Colin Eberhardt

I am Technology Director at Scott Logic and am a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a range of technologies. For a number of years I worked with the Microsoft stack of technologies, including WPF, WCF, Silverlight and Windows Phone. More recently I have diversified to include HTML5, JavaScript and iOS development.

Articles

Creating a Yahoo Finance chart with D3 and d3fc - Part Two

on 22 Jul 2015

Most charting libraries are monoliths. The more features they support, the more unwieldy their APIs tend to become. With the d3fc project we have been exploring an alternative approach, constructing charts from a set of small components, using the D3 library.

Creating a Yahoo Finance chart with D3 and d3fc

on 08 Jul 2015

Most charting libraries are monoliths. The more features they support, the more unwieldy their APIs tend to become. With the d3fc project we have been exploring an alternative approach, constructing charts from a set of small components, using the D3 library.

MVVM With ReactiveCocoa 3.0

on 15 May 2015

This is my final article on ReactiveCocoa 3.0 (RAC3), where I demonstrate some more complex RAC3 usages within the context of an application built using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern.

ReactiveCocoa 3.0 - Signal Producers and API clarity

on 28 Apr 2015

My previous blog post took a first look at ReactiveCocoa 3.0 (RC3), where I described the new Signal interface, and the pipe forward operator. In this blog post I continue my exploration of the RC3 APIs and turn my attention to signal producers. I also discuss a few points around the overall clarity of the new ReactiveCocoa APIs.

A First Look at ReactiveCocoa 3.0

on 24 Apr 2015

This blog post takes a look at the new ReactiveCocoa 3.0 swift interface, which introduces generics, a pipe-forward operator and an interesting use of curried functions.

Introducing React Native

on 26 Mar 2015

A few months ago Facebook announced React Native, a framework that lets you build native iOS applications with JavaScript. I've been spending the past couple of months building am app with this framework, which I have finally been able to share!

Implementing React.js in Swift

on 05 Mar 2015

This blog post explores the novel approach taken by the React.js team, where the UI is expressed as a function of the current application state, and re-implements it with Swift.

Exploring KVO alternatives with Swift

on 11 Feb 2015

Swift has access to all of the Objective-C APIs, which means that anything you could do with Objective-C you can now do with Swift. However, there are times when it is worth exploring a better, pure-Swift, alternative. This post explores the pros and cons of KVO versus a couple of Swift alternatives.

Implementing Events in Swift

on 05 Feb 2015

Swift does not have a built in eventing mechanism. This post explores a few different ways events can be implemented in Swift and how to avoid problems of retain cycles and closure reference equality.

SVG layout with Flexbox for simpler D3 charts

on 02 Feb 2015

This blog looks at how CSS flexbox layout can be applied to SVG in order to simplify the task of constructing charts with D3. This approach has been made possible by the JavaScript flexbox implementation that Facebook recently open sourced to support ReactJS Native.

Exception Handling in Swift

on 27 Jan 2015

Swift doesn’t support throwing exceptions, nor does it support catching them. This wouldn’t be a problem if you could develop iOS apps in pure Swift, but unfortunately at the moment you cannot. When developing an app most of the APIs you’ll be working with are Objective-C APIs that have been...

Swift Initialization and the Pain of Optionals

on 20 Nov 2014

Swift's strict initialisation process results in a number of practical issues, leaving developers scratching their heads. This post explores a few solutions including two-phase initialisation, the use of optionals and lazy properties.

Binding mutable arrays with ReactiveCocoa

on 04 Nov 2014

This post describes a binding helper that allows you to bind arrays directly to table views with ReactiveCocoa. In this update to my previous post, the helper is extended to support mutable arrays.

Jekyll Pagination and Infinite Scroll

on 14 Oct 2014

Recently I updated the Scott Logic blog to implement infinite scrolling using a combination of Jekyll pagination and jScroll. Both of these components are quite fussy about their respective configuration, meaning that integrating them took longer than expected. I thought I'd share my solution in this blog post, hopefully saving others from the hours I spent digging into jScroll code or cursing Jekyll!

Swift and the curious case of AnyObject

on 24 Sep 2014

Swift, as I am sure you are aware, is quite a strict, safe and strongly-typed language. However, because the language needs to maintain Objective-C compatibility it has some rather curious features, and the behaviour of `AnyObject` is one of them!

Functional Swift and Memoization

on 22 Sep 2014

This post is a continuation of my previous which looked at implementing Conway’s Game of Life using functional techniques. Here I look at how memoization can be used to cache the return value of a function in order to improve performance.

Swift By Tutorials is Published

on 18 Sep 2014

Apple released the first public beta of the Swift programming language just over three months ago. Within days of the release myself and Matt Galloway started working on our book Swift by Tutorials, which as of yesterday is finally finished and shipping!

The Game of Life with Functional Swift

on 10 Sep 2014

This blog post shows an implementation of Conway’s Game of Life using functional techniques in Swift. This results in code which is a clear and concise representation of the game’s logic. I also take a closer look at ranges, intervals, the pattern match operator, ~= and how local functions help...

Swift Adoption Statistics

on 01 Aug 2014

It was just two months ago that Apple took us by surprise in releasing the Swift programming language. This blog post reflects on the first few months of Swift adoption.

A Statistical Comparison of the iOS and Android Stores

on 10 Jul 2014

A few months ago I published a blog post which showed the results of analysing the meta-data of 75,000 apps from the iTunes App Store. This blog post continues the analysis by adding 60,000 Android apps into the mix.

MVVM with ReactiveCocoa

on 07 Jul 2014

I've recently had a two-part tutorial published on Ray Wenderlich's website that details how ReactiveCocoa can be used to implement the MVVM pattern within iOS applications.

Swift Sequences and Lazy Evaluation

on 26 Jun 2014

In this blog post I want to take a quick look at the Swift Sequence protocol, which forms the basis for the for-in loop, and see how this allows you to write code that performs sequence operations that are only evaluated on-demand.

White Paper - HTML5 At Enterprise Scale

on 19 May 2014

Moving from desktop or plugin technologies (Flex, Silverlight, Java Applets) to HTML5 is a challenge for developers of large-scale enterprise applications. This White Paper discusses the challenges and offers potential solutions.

A Colour Analysis of the Apple App Store

on 12 Apr 2014

This blog post presents the result of analysing 250,000 screenshots from the Apple App Store, looking at hue, lightness and saturation histograms for each category.

A Statistical Analysis of the Apple App Store

on 20 Mar 2014

The App Store continues its rapid growth, with approximately 300,000 apps added each year. I decided it would be fun to download as much app metadata as possible in order to see what patterns and trends I could find. This blog post describes the results.

Simulating Accelerometer and Location data for iOS

on 19 Mar 2014

This blog post looks at how to simulate accelerometer and location data so that you can test iOS apps without the need for a physical device. The simulated data is provided by an interactive UI which allows you to rotate the phone and mark paths on a map which can then be replayed.

ReactiveCocoa - The Definitive Guide

on 13 Mar 2014

It feels like everyone in the iOS community is talking about ReactiveCocoa at the moment. In this blog post I talk briefly about what ReactiveCocoa is and the 'Definitive Guide' which I wrote for raywenderlich.com

PropertyCross 1.3 Released

on 31 Jan 2014

PropertyCross has just announced a v1.3 release, which includes two new frameworks, a number of updates and an improved build system.

An Interactive Tab Bar Controller Transition

on 26 Sep 2013

This blog post looks at creating an interactive tab bar controller transition, where you can swipe left and right to navigate between the tabs. The transition itself is a 'paperfold' effect - very pretty!

Creating a custom flip view controller transition

on 20 Sep 2013

With iOS 7 Apple introduced a new set of APIs for creating custom View Controller transitions. In this blog post I look at how to create a custom 'flip' transition, giving the impression of a turning page.

Windows Phone App Studio - Shows Potential ...

on 09 Aug 2013

A couple of days ago Microsoft announced Windows Phone App Studio, a web based tool for the rapid creation of Windows Phone applications. In this blog post I take this new technology for a spin to see what it's capable of, and the interesting potential it has for creating 'personal' apps.

New iOS Article - How To Make a Custom Control

on 03 Jun 2013

My latest iOS development article has been published on Ray Wenderlich's site, this time I look into how to develop custom iOS controls. The article describes the creation of a 'range' slider control, and covers topics such as API...

ReversiEight - A Windows 8 Reversi Game

on 22 May 2013

For the last six months or so I have been deeply immersed in a combination of iOS and HTML5 development. Now I don't want my C#/XAML skills to get too rusty, so over the weekend I decided to write a simple Windows 8 Store App. You can see the results...

HTML5 - It Just Got Real - Slides

on 16 May 2013

A couple of days ago we hosted a one-day conference, HTML5 - It Just Got Real, at the Royal Society buildings in London. As promised, we have made all of our presentations available online.

Enhanced Windows Phone 8 Map Gestures

on 15 Apr 2013

This blog post describes the addition of a two-finger rotation and three-finger pitch gesture to the Windows Phone 8 Map control. You can see these gesture in action below: The WP8 release replaced the image-tile based Bing maps with a fully vector-rendered map from...

Linq to Objective-C

on 15 Feb 2013

In the past few months I have been immersing myself into the world of iOS development. Whilst the Objective-C language takes a little getting used to, with its odd syntax and memory management rules, it is certainly a fun platform to develop for. I do miss a few C# language...

CodeProject MVP 2013

on 07 Jan 2013

Earlier today I received an email informing me that I have been awarded a CodeProject MVP for the year 2013. I am very grateful to CodeProject for this award - it is a very popular website for developers, with around 10 million members, and thousands of authors. It is an...

CodeProject Article on Xamarin Cross Platform Development

on 04 Jan 2013

Yesterday I published a new article on CodePrioject: Property Finder - a Cross-Platform Xamarin MonoTouch Mobile App This article looks at how you can write a cross-platform mobile application with a shared C# code base using Xamarin MonoTouch. The application that is described in the article, a...

A Multicast Delegate Pattern for iOS Controls

on 19 Nov 2012

This blog post introduces a simple pattern for adding multicasting capabilities to existing iOS controls. Adding multicasting allows for improved clarity and code re-use. Colin Eberhardt is CIO at ShinobiControls, suppliers of highly interactive and fun charts,...

Ray Wenderlich and My Adventures in iOS

on 12 Nov 2012

The technologies that we use to write applications for our end users are changing at a frightening pace! Over the past few years the title of my blog has changed from "Adventures in WPF" to "Adventures in .NET", and more recently to the very generic "Adventures in Technology". The latest...

Integrating Knockout and jQueryMobile

on 23 Oct 2012

This blog post looks at the issues regarding integration of KnockoutJS and jQueryMobile, and provides a simple worked example - a Twitter Search application - where the two technologies play nicely together! The code for this blog post can...

Clearer - A Gesture-Driven Windows 8 To-Do Application

on 12 Oct 2012

A couple of days ago a published a new article on CodeProject, this latest article tackles the migration of a gesture-drive application from Windows Phone to Windows 8: "I had fun porting my gesture-driven to-do list application to...

Property Finder - A Cross-platform HTML5 Mobile App

on 23 Aug 2012

A while back, when PhoneGap for Windows Phone was still in beta, I created Property Finder, an application for searching UK property listings. This application successfully made its way into the Windows Phone Marketplace, making it the first WP7...

Book Review: iOS Programming for .NET Developers

on 30 Jul 2012

A couple of weeks ago Josh Smith published his latest book, "iOS Programming for .NET Developers", which seeks to ease the transition from .NET to iOS developers. As someone who has many years of .NET experience, and more recently a desire to develop for 'the other side', I thought...

An Introduction and Thoughts on Developing iOS Applications with MonoTouch

on 24 Jul 2012

This blog post describes the creation of a simple twitter search application for iOS, based on a similar application I wrote for Windows Phone a few months back. In this blog post I'll used the MonoTouch platform, which allows you to write iOS applications using C#. This blog posts describes...

The Higgs Boson, Comic Sans and my 15 minutes of Twitter fame

on 05 Jul 2012

It's been a busy Twitter day for me. A reasonably inane tweet that I posted this morning pointing out that the announcement of the (potential) Higgs Boson discovery was written using the much derided Comic Sans font has been retweeted thousands of times, and has been the top tweet for...

A Developer Perspective on Windows Phone 8 - An Update

on 22 Jun 2012

My blog post from yesterday "A Developer Perspective on Windows Phone 8" sparked a bit of furious debate on Twitter. I think it is fair to say that I was not the only one who was quite concerned about the impact of...

A Developer Perspective on Windows Phone 8

on 21 Jun 2012

This blog post takes a look at what Windows Phone 8 (WP8) means for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) developers and the Microsoft development platform in general. This has been a big week for Microsoft; Monday saw them unveil the new...

A gesture-driven Windows Phone to-do application

on 06 Jun 2012

This blog post describes the implementation of a gesture-based todo-list application. The simple interface is controlled entirely by drag, flick and swipe: So far the application supports deletion and completion of tasks, but not the addition of new ones. I'll get to this in...

Introducing the jQuery Mobile Metro Theme

on 30 Apr 2012

This blog post introduces the new jQuery Mobile Metro theme and demonstrates how to create a web UI that detects the device it is being viewed on, to render a Metro UI on WP7 and iOS on other devices

WPF Charting Performance Comparisons (the Battle Continues)

on 24 Apr 2012

This blog post presents a thorough analysis of the performance of various WPF Charting components. The results show that a new class of charting solutions, which use raster-based graphics as opposed to retained mode vector graphics, provide a considerable performance advantage

KnockoutJS vs. Silverlight - a new CodeProject article

on 12 Apr 2012

I have just published a new article over on CodeProject called "KnockoutJS vs. Silverlight". It demonstrates the implementation of the same application using both frameworks, and seeks to answer the question "Which is better, Silverlight or Knockout?" It's a bit of...

Developing a GWT TodoMVC application

on 12 Mar 2012

This blog post describes my experiences of developing a simple Todo application with Google Web Toolkit (GWT), that I have contributed to the JavaScript TodoMVC project, which compares the implementation of the same application with various JavaScript frameworks. This blog discusses why I chose GWT, the compromises and benefits of...

Plotting Circular Relationships Graphs with Silverlight

on 08 Mar 2012

I have just published a new article on codeproject, which describes the creation of a Silverlight custom control for plotting the relationships between a network of nodes. Head over to codeproject and take a look! Visualisation of Eurozone...

Slides and code from my WPUG talk on PhoneGap

on 29 Feb 2012

Yesterday I presented a talk at the London-based Windows Phone User Group on the development of cross-platform mobile applications using PhoneGap. Here are my slides from the presentation: And here is the twitter search application I demoed: PhoneGapTwitterSearch.zip...

Visualising StackOverflow Tag Relationships with Silverlight

on 20 Feb 2012

UPDATE: I have posted the sourcecode for this control on codeproject. Recently I have been wondering about the wealth of information that can be gleaned from the 2.5 million programming question on Stack Overflow. A few weeks back I found a tag trending tool, which can be used...

The Gradual Decline in Silverlight Adoption

on 13 Feb 2012

Around one year ago I made the prediction that Silverlight would have an overall adoption of 81% by the end of 2011. The adoption statistics are now available and indicate that my predictions were wrong by more than 10%, with Silverlight adoption reaching just 67% at the start of this...

A Simple Pattern for Creating Re-useable UserControls in WPF / Silverlight

on 06 Feb 2012

This blog post provides step-by-step instructions for creating a user control, which exposes bindable properties, in WPF and Silverlight. The post covers dependency properties, and how to manage DataContext inheritance. When building user interfaces you will often find yourself repeating the same UI patterns across your application. After all, users...

WP7 PhoneGap Backbutton Support Re-visited

on 19 Jan 2012

About a month ago I published an article which demonstrated how to create a WP7 application using static HTML pages and PhoneGap. Whilst PhoneGap makes the packaging of HTML / JavaScript / CSS and images into a breeze, one thing it...

Windows Phone 7 - Browsing your Photos via Bing Maps

on 16 Jan 2012

The Windows Phone 7 camera gives you the option to record the location where a picture was taken (under Settings => applications => pictures+camera). With this feature turned on, each application has their latitude, longitude and altitude stored as part of the standard EXIF data. I thought it would...

Proud to be a CodeProject MVP 2012

on 09 Jan 2012

I have just received an email from Chris Maunder, co-founder of CodeProject, informing me that I have been awarded CodeProject MVP status for 2012.

FastClick for WP7 - Improving Browser Responsiveness for PhoneGap Apps

on 05 Jan 2012

I recently released an update of the HTML5 / PhoneGap application I wrote a few months ago to the marketplace. This update fixed the location detection issue, where the marketplace certification process failed to detect that the application was using geolocation data via the browser (this issue has been...

A Festive and Fun Windows Phone 7 Maze Game

on 22 Dec 2011

Last night, with my Christmas presents all wrapped and a lack of any decent programmes (festive or otherwise) on television, I had a few hours to kill, so decided to create a festive-themed WP7 game ... Ever since I first started writing code for Windows Phone 7 I have wanted...

A Metro Themed PowerPoint Template

on 19 Dec 2011

Over the weekend I mentioned on Twitter that I had created a Metro-style PowerPoint template. There were a few requests to share, so hence this blog post. Scroll to the bottom to download the PowerPoint file. So why create a...

A Simple Multi-Page Windows Phone 7 PhoneGap Example

on 15 Dec 2011

This blog post shows how you can use PhoneGap to create Windows Phone 7 applications that are comprised of multiple, simple HTML pages, whilst meeting the Marketplace certification requirements. Colin Eberhardt is a Scott Logic technical Evangelist and...

A Windows Phone 7 Slide View with Page Pips

on 08 Dec 2011

A popular user-interface in the iOS world is the UIPageControl which renders a small set of dots to indicate the number of pages, with the current page highlighted in some way. This is often used in conjunction with a UIScrollView to navigate between pages in a multi-page layout. Windows...

Pushpin Clustering with the Windows Phone 7 Bing Map control

on 21 Nov 2011

This blog post provides a simple utility class that will cluster pushpins on a Bing Map control. This utility provides a way to achieve great performance with 1000s of pushpins. The Bing Map control for Windows Phone 7 is a versatile control, allowing you to provide your users with an...

The Untimely Demise of the Plugin (and how LOB developments will suffer)

on 14 Nov 2011

It has been another interesting week for HTML5 and front-end technologies. We have seen Adobe abandon work on mobile versions of the Flash plugin, news of Silverlight 5 being the last version of the Microsoft plugin and more recently an announcement that Adobe will no longer develop Flex, its enterprise...

An Introduction to Semantic Zoom in Windows 8 Metro

on 10 Nov 2011

With the new Metro UI, Windows 8 has firmly embraced the tablet form-factor, with the interface tailored for touch and multi-touch interactions. Many of the Metro concepts familiar to Windows Phone 7 (WP7) developers are also present in Windows 8. Watching the vieos from the //build/ conference you can see...

Property Finder - the first HTML5-based Windows Phone 7 Application

on 07 Nov 2011

Last week I submitted Property Finder, a simple application that searches for properties based in the UK, to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. I was happy to receive confirmation that this application had been certified and published just two days later. You can download the application from the marketplace...

Codeproject September Competition - Scored a Double!

on 22 Oct 2011

I have just received an email from Codeproject - my article on XAMLFinance, a cross platform Silverlight, WPF and WP7 application, has won Best C# and Best Overall article competitions for September. Having narrowly missed out in the...

Adding Error Bars to Visiblox Silverlight Charts

on 21 Oct 2011

Having spent a number of years studying Physics at university, I have had the importance of error bars well and truly drummed into me! Within physics, or any experimental science, there are always going to be errors in the measurements you make. The more repeat measurements you make, the more...

Paging Data from the Server with Silverlight

on 19 Oct 2011

This blog post provides an implementation of IPagedCollectionView which allows paging of data from the server. An IPagedDataSource is introduced that allows any paged data source to be plugged in, with the standard controls such as DataPager making it easy to create paging applications. With web-based applications, bandwidth constraints often...

WinRT Transitions - Creating Fast and Fluid Metro UIs

on 10 Oct 2011

This blog post looks at the new concept of 'transitions' that WinRT, within Windows 8, introduces. This concept makes it very easy for you to create a fluid and interactive UI without going anywhere near storyboards! I have to admit it, I am a big fan of the Metro...

Using ObservableCollection with WinRT (via a little shim!)

on 06 Oct 2011

WInRT introduces a new interface for collection change notification, IObservableVector, which means ObservableCollection no longer works with this framework. In this blog post I will show how you can use ObservableCollection, via a simple adapter, within you WInRT applications. <ItemsControl ItemsSource="{Binding Path=MyCollection, Converter={StaticResource ObservableCollectionAdapter}}"

A Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) MVVM Tombstoning Example

on 03 Oct 2011

In this blog post I look at the new application lifecycle model that Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) introduces, and show how to handle the various lifecycle events in a simple MVVM application. In a previous blog post I described the development...

Developing Windows Phone 7 HTML5 apps with PhoneGap

on 29 Sep 2011

This article show the step-by-step development of a Windows Phone 7 HTML5 application using PhoneGap. It also looks at how viable this approach is for cross-platform mobile development. Colin Eberhardt is a Scott Logic technical Evangelist and a...

Building Windows Phone Apps - a free WP7 eBook

on 22 Sep 2011

I've just had an email land in my inbox from Microsoft's Mike Ormond, announcing that the Windows Phone 7 book that I contributed a couple of chapters to (Introduction and Tools), has finally been published! This is a collaborative...

TweetSearch - A Cross platform Metro UI WinRT and Silverlight Application

on 16 Sep 2011

With the Windows 8 preview release earlier this week, developers are now faced with a whole new and exciting Microsoft stack. The Windows 8 architecture has something of a split-personality, incorporating a completely new runtime, WinRT together with the older Win32 and .NET framework. However, these sit on different sides...

Windows 8 - An OS of two halves.

on 15 Sep 2011

In this blog post I take a look at Windows 8 on the outside, from a user perspective; and on the inside, from a developer perspective to see how it will change the way we develop with Windows on tablets, smartphones and the desktop when it is released next year....

Dart - will Google make HTML5 applications viable?

on 11 Sep 2011

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a blogpost "Can Microsoft 'fix' JavaScript and make HTML5 applications viable?", where I described some of the issues with JavaScript and how these could be solved by Microsoft if they wrote a C# to JavaScript compiler. Just a couple of days ago...

Can Microsoft 'fix' JavaScript and make HTML5 applications viable?

on 16 Aug 2011

Microsoft's recent change in stance over Silverlight, promoting HTML5 as "the only true cross-platform solution for everything", seems to have sidelined Silverlight as a niche framework. This has understandably caused a great deal of upset and confusion in the .NET development community. Despite this, Microsoft are remaining steadfast and...

Talk on Cross-Platform XAML Applications @NEBytes

on 09 Aug 2011

I am happy to have been invited by NEBytes to give a talk on cross-platform XAML applications later this month. The event kicks off at 6:30pm on August 17th at Room 120, Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, with the event including both my presentation and a talk on Office 365...

Implementing a Windows Phone 7 Conversation View Part Two

on 08 Aug 2011

This blog post describes how to implement a conversation / messaging style application with Windows Phone 7. It covers how to style the speech bubbles and the scrolling of the conversation list view when the phone keyboard is shown. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post which...

Capturing Windows Phone 7 Panorama Images

on 21 Jul 2011

The Windows Phone 7 Panorama control is widely used in applications and to many has come to symbolise the Metro Design Language. Search for panorama images and you will find numerous promo-shots of Windows Phone 7 applications which display the panoramic contents of the application hub, with an image...

Implementing a Windows Phone 7 Conversation View

on 15 Jul 2011

This blog post looks at how to to create a conversation view, mimicking the SMS messaging interface within Windows Phone 7. This post shows how we can select different DataTemplate for each item in an ItemsControl to achieve this effect. The Windows Phone 7 SMS messaging interface graphically illustrates between...

From Silverlight to HTML5 CodeProject Article

on 01 Jul 2011

I have just published an article on codeproject which describes the differences in development between Silverlight and HTML5. In order to illustrate the differences, I have re-implemented my Windows Phone 7 JumpList control using HTML5/CSS3. You can see this control in action below: ...

Visiblox MVP Giveaway

on 23 Jun 2011

Readers of my blog will probably have noticed that I have a keen interest in both charting and performance. My friends over at Visiblox have combined these both to create what is one of the fastest charts for WPF, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7, see my recent benchmark...

Metro In Motion #8 - AutoCompleteBox Reveal Animation

on 20 Jun 2011

When I started the Metro In Motion series, I thought I would probably post three or four articles and be done. However, every time I use my Windows Phone 7 I seem to spot a new 'native' fluid UI effect which I would like to use in my own code....

Metro In Motion Part #7 - Panorama Prettiness and Opacity

on 14 Jun 2011

This blog post details a simple metro-in-motion behaviour which reduces the Panorama control's contents while the user slides from item-to-item so that they can really appreciate your fancy background graphic! For those of you who have not been following my Metro-In-Motion series, I'll briefly recap. My aim is to provide...

Metro In Motion Part #6 - Rolling List Location Indicator

on 06 Jun 2011

This blog post describes the development of a rolling list location indicator. This indicator mirrors the behaviour seen in the native Windows Phone 7 calendar which rolls from one date to the next as the user scrolls. For those of you who have not been following my Metro-In-Motion series, I'll...

A Simple Windows Phone 7 MVVM Tombstoning Example

on 23 May 2011

This blog post shows how to implement tombstoning within a Windows Phone 7 application that following the Model-View-ViewModel pattern. UPDATE: I have published a update to this blog post to handle the new dormant state in Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango).

Metro In Motion #5 - SandwichFlow

on 16 May 2011

For the past few months I have been writing a Metro-In-Motion blog series which describes how to recreate some of the fluid effects found in native Windows Phone 7 applications within your own applications. So far I have covered fluid list animations, 'peel' animations, flying titles and...

White Paper: Flex, Silverlight or HTML5? Time to decide...

on 05 May 2011

When meeting current and prospective clients the subject of web technology choice often arises. There has been a great deal of confusion and uncertainty out there, even before Microsoft's perceived change of stance with respect to Silverlight emerged. This white paper is intended to help technology decision makers come to...

Metro In Motion Part #4 - Tilt Effect

on 03 May 2011

This blog post describes the implementation of a metro 'tilt' effect for Windows Phone 7 which causes element to respond to user interactions by tilting in 3D So far in the "Metro In Motion" series I have covered fluid list animations, 'peel' animations and flying title. In...

ViewModel INotifyPropertyChanged Code Generation

on 21 Apr 2011

This blog post describes a novel method of generating boiler-plate MVVM code using codesnippet automation. You simply add attributes to your view model classes and the code is generated for you! Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) has become the de facto pattern for Silverlight, WPF and WP7 applications, providing code that is easily...

A Fast Loading Windows Phone 7 NavigationList Control

on 18 Apr 2011

This blog post describes a Windows Phone 7 NavigationList control, a list control designed for navigation pages. The NavigationList renders twice as fast as a ListBox and has a slightly simpler API. A few months ago I blogged about the relative performance of the Windows Phone 7 emulator versus...

MIX11 - A Tale of Two Keynotes - As Told By Twitter

on 14 Apr 2011

The annual MIX conference, where Microsoft showcases the latest and greatest technologies to the development community is now coming to an end. For many, the highpoints of the event are the keynote presentations, where Microsoft unveils their latest tools and technology. The keynotes are broadcast live across the internet and...

Gartner Predicts a Promising Future for Windows Phone 7 Developers

on 08 Apr 2011

Yesterday Gartner released its latest mobile smartphone sales predications, with the figures showing a dramatic turnaround in their predictions for the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 platform. The latest predictions are charted below (I find this much easier to visualise this data in a chart versus the tabular form which...

Metro In Motion Part #3 - Flying Titles!

on 04 Apr 2011

In this blog post I look at how to implement the fly-out fly-in effect seen in native Windows Phone 7 applications. This effect is seen in the native mail application; when you click on a message, the title flies out of the list then flies back in as the title...

Metro In Motion Part #2 - 'Peel' Animations

on 27 Mar 2011

This blog post is part #2 of my Metro In Motion series. In this post I demonstrate how to implement the animated 'peel' effect seen when native Windows Phone 7 applications exit. In my previous blog post I discussed...

Metro In Motion Part #1 - Fluid List Animation

on 22 Mar 2011

This blog post presents an attached behaviour that gracefully slides the contents of a list into view when used in conjunction with a Pivot control, emulating the Windows Phone 7 email application. The Windows Phone 7 user interface is based on the Metro Design Language, which favours clear typography,...

A Silverlight Resizable TextBlock (and other resizable things)

on 14 Mar 2011

In this blog post I present a simple attached behaviour that uses a Thumb control within a Popup to adorn any UI element so that the user can re-size it. A simple feature that has become quite popular on the web is to attache a small handle to text areas...

MVVM Charting - Binding Multiple Series to a Visiblox Chart

on 06 Mar 2011

This post describes a method of using attached properties to bind a ViewModel which contains multiple data series to a Visiblox chart without any code-behind. The Visiblox chart supports databinding in both WPF and Silverlight, where the X and Y...

Google Sky on Windows Phone 7

on 21 Feb 2011

This blog post shows just how easy it is to use Google Sky as a tile source for Bing Maps, bringing the universe to Windows Phone 7! Personally I think mapping is one of the most exciting forms of application for...

Windows Phone 7 Performance Measurements - Emulator vs. Hardware

on 11 Feb 2011

This blog post presents a few performance measurements that detail the relative performance of ItemsControl, ListBox and manual addition of elements to the UI. These performance measurements are also compared when ran on the emulator and the real hardware. My early experiences of moving from the WP7 emulator to the...

My DDDHack Entry

on 11 Feb 2011

At the weekend my wife was having a 'girls night out', which gave me an excellent excuse (and roughly four hours) to spend working on a DDDHack entry. I selected the RSSReader project as a starting point with the aim of turning it into something which resembled a more...

A Circular ProgressBar Style using an Attached ViewModel

on 07 Feb 2011

This blog post describes how to re-template the Silverlight ProgressBar control to render a circular progress indicator. This approach uses an attached view model to circumnavigate some of the limitations of the ProgressBar design. This blog post describes the creation of the following funky styles for the ProgressBar (and a...

Automatically Showing ToolTips on a Trimmed TextBlock (Silverlight + WPF)

on 31 Jan 2011

Both WPF and Silverlight have a property TextTrimming="WordEllipsis", which trims the text that a TextBlock displays based on the available width. This blog post describes a simple method for automatically showing the full text as a tooltip whenever the text is trimmed. This is presented as an attached behaviour and...

Windows Phone 7 DeferredLoadContentControl

on 28 Jan 2011

This blog post describes a simple content control that can be used to defer the rendering of its contents in order to provide a better user experience on Windows Phone 7. I think anyone who has made the transition from Emulator to Hardware with developing for Windows Phone 7 has...

A Navigator Control For Visiblox Time Series Charts

on 26 Jan 2011

In this blog post I will describe the creation of a simple range selector UserControl, which can be used alongside a Visiblox chart to create an interactive navigator for time series data. Whether you are studying finance, politics, meteorology or sociology you are sure to encounter time series data. Time...

A Windows Phone 7 Jump List Control

on 20 Jan 2011

This blog post presents a Windows Phone 7 Jump List control that I have developed.This post describes the API in detail and includes full sourcecode. Feel free to use and enjoy! The video below shows the control working on the emulator, the video further down this page shows it working...

#ukfuel - another Twitter / Bing Maps Mashup!

on 10 Jan 2011

A few weeks ago I blogged about a Twitter / Bing Maps mashup that I had created for tracking snowfall in the UK via the #uksnow twitter hashtag. Last week I spotted a number of people in the uk who were using a new hashtag #ukfuel for tweeting fuel...

#ukfuel - a Twitter / Bing Maps Mashup for Tracking Fuel Prices

on 06 Jan 2011

A few weeks ago I created a Silverlight version of the #uksnow Twitter mashup, which plots twitter users snow reports on a UK map. Yesterday I spotted a new geographically encoded hashtag, #ukfuel. Twitter users are using this hashtag to share local fuel prices across the UK. The...

Automatically Showing ToolTips on a Trimmed TextBlock (Silverlight)

on 06 Jan 2011

Silverlight 4 added TextTrimming="WordEllipsis", which trims the text that a TextBlock displays based on the available width. This blog post describes a simple method for automatically showing the full text as a tooltip whenever the text is trimmed. This is presented as an attached behaviour. UPDATE: I have updated this...

#uksnow #silverlight The Movie! - Happy Christmas.

on 24 Dec 2010

It's Christmas Eve and time for some fun! A few weeks back I published an article on Reactive Extensions where I created a Bing Maps / Twitter mashup that plotted the geolocation of #uksnow twitter tags. This twitter hashtag was popularised by Ben Marsh and is used by...

A Simplified Grid Markup for Silverlight and WPF

on 21 Dec 2010

The WPF / Silverlight syntax is long and cumbersome. This blog post describe a simple attached property that allows you to specify row and column widths / heights as a simple comma separated list, e.g. RowDefinitions="Auto,,3*,,,,2*" The Grid is probably one of the most useful and versatile layouts that Silverlight...

Visiblox Charts vs. amCharts Quick Charts

on 20 Dec 2010

Around one week ago I published an article which compared the performance of Visibox charts to a few of its competitors. The results indicated that Visiblox was the fastest chart, with DynamicDataDisplay coming in a very close second. UPDATE: I have published a more up-to-date and...

Visiblox, Visifire, DynamicDataDisplay - Charting Performance Comparison

on 10 Dec 2010

A few weeks ago I published a blog post which compared the performance of the Visiblox charts and the Silverlight Toolkit charts. The results indicated that the Visblox charts are considerably faster than the Toolkit charts, however Microsoft's David Anson did point out that the Toolkit charts...

Silverlight 5 Adoption Predictions

on 06 Dec 2010

The announced launch of Silverlight 5 has got the developer community all excited about improved media capabilities, MVVM support, printing and 3D, but how will Silverlight adoption evolve throughout 2011. In this blog post I look at historic data and use this to predict a 76% adoption of Silverlight 5...

UKSnow Silverlight - An Rx powered Twitter, Bing Maps mashup.

on 29 Nov 2010

UPDATE: I have published an article on codeproject "Exploring Reactive Extensions (Rx) through Twitter and Bing Maps Mashups", which has the full sourcecode for this mashup. A week ago a colleague of mine posted an interesting article on parallelism in .NET 4.0 which included a few different libraries...

Using a Grid as the Panel for an ItemsControl

on 15 Nov 2010

In this blog post I look at how to use a Grid as the ItemsPanel for an ItemsControl, solving a few of the issues that crop up along the way. The Grid is probably the most useful of Silverlight and WPF's panels (panels are elements which provide a mechanism for...

Visiblox Charts vs. Silverlight Toolkit Charts - a test of Performance

on 08 Nov 2010

This blog post compares the performance of the Visiblox and Silverlight Toolkit charts using a simple image processing tool to test and illustrate their differences in performance. The results show that the Visiblox charts are approximately 50 - 100 times faster that the Silverlight Toolkit charts. UPDATE:...

Does HTML5 mean the end is in sight for Silverlight?

on 02 Nov 2010

This blog post looks at the fallout after last week's PDC conference where Microsoft were quoted as saying "our strategy on Silverlight has shifted", and the resulting fallout in the developer community. In this post I will describe why I think Silverlight has a future ahead of it and exactly...

Developing a Lookless Silverlight Gauge Control (part 2)

on 20 Oct 2010

In a previous blog post I described the process of creating a lookless gauge control. I introduced the concept of an attached view model which separates view specific concepts from the control. In this post I demonstrate how this allows for great flexibility when re-templating the control. In my...

Silverlight as an alternative to PowerPoint

on 13 Oct 2010

Recently I gave a presentation on cross platform application development with Silverlight, WPF and WP7. I wanted to move away from the standard PowerPoint bullet-point driven presentation style, so decided to create a presentation as a Silverlight application running in full-screen mode. This blog post describes the steps I took...

Templates, or Why I love WPF (and Silverlight Too!)

on 10 Sep 2010

This post compares the implementation of a simple ListBox layout with Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation. The use of Templates within WPF are a clear winner over the WinForms 'owner draw' route. Application user interfaces are becoming much more graphical, with users expecting a more engaging and 'lively' experience....

Developing a (very) Lookless Silverlight Radial Gauge Control

on 19 Aug 2010

This blog post describes the development of a lookless radial gauge control. In this post I will explore the use of an attached view model in order to move view specific properties and logic out of the control code in order to give a truly lookless control. Today I had...

Exposing and Binding to a Silverlight ScrollViewer's Scrollbars

on 21 Jul 2010

The Silverlight ScrollViewer exposes readonly properties which indicate the current vertical and horizontal scroll offset, and methods for setting the current offset. In this blog post I demonstrate a simple attached behaviour that exposes these offsets as read / write dependency properties allowing them to be bound to. The Silverlight...

A Universal Value Converter for WPF

on 09 Jul 2010

This post provides a simple IValueConverter implementation that makes use of the framework type converters in order to convert between a large range of source / target types. This converter can be used both within bindings and in code-behind to give more concise property setters. Introduction One of the great...

Modal dialogs in cross-platform WPF/Silverlight applications

on 18 Jun 2010

This blog post looks at the problem of showing modal dialog windows in applications that target both the Silverlight and WPF platforms. A solution is provided which allows modal dialogs to be written that work well for both technologies. Silverlight is, roughly speaking, a subset of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)....

Throttling Silverlight Mouse Events to Keep the UI Responsive

on 14 Jun 2010

If your Silverlight application performs intensive updates to the UI during mouse events, the UI can freeze because it is invalidated before it has a chance to render. This post describes a technique for 'throttling' mouse events to ensure that each time an event occurs, the UI has the opportunity...

Silverlight MultiBinding solution for Silverlight 4

on 10 May 2010

In this post I describe an update to the Silverlight MultiBinding solution I presented last year. This update includes support for Silverlight 4, attached properties and multiple bindings on a single object. UPDATE: I have updated this code to include ElementName and TwoWay binding. Grab the latest copy here....

Ineffective Data Visualisation ... and how to fix it

on 30 Apr 2010

This blog post looks at a recently published set of charts in a UK newspaper and how they fail to help in the comprehension of the data which they visualise. I will also look at much more effective ways of displaying this same data. At Scott Logic we tend to...

Linq to Visual Tree

on 04 Mar 2010

This blog post demonstrates a Linq API which can be used to query the WPF / Silverlight Visual Tree. You can find a few other Linq to Visual Tree techniques on other blogs, but what makes this one unique is that it retains, and allows queries that make use of...

Forcing Event Consumer Cleanup without Weak Events

on 19 Feb 2010

This blog post describes a simple technique for ensuring that consumers of events unsubscribe their event handlers without the need for weak events. I think the concept of managed memory, where the cleanup of unused objects from the heap is performed by a garbage collector, is a fantastic idea. It...

Presentation on Agile Development

on 27 Jan 2010

Last week I gave a presentation on Agile Development for an event hosted by Codeworks and Sunderland Software City. This blog post is a brief review of my presentation and the event itself. The event was titled, "An...

My Mix10k entry - Old Skool demo - plus a few tips

on 07 Jan 2010

This blog post is about my entry to the Mix10k code competition, and old-skool demo, plus a few tips about how to keep you code size to below 10k. The mix10k challenge, where you are given 10k to create a Silverlight / HTML5 application, has been on my mind...

Simple Logging Facade released on codeplex today

on 02 Dec 2009

Today, Philipp Sumi and I and are proud to announce the release of SLF - the Simple Logging Facade: SLF is a framework with a simple but ambitious mission: To provide every developer with the means to easily plug...

Silverlight 4 beta released leaving Flex behind

on 19 Nov 2009

This post looks at the speed of development of the two leading RIA frameworks, Silverlight and Flex, giving unequivocal proof that Silverlight is better than Flex ... ! This week at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), there have been two big news stories. The first is the give-away of...

Helpful extension methods for Show / Hide animations in Silverlight

on 26 Sep 2009

Today's blog post is a couple of very simple utility methods that I have found myself using again and again ... The animations that Silverlight developers have at their disposal are both varied and powerful. It is easy to get carried away and cover your application with gratuitous animations, which...

Declarative Dependency Property Definition with T4 + DTE

on 18 Aug 2009

UPDATE I have published a more up-to-date version of this code on codeproject, which allows you to automate the generation of much more than just dependency properties. This blog post describes a technique for specifying WPF / Silverlight Dependency Properties declaritively via attributes as illustrated by the following example:...

The mini-ViewModel pattern

on 07 Aug 2009

The construction of a ViewModel is often seen as the standard technique for solving binding problems within WPF and Silverlight. However, the addition of a ViewModel adds complexity to your code. This post describes an alternative method where a mini-ViewModel is applied directly to the problem areas in the view,...

News on Silverlight adoption from the Silverlight 3 UK Launch

on 23 Jul 2009

Yesterday myself and Gary Scott (our MD) went down to London for the Silverlight 3 UK launch event. This is the first time I have been to Microsoft's London office so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The glass-clad arched office exterior, and shiny minimalist interior were certainly stylish,...

Silverlight v3 ClearType Font Rendering - A comparison

on 14 Jul 2009

Text rendering has been a problem for both Silverlight and WPF for a while. This blog post looks at ClearType in Silverlight v3 and compares it to WPF and WinForms text rendering. Text clarity is something that concerns me quite a bit. In financial applications, such as our market...

Silverlight 3 UK launch ... and the future of WPF?

on 09 Jul 2009

A brief article on the launch of Silverlight 3 and why the interest in Silverlight is eclipsing that of WPF. The excitement behind Silverlight has been gaining in momentum throughout this year, with one of the highpoints being the MIX09 conference in March this year where the announcement of...

Silverlight MultiBindings, How to attached multiple bindings to a single property.

on 25 Jun 2009

This blog posts describes a technique for associating multiple bindings with a single dependency property within Silverlight applications. WPF already has this functionality in the form of MultiBindings, the code in this post emulates this function. UPDATE: Silverlight 4, attached properties and multiple property bindings are all supported in my...

Exposing Bindings as Properties of a Control

on 19 Jun 2009

I must admit that the title of this post is not entirely clear, however I couldn't find a way to sum up the content in one short sentence, so we'll dive straight into an example. Let's say for example...

Silverlight ClipToBounds - Can I Clip It?, Yes You Can!

on 12 May 2009

With Silverlight, Panels do not clip their contents by default. See the following example: Where we have a Grid containing another Grid which itself contains an ellipse, and a Canvas which contains an ellipse: <Grid...

Community Credit Prize Winner

on 01 May 2009

Last month was a busy one for me - I wrote quite a few blog posts, with the Silverlight ones proving very popular, and added new article posted to codeproject. I just received an email today notifying me that I was a prize winner in the Community Credit...

Binding a Silverlight DataGrid to dynamic data via IDictionary

on 17 Apr 2009

This post demonstrates a technique for binding a Silverlight DataGrid to dynamic data, the structure of which is not know at compile-time ... UPDATE #1: I have extended this technique to add include change notification so that the DataGrid can be made editable. Read all about it in

Silverlight Dependency Property Code Generation

on 01 Apr 2009

This blog details a technique for generating Silverlight dependency properties from an XML file via a T4 template. If you just want to grab the code, scroll to the bottom of this article and download the sourcecode or cut and paste the templates. If you want to find out how...

Adding a Location Crosshair to Silverlight charts (again!)

on 23 Mar 2009

Silverlight is moving fast. Really fast. The recent MIX09 conference saw the release of Silverlight 3 (Beta) and also a new release of the Silverlight Toolkit. All this change is making it hard for us bloggers to keep up! Just over a month ago I posted an article...

Silverlight 3 is here! (but is it a flash killer yet?)

on 19 Mar 2009

Less than 24 hours ago Microsoft's MIX09 conference kicked of in Las Vegas with Silverlight 3 taking centre stage. For those of you who have followed the conference build-up, this comes as no surprise, with twice as many Silverlight sessions (31) advertised than any other technology (WPF has a...

Using CSS Selectors for Styling in WPF

on 11 Mar 2009

When I first encountered WPF I was really impressed by its styling and templating features which are more powerful than anything else I had previously seen for desktop software development. The property-value pairing within styles instantly reminded me of CSS, however the WPF styles lack the most powerful feature of...

Implementing RelativeSource binding in Silverlight

on 27 Feb 2009

In my previous post I demonstrated how an the WPF ElementName style binding can be emulated with Silverlight via an attached behaviour. As a brief recap, the technique involved creating an attached property, which when bound, adds a handler for the elements Loaded event. When the element is loaded,...

ElementName binding in Silverlight via Attached Behaviours

on 22 Feb 2009

As a relative newcomer to Silverlight I was happily greeted by the warm feeling of familiarity when I started developing. It is surprisingly easy to make the transition from WPF to Silverlight developer, with most of the core concepts being just the same. However, there are some parts of the...

Adding a Location Crosshair to Silverlight Charts

on 04 Feb 2009

UPDATE - The March09 update of the Silverlight toolkit is incompatible with the code detailed below. For an up-to-date version see the following blog post. This blog post describes how to add a location crosshair to your Silverlight charts as shown below:...

BindingGroups for Total View Validation

on 26 Jan 2009

Over the weekend Sacha published a new article on codeproject, Total View Validation (does Sacha ever sleep?). This article addresses some of the perceived problems with the WPF binding framework, firstly, that the standard solution of using the ValidatesOnDataErrors property forces you to place validation logic into your...

WPF DataGrid - Committing changes cell-by-cell

on 21 Jan 2009

In my recent codeproject article on the DataGrid I described a number of techniques for handling the updates to DataTables which are bound to the grid. These examples all worked on the assumption that you want to keep your database synchronised with the DataGrid, with changes being committed on...

LayoutTransform vs. RenderTransform - What's the Difference?

on 19 Dec 2008

I have answered a few forum posts about the WPF transforms recently, mostly regarding confusion between RenderTransform and LayoutTransform. This brief blog post illustrates the difference between the two. The WPF layout system comprises, of two steps, followed by the rendering of the user interface (UI): ...

Awards and other news

on 04 Dec 2008

A couple of days ago I was happy to hear that I am a prizewinner in the Community Credit awards for November 2008. Community Credit encourages developers to contribute to the global developer community by writing articles, giving talks, participating on forums etc... Top contributors are rewarded with 'stupid...

Using BindingGroups for greater control over input validation

on 28 Nov 2008

In a recent post on his blog Josh Smith described a technique for providing more meaningful error messages when the type conversion process fails within the binding framework. Consider the following problem; you bind an integer property of your object (Age for example) to a TextBox within your user interface....

Design time drag-and-drop binding is on its way

on 27 Nov 2008

In my opinion the lack of decent design-time tool support is currently hampering the adoption of WPF, that and the relatively small number of controls available to the developer out-of-the-box. The later is being addressed to a certain extent by the developer community, notably by Marlon Grech's Avalon Controls...

Multiselect DataGrid with CheckBoxes

on 26 Nov 2008

I am currently very interested in the new WPF DataGrid which was released on codeplex recently. Someone posted an interesting question in the codeplex forums asking about whether it would be possible to configure the DataGrid so that a user can make multiple row selections via checkboxes which...

About

on 26 Nov 2008

Welcome to my blog, Colin Eberhardt's Adventures in WPF. This page gives a little background on myself and the blog. My name is Colin Eberhardt and I have been involved in software, in a number of shapes and forms, for more than a decade now. I have dabbled in a...