Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 29th April 2009


Silverlight 2 DataGrid Demo Application with Formatting of Data

Beat Box Silverlight Application - Part 1 - Overview

Silverlight Navigation Part 3

Introducing HTML Utilities for Silverlight

WPF Application Quality Guide v0.5 Released

Generate WPF and Silverlight Dependency Properties using T4 templates

Perenthia World Builder in Silverlight

Great Silverlight Charting Resources

Switching Expertise from Client Dev to Silverlight

Understanding and Managing Silverlight Resources with Expression Blend

Trying to Get the Story Straight (WPF/Silverlight Storyboard Differences)

Silverlight 3 System Colours (Mike Taulty)

Developing Surface Applications

Resources for Surface WPF Development

Silverlight 'Light up the Web' Webasts

Silverlight DomainUpDown Control

Data Binding in Blend 3 for Designers

Get Started with Silverlight Training Videos (Expression web site)

Silverlight 3's New Child Windows


Technology Related Links (Good Link Dump with Stuff I'd missed)

Free ASP.NET MVC Tutorial Now in HTML

Validation - Part 3 - Server Side

Presenting CodeBetter.Canvas

Fun with HTTP Headers in ASP.NET MVC Action Filters

Testability and TDD are Not Reasons to Use the ASP.NET Framework

Free Chapter of 'Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0': Testing MVC Applications

ThreadAbortException (CLR Team Blog)

Updated NUnit Templates for MVC ASP.NET v1.0


Vista SP2 RTM

Announcing SP2 for Microsoft Project 2007


Fame and Fortune Await for Those Who Play with IE8

18 jQuery Scripts and Tutorials to Improve Your Portfolio

Javascript Cheat Sheets and Quick Reference Guides

Balsamiq: Weekly Release Bug Fixes and Better Scaling

CSS Layouts Grid Systems

CSS Layouts More Grid Systems

The Art of Creating Beautiful Stylesheets

The Rise of jQuery

Fancy Thumbnail Hover Effect with jQuery

Glimmer Makes jQuery Animations Easy (Tim Heuer)


13 Tutorials for a Perfect Twitter Background

60+ Useful Photoshop Actions for Photo Enhancements

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 28th April 2009


Paging with the Silverlight RIA Services DomainDataSource

Microsoft Previews Great WPF and Silverlight Apps with Facebook OpenStreams API

Use SketchFlow to Build Skateboarding Penguins

The Connection Between DataContext and ItemsSource

How to Evaluate Data in XAML Using DataTriggers and IValueConverter

MSDev.Com (Got XAML?)

Silverlight CountDown Control - Your Days Are Counted

Announcing WPF TestAPI Release 0.2

Silverlight 3 - Simple Control for Online/Offline (Mike Taulty)

Silverlight 3 Simple 'Flip' Control Build on PlaneProjection (Mike Taulty)

Silverlight 3 Duplex Wrap-Up

Creating a Simple Silverlight Countdown Blog Badge

Open Source Silverlight Game for Kids

Element Binding That Acts Like Visio

Faking Synchronous Web Service Calls in Silverlight

Gotcha's for Web Services in Silverlight

Silverlight Out-of-Browser Apps: Local Data Store

Silverlight 3 Navigation API

NAB Recap, Las Vegas April 20-23, 2009

Looking at Triggers and Actions


Validation Part 2 - Client Side

The 7 Phases of Unit Testing

Messaging Part 1 - So Why Messaging?

Behavior Driven Development

Office 2007 SP2 - The Press Release (with download link)

Easily Create Effects for Your WebSite with Glimmer (jQuery)

How to Automatically Create a Switch Statement from an Enum


An Introduction to IE8 Developer Tools

BlackbirdJS - Say Goodbye to JavaScript Alert Boxes

The Mystery of CSS Sprites: Techniques, Tools and Tuorials

10 Dirty Little Web Development Secrets

95 Things I have Learnt in 9 Years of Community Building

Cloud Computing in 70 Seconds


Basics and Tips on Designing for the iPhone

Web Design Trend Showcase: Letterpress Text Effect

Web Site Layout Toolbox

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 26th April 2009


Orchestrating Animated Transitions Between View and ViewModel

A Cool trick for Passing Data to A Silverlight Application

Open in Expression Blend - Switch Between 2 and 3

How to Programmatically Detect Silverlight Version

Optimising Sending XML to a Service

Reaction-Diffusion Models (Silverlight 2 Application)

British MPs Expenses Data Visualisation via Virtual Earth CTP (Silverlight 2 Application)

How to Create a Simple Behavior for Blend 3

Prototyping with SketchFlow (Soma Segar)

Quick Tip: How to Resize Window from Silverlight

Silverlight Drag and Drop Manager V1.1 Released


Go Crazy on Domain Ideas Using Country Code Top-Level Domains

How to Extract the Facts with a Web Client Questionnaire

CSS Sticky Footer Layout


Illustrator Tutorial: Gradient Mesh Flower

9 Free Hi-Res Textures: Foggy Mirror Textures - Dark and Brooding

25 Logos with Hidden Messages - Amazing Graphic Designing Tricks

Ian's Link Dump 25th April 2009


Add Rich Intellisense for your Silverlight Controls

Vector Visualiser: Silveright 3D Tool for Viewing Vectors in Three Dimensions

Getting Started With Silverlight (New Video Series)

Web Services and Silverlight


Learning Resources for .NET 4.0 New Features

Hidden Features of C# (StackOverflow Thread)

My Quick Oversimplified ASP.NET MVC Pros and Cons (Jeremy D Miller)

Is ASP.NET MVC a Half-Baked Solution?


15 Online Presentations for Web Developers


Do's and Don't of Video Tutorials

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 21st April 2009


Notes on Article 'Using Routed Commands with ViewModel in WPF'

Silverlight 3 Flickr Client (Mike Taulty)

Patterns and Practices in the Composite Application Library - Part 2 (for Silverlight Games) is now Live!

Binding a Silverlight DataGrid to Dynamic Data via IDictionary

Silverlight ObjectDataSource

Silverlight 3 Out-of-Browser Applications on the Mac (Mike Taulty)

Parsing a GeoRSS Atom Feed using XML to LINQ in Silverlight

PhotoSynth New Features: 'Highlights' and Silverlight-based Cross-Platform Viewer

Component Art's Service-Oriented AJAX and Silverlight Demos


UK MSDN Flash eBook: Best Technical Articles #1

Azure Application Part 3: Expose (REST) Web Service and Consume in Silverlight

What Beautiful HTML Code Looks Like (pdf)


NAB Day 1: Smooth Streaming Released, Partners, 1080p in Silverlight 3, New VC-1 (Ben Waggoner)

Microsoft Smooth Streaming (Press Release)

Instant Video Calling and Video Messaging with No Downloads


5 Simple Tricks to Bring Light and Shadow Into Your Designs

Good Designers Ask 'Why?'

8 Characteristics of Successful User Interfaces

10 Mistakes Logo Designers Can Make When Designing Logos

Ian's Link Dump 20th April 2009


Combining .NET RIA Services and MVVM in Silverlight 3 (StackOverflow Thread)

Silverlight 3 Out-of-Browser: A Quick rant

Setanta Sports on Silverlight

It took me under 5 Minutes to Realise the Power of Behaviours

RIA Services and ViewModel (code download)

Timers in Silverlight 2.0 and Multi-Threaded Silverlight

Silverlight 'Multiple HTTP Requests' Screencast

ViewModel Pattern with .NET RIA Services (Nikhil Kothari)

Lap Around Silverlight 3 Beta 1

Silverlight 3: Creat a Nice Navigation Flip

Silverlight 3: The Amazing Bouncing Plane Demo


LINQ and SQL Injection

The Easy Way to Install the Windows Azure Tools and SDK PreRequisites


Why Programmers Suck at CSS Design

The Best SEO/SEM Info (FriendFeed Thread from Scoble)


Microsoft Releases Smooth Streaming for True 1080p Video Delivery


Operating System Interface Design Between 1981 and 2009

30 Text Effect Tutorials for Adobe Illustrator

Outstanding Website Background Guide - 60+ Impressive Resources

50 Cool Laptop Sleeves and Bags You Can Buy

Design Resources: Brushes, Fonts and Icons

Friday, 17 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 17th April 2009

A bit early today as I'm heading off to Reading (WITHOUT PC) for WebDD


Microsoft SketchFlow and Blend 3 Screencast

The Future of Silverlight Contrib

Silver Bay Labs Walkthrough of MVVM Example


Project Kobe: Community Feedback

Kobe: In the Nuts and Bolts and Not Really Liking It

One Billion Bytes of SQL Server 2008 Training

Hunt Out Duplicated Code in VS2008

LANG.NET Conference Videos

VS2010 Enhancements for ASP.NET (Mike Ormond)


Who Needs IE8 Accelerators

Liquid Canvas

23 Useful AJAX Tutorials and Resources


CaptionTube: Sophisticated Caption Editing for YouTube Videos

Microphones for Screencasts (video from TechSmith)


Good Design: The 10 Commandments

Button Design Showcase

Learn to Think Better: Tips from a Savant

Ian's Link Dump 16th April 2009


Using XAML and Client Presentation

.NET RIA Services Custom Validation

(Self-Reminder): WPF/Silverlight Code Examples That Help You Learn M-V-VM

DeepZoom Pix: Silverlight, Deep Zoom and the Azure Services Platform

Silverlight Installation Experience Whitepaper and Sample Code Released

Silverlight 3 Overview Tutorials Part 8: Overview of the Live Streaming, Live Encoding and Streaming with Expression Encoder

The State of the Viki (Jesse Liberty)

Silverlight 3: GPU Accelleration (Mike Taulty)

Silverlight 3: Playing with Silverlight 3D Perspective

Silverlight 3: 3D Flip Action Using Plane Projection

Keeping a Long Running Silverlight Application Alive Under Forms Authentication

Silverlight Control that can Play Animations when the DataContext Changes

How to Increase Amount of Silverlight Duplex Clients

DeepZoom Composer for Silverlight 2 Download (updated)


Kobe: Web 2.0 Service Development Resource Kit

Kobe: Web 2.0 Resource Kit in ASP.NET MVC - A Critique

Kobe: Ohe Dear Lord Why?!

Using jQuery Grid with ASP.NET MVC

Adaptive Rendering in ASP.NET MVC

WCF: Champ vs Contender

Working with ADO.NET Data Services

5 Reasons for Taking a Closer Look at ASP.NET MVC

Enterprise Library 5.0 Product Backlog


How to Detect IE8 Using JavaScript


25 Photoshop Texture Tutorials

30 Brilliant Typefaces for Corporate Design

An Idiot's Guide to Photoshop (free pdf)

40+ Articles to Help Freelance Designers Find More Work

30 Beautiful Music Web Sites for Design Inspiration

Taking Your Talent to the Web (free book)

30 Exceptional CSS Navigation Techniques

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Prototyping with Balsamiq

One of the things that I've heard good designers like Tricky and Bill Buxton emphasising again and again is the importance of wire-frame prototyping. Occasionally, I've tended to do this using pen and paper (but I can't draw!) or Visio in the past, but this is slow, and somewhat tedious and is usually just a first step before hacking together a 'prototype' I can show the client in HTML/CSS or Photoshop, which is incredibly time-consuming and error-prone

Microsoft are promising us Sketchflow in version 3 of their Expression Blend software, but despite all the buzz around it (finally, a reason to move to Blend rather than use the much better, longer-established rival offerings!) the preview release made available by Microsoft last month didn't include it, which says to me it's a long way off. There isn't even a public beta one can ask to be enrolled in, so I don't think it's something that can be realistically considered at this stage.

Fortunately, a product called Balsamiq has come to my rescue. Rarely does a piece of software make such a big initial impression, and become so indispensable so fast. The big advantage of this software is it allows prototypes to be mocked up VERY quickly, and then sent to the client for comment.

Balsamiq mock-up of home page

The look and feel of the Balsamiq mock-up make it clear this is not the final design, and the software is a God-send for people like me who just can't draw! More importantly, it's a real time-saver. Where I used to waste far too many hours hacking CSS and HTML, or making over-elaborate, glossy Photoshop mock-ups which only convey completely the wrong impression to the customer - that the product is already developed and ready to go, and which they invariably wanted to change anyway - I now use Balsamiq all the time.

The software has great drag-and-drop design features, a very complete set of UI widgets and icons (not just for the web, but also for iPhone development), and can be trialled in a browser for free from the Balsamiq web site. You'll have your first mock-ups finished in minutes!

For USD79 you can download a desktop version, and from that you can produce either XML output that customers can import into their version of the software (and easily modify, before sending back to you) or .png snapshots like that shown above. I really can't stress enough that at under USD80 it's a complete steal!

The sketch above is the result of my playing with possible designs for a new site that will be developed in Silverlight. I was able to knock up the prototype in minutes, but perhaps more importantly it helped clarify my thinking on UX design, the required functionality, and help get me started on estimating the time needed for development. Highly recommended!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 11th April 2009


Silverlight Installation Experience Guidance Posted (Tim Heuer)

Silverzine - Silverlight Resource for Designers (Coming Soon!)

MouseWheel Behaviour for Silverlight

Should Silverlight 3 Out-of-Browser be Full Trust?

Silverlight 3: Navigation and Prettying My URIs (Mike Taulty)


Web Forms vs ASP.NET MVC

Featured Visual Studio Library Content


Egoless Programming


50+ Designers on Twitter

Showcase of Excellence: Celebrity Websites

Ian's Link Dump 10th April 2009


Video Wiki Design Step 1 (Jesse Liberty)

Implementing PropertyChanged with Expression Tree

Looking at Virtual Earth Silverlight Control

Silverlight 3 and RIA Service - Creating a Proxy for Cross Domain Http Requests

Silverlight Toolkit Themes Make It Easy to Create Apps with a Designer Look

The Silverlight Documentation Sample Browser

Scott Barnes' Take on Silverlight 3

O'Reilly's 'Inside RIA' Web Site

Custom Bar Charts with Silverlight Toolkit

Silverlight Map with Real Time Stats of Who is On Your Web Site

Easily Animate LayoutTransformer with AnimationMediator

How to Separate XAML from Styles in WPF Application

Behaviors: Writing Your Own Triggers

Analyse WPF Performance Issues in Your WPF Application with WPFPerf

New Release of QuickGraph for Silverlight

Basic XAML for a Formatted DataGrid

Announcing Azurelight (a new Microsoft reference application)

Domain-Driven DV40 Silverlight 3 RIA


Sorting Algorithms

Improving Security with URL Rewriting

JSLint Javascript Verifier

New Tutorial Series on Hosting


42 Questions Every Frellancer Should Ask Their Prospective Clients

Tuttle Annual report

50 Content Ideas that Create Great Buzz

25 Text Batch Processing Tools Reviewed


50 Stylish Navigation Menus for Design Inspiration

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 8th April 2009


3D Flipper Control: Using Silverlight 3.0 Plane Projection

Blend Behaviors FTW

Patterns and Practices in the Composite Application Library Part 1

XAML Power Toys v4

Notes on Video Tutorial: XAML Power Toys: Installation and Setup

Notes on Video Tutorial: XAML Power Toys: Create Business Form

Notes on Video Tutorial: XAML Power Toys: Build Form for Class

How to Use FluidKit to Make Transitions in WPF

Build a Simple Application with .NET RIA Services Part 2

Knockout Type in Silverlight

Slidentity: Silverlight 3 End-to-end Application Walkthrough

David Kelly (IdentityMine) on 'Is Silverlight 3 Ready for Business'?

Real Time RIA Stats


Talking ALT.NET with James Avery

13 ASP.NET MVC Extensibility Points You Have to Know

Kona: Continuous Integration and Better Unit Testing

SQL Server 2008 SP1 is Out

Fixing the 'Change You Have Made Require Tables to be Dropped' Issue

MEF Preview 5 Released

Using the ASP.NET MVC AsyncController

Announcing Velocity CTP3

JQuery UI

101 LINQ Samples


Twitter to Find a Job

IE6 Upgrade Warning


Free Twitter Bird Icon Set

35 Awesome User Interface Design Tutorials

25 Examples of Cool 'Coming Soon' Page Designs

12 Excellent and Useful Design Process Tutorials

20+ Tutorials for Working with Photoshop's Tools

Ian's Link Dump for 7th April 2009


19 Online Code Examples That Help You Learn MVVM

Issues with the Web Services Feature in Silverlight 3 Beta

Silverlight Spy - Visual Debugging Silverlight Applications (Channel 9 Video)

Building a Composite WPF Application

Line of Business Silverlight Applications That Rock

Do you have any feedback on the AutoCompleteBox API?

Pixel Effects in Silverlight 3

Using MVVM with Silverlight (some concern this is not a 'Best Practices' Example)

Using Silverlight's WebClient Class

TabControl and Vertical Text

Silverlight 3's New Assembly Caching

nRoute Actions and a QuickStart

An Addin to Quickly Generate Your WPF Business Objects

Silverlight 3 Derived Styles (Video)

A Mediator Prototype for WPF Apps

Blend Tips and Tricks

Silverlight Tip of the Day: Week 12

5 Random Gotcha's with the Silverlight DataGrid

How to Build a Good Install UX with Silverlight

How to Make a Drop Down Button in WPF

Silverlight and WPF 'Blacklight' Control Suite


5 Reasons You Should Take a Closer Look at ASP.NET MVC

Writing IE7 and IE8 Plugins in Managed Code

Disabling Script Debugging in VS2008 and IE8

Use HttpApplication.CompleteRequest instead of Response.End

ASP.NET Ajax Preview 4 Samples

Azure Table Test Harness with HTTPS, Encryption and Membership Services for Authentication/Authorisation


RefCardz: Free Cheat Sheets for Developers

Tools for Analysing and Tracking Your Competitors

'I Need to Read This' Saves URLs Worth Reading Later

The Origina of 9 Popular Web Buzzwords

15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Web Site


The Digital Journalist


Tabbed Navigation and What Makes It Useful

Showcase of Well-Designed Tab Navigation

Free Movie Fonts Collection

50 Creative Business Cards of 50 Graphic Designers

Monday, 6 April 2009

Ian's Link Dump 6th April 2009


Running Silverlight 2 and 3 On the Same Machine - Redux

Creating Silverlight Behaviours (with Blend 3 Interactivity)

Silverlight 3's New Out-of-Browser Applications

Property Value Editors for Silverlight Controls

Silverlight 3 and RIA Services: The Basics

Silverlight 3 and RIA Services: The Advanced Things

Managing Silverlight 3 Navigation Behaviour

Relative URIs in XAML

nRoute comes with a full set of Architectural Teeth

Introducing StatLight, a Silverlight Testing Automation Tool

Silverlight 3: Experiencing 'Out of Browser' Silverlight Application and Connecting it to a Web Service

Playing Around with a Flexible Source Control Repository in WPF

Using a Tile Brush in Expression Blend

WPF Discussions 3rd April 2009 (Q & A format blog entry)

VideoWiki: Open Book Design-to-Delivery Silverlight 3 Project


LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 30th March 2009

Putting the M in MVC Part 3

MVC Best Practices Part 2

'Rob the Geek' looks at JQuery

Bug in XMLSerializer, XMLSerializerNamespaces

New Blend Behaviours Added to Expression Behaviour Gallery



Jing - The Missing Manual

New WPF Twitter Client (beta) DigiTweet

3 Compelling Twitter Visualisations

Twitter Wallpapers

Me The Media (free pdf e-book)

What is the Single Most Influential Book Every Programmer Should Read? (threaded discussion)


Design to Sell: 8 Useful Tips to Help Your Website Convert (nice Flash designed web site

25 Most Useful Blogs for Web Design and Development

14 Incredibly Useful Web Cheat Sheets

Designing for Multi-Touch, Multi-User and Gesture-Based Systems