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Product Design on the Windows Team

October 21st, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)


Whoohoo! Silverlight 2! RTW

October 14th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Jumping on the redundant blogging bandwagon. Congratulations to the team. Its an exciting day.

Im downloading and installing right now:


Create your custom font

October 7th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Ok im excited to get my website updated to be a cool Silverlight front end to WordPress… I recently wanted to create a twitter plugin using my own text similar to what Robby did with Ingebretsen Neato…

Here is the tool from Philip Lanier to do just that:


If you dont have a Tablet PC and arent willing to reghack to make your machine thinks its a Tablet PC then you can use these web services which work really well to:

Generating Data for Comping Purposes

October 7th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Blend allows you to actually design data much more easily than any tool I have used in the past. A long with the massive control you have in the platforms over presentation… You can actually see the data render at design time and changes you make to DataTemplates are reflected immediately across all the data. Its a beautiful thing.

It is really hard for me to convince people that I am actually more productive and creative when I have live data to work with but its true.

Many times I just cant get my hands on live data and I end up hacking together fake data for my prototypes. I just found this tool and so far it is crazy useful:

Silverlight Unleashed Laurent Bugnion

October 7th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

SAMS publishing hit a home run with Adam William’s WPF Unleashed. So a lot of us have been really excited to get our paws on Laurent’s new book on Silverlight.

Today Laurent twittered that his book was available online… http://safari.peachpit.com/9780768686845

My copy is downloaded to my phone and I know what I will be reading tonight.

D3DImage WPF and DirectX Interop Sweet

September 24th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Ok so blogging about the Client Continuum everyday is going to be harder than I thought… So far I am on track to one a week… So maybe I will just commit to that… (My wife and I discovered ABC’s LOST and now my evenings are being distracted by the tube…)

Anyway check out this great article on CodeProject by Dr. WPF about how to do DirectX interop with WPF using D3DImage.  http://www.codeproject.com/KB/WPF/D3DImage.aspx

Admittedly way over my head but with the right set of code I should be able to build user interfaces for DirectX games… (Come on somebody hire us to skin the menus for a game please please).

Long story short for designes is this… It used to be that you couldnt have transparency between WPF and DirectX which meant you were effectively stuck in a square world. D3DImage opens the doors for rich visual mixing between the platforms.. Skies the limit.

Windows Presentation technologies are getting exciting. In terms of the platform, the holes are disappearing, the install base is growing, and with Apple screwing over developers on the iPhone Im getting amped up about Windows development… The rah rah at PDC should help alot too.. Im super itchy to get my hands on a copy of Windows 7…

Just got mail that identitymine has shipped our latest blendables mixes…

Exciting news! Congrats to our team who has worked their butts off to create this and get it out the door.

A Client Continuum Post A Day until the PDC

September 18th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Adam is doing it... So maybe I will too. Ok well lets be realistic… I have 3 kids in the house under 18 months old… I am thinking it might not be realistic to do it every day… But the rumblings in the community and the new toys coming from Microsoft have me amped to get some blog posts out the door again.

First excitement for me is the latest release of the XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta I will start by saying I have very little XNA experience… I have done some sound stuff and some sprite stuff but not enough to feel comfortable and I have never had any successful deployment experiences… Well that ended tonight… Downloaded the beta and within minutes I had deployed the Alien sample game to my Zune. Just added the device thru the XNA Game Studio Device Center and oila! Tried to add an XBOX so I could deploy to that but I need to buy a subscription to deploy (bummer, hint hint).

So Client #1 for me is the Zune… (never saw that coming).

Other excitement for me is that I downloaded the latest Wave 3 of the Windows Live products (Mail, Messenger, MovieMaker and Photo Gallery). Rumor mill has it that messenger is being given a WPF makeover and I cant say for sure but there is a bitmap effect text glow on the name and status text. While it is hella ugly, I have to say it looks uncannily like a WPF glow bitmap effect… I’d put money on it. Its a beta build so Im hoping to see more polish come its way but its worth grabbing the download… One really cool new feature with Messenger is the ability to stay logged in on multiple client machines.

Last bit of fun… I got this months Expression newsletter in my email today and it was chalk full o’ goodness.

One link that really stood out to me was the Windows Live Quick Apps http://dev.live.com/QuickApps some sweet Silverlight goodness…

Okay so we have XNA, WPF, and Silverlight covered so to close up tonights post I will make sure to include something about Surface…

I keep planning on talking about what it is like thinking about user experiences on Surface. It is definitely a fun new challenge that really deserves a post of its own (hint: try to start thinking about user experiences when you dont have a mouse and for the last 15 years I have been developing experiences with mouse and keyboard input… its much more interesting than that… add multiple users… and multiple points of input… gestures… it gets complex… but the sky is the limit… I still posit that if you find the simple experiences in complex systems thats when you create products that benefit humans.) Anyway Surface is sweet… The stuff we are doing with it is amazing. And hey, Ashton Kutcher thinks its amazing (even if he does think its a big iPhone)

Great article on custom window chrome

September 9th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)


Not to totally do a shameless plug here… But I will anyway…

The blendables essential mix has a set of attached properties called ChromelessWindow… For people who just want to spend their time actually creating custom window chrome and not spend their time reinventing the wheel this is a huge time saver… And its “blendable”


IE8 beta 2 Is it worth installing now?

August 28th, 2008 | Posted by William Dasilva in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

So far in the last couple hours I have found 3 great benefits of IE8 beta 2.

First IE8 is launching really fast. This is great since I am doing a lot of Silverlight stuff lately… Build and run gets painful when you are doing it hundreds of times a day. IE 8 boots up noticeably faster for me.

Second the Developer Tools are great. Ive already gotten a few debug messages that were more descriptive and useful than what I was getting with the stock IE7 install. (suppose I should have had the dev tools installed on IE7)

And lastly, “Compatibility View” rocks! Or should I say that IE complying with CSS standards rocks… Makes it easier when I am testing across Firefox, Safari and IE.

Two thumbs up from me :)