Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cocktail Flow: Holiday Update

With the team at Distinction we’ve continued to work hard on Cocktail Flow and I’m happy to announce that we’ve shipped an update for the application with some new features and holiday themed cocktails!

So here’s a summary of what’s new:

  • We’ve added support for cocktail packages - these can be downloaded within the application for more cocktails.
  • We’ve released a Christmas and New Years package with over 50 new, holiday themed cocktail recipes
  • Cocktails can be browsed by color as well and we’ve added brandy and champagne to the base drinks category
  • New settings: the lock screen can be configured not to turn the application off and the currency can be changed in the shopping assistant

Of course the updates don’t stop with this; new cocktail packages planned to be released continuously. Should you miss some recipes, just send your suggestion on Twitter @cocktailflow.

Here are some screenshots of some of the new, holiday cocktails, the packages and the new start screen. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


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Using Google App Engine as Proxy for Silverlight and Flash Cross-Domain Requests

When using Silverlight or Flash to fetch data from other domains one often runs into cross-domain access restrictions. For security reasons in order to access data from different domains, the remote server explicitly has to allow this by defining a crossdomain.xml (or, for Silverlight, clientaccesspolicy.xml is good as well). If this file cannot be found on the remote domain, the request is not executed.

This can be fustrating when querying against RSS feeds or JSON/XML web APIs that don’t define any of these files. The workaround for this issue is to use some sort of proxying service. In this article I’ll be showing how to use Google App Engine to create a simple proxy that will forward these requests for free – within a reasonable daily load.

Google App Engine Overview

The reason I’ve chose to implement the proxy using Google App Engine is because it has a free daily quota and getting started using it is really simple: all you need is a Google account and to download and install the Google App Engine SDK.

Google App Engine supports developing in both Java and Python. In my example I’ll be using Python. In order to use and deploy the code yourself as well, follow these steps:
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10 Things Developers Will Love About Silverlight

On the Silverlight Firestarter Scott Guthrie gave a preview of the new features being developed in Silverlight 5. I’ve written an article on the 10 most important new features Silverlight developers should be excited about. These are the following:

  1. Debug Data Binding Expressions by Using Breakpoints in XAML
  2. Animations Made Easy with Transitions
  3. Navigating Up the Visual Tree in Bindings using RelativeSource and Mode=FindAncestor
  4. Binding View Events to the ViewModel Using Custom Markup Extensions
  5. Changing Styles Runtime By Binding in Style Setters
  6. Networking No Longer Happening on the UI Thread
  7. Vector Based Printing
  8. HTML Content and Additional Permissions Within Trusted Silverlight Application
  9. 3D API
  10. Smaller Enhancements: Text Clarity and Performance Improvements

You can read the full article with details on all of these features on my Visiblox blog.

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