If you are looking to learn about Silverlight development, here is your chance.  Our local Microsoft Developer Evangelists are running a free full day event this Saturday featuring a good variety of information. 

To learn more or register, click here.

If you are a beginner or haven’t gotten started yet, this is a great opportunity.  I’m not a beginner and my weekends are pretty busy these days.  So initially, I was going to skip this event.  But from my conversation with Dani Diaz last night, it sounds like there will be a decent range of information here, so I think I will attend too. 

I don’t know the full agenda but some of the speakers include Dani, Lindsay Rutter, Bill Wolff and Pete Brown.  That’s a good line up but to be perfectly honest, Pete Brown is the big draw for me.  I’ve been reading his blog since I started doing Silverlight development, this guy really knows his stuff.  One thing I’ve learned over time is that if a good speaker if giving a talk, even on a topic that I think I know fairly well, it is worth attending.  You never know what kind of tidbit you may pick up from them!

Hope to see you there.

I’ve already blogged about how cool Live Mesh is, you can read my previous post here.  Well the other day I had a great idea to synchronize my Internet favorites for all of my machines in Mesh.  It was really easy to do.  Of course I am not the first person to have this idea and there are lots of blog posts out there already about how to do it.  Here is the basic idea… Just find the folder on your computer where you already save your favorites.  Add that folder to your Mesh.  Make sure your other machines are synced to that folder too (you can do that when you add the folder to your Mesh, or you can go to your Mesh Desktop and set it there too).  Then on your other computers, you can specify where you want the new folder to go.  Just set it to replace (actually you can merge the two of them) your existing Favorites folder on each machine.  If you have used Mesh at all you will see this is very easy to do.

Some other people have already taken the time to explain it in detail here, here, and here.

 

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So I’m working with Silverlight these days.  It’s an excellent technology but it’s got a fairly steep learning curve.  For the past several years I’ve been working predominantly with ASP.Net.  As a matter of fact, I’ve really gotten pretty good at it!  In addition to all of the in’s and out’s of ASP.Net, including the page lifecycle, custom controls, etc, I had gotten really comfortable with CSS and I’ve even stopped saying “I hate JavaScript” and started liking it.  Of course, with JQuery, it is really pretty good to work with.  But I digress.


Anyway, all of that stuff I have learned is out the window now.  Silverlight is completely different.  The easy part is that all of my C# code goes right to the client, as well as running on the server.  So much for JavaScript.  But there is no HTML, no ASP.Net controls.  None of it (at least in the apps I am writing).  This is not an ASP.Net application with a little Silverlight mixed in.  The entire UI for this business application is Silverlight.  The only html/asp.net is the page that hosts it.  So all of the UI is written in XAML.  XAML is cool and very powerful but takes getting used to and when you start with it, you are starting from scratch.  It’s not like writing a web app or a windows forms app at all.  But don’t get me wrong, I like it.


Anyway, the purpose for this first Silverlight post…


So I’m working along and things are going good.  My app is coming along and working as well as it should in the very rough state it is in.  After making a bunch of changes I fire up the debugger and run my Silverlight application in Internet Explorer.  “Hmmm, that’s weird, it shouldn’t do that” I think to myself.  I checked the code, and sure enough, it should not do “that”.  So I run it again. Same result.  My code is running without the recent changes I made.  Ok, I try a bunch of stuff, not necessarily in this order: Build my Solution, “Rebuild” my solution, “Clean” my solution, put obvious changes in my UI and re run it, restart Internet Explorer, Ctl-F5 to clear IE, try Firefox, close/reopen my solution, close/reopen VS2008, reboot my machine.  I probably tried a few more things but no matter what I did, the application continued to show the UI before my changes.  At some point in all of this, it became clear that my XAP file was not getting updated in my web project.  I tried deleting it, figuring that would signal Visual Studio to replace it when it builds again.  No luck.  I manually placed a current XAP file (from the Silverlight app) into my web project.  Now when I run my application is perfectly up to date!  So I am positive on the problem but unsure how to fix it. I figured that in my Property Pages of my Silverlight Application I’d find something telling me where/when/what to do with the XAP file.  But I couldn’t find it.  Next I searched the Property Pages of my Web Application.  Presto, there it is!  From a web application, select the “Silverlight Application” tab.  When I did the list of projects was empty!  I have no idea how it got to be that way.  But I clicked “Add” and the rest was self explanatory.  I picked my Silverlight project and selected where I wanted the XAP file to go. 


 


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Last night at the Philly.Net meeting Rob gave a cool talk about Live Mesh.  I had heard of it before but hadn’t paid too much attention.  But now that I’ve gotten a good look at it, I am impressed.  So what can I do with Mesh?  Probably a lot.  But at first two things jump out.  I can synchronize files between multiple devices (my home PC, my laptop, a phone, etc).  Plus in addition to the files being synced, I can go to my Live Desktop and view the files there.  The Live Desktop is just a web site though, so it is accessible from anywhere.  So if I am traveling without my laptop and I want to access one of the files I’ve got in Mesh, I can get to them from any browser.  Cool!  But from my Live Desktop I can also connect remotely into my home computer (or any computer on my Live network). That way I can not only access files stored on that PC, but I can actually control the computer just as if I was sitting in front of it.  As a matter of fact, I’m doing it right now.  I’m blogging this from my home PC, but I’m sitting in front of my laptop. I’m connected via Live Mesh into my home PC and running Live Writer on my home PC.  Ok, file synchronization and remote desktop are nothing new.  But what makes this cool is just how easy it is. And it all seems to work very quickly too.  Very cool!  Rob also demonstrated some other cool features, like you can write applications to run on Live Mesh, and you can write applications that use Live Mesh.  Maybe I’ll get to that one day but for now, I’m having fun with Mesh and it is useful for me in business too.  Awesome.

Diamond Technologies is teaming up with Microsoft to present: Technology Day.

Date: Tuesday ~ October 23, 2007

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Place: Diamond Headquarters

From the invite…

Do you have questions about IT, Vista™ , or Sharepoint? Would you like to see the latest technology in mobility solutions? Is your company looking for new ways to improve decision-making, productivity, or collaboration? Is your IT team challenged by evolving security threats, rising deployment, support costs, or increasingly complex desktop infrastructures?
As a part of our commitment to deliver quality products and services that help your business succeed, we are offering you the opportunity to participate in Technology Day.

Join us for lunch, participate in a demo or Q & A session, tour the Microsoft Bus and enjoy learning about the exciting new releases from Microsoft:  including Vista™ and Sharepoint.  Network and request a song from WSTW live at lunch.

Click here to get some more information or register to attend.