Points To Remember While Developing App For Windows 8

Recently I attended Windows 8 AppFest at Banglore and preparing now for Wowzapp (Windows 8 Hackathon) in Agra and learned a lot about developing Windows 8 apps, and I found many folks here are confused about the metro style apps (Windows RT Style). This post is to keep in mind some points what to do and what not to do while developing apps for Windows 8.

Use of Buttons

Use of buttons in Windows 8 apps is strictly prohibited, it’s not that the button control is not present there, but the classic button view is ignored and preferred not to be used, as the Windows 8 UI is completely a new one and these buttons make them look clumsy. There won’t be any issues while getting your app certified but ignoring them are the standard developing rules, you can use the Image element instead and can use the image click events to add events to it or if you want to stick to button control you need to completely customize it, use some background foreground images and color such that it doesn’t look like a classic button.

Color Range

I have seen many developers adding gradient in the background which may look good to them but not to all the users, so try to keep your app simple and don’t add such gradients use a single color in your background and some contrast color for the foreground items.

App Bar

This is located at the bottom of the app and comes up when the app is right clicked, this contains all the actions that can be performed on that particular app page. Your app page is meant to be kept very clean just the data that is to be accessed and all the setting/actions/navigation should come to the charm, app bar or navigation bar.

Navigation Bar

This is located at the top of the application and comes up on right click, this contains all the navigation’s which are possible, like menu items etc. remember menu items can’t be in the app bar, app bar only contains the actions to be performed on a particular page. Having a separate view of AppBar and NavigationBar in mind is very important.

Few other points to be kept in mind are :

  • Your app should be Fast and Fluid
  • Snap and Scale Beautifully
  • Use the right Contracts
  • Invest in a Great Tile
  • Feel Connected and Alive
  • Embrace Metro Principles

Hope you emerge out to be a great app developer, cheers.

Php Tutorial 1 – Setting up localhost

Hi everyone I’m starting with the tutorials of php here in a series, hope it help you guys, stay updates for a series of php tutorials.

As you know php is a server side scripting language, it is mainly used to develop websites and web-applications. Since it is a server side scripting language you need a server to run your php files, for this there are two options i.e either you get your web hosting account or setup your own server. I find setting up your server is a better option so here I will  tell you how to install it, I use WAMP server which automatically configures php, mysql, apache and phpmyadmin. Just click on the link below to download wamp server:

http://www.wampserver.com/en/download.php

download 32bit version or 64bit according to your requirement.

After installing you will get a shortcut on your desktop, start it by double clicking it you will get a wamp icon in your taskbar.

Click on that icon to get menu…

Wamp menu

>localhost – it will open the address of localhost in your web browser.

>phpmyadmin – this is a installed alias which will help you manage your databases.

>www directory – this is the directory where you will place you php files/projects to run.

>apache – manages apache extensions.

>php – manages php extensions.

>mysql – manages mysql extensions.

 

That was all about installing wamp server i.e setting up a localhost.

Next post will we a very simple post just telling you about a hello world program in php… till then install php… :)

How to use multiview in asp.net ??

Multiview and view were the new controls added in ASP.NET 2.0, these controls are very much useful in making tab like control and may be used to create simple image gallery with previous and next buttons. In this tutorial I will explain you how to use multiview and view as a simple image gallery, the tab control will be published after this tutorial on readers appeal.
Here are the simple steps to start working with multiview and view controls:

STEP 1: You need to just drag and drop the multiview control and the number of views you want inside that multiview. (Note – views can only be taken inside a multiview).

It should appear somewhat like the fig below:

MultiView

Step 2: Now you need to set the content of each view control, content can be any thing i.e. simple plain text or images or any other asp or HTML control, here we are building a image gallery so we will use images as our content.

Step 3: As from the name multiview its clear that you can set multiple views to a single control and at a time only one is visible, so now its time to change controls on user choice, i will do it on a button click you may do it on whichever event you like. Firstly on page load event we need to set the first view as a default view, he code of this is written in page load function

 protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
if (!IsPostBack)
{
MultiView1.SetActiveView(View1);
Label1.Text = MultiView1.Views.Count.ToString();
}
}

here MultiView1 is the name of the multiview taken and SetActiveView method is used to set the view in active mode i.e which is visible, here its View1. Here the Label1 is used to take a record currently which view is set in active mode.

now on button click you need to change the active view which can be simply done by SetActiveView(). I have taken two buttons Prev and Next. Prev buttons takes you to the previous image and the next button to the next image in the gallery.

Function on Next Button Click

 protected void Next_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
int index = MultiView1.ActiveViewIndex;
int count = Convert.ToInt32(Label1.Text);
if (index == 0)
Prev.Enabled = true;
index = index + 1;
MultiView1.SetActiveView(MultiView1.Views[index]);
if (index+1 == count)
Next.Enabled = false;
}

Function on Prev Button Click

 protected void Button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
int index = MultiView1.ActiveViewIndex;
int count = Convert.ToInt32(Label1.Text);
if (index+1 == count)
Next.Enabled = true;
index = index – 1;
MultiView1.SetActiveView(MultiView1.Views[index]);
if (index == 0)
Prev.Enabled = false;
}

The above code uses a label which stores the index of the current active view and the index variable stores the number of views present in that multiview:

int index = MultiView1.ActiveViewIndex;

the above line i.e. ActiveViewIndex() gets the number of views present in a multiview.

Hope you enjoy making your image gallery using a simple multiview control rather that using large javascripts.

Request for source code if needed or tab control tutorial via multiview.

Intel Polaris 80-core CPU.

The Teraflops Research Chip (also called Polaris) is the first processor prototype developed by Intel’s Tera-scale Computing Research Program in multi-core and energy efficient computing. The processor was briefly presented at the IDF on September 26, 2006 and officially announced on February 11, 2007 and shown working at the 2007 ISSCC.
The chip contains 80 cores, each containing two programmable floating point engines and one 5-port messaging passing router. Constructed using a 65 nm CMOS process, the die is 12.64 mm by 21.72 mm (274.5 mm²) and contains 100 million transistors. The package is connected through a 1248 pin LGA with 343 signal pins.
Running at 3.16 GHz the chip achieved 1.01 TFLOPS with a total power consumption of 62 W and an on-chip temperature of 110 °C (383 K).[1] Increasing frequency to 5.7 GHz and power to 265 W increased performance to 1.81 TFLOPS and later 2 TFLOPS.

i know its late but the facts are really amazing… !!!

10 reasons why to buy Windows Phone 7

Windows phone 7 has already made a great impact on market, everyone who works on a business class phone says that it has good looks and promising features. Top 10 features in WP7 according to great surveys around the world are listed below :

  1. Smooth transitional user interface
  2. Informative lock screen and auto-hidden top status bar
  3. Good Office integration and support
  4. Bing search page and functionality
  5. Easy setup for Google, Windows Live, Yahoo! Mail, and others
  6. Functional QWERTY keyboard
  7. Cool camera software
  8. Tellme voice search
  9. Powerful Outlook email, calendar, and contacts client
  10. Zune HD functionality

Whats Still Missing ??

The top most features in which Windows Phone 7 lacks are -

  • Limited multi-tasking.

Just like the previous versions of the iPhone, you can have native apps running in the background so you could listen to Zune HD streaming content while surfing the web and receiving emails on the go.There are several other areas that need work, such as the games in Xbox Live, Twitter support, 3rd party apps, and more.

 But above all mentioned missing attributes of WP7… its still a great deal in mobile market… hope u enjoy WP7… :)

Microsoft CEO at IIT-D on 26th May

Hey buddy want to meet the CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer ?? A golden opportunity for you all, Steve is in India on 26th to deliver a guest lecture in IIT-D on their Golden Jubilee. If you happen to be in or around Delhi on 26th it would be a great chance for you all to hear from such a speaker. He would be talking about emerging technology and importance of research and innovation.

 Technology has an exponential path in front of it, meaning it has the ability to propel science, medicine, business, social issues and personal interaction in ways that are increasingly important to society and our own everyday lives.
- Steve Ballmer

Date:       26th May, 2011
Venue:     Dogra Hall, IIT Delhi
Time:       4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Agenda:  
Opening note by Prof. Surendra Prasad, Director IIT Delhi
Key note by Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation

“Student & faculty registration can be done at http://bit.ly/iitd-steveb

hope we meet there… :)

Apps on Facebook.com

Hello everyone I’m here to discuss about how to build a Facebook App. Facebook has millions of user with it and developing an app on Facebook gets you opportunity to deeply integrate into the core Facebook experience. An app developed on Facebook can integrate with many aspects of Facebook.com, including the News Feed and Notifications. Apps on Facebook are the web apps that are loaded in context of Facebook. And a web app can we developed by any of the available languages, the further Blog is based on php.

The apps on facebook are canvas based, we have a canvas (or iframe) in which we load our app.
Suppose the url to your app is http://www.stalwartvision.com/canvas then the app url will be http://www.apps.facebook.com/your_app_name (i.e. this url will load the contents of your original app link).Before getting into anything lets know the size of canvas so that we can build our app efficiently.  
760px (width) – if you build your app on a full app page, and
520px (width) – if you embed your app on a page in Facebook.com

Facebook Integration

Firstly you need to goto Developer App click on Set Up a New App, further you will be asked to enter the name of your app, do it and proceed, cross the security checks and all and doing all that you will be redirected to a page where you need to enter the basic information about your app and this page will also contain the tab Facebook Integration. Under this tab you will get your app_id and app_secret, you need to note these two because they will be used further in your app. Your canvas url gets integrated to facebook now what you need to do is start developing your app.

I can’t give you an idea of what an app to develop, so am just proceeding with how to use the facebook pre-defined functions in your app and access the user information. You need a facebook.php, which contains all the required pre-defined functions to be used. A sample code to use these functions and access user information on Facebook is –

 <?php

// Awesome Facebook Application (shubham0987@gmail.com)require_once ‘facebook.php’;
// Create our Application instance.$facebook = new Facebook(array(  ‘appId’ => ‘your_app_id‘,  ‘secret’ => ‘your_app_secret‘,  ‘cookie’ => true,));
    $app_id = “your_app_id”;    $app_secret = ‘your_app_secret’;    $canvas_page = “your_canvas_url”;    $auth_url = “http://www.facebook.com/dialog/oauth?client_id=” . $app_id . “&redirect_uri=” . urlencode($canvas_page);    $code = $_REQUEST["code"];    $token_url = “https://graph.facebook.com/oauth/access_token?client_id=”.$app_id.”&redirect_uri=”. urlencode($canvas_page).”&client_secret=”.$app_secret.”&code=”.$code;       if (empty($code)) {echo(“<script> top.location.href=’” . $auth_url . “‘</script>”);}        $access_token = file_get_contents($token_url);        $user_data_url = “https://graph.facebook.com/me?”.$access_token;        $user = json_decode(file_get_contents($user_data_url));
echo(“Username:” . $user->name);
echo(“Email” . $user->email);

         ?>
The above code will fetch user-name on facebook.com and his email-id, you can use this code for your app and further modify it, there are multiple ways to do it but i find it the simplest. This would be the starting or basic step of your Facebook app use this and get a burning idea for your app and show your programming skills and get your app working on Facebook.com.



Hope your find it useful… hope to see your app soon… :)

Microsoft To Buy Skype in $8.5 billion

There was a big blasting news by The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The report published said that Microsoft Corporation is approaching to buy the most popular telephonic company over internet i.e. Skype. According to the published report it would be the biggest deal in the 36 years history of software maker’s. If the deal gets final the deal is valued at $8.5 billion, including assumed debt. This $8.5 billion would be Microsoft’s biggest previous acquisition, earlier they had a $6 billion purchase of online ad service aQuantive in 2007.

Buying Skype will potentially increase the communication tool for Microsoft over internet, Microsoft always tries to make a splash over internet and this could be a great splash.

“Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and video conferencing. Skype has 663 million registered users as of 2010. The network is operated by Skype Limited, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg and is minority owned by eBay. Most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of Skype are situated in Tallinn, Estonia.”

Speakers from Microsoft and Skype declined to comment on this report on Monday. A statement from either of the company’s speaker was awaited till Tuesday morning, but a statement is still to come.

waiting for Windows Live Skype;)


Build Your Silverlight Pivot Viewer

Silverlight PivotViewer?

Pivot is research of Microsoft live labs, pivot makes things easy to interact with massive amount of data, it makes the data appear in an interactive manner. The traditional structure of web is that it has media files and html pages, a request is sent from the html page and the media files are invoked on a web page. Silverlight uses DeepZoom technology to make complex things easier and better to understand. The collection used in Silverlight PivotViewer is CXML (Collection extended Markup Language) file.

Prerequisites for developing your first PivotViewer

I will move further in various steps, lets start.

Step 1 – Creating a Collection

Collection used in PivotViewer comprises of two parts

  1. XML – The items in the collection are described in XML, in a “.cxml” file.
  2. Images – The images in the collection are described in Deep Zoom format.

To create collection we have two most effective tools -

Further in this blog i will use Excel Tool for creating my collection, so after you have downloaded Excel Tool open Excel and open the new “Pivot Collections” tab and click “New Collection”

You will see there are four columns created by default in new collection.  Image Location, Preview, Name, Href, Description.  Now you can import all your images at once by clicking “Import Images” menu or one by one using the button choose image. You can add more columns also and add specific details accordingly. You can add multiple values to a column, to put multiply values in the same category, you can Separate the values with ‘||’.Once you are done with all this you can publish your collection with the Publish Collection button.

Step 2 – Adding Pivot Viewer to Silverlight application

  • Create a new Silverlight Application.
  • Add a reference to “System.Windows.Pivot.dll” located under
    C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsSilverlightv4.0PivotViewerJun10Bin
  • Add Pivot namespace to your XAML file –>
    xmlns:pivot="clr-namespace:System.Windows.Pivot;assembly=System.Windows.Pivot"
  • Add Pivot Viewer Control.

  • Add collection .cxml file and the files folder to your ClientBin (or if you want, you can upload all under hosting service).
  • Load collection using this method – PivotViewerControl.LoadCollection(YourCollectionUri,"");
  • You’re done!

I came to know about PivotViewer in my MSP Open days since then i was trying to learn about it and finally am here with my own blog.. feels great… :)

Build Your Deep Zoom Mosaic

Deep Zoom ??

Deep Zoom originally known as SeaDragon is now a Microsoft Presentation. Deep Zoom allows users to interact with high resolution images in a very interactive manner. It allows the user to zoom into a image upto a larger extent, it enables smooth loading and panning by serving up multi-resolution images and using spring animations.
Deep Zoom is a layered format of images, when a single image or multiple images are converted to a deep zoom format it contains the tiles in every possible resolution and stores that image in different folders according to their resolution. The image below will make it more clear to you:

Before creating a Deep Zoom application you need to convert your images to deep zoom formats (.dzc deep zoom collection and .dzi deep zoom image ).  Once you have created a deep zoom pyramid the file format used to access image pyramid is XML. So our primary task is to create a image pyramid (deep zoom collection), for doing this we need some tools the tool provided by Microsoft is Deep Zoom Composer you can simply add images to Deep Zoom Composer and create your own mosaic.

There are two techniques to create your mosaic, you can either create a large image using any tool or create your tiles in deep zoom composer, i used the first option i created a large file using Andrea Mosaic tool, Andreas Mosaic can create a file upto 210 MegaPixels. (tips to use Andrea Mosaic will be with the software itself or if u guys feel any problem using it write it i will post a blog on how to use Andrea Mosaic).

Once you have created you high resolution image import it into Deep Zoom Composer, it will convert it into pyramid form deep zoom format and then preview or export your mosaic… you are done… !!!

Hope you enjoy making your mosaic…..
(Make necessary setting you need according to your mosaic)