All posts by GavinS

Frustrated with Windows Live Dev team

Originally posted on:

Well, I’m pretty fed up with Microsoft’s Windows Live Dev Team.  Not that they have really done anything wrong, it’s just that they haven’t done anything!!!

Add new abilities to the Windows Live Messenger client with the Messenger Add-in SDK beta.
Published Friday, June 09, 2006 2:55 PM
So, it’s almost been a year since MS has put out anything to support development with Messenger.  Whats the deal?? To top things off the existing Add-in sdk is crap!  While it works, it only give you access to events and methods that a kid would want.  Look at this:

That’s all we get???  When MS released Live Messenger they added the Verizon Web Call support to the app.  While this has been around for almost 6 months, there is still no way for a developer to place a call with messenger from another application.  The other thing that really sucks is the current stuff will only fire off if the user’s status is set to idle.  While this is good for a “Away” plugin, what if you want to do more?  You would think that would be an option for a developer to respond to the events when they want to. 

I think it would really help MS to open up the Messenger API to allow developers to integrate the ALL the communication functionality in other applications.  They are already doing this in Office, so it’s obviously something they want to do, but why prevent outside developers from doing the same?  Seems it would make Messenger a more viable and necessary application if other apps wanted to use its functionality.

Just had to vent, maybe MS will get thier crap together now that Vista is out…  remains to be seen…

Vista Business Edition

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Well, I recently got a new Toshiba Laptop.  I bought it in December, so no Vista.  It was running Windows Media Center Edition.  It’s a nice machine, Dual Core, 2GB RAM, etc…  So, I decided to put the MSDN copy of Vista Ultimate edition on it.  Everything seemed to run fine except for a few issues.  I couldn’t run a program called IsoBuster, Vista just wouldn’t let me open the .exe no matter what I tried.  And then there are still compatibility issues for VS 2005, which weren’t giving me any warm fuzzies..   So, I restored the orginal OS and have been using it with XPMC for the last few weeks….

Meanwhile, and someone please tell me why they do this…  the 200GB hard drive in the laptop could only muster a whopping 4200 RPM…  this is why people hate laptops.. does it matter if you put 2GB RAM and a nice dual core if you bottleneck the whole thing with this shitty harddrive???  So, I got a new 100GB 7200RPM drive, $150, not bad…   at the same time MS sent me my complimentary copy of Vista Business edition for participating in thier Power Together campaign. So, with a new harddrive, and a non-upgradable OS from XPMC to Vista Business.  I decided now that MS has “officially” released Vista, they can’t leave us developers hanging for too long.  So I’m running Vista Business with Visual Studio 2005.  I had to download VS2005 SP1 and the VS Vista Update Beta.  after all was said and done, I got everything working and compiled our 60 project solution, woohoo.

I still have to wait for drivers for my U3 smart drive and my fingerprint reader, but hey, nothing is perfect right??

Microsoft CompositeUI Application Block

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I started working on a new project a few weeks ago.  Were writing a new extensible Shell application with the Microsoft CompositeUI Application Block.  I haven’t used this block before.  Looks like Microsoft rushed this thing out the door.  Alot of needed functionality is missing, maybe the goal was to just provide a simple base shell layer and allow developers to extend it to do whatever.  I guess thats how it works when they are trying to release a new pattern or practice. 

So it took me a few weeks to wrap my head around this thing. ObjectBuilder was a new concept for me.  Pretty cool stuff though it turns out, Dependency Injection is a nice way of sharing global objects and making sure everything is referecing the right things.  Here some sample Dependency Injection Code.

Say you create a new object, and you want it to have a reference a global Selection Service..  all you have to do is add this code to your class:


public partial class PropertyGridToolWindow : UserControl, ISmartPartInfoProvider


   ISelectionService _selectionService;


   public ISelectionService SelectionService




   _selectionService = value;

   _selectionService.SelectionChanged += new EventHandler(_selectionService_SelectionChanged);


   get { return _selectionService; }


The cool thing about this, is instead of having to create an overloaded constructor to pass the existing instance of the Selection Service to the new object, Object Builder handles it all for you.  When creating the new PropertyGridToolWindow, just have ObjectBuilder do it:

PropertyGridToolWindow _propertyGrid;

_propertyGrid = ModuleWorkItem.SmartParts.AddNew<PropertyGridToolWindow>();

Thats it!  Object Builder will automatically set the reference to the Selection Service when the object is created.

I’ll post some more cool things I discover here as I go.


Posting lost in the sea of information…

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Why do we do it?  Why would I even post this blog in the first place?  What does it do for me?  Am I posting, sharing some strange introverted thoughts or ideas that I have no-one else to talk to about?  What are the chances of anything I say here even being read?  You have to ask yourself, If I type and post this blog, and noone ever reads it, will it ever really matter?  I guess if I feel better sharing some specific knowledge I have gained doing something in my life then I will post things.  But, what purpose does it serve other than me sharing my thoughts or experiences with the world? And who knows if anyone even cares about my thoughts or my expereinces. If my blog didn’t exist, and you weren’t here reading it, would it really matter?  I guess it all depends on your perspective of things.  If noone ever wrote a blog, and never posted it for anyone to read, then there would be no blogs and noone reading them, which would, yes, make things different.  So I guess on one hand my contribution to the digital world of information does mean something.  Obviously I’m in a weird mood today, but does it really matter? Not to you….