Contents tagged with User Groups

  • Dallas XAML UG Samples for Data Binding

    The Dallas XAML User Group is holding their second meeting on April 6th 2010.  We will be spending most of the time on our laptops practicing data binding techniques for WPF and Silverlight.  The completed samples are uploaded and ready to review before the meeting.  The theme for samples is a GoldWing reseller.  Can you guess which sweet Orange motorcycle that I own and love to ride around Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas with my wife?

  • – A New User Group for Silverlight, WPF, XBAP, etc.


    The Dallas XAML User Group               



    I’ve devoted much of last month to starting the DallasXAML User Group.  I finally got back into user group management after 2 years away from leading the Dallas C# SIG.  Now I’m having fun getting a Silverlight/WPF user group going strong for the Dallas / Ft. Worth community.  Our first meeting was March 3rd at the Improving Enterprises offices in North Dallas.  We had about 25 to 35 attendees in the first meeting and it went well.  We covered the most important topic that everyone should understand well – data binding.


    So I chose the XAML user group so we can get together for a common group improvement in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area and learn cross-technology information that we can use now.  It is not a lecture hall.  The great thing is that we’ll provide hands-on experience with most every meeting.  The goal is to get the experience that we can use the next work day.  I unfortunately broke that rule by speaking all through the first meeting, but next month is part two with more hands-on data binding.


    The differentiation is this group concentrates on XAML, not Silverlight or Windows Client alone.  What we learn in one area, we gain for all areas.  That includes the Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 coming later this year.  Next year it may be Windows Phone 8, 9, or whatever. 


    I started developing WPF seriously almost a year ago.  I experienced the painful learning curve.  Anyone who reports that there isn’t a big learning curve either thinks in XAML before it was developed, is on the Silverlight or WPF development team, or has already conquered the learning and forgot the pain.  So I wanted to share the pain or make it easier for others – same thing.  I have found that the more I learn and use good disciplined techniques, the more interesting and rewarding development is again.


    A few months ago, I was sitting in the iPhone development session at the Dallas C# SIG.  After the meeting, the audience was polled for future topics.  After a few suggestions, Silverlight got the big hands up.  That makes sense because it’s still the hot topic for many Microsoft developers.  So I surfed around and found that there aren’t enough user groups to help in this area.  I polled a few local group leaders and did the work to start the group.  This week I got a telerik controls licence and improved the site with some great controls, namely the RadHtmlPlaceholder control.  It provides a Silverlight control to show HTML in an IFrame-like area.  On, the newsletters and resource pages display in HTML because Silverlight just isn’t there yet.  I’m looking forward to a Silverlight XPS viewer with flow documents.  There are some good commercial version available, but this is a non-profit group. 


    The site points to many other resources such as podcasts and webcasts.  I would rather give them the credit than try to out-do them.  So check out the DallasXAML user group site and attend our meetings if you can.  We meet the first Tuesday of the month.



    DallasXAML User Group Leader


  • Debugging with VS2008 at the Dallas ASP.NET UG

    Some time back, I gave a talk at the Dallas ASP.NET User Group on the topic of "Debugging with Visual Studio 2008".  In case anyone can find the notes, slides, and demos useful, they are located at  Some things have changed since Silverlight has gone RTW (Released To Web/World).

    At the meeting, we discussed ways to think like an efficient debugging developer and then we walked through the demos to see it in action.  We walked performed some debugging actions and looked at a few things that a typical debugging session doesn't encounter.  We looked at the rarely used attributes that are good for debugging, IE Developer toolbar, and Firefox's FireBug.

    I will repeat some advice that I was given over 13 years ago.  Anyone can work and produce but more valuable are people who solve problems.  Now that's good debugging advice.  This was one of my favorite talks and I hope the demos will be helpful to others.  The demo concept entails a meeting RSVP system.  The data is random based on the time but the numbers change just the same.


    RSVPSilverlightWeb: A simple ASP.NET web site with three example technologies: Standard ASP.NET AJAX, JSON, and a Silverlight control.  We performed some debugging with the three components that are located on a single web page.

    RSVPModule:  An HTTP Module used in the website to display the page load time.

    RSVPHandler: An HTTP Handler that will perform work for urls with the "RSVP" extension such as  I noticed that the demo zip file does not have the extremely simple RSVP application that was deployed to my IIS.  You can reproduce this extremely simple demo.  It is an ASP.NET application with a simple default.aspx and nothing added.  The web.config has one line added to to the httpHandlers node as shown below.  This register the handler to call the handler for debugging.

             <add verb="*" path="*.rsvp" type="RSVP.RSVPHandler" />

    RSVPSilverlight: This is a Silverlight component that uses a web service file, WebServiceSilverlight.cs, in the RSVPSilverlightWeb website project.  Beware - this was the beta2 version without considerations for cross-domain web service calls.  To get it working properly with the RTW version, we follow the link at and re-create the service reference in the Silverlight control.

    RSVPGadget: A Windows Vista Gadget using our existing WCF with JSON that is consumed on the RSVPSilverlightWeb page.  The files that are in the RSVPGadget files are copied to a folder such as

    "C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\RSVP.gadget".


    The Ultimate Debugger (Tess Ferrandez)


    Debugging Strategies for .Net Developers
      Apress - Darin Dillon

    Debugging .NET 2.0 Applications
      MSPress - John Robbins

    Stay Current on ASP.NET and Silverlight 2.0

    Javascript Debugging

    Debugging ASP.NET AJAX Applications

    Firebug: (Tutorial)

    Production Debugging

    WinDbg + SOS

    More on Vista Gadgets:

    The Vista Gadget:


    The Demo Web Page:


  • What's going on at the Dallas C# SIG?

    The Dallas C# SIG is a special interest group that meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Microsoft offices in Las Collinas, TX. (Dallas).  It's been around for a few years thanks to my co-leader, John Davis.

    I've been in other cities on business and tried to attend the local meetings.  The most recent was a user group meeting in Baltimore.  It didn't work out but I consider it each time I go to another city.  If you're in the Dallas area during one of our meetings, stop by the Microsoft offices and tune in on the first Thursday of each month.  You can also sign up for the newsletter at  The newletter is only once or twice a month to alert the community of what's going on.  The best Dallas developer community news for our area is at http:\\  Our Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb Jenkins, runs that site.  There are now 21 user groups in the Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas area. 

    So what has been going on at the Dallas C# SIG?  Here's the news from "Past Meetings":

    June 1, 2006 - Cory Smith and Vince Blasberg - Converting To and From C# and VB.Net - More than just a semicolon...
    This was a two part discussion convering some considerations when converting a VB.NET project to C#.  Cory took over at half-time to discuss converting C# to VB.NET.  The VB.NET vs. C# war was saved for the event a few weeks later.  Vince covered some of Lutz Roeder's reflector but Cory shifted it in high gear by showing the Reflector plugin that can convert a complete assembly to a new project.

    May 4, 2006 - Caleb Jenkins - Advanced Atlas
    Utilizing Atlas to create dynamic AJAX applications with ASP.NET 2.0.  Caleb demonstrated all of the Atlas features that we haven’t had time to cover anywhere else.

    April 6, 2006 - Abraham Saldaña and Vince Blasberg - SQLServer 2005 Night
    Vince demonstrated how easy it is to understand and develop SQLCLR with C#.  Abraham then took over and demonstrated some great new features with the new XML data type with XQuery, XML, XSLT.

    March 2, 2006 - ADO.Net 2.0 with Shawn Wildermuth
    Shawn Wildermuth, the ADOGuy at, talked about some new features in ADO.Net 2.0. Slides and resources are located on his site.  It was a great time so thanks Shawn.

    Here's what we have going on in the next few months:

    July 6, 2006 Click-Once Deployment: Beyond the Basics Paul Ballard - Click-Once Deployment: Beyond the Basics
    August 3, 2006 Advanced ASP.Net Stephen Swienton - Advanced ASP.Net
    September 7, 2006 Doing More on the Mobile Platform Dan Fergus - Doing More on the Mobile Platform
    October 5, 2006 Using MSBuild Omar Villarreal - Using MSBuild
    November 2, 2006 Managed C++ with C# John Davis - Managed C++ with C#