Andrej Tozon's blog

In the Attic


Build 2016 – live stream here

Microsoft Build 2016 is starting in a few hours, You can watch the live stream below.

Windows 8.1. Developers Contest–rok za prijavo podaljšan!


Rok za prijavo aplikacij v prvem valu je podaljšan do 6. aprila, rok za drugi krog prijav pa je 30. april!

Za vas Imamo dobre novice! J Na podlagi mnogih vprašanj, ki smo jih dobili o registraciji aplikacij in pravočasni odobritvi za Windows Store, smo prestavili rok za registracijo za en teden, tako da lahko v prvem valu prijavite vaše aplikacije do 6. aprila.

Naslednji koraki:

  • Aplikacije, registrirane v prvem valu (do 6. aprila), bodo dobile povratno informacijo in podporo pri izboljšanju uporabniškega vmesnika ter UX. Tako boste lahko izboljšali in ponovno naložili vaše aplikacije do 30. aprila. Seveda boste lahko nabrali tudi več prenosov in si s tem izboljšali možnosti za nagrade.
  • Vsi razvijalci, ki še niste uspeli narediti in objaviti aplikacij v prvem ciklu, jih boste lahko prijavili v drugem ciklu (do 30. aprila) in tekmovali za nagrade, a brez povratne informacije in dodatne podpore za izboljšanje uporabniške izkušnje.

Razdelitev nagrad:

16 Nokia Lumia 1520 bomo podelili zmagovalcem kategorij:

  • Najboljši UX design (lokalna kategorija)
  • Regionalne kategorije:
    • Najboljši UX design;
    • Največkrat prenesena aplikacija;
    • Največkrat ocenjena aplikacija;
    • Najbolje ocenjena aplikacija;

30 Prestigio Multipad Visconte Windows tablic bomo razdelili zmagovalcem vseh ostalih kategorij.


Več informacij o tekmovanju ter pravila najdete na spletni strani tekmovanja. Pridružite se tudi Facebook skupini, kjer bomo odgovorili na vaša vprašanja, tam boste dobili tudi vse dodatne informacije. Oglejte si brezplačne predloge za aplikacije in materiale z Windows 8 dogodka!

Še vedno je čas – ne zamudite priložnosti!

Announcing a new user group

Dear Slovenian developers and UI enthusiasts, mark your calendars for 8th of November 2011 as that’s the day we’re launching a new user group targeting the UI/UX professionals.

SIUX LogoSIUX – Slovenian UX User Group – a sister user group (or a Siamese twin group as we fondly call it Smile) of now years-running SLODUG, Slovenian Developers User Group (SLODUG), where we’ll focus on technologies and areas like WPF, Silverlight, HTML5, Kinect, Windows Phone, Windows 8; talk through their visual and interaction design aspects; explore user interface examples, usability and related factors.

SLODUG and SIUX will share their members and meeting place. As mentioned, the first, inaugural meeting, will take place on Tuesday, 8th of November 2011, starting at 17h. Two talks are scheduled for the meeting: Developing for XBox Kinect by Sašo Zagoranski and Metro: the UI of the future?  by me. The meeting will take place in Microsoft Lecture room at Šmartinska 140.

Full agenda:

17:00: Intro & announcements
17:15 – 18:00: Developing for XBox Kinect, Sašo Zagoranski / Semantika d.o.o.
18:15 – 19:00: Metro: UI of the future?, Andrej Tozon / ANT Andrej Tozon s.p.
19:00: Discussion over pizza &  beer

We’re also looking for speakers – if you’re interested or  know anybody from the field, please contact me and we’re schedule your talk in one of our next meetings.

Hope to see you!

Until then, you can follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.

New Windows Phone App: MapSnapper

My latest Windows Phone application was published to the marketplace a few days ago:

MapSnapper is a simple utility application that utilizes static Bing maps feature to capture a favorite piece of Earth with your Windows Phone.

In its essence, the application lets you navigate a map of the world, using aerial or roads view, zoom in and out until you find  that perfect place you wanted to take a snap of. After taking a snap, the application serves you with not a bitmap image of the snapped location, but the link to a static Bing image that will correspond to the specific view you were looking at when taking a snap. You can specify the dimensions of the final snap and share the link through the email.

MapSnapper_10-10-2011_9.27.36.416   MapSnapper_10-10-2011_9.27.47.822

I developed the application because I needed to get to a number of specific links to certain Bing static images for some other application I’m doing. This application helped me a lot so I decided to make it public. It’s free and you can download it from the Windows Phone marketplace right now!


  Get MapSnapper



Please let me know if you find the application useful.

NT Konferenca 2011

The annual local Microsoft conference, NT Konferenca 2011, is starting next week in Portorož, Slovenia. I’ll be pretty busy this year – you'll find NTK_PCme in the following talks:

Monday morning, Europa D: Building application with NUI (Natural User Interfaces). I’ll be giving a talk on building NUI applications with Silverlight.

Tuesday, 9.45, Europa C: What’s new in Silverlight 5: I’ll be demoing features that are coming in Silverlight 5 and are available in current beta. Lots of demos, few slides only.

Tuesday, 12.45, Europa A: All you wanted to know about MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel). The pattern, explained through some practical uses, shown in demos. Silverlight and Windows Phone.

Wednesday, 8.30, Europa C: Rx – Reactive Extensions: Reactive Extensions explained through demos. WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone.

Wednesday, 14.30, Emerald 1: Data Access Strategies for Silverlight and Windows Phone: While focused on OData, this session will cover other strategies of accessing your data in Silverlight applications as well.


For latest news, follow me on twitter directly (@andrejt) or through (semi-official) conference hashtag (#ntk11)

See you there!

teaser ;)

Twedge, a simple Silverlight 4 twitter widget

Today’s brief IM conversation about twedge reminded me about this project I put together in the last minute for a local conference last May. Twedge is a simple twitter widget, build with Silverlight 4. You can  specify some colors, time interval and search terms for displaying tweets through the InitParams, making it somewhat configurable. Uses layout states to  display the tweets, allows text selection and highlights links, #hashtags and @names.
I wanted to finish it properly before releasing it to the Codeplex, but with that not happening any time soon, I decided to do it regardless.

So there it is, twedge on Codeplex.

Run the live version

Top 5 blog posts of mine in 2010

Thought I’d give this one a try – 5 posts that were accessed by visitors of my blog the most and were posted in 2010:

1. Add version 4 components to your Silverlight 3 application with MEF: I wrote about using MEF (Managed Extensibility Framework) to import and offer additional capabilities to users that have Silverlight 4 installed (over the ones that only have Silverlight 3).
2. Reactive Extensions #3: Windows Phone 7: First look at Reactive Extensions for Windows Phone 7. I (re)used the same code I used with my Silverlight / WPF demos show ItemsControl items appearing with a nice animated way.
3. Silverlight Layout States with Reactive Extensions: This post laid the ground for the previous post, showing, how the effect is done.
4. Named & optional parameters in Silverlight 4: I wrote about named & optional parameters that were in the latest Silverlight 4 release. Mostly useful when dealing with Office interop.
5. Display “My Pictures” in Silverlight application at design time: An attempt to hack up a Silverlight design-time ViewModel that would look into your Pictures folder and display any pics that were there.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Watch Silverlight TV videos, pinned to full screen

One of the “annoyances” with Silverlight (and similar browser plugins) is with watching a video in a multi-monitor set up – you would pop out your Silverlight video player to full screen on one monitor and continue working on your other monitor – which would cause your video player to return to its normal size, ruining your watching experience. Well, that was the case until Silverlight 4 came out. Silverlight 4 supports “full-screen pinning” in a way that you can choose the Silverlight 4 app to remain pinned to full screen on one monitor even if you focus your work on the other.

Unfortunately, (the regular) Channel 9 still doesn’t use Silverlight 4 which means you don’t get this option of full-screen pinning, but guess what – Channel 9 is in a process of refurbishing and a preview of the new site is available at the This is good news for us because they’re using Silverlight 4 for their player, which basically means you can watch your Silverlight TV full-screen pinned simply by prefixing Silverlight TV show’s URL with the word preview. For example, show 40: You Are Already a Windows Phone Developer is available on

However, there seems to be a lag with publishing new content, resulting in shows not being available on the preview site at the same time as on the regular time. At the time of this writing, it appears that Show 40 is the last one available on the preview site, with shows 41 and 42 remaining on the regular site only. Anyway, it’s good to see Channel 9 going Silverlight 4 – hope to the new site up and running soon.

Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Service Cookbook [Review]

It’s been a while since Silverlight 4 was released by Microsoft and while we’re patiently waiting for a few other books to be released, I would definitely recommend the "Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Service Cookbook” by Gill Cleeren and Kevin Dockx. It’s not an advanced book on Silverlight, nor is it a reference book, it’s compilation of useful, hands-on recipes to get you started on data scenarios using Silverlight 4. If you’re new to Silverlight, you’ll definitely appreciate the way this book is written: a short description of a problem will guide you through the provided code example and explanation of what and why, usually followed by the “There’s more…” section - and that’s the part that will be appreciated even by more advanced Silverlight developers, as it would reveal some hidden tricks and not-so-known secrets of Silverlight framework’s workings. As scenarios go, those seem to cover basic to intermediate type of problems, with advanced problems left out, which is kind of understandable, but at certain points in the book I still wished the authors would write more about an alternative implementation(s) of a solution, or point me to some (online) resource for further reading.

The book covers Silverlight data scenarios, starting with the essentials like Data Binding, moving its way through explaining the data controls and finally settle on explaining the ways Silverlight could talk to the data server through various services. Special chapters are dedicated to WCF RIA Services and converting existing applications to use Silverlight, the latter explaining a few of Microsoft technologies and APIs that are not directly associated to Silverlight, but which Silverlight applications could benefit a lot from by using them.

If you’re new to Silverlight and want to develop Line-of-Business applications, this book is definitely for you as it will get you started immediately and give you enough information to build on the provided code examples for yourself. If you’re an advanced Silverlight user, I think there are some high points in this book that will gain you additional knowledge on the subject, but be prepared to read a lot of code/XAML listings which you probably already know how they work and the problems they solve.

All in all, the “Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Service Cookbook” is a great Silverlight book to have – it’s available in print or digital edition (plus all code examples are available for download).

My NTK10 slide decks

Another NTK has ended, and in my opinion, this year’s conference was one of the greatest and most enjoyable for the past few years. This is a list of sessions I had (alone or with co-speakers), along with the PowerPoint slide decks (all in Slovenian Language):

Silverlight and MEF

[The Photo Gallery application I was showing is available on the CodePlex and will be updated with the latest bits shortly]

ASP.NET, WebForms, Silverlight – What to choose?

Having @dusanzu as a co-host, this was a Birds of Feather (BoF) session. And although not listed as such, it turned out great anyway. There wasn’t much slides since this was a discussion – the slide-deck will be available from the NTK site.

Silverlight and WCF RIA Services

[I built a basic NTK schedule viewer app from the scratch, using Silverlight Business project template and showing off different features of RIA Services in the process. If somebody is interested in seeing the code that was produced on the talk, please contact me]

Tips & Tricks: Expression Blend for Developers

Again, we (@krofdrakula and I) wanted to show as much useful information and show designer-developer workflow, so we concentrated on showing off Visual Studio, Expression Blend (through Team Foundation Server running in a cloud), and the result was only a two-slide PowerPoint slide-deck (which will be available for download from the NTK site as well). As it turned out, even those two slides were way too much for what we wanted to share in a 45-minute time slot.

What’s new in Silverlight 4?

[The source code accompanying this slide-deck is way overdue for publishing – stay tuned for my future blog posts, where I’ll cover all the features I put together in my Silverlight 4 demo app]

A big thanks to all that attended my talks, I hope to hear from you in the near future. Another big thanks goes to local Microsoft office, for organizing another great event.

Oh, and another thing – this year’s NTK conference was covered through twitter as well (significantly better than last year, but still, plenty of room to improve for the next year). I’ll sign off with the snapshot of Twedge, a Silverlight 4 widget, finding its way to the CodePlex later this week. To see it in action, visit http:/


See you next year!