Author Archives: admin

Windows 8 Cloud Comics Reader

My upcoming application for Windows 8 called “Cloud Comics Reader” is already in development and I’m happy to share with you first information and screenshots.

The application Cloud Comics Reader could be described as “Advanced RSS reader for various web comics sources” – It downloads automatically new strips from well knows web comics pages like Garfield, XKCD, PhdComics, Geek And Poke, and others, and shows these comics strips in comfortable way. Currently it shows latest strips in overview or in full screen mode with simple swipe gesture browsing.

Application is currently in early beta phase – the application logic is getting better each day, new features are being added and also feedback from various testers is being put into consideration. The final feature set is not yet known, but you can surely expect these goodies:

  • Live Tile and lock screen notification about new comics’ strips for favorite comics’ sources
  • Transparent Image caching for off-line viewing
  • Implementation of full Share and Search contracts
  • Semantic Zoom, Flip View and other standard Windows 8 UI features
  • Mechanism for adding new comics sources using in-app updates
  • and lot more

But that’s not all – together with Windows 8 app there is also new Windows Phone 7 application with almost same feature set in development. This app for Windows Phone should be ready in July/August.

And here are the promised screenshots, let me know, what do you think 🙂

Windows 8 dev, Day 0. – The Basics

If you want to start developing apps for Windows 8, you surely need to know some basics. First of all it’s essential to install Windows 8 Release Preview, Visual Studio 2012 RC and also Blend 5 RC. You can’t develop Windows 8 Metro apps in Windows 7 or older, or in Visual Studio 2012 or older.

Optionally you can install one of my favorite tools: ReSharper EAP 7 for Visual Studio 2012. It’s still in beta quality, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Once you have all this installed, you should probably start reading some stuff about actual Windows 8 Metro app development. I expect you already have some knowledge about creating classic .NET or Silverlight applications in C#, so I won’t cover these basic steps. First of all buy this excellent e-book and read it: Programming Windows 6th Edition, by Charles Petzold, it’s about 300 pages long, so nothing you can’t finish in one weekend 🙂 It contains thorough information about XAML and WinRT basics, how to work with layout, Framework Elements, Containers, interactive Controls, DataBinding, Events, etc. Together with some discount codes it costs less than $20. This book also contains lot of code samples you can try on your PC, you can alter them and watch what happens.

Together with studying this book you can also start browsing through MSDN pages related to WinRT programing. Give it at least day or two crawling through these archives, reading materials about Metro design principles, Windows 8 app design, application lifetime, contracts, capabilities, etc. Don’t forget also to download couple of actual Windows 8 applications from current Windows Store and use them to know, how they actually work and behave. Don’t underestimate this part of development, for creating successful and good liking apps it’s essential to know how these app should look like.

So much for theory, the next chapter will be devoted to actual problems and issues I’ve discovered during my Windows 8 app development/porting from WP7.

Long time no see!

It was almost year ago since when I wrote my last article here. It was in Summer 2011 when I was trying my first Windows Phone development steps, testing WP7.5 Mango beta on my HTC HD7 and plannig to port Fish Fillets to this platform. Lot of stuff happened since then. Right now I got almost 10 apps published in Windows Phone Marketplace and more than 100 000 downloads, not bad I dare to say 🙂

I have also just recently started developing Windows 8 Metro applications – it’s a whole new platform, not yet stabilized, but it’s quite tempting to be one of first publishers on Windows Store, isn’t it? In the upcoming days I’ll try to collect and write down all my thoughts and discoveries about development for this platform. So stay tuned for lot of useful tips, tricks and hints you might need to know, if you plan to dive into this platform as well.

HTC HD7, Windows Phone 7 – recenze 1/2

Asi tak před čtvrt rokem jsem si koupil nový telefon značky HTC HD7 se systémem Windows Phone 7, o kterém bude tato mini recenze.

Ještě před zakoupením jsem určitou dobu řešil, s jakým systémem by měl můj nový stroj být – jedno jsem věděl jistě, měl by to být dotykový smartphone, ať nejsem pozadu za dobou, že 🙂 Rozhodoval jsem se mezi Androidem a právě Windows Phone 7, ale WP7 platforma nakonec výhrála – důvodem byla především výrazně nižší cena přístrojů ( 7500 Kč vs 13000 Kč za prakticky stejnou výbavu), chuť experimentovat a také příslib velké aktualizace, která na podzim přínese většinu chybějících vlastností. Inu koupil jsem si za 7,5 tisíce telefon HTC HD7 – je to asi po deseti letech můj první telefon jiné značky než (Sony) Ericsson.

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Creating ‘select multiple’ element in IE6 using jQuery

I was facing recently strange problem with creating <select> tag with ‘multiple’ attribute in IE6. Normally it’s done using $(“<select>”).attr(“multiple”, true), but this does not work in IE6 – the crated select element was simple every time, without multiple choices. Setting ‘multiple’ attribute in IE6 programatically just doesn’t work. I spent lot of time finding some workaround, but the solution I discovered is pretty simple, just use this object constructor:

$(“<select multiple=’multiple’>”)

It’s not 100% clean solution, but it works in IE6 and that’s important.

If you know better solution, you might update the jQuery I created for this issue:

New line characters in XML

Just a small hint – have you ever been wondering, how to put newline characters into XML document? typical string with escape sequence like ‘\n’ can’t be used, because this string has no special meaning in XML. Instead of you need to use hexadecimal escaped character: &#10; for newline or &#13; for carriage return. Simple, isn’t it?

Fixing Lightword Theme in Internet Explorer 9

I have found some time ago, that my blog is not properly displayed in latest Internet Explorer 9 – all headers are gone. I just ignored this issue for some time, until now – final IE9 has been released, it’s a sign to do something about it. Well, I googled what the problem might be – when inspecting the structure of a page I noticed, that all headers are written using some strange <cufon> tags.  As I found, Cufon is a very interesting way how to incorporate non-standard fonts on a web pages, but sadly in IE9 it wasn’t working as expected.

There are basically two usable solutions – the easy one and the right one. In the easy one just add meta tag to your page saying “render this page in IE8 compatible mode”:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8" />

This works, but somehow we all feel it’s not the right solution.

The right one is just downloading fixed version of cufon.js library and replacing existing cufon-yui.js file in Lightword Theme folder. Sounds pretty easy:

You can download the updated file from this location. It’s also good idea to minify the size of this file using for example this site. Done.


Jak jsem si koupil originalni hru…

…aneb s poctivostí nejdřív pojdeš.

V lednu jsem si na Czech Computeru koupil originální hru Settlers 7, ale nakonec jsem si jí ani jednou nemohl zahrát a musel jsem jí vrátit. Jak to? Jednoduše, aktivační klíč v balení hry byl neplatný a ani výrobce hry, ani distributor to nedokázal nijak vyřešit. Jako uživatel jsem na podpoře a dopisováním strávil několik dnů a výsledek byl jen ten, že mi byly vráceny peníze. Kdybych si tu samou hru stáhnul třeba z Pirátské zátoky, mohl bych hrát tak do dvou hodin.

Jak to všechno probíhalo? Continue reading