, since there are some tweaks that would make it a bit better, but the overall sense should work. For starters, we...
  • Blog Post: MIX '08

    Well, it's official, I'm going to be presenting at the MIX convention! I'm really excited for this, although it's going to be busy for a little while. We need to do dry runs and such. The tentative title is "Unlocking the Creative Genome", but that title may change. I don't know how many folks...
  • Blog Post: Transparent Windows and how to Resize them

    A teammate came to talk to me, because he's working with a semi-transparent window, with no Border, and he wants to be able to resize it. Allowing a user to move, minimize, maximize and close it are easy, but how to resize? Well, this is actually pretty easy. There is a property on the Window named...
  • Blog Post: XBox 360 Live Gamertags in Blend!

    The honorable Major Nelson just posted that someone created a Vista Gadget that will display the GamerTag information for your friends on XBox Live. Well, for those who don't know, if I'm not mistaken, Vista Gadgets are generally written in Silverlight (Please correct me if someone knows better). ...
  • Blog Post: Changing the selection color in a ListBox

    I just worked through figuring this out today, and since it was sufficiently irritating, I thought I'd post it here. Plus, I don't want all my 'loyal readers' to think I've disappeared :). Anyway, in the application I'm working on, I have a ListBox with specific elements in it. If it were databound...
  • Blog Post: Repeating an animation

    It may not be a huge revelation for other folks, but with some of the testing I've been doing, I really started getting frustrated with some stuff. Specifically, I've got a fairly complex animation, and I want it to repeat forever. However, setting the repeat count on each and every property that...
  • Blog Post: One of the worst parts of my job...

    Is when I can't talk about something! By now, most folks should be downloading the August preview of Expression Blend 2, which I'm super excited to see finally getting out. (If you didn't already know... Get it HERE ) But, one of the features that I've been testing personally is one I'm really...
  • Blog Post: Calligraphy In Ink! (Part 2)

    Ok, see this is what happens when I have some time to 'play' with Blend. My previous post showed how to modify the stylus tip to get something akin to a calligraphy pen. But, the pen that I got most recently got is called a scroll point. The tip itself looks like a fairly broad pen, but there's a...
  • Blog Post: Calligraphy in Ink!

    Ok, this is something I think is kinda cool... one of my side hobbies is calligraphy. I've been doing it since I was in early high school, and there's something graceful in the old style of writing. Well, as far as I knew, an InkCanvas only allows either a single rectangle or ellipse tip, which is pretty...
  • Blog Post: Command line arguments

    Ok, this was really bugging me... I needed to figure out how to create a Window application, and parse in the command line arguments. I know how to do it with a Console application, but not a Window app. So, how do you do it? Well, it's a little tricky, but it can be done. First, you need to add...
  • Blog Post: I'm up on the web!

    Ok, this isn't anything too new for most folks, but the "Trailer" for the Total Training series on Expression Blend is on the net. Check it out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=nqgjv0lODYU . Yeah, that's me. And yes, I'm quite proud of it. :)
  • Blog Post: Creating an alternate layout panel

    Ok, this is neat. This is the first time I've worked with layout panels and actually creating one of my own. Here's the code: class OverlapStackPanel : StackPanel { protected override Size ArrangeOverride( Size arrangeSize) { UIElementCollection children = this .InternalChildren; int...
  • Blog Post: Databinding to CLR Objects

    I'm sure everyone else runs into these issues all the time, but every time I have to do this, I end up pulling up MSDN and looking all of this up. It's not too efficient, so I'm going to drop a few points here for reference. First: Binding a basic type (String, Int, etc...) For starters, if the...
  • Blog Post: Working with the Opacity Masks

    Well, it's been a while since I've managed to post, but I've been working with Interactive Designer pretty heavily lately, and it's been a pretty exciting time. On top of that, I've starting doing internal training classes at Microsoft for Interactive Designer. It started with a couple classes on...
  • Blog Post: Updating an Image control

    I had a coworker as me how to update an Image control in code. Specifically, he wanted to create a quick file browser that had a Next and Previous button to scroll through a preset list of Images. Creating the list and iterating through directories is pretty easy, so I'll omit that (Although, if someone...
  • Blog Post: Saving and retrieving Ink

    Well, we had another Application Bash for Expression Interactive Designer this week, and my application did something I hadn't messed with before. I wanted to work with ink in Expression, and specifically, I wanted to be able to mark up a picture, and save that markup alongside the picture to view later...
  • Blog Post: Integer to Roman Numeral Value Converter

    Databinding uses Value Converters to bind a value in one component's "Language" to another. For instance, there's a converter that converts a boolean to a "Visibility" in WPF. So, True is mapped to Visible, False is mapped to Hidden, etc... By using it, we can virtually databind any two elements together...
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