Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What YOU Are Interested In

I was very excited to see two of my blog posts featured in the 900th issue of Silverlight Cream which ranked the top articles of 2010 thus far. These were Top 10 Silverlight Myths and Facts to Bust Them (#4) and Simple Dialog Service in Silverlight (#17).

I appreciate your interest and out of curiosity decided to examine my own blog to see what trends look like for the past year. What posts are you looking at the most? And where do you spend most of your time? Here's what I found:

Last 6 Months

  1. Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Explained
  2. MVVM with MEF in Silverlight Video Tutorial
  3. Dynamic Module Loading with Silverlight Navigation using PRISM

Last 3 Months

  1. Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Explained
  2. MVVM with MEF in Silverlight Video Tutorial
  3. PRISM, MEF, and MVVM Part 1 of 3: Unity Glue

Last Month

  1. Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Explained
  2. Introducing Sterling, the OODB for Silverlight and Windows Phone 7
  3. Tips and Tricks for INotifyPropertyChanged

I'm assuming you actually read the posts because you spent an average of 4 - 5 minutes on each of the top ones.

What does this tell me? It shows there is a major interest in dynamic modules, in MEF, in local storage for Silverlight, and of course the Model-View-ViewModel pattern. This is good, because these are topics I consistently write about and speak about at public events. However, one other thing I've found is just as important.

We need more quick starts, easy step-by-step tutorials, and guidance for these patterns!

With the few talks I've done that provided feedback from the audience, the lower ratings are always tied to either "too much content" or "too advanced." I appreciate that feedback and it tells me you want more simple, 1-2-3 style posts and snippets of information. I also know my future talks should focus on the fundamentals and not dive into advanced topics unless I know for a fact the audience is going to have experience coming into it.

I appreciate all of your feedback, both direct and indirect. Can you help out even more with this post? I'd love to hear what blog posts, articles, video tutorials, and talks you would like to see but feel haven't been addressed. Use the comments below to share with me what you'd like to see more of, and how you'd like to see it. It will only help me improve the content that I share here and at users groups.


Jeremy Likness


  1. I disagree that you need more quickstarts, step-by-step tutorials etc. Jesse Liberty has those more than covered (as do most of the Silverlight books out there) and too many lack any kind of "real world" quality to them.

    I think you should keep at the level you are doing - sure, I sometimes have to scratch my head or re-read stuff a few times but I've learnt a lot from your blog and would hate for that to change.

    Source code is good too of course (really enjoying looking through the Sterling reference sample - thank you!)

    Speaking completely selfishly I'd like to see you cover Rx Extensions - if only because I know it's going to make my brain hurt from what little I've already seen, but it seems to be important (especially in the bigger shops) and I would like a bright "guide" to help me through the process.

    Would also like to hear more about your testing approach (ideally something that offers a bit more than SLUT - eg have you any experience of MOQ or other tools?) I think it's scary that when Pete Brown from MS does a poll of tools being used he finds nearly everyone mentioning MVVM but hardly anyone mentioning test tools! I suspect a lot of this is down to the paucity of information available, so it would be great to see someone "leading the way" on this stuff.

    It would also be good to see someone leading more on accessibility and internationalisation (tenancy rather than just straight language), and theming is very poorly covered in the existing blog articles (often with very poor advice).

    Other stuff like implementing services and using "stealth paging" or implmenting IPagedViewCollection (I think that's what it's called) when working with web services etc are also not well covered by what I've seen so far.

    Lots to get stuck into then! :-)

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Your blog is probably my most useful resource when I get stuck on something and there's a wealth of good information here, where so much of the rest of the internet is full of very bad advice when it comes to Silverlight and how to do things. You're an inspiration and many thanks for all the hard work you put in.

  2. Ian, as always I appreciate your feedback and insights ... very valuable and helps a lot. Thanks!

  3. Jeremy,

    Definitely stay advanced on your blog. The speaking circuit eval form is a little tricky -- those are the comments from people who feel strongly. I'm guessing that the vast majority of people who attended your talk knew what they were getting into. Plus think of how you would feel if you changed the tempo of your talks and started getting 1s and 2s because "the material was too basic!" Alternatively you could double up on talks with an intro version as well as a "now with vitamin C added" version.

    If you got on Dave Campbell's list, you are obviously already doing something right with your blog. Don't go changing.


  4. Thanks again for the insights. That's why I asked, instead of changing right away ... very good. I also feel that the quick starts I'm working on and will eventually get published for MefContrib (@MefContrib, http://mefcontrib.codeplex.com/) will also help with the intro-style info for MEF specifically.

    Thanks, James, I appreciate you - everyone else, keep the feedback coming!

  5. Hi Jeremy

    I would agree with the other feedback. I follow your blog because it is advanced and makes me look at things in much more depth. I do have to re-read and go through again sometimes but see that as a good thing as I am learning and pushing myself into new areas. There are so many books and blogs that just cover the basic 123 steps but don't help in the real world and really overlap with each other, I don't feel much effort has gone into them sometimes. I find your blog does not do this and is very unique, advanced and has real world content.

    I also appreciate all the tweets you send out as well.

    Many thanks for all the time and effort you spend giving back to the community, I for one really appreciate it.


  6. Wonderful wonderful post. I've been out of .Net for far too long. I'm currently working on a huge JavaScript/HTML front end and Java back end project. I keep on reading blogs and tinkering with .Net with the hope that I won't be completely out of it when I finally get to do another .Net project. MVVM is very interesting to me but it seems like there aren't many good starters. Don't get me wrong. I love real world apps and don't really enjoy demo ware. I would love to have something get progressively more advanced in the MVVM pattern, XAML (which is equally steep even though I've had lots of Flex experience), Expression, and even WCF (even though I feel like it's a heavy hand for what it's trying to achieve).

    Keep the great posts coming!

    Oh and I'm looking forward to the OODB for silverlight. Looks awesome.

  7. Hi Jeremy,

    3 weeks ago I was a complete beginner to Silverlight - reading your blogs (and a couple of other keys ones) has helped me immensely (check out PokerDIY Tourney Manager - http://www.pokerdiy.com/poker-chip-calculator.aspx - it's an early version but getting there ;).

    There are many tutorials all over the web that show the basics - I think somewhere intermediate is a good place to aim - some of the posts are just way to advanced - they use advanced syntax and new features and assume you know them all so you lose the gist of the post because you might not...

    In a month or so I will be starting more advanced stuff (synching my offline app with PokerDIY leagues and pulling/pushing results etc) - I think Sterling looks interesting for that but I have bit of a learning curve for webservices and a few other things first ;)

    Anyway - keep up the good work - I find the tips and examples really useful.


  8. Gavin, Rodney, and "Anonymous" thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and feedback, this is very valuable.

    I'm working on some documentation and packaging for Sterling and then it should go to alpha quickly.

    As for posting, I'll continue "as is."

    Thanks again everyone!

  9. Hi Jeremy,

    I also vote to other's feedback to keep going on advanced one. There are tons of 123 thing on the web. What I need was the guidance architecture such as PRISM which explains how to appy regionManager,viewManager and service etc with MEF and the only realistic one I found by now is your XFit app. Now I statred to create real world app following your XFit. I admit I have to study MEF more,so often re-read your related bolgs whenever I faced a wall.
    In my case, I use another MVVM base written by Rocky which is more suiatable for CSLA and I'm struggling to change mvvm base in Xfit. I think others may have their own implementation.
    My selfish hope is you may add another blog to explain in mode depth about XFit app.

    I'd like to give my million thanks to you sharing your knowledge with my poor English.

    Thank you.