Windows 8 Development - Continuous Integration

    17 June 2014

    Continuous integration (CI) is one of those practices that is a necessity for me on all of my projects. Without the tight feedback loops that CI gives you, projects feel unprofessional to me. This has been a point of frustration for me while developing for Windows 8 with JavaScript. Building the solution can easily be done with MSBuild. But, unit testing has been a bit of a problem.

    Windows 8 Development - Application Errors

    13 June 2014

    An event that is often overlooked, but which is extremely important for customer service and diagnosing of issues is the event that occurs when there is an unhandled exception. In the paradigm of web application development, you can control your hardware and rely on your application logs. But in the distributed world of mobile, the logs are all on the user's mobile device. In this scenario, it is important for you to be able to capture these problems and "phone them home" to be diagnosed/fixed (with the user's permission of course).

    Windows 8 Development - Application Resume

    12 June 2014

    While most of the events I described in previous posts had events in both Windows.UI.WebUI.WebUIApplication and WinJS.Application, there is no WinJS wrapper around WinRT event in this situation.

    Windows 8 Development - Application Suspend and Shutdown

    11 June 2014

    At any given time, there are only three states that your Windows Store application can be in. Obviously, the first two are “running” and “not running.” But, there is a third state that the web and WinForms/WPF developer might not be accustomed to called “suspended.” An application can be suspended in several conditions:

    Windows 8 Development - Life Cycle Events

    09 June 2014

    In another post, I mentioned that you do not need WinJS at all to write a Windows Store Application. Not only is this true of the user controls, but it is also (mostly) true with regard to the application life cycle.

    Windows 8 Development - C# Components for JavaScript Applications

    05 June 2014

    Many articles will tell you that you cannot have a C# back end for an HTML5 presentation layer. While this is true on the surface because you cannot mix them in a project, it is still possible to mix-in C# (or VB.NET if you are a verbose kind of person) as a “Windows Runtime Component.” Since I came into my first Windows 8 project with an ASP.NET MVC mindset, this is the route my team and I took. In retrospect, this might not have been the best idea because of the many limitations and oddities that added complexity. Depending on your team's skill-set, this may or may not be an option for you. However, you should consider the following.

    Windows 8 Development - Environment

    02 June 2014

    For those of you that are not fans of Windows 8 (this includes me), this will be disappointing. But, you cannot use Windows7 to develop Windows Store Applications. This led me to run Ubuntu as my primary OS and run Windows 8.1 via VirtualBox whenever I work on Windows Store applications. I have found the transition from Windows 7 to Ubuntu to be a much smoother transition for me personally than being frustrated over waiting for Windows 8 to respond. This setup is working well for me and I can quickly switch between Windows 7 and 8.1 while keeping all of my browser tabs and documents open in Ubuntu. Obviously, this will not work in companies were the IT department has restrictions. But, it is worth mentioning.

    Windows 8 Development - Understanding the Terminology

    01 June 2014

    The first thing to understand about developing applications for Windows 8/8.1 is the terminology. While these types of applications have been around for some time, there is still confusion over the original Microsoft-internal code names and resulting product names. Since the community is not as established as other platforms, many of the blog entries you will find are older and still use the code names.

    Why Develop Applications for Windows 8.1?

    31 May 2014

    Recently, I was asked to write a Windows 8.1 application for a client. Although I have been a Microsoft-based technologist for all of my career, I had to ask myself why the client would chose this platform. Windows has less than 5% of the tablet market and there is not much of a developer community around it. Also, the devices are running a full-blown OS. This means the battery life is more comparable to a laptop than other tablet platforms. All of this being said, there are legitimate reasons to choose Windows. This is especially true in an enterprise environment.