Posts Tagged ‘MIX10’

18,230 miles, 8 events, 1 vacation and 25 pictures later…

April 14, 2010 3 comments

Starting with MIX10, I’ve been on a bit of an odyssey the last month. My itinerary looked something like this:

I’ve posted a few of my favorite photos on Flickr of London, Dublin, and Washington DC.

Thanks to all of those who acted as hosts for the events, attended the events and hung out in proper English or Irish pubs (and the occasional Vegas casino bar) afterwards. I had a great time discussing all of the great news about Windows Phone, Blend 4 and IE9 from MIX10.

And now to return this week with Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 releasing along with the announcement of the KIN, there is a ton of fun to be had and work to be done.

Now, back to work…

FXG Import for Expression Blend previewed at MIX10

March 29, 2010 2 comments

This is an excerpt from the day 1 keynote at MIX10, of Jon Harris building a Windows Phone application in Expression Blend. Although the demo is slick, the main thing I wanted to point out here is the preview of the FXG Import, which is shown in the first minute. More then a few people noticed this feature and I wanted to provide an easy way to see it in action.

Import FXG file into Blend > Edit in Illustrator > file auto updates in Blend

Design/Development Workflow++

You won’t find the Import feature included in the current Blend 4 Beta bits yet. The feature is being built out as an extra add-in similiar to the add-in for Windows Phone development. This way the feature can be released and updated outside of the major Blend releases, allowing it to stay in synch with the latest versions of FXG.

Silverlight and Blend events tour this week in England and Ireland

March 22, 2010 1 comment

I jokingly told many of my friends at MIX from the other side of the Atlantic that I would be chasing them home.  The truth is, I am heading to England and Ireland this week and will be participating in a few events along with a workshop of my own device.

Most of the events will be a local recap of the amazing MIX10 event with the exception of the IXDA Dublin event and the Silverlight Design Day workshop.  Being a “Silverlight and Expression Blend” guy myself, I hope to skew the MIX recap discussions towards RIA and Windows Phone as much as possible. Here is the agenda for the next two weeks:

Tuesday, March 23rd

     Mini-MIX at the Edge UG
     London, UK 
     18:30 – 20:30

 Wednesday, March 24th

     Silverlight Design Day – London
     Chertsey, UK
     8:30 – 17:00

     Silverlight UK User Group
     London, UK
     18:00 – 21:30

 Thu, March 25th

     MixGenUG – Coventry
     Coventry, UK
     19:00 – 21:00

 Mon, Mar 29th

     The Blend Experience – IXDA Dublin
     Dublin, Ireland
     18:15 – 21:00

 Tue, Mar 30th

     Best of MIX at MTUG
     Dublin, Ireland
     19:00 – 21:00

Happy to confirm that I will be heading over there to meet up with friends, I am glad to say the other joke about me riding back in one of their suitcases is not true. I get to ride in tiny seat watching MIX10 videos the whole way, like everyone else.

Install checklist for Silverlight 4 RC, Blend 4 Beta and Windows Phone Developer tools from MIX10

March 19, 2010 12 comments

I’m upgrading my machines to the latest bits and I haven’t seen an aggregated list of all the Silverlight, Blend and Windows Phone tools yet, so I thought I’d post mine.  As an extra bonus I’ll add the extra links for training and documentation resources.

This list is for the full setup for Silverlight 4 RC and Windows Phone development.

1. Visual Studio 2010 RC
If you need help downloading and installing this bad boy, here’s a video from Channel 9 explaining the process.

2. Silverlight 4 RC Tools

One setup file that installs the Developer Runtime, Tools for Visual Studio, SDK and WCF RIA Services.

3. Expression Blend 4 Beta 
One setup file that installs the  Blend SDK for Silverlight 4, Blend SDK for .NET 4

4. Windows Phone Developer Tools
Installs Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP, Windows Phone Emulator CTP, Silverlight for Windows Phone CTP, XNA 4.0 Game Studio CTP

5. Expression Blend Add-in Preview for Windows Phone 
Windows Phone development integration add in for Blend.

6. Expression Blend SDK Preview for Windows Phone
Project templates for Windows Phone development in Blend.

7. Silverlight 4 Toolkit (optional)
No new update yet, but the version released in November still works

    And with those files installed you are ready for Silverlight 4 RC and Windows Phone development.  Enjoy!

What I’ll be doing at MIX10 – sessions, events and Channel 9 Live!

March 13, 2010 1 comment

Packing now, flight takes off in 8 hours and MIX10 starts tomorrow!

I’ve posted this on twitter, but I believe this is going to be the best MIX ever.  Windows Phone is already huge, keynote demos are rocking and there are a ton of interesting sessions.  And a lot of those are coming from external speakers, which is a great way to learn from those who do the design work and use the tools in the real world.

My schedule is packed and I thought I’d share some of the sessions and events I’m looking forward to:


09:00 – Microsoft Silverlight 4 Boot Camp
John Papa and Mike Taulty share their immense Silverlight knowledge and teach of the Silverlight Fu.

09:00 –Design Fundamentals for Developers (and Other Non-Designers)
Robby Ingebretsen provides an encore presentation of his wildly popular session to help others learn about user-centric design, whitespace, color theory & other important concepts

13:30 – Design Tools and Techniques
Arturo Toledo and the good people from Archetype will be sharing lessons learned from doing amazing design work with Silverlight and Expression Blend.

22:00 – MIX10 Tweetup
Early birds will enjoy free drinks (until the tab runs out) and an unlimited character conversation with other MIX10 attendees. Non-attendee guests and significant others are welcome.



09:00 – Day 1 Keynote
Streamed live at, definitely not one you want to miss!

10:30 – MIX10 Day 1 Keynote After Party – (live stream)
Recapping the announcements and answering all your questions from the Day 1 Keynote
Who: John Papa, Adam Kinney, Loke Uei Tan and Nic Fillingham
Ask questions via @ch9live

11:30 – Syncing Audio, Video and Animations in Microsoft Silverlight Applications
Silverlight MVP Dan Wahlin discusses an animation project created for a Fortune 500 company and demonstrates tips and tricks that can be used to keep various assets synced so that audio and video clips can be started at specific times as a storyboard plays.

12:05 – Designing Rich Experiences for Data-Centric Applications
Come hear Ken Azuma discuss how to design better experiences for data-centric applications from someone that has designed and developed many successful business applications using an array of UX technologies.

14:00 – Authoring for Microsoft Silverlight 4 with Microsoft Expression Blend
Christian Schormann and Peter Blois explore how Expression Blend lets you design and build rich, vibrant Silverlight 4 applications.

15:30 – Windows Phone UI and Design Language
Windows Phone constitutes a dramatic new user experience paradigm. This session will provide prescriptive guidance, tips, and techniques on how designers & developers can build beautiful, compelling user experiences that are consistent with the built-in Windows Phone 7 Series experiences

16:00 – UI Design with Expression Blend for the Windows Phone 7 Series – (live stream)
Who: Christian Schormann, John Papa, Adam Kinney
Ask questions via @ch9live

17:00 – MIX10 Day 1 Wrap Up Edition – (live stream)
Who: Adam Kinney, John Papa, Jeff Sandquist and Dan Fernandez
Ask questions via @ch9live

17:00 – Ask the Experts
MIX speakers, Microsoft team members and members of the web community will be available to answer your questions and take your feedback at this informal reception.
I’ll be by the Silverlight and Expression tables with the rest of the crew.




09:00 – Day 2 Keynote
Streamed live at

10:30 – MIX10 Day 2 Keynote After Party – (live stream)
Recapping the announcements and answering all your questions from the Day 1 Keynote
Who: Scott Hanselman, Giorgio Sardo, Adam Kinney and Nic Fillingham
Ask questions via @ch9live

11:30 – Touch in Public: Multi-touch Interaction Design for Kiosks and Architectural Experiences
Multi-touch capabilities in Windows 7 have a vast array of possible applications. However, the design considerations for creating desktop applications that utilize these capabilities are somewhat different than designing for multi-touch applications in public installations, such as kiosks and architectural interfaces

15:00 – The Elephant in the Room
Do you want to learn why the process of designing software always reveals our humanness – our biases and prejudices, quiet agendas, irrational actions, and diverse portfolio of imperfections – in full effect.

16:30 – Principles of Microsoft Silverlight Graphics and Animation
Come and learn how to breathe life into your designs by learning the fundamentals of Silverlight graphics and animation. We take a look at the types of graphical assets Silverlight and Microsoft Expression Blend support, where they come from, and how to leverage them in your applications.

17:00 – MIX10 Day 2 Wrap Up Edition – (live stream)
Who: Adam Kinney, John Papa, Jeff Sandquist and Dan Fernandez
Ask questions via @ch9live

21:00 – Attendee Party!



09:00 – Developing Multiplayer Games with Microsoft Silverlight 4
Come learn from world-renowned interactive developer Grant Skinner about the opportunities, challenges, and processes for developing successful games using Silverlight. Hear about key Silverlight animation topics from many angles including business, technical, tools, workflow and design integration.

10:30 – Flash Skills Applied to Silverlight Design and Development(my session!)
If you know how to design and develop Flash applications, you are more than half the way there to creating Silverlight applications. Similar languages, graphic and animation features and skinnable controls, ease the training between the two technologies. Listen and learn how to add a new skill to your skillset and expand your opportunities.

11:05 – Dynamic Layout and Transitions for Microsoft Silverlight 4 with Microsoft Expression Blend
Learn to create applications that change layout and visual appearance using smooth, dynamic and visually rich transitions without writing code. Come see new features in Expression Blend that raise the bar, making it even easier to create amazing applications that will delight users.

12:00 – Prototyping Rich Microsoft Silverlight 4 Applications with Microsoft Expression SketchFlow
SketchFlow is the prototyping environment in Microsoft Expression Blend. See how to use SketchFlow to collaboratively design, evolve, explore and review user experiences and interactive content.

13:30 – Creating Effective Info Viz in Microsoft Silverlight
So much information and so little time. Matthias Shapiro, contributing author for "Beautiful Visualization", talks about how to create information visualizations in Silverlight that bring both beauty and insight to the data. He covers different methods for portraying data, in which cases different methods should be used, and how Silverlight can inform the process and speed up a visualization project.


There’s plenty more than that going on, so check out the site: and keep on eye on @ch9live for live coverage.

Now, my flight takes off in 7 hours… need to pack!

Carbon Counter and EcoLight win the Silverlight Eco Contest!

February 19, 2010 Comments off

Carbon Counter

The Silverlight Eco Contest winners have been announced.

The grand prize goes to Daniel James for his Carbon Counter entry, a visualization of future carbon dioxide emissions time-lapsed over the next 100 years. As the populations increase its interesting to the different countries firing C02 packets out like machine guns.

See you at MIX10 Daniel!


The first runner-up prize goes to Levente Mihály for his EcoLight entry. Its a clever app that demonstrates  the difference in energy consumption between light bulbs by forcing the user to crank the light bulb machine manually.

The traditional incandescent light bulb takes a lot of cranking. No cranking needed to make the machine vibrate though, there’s a looping animation for that.

Congratulations to both winners!

John Papa and I discuss the MIX10K winners on SilverlightTV

February 18, 2010 1 comment

If you haven’t seen the new show SilverlightTV and you want to keep up to date with the latest in the Silverlight world, you are missing out.

Episodes from the past covered:

The latest episode includes John and myself discussing the winners of the MIX 10K challenge. This was the second run of the contest and the rules were expanded to allow entries using HTML5, Gestalt-based Silverlight and good ol’ traditional Silverlight apps.

Enjoy the show and I hope to see you at MIX10!

SilverlightShow Eco Contest – win a trip to MIX10

January 13, 2010 1 comment

The SilverlightShow EcoContest is a cool opportunity for Silverlight designers and developers to show off their creativity and data visualization skills.

Here’s an excerpt from the site:

We are inviting you to create a web application using Microsoft® Silverlight™ technology that helps raise social awareness of environmental damage, and inspires individual or group actions that reduce the harmful impact on climate change.

To name a few examples, your application may:

  • show an interesting animation illustrating current and potential damage to environment; may display in an original way slogans and appeals to save the environment
  • help estimate the quantity of poisonous emissions (and money) a person saves by doing specific actions, like riding a bike rather than driving a car, adjusting your heating devices to a lower temperature, etc.
  • educate how many years it takes to have a trashed material decompose completely
  • explain what home, gardening, office activities may be undertaken to reduce contamination and carbon emissions

Not only will I be looking at the entries to see what people come up with, I also have the honor of being a judge for the contest. You have until Feb. 15th to enter your submission. So get creative and “wow” us with your work and we’ll award you a trip to MIX10!

Blend and design-focused MIX10 Open Call Entries

January 6, 2010 3 comments

Voting on the open call sessions for MIX10 went live yesterday. You have until January 15th to submit a ballot with your top 5 choices. The most voted sessions will then be announced on Monday, January 18th.

There are only a few variables to select your top 5 picks. The Title is possibly the most important, as its used as the link text in the list to read more details. Speaker name could be influential, if recognized (or not recognized). Then the abstract, which is ideally to 2-3 sentences or 1 amazing sentence. Let’s hope the submitters spent some time on their entries.

Additionally, with more than 150 sessions to choose from the list can be a little daunting to wade through. As an added boost for the submitters’ chances, allow me to highlight those covering my favorite technologies: Expression Blend, SketchFlow and Silverlight.

Silverlight Design

Expression Blend


NUI and Touch

Designer and Developer Collaboration


Good luck to all who submitted!  Now to pick my personal top 5…

Flash to Silverlight Guide – MovieClip to UserControl

December 17, 2009 3 comments

The first sections of the new Flash to Silverlight Guide are up!

The purpose of this guide is to familiarize developers and designers with Silverlight concepts by relating them to Flash concepts. Comparisons are drawn between each pair of concepts in effort to map knowledge from one platform to another.

This is the first edition of the guide covering the topics Fundamentals and Tools, MovieClip To UserControl and Flex Components to Silverlight Controls. The next edition will include comparisons of different features from both platforms including Graphics, Animation, Coding and Out Of Browser.

The guide works as a standalone reference, as well as the base of knowledge for upcoming tutorials covering specific topics. There is a ton of content to cover, so we’ll be posting different sections as we get them completed.

During the research process, I’ve built up a large list of ideas that I’m excited to write about. This will be my main focus for the foreseeable future.  I will be hitting the road next year with this content and will be posting event details on this blog.

One event I’ll be attending for certain is MIX10 (still hoping to get a “Flash to Silverlight” session). I’ve seen some of the behind the scenes planning for MIX10, and let me say – this is going to be the best MIX ever.  For real, it will be a heck of a 5th year birthday for the event. I hope you can make it.