Pimp your app with AppAdditives

Posted by Brandon H on March 30, 2014 Tags: 

Getting your Windows Phone or Windows 8 app published is only half the battle. Marketing is the other half. The folks at ExGrip have now made this insanely easy with App Additives. In this post, I’ma give you the rundown of just how easy it is to create some sweet promo materials for your app using their awesome new web based suite of tools.

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WP8 Breaks Bad (cooking with MEF)

Posted by Brandon H on March 19, 2014 Tags: , ,

Microsoft’s Managed Extensibility Framework is somewhat of an unsung hero in the .Net world in my opinion. The framework itself is insanely powerful and magical but when you combine it with other patterns and frameworks like MVVM it becomes pure sorcery. If you haven’t checked out MEFedMVVM, I suggest doing so after you get up to speed on MEF and what it is and offers you as a developer.

Recently, the DotNet team announced an update to their Microsoft.Composition nuGet package (MEF 2) which brings MEF-ability to Windows Phone 8.

To understand what MEF proper (ie: full-blown on the desktop) is and how you can use it, there are numerous examples throughout the interwebs. Check out this one and this one for a good start/overview.

What I couldn’t find, however, were actual code examples of using it on Windows Store or Windows Phone apps. The Windows Store support has existed for a few months now, so that surprised me. Let there be light!

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Get yer Git on

image.png Posted by Brandon H on March 11, 2014 Tags: , , ,

One of the more interesting aspects of moving to VisualStudio Online for my source control and builds when I did it was seeing that I now had the choice between TFS Version Control (TFSVC) and Git to use as my source control. At that time I had never used Git. However, when I saw this while Team Foundation Service was still in beta (before it became visualstudio.com) I told a buddy of mine. Who worked for Microsoft. And from what he knows, it sounds like MS is on its way to deprecating TFSVC in favor of Git, hence the dual offering.

With this in mind, let’s see how we can also deprecate our source control repos in favor of Git, AND migrate them to visualstudio.com!

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From Joe to Pro – TFS style

image.png Posted by Brandon H on January 29, 2014 Tags: ,

If you haven’t signed up for Team Foundation Service yet, you should. Especially if it’s just you and a couple buddies coding away on apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8.

But hey, you get SO much w/ TFS, why let it go to waste? Take advantage of it!

Specifically, I’m talking about Builds. CI Builds in particular.

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Python’s namedtuple… for .Net!

Posted by Brandon H on January 18, 2014 Tags: , , ,

One of the things I have seen people applaud about Python is its “namedtuple” class. If you could describe this in terms of .Net’s Tuple (and <T1, T2, etc>) it would be to basically say that it’s the same as Tuple, but if instead of “Item1” on Tuple you got “Name” or “Age” or whatever other meaningful name for the property (instead of ‘Item1’). And, of course, if you weren’t limited to at most 8 items on the Tuple object.

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Accessing private fields in inherited classes

Posted by Brandon H on December 6, 2013 Tags: , ,

A co-worker of mine was working on some UTs for his current setup and wanted to invoke/access private members on some of his production objects. I introduced him to the PrivateObject type in .Net to get his work done. That all went well until he wanted to get at a private field that was in a class that his main object inherited from. Turns out that’s not something built-in to the reflection/PrivateObject stack of .Net

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Auto-gen a URI string based on a method call

image.png Posted by Brandon H on November 21, 2013 Tags: , ,

There are some navigational paradigms out there that use navigation strings to hit, in turn, methods within your own codebase. It’s a sound idea, but generating those URIs as strings which you in turn use in a Navigate() call can be problematic. What happens when you add a parameter to the method? Rearrange the parameters? And what if you could get intellisense when you wanted to generate those URIs?

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Keep Debug.Assert windows from halting your Unit Tests

Posted by Brandon H on November 4, 2013 Tags: , ,

Debug.Asserts are useful during development, but have you hit a time where one pops during a unit test run? Totally screws up your chi. But what can you do about it, #ifdef them out all over?

Nah. Config file to the rescue!

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Bing News, your blog reader

image.png Posted by Brandon H on Tags: ,

Guess what I found, folks. I managed to get .Netitude INSIDE Windows 8’s super-sexy Bing News app. And it couldn’t have been easier.

Bing News allows you to add your *own* feeds to it. And by *own* I mean any one you want, and by feeds I mean RSS feeds, baby.

“Dude, you’re awesome. TELL ME HOW!” after the break, oh impatient one.

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Dev for the cloud… IN the cloud (pt 2)

Posted by Brandon H on October 24, 2013 Tags: , ,

So if any of you actually gave my last post a shot, you might’ve found that one of the annoying parts about the Azure Visual Studio image is that it’s on Server 2012. The problem with that is, of course, you can’t dev for Windows 8 (8.1) from that OS using VS 2013. What a bummer. But what to do?

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