Wednesday, July 08, 2009

D2SIG Meeting Notes

I attended the
D2SIG meeting last night at the Microsoft offices in Houston. Claudio Lassala from EPS gave a good talk on Data Binding in WPF. He came prepared with a number of good examples of different techniques that explained not only the current thinking on data binding, but also some of the earlier techniques that fell short. Claudio knows his stuff, and dived down into the code frequently to make his points.

He covered DependencyObject, INotifyPropertyChanged, ObjectDataProvider, basic data binding with static resources, Data Templates, relative source binding, Value Converters, and many many more. It slices, it dices, it chops, it juliennes fries.

Along the way there was some good give and take with the audience. There were several people speaking up who were either working with data binding or about to. Side topics included mention of MVVM, Prism (Glenn Block),
WPF Toolkit, and MVC.

I'm going to have to start attending D2SIG on a regular basis. I decided a few weeks back to focus on WPF and MVVM as "force multipliers" for PC PIC-Guam. I need to get a lot of result for as little effort as possible in order to stick to my 1000 hour time budget. I also need to get a lot of quality out of my UI design work (such as it is). This D2SIG will help with both.

WPF resources I've read lately (and will understand better in the future) include

I took notes during the presentation. For a 2 hour meeting, I came up with an estimate of five and a half hours of follow up tasks!

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

First Life and Blogging Frequency

Someone invited me to join Second Life a while back. I responded, "I'm still busy with First Life."

I don't post as often I would like, but that's because I'm still busy with First Life.

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PC PIC-Guam Status 7/5/09

I've written the high level design for over 80 percent of the decisions to be made by the AI, so I've switched over to working on the UI prototype for a while.

Today I got the code working for the cursor position on the map, and I adapted the PC Eylau code for mapping the cursor position to the map hex. I also figured out how to fix some problems I'd had with that code in PC Eylau.

Other UI techniques I will prototype include

  • use PIC-Guam map on screen
  • show a unit graphic on a hex
  • show a stack graphic on a hex
  • click through a stack
  • click to select a hex
  • apply overlays to a hex: current hex highlight and colored overlay
  • shade a hex
  • make a hex transparent; restore the normal appearance of a hex
  • context menu
  • menu
  • docking toolbars
  • docking windows
  • splash screen;video clips
  • help | about dialog
  • scrolling credits
  • play a music file
  • store all graphics in a separate resource assembly (not sure of term)
  • MVVM
  • stack view; allows cycling through units easily
  • drag and drop
  • display part of the map (a megahex) in another view
  • display part of the map (a megahex) in a dialog
  • animated buttons
  • progress indicator
  • animated/smooth movement of hexes from hex to hex during movement
  • playback of movement (replay)

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"If I Had Another Hammer..."

Eric Dornenburg wrote a good article on counter-arguments against using technology (an ESB in this case) just because it's cool.

If all you have is an RDD or MMD (Management Mandated Development) hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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