Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight


Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight, yes you read that right. Microsoft is funding the Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight project and it is being developed by Soyatec. Soyatec is a Elipse founding member and the developer of tools like eUML2, eBPMN and eFace. They already have a build for download. At the moment the download is available only for Windows. Seems like other OSes are coming. Interesting…

Cayra: A Cool WPF MindMap Tool

After I started to work on Ink Tweet, now named Twink based on popular demand, I have been reading a lot about developing in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and the software out there built using WPF. There is a whole bunch of cool stuff there. One such this is this free mind map tool: Cayra. It looks very good. It is also a nice demonstration of what can be done in WPF.

Hello Android

HelloAndroid

Well here is my obligatory Hello World app with Android SDK. I would try developing a more serious app if the phone with Android were to be released soon. For now I do have Windows Mobile phone, Cingular 8525, with .Net compact framework waiting for me to develop on. But this sure is an interesting area to keep an eye on…

New versions of desktop feed readers

I really like the Google Reader for reading feeds I am interested in. But from time to time I do check out the desktop feed readers to see if they got any cool new features.

They mostly don’t. I am still looking for a feed reader desktop or online which groups together or threads similar blog posts. I also want to be able to ignore such threads. Kind of like what Gmail has done with its conversations.

Anyway there is a new version of RSSBandit, the Dot Net based feed reader. Read more about it here. The features I like are the comment watching, option for opening tabs in background (like Firefox) and session saver like functionality.

Then the Java based BlogBridge has version 4.0 out. Performance is mentioned as a major improvement. I checked it out. It is very very fast. If the fonts looked a bit better I would go for it. The other feature I really like is complete synchronization across multiple computers including read items and preferences. The best part it that it is free.

I still will be using Google Reader though…

Why a desktop blog client?

Recently I have posted about PostXING and Windows Live Writer. A couple of people have commented in the first post asking why I need a desktop blogging tool and whether is adds new features.

Well, first I am kind of old school I like desktop software to web based ones. Don’t know exactly why. I am just more comfortable with desktop software.

Second about additional features it provides. Well, Writer, does provide a few additional functions like Auto Correct like word, spell check (though the Firefox 2.0 has a better spell check), ink support through a plugin, automatic saving of my blog post (God knows how many posts I had to rewrite or just forget about, because I accidentally closed the tab or the browser crashed)…

Another big advantage is that I can use it offline. Bangalore is notorious for its power failures. This is the time I have no TV, no Internet etc to distract me. A good time to blog…

But one thing I do not like about desktop software is that I have to install it on multiple PCs I use and configure it individually to my liking. For a blogging client this is not much of a problem but for Firefox or Outlook, synchronizing data and configuration between PCs is a big pain. That’s why I use gmail with my domain instead of Outlook though I still like Outlook better.

Windows Live Writer

I have been a long time user of BlogJet, for publishing to this blog. But unfortunately could not use it behind my company’s proxy. I recently found a open source .Net based tool. It too did not work behind the proxy. I was a bit tied up recently and a bit lazy too to try and fix it.

So I was thrilled to see that Microsoft had released a beta of its standalone blogging tool Windows Live Writer.

I was quite confident that it will work with dasBlog because it is one of the better .Net based blogging platforms, used by Microsoft guys too. Well it does. That is if you guys see this post. The GUI is very nice just like BlogJet. The image insertion features is pretty cool.

I can not wait to check it out at work. Anyway one thing I would like to see is spell check as you type. Anyway it comes with a SDK and anyone can create plugins for it. There are already a couple here by Tim Heuer.

The web preview is amazing. Look at the screenshot above. It gives an accurate view of how the post will look like in my blog with the theme and all. Cool. I have never seen such a feature in a blog editor before.

Update: Windows Live Writer works like a charm behind my company proxy. Yay! Now this is the first blogging client that has worked behind this proxy for me. I have tried out many including my favorites BlogJet and Performacing for Firefox. I have of course let the developers know about the problem here and here. Well I guess it is not always the small guys who listen to you…

Digg like sites for developers

The tech news aggregator Digg has rapidly risen in popularity in recent times eclipsing even Slashdot as the news for nerds. Just today they released V3.0 of their site where it expands from just tech news into other areas like Science, World & Business, Videos, Entertainment and Gaming. But none of these categories are related to developers and programming.

Anyway I stumbled upon a few digg clones for developers. Here they are:

There are also a few product/company related ones:

The first site dzone is from JavaLobby the popular Java site. The others belong to a same ‘kicks’ group. These sites look interesting but they tend to become useful only if there are large number of contributers and ‘diggers’. I do not thing any of these will become as popular as Digg but I hope at least one is successful in pointing to some good developers related articles/blogs. Check them out.