user interface

Multiple ways to open PowerShell in the current Explorer window

Posted on October 14, 2008. Filed under: explorer, powershell, right click, user interface, vista, windows |

These techniques are generic and can be used for other items like command prompt as well. A word of caution, everything given below involves fiddling with the registry so please backup your system’s registry or create a restore point before trying this out.

1) Adding it to Vista Explorer’s toolbar:

image

This is the most convenient one in my opinion, but requires most work to enable it.

Firstly, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\FolderTypes\{7d49d726-3c21-4f05-99aa-fdc2c9474656}

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Silverlight 2.0 Beta-1 now available, version 1.0 ported to Nokia mobiles

Posted on March 5, 2008. Filed under: expression blend, microsoft, nokia, silverlight, user interface, xaml |

Microsoft has just released highly anticipated first beta of Silverlight here. The development tools for visual  studio 2008 can be downloaded from here. Tutorials are also available on the same site.

This link reports that Silverlight is now also available on the Nokia mobile devices (specifically S60 on Symbian OS, as well as for Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets). It seems really strange that silverlight wasn’t ported to window mobile devices first. There is a version available for window mobiles as well. I hope it is better than flash lite which really sucks.

If the performance of Silverlight is anywhere near flash then it could be a huge success for Microsoft as .Net as a development platform is already very popular and developers can use their existing skills to create better web experiences. Also IronPython and IronRuby (two of the Silverlight programming languages) are much better (and faster?) languages than Actionscript and .Net provides a much bigger library set.

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Setting up BlazeDS with Flex

Posted on March 2, 2008. Filed under: adobe, flex, java, open source, software, tomcat, user interface |

 

Let me give some introduction first.

BlazeDS is a server-based Java remoting and web messaging technology that allows to connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR rich Internet applications (RIA). Because of its open licensing, BlazeDS is not precluded from being used with other client platforms, such as JavaScript/AJAX. (wikipedia)

Adobe Flex is a collection of technologies released by Adobe Systems for the development and deployment of cross platform, rich Internet applications based on the proprietary Adobe Flash platform. The initial release in March 2004 by Macromedia included a software development kit, an IDE, and a J2EE integration application known as Flex Data Services. Since Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005, subsequent releases of Flex no longer require a license for Flex Data Services, which has become a separate product rebranded as LiveCycle Data Services. (wikipedia)

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Tabs for windows explorer

Posted on December 1, 2007. Filed under: tabs, user interface, vista, windows, XP |

QT Tab Bar is a new software that I have come across that alows you to have tabs on windows explorer.

Untitled

It integrates very well in the windows interface and adds features that are normally associated to a web browser like firefox. When you middle click on a folder it opens in a new tab, middle click opens a tab and it also stores a history for tabs.

You can optionally make many more changes to the explorer making more usable and easier to navigate.

The download link is on this page.

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Creating a User Interface in Ruby using WPF

Posted on October 9, 2007. Filed under: ruby, user interface, windows, wpf, xaml | Tags: , , , , , , |

Let me first explain what is WPF?

WPF is the graphical subsystem if the .NET 3.0 framework and it is there to take the place of window forms which we used with earlier versions of .NET

So what’s so great about WPF?

Actually WPF is has its roots in DirectX API so you can easily create 2D and 3D interfaces in it without putting ant load on the processor. Also it is vector based and stores the information for the generating the UI in separate XAML files. So we have logical separation of a control from its appearance.

Further details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Presentation_Foundation

The following are the requirements for running this example:

  • rubyclr gem. Use gem install rubyclr -y
  • .NET framework 3.0

In this example I will creating a creating a textarea along with a button, trapping the events on the button and logging it inside the textarea .

Here is the code for the xaml file. Store this file with filename ui.xaml. This file contains the UI for the application.

   1: <Window
   2: xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
   3: xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml">
   4: <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot">
   5: <Button Margin="8,0,8,5.723" VerticalAlignment="Bottom" Content="Button" Name="the_button"/>
   6: <TextBox Margin="8,8,8,38" Name="the_text_box"/>
   7: </Grid>
   8: </Window>
 

Next I will be creating the codebehind file in ruby. Here in this file we have all the application logic. Save this file as logic.rb.

   1: # load the libraries
   2: require 'rubygems'
   3: require 'wpf'
   4: # load the xaml file
   5: window = XamlReader.Load(System::IO::File.open_read('ui.xaml'))
   6:  
   7: # get the controls
   8: button = window.find_name('the_button')
   9: txt_box = window.find_name('the_text_box')
  10: # trap the mouse enter event
  11: button.mouse_enter do |sender, args|
  12: txt_box.text += "MOUSE ENTERED\n"
  13: end
  14: # trap the mouse leave event
  15: button.mouse_leave do |sender, args|
  16: txt_box.text += "MOUSE LEFT\n"
  17: end
  18: # trap the mouse click event
  19: button.click do |sender, args|
  20: txt_box.text += "MOUSE CLICKED\n"
  21: end
  22: # run the application (most important)
  23: Application.new.run(window)

The code given above explains itself.

We are first loading the ui.xaml file and then finding the two controls in the lines 8, 9.

Then the three event handlers are declared in lines 11, 14, 19. So whenever the mouse events are fired the corresponding event if traced into the textbox.

And here is the output.

image

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