Beta Mapping

Developing with Virtual Earth 2

Casey posted this cool technique of using the Virtual Earth Locator in your own apps. Next task is to find out how to stop it locating me in Surrey 🙂

Beta Mapping

Developing with Virtual Earth

Now that the hype has died down on Virtual Earth it is interesting to see what developers are doing with the product even though it doesn’t expose any kind of developer API. The best place to start is at Dr Neil’s site Via Virtual Earth. There are a few articles here showing how to pull maps from virtual earth onto your own website. To a user outside the US the mapping detail available is a bit lacking, you get quite a selection of place names, but no roads and satellite imagery only at a very high level.

Hopefully the technologies demonstrated in Virtual Earth will permeate through to the Mappoint Web Service, as the dynamic pan and zoom, imagery and pushpin labels are quite impressive.


Building the Latest SDF v1.3 Source

We get a lot of requests asking for the very latest code for the SDF since tons of exciting stuff has been added (and many issues resolved) since our v1.2 release last year specifically from users starting to work with the VS2005 betas and community previews and would like to use the SDF with these new tools. Firstly just a reminder that the SourceBrowser no longer contains a current record of the source code, which is now maintained in the Vault (Username: guest, Password: guest). From the vault you can see all the latest source files as they are checked in.

If you need a build which you can use with VS2005 Beta you can download from:-

And now the big disclaimer on this build, it’s not a final v1.3 release, it’s not signed with a key pair and so cannot be installed in the GAC on devices, there is no installer, no help content. This should not be used for release purposes (just like VS2005 itself of course) and we offer no support for this build.

Update: v1.3 is now released, see this post for instructions for using the v1.3 release version in VS2005.

Please remember if you have any product requests, bug reports etc whether you are using the current tools or VS2005 please post them to our new bug submission page, we are grateful for any feedback to help us make v1.3 our best release yet.


New Visual Studio 2005 edition announced

One of the stumbling blocks to getting into .NETCF development today is that the only supported tool for development is Visual Studio 2003 Professional or higher.

Microsoft announced today at VSLive a new addition to the Visual Studio family in the 2005 version – Visual Studio Standard Edition. This will be a significantly cheaper version of Visual Studio but will include the full device development experience with both VB.NET and C# for managed code and C++ for native code.

A more detailed comparison of the editions is available here:-

The full press release can be viewed here:-

Beta Software

New tool for Visual Studio help integration

Creating help files which seamlessly integrate with Visual Studio 2003 is a pain. Microsoft have released a Help Integration Wizard (Beta). This is designed to walk through the process of creating a setup which will integrate a HTML Help 2.0 file with Visual Studio.

Currently to integrate your own help you either have to get down and dirty and edit the tables of data within an .MSI installer, or use a third-party tool (H2Reg) to register the help collection without using an MSI installer. The first method is documented with the Visual Studio Help Integration Kit but is by no means clear, and if you start making changes to your .MSI project you generally have to start all over again.

I’ve downloaded and begun to test the wizard and it looks promising, however it appears to have a few issues with the help files generated by the latest version of NDoc (1.3b1a). Hopefully this can be overcome either by tweaking the options in NDoc or by some manual editing of the generated files. When I find a solution I’ll post again here.

Read about the tool (and download the beta) here:-


[Update – It appears it’s not particularly new, just well hidden! ]


NDoc with Visual Studio 2005 Beta1

I saw this post by Steve and realised that I hadn’t tried NDoc with Whidbey B1 yet. I was able to get it to work flawlessly, though perhaps my particular configuration is unusual.

I’m running inside a Virtual PC image, into this I added an absolute bare-bones installation of XP Pro, I’ve applied SP2 RC2 but no other updates – at this moment it doesn’t have the .NET Framework v1,1 installed. Next I installed Whidbey Beta1 with pretty much all the options including the MSDN documentation. I built a very simple C# Pocket PC project, usual hello world stuff, added the configuration option to build xml documentation and built the project.

I then went off to the NDoc website to download the v1.3 Beta installer. However this checks for .NET v1.1 and won’t install without it. Getting worried that installing v1.1 after v2.0 B1 might cause problems I promptly backed out. My alternative was to share a folder on the host PC and copy across NDoc 1.3 Beta from there. The program loaded flawlessly against the v2.0 Beta1 framework. I then had no problems documenting my .NETCF v2.0 project. So I guess this is the key, if NDoc is running against the v1.1 framework it will choke when faced with a v2.0 assembly, but I don’t intend to check this theory just yet (It’s taken long enough to get this virtual machine set up just the way I want it!

The solution should be to add a config file for NDoc which includes the following XML to prefer the v2.0 framework:-

<supportedRuntime version=”v2.0.40607″ />

Save this file as:-
c:program filesNDoc 1.3binnet1.1NdocGui.exe.config
You may need to adjust this path depending on where you installed NDoc.

The next step will to be to test with some more complex projects (like the Smart Device Framework).