Shiny Silverlights

...Another Silverlight MVP blog

Ten Awesome Apps from 1st Windows Phone Code Camp in Riga

Written by h6bevalge on December 7th, 2011

Like couple of weeks before in Tallinn ( this weekend me, Agu, Jevgeni and Valdis, powered by Microsoft, organized an awesome Windows Phone code camp in Riga at SSE Riga school. The idea behind the event was to introduce the platform and create some awesome local apps to boost the app ecosystem in Latvia.

The schedule was quite intense. On the first day we had three coding lectures Agu talked about the importance of design and the Metro design language; I gave a quick intro to Windows Phone dev and data binding and finally Jevgeni had the pleasure of talking about almost everything else possible in WP in his “Limitless possibilities of Windows Phone” session. Then we had some lunch and starting from 2 PM Saturday, the teams started coding.

During the weekend total of 10 apps were made.

  • V?rda diena (Latvian namedays) is an app that gives you a calendar with Latvian namedays by day, week or you can search for a name. Coolest feature is the Live Tile, that sitting on your start screen always shows you the names who have the name day today and it was hinted that in the future you might see the tile going alert red if someone in your contacts has a name day :)
  • Alphabet Ninja (XNA and SL versions) – Alphabet ninja aims to teach children in ages from 3-5 to learn letters in playful way by recognizing them on the screen. To score in the game you need to tap on letter bubbles that are the same as the template shown by the game. Cool graphics and sound effects, and of course ninjas :)
  • Alphabet Ninja the Level 2 – Though Alphabet Ninja team made both XNA and Silverlight versions of their game, they didn’t stop there, they also created a level two for the game in Silverlight. Idea behind the game was to find certain letters from the grid and tap them. The fact that the letters might both be in upper and lower case or use different fonts adds some difficulty to the game.
  • Phone Mouse (Telefon pele) is an utility to control your computer from your phone. To move the mouse cursor, you can either use your phone as a touchpad or wave it in air. You can also us the phones keyboard. Cool utility for all Media Center PC owners.
  • Baltic Rain shows you a live map of rain in Baltics. Simple as that. Take a look at the map, see rain coming? Maybe start running to avoid getting wet ;)
  • Puzzles – is a fun set of mind games 15 puzzle, word game and Bulls and Cows.
  • E-Vielas is an app for understanding what you eat and drink. You scan the barcode on the product and it tells you what e-substances it contains. The data comes from an excisting crowd sourced database and currently has about 5000 Latvian products in it.
  • Mobilly is a way to simplify mobile parking. Choose the zone you’re in and the parking sms message is automatically created for you, all you need to do is send it. Future versions also include reminders to turn off the parking after you leave the parking lot.
  • Transport in Riga is the winning app. It allows you to see the schedule of all the different public transport, see the routes on the map. You can also ask the app to remind you in enough time so you’d make the last bus. If you speak latvian, you can read more about the app from Ram?ns blog here

Here are some screenshots from the winning app

You can see more photos from the event on Facebook page:

The organizing team was really impressed how driven and motivated everyone was to make great apps and we sure hope to organize such an event again soon. Maybe Vilnius is next?


Also check out Windows Phone App Competition. Deadline for app submission in both Latvia and Estonia is December 11. The prizes are excellent Windows Phone devices and free ad rotation for your app. I am sure that many apps that were created during code camps will be submitted :). Read more on:


WP7 caretIndex

Written by h6bevalge on June 2nd, 2011

In a recent project of mine, I needed to programmatically change the position of the caret in TextBox. Sadly I realized that Windows Phone 7 TextBox doesn’t have the caretIndex property. No worries, you can achieve the same with TextBox.Select().

To move carret to the end of text in TextBox, just use:

textBox.Select(textBox.Text.Length, 0);

MIX11 my sessions

Written by h6bevalge on April 9th, 2011

So I am leaving to MIX11 in Las Vegas tomorrow and it is just about the last minute to build my calendar for the event. My passions definitely are Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and UX. So these are the topics I am concentrating on and reasoning behind each session I plan to attend.


11:30-12:30 PM

Designing Infographics for Web Applications (200) – Des Traynor

Infographics is definitely one of my weaknesses, I’d love to see some great examples and the session will probably motivate and inspire me to create something new myself.

Application Design for Windows Phone (200) – Megan Donahue

I have a few ideas for WP7 applications I would love to implement in next few months and ideas for UI are welcome. Although I am a bit thorn, since I am not very sure what more there is to learn about "Metro", since most of the applications in the Marketplace are built around Pivots and Panoramas.

Deconstructing Orchard: Build, Customize, Extend, Ship (300) – Bradley Millington

With level 300 it is one of more technical sessions in this timeslot. I remember hearing about it when Orchard was launched but I haven’t had a change to dig into it yet. Hope it is a good overview of the product and its capabilities.


Expert Lessons: Top Tips for Building a Successful Windows Phone Application (300) – Stefan Wick

I have some experience in the iPhone app development world and planning to create a few WP7 apps myself. Really exited to hear about challenges in the WP7 world and see the best applications.

Deep Dive MVVM (200) – Laurent Bugnion

I have used MVVM in my projects, but I definitely feel that I could get more out of it. One of the technical sessions that I am really looking forward to.


Inspiring UX – UX Lightning Series (200) - Chris Bernard, Thomas Lewis, August de los Reyes, Corey Schuman

This was one of the first sessions I picked out for myself. A lot of smart people talking about a very important topic for me. Specially excited about: "7 Things Developers and Designers Need to Know About UX."

The Microsoft Surface MVPs Present: Natural User Interfaces, Today and Tomorrow; An Interactive Discussion and Demonstration (200) – Rick Barraza, Joshua Blake, Neil Roodyn, Bart Roozendaal, Josh Santangelo, Nicolas Calvi, Dennis Vroegop

If I had a chance to clone myself, then I would go to this panel discussion as well. Will be interesting to hear how the touch, NUI vision for Microsoft looks like.



Building In Browser Experiences with Silverlight 5 (200) – Steve Lasker

A quick overview of some of the features of Silverlight 5 that I haven’t had a chance to check out yet but as a Silverlight MVP really should be aware about :)

Windows Phone 7 session (TBA)

Although hearing about Silverlight 5 is important, WIndows Phone 7 sessions kind of pull me in more. Hope it something on a higher technical level 300 or even 400 :).


WomenInTech with LegoSeriousPlay

Well I am a woman and in tech who also likes LEGOs so I could definitely see myself joining my lunch with this interactive session :).


Graphics & 3D with Silverlight 5 (300) – Aaron Oneal

3D is quite a new concept for Silverlight, hope to see 3D API-s pushed to the limit to really see what Silverlight is capable of in the 3D space.



Tips for Improving Performance in Applications Built with Silverlight (400) – Mike Cook

Performance tuning is one of the main topics that I always get questions about in my trainings. This promises to be a real deep dive (400!) into the topic.



Analyzing and Improving Windows Phone Application Performance (400) – Jeff Wilcox


Mind Bending UX – UX Lightning Series (200) – Robby Ingebretsen, Rick Barraza, Arturo Toledo, Sean Gerety

These are the speakers that last year inspired me to attend this year, really inspiring!


Riding the Geolocation Wave (300) – Tatham Oddie

Will be interesting. Just started with my geolocation application so, very practical session for me.


New Technologies for Immersive Content Creation

The description isn’t very specific on what the session actually is about, but seems interesting!

Starting with Bing maps for Silverlight–the key

Written by h6bevalge on April 8th, 2011

I haven’t played around with Bing Maps Control for Silverlight before, but as usual it is quite easy to start with. The only catch is that to use the Bing maps in your application, you need a Bing Maps Key.

Getting the Bing Maps Key

You can get the key from here (max 5): just click Create or view keys and then enter in your info. I think the application name needs to be without spaces and as for choosing application type – see here:


Using the Bing Maps Key

If you have the key just enter it to your XAML code.


Could not load file or assembly ‘mswacdmi.dll’ or one of its dependencies. The specified module could not be found.

Written by h6bevalge on February 28th, 2011

Pretty much out of the blue, I couldn’t debug my Azure web role on my local machine anymore. I kept getting the following error:

Could not load file or assembly ‘mswacdmi.dll’ or one of its dependencies. The specified module could not be found.

Digging around it turned out to be a known issue when running full IIS on the x86 devfabric.

The solution is to add the Azure SDK path to your system path environment value and of course restart your system.

Right click My Computer => Properties => Advanced System settings => Environment values => New

C:\Program Files\Windows Azure SDK\v1.3\bin\runtimes\storage\simulation\x86

Just in Time PivotViewer not showing description

Written by h6bevalge on February 21st, 2011

I was playing around with JIT Pivot example (available from here) and noticed that image description isn’t displayed on the sidebar. The solution is actually quite simple. We have to ask the image Description to be serialized to XML as well.

Open PivotServerTools –> CxmlSerializer.cs and to the method MakeItemContent add a row:

if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(item.Description)){
    yield return new XStreamingElement(Xmlns + "Description", item.Description);

Handler "CXML" has a bad module "ManagedPipelineHandler" in its module list

Written by h6bevalge on February 15th, 2011

Possible solutions I found while searching for a solution myself:

Check if IIS is installed correctly:

run %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe –i

or for x64

run %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe –i

Comment out the Visual Studio httpHandlers from web.config after the commenct


The Visual Studio Development Server uses these httpHandler configuration values.
To run the server under IIS, comment these handlers so that IIS will use the
duplicate set of handlers in the system.webServer section below.

Add .cxml as an allowed mime type

Most pages recommended using .cxml and text/xml, but somewhere I also saw .cxml text/cxml recommended. I also set .dzi and .dzc to text/xml.


Set the correct Application Pool

For me what fixed the problem was setting the correct Application Pool for the site.

It was set to .NET Classic, it has to be on ASP.NET v4.0

Other links that I browsed

Files with specific extension from Azure Blob

Written by h6bevalge on February 13th, 2011

There is no quick way to say to  Azure Container to only return specific file formats in a listing. You have to filter them after getting the full listing.

using System.IO; 
            IEnumerable fileList = container.ListBlobs();
            List files = new List();

            foreach (var file in fileList)
                var e = Path.GetExtension(file.Uri.ToString());
                if (e.Equals(".png") || e.Equals(".jpg") || e.Equals(".jpeg"))

Azure BLOB files not found – 404

Written by h6bevalge on February 10th, 2011

I am just walking my first steps on the Azure high-way. Got everything working, files were uploading and life was good until I tried to access the files, then Azure told me they weren’t there.

So if you’re getting File not found error with Azure then you have to set the permissions so that container is public.

	CloudBlobContainer container = objClient.GetContainerReference("mycontainer");

        var permissions = container.GetPermissions();
        permissions.PublicAccess = BlobContainerPublicAccessType.Container;

Now you can access your files with ease :)

Errors with Azure certificates

Written by h6bevalge on January 31st, 2011

When publishing to Azure you are asked to provide a certificate you want to use, and of course you should upload the certificate to the Azure portal beforehand. It seems so trivial now but I did manage to upload the certificate to the wrong place and get errors when trying to publish my service.

So if you are getting one of these error messages there is a change you uploaded your certificate to the wrong place.

The wrong place is the upload form with a password field.

The http request was forbidden with client authentication scheme ‘anonymous’


SEHException was caught

External component has thrown an exception.


The right place to upload your certificate


Upload your certificate to: Hosted Services, Storage, Accounts and CDN = > Management certificates.



Hope I saved you some troubles.