A code monkey in Research

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

  • A code monkey in Research

    WiX installer for VSTO projects

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    A few people have been asking me for something akin to an MSI-based installer for my NoReplyAll tool but I've not been able to treat this as particularly high priority. Those of you with Office 2013 might have noticed Outlook pointing the finger of shame...
  • 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

    NoReply VSTO add-in wrap-up

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    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

    Version number update tool for Visual Studio 2012

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    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

    Visual Studio macro to update version numbers

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    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

    Microsoft Research Project Waterloo

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    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

    Adding some ribbon XML

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    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

    Connecting with Facebook

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    There are several ways to integrate your application with Facebook: you can have a standalone application (which uses Facebook for authentication but has a UI totally separate from Facebook apart from login), and there can be two flavours of that, a ...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Windows Phone lockscreen

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    Windows Phone 8 brings with it the ability for a program to set the lockscreen picture; there are already a bunch of apps in the store that cycle through images (including the built in ability to grab pictures from the Bing home page) - however, none...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Introduction to NoReplyAll

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    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

    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

    Add-in for 64 and 32 bit Office

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    My NoReplyAll add-in , which I've talked about before, uses absolutely nothing that ties it to 32 or 64 bit Outlook - it's all "anycpu" with no architecture specific dependencies. However, the latest installer is 32 bit, with the result that the add-in...
  • 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

    Updating NoReplyAll for Outlook 2013

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post , Outlook 2013 brings a few new features which I need to integrate with in NoReplyAll ., the main one being ribbon changes when inline responses are used. The What's new for Outlook 2013 developers article describes...
  • A code monkey in Research

    More about buttons

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    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

    Want to be a developer at Microsoft Research in Cambridge?

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    Socio-Digital Systems , one of the teams I work with, has an opening for a developer if anyone's interested in coming to work here in Cambridge, England. The job ad reads: The Socio-Digital Systems (SDS) group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge is...
  • A code monkey in Research

    The core of the game service

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    Last time , I gave an outline of our Facebook game : now I'm going to take a look at the "game engine." The game logic is pretty straightforward: Player one initiates a game by selecting an opponent and specifying the five allocations Player...
  • A code monkey in Research

    How many search apps do you need on your phone?

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    When I go searching the web from a desktop browser, I'm lazy. I head straight to a search engine and type a short query: I can get away with a short query because the ease of browsing through a large set of results often outweighs the effort involved...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Introduction to Project Waterloo

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    As I hinted earlier , I'm finally getting round to describing how we implemented our first Facebook game, Microsoft Research Project Waterloo . The game is between two players, each having one turn. The game board is a number of fields of play - in our...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Installation

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    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

    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...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Outlook 2013 and NoReplyAll

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    As I'm sure you've noticed by now, the Office 2013 Preview is now available . I've given my NoReplyAll Add-In a spin and it broadly seems to function as desired - three areas that need a bit of work are: It seems that Outlook 2013 includes a missing...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Shaddapayaface!

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    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

    The client side of the game

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    I'm not really going to go into much detail about the client - it's fairly standard "modern" HTML and JavaScript about which you can find much better information that I could cover here. One reason why I can't say a lot about it is that pretty much all...
  • A code monkey in Research

    AppNap user interface

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    The AppNap main page content is pretty much a grid with three elements - the search box, the list of search buttons, and an ad control. There's a picture of it in the first post in this series , and the Xaml looks like: <Grid x:Name="ContentPanel...
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