MCS UK Solution Development Team

The blog of the UK Solutions Development Team of Microsoft Consulting Services.

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  • Blog Post: HTML 5 / JavaScript: Creating a Carousel

    Following on from my previous posts on html5 animation and reflection effects, I thought I'd put it all together and create a carousel. Firstly, I create a JavaScript pseudo class called CarouselImage. This takes an image url and draws it at a given co-ordinate, scaled by a co-efficient (used to simulate...
  • Blog Post: HTML5 / JavaScript: Reflections and Skew Effects

    In carousel and coverflow type controls, you often see a “reflection” type effect. This is normally done by transforming an image to mirror the original then applying an alpha gradient to this (i.e. progressively increasing the transparency of the image). I recently attempted to recreate...
  • Blog Post: HTML5 / JavaScript Canvas Animation

    In this article, I will show how to create a basic animation using JavaScript and the HTML 5 Canvas elements. The animation uses two png images (of concentric circles with transparency) that move within the constrains of the canvas to create a nice pattern effect. This demo has been primarily built for...
  • Blog Post: MIX11 In Pictures

    There were a lot of announcements at MIX this year! I’d really encourage you to watch the day 1 keynote and day 2 keynote videos, but if you don’t have time here’s a visual summary of the key headlines… Day 1 Keynote , Dean Hachamovitch, Scott Guthrie The MIX 11 conference kicked off with a review of...
  • Blog Post: Animated Panel layout transitions in WPF and Silverlight using Blend Behaviors

    I wrote a blog article a few weeks ago about how to write animated panels. Another way of doing this was introduced to me by Stuart Richardson using Blend Behaviors which I like a lot. It’s fairly simple so this is going to be a short post. Suppose you have a panel, say a StackPanel that knows nothing...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint: Advanced Page Viewer Web Part

    Pulling through specific web page content Recently I’ve been working on developing dashboard application for a team portal site in SharePoint 2010. As any familiar with dashboard design and development knows, you often find yourself pulling in various nuggets of information that are dotted around the...
  • Blog Post: An Animated Custom Panel base class for WPF and Silverlight

    The full code base for this posting can be located here . If you have used XAML at all, you will have used some of the built in layout panels such as Grid and StackPanel and if you are a developer you have probably developed a custom panel that implements your own layout logic. In case you haven’t...
  • Blog Post: Building a Windows Phone 7 game, with SharePoint communication

    So, you’ve never made a game before for the Windows Phone 7 - you’ve opened up your brand new Visual Studio 2010, with the Windows Phone 7 developer tools; but you don’t know what to do, or how to get started. This is the situation that both myself (Michael Tsikkos) and James Glading faced at the beginning...
  • Blog Post: The Cool Wall is Back

    For those of you who are fans of the BBC show Top Gear, you may remember the Cool Wall, and now you can get your very own Cool Wall along with the launch of IE9 beta and BBC’s Top Gear site. I have been very fortunate to be a member in the team within UK MCS to develop and deliver this site. For this...
  • Blog Post: DesignData MVVM support in Blend, VS2010 and WPF/Silverlight

    When developing a solution using WPF or Silverlight, there are normally designers working in Blend and developers working with them in Visual Studio 2010. Often it is impractical for designers to use data from live systems (e.g. they don’t want to install SQL etc.) but they need data to flesh out the...
  • Blog Post: System.Reflection.AmbiguousMatchException : Why extending Silverlight through sub-classing might result in this error.

    Earlier this week we spotted we had a problem with a Silverlight application that has been live for a while.  We were only able to reproduce it with the Silverlight 4 runtime installed and not the Silverlight 3 runtime.  The reason is actually quite interesting from an academic point of view...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight Arc Control in 5 Easy Steps

    Whilst working on a proof of concept, we came up with an idea for an interesting menu that would form an arc around a company logo at the top-left corner of the UI: When a user moves the mouse over one of the icons it would be magnified, much like a fish eye control. These icons could then also be dragged...
  • Blog Post: Performance characteristics of the Silverlight DataGrid

    Overview This article will discuss the performance characteristics of the Silverlight DataGrid both standalone and in comparison with an HTML DataGrid with similar functionality. The project I was working on had a large ASP.NET DataGrid that was performing very badly, and we were asked to rewrite...
  • Blog Post: Dynamically Changing the Display Language in Silverlight

    On a recent Silverlight project we had a requirement to be able to dynamically change the language of the site without refreshing the page. This ruled out the normal way of doing localisation using Resource files and meant we had to find away of binding text strings to a ‘Dynamic Resource’.  Given...
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