MSDN Magazine February 2012 - Asynchronous Programming, WP7 and MVC
Written by I Programmer Team
Thursday, 09 February 2012
This month's MSDN Magazine is out and the I Programmer team has leafed through the online version to discover what it has to offer.
The featured article in February's issue is on the topic of Asynchronous programming in C++ using PPL. At last we have an article that tells us something about Windows 8/WinRT. Not much is told however as asynchronous operation is fundamental to the way WinRT works and so you really don't have much of a choice but to learn how to do it. This article helps C++ programmers tackle a more abstract view of asynchronous processing - and yes it does make it easier.
The rest of the magazine mostly focuses on Microsoft's current marketing goals. We have an article telling us how to use Azure to build "Massively" scalable platforms for consumer devices (Building a Massively Scalable Platform for Consumer Devices on Windows Azure). OK I have to admit I'm not sure of the technical meaning of "massive" when it comes to scaling and a "consumer device" is also vague to say the least. When you get over the title the article basically tells you about creating RESTful services using Azure. This is just basic and classic Azure web role style app creation plus WCF for the REST support. Ah, whatever happened to SOAP - last year's marketing focus, I guess. The consumer devices demonstrated as clients are iOS, Android an WP7.
The Features and Foibles of ASP.NET MVC Model Binding is all about the difficulties of using the .NET approach to model binding. After all, most beginners to ASP.NET MVC get the controller idea very quickly and really like the whole routing idea but the model part is more tricky - perhaps its too tricky to be considered easy and hence the perfect solution.
In the days of using Flash or Silverlight for video playback, ...
So that is very clear as a statement of what is legacy. At least back in those days we knew what the user was supposed to do if the browser couldn't play the video - download either Flash or Silverlight. Basically the mess over codecs means that you really don't want to get involved with media at the level that this article described - get a library instead. This idea is covered at the end of the article and it also covers what happens when a browser doesn't support HTML5 playback - i.e. we download the plugin. This is a much more realistic approach to HTML5 media.
Working with Agile in a Distributed Team Environment is also on the website only but it is such a vague introduction to the problems of Agile at a distance - e.g. "understand time differences" well I never would have thought of that - you probably don't need to seek it out.
Of the regulars that are worth a look this month
If you want to make use of SMS and Voice, you will find Talk to Me: Voice and SMS in the Cloud interesting, even if it does explain how to use one particular proprietary service - Tropo - that happens to be free during the development phase.
In the don't miss category are: Ant Colony Optimization, which includes an implementation in C#, and Background Audio on Windows Phone 7.5 an in-depth look at how to do that most essential thing - keep going while the user switches away to another app. I wonder how much of this will survive the switch to WP8?
It is still surprising that MSDN Magazine can manage to be so slow to respond to the changes going on around it. The Windows world is in revolution but you wouldn't know it from the pages of MSDN Magazine. Wake up and smell the fresh new things...
edX has new courses starting this week that will be of interest to those who don't have any background in programming. Both are introductory level classes in computer science aimed at complete beginne [ ... ]