# Wednesday, 04 April 2012

It’s been something like 10 years that I didn’t write C++ code myself anymore. When I heard my friend Marc Gregoire started up his own user group BeCPP I decided to go and watch what’s happened over that decade. Frankly, a lot has seemed to happen. I was introduced to the new stuff that shipped with the latest C++ version and a second sessoin about the new move stuff. At some points I had to dig again on the information but overall I could still follow along.

A picture of both speakers: Marc Gregoire and Francisco Almeida:

firstbecppugmeeting

For the people interested in both C++ and Metro be sure to check out their new session on May 8.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 18:13:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 02 April 2012

I just noticed that the ASP.NET website has gotten a small but very interesting upgrade. Until recently it was somewhat hard to find the information about Web API and Single Page Applications (SPA). As the menu was already pretty crowded the site now has an extra menu called Solutions. From there on one can easily find all the major technology stacks with references to tutorials, videos, samples, …

ASPNETSiteSolutions

If you want direct access, go ahead:

FRAMEWORKS

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 02 April 2012 19:44:51 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Sunday, 01 April 2012

Woohoo! And another year of being an MVP. I’m glad I made it again and that my contributions to the community get appreciated by that same community and Microsoft.

The last year for sure was busy with being active on the ASP.NET forums, being a board member of the Belgian Windows Azure user group (azug), I became a MEET member, …

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 01 April 2012 16:14:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 12 March 2012

banner385x201

 

Likely you already found out that recently Windows 8 preview got released showing off some of the new ways Windows 8 will work for you and your company. Microsoft Belgium jumps on the bandwagon and organizes a cool concept: study at day, hack and code at night.

You can follow during the day the following program:

8:08 - 9:00
    Registration
9:00 - 10:30
    Opening keynote: Introducing Windows 8
    Platform for Metro style app and principles
        Speaker: Giorgio Sardo
10:30 - 11:00
    Break
11:00 - 12:30
    Building Metro Style Apps with XAML and HTML: everything .NET and Web developers need to know
12:30 - 13:15?
    Lunch
13:30 - 15:00
    Building Metro Style UI and integrating with Windows 8 Experiences
15:00 - 15:30
    Break
15:30 - 17:00
    Bringing Your Apps to Life
    Closing with Windows Store & Developer opportunity
17:00 - 18:00
    Closing drink

After that the hackaton starts:

18:00 - 18:30
    Welcome and setup
18:30 - 23:00
    Develop your app, code galore!
19:00 - 20:00
    Pizza & Red Bull
23:00 - 24:00
    Showcasing of apps, voting for the best apps
    Best app of the night prize!
24:00
    Closing or stay up all night :)

So if you like to start being creative for Windows 8 and you’re in Belgium, you know where you want to be on March 23 2012.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 12 March 2012 22:25:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
# Friday, 09 March 2012

Tech days Belgium 2012 was a jam packed load of interesting sessions. For those who couldn’t attend or, like myself, couldn’t follow the sessions due to having to choose between several sessions at the same time slot, we can now watch the recorded sessions online: http://www.microsoft.com/belux/techdays/2012/Home.aspx.

techdaysbelgium2012

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 09 March 2012 23:09:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# Monday, 05 March 2012

Just as of today there’s a new update of WebMatrix 2 Beta for download. One of the direct changes that one can see is that WebPages 2 coolness dripped into it too.

For example, in the past one had to write:

<a class="order-button" href="@Href("~/order", featured.Id)" title="Order @featured.Name">Order Now</a>

And now that has become:

<a class="order-button" href="~/order/@featured.Id" title="Order @featured.Name">Order Now</a>

Notice the difference? Cool huh? And WebPages 2 holds more nifty cool features that will help out web developers all around the globe.

I’m looking forward to see this small yet powerful tool come to a final release. Hopefully soon.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 05 March 2012 21:01:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Today I gave another Webcamps session at Microsoft HQ in Brussels Belgium. A nice bunch of people and I had a small surprise for them later on the day… Microsoft chose this day to celebrate the fact that Internet explorer 6, the quite old browser, had gotten under 1% usage in Belgium. Something to celebrate! So we were presented a very, very tasty pie with a nice message on it:

byebyeie6

In case you didn’t know it yet, Microsoft provides a dedicated site which keeps track of the usage of IE6: http://www.ie6countdown.com/. On that site you can also find a small snippet to add to your site to promote people visiting yours to simply install a better browser. Note: Internet explorer 10 will be around (and hopefully soon). I have been playing with the preview bits already and I must say, it looks very good. More speed, better HTML 5 support, increased security, …

In case you want to know, yes the pie tasted really great.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:22:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Wednesday, 18 January 2012

In a former post I already presented the new CSS 3 column module and some funky stuff one can do with it.

However sometimes you want to provide your end users the possibility to decide for themselves how many columns they want to see. The following sample will do just that with the help of some javascript and the new HTML 5 range input type.

The following CSS is used to style up some range of text from the beginning:

#test {
    column-count: 3;
    column-rule:2px solid #000;
    column-gap:80px;
}

to style up a div element with id test:

<h3>How many columns?</h3>
<input type="range" min="1" max="5" onchange="changeColumnCount(this)">
<div id="test">
    <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla dignissim mattis justo, 
      sit amet volutpat turpis convallis vel. Etiam pulvinar tincidunt diam, sit amet ornare justo
    </p>
</div>

Note the type of the input element: range. I specified the min and max values so there can be only one column or a maximum of five columns. The onchange event will call the following javascript function which takes care of the behavior part and makes the magic happen:

<script type="text/javascript">
	
    function changeColumnCount(meter) {

        document.getElementById('test').style.columnCount = meter.value;
    }

</script>	

The meter value gets set to the column-count CSS property. Notice the way it is done in javascript, not via column-count but via the element’s property style.columnCount. Make sure that you have the casing right as javascript is a case sensitive language!

I used Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 and Opera on Windows 7 to test the feature:

IE10PreviewWin8

IE10Win8

The second IE10 is the Metro version. Note the number 4 coming over the meter. This shows up when dragging the slider from one value to another and disappears again when you release the slider.

The full code to test this out:

Have fun with this!

Grz, Kris.

CSS3 | HTML5 | range
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:41:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 17 January 2012

More and more CSS 3 technology starts to come natively to modern browsers. One of these that I like is the new column module. This post will highlight some of the nice features.

column-count

Setting the column-layout will, for the selection made, make up the content in a column layout without you having to mess around with tables and trying to get things right. For text I simply made use of lipsum and wrapped it in a div:

<div id="test">
	<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla dignissim 
mattis justo, sit amet volutpat turpis convallis vel. Etiam pulvinar tincidunt diam, sit amet 
ornare justo aliquam sed. Aliquam augue tortor, lacinia a sodales in, fermentum vitae sapien. 
Nulla pellentesque nisl at mauris aliquet in condimentum neque ullamcorper...
        </p>
</div>

For the CSS part I made up this part which makes the selection on the div element with id test:

#test {
    column-count: 3;
}

I tested this in browsers like Internet Explorer 10 (on Windows 8) and Opera which work already fine out of the box without browser specific prefixes like (-moz, -ms, -webkit):

columncount

column-rule

Making several columns up with practically no effort is nice but sometimes you want to have a small improvement in readability and add small guidelines in between to better separate the different columns. With the column-rule you can add these. The syntax follows the same easy to remember format like we’re used to from setting a border:

#test {
    column-count: 3;
    column-rule: 1px solid black;
}

Which results in:

columnrule1

Of course you can also go for a 5px dotted red approach if you like to:

#test {
    column-count: 3;
    column-rule: 5px dotted red;
}

columnrule2

 

column-gap

In the previous samples we noticed that the text was pretty close to the borders of the columns. If this is not the desired effect you can set the column-gap to chime in that nice piece of extra space:

#test {
    column-count: 3;
    column-rule: 1px solid black;
    column-gap:80px;
}

Which results in:

columngap

As you can see, with some easy to use CSS 3 column module goodness one can style up the readability of content in an easy way. In the future more and more browsers will support this natively out of the box as well so keep it in mind for one of your next projects.

Grz, Kris

Tuesday, 17 January 2012 16:35:24 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, 13 January 2012

Today I found out about a freely available online book about Coffeescript.

If you don’t know what Coffeescript is all about then please take a look at this short introduction taken from Wikipedia:

“CoffeeScript is a programming language that transcompiles to JavaScript. The language adds syntactic sugar inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell to enhance JavaScript's brevity and readability, as well as adding more sophisticated features like array comprehension and pattern matching. CoffeeScript compiles predictably to JavaScript and programs can be written with less code (typically 1/3 fewer lines) with no effect on runtime performance.”

Cool!

Of course besides being cool as a language, developers like to have cool editors to work with. One I found is the free Mindscape Web Workbench.

If you’re more into learning from video tutorials you can check out the Pluralsight training or Tekpub one.

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 13 January 2012 12:53:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |