Tales from the Smart Client

John Gossman's observations on Avalon development

  • Tales from the Smart Client

    How to initialize an attached DependencyProperty of type Collection

    • 3 Comments
    I was reading a thread about Commands in the WPF Disciples group and noticed a comment about being unable to initialize an attached property where the type was collection. The problem was unless you put in an explicit Collection object tag, the property...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    More on MVC and M-V-VM

    • 3 Comments
    There have been a raft of interesting articles and discussions of MVC patterns and WPF. A practical introduction is here: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/WPF/MVCtoUnitTestinWPF.aspx I love the article, but must add I have always struggled with RoutedCommands...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Sparkle and Performance

    • 3 Comments
    In my history of Sparkle I mentioned I had worked on ToolBook. That solicited this comment: Asymetrix's ToolBook? Wow, that was so ahead of its time! Just make sure Sparkle runs faster! :P Sorry, could not resist. I am sure Sparkle will rock....
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Sparkle Timeline Performance

    • 3 Comments
    I mentioned last week I was expecting a checkin that would transform the performance of Sparkle's timeline. The issue was simple: we create a row in the timeline for every element in the scene, then create more rows for each property that is animated...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Brain lock during PDC presentation

    • 3 Comments
    When I presented Model/View/ViewModel at the PDC I was a little worried that I would get tackled by some Patterns expert who would want to debate the relative merits of MVC, or my interpretation thereof. To head off this encounter, I practiced saying...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Whats a controller anyway?

    • 3 Comments
    A friend pointed me to this great article about MVC: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WhatsaControllerAnyway The central claim is that MVC had a very clear definition in SmallTalk, which was changed by either NextSTEP or Ivar Jacobsen depending whom you talk...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    CollectionView

    • 3 Comments
    CollectionView is a very interesting construct. After including it in my ViewModel I meant to quickly blog about the usage...but when I started thinking about it and reading a bit more about it, it becomes even more interesting. Lots of good blogging...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Advantages and disadvantages of M-V-VM

    • 2 Comments
    I've had several questions about when and why to use M-V-VM versus other approaches. The obvious purpose is abstraction of the View, reducing the amount of business logic or glue code stuck in code-behind. All tasty goodness abstractly, but here's another...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Profiler as the Debugger of Performance

    • 2 Comments
    I've been talking to a lot of people internally and externally about performance, and have observed something very interesting: while people run the debugger over their code every day, stepping through the code to see if it works even when they don't...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    WinFX Feb CTP is available

    • 2 Comments
    New Expression build will be available "soon". I've been working on the Feb CTP bits for awhile, and its a great build...faster, fewer bugs, much closer to the final deliverables. h ttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F51C4D96-9AEA...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Model-View-ViewModel

    • 2 Comments
    In preparing my example of Model-View-ViewModel I had a lot of help from Adrian Sanchez, who previewed the code and asked me questions about it. It was a big help in figuring out what needed explanation. When I started on Expression I heard about the...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    The PresentationModel pattern

    • 2 Comments
    I got e-mail from an interested party pointing me to Martin Fowler's description of the PresentationModel pattern. Written up just last year, I hadn't seen it in the literature before. I've got to read it a couple of times and think about the subtleties...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Further reflection on PresentationModel

    • 2 Comments
    I'm a big Fowler fan, his "Refactoring" book is one of my all-time favorites, and I used to read his site religiously (somehow it fell off my feed list, you can bet it is going back on). Anyway, I'm sorry I missed his post last year on PresentationModel...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Comments on Designers and Developers working together

    • 2 Comments
    I turned on "comment approval" a while back and used to get e-mails telling me comments were waiting. Apparently my Spam filter was eating them, so I apologize to Daniel who posted several notes, in particular this one: John, Mano...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Sparkle

    • 2 Comments
    Now it can be told...I am a developer on Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer aka "Sparkle". We finally announced the product at PDC last week and I gave a presentation on how we built the product. I promised the attendees I would blog the content...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    More on what to use WPF for, and what other graphics technologies you may want to use

    • 2 Comments
    Pablo is one the most senior people on the WPF team and has been a key decision maker in deciding what scenarios WPF would address. http://www.fernicola.org/loquitor/index.php?/archives/19-When-to-use-WPF-and-when-to-use-other-technologies.html...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    New role

    • 2 Comments
    We recently shipped Expression Blend, the product I had been working on for the last few years. I love the product and the team, but it was the longest project I've ever worked on, and I was offered a great new opportunity: to work on WPF, both the desktop...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Podcast

    • 2 Comments
    A few months ago I was interviewed by Craig Shoemaker of Pixel8 about my experiences with Expression and WPF. The podcast is up now at: http://pixel8.infragistics.com/shows/gossman
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Great example of an attached behavior

    • 2 Comments
    From Dave Relyea's blog, Pixel Snapping in Silverlight as an attached behavior: http://blogs.msdn.com/devdave/archive/2008/06/22/Using-an-Attached-DependencyProperty-to-Implement-Pixel-Snapping-as-an-Attached-Behavior.aspx
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Expression architecture

    • 2 Comments
    I'm often asked about the Expression architecture, but have never found the time to really describe the whole thing. Now Paul Stovell has dug into how it works using Reflector and compares it to Composite WPF (Prism). Some of what he sees is a case of...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Microsoft employees buy iPods, oh my!

    • 2 Comments
    http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,66460-2,00.html I would like to disclose that I own an iPod and iMac in addition to an XBox, 3 PCs, a Subaru Forester and a new Siemens dishwasher. Of course, I *tried* to buy a Microsoft-branded dishwasher...but no...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Ajax architecture ... a little bit of rich client

    • 2 Comments
    Basically use JavaScript to fetch XML data from a web page and cut down the roundtrip. http://adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Worst jobs?

    • 2 Comments
    I'm afraid this is going to turn into a Monty Python-esque spiral ending with "...and then boss murdered us in cold blood and danced around our graves until sunrise", but following on Rory and Chris , I gotta tell about my two worst jobs: 1) Like Rory...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Embedding Python into Xaml

    • 1 Comments
    I took a slightly different tack than Chris on embedding Python into Script . I created an attached property, with the idea that I could set a piece of script "on" an element, giving it some scope. For example, I got this to work: < Button Name...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    DataControls in ASP.NET

    • 1 Comments
    I've been reading Nikhil's series on data bound controls in ASP.NET. It is an interesting compare and contrast exercise with what Avalon provides, as well as just plain interesting: Four parts so far...first is here: http://www.nikhilk.net/DataSourceControlBasics...
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