General How-to Microsoft Tools

Documentation and Softwares – Developing for Windows Phone 7 Series

Windows Phone 7 Series is expected to hit the town in about 5 months from now. Microsoft has already released the Phone SDK which you can make use of to build your apps and keep it ready for the market by the time the device arrives!

All set to start developing your first application for Windows Phone?

Download Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit: This Training Kit below will give you a jumpstart into the new Windows Phone world by providing you with a step-by-step explanation of the tools to use and some key concepts for programming Windows Phones. This training kit is geared for beginners who want to get started with developing applications for the latest Windows Phone operating system. Even if you don’t know Silverlight or XNA Framework, you’ll find this Training Kit useful. More seasoned Silverlight developers should also find this kit useful, as it explains some of the differences between Silverlight and Silverlight for the phone. – Download this Training Kit here

Update: 28th July, 2010 –

The UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 has been updated for beta. With additional information and a new layout we hope you will find more readable, this guide provides detailed information about UI elements and controls, UI system behaviors, and the interaction model for the touch interface based on the design system codenamed “Metro”. Designers and developers should read this guide to learn about the dos and don’ts of UI implementations for their Windows Phone applications.

The Design Templates for Windows Phone 7 are a collection of 28 layered Photoshop template files and system fonts that can be used to create pixel-perfect application layouts, to help guide UI development, or to pitch an idea. These design templates showcase many controls that are a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta. They also include examples of controls that are a part of Windows Phone, but are not available as a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.

Update : 30th April, 2010 –
Beginning today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh (WPDT CTP) from, which means you can now build Windows Phone 7 apps on the final release of Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010). While this update is primarily intended to enable development using the final release of VS2010 there are a few new things here too. You can read the complete article here on the Windows Team blog!

There is a huge bulk of Windows Phone development documentation on the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network). You do have lots of information like,

Windows Phone 7 Series

Other important documentation links include Developing Windows Phone Games and Silverlight for Windows Phone as a part of the XNA Game Studio 4.0 and Silverlight 4 RC documentation sets, respectively.

Charlez Petzold is authoring a Book called “Programming Windows Phone 7 Series”. He has already offered a draft preview of his eBook FREE of cost! – Download the ebook here (pdf document)

2/4/2010 – Update : New XNA Game Studio 4.0 samples for Windows Phone released on the Creators Club site

Yesterday, Microsoft released several samples and mini-games to help you get started using the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (which includes the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP) to create games for Windows Phone 7 Series.  Here is some additional information about the samples and where you can download them:

  • Reach graphics demo – this is the demo that Shawn Hargreaves used in his talks at GDC and MIX to show the 5 five built-in effect types provided by the XNA Framework 4.0 on Windows Phone (BasicEffect, DualTextureEffect, AlphaTestEffect, SkinnedEffect, and EnvironmentMapEffect).
  • Snow Shovel mini-game – a simple Windows Phone game that shows how draw 2D sprites using SpriteBatch and handles player input using the accelerometer. You will not be able to use accelerometer input in the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator in the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP however.
  • Primitives sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 2D primitives (points, lines and triangles) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.
  • Primitives3D sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 3D primitives (cubes, spheres, cylinders, torus and teapots) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.

You can also join the discussion in the Windows Phone forums to get your queries answered.!

Best Practices General

Introduction to LaTeX – A Type Setting System

LaTeX is not a wordprocessor but a typesetting system that achieves beautifully typeset documents without any deeper typographic knowledge. LaTeX is most widely used by mathematicians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, economists and other scholars in academia and the commercial world, and other professionals as a primary or an intermediate format (e.g. translating DocBook and other XML-based formats to PDF).

lateX logoLaTeX is used because of the high quality of typesetting achievable by TeX. The typesetting system offers programmable desktop publishing features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and cross-referencing, tables and figures, page layout and bibliographies.

Key Features of LaTeX

  • Typesetting journal articles, technical reports, books, and slide presentations.
  • Control over large documents containing sectioning, cross-references, tables and figures.
  • Typesetting of complex mathematical formulas.
  • Advanced typesetting of mathematics with AMS-LaTeX.
  • Automatic generation of bibliographies and indexes.
  • Multi-lingual typesetting.
  • Inclusion of artwork, and process or spot colour.
  • Using PostScript or Metafont fonts.

Download this software to create effective documents and work with LaTeX – Powerful Open Source LaTeX editor for Windows – TeXnic Center.

Advantages of Using LaTeX:

LaTeX gives you several advantages over regular wordprocessors, depending on what you plan to do with it. The most important of them all shall be mentioned here.

  • Free availability – For almost any operating system a LaTeX distribution is available to download for free on the internet. This leads us to
  • LaTeX plattform-independent – Documents created by LaTeX can be opened, edited and printed on almost any available computersystem
  • LaTeX produces brilliant typographic output – Other than regular wordprocessors LaTeX produces beautifully typeset documents without requiring the user to know anything about typography
  • Typesetting mathmatical equations – Especially engineers, mathmaticians and other users who need to include formulas or equations in their documents can create these very same in a good-looking and rather easy way.
  • Logical instead of physical formatting – This means that all formatting is done by LaTeX, the user only defines the structure of a document.
  • Stability – LaTeX is one of the most stable software packages, which is proven by the fact, that it has been around in its current version. There is no such thing as data loss.

References – LaTeX Features extracted from latex-project.orgWikipedia,,