A code monkey in Research

One developer's view of (a little bit of) Microsoft Research, Cambridge

  • A code monkey in Research

    Microsoft Research Project Waterloo

    • 6 Comments
    The Research Games team in Microsoft Research, of which I'm a member, has just published its first game, Project Waterloo (or, to give it it's full, if somewhat verbose, name, Microsoft Research Project Waterloo). This is an example of a Colonel Blotto...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Version number update tool for Visual Studio 2012

    • 3 Comments
    Quite a while ago I presented a scrappy little macro I created to update version numbers in multiple Visual Studio projects. At the time I commented that Visual Studio 11 wouldn't be supporting macros so, now that VS2012 has RTM'd , here's a "port" to...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 2.4.1

    • 2 Comments
    A new version of the add-in is now available - head to http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/60860f41-88ab-4bb4-8104-765feca9cfed/default.aspx to get hold of it. The once change since 2.4.0 is a bug fix for error messages appearing when you...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 2.6.1

    • 1 Comments
    A new version is now available for download: this one supports the Outlook 2013 preview, and includes a few changes to the handling of reply states of meeting requests. Outlook 2013 includes a missing attachment check, so I've disabled it in the...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Visual Studio macro to update version numbers

    • 1 Comments
    My first few blog posts were essentially about taking a macro (almost) solution and reimplementing it in C#: this time I'm taking an approach to a problem usually solved using some compiled language and implementing it as a cheap and cheerful macro. It...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Introduction to NoReplyAll

    • 1 Comments
    Despite its ubiquity and value, there are an awful lot of things that annoy us about email - one sin that seems to be almost unforgivable is doing a reply to all ("big R reply") when reply to sender ("little r reply") was intended. I have to say I don...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Lite

    • 1 Comments
    So far, all of the Office add-in work I've been talking about here has been based on VSTO, but some users of NoReplyAll have complained about having to install the .NET Framework (or, in some cases, install whatever version I'd chosen to use, because...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 3.1

    • 0 Comments
    A new release is available today: fixed some resource locking problems , added support for 64 bit Outlook in the installer , and added self-BCC .
  • A code monkey in Research

    Collecting URLs

    • 0 Comments
    Another one of those itches that need to be scratched: someone posted a query internally asking for tools that would copy URLs for all open browser windows to the clipboard. I don't know if such a tool exists but I thought it would be a fun exercise to...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Collecting URLs part 2

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    Using Ctrl-Shift-C is quick and convenient, but only if you remember it; and moving the mouse pointer all the way down to the Notification Area really is far too much like hard work. How about adding a control to the browser itself? Well, it's pretty...
  • A code monkey in Research

    What's in a window?

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    It's probably not too surprising that one of the important bits of functionality in Project Colletta is relating a window on the screen (a HWND to be precise) to a document, in particular, to the file path of the document appearing in that window. The...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Easy peasy IPC-sy

    • 0 Comments
    Windows provides a wide range of inter process communication mechanisms, from very low level sockets (which can easily be used from managed applications too) to much more sophisticated WCF . However, the lighter weight ones tend to require a lot of fiddling...
  • A code monkey in Research

    More easy IPC

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    Last time I talked about .NET Remoting and concluded that it was very nice for .NET to .NET communication, but not much use for anything else - and it's deprecated too. How's a lazy programmer like me meant to get other sorts of applications talking to...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Phone magic

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    If you've never come across Scam School before, do take a look at it - it normally offers a bit of entertainment on a Thursday. One in particular caught my eye recently: there have been a few episodes using smart phones as props in magic tricks, but in...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Adding some ribbon XML

    • 0 Comments
    The first thing to do to the project started earlier is to add something to the Outlook ribbon. Right click on the project and select "add new item." You'll see two ribbon related options, the first being "Ribbon (Visual Designer)" - this offers an easy...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Outlook object model

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    The Outlook object model is described in detail in the MSDN library . However, while that tells you what methods, properties and events exist, there's not a huge amount of information about what they're actually for. I found Carter & Lippert 's Visual...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 2.3.3

    • 0 Comments
    A new version of the add-in is now available: go to http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/60860f41-88ab-4bb4-8104-765feca9cfed/ to start playing with it. New features include nicer buttons (well, I think they're nicer), better indication to...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Out of Bounds

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    Several years ago, I stumbled across the concept of Out of Bounds Photography (OoB - that's with a B, not a weird alien from Dr Who ) and thought this was great stuff. Some people in the lab here had contributed some technology to the (now discontinued...
  • A code monkey in Research

    More about buttons

    • 0 Comments
    Last time we ended up with a single button on the email composition window. It ought to be fairly obvious how to add additional similar buttons to that ribbon to, say, offer the ability to disable the other actions - just replicate the toggleButton XML...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Other ribbons

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    Thus far we've ended up with a nicely populated mail composition window. It would be nice to offer the facility to see the action status on received messages (OK, you can infer it from the lack of ability to reply, but bear with me for the sake of this...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Backstage and property pages

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    In the discussion so far the add-in requires the sender to remember to click the no-reply-all button before sending a message. What about causing all newly created messages to have reply-all disabled automatically (though letting the user manually enable...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Installation

    • 0 Comments
    As you'll have no doubt noticed, when you build and run within Visual Studio, Outlook loads the add-in. This is because building the project includes a step for registration with Outlook. (Doing a "build clean" will, symmetrically, unregister it.) This...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Shaddapayaface!

    • 0 Comments
    If you've got music playing on your PC and then you lock the desktop, the music keeps playing. Sometimes this is what you want, and sometimes it's not... I was dogfooding the recent release of a certain media playing software not so long ago, which...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReply VSTO add-in wrap-up

    • 0 Comments
    Over the past few weeks, I've described the steps involved in creating an Outlook add-in, including ribbon manipulation and access to the Outlook object model. To wrap up, the table of contents for the VSTO add-in project: Introduction - creating...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Hidden vs Minimized

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    Writing that post about pausing audio playback reminded me of a little utility I wrote, uh, over a decade ago, which would hide rather than minimize windows, so that I could free up a bit of space on the task bar by not showing the window's icon there...
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