Xamarin 3 and Healed Cuts

After updating to Xamarin 3, I am definitely impressed with the work Xamarin is doing to improve their products. Xamarin Studio 5.0 has a nice UI refresh among other things, and many other awesome improvements like NuGet support, iOS designer available on the stable channel, and Xamarin.Forms.

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Xamarin.Android Builds in Jenkins

Recently at Hitcents we have been working on deploying our Android version of Draw a Stickman: EPIC to app stores across China. China’s Android app market is a strange place, and it has somewhere around 30 app stores. Google Play is not available in China, so many small stores popped up all over the country to fill the gap. Several of the stores are mobile providers, such as China Mobile, and run payments through users’ cell phone plan (which is prepaid a lot of the time).

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MonoGame - Draw a Stickman: EPIC from Monkey Square on Vimeo.

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MonoGame on Gone Mobile

I had a great time talking about writing cross platform games at Hitcents with the guys on Gone Mobile. If you are interested in MonoGame or game development with C# in general, it's a great listen.

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Xamarin's Tiny Cuts

I want to start out this post by saying I am a great lover of Xamarin and their tools. Without Xamarin, I would might not have become a mobile developer and most of the success the company I work for (Hitcents) has had with mobile apps would not be possible. C# is a beautiful language, and I think it is in good hands moving forward no matter what Microsoft decides to do in the next few years. With that being said, using Xamarin every day reminds me of a phrase Scott Hanselman used recently, “death by a thousand tiny cuts”. Not that any amount of these tiny cuts is that big a deal compared to developing in some nonsense like Objective-C, but it is just enough to be annoying. My fear is that Xamarin has been putting a lot of focus on big picture new features, when a little polishing could help a lot of developers lives. My goal here is to create a big wish list everyone can contribute to, not criticize their products.

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Catch Me at MonkeySpace 2013

I'll be speaking about Draw a Stickman: EPIC and MonoGame at MonkeySpace 2013. See you there.

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Draw a Stickman: EPIC, a MonoGame Adventure

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10 Great Blogs for a Developer's RSS Feed

I wanted to compile a quick list of excellent blogs for programmers. Not all will apply to every developer, but spending a few minutes a day on Google Reader can give you great insight into different technologies and even hone your skills on the tools you use on a daily basis. Most of us have those few minutes to spare in a day, and I think a good blog read will benefit most developers more than seeing the latest lolcat pic or random video on YouTube. Below are the recommended blogs. 

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What is REST?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what REST or Representational State Transfer is.  Many people see an example of a REST API and merely think of it as a standard for making URLs to perform create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations against a web server.  

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Best Mac Apps for Windows Devs

At work, I have more and more been transitioning to using a Mac. MonoTouch has fueled this, and I hate to say it, but I am starting to like Mac hardware. I have come accustomed to the standard Mac mouse, as well as the Macbook Air touchpad. PCs are great, I love Visual Studio and I love C#, but there is something to be said about what Apple is doing lately.

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NOSQL - Just another buzzword?

These days, SQL (structured query language) has been the core mechanism for storing and accessing data within any application.  It has many advantages, such as: reliability, scalability, fast lookup, and the ability to generate any type of report you can think of.  Conventional database systems have their disadvantages as well, which is where NOSQL-based systems have surfaced to fill in the gaps.

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The Hubble Space Telescope – Porting to Windows Phone 7

For my next exploration of the MVC design pattern, I wanted to convert my “Hubble Space Telescope” application from a desktop WPF app to Windows Phone 7.  This can help demonstrate the flexibility MVC provides with such a scenario.

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Developing for iPhone – Part 4: Controlling the Hubble Space Telescope with MVC

So for this part of the series, I wanted to explore MVC by writing a sample application that reuses code between an iPhone app and a WPF windows application.  The goal here is to lessen the amount of code required to be written on the iPhone, because what developer wants to use a Mac, right?  But this should also cut down development time, too, and should make it easier to port the same app to Windows Phones or other platforms.

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Can Hitcents pass the Joel Test?

For those of you who have not heard of it, the Joel Test is a quick checklist that will help assess the practices of your software development team.

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Developing for iPhone - Part 3, (Bad?) MVC

In this post, I’m going to dive into the inner workings of Apple’s UIKit for iPhone, and see how they handle the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern.

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Developing  for the iPhone – Part 2, App Store Drama

Many of you may have heard rumors of the strict app submission process by Apple, but I personally did not believe it to be true.  In submitting the Omniprise iPhone App, we had to resubmit binaries three times until we got it right.   On top of that, we started the submission process during what seemed to be a busy time—we had to wait 1-2 weeks between submissions.  This may have been due to the Thanksgiving break, or could also have been due to it being our first App.

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Developing for the iPhone – Part 1

In this series, I plan to divulge my experiences in developing for Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad.  We’ve recently released the official Omniprise app on the App Store, so I have plenty to talk about regarding Apple’s software design concepts and development process.

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