Saturday, January 29, 2022

3 reasons I'm learning about CSS

  1. To get ideas for things that can be improved in XAML. Seeing some of the cool things that can be done in CSS makes me wish we had equivalents when working with XAML. (No more details here yet, but I have a list of ideas...😉) 
  2. So I'm better able to make the switch to "web developer". I know some people effortlessly switch between XAML and web technologies--but that's not me. I, of course, also know that it's possible to create websites using XAML. It's many years since I did any serious web development and I know a lot has changed in that time. I'm also aware that there are a lot more employment opportunities in "regular" web development and I can't live on my savings forever and XAML work is hard to come by. I'm hedging my bets by learning something that may help me now or in the future.
  3. So I can learn from smart people. Regardless of the technologies, there is often much that can be learned by watching smart people doing their work and solving problems. Watching how experts in another language think about and solve problems can be insightful and help me think about things in new ways too.

updated Feb 3rd, 2022

Friday, January 28, 2022

Windows Template Studio - reborn!

It was only a few weeks ago that I publicly announced that I'd given up on Microsoft taking the Windows Template Studio forward and so I was going to do it myself.

Now, things are changing again.

  • The official Microsoft project has been reborn as just Template Studio. (Yes, that's the name I was going to use too.)
  • I'll be bringing the work I've done on my own back to Microsoft's repository and the Windows-related apps that can be generated with it will all come from Microsoft.
  • I'll continue contributing as a "community member".
  • The extensions I've already released as previews (for UWP, & WPF) will stay as previews and be removed once official Microsoft equivalent versions become available.
  • I'm reserving the right to build my own extensions that can be used for things other than Windows apps.
  • There's more on the official roadmap.

As expected, the most common question right now is about the timeline.

The answer is that it's likely to take a few more weeks.

This is because:

  • I can't take my work "as is" and copy it all over. There are things I can't, don't want to, and shouldn't share from my code.
  • What's required in the official repo is different from my personal requirements.
  • There's functionality my version has removed that I need to find ways to reinstate for the official/public version.
  • There are still [regression] issues in my version (the previews) that I need to fix.

How can you help?

  • Try out the preview versions I've released. (There are some things that behave differently in the release builds and so need testing widely--which I can't do in testing.)
  • Raise any bugs or issues for things you find. (Are there things I've missed? If no one reports the things that I think are regressions, maybe they don't need fixing...)
  • Consider becoming a sponsor. You'll be credited in the previews and elsewhere, but I obviously can't include such images in the official Microsoft version. :(
Sponsor images shown in the wizard

Any other questions? You know where I am. ;) 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Reasons to ask a question

I've been thinking a lot about communication (I know--fun, right?!) and especially about questions. This is because asking and responding to questions (not just answering them) is a large part of communication.

So, 12(+) reasons to ask a question:

  1. To get an answer.
  2. To force others to think about the question's topic.
  3. To encourage someone to think about how they'd answer (even if they don't.)
  4. To get attention. 
  5. To get a response (that isn't a direct answer.)
  6. To show (admit?) that you don't know (everything.)
  7. To show a willingness to learn.
  8. To show that asking questions is good/ok/acceptable/encouraged.
  9. To show an example of questions that can be asked.
  10. To show that you've thought about (or researched) the subject enough to be able to ask smart, informed, appropriate questions.
  11. So others can hear the/their answer.
  12. Never for no reason. 
  13. Other?

I know the above is a generalization, and it won't apply to all scenarios but is a helpful summary of the things to consider.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Template Studio for WPF

Following on from UWP, I've now released a preview of Template Studio for WPF.

Why WPF? - Because it has a similar position within WinTS as UWP. That is, it is (I suspect) less likely to have a future in WinTS which is likely to (again--I suspect) continue to be increasingly focused on WinUI.

WPF also has an opportunity for a longer life than UWP. Because of this, I plan to extend the provided options and add the ability to create WPF apps that are based on .NET 6.

More importantly, to do this I've got the codebase to a place where it can produce multiple different extensions that build for different platforms and happily work side-by-side. This opens the door for lots of exciting new things going forward. (hint hint)

Anyway, give it a try and let me know any feedback.