On November 5th the Belgian Silverlight User Group (BESUG) is already celebrating its 1st year anniversary. Congratulations are in order! After a successful startup year with workshops organized by the founders Frederik Duchi and Kevin DeRudder, as well as some sessions with top speakers like Laurent Bugnion in May and Arturo Toledo just last month we wish the user group a good continuation in its second year.
As a celebration the user group is organizing an anniversary dinner on November 5th 2009 in the Chess Café in Gent. And what’s more: it’s free! There are a few places left so if you would like to join the team and discuss future projects or sessions, mingle with people interested in Silverlight and have fun – don’t wait and register for the dinner.
Last week during the ReMix 09 keynote in Belgium, two companies, These Days and Ventigrate officially announced the first alpha release of Sistr. Sistr is a component that makes use of jQuery and Silverlight 3 to render richer fonts in web applications. It’s implemented in such a way that it’s very SEO friendly but at the same time allows you to integrate fonts that would otherwise need to be converted to PNG images.
You might have seen the Flash counterpart of this component, named sIFR. You might want to look at a short comparison table to see the capabilities.
Using Sistr on your site is pretty straightforward and explained on the HowTo page.
How to get started? Easy, just download jQuery library and Sistr component. The standard version does not include the source code, which is available if you want to embed fonts. Unzip the Sistr file, this gives you a small sample project that shows you how to integrate the component in a site.
Congratulations to Ventigrate and These Days for giving back to the community with this tool.
ReMix Brussels 2009 was held at the end of September 2009. We had a great day with a general opening keynote and eight technical sessions on Silverlight, ASP.NET MVC, Expression Blend and general UX around Surface.
Four speakers from Microsoft corp joined us in Brussels and continued on to Helsinki, Vienna and Lisbon for a ReMix Europe tour: Adam Kinney, Arturo Toledo, August de los Reyes and Brad Abrams. For the Belgian event we also had Belgian MVP Maarten Balliauw join us for a session on ASP.NET MVC.
If you were unable to attend or missed a session, there is good news. All sessions are now available online for on-demand viewing. You will notice there is also a link with all the partner testimonial videos (with Emakina, LBi, The Rerence, Paratel, Ordina, These Days, Ventigrate, RealDolmen and DigiPoint).
Next to accessing all videos, make sure to check out the Announcements page where you can find more information on the most important announcements we made during the keynote:
Next week Kevin Dockx and Maarten Balliauw will be presenting a session at the PHP Benelux user group event. The event will take place on the 28th of October at 18h. Check out the site if you want to register.
Maarten & Kevin’s session will be around Silverlight with PHP. Interesting topic if you ask me!
After their session I’ll also be talking at the event around the Microsoft Web Platform Installer & Gallery, but also in general how Microsoft is supporting PHP on Windows. It will be interesting to be at a completely non-MS user group and session. Looking forward to the attendees feedback.
Session will take place at RealDolmen Kontich, registration details and route information can be found on the PHP Benelux page.
See you there?
Something I thought may be worth a short blog post: the Partner department is organizing a Start to Silverlight training next week. The event is called Start to Silverlight, taking place on 29th and 30th of October 2009 at the Microsoft Innovation Center in Mons.
Why is this more than a training? To start there is a full day Silverlight for developers delivered by Regional Director Gill Cleeren (Ordina) and a full day for front-end design/integrators focusing on Expression Blend 3 (delivered by Jonas De Geest from RealDolmen). But that’s not all. After the training we have foreseen 5 separate coaching sessions that you can take advantage of. Let’s say you have a first idea on a project or proof of concept. This is a great chance to get guidance and help to take the correct first decisions on the setup of that first project.
Registration is open to partners, but then becoming a partner is free if you are not one yet. Pricing is set at €99 per day for partners. Be quick if you need to register because seating is limited.
All details and registration information here.
This fall we’re giving you not one but two chances to win a netbook and other prizes! Next to the Belux Silverlight contest we are also launching the “Internet Explorer 8 – Webslices & Accelerators Contest”.
Webslices allow your site visitors to subscribe to portions of information on your site. They will see when the information is updated without having to go back to your site. For example, I have installed the Vacature.com webslice that shows me the latest additions to jobs for a certain keyword, as you can see in the screenshot on the right.
Accelerators allow users on any site to quickly do an action that is enabled by your own site. In the example below I’m selecting a sentence in Dutch and using the “Translate with Bing” accelerator to give me the translation in English – all of this without leaving the visited page. You can go further with this by showing mapping information, a calculation of some sort, a lookup of information at the user’s fingertips, etc.
In the IE8 contest your webslices must have a preview window such as the Bing translator one below.
The jury will be evaluating both the Silverlight and the IE8 contests. A great chance for some extra visibility of your skills and creativity!
Any Webslices and Accelerators you enable on your site can be submitted to the contest. For accelerators you will need to make sure they have a preview window. Other than that, we suggest you be as creative as possible in coming up with ideas for Webslices and Accelerators. Take a look at was is available today in the IE Add-ons gallery for some inspiration.
All the details on how to participate:
The contest is open to residents of Belgium or Luxembourg.
A few weeks ago we launched the Web Application Toolkits, (currently) seven different toolkits that give you project templates and sample code on developing a set of typical projects. These include making your site social, sending templated e-mail, integrating Bing search and also one giving you guidance on developing Internet Explorer 8 customizations such as Accelerators, Webslices and Visual Search.
A great start to get your first steps in this contest. A few new ASP.NET controls like the ASP.NET Web Slice control enables you to implement webslices very quickly. Be sure to check the Channel9 video explaining this toolkit.
The toolkit is most useful if you are developing in ASP.NET . But, if you prefer can also develop these customizations in any other platform. Some help on getting your webslice for Drupal and Joomla. See more at Hans Le Roy’s site (Dutch).
We just launched the BeLux Silverlight 3 Contest, where you have a chance to win a cool HP Mini Netbook pre-loaded with Windows 7 Ultimate or other cool prizes.
Got any cool project or idea for a Silverlight 3 project? Participating is easy and quick. Make sure your application or component is accessible publicly, send us a small description of why this is such a fantastic application and who knows, you might even win.
Need some visibility? This is a great chance to get some from top notch agencies at the same time!
People from both the Belgian web community as well as directors from Microsoft Belgium.
You have until December 12th to submit, read all about it: