Jerry Nixon

Microsoft Developer Evangelist

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  • Blog Post: The most Comprehensive Blend for Visual Studio training you will ever receive – for Free; you’re welcome!

    November 2013, immediately after the release of Visual Studio 2013, I sat down for an all-day session with Unni Ravindranathan, the Senior Program Manager for Blend. Who better to walk through, not the new features of Blend, but all the core features of Blend – and the new features, too. In some cases...
  • Blog Post: Make it snow with XAML

    XAML is a very flexible technology platform. This time of year, some of the nicest things you can do is release apps that contain the character of the season. Since I am in Colorado, a lot of that character surrounds the weather. Snow is an easy ambiance to add to any XAML app. In this article we’ll...
  • Blog Post: Decorate your tree with XAML.

    Next week is Christmas. I know most of you are scrambling to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Here’s an idea: a custom app built just for her. What could she love more than vector-based graphics on a touch screen? How she’ll remember this year and bring it up again and again, reminding...
  • Blog Post: The two ways to handle orientation in your Windows 8.1 app

    Ah, elegance. Handling orientation basically means adjusting your app to account for real estate changes when the user pivots their device from Landscape to Portrait, or when the user adjusts your app’s width. In Windows 8.0, there were four possible orientations: FullView (1366x768), FillView (1024x768...
  • Blog Post: XAML: How to add ItemsSource to the Windows 8.1 MenuFlyout

    With Windows 8.0, Flyout options for developers were constrained to 1) custom development to get what you wanted or 2) using my Settings and Flyout helpers to shortcut the custom work, or using Tim’s Callisto Flyout to do it for you. They all worked, but none was ideal. With Windows 8.1 there are several...
  • Blog Post: Everything I know ‘bout Behaviors in Blend for Visual Studio 2013

    When Visual Studio 2012 was released, it supported a new way of building apps – Windows Store apps using the Windows Runtime. These apps could be built in XAML, of course. But, unlike previous Microsoft developer tooling, Expression Blend was not shipped separately; it was moved out of the Expression...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Is your Windows 8 app too square and boxy? Here are some options.

    There are some really great features in XAML that some developers either 1) do not know they are there or 2) never leverage. Well, in this article, I want to talk about techniques you can leverage to move your Windows app away from the tempting, yet commonplace, square and rectangular design. As it turns...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Create a whiteboard app in 10 minutes

    Recently, I updated my Timer App to version 2. And, one feature I added was a whiteboard. Letting your user draw a picture is cool. It’s also quite useful if they need to express a thousand words quickly. Anyway, I wrote it and thought, “this is easy!”. So, I thought I would share the...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Let’s build a control like that awesome new one in Windows 8.1.

    If you are like me, then every time you get a new MSDN magazine, you flip to the advertisements first. There’s nothing cooler than looking to see what component and control vendors come up with and present as next-gen UI. I have my own ideas on UX, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit those ads...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 apps need 28 logo varietals; enter Expression Design

    One of the best parts of Expression Design transitioning to a free download is that it is now free. Design is awesome to create complex vector art and export it as XAML. Design can also create various sizes of the same design so your Store app can be successful. Note: You can download Design here . A...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8: XAML Manipulation using Attached Properties

    In this previous article I discussed methods using XAML Manipulation Events with gestures to transform your UI, making it interactive. I talked about the different approaches you can use to leverage fingers and mouse. In this article, I want to show a simple implementation that encapsulates some Manipulation...
  • Blog Post: These should be standard in every XAML developer’s toolbox.

    There are lots of controls that ship with Windows 8. But, let’s be honest, there are lots of controls that don’t ship with Windows 8, too. After a little review, I can’t help but consider the third party controls available, how nice they are, how supported they are, and now, how cheap they are. Telerik...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Real world Manipulation techniques

    Manipulation events are a wonderful companion to capturing mouse (pointer) movements and interpreting those actions into gestures. Manipulation modes map almost directly to the capabilities of the CompositeTransform , including: Translate , Rotation , and Scale . What is a transform? Transforms in XAML...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Two-way binding inside a XAML User Control

    User controls are a great way couple logic and XAML in an encapsulated way. You can reuse a user control over and over and the logic is isolated from the general flow of your program. This article is not about creating a user control. This article is about binding to a user control. Not a custom control...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Reordering items in a GridView with Drag and Drop

    So, you have some data showing in a GridView . You have ordered it programmatically. Now, you want to let the user reorder it, manually, by dragging and dropping GridView items anywhere they want. Is it easy? It sure is. GridView inherits from ListViewBase , which ultimately inherits from ItemsControl...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Windows 8 Extended Splash Screen

    So we have two real problems: If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, Windows 8 will assume your app is frozen and will terminate it. If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, the user will assume your app is frozen and will terminate it. And, fortunately,...
  • Blog Post: Ready to learn XAML?

    Daren May and I teach the basics of Windows 8 XAML in a Jump Start course for Microsoft Virtual Academy (Recorded May 2013). If you are learning XAML, come learn with us in this free, all-day course (now available on demand). We have a lot of fun in these courses; but you get all the candy. Mod 01: Overview...
  • Blog Post: Binding to an ENUM in Windows 8

    You create a Settings flyout for your app so users can configure their experience. Sometimes, your settings are based on a ENUM that you use throughout your app. But how do you bind to an ENUM in XAML? Our sample ENUM The first thing you should know is that you cannot really bind to a ENUM, but with...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Dynamically Skinning your Windows 8 App

    One powerful feature of XAML is the ability to make any control look however the developer or designer wants without having to change the control itself. Similar to, but far more powerful than CSS, skinning a control in XAML lets you change how it looks, change the type of control, and even inject behavior...
  • Blog Post: Walkthough: Use XAML’s 3D PlaneProjection to Open a Window and See What’s Inside

    Here we go again, down the fun road with XAML. This time, since it’s Christmastime, I’ll throw together a Christmas-themed demo for you! Of what fun it is to code in XAML and Expression Blend, hey! So in the video below I will use some awesome features of XAML. Here’s the list if you want to do a little...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Implementing SnapView in your Windows 8 App

    There are four supported orientations in Windows 8. There is Full View, Snap View, Fill View and Portrait View. Each is important in the overall strategy of Windows 8. In order to get your app into the Windows Store, you must support the Full, Snap and Fill view. And to support them, XAML uses ViewStates...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Building a Sweet Dial in XAML for Windows 8

    Custom XAML controls are a breeze. But, honestly, if you aren’t familiar with building them, there’s a learning curve. Let’s break this barrier and build a custom user control together. I’ll build a control that works like a standard oven dial. The application uses of such a control are many. The implementation...
  • Blog Post: Light-styled XAML Controls in a Dark-themed Win8 Project

    One of my favorite Colorado community leaders and XAML Jedi, Shawn Kendrot , wrote a great article helping XAML developers dynamically style controls with the standard light and dark layouts. In his article, Shawn uses the Settings charm to show how to do it. One of the things I love about Windows Store...
  • Blog Post: Walkthrough: Monetize Windows 8 with the Microsoft Advertising SDK

    An interstitial advertisement is traditionally recognized as a full-page ad appearing between two pages. Interstitial, which means “gap” perceives a gap between to parts of the UI (especially pages on a web site) and fills it with an advertisement. Wiki : On the World Wide Web , interstitials are web...
  • Blog Post: XAML Binding Basics 101

    Hello Windows 8 XAML developer. XAML is a declarative UI language; it's most powerful feature is surely data binding.  But, I admit, with such power comes a lot of things to know. Let’s take a minute to step back, smell the roses, and build out some simple bindings. Read to learn? Referencing a...
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