What are Metro style apps?

Metro Style Apps
Metro style apps are full screen apps tailored to your users’ needs, tailored to the device they run on, tailored for touch interaction, and tailored to the Windows user interface. Windows helps you interact with your users, and your users interact with your app. R

Your choice of programming languages
You can create your app in the languages you’re most comfortable with: JavaScript with HTML5 and CSS3, or C++/C#/VB with XAML.

New deployment method
Your users can safely and simply install your apps. Removal is just as safe and simple, and won’t lead to degradation of system performance over time.
1- Metro style app packaging: You package your apps for deployment as Metro style app packages. With Metro style apps, all apps are installed per user; they install, update, and uninstall cleanly; and they don’t change the operating system in an irreversible way.
2- Windows Store (not yet released)

New UI and touch-centered input
You can create apps with controls that put your users’ goals first, that support direct manipulation of UI elements.

Localization
You can develop your app once and deploy in multiple locales and multiple languages. Not only that, Windows Developer Preview provides an API that ensures your app responds to users’ language and cultural preferences—like date, time, number, and currency formats—with little to no effort on your part. The end result is a great app with a coherent cultural experience tailored to each user and to all users everywhere. Learn more about Globalizing your app.

Developer tools
With free versions of Microsoft Expression Blend and Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview, you get a development environment and templates that help you design, develop, package, debug, and deploy your app.

Building a Mango App

“Mango” is the internal name for the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 release. To write a windows phone 7 application, you need to install Windows Phone SDK and you can use C#, VB.NET or F# to develop your applications. The Windows Phone SDK includes the following tools:

1- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
2- Windows Phone Emulator
3- Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Assemblies
4- Silverlight 4 SDK and DRT
5- Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Extensions for XNA Game Studio 4.0
6- Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone 7
7- Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone OS 7.1
8- WCF Data Services Client for Window Phone
9- Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone

Expression Blend for Windows Phone is a design suite that allows you to create and add special visual features, such as gradients, animations, and transitions.

For some tasks, Expression Blend is easier to use than Visual Studio. The following list contains some of the tasks that are easily accomplished with Expression Blend.
– Create data templates visually
– Use design-time sample data to visualize data templates
– Create control styles visually
– Create and preview animations

Reverse Engineering C# and XAML Win8 apps

This post has been removed. Please email bryan.robinsons@gmail.com if you have any questions.

ASP.NET 4.5 and HTML5

ASP.NET 4.5 includes the following new features and enhancements:

Editor
1-      HTML Editor
2-      Page Inspector
3-      CSS Editor
4-      JavaScript Editor

Core Services
1-      Asynchronously reading and writing HTTP requests and responses
2-      Support for reading unvalidated request data when request validation is enabled
3-      Support for WebSockets protocol
4-      Bundling and minification of client scripts
5-      Support for asynchronous HTTP modules and HTTP handlers
6-      Integrated Anti-XSS encoding routines

Web Forms
1-      Support for HTML5 form types
2-      HTML encoded data-binding expressions
3-      Unobtrusive JavaScript for client-side validation
4-      Model binders
5-      Strongly typed binding expressions in data controls
6-      Fallback support for content distribution networks (CDNs) in the ScriptManager control
7-      Improved paging in the GridView control

ASP.NET MVC 4.0
1-      ASP.NET MVC 4 Release Notes
2-      Using the HTML5 and jQuery UI Datepicker Popup Calendar with ASP.NET MVC
3-      ASP.NET MVC 4 Mobile Features

ASP.NET Web Pages 2.0
1-      New and enhanced site templates
2-      Validation
3-      Script management for complex scripts
4-      Side-by-side support
5-      Membership and authentication
6-      Mobile display modes

Justin Angel on Silverlight 5

Possible features of Silverlight 5:

1- More Platform Reach

When talking about “reach” there are a few interesting dimensions:

a) Silverlight Browser Support: Silverlight currently only officially supports Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome and Safari. Support could be extended to Opera or other less prominent browsers.

b) Operating System: Silverlight is currently limited in the Mobile space (No Symbian support yet) and in the Gaming Console space.

c) CPU Architecture: Silverlight doesn’t support x64 CPUs, Mac G4 PowerBook CPUs, and a few other CPU architectures.

2- Bundle Silverlight with Windows

At Mix10 Microsoft VP Scott Guthrie announced Silverlight Adoption rate is at 60% of all internet connected machines.
In the future, we could hope to see Microsoft bundle Silverlight with Windows or add it as a super-duper-should-have update to Windows Machines.

3- Improved WriteableBitmap API

The in-memory drawing API in Silverlight is somewhat limited for advanced tasks, like:

1) No API for Drawing Shapes.
2) No API for Resizing & Rescaling.
3) No API for Clear, Copy & Crop methods.
4) No API for Conversion to various formats.
5) Performance issues that plague any “1 pixel, 1 read/write” approach.

4- 3D support

5- Store File Permissions Granted by the User

Using the OpenFileDialog and SaveFileDialog end-users can respectively grant read and write permissions for any file to a Silverlight Application.
Developers would like to see these permissions persist after the application has been restarted. We can see in Silverlight 4 RTM that Full Screen, Webcam and Clipboard access already get persisted after application restart.
So it is not unreasonable to hope this feature will be included in Silverlight.

6- Add PLINQ and TPL support

With PLINQ & TPL creating, debugging and maintaining multi core applications has been massively simplified on the .Net framework. With Silverlight supporting C# 4 and a majority on new .Net 4.0 features, it is possible we’ll see PLINQ and TPL in future Silverlight versions. That would allow Silverlight to have the best in-browser threading  solution for any major programming platform.

7- Reporting Controls and SQL Reporting Services Integration

Microsoft has a great suite of Reporting and Analysis tools that are part of the SQL Server 2008 product group. As part of ASP.Net and winforms there are ReportViewer controls that allow to view, zoom, page and export from predefined RDLS reports. If this feature is implemented it would probably include a new Silverlight & WPF Report Viewer control as well as deep SQL Server Reporting Services integration.

Justin Angel on Windows 8, C# and Build

Windows 8 gives you the platform and tools to create rich app experiences where your customers focus on tasks that are important to them. Apps are at the center of the Windows 8 experience. They are alive with activity and vibrant content. Your customers immerse themselves in your full-screen, Metro style app allowing them to focus on their content rather than on the operating system.

With Windows 8 you can leverage your existing skills and code assets to create great experiences for your customers.

Web developers can use their HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript skills to build native applications for Windows.

.NET Developers can use XAML, C#, and Visual Basic to build beautiful Metro style apps.

Game developers can use the power of DirectX 11.1 to build amazing, immersive gaming experiences.

Driver developers can use the new, integrated Microsoft® Visual Studio® development environment to increase productivity.

Justin Angel on Windows 8 Platform and Tools

C/C++ Developers and Metro Style Apps

Windows 8 and its new WinRT native libraries can be targeted by C/C++ developers just as the age-old Win32 libraries could be. This has not really changed and there are certainly many applications such as complex games, device drivers, etc. that require the kind of low level control that C/C++ offer. On the other hand, for 99% of Metro Style Apps such as social media apps, productivity tools, and business apps, C++ is not the answer in Win8 any more than it has been for the last 10 years.

XAML/C# Developers and Metro Style Apps

XAML/C# in Win 8 is the best option for the vast majority of Microsoft developers. The Silverlight/WPF community can bring their skills forward, though they will need to learn new controls and new APIs for working with WinRT as opposed to WPF/SL. General .NET developers who have not yet done anything with XAML will have a somewhat larger learning curve, but XAML itself is a very mature UI platform at this point, so it should be pretty easy for these developers to find the resources they need to quickly get up to speed with this.

Web Developers and Metro Style Apps

Web developers will likely find the HTML5+CSS+JS option attractive. There are also many Microsoft web developers, who build applications today using ASP.NET and C# (or perhaps VB) on the server, but who must also know CSS and JavaScript and HTML for the client work. Many of these developers including ASP.NET developers will likely opt to go the HTML5+CSS+JS route rather than the XAML route.

C# and iPhone Development

In 2009, Novell announced and shipped MonoTouch, which allows .NET developers to create native iPhone applications in C#.

What is MonoTouch?

With MonoTouch, applications are compiled into executable code that runs on the iPhone. The significance of this should not be understated: .NET/Mono developers can target the iPhone through MonoTouch.

How does MonoTouch accomplish this? 

MonoTouch provides a .NET layer over the native iPhone programming layer present on the iPhone OS, referred to as Cocoa Touch. Cocoa Touch is based on the Cocoa layer in the Mac OS X and is available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. MonoTouch does not provide a mechanism to cross-compile Windows Forms applications, but allows developers to build applications that run natively on the iPhone.

Overall, the application programming interface (API) exposed by the MonoTouch SDK is a combination of the .NET 2.0 Framework’s core features, the Silverlight 2.0 API, and the APIs on the iPhone.

MonoTouch provides a bridge (interop) between the iPhone’s native APIs based on Objective-C and C-based APIs to the NET world that C# developers are accustomed to.

What are MonoTouch Components?

MonoTouch is made up of the following four components:

1- The Monotouch.dll is a C# assembly that provides a binding API into the iPhone’s native APIs.

2- A command-line tool that compiles C# and Common Intermediate Language (CIL) code. This compiled code can then be run in the simulator or an actual iPhone.

3- An add-in to MonoDevelop that allows for iPhone development and for Interface Builder to create graphical applications.

4- A commercial license of the Mono runtime, which allows for the static linking of the Mono runtime with the code developed.

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