Month: January 2012

How to remember your CodePlex credentials

Codeplex logoA very small tip today for CodePlex users. If you are developer for a project on CodePlex, I’m pretty sure you had the same problem, how to avoid to type the login and password of the TFS server used by CodePlex? If you could use your own login it would be better, but unfortunately, it is generated by CodePlex, and you can’t change it. BTW, this tip works with any other Team Foundation Server you want to connect with Visual Studio.

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(With Windows 7) So go to the Control Panel | User Accounts and Family Safety | Credential Manager. Click “Add a Windows Credential” and enter your credentials, using tfs.codeplex.com for the internet or network address.

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You’re good. Now, Visual Studio will remember your credentials.

BugSense New pricing and XNA support for Windows Phone 7

BugSense

Last October, I blogged about how to use BugSense to track bugs into your mobile applications. Today, the startup of San Francisco announced a new pricing for their service. You can start for free, to $299 a month. As a reminder, with a very small package installed in your application, you can track any unhandled exception (when your application crash) or any other error you want to analyze. They updated the dashboard, the place where you can track any problem reported by your customers. This dashboard is evolving very often to give you a better user experience. Here is a screenshot of the dashboard for one of my applications for Windows Phone 7.

 Bugsense

About the pricing, for all the developers of small applications, with not many thousands of users, you can use this service for free! The major limitations are 500 errors a month and only one viewer. But if your business is growing up, you can still upgrade your plan to $19 a month to be allowed to send up to 25.000 errors a month. Have a look at the prices on BugSense for more details. All the plans allows you to create as many applications you want, even with the free plan! If you are an open source application developer, do not hesitate to contact them, they can offer you a Premium plan for free!

Since the last time I blogged about it, they introduced the support of XNA on Windows Phone 7. It means, you can now, track problems in your games! To use it, it’s still very convenient, you can use NuGet to get the packages and install it into your application / game.

My opinion about these price is that the limit of 500 errors a month of the free plan can be reached very fast if your popularity on the marketplace grows. But the price of the next plan, $20 a month, could be a bit expensive. Maybe an intermediate plan, with “only” up to 5,000 errors would be a good alternative. But don’t forget that you can monetize your application with Microsoft Advertising (not available in every countries).

I’m using BugSense in my applications for Windows Phone 7 to track all bugs. The biggest part of the problems come from the applications Earthquakes because the number of downloads is pretty high (thank you for that), but it’s usually only minor issues, and thanks to BugSense I can catch them very quickly, with the email sent to alert you when you receive a new unknown crash. So I can very quickly fix the problems, now the slowest part is the certification on the Microsoft Marketplace, that takes almost a week to validate an update. Please Microsoft improve the certification process!!!

Follow @bugsense on Twitter. Then have a look at their website.

How to use Yahoo! Query Language with C#

Yahoo Query

What is the Yahoo! Query Language?

“The Yahoo! Query Language is an expressive SQL-like language that lets you query, filter, and join data across Web services.” Source Yahoo!     Yahoo! is a huge database, and we can consume all these data with a very simple query. The data can be financial data, amazon content, geographical information, weather forecast… Well, you can get almost anything from Yahoo, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can still create your own table and share it with the community.

Where to get the information?

Yahoo offers an excellent tool on the Yahoo! Developer Network, the Yahoo! Query Language console. From this interface, you can see the list of tables available, try them before using them in your applications.Yahoo Query Console

On the picture above, I show you how to get the forecast of the zip code 94123 (San Francisco, CA). The result is an XML file that you can easily parse with C#. You can also get the result in JSON format.

How to use it with C#?

Let’s try to display the list of counties in a state. I’ll use the table geo.counties. The example for this table is: select * from geo.counties where place=”CA” and return the list of the 57 counties in California. You see that you can easily change the state by replacing “CA” in the query by another state like “NY” for New York. The interface gives you the REST URL to call to retrieve all the information.

private static void RetrieveCounties(string state)
{
    // Create the Query URL
    string url = string.Format(BASE_URL, state);

    // Load the document from the URL
    XDocument doc = XDocument.Load(url);

    // The XML contains this namespace
    // we need to specify it in order to be able to parse the xml
    XNamespace xNamespace = "http://where.yahooapis.com/v1/schema.rng";

    // Retrieve the list of counties
    var xPlaces = doc.Root.Element("results").Elements(xNamespace + "place");
    foreach (var xPlace in xPlaces)
    {
        // Display the element name
        Console.WriteLine(xPlace.Element(xNamespace + "name").Value);
    }
}

To make the code easier to read / understand, I did not include any caching of exception…
Yahoo Query result