Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Read some interesting news

Good Morning,

I read today that the silverlight 1.0 platform will ship on Friday. Now, I am not certain exactly what that means. I assume that this means that the plug-in will be available. Considering that there are multiple tools used for the creation and design of Silverlight Aps I am wondering if this means that Blend will be released soon too.

Also today at 4:30 there is going to be a virtual discussion about silverlight in secondlife today.

Silverlight ships Friday

I'll probably post more later today.
Virtual Presentation in Second Life

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To Blend or not to Blend

I have had some other graphics work that has taken precedence over my journey into Expression Blend and Silverlight in general. Today I am back full swing in my quest to unearth some great examples and blend tutorials. I have been quite surprised by some of the stuff that I have found.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A guru pooped on my parade - Advantage Flash

I had posted some questions about combo boxes on a few different forums last week. I finally got a response after about 60+ views. Unfortunately, it was the answer that I both suspected and feared. Here is the scenario.

I have a drop box with three labels. "red","green", and "blue." I want a hex value to correspond to these color labels. I cannot do this without leaving blend and going into Visual Studio and adding some code.

The code that it requires does not look intimidating or especially difficult, but it does seem like a bit of a hassle. I am a designer not a developer and have zero experience with the visual studio tool.

In my opinion this kind of lack of functionality coupled with the inability to create shape tweens are MAJOR deficiencies in Blend and Silverlight in general. There are designers who are creating extremely robust and highly dynamic applications in Flash without the need to toggle between multiple programs.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Silverlight and MOSS

I know that we're banking on MOSS a lot and that ideally we'll be able to use silverlight to create dynamic and attractive web parts using silverlight.

Here is some info on that

Up and crawling again

Thanks to our IT Guru Chris my registry is now happy and healthy again, but I am still banging my head on the same walls. I am trying to understand the data context field in the properties toolset. I find it hard to believe that Blend would allow me the designer the ability to bind data that differs from a the labels in a drop down.

I am also finding that the momentum I had when first starting the program is slowing down substantially. The world of Control Templates and XAML is no where near as easy to diagnose as my ever so familiar land of Movie Clips and Actionscript because there simply aren't enough people out there creating examples and tutorials.

All the tutorials out there seem to be the same rehashed versions of the Lynda.com Tutorials that I went through last week.

The day the blend stood still

Well, I guess it should be expected when working with a Beta version of the software but today has been quite a calamity of errors. In the middle of giving a demo of basic animations and drawing techniques I found that I was no longer able to build projects with Blend. Somehow the registry key pointing to the .NET SDK got hosed.

I tried to uninstall and run a fresh install of the blend application to no avail. I had to do a manual install of the SDK and am still receiving errors when I try to build the project.

I am going to have to get our IT department to try and take a look at the error message and see if it makes any sense to them. Maybe they will know how to fix the registry value.

Here is the error message:

Could not locate the .NET Framework SDK. The task is looking for the path to the .NET Framework SDK at the location specified in the SDKInstallRootv2.0 value of the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework. You may be able to solve the problem by doing one of the following: 1.) Install the .NET Framework SDK. 2.) Manually set the above registry key to the correct location.
ColorSwatch -> C:\Documents and Settings\TSciantarelli\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Expression\Blend\Temporary Projects\ColorSwatch\bin\Debug\ColorSwatch.exe

Wont someone PLEASE think of the shapes!?!

"Holy How did ya miss this one? Batman!"

After trying to convert shapes to paths and then animate the anchor points of the path on the timeline I am realizing that there is no way to create shape tweens. I am really amazed that this functionality was left out, but I think that I understand why. I think that it may be a shortcoming of XAML, and may not be an easily overcome but hope that I am wrong because it seems like a major deficiency to me.

I have also still not yet been able to figure out how to bind a value that differs from a combo box item's label. For instance if I have a combo box / drop down box with the content being "red", "green", "blue", and "yellow". I want to assign an RGB or hex value that is associated with each of the color names.

I am also trying to figure out what the "double" means in the data binding dialog.