Video Streaming with a custom IRandomAccessStream on Windows and Windows Phone (Universal App)

  Overview   We encountered a challenge on our project where we wanted to play videos in MediaElement but the MP4 file was stored in Sharepoint which required user credentials for authentication. If you pass a URL to the MediaElement on Windows Phone 8.1 then it just tried to access the file without passing any…


FloodHack

On Friday evening (14th Feb 2013), as I was walking out the building for the weekend, I was grabbed by a colleague and asked if I’d fancy giving up my Sunday.  It transpires that earlier in the day Microsoft and a whole load of other tech companies had a call from 10 Downing Street asking…


Hosting a TFS Build Controller on Windows Azure and connecting to Visual Studio Online

The Visual Studio Online Hosted Build Controller will serve you well for 90% of scenarios, but there are occasions when you’ll want to use your own Build Controller.  Examples include complex build scenarios such as SharePoint or BizTalk, or where you have a large development team (or lots of smaller ones on the same Team…


Dealing with an XSD Choice when XSD.exe doesn’t add XmlChoiceIdentifierAttribute

On my current project we are dealing with some quite complex xsd schemas. Whilst working with one of these I was confused by what I was seeing in the generated code produced by xsd.exe; specifically where an xs:choice was involved. I was expecting to see: An XmlChoiceIdentifier attribute appear on the object in question An…


Eye On Earth update

So, we’ve just released an update to Eye On Earth that adds in Birdseye support, the new style Bing Maps navigation controls, and also moves the system to the latest release of the Windows Azure SDK.  Check it out at http://www.eyeonearth.eu The new Bing Maps style navigation Viewing an air station in Birdseye mode with…


System.Reflection.AmbiguousMatchException : Why extending Silverlight through sub-classing might result in this error.

Earlier this week we spotted we had a problem with a Silverlight application that has been live for a while.  We were only able to reproduce it with the Silverlight 4 runtime installed and not the Silverlight 3 runtime.  The reason is actually quite interesting from an academic point of view, but also raises some…


Dynamically Changing the Display Language in Silverlight

On a recent Silverlight project we had a requirement to be able to dynamically change the language of the site without refreshing the page. This ruled out the normal way of doing localisation using Resource files and meant we had to find away of binding text strings to a ‘Dynamic Resource’.  Given that Silverlight doesn’t…


The Extreme Retrospective

Most agile methodologies have some way of analysing past behaviour, recording it for future reference, and modifying that behaviour for the betterment of the team dynamic.  SCRUM uses something called a ‘retrospective’. This takes the form of a meeting at the end of each sprint where the team write down their thoughts on the positive…


Keep your Eye On Earth

Last November saw the release to web of the project I led for the 8 months previous. Eye  On Earth is a portal to the masses of environmental data that the European Environment Agency collect. Initially launched in 2008 as ‘Water Watch’ our team have re-designed and re-architected the system to allow extensibility to other…