Eclipse4SL: A Silverlight Plugin for Eclipse

Darth Vader and Trekkies: "See? I play well with others!"

I wouldn’t have joined Microsoft if I hadn’t seen signs of a newfound willingness to play well with others. You can see the latest sign in eWeek’s report of Soyatec’s Eclipse4SL, which enables Eclipse developers to build Silverlight applications.

Eclipse4SL is an open source plugin for the Eclipse IDE and Rich Client Platform. According to the Eclipse4SL site, it has these features:

    • Increased Interoperability: Eclipse will contain functionality that will help Java Developers build Silverlight applications that work better with Java Web Services using REST, SOAP, JSON and other standards.
    • Silverlight Project System and Silverlight Compiler: Eclipse will contain both an advanced project system for creating Silverlight applications and media experiences as well as a compiler for packaging Silverlight applications for deployment.
    • XAML Editor & Preview with code hinting and code completion: Eclipse will contain an advanced, standards-compliant XAML editor with code hinting and code hinting features which helps detect and correct coding errors.
    • Full compatibility with Microsoft’s Development and Design Tools: The XAML and Silverlight projects created by Eclipse will be fully supported by both Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio tools.

Eclipse4SL is currently in beta, and the 1.0 version is expected to be released in June.


Windows Mobile Incubation Week: April 13 – 17 in Mountain View

Two Japanese schoolgirls showing off their cellphones to Darth Vader

I’ve written before that the current state of Windows Mobile makes me feel sad, and I’ve also written that recent developments like the new hexagon interface for the upcoming version 6.5 have given me reason to hope. Here’s another sign that The Empire is getting their mobile act together: TechFlash has a story about the upcoming Mobile Incubation Week, which will take place at the Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, California from April 13th through 17th.

Incubation Week - Microsoft

This will be the first Mobile Incubation Week, a jam session where startups are invited to meet with “technical gurus from Microsoft, technology veterans who have built their own Windows Mobile applications, and influential venture capitalists and industry experts”. They’ll see demos and presentations, get advice and assistance with the Windows Mobile platform and even start putting together Windows Mobile apps. At the end of the week, a winner will be selected from the participants, and s/he’ll be eligible for prizes and publicity.

The event is free as in beer; you just need to figure out how you’ll get to Mountain View and find a place to crash. Your group can be as large as three people – one or two technical people and one suit. All startups are eligible, whether or not you’ve built a mobile app. The only requirement is that you’re planning on building a Windows Mobile app.

Space at Mobile Incubation Week is limited, so if you’re interested, apply as soon as you can! You can find more details about Windows Mobile Incubation Week in this article in Microsoft Startup Zone.


Ignite Your Career #2: Discovering Your Trusted Resources

This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

Ignite Your Career Webcast Series, in partnership with CIPS This past Tuesday marked our first Ignite Your Career 2009 webcast, Industry Insights and Trends. In the webcast, our panel of experts shared their opinions of where the opportunities in tech are and what technologies were on the rise. It went quite well, and the folks at the office tell me that it was one of the best-“attended” webcasts that Microsoft Canada has ever had. If you missed it, don’t fret – we’ll be posting a recording of the webcast soon!

This Tuesday, we’ll have the second Ignite Your Career webcast, titled Discovering Your Trusted Resources. By “trusted resource”, we mean something or someone you turn to for information, advice or assistance. No matter what line of work you’re in, it always pays to have some trusted resources handy.

Here’s the abstract for the webcast:

Building a set of information sources and connecting with the community at-large are critical to your success in the ICT industry. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in discovering these resources. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.

The speakers are:


Michael J. Sikorsky
Michael has been called an "Internet Revolutionary" by Profit magazine, and a "CEO to watch" by CNN Money. In addition to speaking at conferences throughout the world, he has also spoken at Harvard Business School, MIT, and Stanford.


Richard Campbell
Richard Campbell is one of the co-founders of Strangeloop Networks and today serves as product evangelist. Richard has more than 30 years of high-tech experience and is both a Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

As I’ve said before, Ignite Your Career is about your career and “skills portfolio”. It’s not Microsoft-specific – in fact, it isn’t specific to any kind of technology or vendor. If you work in tech and want to work on a plan for making it through these difficult economic times, Ignite Your Career is here for you!

Best of all, registration is free! Sign up for this Tuesday’s webcast, Discovering Your Trusted Resources, with your Windows Live ID. And remember, after this Tuesday, we’ll still have four more Ignite Your Career webcasts, with a new topic hosted by different experts each week.

To find out more about this series, check out the Ignite Your Career site.


Coffee and Code Today in Toronto and Irvine, California!

Today, Friday, March 6th, marks yet another day for Coffee and Code. It’s also a milestone: for the first time, there’s more than one Coffee and Code event!

Map picture

The Southern California Coffee and Code takes place today at the Starbucks in Tustin Marketplace (2959 El Camino Real, just off the I5 and Jamboree). It’s hosted by Denny “mrdenny” Cherry, a Microsoft MVP, SQL Server guy and Senior Database Admin and Architect at Awareness Technologies.



Meanwhile, across the continent, the Toronto Coffee and Code will also take place today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Roastery in the 401 Richmond Building:

Map picture

As you might expect, the Toronto Coffee and Code will be hosted by Yours Truly. Hope to see you there!


Microsoft’s “2019” Video

This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

One of the things we saw at the behind-closed-doors, Microsoft-eyes-only TechReady 8 conference was the 2019” concept video shown to us by Business Division President Stephen Elop. Since then, the video’s gone public, with his showing it recently at the Wharton Business Technology Conference and its appearance on Long Zheng;s blog, I Started Something.

The video is a montage of “slices of life” in the year 2019, and shows a vision for how people could be using technology in their everyday life then. Don’t think of this video as an attempt to predict the future; they’re notorious for being hilariously wrong in retrospect. Instead, think of it as inspiration for future projects, a source of ideas for applications and user interfaces and a way to shake loose any assumptions or fixations you might have about how applications should work. As developers, I thought that you might find the video (it’s 5 minutes, 38 seconds in length) an interesting watch, and possibly even the spark that gets you started on your next project.

For those of you who are the type to analyze still frames from your favourite movies, you can see some close-ups of the future user interfaces featured in the video in the PowerPoint deck that Stephen Elop used when he showed this video.


Toronto Coffee and Code #3: This Friday at The Roastery @ 401 Richmond


This article originally appeared in the Coffee and Code blog.

The next Toronto Coffee and Code will take place this Friday, March 6th, at The Roastery at the 401 Richmond building (401 Richmond Street West, just east of Spadina) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. This cafe is nice and spacious, has free wifi thanks to the efforts of the cool people at Wireless Toronto, has good food and is located in one of the best workspaces in the city, If you have an artistic bent, I recommend that you pass by Swipe Books (located in the same building), an amazing bookstore that specializes in advertising and design.

Coffee and Code is a regular event where I “set up office” at a local cafe in order to make myself as accessible as possible to developers and other techies, so they can talk to me about Microsoft, its tools and tech, the industry or whatever else is on their mind. It’s also many other things:

  • A networking opportunity for people looking to find other people in the local tech industry
  • A chance for indie and self-employed software developers to get out of their home offices
  • A interesting coffee break for people who work in the area
  • A chance for you to get your hands on a copy of the Windows 7 beta (I’ll burn a DVD for you)
  • A way for techies to put a little money back into the local economy (by buying lots of coffee and supporting local businesses)
  • A nice social event in a relaxed atmosphere…all on a “school day”

If you’re in the neighbourhood, please drop by! If you’re not in the neighbourhood, don’t worry – I plan to hold future Coffee and Code events in different locations all over Toronto and surrounding areas very soon.

(And if you’re really far away, say Irvine, California, there’s a Coffee and Code in your neck of the woods this Friday.)


Coffee, Code and…California?!

"California Republic" flagCoffee and Code, for those of you who haven’t been following this blog, is a regular event where I “set up office” at a wifi-equipped cafe to make myself more accessible to you. We’ve had two so far here in Toronto, and they’ve gone quite well: we’ve have some good discussions, local developers have made new connections with each other, I’ve answered questions about Microsoft and its tools and tech, and I’ve also hooked people up with copies of the Window 7 beta.

This Friday, there will be two Coffee and Code events. One will be in Toronto (details will be in the following post), and the other one will be three time zones away…in Irvine, California.

denny_cherryDenny Cherry is a Microsoft MVP and Senior Database Administrator and Architect at Awareness Technologies. He’s forgotten more about SQL Server than I will ever learn, his blog is SQL Server with Mr. Denny at IT Knowledge Exchange and he tweets at He heard of Coffee and Code and decided that he wanted to hold one in his neck of the woods, southern California. I gave Denny access to the Coffee and Code blog, where he announced his Coffee and Code event, which takes place this Friday, March 6th at the Starbucks at at the Tustin Marketplace (2959 El Camino Real), just off the I5 and Jamboree.

For more information about Denny’s gathering, check out his entry on the Coffee and Code blog.