Jaime Rodriguez
On Windows Store apps, Windows Phone, HTML and XAML

  • Jaime Rodriguez

    more gifts.. sidebar gadgets for Office


    this one went live last week,  the office team released their Tasks and Calendar sidebar gadget ...   been using these for a week..

    they are sooo usefu tha:

    • yesterday I sent trip reports (had been in my task list for a month)... 
    • today I might do expense reports ...  Management, if you want stuff done, force your pawns to use it...   when it is in my face all the time, it bothers me so  I have to get to it :(
    • I can close outlook and know where I need to be ...  Yesterday I walked into bldg 10 looking for Tim cahill...  I did not have to wait 20 seconds for wireless to kick in and 30 seconds for outlook to open ... I just resumed from sleep and it was there ;)

    I am running Office 2007 of course..  and yes, I have a wish list for them ( sound notifications 15 mins before a meeting, is way high) but still very useful stuff that shows why having information closer can boost productivity or lead to actionable, better informed decision making ..

    Download them here:
    Appointments - http://gallery.microsoft.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=ed840437-7d13-4755-8d0a-0ba2cbbf38e6&l=1
    Tasks - http://gallery.microsoft.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=98a101eb-2fc6-4c06-866c-14a6f5e05ab9&l=1



  • Jaime Rodriguez

    Christmas gifts came early this year


     The WPF 3D team started a blog a few days ago ... and today they released some code to be host interactive 2D controls in a 3D surface.. 
     You can find all about that at their new blog here

    Amazing stuff that could have saved a few of my projects ( e.g. OTTO Store ) a lot of time ... I hope it saves your new projects some time... and it allows you to create some truly wild and innovative experiences..

    The video interview from karsten & Ernie ( includes demo + explanation ) is here 


    PS -- To those that went through the effort of creating 2D interactive in 3D world ,  we had our share of late nights and beers.. what more can you ask for? (translated, "sorry, this did not exist until it was too late for you" )

  • Jaime Rodriguez

    transparent windows in WPF.. please make them small :)


    A feature that the WPF team added late to WPF was the ability to allow transparent windows ( property is Window.AllowsTransparency).
    This feature was requested by customers because it allows you to create cool non-rectangular or semi transparent windows.. 
    Lauren has sample for creating one here

    When we first released the feature, it was not clear if we were going to hardware accelerate it or not...  (see Nick's post
    After that, we found out that
    1) Hardware Acceleration would not work in Windows XP [due to a DirectX issue] .. See Seema's post ...
    2)  Seema also posted that layered windows were also sluggish in Vista..

    The second one is the point that I missed and affects two of my projects who were targetting Vista...     

    So, here is my high-level advise around transparent windows.
    1) Make them small...    popups, menus, etc.. specially if using static content is likely appropriate..
    2) Please no top level windows ....    every thing in your window's visual tree will be rendered in software.. that can add up quickly..
    3) If on Vista, please don't use transparent windows for Video Players (yes, stinks because most video players are non-rectangular) .. playing video benefits  from hardware accelaration..  I tested it yesterday and doing pure software rendering I was getting 15fps in a non-too-beefy  laptop..  with hardware acceleration enabled I was getting 3 fps.. [yes that is right, hardware was a lot slower, that was the point of Seema's blog]...    with out transparency, I see 60 fps..  
    The other tricky part with Vista, is that you run in perforator and it tells you "you are getting hardware accelaration".. because technically you are, and most people don't think about the WDDM/GDI bitblit that Seema explains...   

    On a positive note, while discussing/researching this issue, I found this great msdn jewel Graphics Registry settings for rendering wpf..  which I booked marked cause it is useful for debugging ... :)

     "With great power comes great responsibility", use transparent (or layered) windows wisely..









  • Jaime Rodriguez

    installing WPF/E SDK in my Vista machine...


    Mike Harsh has a link to  known issues with WPF/E sdk .. here  

    This does not touch on Vista though ... and my first attempt to install did not work..
    I am told, the trick is to run the installer as "Administrator" ....     [ I guess for devs (who I hope are advanced/power users)  "Run as admin" is going to become the "reboot" magic wand we used to do in the 90s]

    So I uninstalled and then re-installed with "Run as Admin" ... but still no luck ..  I then took the short cut and followed the internal manual instructions.. here is what they looked like:

    1.  Update VS
     - Install this: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=63636
     - Then install this: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/asp.net/aa336618.aspx

    Note, you need to run as admin on Vista for steps below to work.

    2. Save the zip file (no need to expand it) from here
    to: <Program Files>\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates\CSharp\WPFE (NOTE: you need to make a WPFE folder)
    3. From a command prompt run <Program Files>\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe /setup (this will register the new templates). 

    4. Create a new project.  The two new project types will be under the Visual C# -> wpfe - > category.

    After this, I was ready to go   ... 

    { I hope to do a real post in WPF/E in the weekend, when I have any time }

  • Jaime Rodriguez

    Running a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF/Indigo) service in Windows Vista..


    Tried installing an existing WCF .svc to my Vista RTM machine...    did the usual stuff (create application in iIS manager, set perms, etc.. ) ...  ran it and BOOM!

    HTTP 500   ---  Handler svc-Integrated has a bad module "ManagedPipelineHandler" in its module list

    So I spent 20 mins looking at IIS configuration manager -- which imho now looks pretty cool and it is actually usable,  kudos for the re-design- ...  but that still did not solve t.. I see no references to that specific Handler...  

    Turns out,
    Despite Vista having  .NET FX 3.0 components (including WCF) installed... it does not by default install the components to configure WCF HTTP activations ...   I guess it kinda makes sense for client components.. 

    What I had to do was:  

    Add/Remove programs, 
    Turn Windows Features on/off  and then install
    Windows Communication Foundation HTTP Activation
    [image below]

    Now, I am happy  svcing  ....  I hope this saves some one 15 mins ..

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