Monthly Archives: July 2010

Styles in Silverlight – Advanced Topics

I’m writing a 4 part series on everything (I think) it’s worth knowing about styles. In the second part of the series (following the previous one Styles in Silverlight – an Introduction) I’m covering the following topics:

  • Re-Using Styles for Different Types: the TargetType of the Style can be a parent type of the target object as long as it only sets properties of the parent type.
    So for example the Fill property of both an Ellipse and Rectangle can be styled by using a Style that’s TargetType is set to Shape (as both Ellipse and Rectangle inherit from Shape)
  • Inheriting Styles using the BasedOn property: Styles can be inherited from one another using the BasedOn property. Single inheritance is supported and the depth of inheritance is not limited.
  • Implicit styling: Implicit styles allow defining a default style for all instances of a given type within the scope of the control. This feature has been introduced in Silverlight 4.
  • Style Precedence: Styles are only applied to a property if that property is not animated, has no local value set and has no value set in a template. This precedence is the same as the dependency property precedence.
  • Style Setter Precedence: setters specifying the value of the same property may be declared within the same Style. The last one of them has the highest precedence and will be used.
  • You can read the (much more detailed) full article on my Scott Logic blog. The next part of the series will cover further advanced topics such as using Styles in code behind and exploring the relationship between styles and dependency properties from a practical perspective.

Styles in Silverlight: an Introduction

I’m writing a (planned) 4 parts series on everything I think it’s worth knowing about styles in Silverlight. The first part is ready and it covers the following topics:

You can read the (much more detailed) full article on my Scott Logic blog. This part has meant to be an introduction, the next parts will dig into more advanced Style usage scenarios.

World Cup 2010 Real-Time Push Web App Competition Winner!

A month ago Kwwika, a real-time data streaming service provider annonced a competition to build a mash up that uses their World Cup 2010 Twitter streams. I’ve decided to enter the competition and visualize the stream of tweets in a fun and engaging way. As the competition closed on 11th July, my entry was selected as one of the winners!

tweetforyourteam

My entry, Tweet For Your Team shows the tweets of the two teams simultaneously. It measures the live intensity of the tweets (how many are written per minute for each team) and also analyzes their mood by matching keywords and using simple rules to decide whether a tweet carries positive or negative emotions for the team.

The entry also allows visitors to get involved and cheer for or against their team with a single click sending a shout visible to other users off the application. See this post on further details on the application functionality.

Winners of the competition were announced just before the World Cup 2010 final and I was happy to see my entry being selected one of the two winners. As the judging panel wrote in their summary:
“Gergely created a really engaging application that you could easily sit and watch and interact with during any live World Cup match.” And “The performance of the application is really impressive considering tweet rates for Spain alone have been seen to hit 3500 tweets per minute.”

You can read more about the application in the following previous posts:

And of course you can see it in action at TweetForYourTeam.com!

Cheer For Your Team With a Click on TweetForYourTeam.com!

I’ve created TweetForYourTeam just a week ago and have just added a major update with a couple of fun features.

Cheer By a Single Click

In the original version of TweetForYourTeam one was able to engage in cheering for or against a team by sending a tweet to Twitter. In the current update an easier method has been implemented. Under each teams two buttons have been placed that allow one to cheer for or against the team by hitting the button.

update3

Whenever one sends a cheer (or anti-cheer), a cool animation happens on the screen. At the same time this cheer is sent back to the server and immediately appears on all other users’ screen real-time, using Kwwika’s real time notification streaming. So whenever you cheer, everyone else gets to see the same effect go off on their screen.

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Streaming World Cup Tweets in Silverlight With a Few Lines of Code

The World Cup is on and there have been quite a few good Twitter mashups made for this event, probably the most popular being TweetBeat (and I’ve also developed one, Tweet For Your Team). In this post I’ll show how to build a simple service similar to TweetBeat using a publicly available real-time streaming service, Kwwika.

The application built in this short tutorial will be the following:

Why use a streaming service?

Getting tweets on a certain topic – in our case, the World Cup – can be done in three main ways:

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World Cup 2010 Real Time Twitter Mashup

This World Cup has been exciting for me not just because of the great games but also because during the group stages I’ve been building a cool real time spectator monitoring application for it: Tweet For Your Team (powered by Kwwika real time data services).

What does it do?

The application streams tweets live from the two teams playing live or playing the next game (using the Kwwika service). It also shows the live score on the top (provided by Opta), so even if you’re not in front of a telly, you can be aware of it. Now, for the fun part…

tweetintensity

The app monitors the tweet intensity, that is the number of tweets per minute for each side. Hours before the game this value is typically around 5-10/minute, right before the game it’s usually at least 300/minute and from there it pretty well reflects how nerve wracking the game is. The highest number I’ve experienced up to the semi finals. was around 3500/minute for Spain, when they shot – and missed – the second penalty against Paraguay in the quarter finals.

tweetmood

Tweet intensity is an interesting indicator, but an even more useful one is the mood meter. The application tries to evaluate the mood of each tweet coming in and decide whether it is more of a positive message (“yaaay!!”) or a negative one (“boooo!”). The tweets are colored according to this: red ones mean negative, green ones positive and yellow is neutral (or at least the application couldn’t decide).

Tweet intensity tends to pretty well reflect on the game: usually when a team is scored a goal it tends to go down… though it’s hard to predict by how much – sometimes the fans just keep sending positive messages to the team even after their team has gotten behind!
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