Archive for April 9th, 2010
Yesterday we announced our news for NAB next week in Las Vegas. Today we wanted to point out some other cool experiences to check out in Las Vegas. First we are showing the industry’s most exciting demo of live 3D HD streaming using IIS Smooth Streaming and Silverlight. Content is coming from Germany from TVN, encoded by an Inlet encoder and then delivered via Level 3.
There will be two technology previews shown. The first one will use the Silverlight player to decode the 3D content and dynamically apply anaglyph (red-cyan) transformations to the video. The video will play back on a conventional display using red-cyan glasses. The 2nd demo will use Silverlight to play the video without transformation and output to a Panasonic 3D plasma display. THX Media Director was instrumental in making the 2nd demo possible. Here is a diagram of the demo flow:
The interest in 3D delivery for movie experiences is just beginning and Silverlight with Smooth Streaming is well positioned to help drive these experiences to the next level.
Additionally, we are previewing 1080p H.264 playback on an Intel Atom-based Netbook using hardware accelerated decoding. The video looks gorgeous thanks to the hardware acceleration support in Silverlight and the built in ION GPU. Also, stay tuned next week, where we’ll be announcing even more amazing things happening at NAB. See you there at Booth #SL220.
Earlier this week I finished reading ASP.NET MVC in Action written by Jeffrey Palermo, Ben Scheirman and Jimmy Bogard. I came across several good reviews about this book so I finally decided to give a read.
This book is not just about the API’s of the ASP.NET MVC framework but also about good design principles for creating long-lived web applications. When you’re not familiar with the S.O.L.I.D. principles and also want to learn about the very basics of Domain-Driven Design in the context of web applications, then this book is definitely for you. For me personally, being indoctrinated with this stuff for quite some time now, I didn’t pick up that many new things except for some of the ins and outs of the ASP.NET MVC framework.
Nonetheless, I strongly believe that this kind of books are still highly needed to raise the bar of quality in the .NET community. Practices like unit testing, continuous integration, DRY, etc. are sadly enough not part of the mainstream yet. The authors also had the courage to provide an entire chapter where they explore other MVC frameworks like MonoRail and Ruby on Rails which, from my point of view, adds tremendous value to the awareness of the unsuspecting .NET developer.
The first three chapters provide an in dept overview of the parts that constitute the MVC pattern, namely the Model, the View and the Controller. I must say that I’m still not a big fan of the way ASP.NET MVC passes a dictionary of data to its views. I know that you don’t have to use it this way and that a single strongly typed model can be passed to the view. But the presence of a dictionary for me is just a too big a risk that can easily result in creating a mess.
Chapter 5 provides a solid overview of the routing capabilities of the .NET framework including some nice examples. Chapter 6 contains information on how to extend ASP.NET MVC using controller factories, action filters, custom view engines, etc. … . Chapter 7 discusses how to leverage view helpers and creating partial views which I find are quite important features for composing scalable web applications.
Chapter 8 is the one I skimmed through very quickly as it shows how to use existing ASP.NET features with ASP.NET MVC. The part on using existing ASP.NET server controls is totally unnecessary and although you can pull it off in a couple of cases, I advise you to not apply these techniques in a production application.
Chapter 9 shows how to use AJAX in ASP.NET MVC. Pretty basic examples there.
Chapter 10 talks about deployed and contains some interesting ideas on how to use MsBuild, NAnt, Rake, … for automatically deploying a web application into a testing and/or production environment including configuration and environmental setup.
As already mentioned, chapter 11 shows some basic features of other MVC frameworks. In the last two chapters, the authors provide some best practices and recipes for ASP.NET MVC.
As I already mentioned, if you’re only goal is to get up to speed with the API of ASP.NET MVC then I guess there are better resources out there. For that reason I also bought the Mastering ASP.NET MVC 2.0 series on TekPub to fill in the potential gaps and also to learn more about the new stuff in ASP.NET MVC 2.0.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. If I have to give one suggestion for improvement, then I would advocate to add more cohesion to the book. I feel that some topics are scattered all over the place. For example, the use of Castle validators is discussed in two different chapters in the book with some degree of overlap. If only one part of the book was devoted to validation, then its far more easier to go back there for future reference.
I noticed that a second edition of ASP.NET MVC in Action is already available as an early access edition. While looking at the table of contents, some of the content from the first edition has certainly been moved around which I consider to be a good thing. I also hope that the second edition will also include some comparisons with features from Fubu MVC and OpenRasta.
Until next time
The ASPxPivotGrid is coming out with a very useful horizontal scrollbar feature that gives you more screen space and removes the need to use the browser’s horizontal scrollbar.
Here’s the details of the new property and it’s behavior:
- A new Boolean property was added, ASPxPivotGrid.OptionsView.ShowHorzScrollBar to the ASPxPivotGrid for v2010.1 release.
- The horizontal scrollbar will not be automatically shown because the default value is set to False. This way, your users will not be surprised by a new horizontal scrollbar when you upgrade to v2010.1.
- Setting ShowHorzScrollBar property to True helps you to reduce the pivot width and show the horizontal scrollbar. So, if the ASPxPivotGrid.Width property is set up to a value other than zero then the final pivot grid width is restricted to this value and the pivot grid can allow horizontal scrolling.
However, if the ASPxPivotGrid.Width is set to zero and the ASPxPivotGrid.OptionsView.ShowHorzScrollBar is set to True, then the horizontal scrollbar will be shown in a disabled mode.
Check out this image to see how much space you’ll be saving with the new ASPxPivotGrid’s horizontal scroll bar (click image to see larger version):
Then tell you’re users the good news, “I just saved a ton of screen real estate with the ASPxPivotGrid!” [Ok, bad commercial pun :)]
I’d love to hear your feedback. Drop me a line below if you’re looking forward to the ASPxPivotGrid’s horizontal scrollbar.
DXperience? What's That?
DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/