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 Thursday, March 20, 2014

The MyVote app is a complete modern app built by Magenic as a demo for Modern Apps Live! conferences.Logo

MyVote from Modern Apps Live! LV 2014 is available on the MyVote releases page on GitHub.

The MyVote app is available for install

Although we’ve made the code available on GitHub, getting the app compiled and running is non-trivial of course, because this is a complete modern app with clients for

  • WinRT
  • iOS
  • Android with Xamarin
  • HTML 5/JavaScript single page app

and services that use

  • Windows Azure SQL Server
  • Windows Azure Mobile Services
  • Windows Azure Web Sites
  • Windows Azure Cloud Services

In GitHub the README.md file contains a list of places in the code where you’ll need to insert your own encryption and service keys. Beyond that you are largely on your own. If you are looking for a more detailed walkthrough of the implementation I can only suggest that you attend Modern Apps Live! in Orlando this fall.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:23:53 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
 Monday, March 17, 2014

I just created a release of CSLA 4 version 4.5.580-Beta with preliminary support for iOS via the Xamarin tools.

You can get it via nuget (easiest), or from the release page on GitHub.

This is an exciting pre-release because it now means you can reuse the same business logic code across all modern app client platforms and the desktop and the cloud. This is a “who’s who” list of supported platforms:

  • iOS
    • iPad
    • iPhone
  • Android
    • Phones
    • Tablets
  • Windows
    • WinRT (Windows 8)
    • WPF
    • Silverlight
    • Windows Forms
  • Windows Phone
  • Cloud and servers
    • Windows Azure
    • Windows Server
    • ASP.NET (MVC and Web Forms)
    • WCF
    • Web API
  • Linux
  • OS X

CSLA .NET allows you to easily create reusable business logic (authorization, validation, calculations, etc.) and to share a common app server with simple network configuration. I don’t know of any other open source C# framework that makes it possible for you to reuse the exact same business logic across all these different platforms.

Because the iOS support is new we are asking for your help. If you have the Xamarin tools for iOS please help us out by building some business code using CSLA and let us know if you find any issues (either on the forum at http://forums.lhotka.net or via the CSLA GitHub page.

Monday, March 17, 2014 10:42:21 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2014

I few weeks ago I posted about my new Nokia Lumia 1520 “phablet”: Lumia 1520- First thoughts

Tomorrow my new Lumia 1020 will replace the 1520.

Why?

Because the 1520 is just too big. Otherwise I really like it in a lot of ways – high def screen, easy to read content, very fast, slot for MicroSD card.

But it doesn’t fit nicely into my pockets, and it is very awkward to hold up to my ear when talking (yes, I often use BlueTooth, but not always).

Mostly though, even with my big hands (I’m 2m tall after all) I can’t use it one-handed. <insert texting while driving jokes here> In reality this has nothing to do with driving as I have a good hands-free setup in my truck. This has to do with normal everyday use of the phone, and the reality that it never works one-handed, even for basic things like pulling it out of my pocket to answer a call.

I have high hopes for the 1020. It is the size of my 920, which I loved, and has a much better camera. I don’t believe it has a MicroSD slot though, which is the only real negative I can see.

Thursday, March 06, 2014 1:56:47 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
 Sunday, March 02, 2014

In my last post my focus was on listing the numerous WinRT apps I use on a regular basis – many of which, if I couldn’t get them on Win8 would drive me to carry an iPad. I’m personally not just a software developer, I’m a user of computing as well.

One line, a sensation-maker, in my post was that I think Windows developers who aren’t using WinRT apps are doing their ultimate users a disservice. This doesn’t apply to web developers or other people who aren’t developing actual Windows applications, but it surely applies to people living today in the legacy WPF, SL, and Windows Forms technologies.

The thing is, I made no effort to describe why I believe that to be true, because the focus of that post was to list useful apps.

So what did I mean by that comment?

Here’s the thing. As someone who does use a lot of WinRT apps I can say that a lot of them suck. I’ve divided the suckage into three categories.

Some apps are obviously built by pure mobile developers, who have no comprehension of keyboard/mouse or productivity on anything but a tablet. So their apps are sometimes pretty good on a tablet, but are virtually useless on a laptop or desktop. Because I use all three types of device with pretty much every app, I find that these mobile-only or mobile-first apps just suck. I might use them on my tablet, but they are always pretty secondary to more complete apps because they aren’t universal.

Other apps are obviously built by pure desktop developers, who have no comprehension of touch. These apps often work pretty well with keyboard/mouse, but are awkward to use with touch. Technically they work on my tablet, but they aren’t fun or efficient, and so I consider them to suck.

The third group of sucky apps are built by people with no WinRT user experience. These apps might, in theory, work pretty well with touch and/or keyboard and mouse, but they miss the point of all the cool WinRT features. They don’t use AppBars or the Share charm or Settings or Search correctly. They don’t use dialogs correctly, they don’t use navigation correctly. I’m sure the authors of these apps often think they are being clever by inventing their own techniques, but as a user their apps just suck because they don’t work right.

In short, sucky apps come from three sources:

  1. Mobile developers who don’t consider laptop/desktop device scenarios
  2. Desktop developers who don’t consider tablet scenarios
  3. Developers who are ignorant about the WinRT environment and don’t understand how it works

So as a developer, if you plan to ever build WinRT apps and you aren’t using WinRT then you are pretty much guaranteed to fall into category 3, and very possibly 1 and/or 2.

Hence, if you are a smart client developer – unless you are planning to retire on WPF (which is fine) or switch to the iPad/Android world, you are doing yourself and your users a disservice if you aren’t actually using and learning “the WinRT way”.

Update:

Jason Bock mentioned something to me that got me thinking. I base all of this on one core assumption:

Win32 has no long-term future as a mainstream technology.

To be clear, I am 100% sure Win32 will be around for the next 20-30 years, just like mainframes and minicomputers are still with us – usually hidden behind the scenes or in a terminal window, but still here. I don’t think anyone would call them “mainstream” though. Nobody ever mentions IBM in the same breath as Microsoft/Apple/Google/Samsung.

Now if you think Microsoft will back off from WinRT, and by some miracle Apple and Google and Samsung will just completely fail to adapt iOS, Android, or ChromeOS to the enterprise, then you can imagine yourself still doing Win32 as a mainstream technology in 5-7 years.

I personally can’t imagine that happening. I think 5 years from now Win32 will be pretty much what we think of as VB6 today. Something that runs a ton of software, and something that people still do, but not something that would be considered mainstream or vibrant.

For my part, I think that if Microsoft does back off WinRT to try and rejuvenate Win32 … well … that’ll be the opening one or more competitors needs to swoop in and take the enterprise desktop.

Sunday, March 02, 2014 10:55:12 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [10]  | 
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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