Tagged with Expression
Recently while in Vancouver for DevTeach, I sat down with Carl Franklin and recorded a couple of DNR-TV episodes. The first one is on Behaviors (and how to write them). If you're interested in Silverlight, Blend or Behaviors...head over the DNR-TV site and take a look.
UPDATE: The client doesn't mind that I mention them so I'll tell you that its the great people at SchoolMaster. Siebrand Dijkstra and his crew are doing some interesting things with Silverlight.
I love teaching the Silverlight Tour as pretty much every class I teach I learn something new. I get used to certain features of Blend that do what I need but because of some bugs, I have gotten too good at hand-editing my XAML. In my current class (a private class for a Dutch software company), one of their very bright engineers showed me this trick:
I was explaining how you can specify the rows/columns in the main grid by clicking on the top/left bars as seen below:
The feedback system that Microsoft uses seems broken. It works well in letting us know what they are doing, but the MS team never seems to tell us why they aren't going to fix something. Its really frustrating to spend the time to try and alert them to a problem and to feel brushed off.
Don't get me wrong, I understand why development teams have to prioritize some bugs and features over another...but at least a single sentence from the team saying why they didn't think a bug is worth fixing isn't much to ask.
There is an updated build of Expression Blend's August Preview. For some users it complains that wants a CD key and has an expiration date soon (mine is at seven days). It was supposed to work without a CD key and it looks like they've fixed it. Tim Heuer mentioned the new build so if you're having the problem, please download this new version
I've created a simple template for creating a new WPF/E template for Blend. Simply download the .zip file and extract it your Blend directory (usually c:\program files\microsoft expression\blend 1.0\). Once you do that you can "Add New Item..." and add a WPF/E Asset like so:
I've blogged about how short-sighted it seemed that the Expression tools were not going to be available to MSDN Subscribers. I am glad to report that they have come to their senses! I think it is a great comprimise to include Blend and Web in MSDN. Expression Design and Video will still require additional licensing outside of MSDN, but they are less developer tools anyway.
I want to thank everyone inside of Microsoft who I know lobbied hard for this. It was a big political fight and it required opinions across the company to sway the decision. I for one will appreciate the benefits of this fight.
I've been confused by the whole Expression Web interest. I use Visual Studio primarily and I couldn't see the great benefit of Expression Web. I am not an artist so I don't fiddle with HTML as my main job much. But I do write some articles directly in HTML. Finally a reason to use Expression Web...Spell check. Yeah, spell check.
Visual Studio's HTML editor doesn't have it, Orcas' HTML editor doesn't have it...but Expression Web does. Using Word to edit HTML files is a completely joke. My editors that I write HTML articles for want very clean XHTML...not exactly what Word does best. Now I have a good solution...
While I like the Expression Studio toolset I am dismayed that these tools will not be available for most developers without the extra expense. It seems at this point that Expression Studio will *NOT* be available as part of MSDN Subscriptions, but instead will require separate purchase options. It would seem to me that Expression would widen the MSDN subscription base to include designers in organizations and improve early adoption of the tools as it would get them in people's hands faster.
I hope Microsoft revisits this decision and reverses it.
For me, one of the compelling "WPF/E" stories is the toolset. Like WPF, the Expression toolset is meant to fully support "WPF/E". Currently the new Expression Design (was Expression Designer) support export to "WPF/E" XAML. Expression Blend at this time doesn't support "WPF/E" natively but with a little coaxing I have demos that show it working that i'll be showing off soon.
The interesting bit is Expression Media which will enable Video producers to create video pre-built with "WPF/E" XAML wrappers ala SoapBox and YouTube.