Since the wrap-up of Tech.Ed Australia last year I’ve been meaning to get started learning to develop a Windows 8 Modern App so as to embrace the future of Windows software development. I think Windows 8 provides a huge opportunity for developers to tap into Windows’ market share with their own apps. There are some limitations of course but the changes Microsoft has made over the past year should not be something that gets overlooked by those in the Microsoft software development field. One of my favourite reads throughout 2012 was Paul Thurrott’s WinSuperSite so if you were hiding somewhere last year and missed a lot of the big news then a good place to catch up would be checking Paul’s site archive for 2012.
After some thinking, I decided to go with using XAML/C#, and I started reading a bit on building Windows 8 apps using that approach, and also did some C#/XAML tutorials as well as started watching some Windows 8 courses on Pluralsight, they have a great line-up of courses by the way. Now at that point I thought I have my direction set and was feeling happy with C# and a little tweaking of XAML. This was all well and good until, I started fiddling with the design for the app I’m working with – a Windows 8 app for this website. The thing to note here is that I’m a developer, I like using code editors and not designers, I feel I have more control. However, due to my basic XAML knowledge I thought I’d try using the Visual Studio and Blend designers to play around with the XAML. This is when things started turning ugly for me. To be fair, I haven’t yet given it much time to get over the hurdles, I interrupted myself to write this post. However, I really felt like a stranger when trying to use the designer to move things around in XAML, using the design space is uncomfortable, especially for someone who spends more time in text editors…etc.