Jerry Nixon

Microsoft Developer Evangelist

  • Jerry Nixon

    How to access a named control inside a XAML DataTemplate (using CSharp)

    imageLet me summarize the problem

    In XAML, the ItemsControl, ListBox, ListView, FlipView, or GridView are the repeater controls. To define how each item is displayed in the UI, the developer defines a DataTemplate which he assigns to the ItemsControl’s ItemTemplate property. The ItemTemplate is like this:

    The ItemTemplate

    <TextBox x:Name=”TextBox1” />

    So far, so easy. This is a common scenario and necessary for any repeater control in XAML. Rendering the ItemsControl, the ItemTemplate is repeated (see below) for every item in the ItemsSource (which has been assigned to some enumerable value like IList, ObservableCollection or even an Array).

  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8: Scheduled Tasks & the Lock Screen

    Windows 8 apps are like a stack of cards. Only the top card is active – the rest (apps) have their threads suspended. Windows 8 snap view actually allows for two active apps. That’s pretty cool. Read the whole article here
  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8: XAML Manipulation using Attached Properties

    In this previous article I discussed methods using XAML Manipulation Events with gestures to transform your UI, making it interactive. I talked about the different approaches you can use to leverage fingers and mouse. In this article, I want to show a...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Introducing the Windows Azure Store; we’ve loved it for years!

    imageMy fellow developer evangelist in California, Bret Stateham, wrote a great article on how Windows Azure developers can now more-easily leverage the Windows Azure Data Marketplace. Check it out.

    Did you know that Windows Azure has it’s own store?  It’s been around for some time as the Windows Azure Marketplace.  Well, today an update to the Windows Azure Management portal allows both store vendors and consumers a much better shopping experience! 

  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8: The right way to Read & Write Files in WinRT

    Windows 8 Metro development leverages WinRT; and, in WinRT, there are new namespaces – and namespace constriction in the .Net Framework. What you think you know, you may not. MSDN : In some cases, a type that you used in a .NET Framework desktop app doesn...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Adding Text Translation to your Windows 8 App

    imageThe Microsoft Translator is a powerful service that developers can leverage in their Windows 8 apps. It’s core functions are to detect the language of some text. To translate text from one language to another. And, to read text to you – that’s right! The API is hosted on Azure’s Data Marketplace. It has a pricing schedule, including a free tier that developers can leverage to develop with the API.

    ADM: Microsoft Translator delivers automatic translation (Machine Translation) of a text into a specified language. It is a state-of-the-art statistical machine translation system translating between any of the supported languages, and powering millions of translations every day. It also provides additional functionality such as detection of the language of a given text. For more technical information about Microsoft Translator, please visit

  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Let’s build a control like that awesome new one in Windows 8.1.

    imageIf you are like me, then every time you get a new MSDN magazine, you flip to the advertisements first. There’s nothing cooler than looking to see what component and control vendors come up with and present as next-gen UI. I have my own ideas on UX, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit those ads, over the years, haven’t influenced me.

    So, when new apps were included in the Windows 8.1 update, I immediately opened them to see if I could glean some UX ideas. Many of them are quite nice. But the timer app is particularly distinctive in its look and interaction. The interesting dial control is quite usable – it’s intuitive and flashy looking. I like both of those.

  • Jerry Nixon

    Mango Sample: 3 Solutions to Formatting Problems

    One of the most powerful aspects of XAML is it’s rich and dynamic support for data binding. MSDN : Data binding provides a simple way for Silverlight-based applications to display and interact with data. The way data is displayed is separated from the...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Wanna see the Unreal Engine running on Windows RT?

    NVidia has done it. They, with their partners have ported the full (yes, full) PC version of the Unreal engine over to Windows RT. You heard me! That means games that are currently on Xbox (like Mass Effect) and the PC can be easily ported and you can...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Capturing photos in your Windows 8 application

    Windows 8 apps easily access all the sensors on a Windows 8 machine. But Windows 8 apps can’t access any sensors on a Windows 8 machine without first asking the user’s permission. Asking Permission Windows 8 apps are safe. That’s...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Proven Marketing Strategies to Promote your Windows Phone App

    Creating a Windows Phone Application is straight-forward. The rich and robust Silverlight environment gives developers the tools a controls they need to create compelling user experiences. But what do you do once you have your application? What draws...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Mango Sample: 5 Must-Have Animations

    Metro Principles There are four Principles of Design for Windows Phone applications. MSDN : Metro is the name of the new design language created for the Windows Phone 7 interface. When given the chance for a fresh start, the Windows Phone design team...
  • Jerry Nixon

    What are the Best Practices for Windows 8 apps on ARM? I’ll show you.

    You must plan for every feature in your app, and the same is true for performance. Planning for performance consists of determining what your performance-critical scenarios will be, defining what good performance means, and measuring early enough in the...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows Server 8 Storage Management

    Windows Server 8 is introducing seriously big and awesome enhancements for the enterprise. As a cloud-optimized operating system, Storage Management has a host of new features and requirements. My colleague IT Pro evangelist, Chris Henley, in California...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Dynamically Skinning your Windows 8 App

    One powerful feature of XAML is the ability to make any control look however the developer or designer wants without having to change the control itself. Similar to, but far more powerful than CSS, skinning a control in XAML lets you change how it looks...
  • Jerry Nixon

    XAML: How to add ItemsSource to the Windows 8.1 MenuFlyout

    With Windows 8.0, Flyout options for developers were constrained to 1) custom development to get what you wanted or 2) using my Settings and Flyout helpers to shortcut the custom work, or using Tim’s Callisto Flyout to do it for you. They all worked,...
  • Jerry Nixon

    The two ways to handle orientation in your Windows 8.1 app

    imageAh, elegance. Handling orientation basically means adjusting your app to account for real estate changes when the user pivots their device from Landscape to Portrait, or when the user adjusts your app’s width.

    In Windows 8.0, there were four possible orientations: FullView (1366x768), FillView (1024x768), SnapView (320x768), and Portrait (768x1366). In Windows 8.1 there are two possible orientations: Landscape (width > height) and Portrait (width < height).

    CAVEAT: In either case, screen size (inches) can vary across devices. An increase in screen size (not to be confused with resolution), introduces new (or less) real estate for your app’s UX. As a result, developers should build responsive layouts to handle increases and decreases in screen real estate.

    Nostalgia: Yonder SnapView?

    Kids today don’t even know what we’re talking about when we say SnapView. We might as well be talking vacuum tubes and punch cards. So, where’s SnapView? Here’s the secret: it’s still there! In Windows 8.1 the minimum app width is 500 pixels. However, with a simple setting in your app’s manifest the 320 pixel width comes right back! You just don’t have SnapView enum anymore.

  • Jerry Nixon

    Use Expression Design to create a Windows 8 ‘Ratings’ control

    If you are not aware of Expression Design, you are missing a powerful tool in your toolbox. Expression Design allows designers and developers to create original vector assets or edit existing, including those created in other tools (like those from Adobe...
  • Jerry Nixon

    5 things you must do BEFORE you publish your app.

    You have your idea. You are developing your app. It’s coming along great. You can see the finish line. But do you need to do more than just develop your app? Here are 10 things you should do before you publish.


  • Jerry Nixon

    There is absolutely *no* reason you aren’t using Visual Studio ULTIMATE!

    imageOften when I talk to developers the examples I provide them or the walkthroughs I give them don’t match their version of Visual Studio. And why? Because they are using Express. Expression is the free version of Visual Studio and for what it is, it’s awesome. But VS Ultimate is the freakin’ bomb!

    Here the deal: if you are a developer there is absolutely no reason reason you aren’t using Visual Studio Ultimate to build your Windows 8 app!

  • Jerry Nixon

    5 Questions on Solid State

    One of our Colorado Storage MVPs, and coordinator of the Windows Technology User Group , recently wrote an article Search Data Center addressing 5 of the core questions around SSD. Everyone wants better storage performance and solid state drive...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Sorry, Google Chrome is not supported

    It’s Back to the Future. Browser wars are so passé. Yet here we are. No so long ago, Netscape went head-to-head against Internet Explorer. Netscape lost . Not so long ago, Firefox went head-to-head against Internet Explorer. Firefox lost . Not so long...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Microsoft DevRadio: Your Top Windows Store Questions Answered

    Abstract: clip_image002
    Jerry Nixon welcomes Principal Program Manager Arik Cohen to the show as they discuss the recently launched Windows Store and a wide variety of topics developers ask most.

    • [8:11] Can I use my existing MSI to sell my apps?
    • [9:51] Can I use the Windows Store as a delivery mechanism for a Windows 32 bit desktop app?
    • [11:45] What other markets / currency does the Windows Store support?
    • [14:16] Can Penguins in Antarctica use the Windows Store?
    • [15:34] What is the opportunity size for Windows 8 Developers?
    • [16:32] Payment Options?
    • [18:20] How are apps sorted? How can I get featured?
    • [20:41] What analytics are available?
    • [22:10] How do I get paid?
    • [24:35] What is the revenue split?
    • [25:54] Pricing & Licensing for my app?
    • [30:41] Do trials work?
    • [36:31] What about subscription support for my app?
  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8 Play, Pause, Resume. Do you even know what it is?

    Join Jerry Nixon, Developer Evangelist for Microsoft and Brian Tyler, Principal Development Lead, Xbox LIVE Services, as Brian discusses Xbox Live for Windows which provides connections to the cloud and is all about you as a player. Gamers will be excited...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Really?! OneNote vs. EverNote

    Leonardo da Vinci gave us a different note-taking paradigm. His notes started in the middle of the page, not the top, where he wrote or illustrated the core theme of that particular page of notes. From there he drew branches out to various main topics...
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