The last couple of days I have been working on a Windows 8.1 solution for a customer. The solution is an universal app and we launched the Windows Phone part last month so this month is all about building the Windows 8.1 part.
In the Windows Phone app we used resource files for handling strings and localization. Resource files are easy to use and allows us to set x:uid on a control to apply localized strings.
Looking forward this solution doesn’t work for us. We decided to use a very simple dictionary solution that we can call to the the localized string we need. To fill the dictionaries we had three xml files with data each representing a langague. The xml files was named strings.en-us.xml, strings.da-dk.xml and strings.sv-se.xml.
When we build the solution we got the following warnings:
5>MakePRI : warning 0xdef00520: Invalid qualifier: DA-DK
5>MakePRI : warning 0xdef00520: Invalid qualifier: EN-US
5>MakePRI : warning 0xdef00520: Invalid qualifier: SV-SE
In my search for a solution I checked the <Resource Language=”x-generate” /> in the Package.AppManifest files to see if this was causing any issues – it wasn’t.
I was looking into external assemblies that might would be missing some resources – it wasn’t an issue.
After a little bit of further searching I figured it out! It was the nameing of the xml files that caused the warnings. If filenames inlcudes language codes (da-dk etc.) the solution expects the app to be supported in this language – and it wasn’t. After a quick renaming of the three files the warning was gone :)
In the launch keynote of Visual Studio 2013, Brian Harry announced and demoed a new service called Application Insights.
The service is available through Visual Studio Online and “collects, processes and presents a wide variety of telemetry including performance, usage, availability, exception, crash, environment, log and developer-supplied data from all components of a modern application – including clients (devices and browser), servers, databases and services.”
With Application Insights it is possible to gain full insight into your Windows Store and Windows Phone applications; how does the user actually use your app, which features are used the most or least, are there any performance issues and so on. All of this will be presented nicely in a dashboard that can easily be customized to your exact needs directly in Visual Studio Online.
Currently the service is available as limited preview and you can sign up from Visual Studio Online:
Bluefragments have been part of the TAP program since early this year and have followed Tofino become what it is today (truly amazing work by some passionate guys!). Looking forward to integrate Application Insights into our Windows Phone and Windows Store apps.
Yesterday I did a talk at Campus Days 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The talk was about the new features in Windows 8.1 from a developers perspective.
I chose to speak about 4 areas in Windows 8.1:
- New control features
- New UX/UI features
- New file features
- New network features
The slides from the talk can be downloaded here and the demo project can be downloaded here. Demo project is developed using Visual Studio 2013 RC and was presented on Windows 8.1 RTM.
Details on the talk are also available on Channel 9 here.
Microsoft have released a short article on TechNet about what’s new in Windows 8.1:
Windows 8.1 seems to contain lots of interesting new features – especially the new business features sounds like a great update to Windows 8. Personally I’m looking forward to the Broadband Tethering feature.
It’s a shame to see that Spotify still isn’t available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. I understand that they probably have a big backlog and can’t have apps of this size available in just a few weeks.
However Windows 8 have been available for some months now and we haven’t heard anything from Spotify about a realistic release date. The result is obvious – users cancel their subscriptions and find another musicplayer. Just check out the forums and the comments in this thread – users have an excellent alternative in Xbox music.
A few weeks back my team and I decided to take a radical step – we offered Spotify to do the Windows 8 app – for free. We have developed our share of apps for the Windows Store; 20+ apps ranging from video-on-demand apps to homebanking apps.
We still haven’t heard anything from Spotify.
Yesterday at the excellent keynote at Build, Steve Ballmer clarified the importance of building great apps for the Windows platform. To back it, Microsoft provided all attendees with a Surface – if we promised to develop lots of apps. With the keynote in mind I searched the Windows Store for the Build App – I couldn’t find it. Instead I tried the Build website (www.buildwindows.com) on my Surface. I quickly realized that some part of the website was built with touch in mind – but certainly not most of it.
So my question to Microsoft is pretty simple: Why haven’t you build an awesome Build app that would inspire developers to build great apps?
You have a really strong support in your knights (the MVPs) that most definitely would have built it for you.
The Build app is now available at the Windows Store.
Build 2012 app for Windows in the Windows Store
Learn more about Build 2012 by Microsoft Corporation and download it from the Windows Store
My favorite tool for writing blog posts have for the last couple of years been Live Writer (part of Windows Essentials). The reasons for the choice are several but one of them is the fact that the editor good, supports plugins and integrates well with major blog engines.
I’m writing this blog post on my new Surface RT (using the type keyboard). A bit naive I hoped I would be able to install Windows Essentials on it – Of course not. “Windows Essentials isn’t available for Windows RT, but you can you can do more with world of new apps at the Windows Store”. So I looked for an app in Windows Store but unfortunately I couldn’t find one that would suite my needs.
While I was taking a look at the new Office 2013 edition preinstalled on Surface RT I saw a template called “Blog post”. A bit skeptical I tried to click it. What meet me was a simple UI, full integration with several major blog engines (including categories), and of course the amazing word editor. In this version of Office 2013 it’s possible to set if the UI should be optimized for mouse or touch giving you more space between commands. Must say that I’m quite impressed so far.
Only thing that I seem to miss at the moments is being able to set tags on the blog post.