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When a 'z' just doesn't cut it... (Oren Nachman's random notes from Microsoft)

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  • Blog Post: Last Minute Perf Video for Mango

    I had the opportunity to join Microsoft Research and this year's Interns at a recent XAPfest event (a regular internal Windows Phone development event) and give a performance talk for Mango / Tango (i.e. WP 7.x) - here's hoping it's the last one before we move on to Windows Phone 8! To check it (and...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone App Lookup Tool

    Ever ended up with an application's GUID but not with the app's name? Probably not, but just in case you do ever need to reverse lookup a Windows Phone's app name from its GUID, you can grab App Lookup . It's also Open Source (i.e. not official Microsoft), so feel free to grab it, fork it and send through...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with Node.js and Mango

    It's been a while since I've found time to blog - but it's not like I've left you in cold hands. Rohan has been doing a great job posting on the Silverlight for Windows Phone Performance blog (check it out if you haven't yet). On a completely non-performance related topic (we'll get to those in the...
  • Blog Post: SL WP7 Toolkit Pro Tip: Set a background on your LongListSelector so that it scrolls correctly

    Got a LongListSelector in your project? Notice that if you try to scroll in blank areas (where the background shows through) it won't react? Set: Background="{StaticResource PhoneBackgroundBrush}" or to whatever colour you prefer and all your problems should go away.
  • Blog Post: WP7 Silverlight Gotcha: Using the ListPicker from the Toolkit may cause you to fail certification

    Applies To: Anyone using the current iteration of the Silverlight Tookit from Nov 2010 Toolkit Link: http://silverlight.codeplex.com/releases Quick Bits A Toolkit ListPicker control that has less than 5 items in it will display inline (expands) but will not collapse when you press the back button...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Silverlight Gotcha: Setting the Source on a MediaElement will stop background music playback

    Applies To: Silverlight (the restriction applies to XNA, but the MediaElement is only Silverlight) Quick Bits Simply setting the Source of a MediaElement to a valid source will stop any current background playback, causing you to fail Marketplace certification, according to section 6.5.1 from the...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Dev Tip: Detecting whether or not the user is playing music in the background

    Applies To: Silverlight & XNA Quick Bits Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Media.MediaPlayer.GameHasControl The Setup Your app does some sort of music playing that doesn't make sense to blend into any already playing background music (for example, you're going to stream your own music) or you simply...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Gotcha: Showing a Launcher or Chooser will crash while Navigating

    Applies To: Silverlight & XNA (anyone using Launchers / Choosers) Quick Bits Always wrap [some launcher object].Show() with a try/catch block which catches InvalidOperationException , since running Show() while navigating (for example, if the user clicks your button multiple times quickly in...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Marketplace Tip #2.5 - Free App + Updates Policy Clarified (finally)

    It's been a while, and there's been a lot of confusion surrounding this topic of "5 free apps", so here's the final low down: Unlimited number of paid applications This includes updates to said applications A paid application cannot be made free 5 submissions of free applications...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight Performance at TechEd Europe

    If you happen to be down at TechEd Europe this week, don't forget to come by the Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight booths (they're opposite each other in the Technical Learning Centre) and say hello. You'll get to play with some phones from HTC and interact directly with both teams - don't miss out! ...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Silverlight Perf Demo 1: VirtualizingStackPanel vs. StackPanel as a ListBox ItemsPanel

    This is the first in a series of blog posts which run through the demos from my PDC 2010 talk , with small updates and full code download. The Demo Download the sample Load the xap and then compare the two scenarios on the main page. Look out for: The smoothness (if at all) of the...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Marketplace Tip #2: 5 Free Apps == 5 Free App *Submissions*

    Updated Policy! Sure, the App Hub site says : Submit up to five free apps to Windows Phone Marketplace, additional submissions are $19.99 USD But here's what it really means: Submit up to five free apps (including updates) to the Windows Phone Marketplace, additional submissions (of apps...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 Performance Session at PDC!

    It's that time of year again - PDC 2010 kicks of tomorrow! Join the Silverlight Performance Team as we take you through the high level analysis of common performance issues that apps commonly run into. I'll be giving a live session titled "Optimizing Performance for Silverlight WP7 Apps" at 3:15pm (PDT...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight: Why do I get 0x8000ffff when using WriteableBitmap on an Element

    I'm working on a WP7 library which helps analyze your VisualTree and to provide a visual aid, I take WriteableBitmap snaps of the elements. Unfortunately I (seemingly) randomly encounter the following exception: A first chance exception of type 'System.Exception' occurred in System.Windows.dll...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Marketplace Tip #1: Submit one app with multiple locales

    ... as opposed to multiple apps, each with a different locale. Why? If these are free apps, then each language will count towards your free app quota (you get 5 free apps that you don't need to pay certification costs for) Regardless of price, each app will need to go through independent...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Perf Tip #5: Check your memory usage

    Two for the price of one today! Take Aways: Make sure your memory usage is below 90MB . Always check your memory usage while you're developing your app (preferably on device) by using the following code: long deviceTotalMemory = (long)DeviceExtendedProperties.GetValue("DeviceTotalMemory...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Perf Tip #4: Use fully qualified paths when setting the source property

    File this one under "Sad, but True"... Take Away's: Always prefix your source paths with a "/" (full-qualified path) instead of simply using relative paths. Correct: <Image Source=" / Resources/Images/Background.jpg"> Incorrect: <Image Source="Resources/Images/Background.jpg...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Perf Tip #3: Read the performance document

    This is kind of obvious - but important. Read the White Paper which was written by the Silverlight performance team (mainly Shane Guillet) and browse through the samples that come with it. In these blog posts I'll try to distill specific items from the paper into blog format, but you can't replace the...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Perf Tip #2: Know your ProgressBar

    Take Away's: Do not use the built in ProgressBar straight up, use Jeff's template When you're done with an indeterminate ProgressBar, make sure to toggle IsIndeterminate to False and Collapse the bar General: Always make sure to stop animations / remove animating controls when they're no...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Perf Tip #1: Test on Device

    I'm kicking off a series of posts about Silverlight perfofmance under Windows Phone 7 with a a kind of obvious one, but one that is important to keep in mind from the get go. Tip: Test your code on device as much as possible But the Emulator is awesome?!? True, the emulator, otherwise...
  • Blog Post: WP7 Silverlight TextBoxes No Longer Scroll

    There's a change in the pipeline that will be hitting the public Windows Phone 7 images at some point soon (post the current Beta), which removes the ScrollViewer from a TextBox's template. What does this mean? Basically, long TextBoxes will no longer scroll when you gesture over them - the gesture...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone System Tray obscures FrameRate counters

    Here's a small tip for those of you who want to debug performance in a Windows Phone Silverlight app with the frame rate counters, but have the System Tray visible - hide it. The counters currently show up behind the system tray (since technically the tray is a system overlay which is drawing over...
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