Shawn Wildermuth

The Blog

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

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.



Recently, while working on my Windows Phone 7.5 book, I found the need to display a short URL to some specific documentation. I found that you could use to do this but the results were not very satisfying. In fact, if you take a typical documentation ID (e.g. “ff402535”), you can simply do this:

This works but takes you to a simple page that reformats the topic instead of the full MSDN documentation. I didn’t like that solution so I registered With this new address you can do the same thing:

This is a simple redirect to the full documentation. Just take whatever MSDN documentation and look at the URL:


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!