My Favorite Books of 2014

In 2014 I read (according to GoodReads) 47 Kindle books and (according to Audible) 101 audible books.

This year I read zero books on paper.

Here is my short list of the very best:

  • Far from the Tree
  • Ulysses
  • What If?
  • The Innovators
  • The Sixth Extinction
  • Thirteen Days in October
  • The Most Dangerous Book In the World
  • The GoldFinch (and all of Donna Tartt)

But not necessarily in that order.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Best2014a

book7book6book5book4book1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Recommendation -SaneBox for Email

I don’t usually write about individual cool products, but if email is making you crazy this is a product you really want to check out. 

It is called SaneBox and it separates your mail for you automagically into inbox, BuilkMail, View Later, and News.  You can then train it which email belongs where, though it generally gets things right without training.

More, you can move email to Next Week or Tomorrow and it leaves your inbox, only to reappear when you said.

Further, you can forward to any arbitrary time/date (e.g., Tuesday.10am@sanebox.com and it will come back then.  Does a whole bunch more, is highly customizable and generally great.

Enjoy, and I think if you sign up we both get a small discount.

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Triggers in Xamarin.Forms 1.3

Yesterday, I wrote about one of the new features in Xamarin.Forms 1.3 (Technology Preview 2), Styles.  Today I’ll take a first look at Triggers.

Triggers

The key idea of Triggers is “When this happens, do that.” More specifically, “When this property has that value, then set this other property to this new value.”  Huh?  Perhaps this is easier to show than to explain.

Let’s suppose we’re building a form and we’d like to enhance the Entry control so that when the user is entering data the text color is blue, but when they are done the text color turns black.

Step one is to create a style in the Resource Dictionary and to give that Style a set of Triggers… Continued here

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Xamarin.Forms: Styles

Xamarin.Forms 1.3 is now available in Community Preview 2 (the finalInherited Styles community preview before release).  While this is not a release version, it is close and worth taking a look at.  It offers three new killer features:

  • Styles
  • Triggers
  • Behaviors

In this post, I will look at Styles.  Continued…

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Xamarin.Forms – Groups and Jump Lists

My goal is to create a simple list of Employees with the employees grouped byJump Lists the first letter of their name.  I’d also like to create a jump list to allow the user to jump to a particular letter in the list.

To see the implementation, click here

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Using Mocks to test Xamarin

Many of us believe that Unit Testing is critical in any non-trivial programming.  But Unit Testing can be difficult, especially the use of fakes.  The most common fake is a Mock; unfortunately they are also the most confusing.

There are a number of Unit Testing libraries you might use with Xamarin, but the easiest to integrate is nUnit.  For mocking, Moq makes great sense, especially as it works so well with nUnit.  Continued here…

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Xamarin.Forms And Resources

ResourcesOften, there will be multiple views in your form that share the same values (e.g., font size, color, etc.).  There are a couple ways you can handle this:

  • Create a resource dictionary and then refer to the resources using the key and the keyword StaticResource
  • Declare constants and then refer to them using x:Static

While the names are very similar, x:Static and Static resources work differently.  The former access a public static constant  (or a public static property defined by a class).  The latter, static resources, is a markup extension supported by xAML that depends on the creation of a resource dictionary.

Let’s look at how you might use both.  More…

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Yet Another Podcast #135 – Miguel de Icaza on Xamarin

Miguel de IcazaMiguel de Icaza is one of the most respected technologists in the industry, known  for starting the Gnome and Mono projects.  He is the CTO and co-founder of Xamarin and a genuinely nice person.  Today we talk about Xamarin, Xamarin.Forms and mobile programming.

 

Listen | Yet Another Podcast

 

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Get Insight into your Xamarin Application

Xamarin now offers a crash and analytics program that integrates beautifully into Instrumentationtheir applications, including Xamarin Forms.  It is very easy to get started, and in this article we’ll look at a very simple example…

…There are a few boiler plate steps to take to get Insights up and running:

  • Register an application with the Xamarin Insights Web Portal
  • Add the Xamarin Insights NuGet package to your application.
  • Logging and crash info will be sent to the web portal.  Note!! By default that info is only set when you have a wifi connection.
  • If you don’t have a connection, the data is stored locally, and synced to the portal when you connect to the Internet
  • You log in to the web portal to review the status of your application

Complete article here

 

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Xamarin: Calling Native code from a Hybrid Application

In a recent post, I described how to import code from ASP.NET MVC into a Xamarin Hybrid application.  In this post, I will show how you can reach into native code from that application.

Remember that our application has Views (.cshtml files), a Model class and a ViewModel class.  You will also remember that the UI consisted of a main page (with thumbnails of the images) and a details page with the image and associated meta-data.  We’d like to be able to tweet the image, and iOS makes this pretty simple.

 

Continued here

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New Pluralsight Course: Kendo UI and AngularJS

Incredibly pleased to announce the release of my latest KendoAngular
Pluralsight course: Kendo UI and AngularJS From Scratch

This course is targeted at Kendo UI programmers who wish to integrate Kendo UI into AngularJS programs (e.g., rather than jQuery).  In only an hour and a quarter you’ll learn all you need to know to be productive.

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Yet Another Podcast Show 134 – Scott Hunter and ASP.NET V-Next

Scott Hunter of Microsoft joins Jon Galloway and me to discuss ASP.NET V-Next.  Scott HunterIf you are a web programmer do not miss this show.

 

 

 

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