One of my favorite songs from my college days was R.E.M.'s Talk about the Passion.  Since I have been talking about technology I have always brought some of my passion into my demonstrations and presentations.  Because of this, I have never liked to demonstrate technology with "Hello World" applications, preferring to bring my interests into the mix and show off how I would personally apply technology to a challenge.  Here are some demos that I am working on right now:

Sharing My Journals with Silverlight

I am a Journalist, one who keeps journals.  I started the practice when I was in architecture school and have used journals to record my travels in a rich way.  I use sketching, collage, watercoloring, and more recently photographs (with my digital camera and Epson PhotoMate) to journal my life.  It's a wonderful hobby for me and it's a way of saying that my life is worth recording.  My boys are going to love these some day.

Over the years, I have tried many ways to share the pages journals online:

I found that none of these offered a user experience even close to the rich media that the actual journal offers.  That's the challenge that I want to attack with Silverlight! I am using the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha to do this in C# and I love it!  I'll post this soon!

6/15/2007 - Updated: I just posted the Silverlight Journal app here.

Hosting the Windows Workflow Foundation Designer in Mindjet MindManager

Windows Workflow Foundation has a cool drag and drop designer tool that can be hosted in other applications.  This puts the designer into a MindManager Task Pane.  If you have been following me you will notice that MindManager is an application that I love and creating the Mindjet Labs was one of my passions when I was at Mindjet.  If you have any ideas for using Workflow with MindManager, please contact me.

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RibbonX API for Mindjet MindManager Pro 7

An Add-In for Mindjet MindManager that lets you use the RibbonX XML API to design Office Fluent User Interfaces for the new Mindjet MindManager 7.  The Workflow designer that I just mentioned uses this add-in to define its user interface (see the above image to see what the XML below turns into:

<customUI xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/2006/01/customui">

<ribbon>

    <tabs>

        <tab id="Workflow" label="Workflow">

            <group id="Run" label="Run">

                <button label="Start Workflow" onAction="StartWorkflow" id="StartWorkflow"/>

            </group>

            <group id="Edit" label="Edit">

                <button label="Edit Workflow" onAction="EditWorkflow" id="EditWorkflow"/>

            </group>

            <group id="Embed" label="Embed">

            </group>

        </tab>

     </tabs>

</ribbon>

</customUI>

TFS Work Item Creator for Word 2007

This uses a Office Fluent User interface in Word 2007 to connect to a Team Foundation Server and create work items for a project on that server.  This is an example of an Office Business Application (OBA).  When I was at Mindjet, I worked with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server group to create a Requirement gathering solution for MindManager.

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As you might realize by now, one of my favorite parts of my job is figuring out innovative ways of combining technology to meet real-world challenges.  Here are my favorites technologies at the moment:

  • Silverlight
  • WPF
  • Office 2007 Fluent Ribbon User Interface
  • Team Foundation Server
  • Mindjet MindManager
  • XSLT & XML
  • Office Business Applications

What are some of your ideas about how these can be combined?  What else should I be playing with?