Showing posts with label Javascript. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Javascript. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A glimpse at how Infragistics uses a C# to JavaScript transcompiler, powered by "Roslyn" (.NET Compiler Platform)

Infragistics - Mike Dour's Blog - Client-Side Excel Library CTP

If you haven’t seen it already, we recently released a 100% JavaScript-only, client-side Excel library for Ignite UI and I’m super excited about it. It allows you to read, write, and manipulate Excel workbooks. You can even create and solve formulas, all from inside the browser!! It was released in 14.2 as a CTP so we could get your feedback on it, but we will be releasing a complete RTM version in 15.1. You can find information and a live sample of it here. Definitely check out the overview page, which is packed with important information for using this library.

But that’s not even the coolest part. Not only did we deliver a purely JavaScript library for Excel workbooks, but it has all the features of our existing .NET Excel libraries. Did we re-write the entire C# Excel library in JavaScript to provide this level of feature parity? We could have, but it would have taken a lot of effort getting there not to mention the ongoing challenge of maintaining feature parity between the versions and addressing bugs in both implementations. So we came up with something better. We built a C# to JavaScript source-to-source compiler, or transcompiler. We have actually been using this for a few releases now to deliver some of the Ignite UI controls, but it was missing support for some constructs being used in the C# Excel library. So we really beefed up its language support as well as changed its semantic analysis engine. Now based on Microsoft’s .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") for C# semantic analysis, our transcompiler is able to read in our existing C# Excel library and generate semantically equivalent JavaScript code. There are still a few rough edges to smooth out, but we are currently addressing these issues to deliver the highest quality Excel library we can in the next release.

Unfortunately, one of those rough edges was in documentation. ...


So hopefully this can help you get started with the Client-Side Excel library preview. There are a few things that don’t work properly yet (such as loading files with dates), but what we have provided should give you a good sense of what’s to come in 15.1. Please let us know what you think and if there are any pain points with the API or ways you think we can do better to make this library as easy as possible to use. Let us know at We look forward to your feedback. Thanks!

While you guys know I have something of a fanboy crush on Infragistics (come on, I've been using their stuff, in many forms since its VBX days... ;) that's not why I'm blogging about this. What I wanted to highlight is how they are using .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") as their transcompiler to take the C# and generate JavaScript...

"...We built a C# to JavaScript source-to-source compiler, or transcompiler. We have actually been using this for a few releases now to deliver some of the Ignite UI controls, but it was missing support for some constructs being used in the C# Excel library. So we really beefed up its language support as well as changed its semantic analysis engine. Now based on Microsoft’s .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") for C# semantic analysis, our transcompiler is able to read in our existing C# Excel library and generate semantically equivalent JavaScript code. ..."

That's just cool. And something I wonder if they will productize? (If so, that wouldn't be cheap as I bet that's some serious IP). Still the fact they even share that this is some of their secret sauce is nice (see, I'm not a fanboy for just any reason.... ;)

What if Windows 3.1 had a baby with Windows 95? Windows 93 (and you can play with in your browser...)

OSNews - Try Windows 93 Today

What if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

Try Windows 93: The Hilarious OS That Never Was

If you didn’t live through the jump, it can be hard to describe the cultural revolution between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. Its taskbar ussured in an era of “multitasking”; its built-in web browser put the world’s information at your fingertips; its “Start” menu, complete with its own ~$10 million Rolling Stones song, was pure optimism rendered in bits.

But what if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

The experience of the OS is hard to put into words--it’s Windows imagined in some parallel universe, with plenty of retro homages to the weird OS quirks of yore.


It’s surprising just how deep you can dig in Windows 93, thanks to content like GameBoy emulators and pixel editors that have actually been pulled from various sources across the web. I spent a shameful amount of time giggling nostalgically, until suddenly, a beach ball of death showed up on my screen. At first, I figured it was just another one of Windows 93’s jokes until, moments later, Chrome froze and then crashed.




What is very ironic is that, for me at least, the site seems to work better in Chrome. :/

Thursday, October 09, 2014

node.js as a desktop app runtime, to build "desktop" apps with it? node-webkit...

[DebuggerStepThrough] - Desktop applications with nodejs! if winforms and wpf aren't dead already!

I used to disfavor javascript over other languages because it wasn't type-safe, it was hard to refactor, hard to write tests, find usages in the code, ...and the list goes on...

The past few years though, some amazing things have happened in the world that now make javascript an amazing language!


And my personal favorite - NodeJS! This tool is amazing! It can do so many things from being a fully functional and scalable backend server to a framework for writing desktop applications.

While looking into the code of PopcornTime I realized it was written in nodejs, with a framework called node-webkit. ...


The steps taken to create a simple desktop application with node-webkit are super-simple! (and easier than building a desktop application with any other language i've tried!)


Start building your application just like you would a website. You can use the browser just like you're used to, to see your work.

When you want to start accessing node modules, you'll need to start running it with node-webkit.

In order to do this, just run the node-webkit executable from the command line with your main html file as a parameter.

C:\Utilities\node-webkit\nw.exe index.html



Call all Node.js modules directly from DOM and enable a new way of writing applications with all Web technologies


node-webkit is an app runtime based on Chromium and node.js. You can write native apps in HTML and JavaScript with node-webkit. It also lets you call Node.js modules directly from the DOM and enables a new way of writing native applications with all Web technologies.

It's created and developed in the Intel Open Source Technology Center.

Introduction to node-webkit (slides)
Creating Desktop Applications With node-webkit
WebApp to DesktopApp with node-webkit (slides)
Essay on the history and internals of the project


  • Apps written in modern HTML5, CSS3, JS and WebGL.
  • Complete support for Node.js APIs and all its third party modules.
  • Good performance: Node and WebKit runs in the same thread: Function calls are made straightforward; objects are in the same heap and can just reference each other;
  • Easy to package and distribute apps.
  • Available on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows


I'm not jumping out of my WPF world for this, nor do I see it taking on the future of Universal App's, but I still think this is a pretty cool project and idea. Security scares me a little, but hey, it always scares me a little... lol

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

[Cool Webook of the Day] "Eloquent JavaScript"

Eloquent JavaScript

This is a book about JavaScript, programming, and the wonders of the digital. You can read it online here, and a paper version is being worked on.


Written by Marijn Haverbeke.

Licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. All code in this book may also be considered licensed under an MIT license.


A couple of my feeds mentioned this today, so I thought I'd take a look. Glad I did. This looks like an awesome book, while initially focused on the beginner dev, quickly it becomes something for the new, or returning, to JavaScript dev. And since js is the currently shiny...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Web Camps Training Kit, March 2014 Edition

Microsoft Downloads - Web Camps Training Kit - March 2014

Version: March 2014

Date Published: 4/29/2014

WebCampsTK-Package-WebCampsTrainingKit.exe, 114 KB

The kit includes all the content presented around the world at the recent Web Camps events; presentations, demos, labs and more. Inside the new kit you’ll find content that covers the following technologies:

  • ASP.NET 4.5
  • jQuery
  • SignalR
  • Entity Framework
  • Visual Studio 2013
  • Internet Explorer 11 and HTML5
  • Building apps for Office with HTML5
  • Cloud application services




Internal or external, if you're doing any kind of Microsoft Web Stack Training, presenting or attending, this is a great resource...


Related Past Post XRef:
Web Camps Training Kit Updated
“Web Camps Training Kit” Don’t re-invent, re-use…

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"Location Intelligence for Windows Store" the free eBook...

Ricky's Bing Maps Blog - Free eBook: Location Intelligence for Windows Store


I am happy to announce the release of my  book “Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps”. This is available as a free eBook. Yes I said “free”, as in “Free beer”.

Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create Windows Store apps.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8.1. The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store Apps and the various location related tools available such as sensors and the Bing Maps SDK. The second half of the book focuses on creating several useful location intelligent apps. All code samples are provided in JavaScript, C# and Visual Basic.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started
  • Chapter 2: The Sensor and Location Platform
  • Chapter 3: Bing Maps JavaScript API
  • Chapter 4: Bing Maps Native API
  • Chapter 5: Bing Maps REST Services
  • Chapter 6: Bing Spatial Data Services
  • Chapter 7: Working with Spatial Data
  • Chapter 8: Drawing on the Map
  • Chapter 9: Creating an Augmented Reality App
  • Chapter 10: Creating a Templatable Compass Control
  • Chapter 11: Cross Platform Development

... [Click through for the download links]

At 421 pages this is not your slim eBook... :)


From the PDF;

Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create applications targeting Windows 8. You may well be reading this book for this very reason.

With Windows 8 you have the ability to create applications that reach across many platforms such as desktops, laptops and tablet devices. A Windows Store app is a new type of application that runs on Windows 8 devices. Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Windows Store app has a single, chrome-less window that fills the entire screen by default, so there are no distractions. In addition to this, these apps can support different layouts and views to create a fluid experience across different screen sizes and orientations. Several different types of input sources are supported, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard input. It’s also possible for apps to communicate with each other by sharing content in a standard way. Instead of icons, Window Store apps uses live tiles which can be used to display useful, at-a-glance data to the user, without the need for the user to open up the app. Windows Store apps can be written in several different languages including JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, C++ and C. Apps are distributed through the Windows Store in Windows 8 and gives you the ability to make your app available to millions of people around the world.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8. The first half of the book focuses on learning what tools are available for creating location aware Window Store applications. The second half of the book uses a more hands on approach by demonstrating how to develop complete end-to-end location aware solutions.

Who this book is for?
This book is aimed at developers who are being introduced to creating location based Windows Store apps using both Web (HTML, CSS3, JavaScript) and Managed (C#, Visual Basic) programming languages. Previous knowledge on creating location based application is not required or needed and all topics are explained from the ground up. This will including the use of Bing Maps and sensors such as the accelerometer, compass, gyro, and location services. It will be assumed that you have a working knowledge of one of these programming languages; JavaScript, C# or Visual Basic. Experience creating Windows Store applications will help but is not required.

Chapter Overview
In the first half of this book each chapter builds on top of the previous such that by the time you reach the end chapter 7 you will have gained a good working knowledge on how to use all the tools available for creating location aware Windows Store app. The chapters in the second half of the book are independent of each other. Each of these chapters show how to create a complete end to end application. If you wish to skip between these chapters, you can do so without missing out on any content that might be required


Thursday, February 06, 2014

JSON Debugger Visualizer coming in VS 2013 Update 2

Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management - JSON Debugger Visualizer in Visual Studio 2013

We are proud to announce the addition of JSON Visualizer to Visual Studio debugger in the Update 2 for Visual Studio 2013. JavaScript Object Notation or JSON is a popular format for transmitting data between server and client applications. The new debugger string visualizer displays JSON encoded strings in a treeview control and allows meaningful user interaction like search and highlight, copy key value pairs and copy path.

Getting to the JSON Visualizer

The new JSON visualizer will appear alongside other string visualizers currently available in Visual Studio. These visualizers are accessible through the various places where you can inspect variables, e.g. magnifying glass icon in a DataTip, in a debugger variables window (Autos, Locals, or Watch), or in a QuickWatch dialog box.




Nice! This is going to come in real handy...


Related Past Post XRef:
Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP 1 now available [NOTE: This is NOT Go-Live!]

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Siena says, "Make Merry with Metro App Building with this Metro App"

Microsoft's 'Project Siena': A Metro-Style app for creating Windows 8 apps

Codenamed "Project Siena,' the "Metro app that creates apps" (as the folks at dubbed it) is available in the Windows Store as a free download.

According to the description, Siena's main target audience is "business experts, business analysts, consultants and other app imagineers."

Examples of the kinds of Metro-Style/Windows Store/modern apps that can be built using Siena include apps for navigating "media-rich product catalogs," apps for resolving customer-service issues, and apps that make use of photos, videos, pen and voice notes, tied back in to an "asset database."

"Siena works well with corporate and web data and media content: SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and the gamut of RESTful services," Microsoft's app-description notes.


Microsoft Project Siena (Beta)


Learn More

With Project Siena, you can create powerful, highly interactive, device-first, and cloud-connected apps in minutes or hours—as easily as editing a document.

Help Topics

New to Project Siena? No problem. Learn how to connect to your data, work with visuals, and author expressions.

Sample Apps

View and download sample apps, learn best practices, and see how other app builders are using Project Siena to build visually stunning interactive apps today.


Get the latest from the Project Siena team, including inside tips and tricks, sample patterns, and videos.

Microsoft "Project Siena" (Windows Store)


Microsoft Project Siena (code name) is the beta release of a new technology for business experts, business analysts, consultants and other app imagineers. Now, without any programming, you can create powerful apps for the device-first and cloud-connected world, with the potential to transform today’s business processes.

Apps to explore media-rich product catalogs and create ensembles that together serve a customer’s needs

  • Apps used on the spot to resolve customer service bottlenecks and logistics exceptions, with the custom intelligence to help the user make local trade-offs
  • Apps for auditing and inspecting a manufacturing facility through photos, videos and pen and voice notes, all tied to an asset database

Siena apps are as easy as editing a document. You place some visuals on a canvas. You hook them up to your data. You customize how your app looks and works. Then, if you need special logic and intelligence, you write some Excel-like expressions. You can use your app immediately, or share it with colleagues or the world.

With Siena, you can conceptualize, validate and build your app ideas almost as fast as you can come up with them. And if your needs change tomorrow, updating your app is no problem. Open it. Change it. Share it again, and you’re off to do business.

Siena works well with corporate and web data and media content: SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and the gamut of RESTful services.

Siena apps are just HTML5 and JavaScript and are deployed and managed like any other Windows 8.x app. In fact, developers can open them up, see what’s there and, if needed, extend them in their favorite programming tools.

Install Siena, watch one of the how-to videos at, and then build the app that you’ve been imagining... in under an hour.


  • Conceptualize, validate and build your app ideas as easily as editing a document
  • Connect to corporate and web data
  • Compose rich interactive visuals to create custom, unique apps
  • Add business logic and intelligence using the power of Excel-like expressions
  • Use the app yourself, share with colleagues or with the world


Looks like something fun to play with over the holiday's... I wonder if I can convince my wife to build an app? Now THAT would be a true test... (err... um... not of my patience... no... never that... ;)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bing Code Snippets - C#, JavaScript, HTML and XML code snippets for Bing dev's

Visual Studio Gallery - Bing Code Snippets

A collection of C#, JavaScript, HTML and XML code snippets for Bing developers.


The Bing Code Snippets package uses the Code Snippets technology of Visual Studio to provide blocks of code that you can insert into your C# or JavaScript Windows Store applications. These snippets support the following Bing technologies:

  • Translator control
  • Translator API
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control
  • Speech Recognition control
  • Speech Synthesis (Text to Speech)


The Bing Code Snippets package requires Visual Studio 2013 on Windows 8.1. In addition, working with Bing Translator, OCR, and Speech Recognition technologies require that you download the relevant controls and acquire credentials from the Windows Azure Data Marketplace.


If you're doing, or thinking of doing bing dev, I think these snippets might come in real handy...

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

200 C# Video Tutorials? 200 VB? JavaScript? PHP? C++? Python? All that and more on 'thenewboston'

thenewboston - Videos & Tutorials




Videos & Tutorials - C#


About thenewboston

How it all began...

My name is Bucky Roberts. I grew up in northern New York until I was 21 and then I moved down to Raleigh, North Carolina, where I live now. I began going to college down here but soon dropped out once I realized it wasn’t for me. Sure, I was interested in computers and web design, but most of the courses I was taking in college were totally unrelated. I dropped out figuring that I would be able to learn more on my own than any college could ever teach me. So I began reading computer books. A lot.

Shortly after reading a few books on web design, I was hooked. I wanted to know everything and anything about it. I was designing websites any chance I could. I spent almost all of my savings buying more books on different programming languages and other nerdy computer gear. I was addicted. The whole concept of computer and programming fascinated me. As I continued to study more and more, I began to realize that most of the books seemed to lack excitement. The material was useful, but they were far from entertaining. I tried to look online for a more interesting source of learning but to no success. That’s when I discovered YouTube.

My Youtube Experience

Sure, I’ve heard of YouTube before. Even watched videos on there sometimes. Most of them were music videos and of crazy cats, but I began to notice that some users were posting videos about computer topics as well. I soon found out that people were able to record their computer screen without a camcorder at all. I later found out that you could do this for free! Lucky for me, having spent all my money, and curious about anything computer related, I decided to give it a try. I tested out my new software by making some tutorials on web design. I created a YouTube account and decided to name it “thenewboston”. Sounded like a cool name at the time, right?


I soon realized that these videos were something more than just another cat video on YouTube. They were a gateway to a higher education, for free. While Universities and Corporations were charging like crazy for people to receive an education, people could come and watch my videos and get the same information for no cost at all. I decided that this is the way it would be. An education should be free for everyone who desires one. It should not be a business. And quickly, that became my goal.

The future of thenewboston

So here I am. 4 years / 178,000 Subscribers / 53 Million views later. I have expanded out of my bedroom to an office in a small town nearby. I have used my personal funds as well as the donations from my website to hire a two additional people to begin making tutorials, as well as purchase better equipment in order to make better quality videos. All of this, yet the costs remains the same for you all, free.


So this is my promise to you all. I will continue to work each and every day of my life until this goal is met. I will never sell out to a bigger corporation and I will never charge a single penny for any of these videos. There are some things that are much more important than money, and I believe that this is one of those things.

So to everyone, welcome to the beginning. The beginning of a new kind of education. Welcome to the beginning of an education revolution.

Welcome, to thenewboston.

This site came across my stream today and at first I wasn't so sure about it. I didn't really get why it was cool. Then I started looking at it a little longer. Slowly, slowly it began to dawn on my that this was actually a pretty awesome resource, all done my one guy and all free...

Then I read the About. NOW I really see the awesome that is this site. Drop by and check it out. I bet you'll find a great resource just waiting for you...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Internet Archive's Historical Software Archive = Retro to the Max Software in your Browser Collection (Adventure, WordStar, Visicalc, The Hobbit and more)

PC World - Historical Software Archive lets you use vintage software in your browser

The Internet Archive’s new Historical Software Archive brings old software to your browser through the magic of JSMESS emulation.

The Internet Archive has protected and preserved old software for a while now; archivist Jason Scott claimed back in April that the organization possessed the largest historical software collection in the world.

Software is so transient, though. It’s sometimes hard to get a program from 2003 to run on a modern machine, let alone a program from 1983. For most people it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to, as the Internet Archive puts it, “track down the hardware and media to run [old software], or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser.”


Internet Archive Blogs - Microcomputer Software Lives Again, This Time in Your Browser

The miracle is now so commonplace that it’s invisible: we have the ability to watch video, listen to music, and read documents right in our browsers. You might get a hankering to hear some old time radio, or classic television programs, or maybe read up some classic children’s books, you’re just a couple clicks away from having them right there, in front of you. Not so with classic software. To learn and experience older programs, you have to track down the hardware and media to run it, or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser. Unlike films or video or audio, it was a slower, more involved process to experience software.

Until now.

JSMESS is a Javascript port of the MESS emulator, a mature and breathtakingly flexible computer and console emulator that has been in development for over a decade and a half by hundreds of volunteers. The MESS emulator runs in a large variety of platforms, but is now able to run embedded in most modern browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.


Today, the Internet Archive announces the Historical Software Archive, a collection of prominent and historically notable pieces of software, able to be run immediately in your browser.  They range from pioneering applications to obscure forgotten utilities, and from peak-of-perfection designs to industry-crashing classics.


Historical Software Archive

Welcome to Historical Software Collection

This collection contains selected historically important software packages from the Internet Archive's software archives. Through the use of in-browser emulators, it is possible to try out these items and experiment with using them, without the additional burdens of installing emulator software or tracking down the programs. Many of these software products were the first of their kind, or utilized features and approaches that have been copied or recreated on many programs since. (historic software, vintage software, antique software)

A Guided Tour Through the Collection

For this initial collection, we've hand-selected a few dozen ground-breaking and historically important software products, many of whom started entire industries or pioneered new genres of programs. While they lack the later features and graphics of modern counterparts, these programs were either big sellers at the time or recognized as first of a kind. They are now a single click away in a browser.

Getting to Work

Productivity software has been around a long time, and two of the most prominent examples are Visicalc and Wordstar. Visicalc brought the wonder of the electronic spreadsheet to the world, changing the business world forever. WordStar was one of the leading Word Processing software programs before fading away in the late 1980s. As a bonus WordStar is presented on the now-long-gone Osborne-1, one of the first "Luggable" computers to come out (it promised to fit under an airplane seat!). Check them out in monochrome glory (but don't put any major work in it).

The Road to Adventure

Adventure games are a staple of early home computer software and these examples let you play some of the most famous of these virtual worlds. Akalabeth was the first major computer game by a young Richard Garriott, alias Lord British. Created when he was a teenager and inspired by many games of D&D, it was his first work in a lifetime of RPG gamemaking, including the Ultima series. The Hobbit, a legendary adventure game for the ZX Spectrum, had a level of complication and subtlety beneath the surface that was years ahead of its time - characters lived their own lives, with you sometimes stumbling on the results of their battles or suffering the consequences of their meddling. Mystery House by Sierra On-line was the first graphical adventure for the Apple II, and this version is the public domain anniversary re-issue by the company to celebrate their anniversary.



OMG, this is officially THE Cool Thing of the Day! (And it's kiss my weekend goodbye! ;)


Monday, October 21, 2013

bing up your app with the new Bing Speech Recognition Control and Updated Bing OCR, Translator Controls

Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog - New Bing Speech Recognition Control and Updated Bing OCR and Translator Controls on Windows Azure Marketplace

At the BUILD conference in June, we announced three broad categories of capabilities the new Bing platform would deliver to developers: Services to bring entities and the world’s knowledge to your applications, services to enable your applications to deliver more natural and intuitive user experiences, and services which bring an awareness of the physical world into your applications. Earlier this month we updated the Bing Maps SDKs for Windows Store Apps for Windows 8 and 8.1. Building on this momentum, today we are announcing the release of the new Bing Speech Recognition Control for Windows 8 and 8.1, and updates to the Bing Optical Character Recognition Control for Windows 8.1 and Bing Translator Control for Windows 8.1 to continue to deliver on our effort to support developers to enable more knowledgeable, natural, and aware applications.

Read on for more details on the updates we’re announcing today, and then check out the Bing developer center for other useful resources, including code samples, for building smarter, more useful applications.

Hands free experiences – Speech Recognition for Windows 8.0 and 8.1

Whether for accessibility, safety, or simple convenience, being able to use your voice to interact hands-free with your device is increasingly important. By enabling devices to recognize speech, users can interact more naturally with their devices to dictate emails, search for the latest news, navigate their apps, and more. If you are a Windows Phone developer, you may already be familiar with the speech recognition inside Windows Phone: the user taps a microphone icon, speaks into the mic, and the text shows up on screen. Now, that same functionality is available on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT through the free Bing Speech Recognition Control.

In as little as ten lines of C# + XAML or JavaScript + HTML, you can put a SpeechRecognizerUX control in your application, along with a microphone button and a TextBlock, and the code to support them. When the user clicks or taps the mic, they will hear a blip, or "earcon", to signal that it's time to speak, and an audio meter will show their current volume level. While speaking, the words detected will be shown in the control. When they stop speaking, or hit the Stop button on the speech control, they will get a brief animation and then their words will appear in the TextBlock.




bing Dev Center - Speech

Getting started

Voice Commands

Lets users open and navigate your app with their voices.

    Speech Recognition

    Transcribes user speech into text.

      Speech Synthesis

      Also known as Text to Speech, speaks to users in a natural sounding voice.

        Download the Speech Recognition Control for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
        Download the Windows 8.1 SDK to get Speech Synthesis for Windows 8.1.
        Download the Windows Phone 8 SDK to get all three capabilities for Windows Phone 8.


        bing Dev Center - Optical Character Recognition Control

        Getting started

        Integrate Microsoft’s robust cloud-based optical character recognition capabilities into your Windows 8.1 store apps in XAML and C# with the Bing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control. The control detects printed text from an image captured by an app through the device camera.

          To get started:


          bing Dev Center - Translator Control

          Getting started

          Get easy access to robust, cloud-based, automatic translation between more than 40 languages with the Bing Translator Control and the Microsoft Translator API.

            To get started:


            I saw this a Build and loved the idea of being able to leverage the power of bing and the machine intelligence and learning behind it. Cloud power baby! (Of course you need to be connected to make it work, but who isn't connected these days?)

            Wednesday, October 02, 2013

            Can you Kinect me now... Using the Kinect for Windows SDK v1.8's JavaScript API to add voice recognition to your web app...

            Kinect for Windows Dev - Using Kinect Webserver to Expose Speech Events to Web Clients

            In our 1.8 release, we made it easy to create Kinect-enabled HTML5 web applications. This is possible because we added an extensible webserver for Kinect data along with a Javascript API which gives developers some great functionality right out of the box:

            • Interactions : hand pointer movements, press and grip events useful for controlling a cursor, buttons and other UI
            • User Viewer: visual representation of the users currently visible to Kinect sensor. Uses different colors to indicate different user states
            • Background Removal: “Green screen” image stream for a single person at a time
            • Skeleton: standard skeleton data such as tracking state, joint positions, joint orientations, etc.
            • Sensor Status: Events corresponding to sensor connection/disconnection

            This is enough functionality to write a compelling application but it doesn’t represent the whole range of Kinect sensor capabilities. In this article I will show you step-by-step how to extend the WebserverBasics-WPF sample (see C# code in CodePlex  or documentation in MSDN) available from Kinect Toolkit Browser to enable web applications to respond to speech commands, where the active speech grammar is configurable by the web client.

            A solution containing the full, final sample code is available on CodePlex. To compile this sample you will also need Microsoft.Samples.Kinect.Webserver (available via CodePlex and Toolkit Browser) and Microsoft.Kinect.Toolkit components (available via Toolkit Browser).


            So, What Functionality Are We Implementing?


            More specifically, on the server side we will:

            1. Create a speech recognition engine
            2. Bind the engine to a Kinect sensor’s audio stream whenever sensor gets connected/disconnected
            3. Allow a web client to specify the speech grammar to be recognized
            4. Forward speech recognition events generated by engine to web client
            5. Registering a factory for the speech stream handler with the Kinect webserver


            While I'll also be highlighting this on the Channel 9 Coding4Fun Kinect Gallery next week, I thought it extra cool...

            Tuesday, October 01, 2013

            Lets Get Physical [JavaScript] - PhysicsJS

            i-programmer - PhysicsJS - Physics In Pure JavaScript

            PhysicsJS may only be in alpha, but it's already very impressive. You need to see it in action and when you do you will probably end up writing some app or other. It's not just fun - it's easy fun.

            Physics engines are fun. You set a few things up and you have a convincing animation with real world accuracy in no time at all. You get a lot of reward for very little effort. You want a bouncing ball - you got it. You want the ball to spin and rebound accurately like a ball with spin - no problem. It's great for games, presentations and serious applications but before you start thinking that the serious applications include real world simulation it is worth reminding everyone that a real-time physics engine generally cuts corners in the computation so that it look right even if it isn't 100% accurate.

            PhysicsJS isn't the only JavaScript physics engine you could try out, but it is a rare thing. It is written in JavaScript and not ported from C++ or some other language. What this means it that its API is JavaScript-oriented, not just a function call or an object-based API. If you are a JavaScript programmer this can make a lot of difference to its usability. It also makes it possible for you to extend and modify the code to make it do exactly what you want.


            It is all open source (MIT Licence), and if you really think that it's good why not help its creator "wellcaffeinated"  aka Jasper Palfree who would welcome some help. It's a new project, open sourced on the September 10th and would be a good place to get into some very nice code. This is a project worth helping to grow.



            A modular, extendable, and easy-to-use physics engine for javascript

            PhysicsJS is still under development (alpha version 0.5.1), and documentation is unfinished. Feel free to use it, just be warned that the API is in flux and better documentation is on its way! (Contributors and help needed!)


            Check out the demo page for some sweet examples of what you can do.


            • Use as an AMD Module (requireJS), or global namespace.
            • Modular! Only load what you need. The core library is only 31k minified.
            • Extendable! Don’t like the collision detection algorithm? Replace it with your own!
            • Not tied to a specific renderer. Display it in DOM, HTML5 Canvas, or whatever…
            • Easy! It’s a library written IN javascript… not C compiled into javascript. The syntax is familiar for javascript developers.
            • Extensions to support points, circles, and arbitrary convex polygons.
            • Extensions to support constant gravity, newtonian gravity, collisions, and verlet constraints.


            Even in it's "Alpha" this is seriously impressive and I spent way too much time playing with the demo's... :)

            Friday, September 27, 2013

            Cool JavaScript of the Day - The World in 1k

            Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings - The World in 1K

            Mind. Blown. (view source)

            The World in 1K

            Okay, seeing the world rotate is cool, but when you view source, like Dougal says... wow.


            Thursday, July 25, 2013

            modern.IE is OSS... The HTML/CSS/JS code scanner from Microsoft is free and OSS (oh, and the IE VM's have been updated too!)



            The modern.IE scan analyzes the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of a site or application for common coding issues. It warns about practices such as incomplete specification of CSS properties, invalid or incorrect doctypes, and obsolete versions of popular JavaScript libraries.

            It's easiest to use modern.IE by going to the modern.IE site and entering the URL to scan there. To customize the scan, or to use the scan to process files behind a firewall, you can clone and build the files from this repo and run the scan locally.

            How it works

            The modern.IE local scan runs on a system behind your firewall; that system must have access to the internal web site or application that is to be scanned. Once the files have been analyzed, the analysis results are sent back to the modern.IE site to generate a complete formatted report that includes advice on remediating any issues. The report generation code and formatted pages from the modern.IE site are not included in this repo.

            Since the local scan generates JSON output, you can alternatively use it as a standalone scanner or incorporate it into a project's build process by processing the JSON with a local script.

            The main service for the scan is in the lib/service.js file; it acts as an HTTP server. It loads the contents of the web page and calls the individual tests, located in /lib/checks/. Once all the checks have completed, it responds with a JSON object representing the results.

            Installation and configuration

            • ...



            JSON output


            Exploring IE - modern.IE updated for IE11 – Parallels offer and free VMs for download

            With the release today of the Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview for Windows 7, we’ve also updated modern.IE – a set of tools and resources that make developing for the web (and IE) just a little bit easier. We want the web to move forward. And, we want to help web developers spend more time innovating and less time testing.

            Today, we announce three new enhancements:

            1. Limited offer: 25% off Parallels Desktop 8 virtualization for Mac.

            2. New virtual machines for testing IE11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

            3. A new, free screenshot tool that lets you see how a site looks across browsers and devices.

            Additionally, the modern.IE scanner is now available open source (under Apache 2.0 license) to download from GitHub for your own projects.


            Limited offer: 25% off Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac


            IE11 Preview available on Virtual Machines

            Virtual machines have proven to be a great way for developers to test in their preferred environment. We’ve made these available across various versions – from IE6 on Windows XP to IE10 on Windows 8 and in-between. Today we’ve added new VMs for IE11:

            • Windows 8.1 Preview with IE11
            • Windows 7 with IE11 Developer Preview

            And they are available across many common virtualization platforms:

            • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
            • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 & Windows 8 Pro w/Hyper-V
            • Virtual PC for Windows 7 (note that VPC cannot run Windows 8 VMs)
            • VirtualBox on Windows , Mac OSX and Linux
            • VMWare Player for Windows and Mac OSX

            Start downloading the new VMs here.

            How your users see your site. On Android. In Safari. With an Xbox.


            That should be enough things and IE stuff to play with for a couple days at least. I wonder if there's an Azure VM in the gallery for this yet? That way we could starting playing with IE11 in just minutes...

            Sunday, June 30, 2013

            300 for 320 - 320 Windows 8.1. app and code samples, C++, C#, JavaScript, in a 300MB download... (Or get language level download or pick and choose singles)

            Windows Dev Center - Windows 8.1 app samples

            Windows 8.1 Preview Code Samples

            This sample pack includes all the app code examples developed and updated for Windows 8.1 Preview. The sample pack provides a convenient way to download all the samples at once. The samples in this sample pack are available in C#, C++, VB.NET, and JavaScript.The Windows Samples Gallery contains a variety of code samples that exercise the various new programming models, platforms, features, and components available in Windows 8.1 Preview and/or Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview. These downloadable samples are provided as compressed ZIP files that contain a Visual Studio solution (SLN) file for the sample, along with the source files, assets, resources, and metadata necessary to successfully compile and run the sample. For more information about the programming models, platforms, languages, and APIs demonstrated in this sample, please refer to the guidance, tutorials, and reference topics provided in the Windows 8.1 Preview documentation available in the Windows Developer Center. This sample is provided as-is in order to indicate or demonstrate the functionality of the programming models and feature APIs for Windows 8.1 Preview and/or Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.

            This pack may be very large and take some time to download.



            That should be enough to keep you busy over the upcoming July 4th weekend? Maybe?

            Sunday, June 23, 2013

            TypeScript Succinctly - Free [Name/email-ware] eBook

            Syncfusion - TypeScript Succinctly

            The extensive adoption of JavaScript for application development, and the ability to use HTML and JavaScript to create Windows Store apps, led Microsoft to develop TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript. Though the messiness of JavaScript causes many .NET developers to avoid the language, Microsoft's additions extend many familiar features of .NET programming to JavaScript. With TypeScript Succinctly by Steve Fenton, you will learn how TypeScript provides optional static typing and classes to JavaScript development, how to create and load modules, and how to work with existing JavaScript libraries through ambient declarations. TypeScript is even significantly integrated with Visual Studio to provide the autocompletion and type checking you are most comfortable with.

            Table of Contents

            1. Concepts in TypeScript
            2. Visual Studio
            3. Type Safety
            4. Creating New Modules
            5. Loading Modules
            6. Working with Existing JavaScript
            7. Unit Testing with TypeScript
            8. Summary
            9. Appendix A: Alternative Development Tools
            10. Appendix B: TypeScript Command Line
            11. Appendix C: External Resources



            Here's a snip from the PDF;

            Whenever the word JavaScript is mentioned to a room full of .NET developers, there are visible shudders and uncomfortable fidgeting at the prospect of writing anything in such a sloppy language. I actually love JavaScript, partly because it was the first curly-braced language that I used, but also because I have learned to use it an appropriate way. However, I can understand the reasons for its lack of popularity amongst the .NET community. If you spend most of your time writing code in C#, VB.NET, or F#, the prospect of using a language that lacks sensible autocompletion, type checking, and object-orientation is not a pleasant one—and this is where TypeScript fits perfectly into the tool belt of a .NET programmer.

            Is TypeScript the Answer?
            There are no golden bullets in the world of software development. What is certain is that JavaScript is one of the most widely adopted languages on Earth, and it isn’t likely to be disappearing any time soon, especially given its recent emergence as a high-volume web-server language under the Node.js moniker.

            TypeScript eases the pain of JavaScript development by adding some of the features that .NET developers take for granted. It is already smoothly integrated into Visual Studio, which makes it easy to use without switching development tools.

            I envisage a future where developers don’t need to write boilerplate JavaScript, not because they are using a framework that includes everything they might need to use, but because they can compose a number of small and reusable modules that take care of specific areas, like AJAX, SVG, and Canvas.

            Who is This Book For?
            I have written this book primarily for professional .NET developers. TypeScript isn’t exclusively for the .NET domain, as Microsoft has released the language under an open source license and there are plug-ins for Sublime Text, Vim, Emacs, and WebStorm, as well as Visual Studio, which has a fully featured extension. You don’t have to be a JavaScript expert to read this book, but if you would like to learn more about it, you can download

            (via Tatworth - Free E-Book - TypeScript Succinctly)


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            "Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
            jQuery Succinctly - Free eBook (reg-ware, PDF and/or Mobi)

            Monday, April 15, 2013

            Taking Facial Detection to the next level (and fulfilling my monthly cat post requirement) - Kittydar (Kitty Radar Cat Detector)

            i-programmer - Kitty Radar Cat Detector

            The Kittydar cat radar detector, written in JavaScript, is now available on Github. Kittydar, short for kitty radar, performs the vital task of identifying the locations of all the cats in an image you present to it.

            According to the project's ReadMe on Github, the way Kittydar works  is that it first chops the image up into many "windows" to test for the presence of a cat head. Within each window a gradient is computed and a Histogram of Oriented Gradients or HOG is then used as the raw feature in a learning system.

            The system is based on a neural network that has, according to the researcher Heather Arthur who created KittyDar, been pre-trained with thousands of photos of cat heads and their histograms, as well as thousands of non-cats. The neural network data is included in Kittydar in JSON format and is used to perform the classification.





            harthur / kittydar


            How it works

            Kittydar first chops the image up into many "windows" to test for the presence of a cat head. For each window, kittydar first extracts more tractable data from the image's data. Namely, it computes the Histogram of Orient Gradients descriptor of the image, using the hog-descriptor library. This data describes the directions of the edges in the image (where the image changes from light to dark and vice versa) and what strength they are. This data is a vector of numbers that is then fed into a neural network which gives a number from 0 to 1 on how likely the histogram data represents a cat.

            The neural network (the JSON of which is located in this repo) has been pre-trained with thousands of photos of cat heads and their histograms, as well as thousands of non-cats. See the repo for the node training scripts.


            Kittydar will miss cats sometimes, and sometimes classify non-cats as cats. It's best at detecting upright cats that are facing forward, but it can handle a small tilt or turn in the head.

            Kittydar isn't fast. It'll take a few seconds to find the cats in one image.

            There's lots of room for improvement, so fork and send requests.


            Come on! You KNOW that's cool!

            Monday, March 11, 2013

            55+ Windows 8 App Templates... 55 "Getting Your Win8AppDev Started Kits" now on CodePlex

            AspRangers - Free : Win 8 App Design Reference Templates

            Now to help you in Designing the Great APP( s). Here are the Design Templates which you can use :

            There are total of 55 templates.  Complete list here

            Adding few below


            CodePlex win8template Search



            Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Recipe


            Disclaimer: The template provided in the form of Visual Studio project (C# and JS) is meant to act as a starter kit for Windows 8 Store apps development. You are recommended to change or modify the look and feel to suit the branding that is required for your app. The template by no means restricts you to stick to the layout, navigation or other aspects indicated.

            Project Description

            Recipe template is an emulation of a Recipe app with placeholders for Recipe List, Recipe details data.

            You can leverage this template even if you are not building a Recipe app, but the implementation scenario is closest to the template. Please refer to the “snapshots” folder under the root template folder to get a glimpse of the template look and feel.

            Download includes the following

            • Source (C# and JS)
            • Package
            • Snapshots
            • Documentation 

            I'm not sure if these are related to these, 50! As in 50 "store ready" Windows 8 application templates (in both C#/XAML & HTML/JS)....(and free!), but this time they are all on CodePlex, and there's more, so new post! :)


            Related Past Post XRef:
            50! As in 50 "store ready" Windows 8 application templates (in both C#/XAML & HTML/JS)....(and free!)