Ian Dixon has posted part 2 of the interview I did with him a few weeks ago where we discussed Media Center Markup Language (MCML) development.  This episode goes into more detail about MCML development.  We discuss topics such as using Rules in your UI, when and how to write code-behind assemblies for MCML applications, Windows Media Center Presentation Layer web applications, and packaging and deployment of applications.

Here are links to this segment and also to the previous segment and the extra session that Ian recorded where he demonstrates some of the Windows Media Center SDK tools and samples:

Aaron

 



Categories: News | Comments [0] | # | Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 6:38:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

A new episode of the Media Center Show has been posted today that focuses on Media Center Markup Language (MCML) development.  I talked with Ian Dixon a few weeks ago, and he decided to create a  2 part show based on our talk (part 2 will be coming next week).

The first part focuses on getting started if you are new to MCML development.  It includes a discussion of some of the learning tools and samples included in the Windows Media Center SDK (such as McmlSampler and the Q sample podcast and videoblog client).

In addition, Ian posted a Media Center Show Extra segment where he presents an overview of both McmlSampler and Q running within Windows Media Center.

Here are links to both the show and the extra segment:

Hopefully you will find this information useful as you get started with Windows Media Center development.

Aaron

 



Categories: News | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 5:51:55 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

(How many of you have parents who believe email exists solely as a big ol' chain letter distribution system? Every once in a while a gem slips through just barely worthy of broader distribution. I got one from my mother this morning which fit the bill. Being from the south, I made a few 'enhancements' to be more relative to today. Enjoy! -- but please do not forward <-- wasted breath.)

It has come to our attention that a few beta copies of Windows Vista Southern Edition RC2 may have accidentally been shipped outside of the south.

If you have one of these, you may need help understanding the commands. Windows Vista Southern Edition may be recognized by the unique opening screen. It reads: Winders Vista, with a background picture of Waylon and Willie superimposed on a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Please also note:

 The Recycle Bin is labeled "Outhouse"
 My Computer is called "This Dern Contraption"
 Dial Up Networking is called "Good Ol' Boys"
 Control Panel is known as "The Dashboard"
 Hard Drive is referred to as "4-Wheel Drive"
 CD and DVDs are "Them little ol' plastic frisbee thangs"
 Instead of an error message, "Duct Tape" pops up.

Changes in Terminology in Windows Vista Southern Edition:

 Cancel............stopdat
 Reset..............try'er agin
 Yes...............yep
 No................nope
 Find..............hunt fer it
 Go to............over yonder
 Back...............back yonder
 Help..............hep me out here
 Stop...............kwitit (WHOA!)
 Start............crank'er up
 Settings..........settins
 Programs.........stuff at duz stuff
 Documents........stuff ah done did

Also note that Windows Vista Southern Edition does not recognize capital letters or punctuation marks.

Some programs that are exclusive to Winders Vista:

 Tiperiter.........a word processing program
 Colerin' Book.................a graphics program
 Cyferin' Mersheen...........calculator
 Outhouse Paper................notepad
 Inner-net....................Internet Explorer 7.0
 Pitchers .......................a graphics viewer
 Bubba Tube....................Windows Media Center

We regret any inconvenience it may have caused. If you received a copy of Windows Vista Southern Edition, you may return it to Microsoft for a replacement version: Windows Vista Home Premium Ultimate Redneck Edition (codenamed 'Hee Haw').

I hope this helps all y'all!

Billy Bob

Get er done!



Categories: Windows Vista | Comments [5] | # | Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006 4:08:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Just got this from JoeB...

Congrats, everyone, on another terrific milestone for Media Center…   today in his Digital Life keynote, Mike Sievert will announce that Media Center has sold 20 MILLION UNITS.

Wow. Just wow. It's pretty nifty to work on a product which has reached 20 million folks worldwide. Sweet.



Categories: Media Center | Comments [8] | # | Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 6:02:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

One of the developers on our team recently created a sample Windows Media Center Presentation Layer web application that demonstrates how to utilize a Host object to access data that is created dynamically on a server without requiring the page to reload.  This technique can be particularly useful when you want to update some content on a page that contains numerous assets that you do not want to re-download and/or if you want to avoid visible flashing and transitions for page reloads.

There are two components to this sample - the sample UI and the sample data generation file.

Sample UI component

A live version of the sample UI can be found at http://play.mediacentersandbox.com/Sample.DataTransfer.mcml.  It contains 2 UI elements: a DataTransfer UI, and the main UI.

DataTransfer UI

The DataTransfer UI is an abstraction layer that encapsulates the functionality of loading new data into an already visible MCML page. 

Consumers that want to use this DataTransfer object need to provide the following properties:

  • A ResultSet (which is an ArrayListDataSet object) to store the results of the server-side data generation
  • A RequestStatus (which is an EditableText object) to store the current status of the data transfer
  • A TargetSource (which is a string) to specify the URL where the data should come from
  • A RefreshCommand (which is a Command object) that will invoke a data refresh

Main UI

The main UI contains an example of a common usage scenario using the DataTransfer UI. It contains the following elements:

  • An instance of the DataTransfer UI
  • A button that triggers the DataTransfer object to refresh its data when invoked (this could be easily modified to automatically refresh the data by using a timer instead of a button that the user has to click)
  • A Text field to display the status of the data transfer - it is bound to the RequestStatus that is returned by the DataTransfer object
  • A Repeater to display the updated data - it is bound to the ResultSet that is returned by the DataTransfer object

Sample data generation file

A live version of the sample data generation file can be found at http://play.mediacentersandbox.com/RandomData.aspx.  The source code for it looks like this:

<%@ Page Language="C#" %>
<% Response.ContentType = "text/xml"; %><%Response.Expires=0; %>
<% Random r = new Random(); %>
<Mcml
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/2006/mcml"
    xmlns:cor="assembly://MSCorLib/System"
    xmlns:me="Me"
>

  <UI Name="Result">
    <Properties>
      <ArrayListDataSet Name="ResultSet">
        <Source>
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
          <cor:String String="Random.Next = <%=r.Next()%>" />
        </Source>
      </ArrayListDataSet>
    </Properties>
  </UI>

</Mcml>

You can try out this example on your Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Edition RC1 or later system by downloading this RegisterMceApp XML file and running RegisterMceApp.exe <path to codeless_datatransfer_example.xml>

When you register this XML file, you will have an entry named Data Transfer Sample in the Program Library.  When you launch the sample in Windows Media Center and click the Load New Data button, the ResultSet object will be populated with 6 new random numbers, and since the ResultSet is bound to the repeater on the client UI, the data in the repeater will automatically update each time you click the button without requiring the entire page to refresh.  The UI will look like the following:

A couple of additional notes

  1. Keep in mind that due to the security restrictions in place for Windows Media Center Presentation Layer Web Applications, the UI page and the data generation page must both be hosted on the same web domain for this scenario to work as expected.  For this sample, both are hosted on the play.mediacentersandbox.com domain
  2. This scenario demonstrates a relatively simple dynamic data scenario.  For a more involved example of how to dynamically switch hosts, see the sample in McmlSampler named AdvancedMarkup.HostViewItem.mcml

Aaron

 



Categories: Sample | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 2:14:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
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