The Wallenda Factor

Programming for the Windows phone is easy. Getting a simple app up and running is a simple task because of all the hidden power behind XAML. The problem is, trying to tap in to that power to bring your app to a new level. For some, creating a simple app is fine, but most of us want to open that secret door to find out what magic it can release.

Most people trying to promote the environment say that it is a simple twenty foot stroll from point A to point B on a sunny day in the park. To help, they will even place down a string connecting the two points to make it easy for you to follow. As you start the journey, it starts to get darker and the person encourage you on the walk is now wearing a police uniform. He is conducting a DUI test and your anxiety builds. Your steps become uneasy. Was the bread in that sandwich you just ate going off and fermenting? How many slices of bread does it take to fail the test. A crowd has gathered and now you are getting a bit of performance anxiety. Point B is quickly  fading in to the distance. Suddenly the ground drops away and the string you were on turns into a rope and the crowd is yelling Wallenda! Wallenda!…

That is what it sometimes feels like when using XAML. As long as you keep it simple, no problem, but when you get adventurous, it can be a long fall and you freeze rather than go forward. Google/Bing have always been a good way to lessen the anxiety, but more than likely, the results just indicate that what you were looking for was just mentioned and the link has no relevance. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of relevant of information dealing with the new features in WP7/8 and the errors that are generated are way off in left field and have nothing to do with the problem. You create a problem that is passed to a XAML routine that interprets it and passes it to another XAML routine that puts its spin on the request. This continues until the system just gives up and raises a white flag. As in the children’s game where you whisper a message around a circle, the final message has no resemblance to the original message. You may have a car crash in Halifax, but the message you receive is that you won the lottery in Vancouver.

Luckily, the Canadian team at is trying to encourage established developers to help out as mentors. They will not be able to make phone development a walk in the park, but they will be able to fill in the potholes that prevent you from getting to pointB.

John Marshall… Visio MVP

Published by johnvisiomvp

The original Visio MVP. I have worked with the Visio team since 1993