Shawn Wildermuth

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

LESS is More? So is SASS!

pslogoSo my new course is live at PluralSight! If you’re looking to take the 3rd Part of my Modern Web Development article to heart, my new course is just for you!

A Better CSS: LESS and SASS

Modern Web Development - Part 7

Safe Cracking Balaclava Clad BurglarThis is the seventh of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

Before I wax poetically about why to use distributed source control, let me talk about what it is (and why it is different).

Back in the very old days (did I mention I am old?) I would keep my source on a floppy disk and put in a safe every night (no, not 9 track tapes like some of you are thinking..I am not *that* old). This was a way to secure the source in case of disaster…but all it did was keep the source secure. Source control was more than that. Later as I used a myriad of source control vendors (yes, including the dreaded Source Safe), they all seemed to have some common features:

What I do...

codeI’ve heard a lot of people wonder what’s going on behind my privacy curtain. If you follow me on twitter or notice the time of some of my blog posts, you might conjecture that I never sleep. That argument is not completely without merit. But it got me to thinking that it would be good if I wrote a short post explaining the types of things I do.

My work life is split amongst several types of work:

WebAPI and Ninject

Traffic accident and to drivers fightingI will be returning to my 10 part series on Modern Web Development soon, but I have a quickie post that hopefully will help some of you.

In my main project, I am using Ninject to inject dependencies into Controllers. This works really well and I won’t belabor how that works here (see project here for how to get via Nuget and how-tos).

WebAPI for the MVC Guy

Audio and video plugs in handSo as some of you know, I’ve spent a lot of the last year working on a web project. I’ve been using ASP.NET MVC3 and it’s going well. I am at the point where we are creating the mobile apps. I service them, I need an API (which will eventually be available as a public API too). I had started creating using MVC and simple routes but I was urged to look at the new Web API stack that is installed with the new ASP.NET MVC4 installer.

NOTE: To write this blog post, I got a lot of Twitter help from Glenn Block, Darrel Miller and and Rick Strahl!

Modern Web Development - Part 6

mortarpestleThis is the sixth of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

The Problem

Modern Web Development - Part 5

This is the fifth of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

jQuery Plugins

Modern Web Development - Part 4

This is the fourth of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:


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!

Modern Web Development - Part 3

This is the third of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

What’s Wrong with CSS?

The Web Workshop: Client-Side Dev Training

I am excited to announce that I’ve refactored (and renamed) my web-centric training course. The old “ASP.NET MVC/HTML/CSS Workshop” was just too long. It’s now called “The Web Workshop”.

Modern Web Development - Part 2

SpaghettiThis is the second of ten parts. The topics will be:

Working with JavaScript can be daunting. In the past, I’ve seen some projects with just a handful of huge files that become difficult to manage. So in architecting what I needed to build, I wanted to adhere to the idea that there was common code and there was view-specific code. There are two different classes of JavaScript that I care about: libraries (i.e. not my code) and site code (i.e. my code).

Modern Web Development - Part 1

This is the first of ten parts of this blog post. The topics will be:

In the past year I’ve had a side project. FirstInked’s Beta recently shipped and I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned. To start out, I want to specifically thank two people who were really great in helping me formulate the strategies I’ll talk about. They are:

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.

The Case of the ModelBinding Failure

I wasted an evening last night on a simple bug of mine. I was writing a simple HTML data entry page. I was using JSON + $.ajax to POST data to a ASP.NET MVC controller and it used to work. But for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Let’s start with some background.

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:

What I've Been Doing...


It’s been a long nine-months and I am excited to be able to talk about what I’ve been working on for the first time. I am working with a small team of people to build a new set of products. But unlike what I’ve been doing in the past, this new set of products is not for developers...

I Love Music...but not iTunes

ralph-ipodI buy a lot of music. I am not a hoarder like some, but I have 100GB’ish of MP3s. I don’t go around and ‘borrow’ friends collections just to up my count. What I do is buy music…just not at brick and mortar stores.

While I could go on about how iTunes on Windows is a bad piece of software, that’s not what I care about. It’s the DRM. I pave my machines constantly and I have my music on a lot of devices at once. Music Match sounds like a good idea, but Apple has burned that bridge with me a long time ago so I won’t harp on it. But as a consumer of music (and someone who wants to support the artists), what do I do?

Using MVVM on the Web with KnockoutJS

As most of you know, I have been in the Silverlight space for quite a while. (And to be clear to the chicken-little amongst you, no I am not leaving the Silverlight community.) I’ve been building a web application for consumers so that HTML + JavaScript represents the right solution to building a project like we’re building (more on what I am building in the near future). 

One of the things I wanted to be able to do is to build longer-lived pages where it made sense without having to resort to post-backs or hacked together JavaScript. In fact, what I really wanted was a client-side ViewModel (e.g. MVVM) for my web page. After looking at several of the existing frameworks for the job, I settled on KnockoutJS as a great solution. The currently released version (1.21) is a good solution, but the developers of the framework have released a Beta (1.3Beta) version that greatly simplifies what I needed. If you want to follow along, make sure you download that version here.

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.

What Win8 Should Learn from Windows Phone

windows8As many of my readers know, I’ve been neck deep in the Windows Phone. More recently, I’ve been digging into Windows 8 development as well. On my most recent trip, I spent quite a bit of time with the BUILD tablet. Good news is that it’s a pretty good piece of hardware. Even though it’s not ARM, I am still getting a good four hours of battery life. This version of Windows 8 is early but I do think there are some things that Windows 8 should learn from what they’ve done with the Windows Phone. Here is a short list of what I think the team should look at on the phone:

In-App Back Button

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!

New Article on Software Development

My new article disruptive technologies is now available on Software Quality Connection.  If you’re an organization or developer who are worried about what is coming next, my “Which Platform is Next: All of Them” may be a good read for you.

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.

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

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