New Hampshire Code Camp Content

Another code camp under my belt, this time the NH .Net Code Camp…I swore after the last code camp that I would never do 2 presentations in one camp again. This time I did 3. I won’t promise not to do that again, because at the rate I’m going, I’ll end up doing 4.

The first presentation was An Introduction to Silverlight Development. Despite pruning some content from the last time, I still ran a little long, so the presentation still needs some tuning. CONTENT HERE.

The second was my talk on Silverlight Line of Business applications. I made one glaring mistake, but thankfully I was able to recover (and remember to add the OrderBy statement to the Domain Service.) CONTENT HERE.

The final presentation was Windows Phone 7 Development with Silverlight. This was the first run for this demo, and it (not unexpectedly) needs work, plus the fact that it is CTP code and the inherent limitations…I am extremely interested in the upcoming Windows Phone product and the idea that it brings development for the new-generation smartphones to the .Net/Silverlight development crowd. I really hope the teams responsible for orchestrating both the initial release and subsequent updates gets this 110% right. Time will tell, but I am hopeful. CONTENT HERE.

Also during the day I saw Talbott Crowell’s talk on F# and Silverlight, as well as John Bowen’s talk on “Thinking in XAML.” There was a great little insightful moment during John’s presentation where he put together a really good description of the relationship between Controls, Templates, and Styles. I’ve heard and red various descriptions of this relationship, but for some reason this one resonated. To paraphrase the explanation a little bit… CONTENT HERE.

“A control is a set of behaviors defined in code, NOT what you see on the screen. (Eg a button is really defined by a click behavior, not a grey rectangle.) What you’re seeing rendered on the screen is not “the control”; it is the result of interpreting / processing a Template for that control. Styles are a collection of desired values applied to behaviors or properties.”

This camp was also unique in that I was able to volunteer some time to help organize the event (I coordinated the day’s schedule and pulled together the syllabus content as well as the review forms.) Seeing things from behind-the-scenes provided an interesting point-of-view. Many thanks to Pat Tormey and the rest of the organizing crew for pulling the event together.

I also have to mention a couple of upcoming related and worthy events that unfortunately I cannot attend for personal reasons – the New England GiveCamp (June 11-13), and the Connecticut Code Camp (June 19).

As always, many thanks to my wife, kid, and cats for putting up with me in the weeks leading up to the event.

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9 thoughts on “New Hampshire Code Camp Content

  1. Hi John, Great presentations! It was definitely the SL boost I was hoping for and more. I never thought I’d consider developing a Phone app, but now maybe. Anyway, I’ve been fighting a problem I’m having compiling with the map assembly. It seems trying to get kick started with examples usually takes some pain to get up and running. I’m definitely lacking a good basic current knowledge of VS mechanics under the hood.
    Ever deal with this error?……
    Error 1 Could not load the assembly file:///C:\AAATemp\BusinessAppSL\SilverlightBusiness\Bin\Debug\System.Windows.Controls.Data.DataForm.Toolkit.dll. This assembly may have been downloaded from the Web. If an assembly has been downloaded from the Web, it is flagged by Windows as being a Web file, even if it resides on the local computer. This may prevent it from being used in your project. You can change this designation by changing the file properties. Only unblock assemblies that you trust. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=179545 for more information.

    Thanks a bunch…. Phil

    • Hi Phil. Thanks for the kind words. In looking at the content you provided, the problem seems less likely related to the map, and more likely related to the Silverlight Toolkit dll. I wonder if (1) you can install the toolkit on your machine and replace the DLL reference (assuming you are using one of my sample solutions) or (2) if you can find the DLL, right click it, and bring up Properties. In there, there should be a button to press to denote it as “safe.” I have not seen this before with assemblies, but I have seen it with downloaded CHM (help) files. It may not be enough to just do this with the DLL in the debug dir – you may need to find the original reference, as that gets copied into debug during compile.

      Please let me know if I can offer any additional help.
      –John

      • Well, I’ll be darned! I downloaded and installed a bunch of SL stuff, but never realized the toolkit wasn’t one of them.
        I guess the stuff that was working had the assembly localized (if that’s an appropriate term). All I needed to do was install it. Didn’t have to mess with the project itself.
        Thanks again, Phil

  2. Pingback: A Few Thoughts about Windows Phone 7 Development (so far…) « DotNet Gator

  3. Hi John, I’m gradually making my way to SL worthiness!
    I’m writing an app that manages freight trains in the Gr. Boston area. This is a pet project of a former mentor of mine. He created the DB in Access, and ported it to SQL 2008 R2. I’m finding there’s issues around that, but I’m digressing away from my point.
    At the risk of exposing the fact that I’m an idiot, it seems to me the way you access the DB and the way my book describes DB access/binding etc are different. If I’m not mistaken, my book (Pro SL3 in C#) says the only way is to create a separate WCF app and have the SL app access it that way. But, that’s not what your app does. I was able to easily create an edmx file, but I’m sort of stuck as to how to proceed from here. I’m guessing I need the DomainService files. I can see how to create them from scratch, but I suspect there is an easier way. What am I missing here, RIA Services? I’m lacking in reference material here I think.
    Thanks in advance. I suspect I’ll have more questions if you don’t mind. Let me know if you would prefer to move this discussion elsewhere.
    Phil

    • You are spot on Phil…I think you are missing the jump from “plain old WCF Services” to “WCF RIA Services.” Matthew MacDonald’s book predates the release of RIA, though I wouldn’t be surprised if his upcoming SL4 book (later this year) were to cover it. When I did the demo, I actually started with just WCF to expose the data I obtained from the database, and then I moved over to RIA services and showed where it made a few things easy to deal with, especially concerning paginated query results with column sorting without having to write custom handling for declaring your sort intent, etc.

      Choosing what approach to use, as with all things, depends on a few choices.

      There is a set of offline documentation for RIA available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=5496a9fc-dfae-41e9-86a1-2076f7b017fc, and additional information at http://www.silverlight.net/getstarted/riaservices/

    • By the way, I’m quite happy to hear that my talk in some way influenced you to pursue this Silverlight thing further! The project itself also sounds quite interesting. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions…I’ll do my best to either answer, or perhaps point out someone who may be able to…

  4. It’s a great boiler plate to put beside another project I’m doing. I really haven’t done a DB project since .Net 2.0. This is a badly needed exercise. I was thinking of using it for a SL basics study group with your permission.

  5. Hi Phil. Thanks for the kind words. In looking at the content you provided, the problem seems less likely related to the map, and more likely related to the Silverlight Toolkit dll. I wonder if (1) you can install the toolkit on your machine and replace the DLL reference (assuming you are using one of my sample solutions) or (2) if you can find the DLL, right click it, and bring up Properties. In there, there should be a button to press to denote it as “safe.” I have not seen this before with assemblies, but I have seen it with downloaded CHM (help) files. It may not be enough to just do this with the DLL in the debug dir – you may need to find the original reference, as that gets copied into debug during compile. Please let me know if I can offer any additional help. –John

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