Who said building Visual Studio Extensions was hard?

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In years past building Visual Studio Extensions have often been considered the realm of the big boys. Staff working at Jetbrains or the Microsoft employees of the world. Last year I saw a talk given by Mads Kristensen aimed at taking away some of this stigma and showing how easy the guys at Microsoft have tried to make it for developers like you and me to just up and write extensions. I’ve been wanting to build one ever since, but haven’t had a good enough excuse to jump right in – until now. Here follows the creation of “OnCheckin Web.config Transformer”.

SimpleDeploy.Net - An FTP Style Wrapper for the MS Deploy API

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MS Deploy is such a powerful tool when used to keep your applications and services up to date. What is even more awesome is that the API for MS Deploy is available for you to write applications that utilise this power from within your own applications. As most people who’ve played with MS Deploy can report though, whether you’re using MSBUILD, PowerShell or the .Net API; The MS Deploy API sucks when it comes to simplicity. So after trial and error and much head banging I’ve created a wrapper for MS Deploy’s API to help you complete simple tasks with less friction.

Building an Image and Video Viewer for Microsoft Surface 2.0 in No Time At All

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I’ve been lucky enough to have access to a brand new Surface 2.0 (Samsung SUR40) recently, and wanted to try my hand at developing for the platform. As with most things, the easiest way to learn something is to set yourself up with a little project – I’m going to build a very simple Image “Attractor” to start. This will allow you to move, resize and rotate images and videos on the screen of the device. The Surface development community appears to be a little cloak and dagger, with very little information being shared; something hopefully I can positively contribute towards changing by documenting my journey.

8 Must-Have Tools for Windows Phone 7 Development

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After developing Windows Phone 7 applications in my spare time over the last year, I've collected an assortment of tools that make developing apps so much easier than when I first jumped in to Silverlight/Windows Phone 7 development. I only wish I'd know about them all when I first started down the Windows Phone 7 path. Whether you are just starting out or have been developing Windows Phone 7 apps for a while now, there’s something here for everyone.

Arachnophobia – Spider, Spider go away, come again another day

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While working on soon-to-be-released projects there has often been a need to make a staging/testing website publicly accessible for client testing. This is a slippery slope if search engine spiders get in and index your site before the rest of the world is meant to see it (it happens more than you’d like to think) – If it happens to be a website you are building for something that the rest of the world shouldn’t see yet such as a product/service launch, having it leak too early can often make or break you. They have a word that describes this very fear of spiders  – it’s called Arachnophobia.

Building an Image and Video Viewer for Microsoft Surface 2.0 in No Time At All

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I’ve been lucky enough to have access to a brand new Surface 2.0 (Samsung SUR40) recently, and wanted to try my hand at developing for the platform. As with most things, the easiest way to learn something is to set yourself up with a little project – I’m going to build a very simple Image “Attractor” to start. This will allow you to move, resize and rotate images and videos on the screen of the device. The Surface development community appears to be a little cloak and dagger, with very little information being shared; something hopefully I can positively contribute towards changing by documenting my journey.

How to use ZoneInfo/TZ Time Zones in .Net Applications

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While recently working on the live tile implementation for my Windows Phone 7 hobby project InTheKnow, I had a need to implement Unix Time Zone support using a TZ database. This list of Time Zones is widely used by Unix systems around the world as their source of Time Zone information. Sadly Microsoft’s .Net framework doesn’t have any support for this library – but like other parts of the framework that developers have found to be lacking, there is a library out there to fill the gap.

GaDotNet has moved to CodePlex

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Last year i started on a project that allows easy tracking of page views, events and transactions to your Google Analytics account without using JavaScript or a Browser simply using a .Net wrapper. This became GaDotNet. Over the Past 6 months i have had well over 2,000 downloads and many thank you emails so obviously people are finding a use for my code – this can only be a good thing. Now it is time for the project to grow up – so I've moved it to a remotely hosted source repository – CodePlex.

Facebook Apps in 10 mins using Microsoft Facebook SDK

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So It’s been about a year or so since I've written any Facebook applications for clients, and in that time quite a lot has changed in the space. There are quite a list of available libraries you can use to write Facebook applications in .Net with, so it can be sometime daunting to pick one as your favourite. This can be further complicated by the fact that for a lot of people, when they first go to write a Facebook application some of the jargon thrown around can be confusing when you know nothing about the Facebook API – what approach should you take? does having ASP.Net MVC or Silverlight support make the library a good one?

Release of Google Analytics Dot Net

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So today is the day that a little side project I've been working on sees the days of light. GoogleAnalyticsDotNet allows you to log a page view to Google Analytics from code behind of a website or from within a web service or win forms project without needing to use the Google JavaScript code, or even use web browser at all.