Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WriteableBitmapEx 1.0 Coming Soon, Test it Now!

A new version of the WriteableBitmapEx open source library has just been released, but that isn't the last release for this year. No, Andrew Burnett-Thompson and I refactored the library to make it easier portable and we added full WPF support. Andrew did most of the work since he needed the current WriteableBitmapEx library for one of his WPF projects. As a result of the refactoring, WriteableBitmapEx will have maintained support for WPF starting with version 1.0.
I'd have loved to add support for WinRT too, but unfortunately it seems that WinRT only supports streamed reading / writing of the pixel buffer at the moment. I will wait until Microsoft ships the Windows 8 beta early next year and see what they have in there. Many WriteableBitmapEx algorithms need random buffer index access and I don't want to waste my time with massive memory copying now. Who knows what else comes in the beta and it might be better to use a whole different approach for immediate rendering with Windows 8 and WinRT.

All samples were tested with the new version, but due to the massive refactoring more testing is needed. Please test the beta version with your projects and report any bugs you find. You can download the binaries here. Note that this package only contains the WriteableBitmapEx binaries for Silverlight, Windows Phone and WPF. All the samples can be found in the source code repository in the branch "WBX_1.0_BitmapContext". If all goes well this branch will become the trunk in a couple of weeks.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Windows Phone Sites Around the World

I recently released an update of my Windows Phone app Pictures Lab which brings some nice new features like effect combination, two Christmas and a New Year frame and most importantly 7 new languages. Pictures Lab 4.0 now supports 9 languages: English, German, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese. This was made possible by a group of awesome native-speaking translators: Alan Mendelevich, Takeshi Miyauchi, David Salazar, Joost van Schaik, Johan Peeters, Paolo Barone, Simone Chiaretta, Pedro Lamas and Quentin Calvez.

I also asked my translators if they know any local Windows Phone news sites / blogs. Below is a list of international and regional Windows Phone news sites we collected. Note, that those are primarily consumer sites read by consumers and not only for developers. This list could be useful if you plan to release a localized version of your app and want to promote it a bit. Most sites have a "Tip Us" or contact form and are mostly happy about new content to write posts about.

Forget this list! 
Head over to @ailon's awesome dedicated site: http://windowsphonesites.com

Portuguese (Brazilian)

If you know more sites, please leave a comment and I'll update the list.

Telerik published a nice whitepaper with more resources about app promotion.