andre's blog

Sample .vimrc file for software developers

Vim is a very powerful and convenient text editor for Unix environments. I certainly don't wish to start any disputes along the lines of the old vim/emacs frontier, especially since I used both of them for long periods of time and find unique features in each. However in recent years I tend to use vim most of the time, mainly because it is quite lightweight. In order to benefit the most from the editor it needs to be configured to suit my specific requirements.

Opening new e-mail form of the default mail client in a WPF / WinForms application

Sometimes, while writing a WPF or WinForms GUI application, you might need to allow the user to send a pre-populated e-mail from her machine. A typical example would be sending an e-mail to your technical support from the application. A naive approach to implement this functionality is to use the following code sniplet:


Use system icons in WPF

Sometimes you would like to use a standard Windows system icon, such as error, warning, question etc. in your WPF program. The main reason is usually consistent look with the rest of the system. While you could have extracted the desired icon from one of the system resource files, there is a much better technique for doing it. First, add a reference to System.Drawing to your project. Then you can use this sample code to get the desired icon quickly:


Side by side editing of .resx files for localization

WPF allows you to create localized applications with relatively little effort. The localized strings are put into resource files (.resx), one per target language, and maintained as needed. The editing facilities of Visual Studio, however, are not designed to help the localization efforts, however. The GUI can only show one resource file at a time.

Microsoft icons for developers

Apparently, Microsoft allows users of Visual Studio to include some icons, supplied with the product. For example, to look at available icons in Visual Studio 2010, locate the file in the installation directory of your copy of VS (i.e. C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\VS2010ImageLibrary\1033) and extract the .png files you need. You can extract the necessary sub-images from them.


Windows Phone .NET localization that works

I was quite eager to learn about Windows Phone 7 when the development preview came out. I downloaded the tools and tried to build a sample to get a feel. I must admit that developing .NET application for the new OS is quite easy. However one bit I couldn't make work - localization. With today's global markets and multi-language consumers it is important to be able to deliver your product in different languages. I suspect there was a bug in the version of software I was dealing with then.

Offlineimap bugs

Offlineimap - a utility, used to synchronize between IMAP servers and Maildir style mailboxes on Unix systems, is very convenient. It can be used to back up your mail, stored on a remote IMAP server. Unfortunately, some releases of the utility are quite buggy - the latest version from the previous maintainer was simply broken, refusing to connect to many remote servers. It appears, however, that there is a new maintainer for the project. The GIT repository can be found here. Caveat emptor.


HTC HD2 (Leo) smartphone can run Android!

During the last day of 2010 news has leaked about a substantial breakthrough in the world of hacking. The quite famous and popular smartphone HTC HD2, also known as Leo, was hacked to run Android 2.2 and 2.3. Originally the phone comes with Windows Mobile 6.3 preinstalled. One needs a lot of space in order to describe all of this OS' shortcomings in the areas of stability, performance, user interface and productivity. However the hardware itself is amazingly good and at par with latest phones from the same and other manufactures.