If there is anything wrong with modern society, it’s that we don’t confuse the shit out of our kids. Back in the days when the creators of my childhood cartoons were growing up, apparently dads would just throw their children into lakes in order to teach them how to swim. On the surface, this seems like a really stupid idea: children are just going to drown a ton and you’re not getting any better swimmers than if you just taught the kid how to swim one step at a time. But I have now thrown myself into the deadly Lake of C#/XAML (apparently pronounced ZAM-ull), and oh my God do I wish that I had been given some sort of instinct to float to the top.
I suppose that the main issue here is that I’m working with two different languages that I have never worked with before. So far what I have done is found a new video series, called Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners, that is laid out much more interestingly and is able to better catch my attention. At times, it helps me understand the fundamentals that are going on, but I feel that the Absolute Beginners association is rather misleading. It would appear, though this doesn’t seem to be stated anywhere, that you should definitely have completed the C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners array of videos before beginning. However, it would appear that XAML is covered in the scope of the series, as the videos seem to go rather in depth explaining what to do with XAML and what exactly it is. I’m not sure if I need to start the C# videos, though I’m thinking that that will be a good idea. There’s also a series for Windows Phone 7, which is rather frustrating; I am trying to target my app to be useful for both WP7 and 8, but I’m not sure if I should be coding using only WP7 things. I don’t even know if there are things that are exclusive to WP7. I am pretty lost here, and I guess the biggest issue I’m having is not knowing where to start.
I’ve installed the SDK for Windows Phone, and so far it seems to be working relatively alright. It takes up a HUGE amount of space, however, because there are essentially 3 or 4 panes that it is displaying horizontally; I really wish right about now that I had an extra monitor or two. The software itself isn’t all that confusing, it’s just understanding what things to assign to C# and which to assign to XAML, though I am assuming that XAML is only really meant for layout kinds of things.
I’m used to coding in relatively simple IDEs like Vim, Eclipse or Sublime Text, so the whole idea of a suite like Visual Studio is kind of blowing my mind a little bit right now. Apparently I need to install some updates in order to be able to use the phone emulator on my OS (Windows 8.1), so I’ve been testing the apps that I have been told to make on my phone itself. I usually am pretty anal about keeping software up to date, but I need Update 3 and I’m not sure if I need to download and execute three different installer packages in order to use an emulator I’m not really missing. It is pretty cool to see an app that I have created running on my phone, even if it’s just a test and I had had my hand held throughout the process. So far it seems like there are a lot of features to Visual Studio and there is probably no way in hell I will be able to learn very many of them.
I’ve been scrounging around on the internet looking for the necessary commands that I need in order to run a flashlight app. I found a guide, though of course it says it is for WP8 phrasing and so I have no idea if it will be compatible with WP7. I really don’t want the extent of my app to be copying and pasting code, as I would like to add minimal settings to the app. I still have yet to find (not that I’ve looked, really) any way to make a “three-dot menu” for my app which would ideally include settings. I’m wondering if I should continue on using this code, or if I should try to find a WP7 version. I’m slowly starting to feel like I’m getting a good idea of what challenges lie ahead of me, though I will obviously need to wait and see how difficult this all is in execution.
My current plan of attack is as follows:
- Begin C# for Plebs course, take it until I feel comfortable with the C# syntax I’m looking at here in the most rudimentary way
- seriously what the hell is a namespace I should know this considering I have done an entire year’s worth of C++.
- Vigorously study Windows Phone 7 app course, for in order to know the way forward you must know where Windows Phone has been
- See if at this point I can make myself a goddamn app. If not then I guess I’ll continue on with the WP8 app development series. Whatever no big deal.
This is the way forward. I am just so excited I have no idea what I am going to do with myself.