Tuesday, 22 January 2008

My laptop and I (part 2)

Last week I decided that there was no more hope for my laptop, and got managerial approval to order a new one (6458A17 - ThinkPad T61p). Yay! I've been so exited about this for the past couple of days that Yeondo's starting to look at me with a bit of concern when I bring it up again... anyway, thanks John!
Now this morning my desktop's graphical card died. Now I've got a broken desktop and laptop. I'm about to switch back to my old desktop and will remote desktop to the one with the broken graphical card. ugh.,....

 01/22/2008 21:34:00 UTC  #Comments [3]
Wednesday, 16 January 2008

My laptop and I
My laptop and I are not exactly on speaking terms these days. During the last months I had to have the motherboard replaced 3 times (broken wifi, broken sound and graphics card, broken graphics card) and today it started malfunctioning again. I can only successfully connect to a projector when I boot with the projector connected since connecting it with my machine already booted causes the screen to go haywire and the machine to hang. To add to this, I just discovered that it's now required to undock my batteries, boot with the power cable in and then add the batteries again before it turns on again.
I'm really starting to consider it as a person and I want to be angry and hate it... but how can you hate somebody with such health problems? I feel sad for my friend and hopefully they can cure it. On another note, I decided to start mixing and making my own drink every morning so I purchased a (drum roll please) juicer. I wouldn't have done it without bestjuicerreviews.xyz. It has omega juicer reviews and more info about other brands and models.

 01/16/2008 04:12:29 UTC  #Comments [12]
Monday, 14 January 2008

Creating a Silverlight Display Block 101
Timothy wrote a wonderful blog entry on how to create a Popfly Block that displays its content using Silverlight:

Popfly and Silverlight make it easy to show your pictures from many places in slick little gadgets. It's easy, and fun to make these "display blocks". I wanted to do a little walkthrough of creating a display block. The examples herein are actual Popfly mashups. They do use Silverlight, so make sure you get that installed.

This first blog entry will go over a couple of simple examples...

 01/14/2008 22:30:25 UTC  #Comments [1]

Creating a Popfly Block with Popfly Explorer

On Friday we released a new version of Popfly Explorer which includes support for Popfly Block creation. You can now create, debug, and publish Popfly blocks directly from Visual Studio. This is a huge advance for our block creators since you can use the powerful Visual Studio JavaScript and XML editor rather than the Popfly block editor. The underlying walkthrough illustrates how to create and debug a block on Popfly Explorer. You can download Popfly Explorer here.

Walkthrough: Creating a Block with Popfly Explorer

This walkthrough illustrates how to use Popfly Explorer to create a Popfly block named Calculator.

Tasks illustrated in this walkthrough include:

·         Creating a Popfly Block project using Visual Web Developer

·         Writing the block description

·         Writing the block code

·         Debugging the block

·         Sharing the block

·         Useful resources


To complete this walkthrough, you need:

·         A Popfly account.

·         Popfly Explorer. You can download Popfly Explorer here.

·         Visual Web Developer or Visual Studio. You can download Visual Web Developer here.

What is a Popfly Block?

Information from a web site can be accessed through a Popfly block. A block can also be a useful set of operations, like a timer or calculator, or it can display things like photos or videos. A Popfly mashup is a web application that combines the functionality of two or more web sites or sources: when you combine blocks, you create a mashup.

A Popfly block consists of the block description and the block code. The block description is used to define what the block is about: description, keywords, logos, and the definition of what methods can be called, and the parameters for these methods.  The block code contains the methods that are invoked when the block is used in a mashup.

Create a Popfly block

1.       Launch Visual Web Developer.

2.       On the File menu, click New Web Site…

The New Web Site dialog appears.

3.       Select the Popfly Block project type and name your project Calculator.

You have now created a local Popfly Block Visual Studio project.

4.       On the Popfly menu, click Show Popfly Explorer

The Popfly Explorer window is now visible.

5.       Enter your Windows Live ID login information in the Popfly Explorer window and click the Sign In button.

Popfly Explorer will show you a list of your projects and friends on Popfly.

6.       On the Popfly menu, click Save Calculator to Popfly.

Popfly Explorer will prompt you that a local copy of your project will be stored under the Popfly Explorer projects directory and will be reloaded from that location.

7.       Click on Save to Popfly in the Save Project dialog box.

Your calculator block is now saved to Popfly.

Write the Block Description

1.       Open the default.xml file from within the Solution Explorer window.

2.      Change the name of the block class to CalculatorClass in the block element.

3.       Open the default.xml file from within the Solution Explorer window.


This is the class that we will define when we are writing the block code.

4.       Remove the hello operation.

5.       Add an AddNumbers operation element as a child to the operations element.


    <operation name="AddNumbers">      

      <description>Add 2 numbers</description>


        <input name="number1" required ="true" type="integer">

          <description>First Number</description>



        <input name="number2" required ="true" type="integer">

          <description>Second Number</description>





        <output isArray="false" type="integer"/>




The operation has 2 required integer parameters with a default value of 0: number1 and number2.


More information on modifying the block description can be found in the block building guide.

Write the Block Code

1.       Open the default.js file from within the Solution Explorer window.

2.       Change the name of the HelloWorld class definition to CalculatorClass

Remove the hello method.

3.       Add the AddNumbers method.

The AddNumbers method first defines the result variable and calculates its value. Second, it writes the parameters and result to the console window in the Popfly mashup editor.

CalculatorClass.prototype.AddNumbers = function(number1, number2) {

    var result;

    console.write(String.format ("Calling Add ({0}, {1})", number1, number2));

    result = number1 + number2;

    console.write(String.format ("Result: ({0})", number1));

    return result;



More information on writing block code can be found in the block building guide.

Debug the Block

1.       Right click on the result = number1 + number2 line. On the pop-up menu, click on BreakPoint and then Insert Breakpoint.

A breakpoint was added to the result = number1 + number2 line. When the AddNumbers method executes, Visual Studio will now stop the block execution at this line.

2.       On the Debug menu, click on Start Debugging.

Your block is saved to Popfly and the mashup editor will load with your block.

3.       Click on the wrench to zoom in and start editing the parameters of the Calculator block.

4.       Type in the following values for the parameters:

Choose 4 for the Number1 parameter and 5 for Number2 parameter.

5.       Click on the wrench to zoom out again.

The mashup editor will show your block again.

6.       Click on Preview in the mashup editor to see the result of the AddNumbers method.

By clicking on preview you execute the AddNumbers method you just wrote. Visual Web Developer got the focus and stopped at the breakpoint that you added in step 1.

7.       Right click on the result variable in the default.js file and click on Add Watch.

The result variable is now added to the watch window. Notice that the value for the result variable is still undefined.

8.       On the Debug menu, click Step Over..

Notice that the value of the result variable has now changed to 9 in the watch window.

9.       On the Debug menu, click Continue.

Internet Explorer has received the focus again and you can see the value of the result variable on the preview page.

Share the Block


1.       Select the Calculator project in the Popfly Explorer window. 

2.       On the View menu, click Properties Window.

The properties for the Calculator project in Popfly are shown in the Properties Window.


3.       Change the value for Sharing Level from Not Shared to All Popfly Users.

Your project is now shared with all other Popfly users.


Useful Resources


·        More detailed information on writing block code can be found in the block building guide.

·         Information on how to build mashups in Popfly can be found in the mashup building guide.

 01/14/2008 20:59:30 UTC  #Comments [3]
Wednesday, 09 January 2008

Coming to Belgium in March
I've been talking to the wonderfull people in charge of organizing TechDays and I'll be delivering 1 or 2 sessions this year. I'm planning on sticking around for about a week and look forward to seeing a bunch of friends for the first time in 1,5 years. TechDays (DevDays) is for me related to David Boschmans and I have a hard time accepting that he's not with us anymore.

 01/09/2008 08:02:17 UTC  #Comments [3]
Saturday, 17 November 2007

Aaron Brethorst is leaving the Popfly Team
I have been very lucky to work with amazing people in my short career and some of those have somehow changed my view on one or more aspects of life. Aaron Brethorst is one of them. He was the latest addition to the group of Program Managers on the Popfly Team and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him. I'm trying to remember some of the funny things that happened in those short months... here are 2:

Number 1 (This one is a bit vague, but still very funny at least in my world):
John: Aaron, has work item # xxxx been completed?
Aaron: Well, (about 2 minutes of very advanced English, can't remember the exact words, maybe I was doing e-mail or I just saw a shiny thing somewhere in the shiproom meeting room, I was daydreaming, or I just forgot...)
Andy/Adam (I think it was Adam): Is the lawyer speak for no?
Steven: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (This totally cracked me up)

Number 2 (Aaron hijacked my desktop-machine on my birthday and sent out a mail to the team, You'll have to read it from the bottom to the top):

From: John Montgomery
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:06 AM
To: Steven Wilssens; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!

OK, you’re scaring me.

-- John

From: Steven Wilssens
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:06 AM
To: John Montgomery; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!


From: John Montgomery
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:05 AM
To: Steven Wilssens; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!

Left your computer unlocked, did you?

-- John

From: Steven Wilssens
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:05 AM
To: Popfly Status
Subject: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!


I'll miss having our random talks, working on texts and popup messages, sending mails in German to the team, shouting in German to each other (we are the only 2 people on the team that have a vague knowledge of the language) or hugging you in front of non meterosexual people (at work at least ).
The good news is that the title for the best dressed Program Manager on the team is up for grabs again Have fun during your new endeavor!

 11/17/2007 06:40:35 UTC  #Comments [3]
Saturday, 10 November 2007

Dan Fernandez on how to build and publish Web Sites with Popfly Explorer Beta

Dan Fernandez wrote an excellent blog post on how to Build and Publish Web Sites with Popfly Explorer Beta. Check it out.

 11/10/2007 00:26:29 UTC  #Comments [1]
Thursday, 08 November 2007

Popfly Explorer Beta announcement pictures

Pieter Gheysens was kind enough to take some pictures during the announcement of Popfly Explorer Beta:

There’s also a short video of the presentation available:

Click here for more information on Popfly Explorer.

 11/08/2007 01:51:28 UTC  #Comments [0]
Monday, 05 November 2007

Popfly Explorer Beta announced at TechEd EMEA 2007

Popfly Explorer Beta

Dan Fernandez and Soma Somasegar announced the release of the Popfly Explorer Beta during the TechEd 2007 Keynote. You can have a look at the interview that was made with Dan at the videocasts that were made during the first day of TechEd.  With Popfly Explorer you can unleash the power of Visual Studio upon your Popfly creations with Popfly Explorer. Popfly Explorer is a plug-in for Visual Studio that lets you:
  • Effortlessly create and host a Popfly web site
  • Access your Visual Studio solutions from anywhere
  • Share Visual Studio solutions with friends
  • Add mash-ups to your web pages

Download Popfly Explorer

Getting Started

To get started, download and install Popfly Explorer. After installation, Popfly Explorer will appear in Visual Studio. Sign in to your Popfly account, and you're ready to go. Don't have a Popfly account yet? Create one here.

Create a Web Site

Making web sites with Popfly Explorer is incredibly easy. Create your web site with Visual Web Developer, then share it on Popfly with Popfly Explorer. Take a look at the possibilities that open up to you with Popfly Explorer and Visual Web Developer.

Access Visual Studio Solutions on Popfly

Popfly Explorer enables you to quickly and easily store copies of your Visual Studio solutions on Popfly. You can access your creations from any computer with Visual Studio and Popfly Explorer. You can even share your creations with other Popfly users, and find solutions that have been shared by others.

Comment on your friends' projects

Interact with your friends: check out their latest projects, rate them and leave comments through Popfly.

Potential Future Enhancements

We are working on enabling Popfly Explorer users to publish completed projects with support for hosting Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation applications directly from Visual Studio. If you want to give us feedback on this, have questions, or other ideas about how we can improve Popfly Explorer, please let us know on the Popfly Explorer discussion forum.

 11/05/2007 20:11:01 UTC  #Comments [8]
Thursday, 23 August 2007

Question #1
We want to create a project type that resembles the Empty Website template with the following requirement:  We will add a default.htm page which is the only file that can ever exist in the project.  Is it possible to create a restriction like that?

 08/23/2007 00:16:46 UTC  #Comments [4]