Sunday, January 26, 2014

WhatsNew - a nuget package

Inspired from Igor Ralic's ReviewBugger open source nuget package for windows phone, I set out to create a NuGet package called WhatsNew. I had posted before about the good habits of a good app in the store. Any app. Any store. One of them is notifying the user of what you did as a developer for the new update. A synopsis in few lines. I always appreciate when an app which I use tells me what to look for. Letting the users know that you had fixed the bug A which was bothering them (and you) for a while, and the feature C that you had been planning for while has been added, would be really welcoming.

So, here it is. WhatsNew, for Windows Phone. My first cut on creating a NuGet Package.  It is available HERE. You may either install using the Package Manager Console or the Manage Package Manager option in Visual Studio.

Installing WhatsNew from the Nuget package console.

Installing WhatsNew from the Package Manager

Once you install WhatsNew, two things happen.
1. A WhatsNew.cs class gets installed into your project folder.
2. Coding4Fun Toolkit assembly gets installed, and referenced. This is because WhatsNew uses Coding4Fun Toolkit's, About prompt.

WhatsNew Usage

Once you get everything set, place the below code in either your MainPage.xaml.cs constructor, or the Loaded event handler. I prefer the later.

That is all!

But, What's the catch?

Well, it's not a catch. Just that you need to see that you update the VersionNumber for every update. It is that property WhatsNew verifies to see whether to display the WhatsNew dialog or not. So VersionNumber is import. Do not forget to update it.

So, what happens next?

Nothing much. :) Once the user starts the app, for every first time use of every update, a dialog similar to the one below would appear (note the Title, Message and VersionNumber (down below) that we added in our code above.).
WhatsNew Prompt
Can I modify the WhatsNew class?

Sure you can! It is completely open source.

Thank you, Thank you!

I wouldn't have completed this without the help of these references. (And my wife and my daughter, who let me spend time this full Sunday on this endeavor.)
Igor's wonderful inspiring post.
Nuget Documentation
Scott Hanselman's post on creating Nuget Packages

Now, what are you waiting for, go download it and give your app users a better experience with this feature.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Hindu Life - Revived

The Windows Phone app, TheHinduLife, is being revived.

  • More prayers added to the prayer section
  • A new Prayer Index page added for easy selection of prayers
  • A tiny re-design. Its a better feel.
With this app, I have also started a habit of notifying the user(s) of the new features being added to every update.

This is a continuation... more contents to follow...

Download TheHinduLife from Windows Phone Store

Friday, January 17, 2014

Poll: Innovation is accidental, not intentional

Today, I had a discussion with one of my colleagues that every firm should let their employees spend some time in their work day to work on side projects they are passionate about. If you look at various innovation (including this blog engine - blogger) came out of side projects people were passionate about.
Innovation is accidental, not intentional.
 I thought of getting your views about it. Here is the poll. Please participate and also engage in some creative discussion on the subject.

Innovation is accidental, not intentional

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Getting content inside a table cell using jQuery

I had a requirement of extracting the contents inside a table cell.
Suppose we have a table like below:
Here I am

Simple enough, the jQuery script goes like:
var tdContent = $('.someCSS').context.innerHtml();

Lo! We get the "Here I am" text.