How does a Flash developer get going with HTML5?


    EaselJS spritesheetEaselJS is a JavaScript library that provides an API that will be familiar to Flash developers to make it easier to work with canvas.

    HTML5 is supported in Internet Explorer 9 and higher, and other modern web browsers. You can build native apps for Windows 8 with HTML5. The great thing about this broad uptake of HTML5 is more and more resources to help game developers make the move to HTML5 and JavaScript.

    EaselJS is a JavaScript library that contains a number of classes for working with Canvas. These APIs will be familiar to Flash developers.

    Best of all you can download it, find documentation, and examples all right here

    Other developers are already exploring EaselJS and have created posts and videos to help you get started.

    The resources are there and waiting! Check it out! Then build a game, find out how to publish your game to Windows 8 and tell me when you do so I can try it out! You might even want to enter your game in Imagine Cup.

    Here are a few examples you can explore to see what the APIs will do for you so you can start drooling, I mean coding!

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    Curious about co-op and new full time jobs at Microsoft?


    The Microsoft Human Resources team has put together some webinars to help you understand some of the opportunities available!

    Some of the more common questions I get when I am on campus and talking to students are around job opportunities. Microsoft Canada does hire co-op students and new graduates, but, Microsoft Canada does not have a lot of technical positions. The Gaming studios in British Columbia hire interns and graduates, but aside from that most of the technical positions are based out of Redmond, Washington. The good news is that many of these positions are filled by Canadian students! To find the list of current job opportunities from Microsoft corporate visit the student section of the careers website. If you are looking for Microsoft Canada intern opportunities check the Canadian Microsoft student jobs site.

    Sometimes it’s hard to gauge what a job entails from a job posting, so the Microsoft HR team has put together a series of free webinars to help you find out more about the types of positions available. This a great chance to find out more about what it’s like to work at Microsoft.   Details on all the upcoming webinars can be found here. Times are probably PST.

    Friday, October 12, 2012 4:30-6:30 Software Testing in Your Career

    • Get the scoop from academic and industry icons on why testing is vital to any successful career in software, no matter your role or title.

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 6pm-7pm Demystifying the Microsoft Program Manager Role

    • It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ...Microsoft PM!? Chat with current Microsoft PMs and decide if this role is right for you.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 12pm-1pm Demystifying the Microsoft Program Manager Role

    • It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ...Microsoft PM!? Chat with current Microsoft PMs and decide if this role is right for you.

    Monday, December 03, 2012 11:30am-1pm The Insiders View on Windows 8

    • Hear from a Microsoft top dog on the coolness that is Windows 8.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 4:30pm-6pm The Insiders View on Windows 8

    • Hear from a Microsoft top dog on the coolness that is Windows 8.

    Microsoft has been listed as a top employer in Canada and Worldwide, come find out why!

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    Ready to develop for Windows Phone 8?


    Windows Phone 8 start screenWindows Phone 8 launched this week, so how can you build apps for the latest phones?

    Windows Phone 8 was launched Monday and the reviews are in. If you haven’t seen it yet, the Windows Phone website is a great place to see what’s new for the phone user.

    For the Windows Phone developer, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is available now. I just wanted to give you a heads up on what you need to know to start developing for Windows Phone 8. I’ll cover:

    • Where do I get the SDK so I can build Windows Phone 8 apps?
    • What’s in the SDK?
    • What are the system requirements for the SDK? (hint: Windows 8 with Hyper-V enabled)
    • What new APIs and features can I leverage?
    • If I am building an app with the Windows Phone 7 SDK do I have to restart it?

    Where do I get the SDK so I can build Windows Phone 8 apps?

    Download it here. (TIP: Don’t forget to register for developer movement to get rewards for your apps!)

    What’s in the SDK?

    The SDK includes Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone, or will work as an add-in to Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate (TIP: As a student you can those higher editions of Visual Studio for free from DreamSpark!).

    The SDK also includes emulators. So if you install the SDK you have everything you need to develop, test and deploy your Windows Phone 8 application. (TIP: As a student you can even get your Windows Phone Store account for free)

    What are the system requirements for the SDK?

    Here are the system requirements for the Windows Phone 8 SDK

    • Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions
    • Hardware: 4 GB of free hard disk space, 4 GB RAM, 64-bit (x64) CPU
    • Windows Phone 8 Emulator: Windows 8 Pro edition or greater, a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

    If you have already been developing for Windows Phone 7,note the new requirement: You need to be running a 64 bit Windows 8 OS to install the Windows Phone 8 SDK.

    If you don’t meet the requirements for the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will install and run but the Windows Phone 8 Emulator will not function and you will not be able to deploy or test apps on the Emulator.

    The emulator uses Hyper-V so if you try to run a project in the emulator and Hyper-V is not enabled, you will be prompted to turn on Hyper-V. Turning on Hyper-V will require you to restart your computer.

    What new APIs and features can I leverage?

    If you visit the Windows Phone Dev Center you’ll find all documentation and samples for the Windows Phone 8 SDK. I’ll mention a couple of new features here just to whet your appetite

    If I am building an app with the Windows Phone 7 SDK do I have to restart it?

    No. Apps built for Windows Phone 7.5 still run on Windows Phone 8, so finish and publish that app you are working on! Then if you want to leverage some of the new Windows 8 features, you can do that in your next release. (TIP: Don’t forget to register for developer movement to get rewards for your apps!)

    Windows Phone 8 Designed for each of us, now what app will you put out there for each of us?

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    10 Things you may not know about Windows 8


    Look at thisYou probably know that Windows 8 is available October 26th, but what don’t you know?

    1. There are two editions of Windows 8 available: Windows 8  and Windows RT

    Both versions allow people to download apps from the store (so everyone with Windows 8 can download your Windows store apps.) Windows RT runs just the new Windows 8 Store apps, and there are Windows 8 apps for Office. Windows 8 runs the new apps, and also allows you to run all the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7. I like the simple way this blog by Eric Nelson explains the difference. But here’s the official explanation as well.

    2. You won’t miss the Start button

    You can launch an app by hitting the Windows key and typing the name of the app to launch. You can also use Windows+X to bring up the start menu. More great keyboard shortcuts here

    3. The Surface rocks, but there is other great hardware for Windows 8 too

    The Microsoft Surface is getting some great reviews, here’s a review from Wired. But if it’s not what you are looking for, there are a lot of manufacturers releasing awesome Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. Tablet? Hybrid? touch laptops? Find the device that is right for you.

    4. Students can publish Windows Store apps for free

    Just like the Windows Phone store, the Windows Store offers free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program. Instructions on how to create that account are here.

    5. Windows 8 enables Hyper-V

    This means I no longer have to have Windows Server running on a laptop in dual boot so I can use Hyper-V virtual machines to set up different developer environments.

    6. How to print from Windows store apps

    It’s on the charms, under devices.

    7. Windows 8 isn’t just boxes and squares

    When you buy Windows 8 (not Windows RT), you still get the desktop which you know already so the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7 run on Windows 8 as well. So, if you are used to Windows XP or Windows 7, you won’t find it difficult to transition to Windows 8.

    8. Windows 8 is for business too! not just for consumers

    Most of what you’ve heard has been about consumer features like video, Skype, Xbox and Music. But Windows 8 is for business too. There is actually a Windows 8 for business website where you can find out more.

    9. Canadians are already building great Windows 8 apps

    Canada has amazing developers, and already their apps are starting to appear in the Windows store. Tetes a Claques, Tou.tv, games from Sad Cat, WayTwoGood, to name a few. Will yours be next, find out how to get started.

    10. It boots faster than Windows 7

    A lot of people ask me how well Windows 8 will run on their existing laptops. I installed it on my laptop which was my Windows 7 machine. It boots up faster.

    Be a part of Windows 8, build a cool app, get it published, get some help building your app, join us at one of the upcoming WOWZapp events on November 9-11th in Canada, part of a worldwide Windows hackathon! Our main WOWZapp site will be in Vancouver, but there are students organizing WOWZapp events for students across the country. Register today!

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    Tips and gotchas for Windows 8 apps: WayTwoGood


    Windows 8 WayTwoGood AppThis series features interviews with student Windows 8 app developers who share the lessons they learned building Windows 8 applications.

    This week’s interview features Three Red Cubes a team of students from Ryerson University who built an application called WayTwoGood.

    Could you briefly describe your application/game?

    WayTwoGood is built to deliver aggregated daily deals from multiple websites. By using Windows 8 APIs the application makes it easy to find great deals across many major cities in North America.

    Did you use .NET and Silverlight, HTML and Java, or DirectX and C++

    We used .Net and Silverlight. Since the app is very presentation-oriented and data-intensive, we used our experience of building Windows Phone apps to create a polished and rich app.

    What was your banging your head against a wall moment?

    While applying the Windows 8 development methods, it took us a little while to understand how the different visual states worked and to create them. This is a major feature on Windows 8 and we wanted to make sure our app took advantage of the different view states.

    Did you ever solve that issue?

    By going through the default sample and understanding how the LayoutAwarePage class (provided in the sample) handled Snapped, Filled, Portrait and Landscape views, we were able to incorporate that into our app.

    If you had to build this same app again from scratch, what would you do differently?

    Having understood the different visual states, if we were designing it from scratch, we would be more forward thinking about the different elements and controls we created for the app. Making the process of creating a fully compatible Windows 8 app a breeze.

    Any nice surprises?

    - The huge amount of code we reused from the Windows Phone version of the app was very surprising and welcome.

    - The “async, await, Task” pattern of Windows 8 development was very easy to adopt and move away from event-driven approach. This made our app very efficient and provided a great, fluid user experience.

    Did you leverage the mobile platform?

    We built the app to be completely compatible with different screen resolutions, orientations and visual states. Because Windows 8 will be on many different devices of different form-factors we wanted to make sure our app provided a great, uniform experience.

    Did you leverage touch?

    The application provides full support for touch. The Windows 8 APIs make it really easy to provide user interactions through both keyboard-mouse and touch.

    Did you have a favourite Windows 8 feature?

    It’s really difficult to choose between the Windows 8 API contracts and “async, await, Task.” Without either of them our application would have been very different.

    What is one thing you think you did really well in this application?

    The application is really responsive thanks to the “async, await, Task” model of programming that’s taken centre stage in Windows 8 development.

    Are you publishing your application/game?

    Yes we’ve already published the app and is being featured on the Marketplace since last month. Download it from the Marketplace here:

    Did you fail certification? If so what caused you to fail, and how did you fix it?

    We failed certification the first time we submitted the app because of how we had structured navigation and data loading, which was causing the app to show slow performance on first run. We fixed it by creating an overlay which disappeared as content was being downloaded, once again, by virtue of “async, await, Task” calls.

    Where can I learn more about your app/game?

    Visit on our website at http://threeredcubes.com/ and check out all our projects. If you’re in Toronto, you can always visit our office and say hi.

    Who developed this application?

    We’re a team of Ryerson University students who have a start-up called Three Red Cubes and we’re working out of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone.

    Three Red Cubes Team

    Don’t forget to create your account in the Windows 8 store, reserve your app name, and get your app out there. For information about how to create your account and resources on how to get coding check out our Windows 8 resources page

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