Shawn Wildermuth

Author, Teacher, and Filmmaker
.NET Foundation Board Member


Tagged with Silverlight

Top 10 Mango Features Article

My new article in DevProConnections Magazine is now live. If you want to see the top ten features of Windows Phone 7.5 (according to me), go see the article now!

If you have any comments, let me know!


New Cities and New Courses

My company, AgiliTrain, has created its spring schedule and we are happy to announce that we’re going to be expanding with new courses and new cities. Let’s take the courses first.

After much consideration, it seems to me that 2012 is going to be all about XAML *and* HTML5/JavaScript. With this in mind we’re focusing on our two new courses:


Essential Windows Phone 7.5 Ships

A long labor of love of mine has finally been birthed. My Essential Windows Phone 7.5 book is now available for Kindle. You can also pre-order the physical book from Amazon or directly from Pearson. While I’ve been assured that the book is printed, sometimes it can take some time to make it into the retail chain for different outlets. To clear up some of this confusion I thought it would be helpful to tell you how you can get the book depending on which retailer you go with:

Because the book is done printing, some of the retailers that are selling the physical book may ship early so if you want the physical book, pre-ordering is still the best option. If you want to get a hold of it now, Kindle is the way to go.


40,000 Apps - What Does It Mean?

WP7MarketplaceSo the Windows Phone Marketplace hit 40K apps. What does it mean to the platform? There are a number of articles out there that talk about the 40,000 apps and compares them to other platforms but I think they are missing a key differentiator.

Articles like the PC Magazine article point to the fact that Apple got to 50K in one year (faster than Microsoft) and that it took Android in 18 months (a tad slower than Microsoft). But to me the real remarkable news of this milestone isn’t the speed…it’s the size of the marketplace for that is astounding in my opinion.

Let’s look at the numbers. According to Garner, the 2011 Q3 numbers indicate that the worldwide market share for smartphones is (see Table of the report):


Blend for Developers Course Now Available!

If you're a XAML developer and have proudly stated that you hand-code all your markup, it’s time to learn how to be more productive. I’ve authored a new course for PluralSight. If you have a subscription, you can view it my new “Blend for Developers” course now:

Hope you enjoy the course!


I am Coming to Washington DC for 2 Classes

If you are in the Washington, DC area (or are close enough to fly), I am coming to teach two courses just after Thanksgiving.

The Silverlight Tour


Confusion Around WP7.1 Periodic Agents

IMG_0088After my recent post on Periodic Agents, I had a number of people react to specific parts of the API. Let’s discuss each of these separately.

Periodic Agents’ 14-day Lifespan

It seems that developers are confused about the role periodic agents have with their apps. The short version of the story is that periodic agents are supposed to support your app, not replace it. To this end a periodic agent must be re-registered at least every fourteen days. Typically this is accomplished by re-registering your app on every startup.


My New Silverlight Services Course is Live

I am happy to announce my new online course on using Silverlight Server Communication is now available on Pluralsight. This course covers the basics of using services from with Silverlight projects. The course covers:

You can view the course online at Pluralsight’s website: 


In a Perfect World? Build Conference Wishes

BuildConferenceI am headed to Build Windows next week and I have a lot of hopes for the conference. I haven’t been to a conference as an attendee alone in quite a long time. I am anxious to see what the v.Next is out of Redmond.

I didn’t get to go to the 2000 PDC that changed everything…so I really wanted to be here for this conference. Is this going to change everything again?  I have no earthly idea but I hope for a mix of new and old. 

Here is what will happen at Build if this were a perfect world:


Periodic Agents on Windows Phone 7.1

One major feature that was much requested for the new version of Windows Phone was the ability to run agents behind the scenes. The desire was to be able to execute code periodically so that a developer’s application could keep itself up to date (or tell the user about a change) when the application was not running. Microsoft has allowed this in Mango (e.g. Windows Phone OS 7.1) and allows several different flavors of agents:

For this post, I will focus on the Periodic Agents. Periodic agents run every 30 minutes but with some limitations:


Silverlight 5 RC Now Available




Silverlight Tour Updated for SL5 RC!


Starting at the September 26th stop of the Silverlight Tour in Atlanta, AgiliTrain’s Silverlight courseware has been updated to include all the new features of Silverlight 5 RC. If you’re getting ready to fire up a new Silverlight project, this is the course you should be in.

About the Silverlight Tour


More on Updating Apps for Mango

In my previous post, I encouraged users to upgrade their applications to the newest version of the Windows Phone so that users that get Windows Phone 7.5 (or developers who already have it) can benefit from a newer version of your application. While I readily admit, some of that post is pure selfishness as I want apps to be ready for Mango (and on my phone ;) But there are some things to consider.

If you haven’t noticed, the Windows Phone Marketplace now has 30,000 applications. Yeah, 30K. That’s a lot of applications. While some of my favorite apps do update themselves fairly often, many of the 30K applications do not. Why does this matter?


Windows Phone 7.1 SDK is Alarming


Ok, maybe I like my distracting titles…my apologies.

As many Windows Phone developers have noticed, Mango (e.g Windows Phone SDK 7.1) supports background processing through something called Agents. While Agents are certainly a welcome addition, I am exceptionally impressed in the fact that Mango also supports a bunch of features to avoid having to have background processing agents. In this post, I’ll show you one of these: Alarms.


Fun With New Live Tile API


In Windows Phone OS 7.0, you could update your Live Tiles (but not create them) – but you had to do it via a push notification. In Windows Phone OS 7.1, this changes to allow you to not only update the Live Tile for your application, but your application can create multiple Live Tiles.

The ShellTile class gives you access to all the Live Tiles for your application. Before you ever create a single tile, you always have one tile. This tile is the default tile that your application will show if the user manually pins an application to the home screen. You can add additional Live Tiles manually. Each of these additional tiles are specifically to link deeply into your application. For example, if I had an airline application, I could have additional tiles that linked directly to individual flights. Let’s get started.


Maintaining a Project with Two Windows Phone Versions

I am currently reading the Mango (Windows Phone OS 7.1) version of my Phoney Tools project. But I have a particular problem: I need to maintain both a 7.0 and a 7.1 version of the project builds. You might have the same issue with your own project so I thought it’d be a good way to show off some special features that Visual Studio has to help you solve these sorts of situations. Essentially my goal was to maintain one set of code but build both sets from the same source.

First off, I took my original project and created two solution folders and created the 7.1 projects as shown here:



Should You Upgrade Your WP7 App to Mango?


Ok, maybe I can’t leave it at that. As Windows Phone 7 users upgrade to Mango, they probably want a Mango (e.g. Windows Phone OS 7.1) version of your application. Don’t disappoint them. This doesn’t mean you should completely retool your application for Mango.  But if I am suggesting that you don’t spend a lot of time on the new app, then why create one to begin with? Fast Task Switching.

Fast Task Switching


What Version is Windows Phone Mango?

In finishing up my new Windows Phone book, I had to deal with the confusing version problem. There are three version numbers to be aware of:

So what is Mango? It comes down to this:

So get your nomenclature right and stop being confused.


Atlanta Code Camp - I'll Be There


Atlanta Code Camp

Atlanta Code Camp is almost here.  It will be a fun time to learn and co-mingle with Atlanta's development community. If you're not familiar with code camps, i'll quote the website:


Where Did I Go?


I was asked at a recent Silverlight Meetup what happened to me?  He was concerned that I was sick or something worse so I thought it was worth a post.

I've been quiet on my blog (but not on Twitter) lately as I've been travelling a lot and working too hard. I am working on several important projects (not all of which I can share).  The ones that you can know about are:


My Take on the Silverlight 5 Part of the MIX 11 Keynote


As many of you, my readers, did today I watched the MIX 11 Keynote with much interest about what the messaging around Silverlight 5 would be. Let me start out by saying that I am pretty invested in Silverlight (see my new Pluralsight course as an example of this). 

I was disappointed in Silverlight being pushed back to 2nd topic on the 2nd day, but I totally get why Windows Phone 7 got the headline and they had something new to announce (remember that all of Silvelight 5 was previewed in December).


Watch my PluralSight Silverlight 5 Course for Free (for 24 hours)


PluralSight Courses

I am excited to announce today that I will be working with PluralSight on a number of courses in the near future. The first of these is available starting today: What's New in Silverlight 5. Starting just after MIX11 keynote on Silverlight (today, April 13th), you can view this course for free for 24 hours!


Silverlight Tour Now Includes Silverlight 5!


PhoneyTools on CodePlex

To coincide with today's Beta release of Silverlight 5, the Silverlight Tour is ready with this new version of Silverlight. Starting with our next class (in Seattle on May 2-4th), the Silverlight Tour will cover the new Silverlight 5 features including:


Phoney Tools 1.0 Released!


PhoneyTools on CodePlex

UPDATE: Last update (hopefully for a bit), found another issue and now that NuGet is up, the new package is ther for 1.0.3.


Phoney Tools v0.7 Released


Phoney Logo

We're marching towards MIX11 and the Phoney Tools will be ready. The new version is now available that includes a couple of new features and a few bug fixes.  The changes include: