Colin Eberhardt
Blog

Colin Eberhardt

I am Technology Director at Scott Logic and am a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a range of technologies.

My blog includes posts on a wide range of topics, including WebAssembly, HTML5 / JavaScript and data visualisation with D3 and d3fc. You'll also find a whole host of posts about previous technology interests including iOS, Swift, WPF and Silverlight.

I'm board member of FINOS, which is encouraging open source collaboration in the financial sector. I'm also very active on GitHub, contributing to a number of different projects.

Podcast
In this episode, I'm joined by my colleague, Oliver Cronk, and Chris Booth from NatWest for a lively discussion about the much-hyped ChatGPT – covering its origins and recent advances, the new discipline of prompt engineering, and some practical applications and limitations of this technology.
In this episode, I’m joined by colleagues Oliver Cronk, Peter Chamberlin and Chris Price for a lively discussion about blockchain, including the mechanics of bitcoin, the proof of work consensus, and technologies which are blockchain-like, but prefer not to use that term. Finally, we ask ourselves the question, is blockchain just hype?
In this episode Colin, Ollie, Johanna and Lily hold a lively conversation that dives into Web3 and the Metaverse. We ask the question “what is Web3.0”, and explore what it means to be a decentralised technology. We discuss the Metaverse, Roblox and other virtual environments, and very briefly touch on NFTs. But for the most part, we talk about exploration and innovation.
There are a growing number of voices heralding Web3 as the future of the internet, and this technology (concept?) is receiving considerable coverage at conferences, in the technology press, and internet forums. I decided it was time to put Web3 to the test and see how it fares against the contemporary approach to building apps - the public cloud. Unfortunately I found Web3 to be very lacking.
In this episode, Simon Martin, Chris Price and Rob Pilling share their interest and insights into Rust. This relatively new programming language has caught the attention of the development community, being voted the ‘most-loved’ language seven years in a row in the StackOverflow survey.
In this month’s episode, we tackle a wide range of topics relating to the role of technology innovation, and the perils of hyped technology, within Digital Government.
WebAssembly has gone through quite a transformation this last year, while the wasm language landscape is slowly shifting, the more notable change is in what people are using WebAssembly for. The use of wasm for serverless, containerisation and as a plug-in technology has leapt considerably, with WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) becoming ever more important.
In this month’s episode we talk about Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), a testing practice where system behaviours are captured in a human readable Domain Specific Language (DSL), which are automated and executed.
In this month’s episode, we talk multi-cloud. This is a challenging topic, even the first step—nailing down what the term actually means—isn’t easy. How does it differ from hybrid-cloud or poly-cloud? Does the term refer to the deployment approach for a single application or an entire organisation?
WebAssembly is really starting to shine is as a standalone runtime environment. In this blog post I explore the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime, and build a WebAssembly-powered serverless platform in just 70 lines of code.
A relatively new architectural style for building web-based applications, micro-frontends are an extension of the popular microservices pattern where the vertical slice of functionality that a microservice provides is extended all the way to the front-end. With micro-frontends, you can more easily scale your development teams by composing applications from loosely coupled frontend components. In this podcast we ask the question 'Do you actually need a micro-frontend?'
Microservices have become the standard architectural pattern for everything. It’s a great and versatile pattern, but what people rarely talk about is the cost. You didn’t think you got all that good stuff (polyglot, scalable, decoupled...) for free, did you? In this episode, we talk about the real-world impact of choosing this pattern and when it might not be the right choice.
Beyond the Hype is a brand new monthly podcast from the Scott Logic team, where we cast a practical eye over what is new and exciting in technology – everything from Kafka to Kubernetes, AI to APIs, microservices to micro-frontends. We look beyond the promises, the buzz and excitement to guide you towards the genuine value.
It is quite common for blogs, or news / content distribution websites, to organise their content around categories of tags. However, this approach is time-consuming, and from measuring behaviours, it doesn't seem to do much to encourage browsing. In this blog post I use the new OpenAI embedding API to create highly targeted article recommendations, resulting in a four-fold (x4) increase in engagement.
The recent Log4j vulnerability has once again sparked a lot of debate around our reliance on open source projects and their sustainability challenges. I argue that money cannot fix this issue, nor can hiding behind security scans, audits and other defenses. The solution is to genuinely understand the open source community, acknowledge the shared responsibility we have in our commons and through the well-understood tool of Corporate Social Responsibility, look to fill the ethical and philanthropic gaps.
You can tell powerful stories with data, but so often we are faced with raw data (albeit beautifully presented), and are left to create our own narratives. My previous attempts at turning data into stories have been time consuming and underwhelming. In this post I demonstrate how GPT-3, a new and advanced language model, can construct engaging and unique stories from user-specific data, with relative ease.
We recently worked on a research project, exploring open source issues and challenges within financial services organisations. We found that consumption is “acceptable” rather than “encouraged”, with security concerns representing the biggest obstacle. On the flip-side, open source maintainers don’t wish to invest further in security. Financial services organisations, whose contribution policies lag behind, need to bridge this gap in order to fully capitalise on the value open source presents.
· Video
Modern software is increasingly complex, made up of hundreds or thousands of open source components, hidden away in deeply nested dependency trees. Just how much do we know about these components that are an integral part of our products? What are the risks associated with their usage, and our exposure?
Timezones, and daylight saving - the practice of moving clocks forward by one hour once a year - are a pain. They make it hard to schedule international meetings, plan travel, or may simply cause you to be an hour late for work once a year. For a developer, they are even worse! This blog post takes a visual journey through the last 120 years of timezones, daylight saving and the ever changing world time.
· Video
Last month GitHub released Copilot, an AI powered tool that provides surprising accurate suggestions ranging from a few lines of code to entire functions. Copilot uses a vast and powerful AI model that is trained on billions of lines of open source code from GitHub. This, combined with the context provided by your code and comments, allows it to provide amazingly accurate suggestions. This is no simple autocomplete, this is pair programming with a robot!
I've been lucky enough to be granted access to the preview of Copilot, GitHub's new 'AI pair programmer' that is causing quite a stir. This blog post shares my initial thoughts and experiences with this tool. In brief, I'm stunned by its capabilities. It has genuinely made me say 'wow' out loud a few times in the past few hours, not something you expect from your developer tooling.
This blog post shares the results of the first State of WebAssembly Survey, with results from 250 respondents surveyed in June 2021. We find that Rust is the most frequently used and most desired WebAssembly language and many other interesting results
Micro-frontends is a relatively new architectural style for building web-based applications, which as the name suggests, is an extension of the popular microservices pattern. In this blog post I argue that this is a pattern you might not need!
A talk I gave at the virtual Open Source Strategy Forum conference in 2020, where I compared some of the challenges facing open source (complexity, fragility, sustainability) to those which triggered the financial crisis of 2008.
· Video
A talk, from the Open Source Strategy Forums, where I compared some of the challenges facing open source (complexity, fragility, sustainability) to those which triggered the financial crisis of 2008.
The WebAssembly build of FFmpeg allows you to run this powerful video processing tool directly within the browser. In this blog post I explore FFmpeg.wasm and create a simple client-side transcoder that streams data into a video element, with a bit of RxJS thrown in for good measure.
Writing emulators that bring old computer hardware back to life is a popular hobby, and one that I have been enjoying recently through my own goal of writing an Atari 2600 emulator. However, writing a CPU emulator can get a little repetitive and tedious, so I thought I'd explore a different approach - generating the CPU emulation code from a specification rather than manually translating it. This blog post shares the fruitful results.
This white paper identifies the core building blocks that are required to build an integrated desktop application ecosystem using a combination of web and legacy technologies, looks at the associated challenges, and reviews the various open source and commercial products that form the foundations of this ecosystem of the future.
· Video
This webinar explores the potential and realities of an emerging vision for a more integrated desktop application ecosystem, as facilitated by various open-source and vendor products.
· Video
WebAssembly is a brand new W3C standard for a secure and load-time optimised, stack-based virtual machine that is a compilation target for a broad range of languages. That's clear isn't it?! This talk will provide a very gentle introduction to WebAssembly, with practical examples. By the end of the talk you'll have a much better understanding of this exciting new technology.
This blog post introduces the WebGL components which we recently added to D3FC, this suite of components make it easy to render charts with very large numbers of datapoints using D3. Throughout this post I'll describe the creation of the following visualisation, which displays 1 million books from the Hathi Trust library
An Augmented Reality Sudoku solver using the WebAssembly build of OpenCV (a C++ computer vision library), Tensorflow (a machine learning library) and solver written in Rust. It neatly demonstrates how WebAssembly allows you to write performance-critical web-based applications in a wide range of languages.
I've been authoring the WebAssembly Weekly newsletter for just over two years now. As we near the end of 2019 I want to take the opportunity to share some of my favourite articles from the year.
WebAssembly, despite the name, is a universal runtime that is finding traction on a number of platforms beyond the web. In this blog post I explore just one example, the use of WebAssembly as a smart contract engine on the blockchain. This post looks at the creation of a simple meetup-style event with ticket allocation governed by a smart contract written in JavaScript.
When WebAssembly was released a couple of years ago it was an MVP (Minimal Viable Product), one significant feature that was missing from the MVP was threads. The WebAssembly threads proposal is now quite mature and available in both the tooling and Chrome. This blog post explores the internals of this feature, the new instruction set, and how it supports multi-threaded applications.
Have you ever wanted to write your own compiler? ... yes? ... of course you have! I've always wanted to have a go at writing a compiler, and with the recent release of WebAssembly, I had the perfect excuse to have a go.
Recently we've been looking at enhancing the D3 axis component to implement a number of common features including more flexible label placement (e.g. positioning labels between ticks) and rotation / offset of labels to avoid collisions. This blog post demonstrates some of these features and how they were implemented.
· Video
This talk, from London Node User Group, looked at some of the internals of WebAssembly, exploring how it works ‘under the hood’ with a demonstration of how you can create your own (simple) compiler that targets this runtime.
The Financial Services industry is having to change and adapt in the face of regulations, competition, changes in buying habits and client expectations. This white paper encourages the industry to look at public cloud not as a tool for driving down costs, but as a vehicle for technical and business agility.
This post looks at how the experimental Async Hooks API can be used to support global state within AWS Lambda functions. Considering that this is an experimental API it's worth treating with caution, but it does provide an interesting potential solution to a common problem.
· Video
With open source projects, we often work with strangers, people we may never speak to, let alone meet. Creating a quality product, with such a disparate team can be quite a challenge. This talk takes a look at how tools and automation are a critical component when creating a successful open source project.
We've updated StockFlux, our OpenFin demo app, to make use of the recently-released OpenFin Layouts APIs. This blog post takes a quick look at the features we've added, and the APIs used.
Perspective is a streaming pivot visualization engine which uses WebAssembly. This blog post explores its capabilities and creates a custom cryptocurrency visualisation using d3fc.
Here's why I spend so much of my time—including evenings and weekends—on GitHub, as an active member of the open source community.
In this post, I look at how WebAssembly can be used to create serverless functions and demonstrate an AWS Lambda function written entirely in Rust.
When it comes to creating complex bespoke charts, of all the JavaScript visualisation / charting frameworks, D3 is the clear winner. This blog post takes a step-by-step look at the process of of building an ‘advanced’ financial charting using D3, with additional components from d3fc.
WebAssembly is a performance optimised virtual machine that was shipped in all four major browsers earlier this year. It is a nascent technology and the current version is very much an MVP. This blog post takes a look at the WebAssembly roadmap and the features it might gain in the near future.
With AWS Lambda you pay for execution duration, which means that sleeping or waiting during execution has a direct impact on your bill! This blog post takes a look at how to make AWS Lambda functions sleep, without incurring costs, via AWS Step Functions.
The WebAssembly specification is evolving, with many new features on the way. This blog post makes one of these future features available today, multi value returns, using the Babel approach of transpiling.
WebAssembly is a new language for the web, although unlike JavaScript it's not a language you are expected to use directly. However, it is actually possible to write WebAssembly directly by hand and it turns out this is an educational and enjoyable process, which I will explore in this blog post.
WebAssembly is a new runtime for the web; a fast and efficient compilation target for a wide range of languages that could have a far-reaching impact on the web as we know it. This paper looks at at the performance limits of JavaScript and how WebAssembly was designed to tackle them.
· Video
This talk, from JSMonthly, looked at what's wrong with the way we are using JavaScript today and why we need WebAssembly.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been exploring the potential of WebAssembly. I wanted to try my hand at creating a more complex WebAssembly application, which is why I’ve been spending my evenings working on a CHIP-8 emulator ... and learning Rust!
A few weeks ago the new Bristol Pound mobile app was launched, allowing users of this local currency to find vendors, view transactions and make payments on both iOS and Android. This post describes our experience of writing this application using React Native.
In this blog post I'll take a look at a real-world application of WebAssembly (WASM), the re-implementation of D3 force layout. The end result is a drop-in replacement for the D3 APIs, compiled to WASM using AssemblyScript (TypeScript).
· Video
JavaScript is the dominant force on the web and increasingly the desktop too, but what about on the server? This talk looks at server-side JavaScript within the context of serverless architectures, a cloud-computing pattern with zero configuration, automatic scaling and a pay-per execution model.
In this blog post I'll explore the various different ways you can create WebAssembly modules, using Emscripten, LLVM and AssemblyScript, comparing the tooling and performance.
Creating asynchronous functions that are recursive can be a bit of a challenge. This blog post takes a look at various different approaches, including callbacks and promises, and ultimately demonstrates how async functions result in a much simpler and cleaner solution.
Market profile charts are relatively complicated and specialised charts used by financial traders. This blog post looks at how to render a market profile chart using D3.
A few months ago we contributed a project, ContainerJS, to the Symphony Software Foundation, an organization that fosters open source and collaboration within financial services.
Place names in UK and Ireland are very much influenced by their surroundings, with endings such as -hill, -ford, and -wood quite clearly referencing local geography. This blog post uses the new NDJSON command line tools for processing, transforming and joining datasets to create an optimised visualisation.
This post takes a look at the recently launched GitHub App platform, that allows developers to create integrations and services which can be shared with others. The post describes the development of gifbot, a simple and fun App!
This blog post describes the process of creating a GitHub bot, hosted as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda function, that performs various checks on pull requests.
Small multiples repeat the same basic chart, typically with the same axes, to display different slices of a dataset. They are an excellent way of showing rich multi-dimensional data, without becoming a dense mess of lines. This post looks at how to implement small multiples with D3 and d3fc.
I downloaded an analysed the training data for 1,000 athlete who ran the London Marathon in 2016. From this data I've learnt that people put in ~30% less mileage than popular plans suggest, Sunday mornings are a firm favourite for long runs, and that Saturday morning parkruns are very popular!
I recently downloaded run data for the 7,190 athletes who recorded their London Marathon on Strava, a popular platform for runners and cyclists. This blog post visualises and analyses the data in various interesting ways.
OK, I’m a bit late; I intended this for the start of January, but this time last year I wrote a post on our most popular 2015 technical blogs. Here I am again!
A few days ago the roadmap for future Angular releases, starting with v.4 in March 2017, was unveiled. It once again made me re-visit my personal doubts about semantic versioning, the underlying issue being that it is great for computers, but bad for humans. Considering that people are the primary consumers of your libraries and frameworks this can’t be right? Perhaps a hybrid approach that combines both semantic and romantic versioning would keep both the computers and the humans happy?
For the past four years I've been an author on Ray Wenderlich's website which provides tutorials for iOS developers. I don't do much native iOS development these days, However, I do like to keep my skills up to date. As part of this team I sometimes find myself being assigned topics that I wouldn't otherwise look into. And so it was, a couple of months ago, that I received an assignment to write a tutorial on the open source AudioKit project.
A white paper which takes a looks at the continued growth of HTML5 and how it is now a viable solution for desktop application development.
· Video
In this talk I'll review how the functional programming style of frameworks such as React, ImmutableJS and Redux have paved the way for novel techniques that once again support rapid development cycles
I've recently been playing around with the JavaScript Abstract Syntax Trees (AST), with the aim of transforming some JavaScript code into various other languages (Java, C#, Objective-C). As part of my research, I looked at how Babel performs AST transforms. If you're not familiar with Babel, and the plugins which perform the transformations, I'd recommend this blog post by Shuhei Kagawa that describes the development of a simple plugin for Angular 2 code generation.
This blog post shares a few quick tips and patterns that I've been using to structure JavaScript promises; keeping them clean, simple and readable.
The redux pattern provides a simple (and strict) pattern for managing state; a single store holds the state while a reducer applies actions, evolving the application state.
Mondo Bank has recently moved into public Beta, sending out 1,000 cards to trial customers each week. I received my Beta card a few days ago, and have been using it ever since. This blog post takes a quick look at the Mondo API and how I used it to automate expense claims!
Swift Bond is a binding framework that removes the mundane task of wiring up your UI. In this tutorial, which was originally published on Ray Wenderlich's website, I introduce the concepts of Bond and demonstrate how to use it to rapidly build an iOS app.
This post looks at integrating Angular 2 with Immutable.js and Redux, a popular Flux store implementation. It also demonstrates that the functional approach, encouraged by these technologies, allow for powerful concepts such as time travel, where you can replay actions and application state.
Angular 2.0 introduces a component-based approach to building applications, where the rendering can be optimised by selecting a suitable change detection strategy for each component. This post looks at how the OnPush change detection strategy works quite elegantly with the concept of immutable objects as enforced by Immutable.js.
Most popular tech blog posts of 2015
From my perspective Angular 2 is a great improvement over Angular 1. The framework is simpler, and as a result your code is more concise, making use of modern JavaScript concepts. However, this does come at a cost; with Angular 2 the required tooling is really quite complicated.
This blog post takes a step-by-step approach to building a simple todo-list application with Angular 2.0. Along the way we'll look at web components, dependency injection, TypeScript, bindings and the Angular 2.0 change detection strategy which combine to make a much more elegant framework to its predecessor.
A few days ago Bloomberg published their list of 50 companies to watch in 2016, and for some reason they decided to publish the entire report in ASCII! I thought it would be a bit of fun to see if I could use D3 to create my own ASCI charts
· Video
ReactJS, Virtual DOM, JSX, a hackable editor, ES6 modules, classes, arrow functions, node, iOS, native-UI, flexbox, idempotent functions… In this talk I’ll be geeking out about all the seriously cool tech that makes ReactNative possible.
This white paper explores and addresses the importance of migrating complex business applications from Flex and Silverlight to HTML5. It highlights the risks involved in delaying your migration and provides a solution that tackles cost concerns at the same time as delivering an early return on investment.
JavaScript builds are getting more complex and time consuming. This blog post shares a few steps I took to improve the performance of one of our project's grunt build, hopefully some of the tools I used will be of use to others.
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.
Creating omni-channel experiences in enterprise is more often than not a challenge in terms of strategy and mindset rather than technology. This white paper outlines a twinned design and technical approach that ensures focus is squarely on users and the contexts within they use a system.
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.
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.
I've been building a React Native app for the past few months, which was published as a tutorial yesterday. A number of people have asked about my thoughts and opinions about React Native - which I am sharing in this blog post.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This blog post looks at a few techniques that can be used to remove the deeply nested if-let statements that are a common sight in Swift code.
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.
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.
This post show how the simple task of computing a Mandelbrot set can be split up across multiple threads (and processors) using functional techniques.
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, 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!
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.
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!
This blog post shows an implementation of Conway's Game of Life using functional techniques in Swift.
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.
This blog post looks out how Swift makes the combination of ReactiveCocoa and MVVM even better ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
This blog post presents a simple utility class for binding ReactiveCocoa ViewModels to UITableViews without the need for the usual datasource / delegate boiler-plate.
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.
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.
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.
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 has just announced a v1.3 release, which includes two new frameworks, a number of updates and an improved build system.
The book, iOS 7 By Tutorials, which I contributed four chapters to, is now in print.
This article explores the various ways you can create objects with the JavaScript language, and through this exploration finds that there is much to learn about the language!
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!
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.
For the past four months I have been hard at work writing four chapters for a book, iOS 7 by tutorials. Just yesterday, as the iOS 7 NDA was lifted, the book went on sale.
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.
My latest iOS development article has been published on Ray Wenderlich's site, this time I look into how to develop custom iOS controls.
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.
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.
This blog post describes the addition of a two-finger rotation and three-finger pitch gesture to the Windows Phone 8 Map control.
This blog post compares the same twitter search application written with both Knockout and Kendo in order to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each framework.
Announcing a one-day conference at the Royal Society, London UK, on the 14th of May.
I've just received an email from those nice folks at CodeProject letting me know that my article 'A Windows Phone 8 Run Tracking App in 100 Lines of Code' has just won the Best Mobile article of January 2013 award.
In the past few months I have been immersing myself into the world of iOS development.
Earlier today I received an email informing me that I have been awarded a CodeProject MVP for the year 2013.
This article looks at how you can write a cross-platform mobile application with a shared C# code base using Xamarin MonoTouch.
Introduces a new open source project that helps developers choose a suitable cross-platform framework
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.
The technologies that we use to write applications for our end users are changing at a frightening pace!
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!
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 have just found out that my article "A Gesture-Driven Windows Phone To-Do List" won first place in the July 2012 best mobile article category.
A while back, when PhoneGap for Windows Phone was still in beta, I created Property Finder, an application for searching UK property listings.
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.
Over the past few weeks I have been working on a Windows Phone to-do list application, inspired by the iPhone Clear app.
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.
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.
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a todo list application which uses gestures to achieve its basic functions.
My blog post from yesterday "A Developer Perspective on Windows Phone 8" sparked a bit of furious debate on Twitter.
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.
In this post I present a graphical comparison of the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad tablets
This blog post describes the implementation of a gesture-based todo-list application. The simple interface is controlled entirely by drag, flick and swipe.
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
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
This is the second post in my series about databinding in Silverlight and WPF.
I have just published a new article over on CodeProject called "KnockoutJS vs. Silverlight".
OK, so the title is a little ambitious, but there is nothing wrong with setting yourself lofty aims! Because of the depth of this topic I have decided to split this tutorial up into a series of blog posts, each of which explore a different aspect of the binding framework.
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.
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.
Yesterday I presented a talk at the London-based Windows Phone User Group on the development of cross-platform mobile applications using PhoneGap.
Recently I have been wondering about the wealth of information that can be gleaned from the 2.5 million programming question on Stack Overflow.
Around one year ago I made the prediction that Silverlight would have an overall adoption of 81% by the end of 2011.
In a couple of weeks I will be giving a talk on using PhoneGap for cross platform mobile application development at the WPUG #NotAtMWC12 event on Tuesday, February 28, in London. This post gives a brief overview of my talk and a video.
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.
About a month ago I published an article which demonstrated how to create a WP7 application using static HTML pages and PhoneGap.
The Windows Phone 7 camera gives you the option to record the location where a picture was taken (under Settings => applications => pictures+camera).
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.
I recently released an update of the HTML5 / PhoneGap application I wrote a few months ago to the marketplace.
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 ...
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.
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.
A popular user-interface in the iOS world is the UIPageControl which renders a small set of dots to indicate the number of pages.
Recently I have been researching the use of PhoneGap for creating HTML5 Windows Phone 7 applications.
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.
This blog post describes a simple helper class that can be used to supress scrolling and pinch zoom of the Windows Phone 7 WebBrowser control.
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.
With the new Metro UI, Windows 8 has firmly embraced the tablet form-factor, with the interface tailored for touch and multi-touch interactions.
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.
A few weeks back I wrote a blog post about how the recent announcement of PhoneGap support for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) which makes it possible to develop HTML5-based applications.
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 spent a number of years studying Physics at university, I have had the importance of error bars well and truly drummed into me!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
I have just published a new article on codeproject which describes the development of XAMLFinance, a cross-platform application for the desktop (WPF), web (Silverlight) and phone (WP7).
With the Windows 8 preview release earlier this week, developers are now faced with a whole new and exciting Microsoft stack.
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.
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.
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.
I am happy to have been invited by NEBytes to give a talk on cross-platform XAML applications later this month.
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.
The Windows Phone 7 Panorama control is widely used in applications and to many has come to symbolise the Metro Design Language.
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.
I have just published an article on codeproject which describes the differences in development between Silverlight and HTML5.
Earlier this week I presented a talk to the Silverlight UK User Group on cross-platform application development with WPF, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7.