Shawn Wildermuth

My Rants and Raves about technology, programming, everything else...

LESS at DevLink

babyflyerJust finished my talk at DevLink on "A Better CSS: LESS is More…". It was a good crowd and I was surprised that so many people had already heard of LESS which is awesome. Hopefully I covered the breadth of the language. It was a fun crowd and it's been a fun conference. If you haven't had a chance to get to Chattanooga and see the fresh water aquarium, it shouldn't be missed!

I promised the crowd that I would share the slides and the code. You can go both here:

Great Time at Gwinnett .NET Users Group

mobiledevices_clipI headed up to the Gwinnett .NET Users Group last night had we talked all about mobile web development using ASP.NET! If you were there, thanks for attending and here are the slides and code as promised!

If you had any questions that you didn’t get to ask at the talk, just comment below.

aspConf was fun!

I had a good time doing a couple of talks today. If you joined me online, thanks for coming. For those who missed my talks, they will be posting the videos on Channel 9. As promised you can get the slides and examples here for my talks:

I hope you enjoyed the talks!

New Era for Microsoft?

Guidelines-4_embedA lot of people are writing about the possibility of a new era at Microsoft. As a cynical fanboy I am hoping that this turns out to be true. I think there are a lot of great things coming out of Redmond these days and they deserve credit for making real change.

If you’re not keeping up, let’s talk about some of the comments that are being talked about. First up, Woz:

Windows Phone 8 - What do I think?

7612.StartScreen_Maria35_thumb_7EFE7E6BSo the Windows Phone event is over and I’ve had time to digest it somewhat and read between the lines. At the time (for those who read my twitter feed), I was quite reactionary and upset at much of the news. Most of this what as a user of a Windows Phone, not as a developer of a Windows Phone. Do note that another caveat is that I am an author of a Windows Phone 7.5 book, and the thought of my book being suddenly obsolete was upsetting as well (but that happens every time one of my books passes the new car smell line). So let me talk briefly about what I think about the news from both a user and a developer on the Windows Phone platform.

The big news for most users is the fact that Windows Phone 8 won’t work on current hardware. To me this is short-sighted as it seems to punish the only fans the platform has so far. This was especially relevant since I *just* received my Nokia 900 (after having a HTC HD7 for the last 15 months). The idea that this new piece of hardware was going to be out of date in only 4-6 months upset me. But let’s think about it in broader strokes that just me. Is this a good strategy overall?

CodeStock 2012 - Wrap-Up

conference projectorJust back from the CodeStock 2012 event and I want to thank Michael and everyone involved for a great event. I met a lot of great people and had a great time in Knoxville. Both sessions were well attended. I especially wanted to thank those attendees who attended my 2 1/2 hour marathon session on Modern Web Development (see my blog series on it here).

Unfortunately, my recording software was crashing so the talks didn’t get recorded. For those who saw me speak, here are the slides and demos:

Start Button...Hrmph

I'm using Windows 8 as my main OS on my work PC. Not a terribly good idea, but I want to feel how it is to work with on a day-by-day basis. I've been dong this since early in the Windows 2000 days (installing pre-release OSs by MS).

I've heard from some people that they want their Start Button back and my opinion continues to be that it never went away...all that happened was that it is now full screen. In fact, it's still in the lower left:

New Pluralsight Course on Debugging Web Sites

After a long gestation, I finally completed my Web Debugging course for Pluralsight. This new course covers the details of using the tools in the browsers to debug layout, JavaScript, CSS and networking. While the course shows you how to find the tools in all the major browsers, the focus is using Firefox and Firebug. Though the techniques shown in Firebug apply pretty seamlessly to all the browser tools. This course is not .NET specific, but should be useful to any web developers.

The course is broken up into four sections:

JavaScript for the C# Guy: The confusion about 'this'

As a C# guy I am comfortable with the idea of 'this' in the scope of a class (or 'Me' for your VB'ers). It's a relatively simple idea that allows you to access the instance of the class that you're a part of to call members.

In JavaScript that have a similar idea but because of the nature of JavaScript it can cause some odd behavior. Let's look at the standard behavior first.

Move Your WP7 Apps Links to the Marketplace

UPDATED: Changed links to be universal, not US specific.


Atlanta Code Camp Wrap-up

I had the pleasure of joining many of the Atlanta .NET community for the annual Atlanta Code Camp. If you didn't get a chance to join us, you missed a great time. The attendees were enthusiastic and friendly. Thanks to everyone who attended!

I promised the people who attended my sessions I'd post the slides and example code so here you are:

My Speaking Schedule - 2012 Edition

My 2012 conference schedule is shaping up nicely. I will visiting a series of conferences, code camps and user groups this year. Last year I didn't do this nearly as much as I was building a failed product. So back to my love of badges and beer. If you have the opportunity to be at any of these great events, do it. I love them all. (Also, if you see me at an event, please stop by and say hello.  As many can attest, I don't bite much.)

Here's the current slate (in chronological order):

JavaScript for the C# Guy: The Global Object

codeThis is another in my series about (hopefully) interesting JavaScript constructs that might surprise most C# developers. You can see others here: JavaScript for the C# Guy.

Back in the day I was doing some scripting in classic ASP sites (no, not classic ASP.NET) and we screamed and yelled about putting too much in the global scope. We wanted encapsulation and such and that is true today. In my C# work pretty much everything is in a class (static or otherwise) so I don't have to concern myself with it much.  But in JavaScript I know there is an easily accessible global object...but it occurred to me that I don't see the "Global" object accessed much; even though it is used a bit (to hold other containers that have encapsulated code). "Why not?" I wondered.

CSS for the XAML Guy - Positional Selectors

AngleBracketsI got into a longish, public discussion last night about XAML versus the HTML/CSS stack last night. I think they both have merit and pros and cons but it made me decide to add a short series of posts that highlight some of the CSS things that surprised me most (like my JavaScript for the C# Guy posts - and yes, more of those are coming too).

The first topic I am covering is some subtleties of the selector syntax. CSS selectors allow you to pick children, descendants and adjacent siblings. I found that I used descendant selector quite a lot:

Modern Web Development - Part 9

This is the ninth of ten parts of this blog post. mobiledevices_clipThe topics will be:

Why do users complicate our lives by trying to view our content on their phone and tablets?  It's even an issue for smaller sized desktop screens too. Since this is simply a reality for today's web developer I was glad to see there were real strides in working with mobile.

I've been Deep Fried...Again!

So I've done it again.  I survived another 30 minutes with Woody and Keith. Whew. We had a good conversation about the current state of Web Development and the future of XAML development.

I also got to discuss fried foods and make fun of Keith. Couldn't have been a better time. Go listen now:

What is Wilder Minds?

As many of you have known for a while, I've been running my AgiliTrain training company focusing on technologies like Silverlight, WPF and the Web. My interest in training isn't going away, but I've yearned to work with a small group of thought leaders to help companies in more innovative ways. With this goal in mind, I am launching Wilder Minds.

The vision for Wilder Minds is to be a complete solution for companies who are trying to move to new technologies (like Windows 8, HTML5/JS, Mobile Development, node.js, etc.) Instead of just doing training, we're expanding to help in three primary ways:

Does Silverlight Matter to Windows Phone 8?

right-HERO_MANGO_062411A lot has been made since a report from Microsoft late last week ( that seemed to say that Silverlight on the phone was going away in Windows Phone 8 (Apollo). I liked a lot of what this article had to say (from e-week):

Quick Tip: Show WinRT XAML Binding Errors

I saw a tip by Tim Heuer on a StackOverflow question about how to show binding errors in the Output window of managed WinRT (e.g. Metro-style) XAML projects. Tim mentioned that:

You get this automatically for C++ applications and for managed applications you have to turn on unmanaged debugging to see them.

Almost One Week with Windows 8

4-1-2012 5-52-53 PMNearly a week ago I installed Windows 8 as my main laptop operating system. I could finally do this once the Windows Phone 7.1.1 SDK update was released (making the Windows Phone emulator work on Windows 8). So I am not knee deep into Windows 8 as a desktop operating system.

NOTE: is that I am using Windows 8 on a non-touch laptop. This means I want to test it as a replacement for Windows 7 on my development machine. This is a particularly important test for the Operating System for me. I've used it on a Tablet for several months now and I really like it. The Samsung Tablet that we were given at Build is a good machine to see how real tablets will be. The lack of apps and battery life make it an approximation of real tablet use for me, otherwise I'd use it a *lot* more!

Modern Web Development - Part 8

shawnsouthparkThis is the eighth of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

Oh Facebook…how do you becoming so insistent on integrating you into every website? Well anyway, let’s show you how it actually works. In this post, I’ll show you how to authenticate an app using Facebook.

When you want to integrate with Facebook, you’ll need the Facebook SDK. Unlike other JavaScript APIs, the Facebook API isn’t a download. The API has some specific peculiar patterns that it requires. But if you obey Facebook, it will (usually) bend to your will. To get started you’ll want to visit the Facebook developer site:

Thwate Intermediate Certificate Fail!

UPDATE: I spelled it wrong, but now that so many RSS readers have it, I won’t change the title ;) It’s spelled Thawte, not Thwate, sorry for the confusion.

I browsed to AgiliTrain (my training company) and noticed that the SSL Cert was failing. Not a good thing. But it wasn’t expired, it couldn’t find the Intermediate Certificates that the issuer requires (I am using Thwate certs). I am not sure why this happens. Unfortunately my old GoDaddy certs didn’t need Intermediate Certificates. My next certs won’t either because it has caused me a lot of wasted time and energy.  Much more than I saved going with the cheap Thwate certs.

JavaScript for the C# Guy: Scopes


Another day in JavaScript land for this  C# guy. I am reading the excellent Professional JavaScript for Web Developers and I am finding more and more that separates the two languages. I know everyone will mention it, but I did read JavaScript: The Good Parts and I liked it but it isn’t as comprehensive as this book.

From my Web Dev for XAML Devs Talk

SpaghettiBabyI had the opportunity tonight to do a talk for the Atlanta XAML Meetup on Web Development for XAML Developers. I had fun explaining how XAML developers can use their existing skills with markup, design, data binding and data access on web page development. You can see the slides from the talk here:

JavaScript for the C# Guy: Function Overloads

dreamstime_1087355089A3Ib17I’ve been writing a lot of JavaScript lately. As a C# guy, I noticed that try and take my knowledge from my time in C# (and C++ and even a little Java) and try to apply it. They are curly braces after all…but alas it doesn’t always work. I’ll learn my lesson one day ;) (though I doubt it).

Lesson for today? Function overloads. Coming from that world I wrote simple code like this:

Application Name WilderBlog Environment Name Production
Application Ver Runtime Framework .NETCoreApp,Version=v1.1
App Path D:\home\site\wwwroot Runtime Version .NET Core 4.6.24628.01
Operating System Microsoft Windows 6.2.9200 Runtime Arch X86