Adding a search contract to the Windows 8 Calibre frontend

In this post I will show how simple it is to add a search contract to a Windows 8 Store app. This contract allows the user to search within your application from anywhere in Windows 8 using the search charm.  We will use my Calibre frontend app to show this. Check this video to see the raw action of what we are making.

What we are building: the search in action after querying for books with "brown" in the authorname.

What we are building: the search in action after querying for books with “brown” in the authorname.

This is the second post of my quest on writing a Windows 8 Store app for Calibre. The previous post can be found here. Read more of this post


Writing a Calibre frontend for Windows8/WinRT using ‘SQLite for WinRT’

While developing a Windows Store frontend application for the Calibre ebookmanager, I’m hitting several bumps along the road. In this post I’ll explain some of the bumps and how I’ve tried to tackle them.

Basically they can be summarized as follows:

  • How to access a Sqlite database in a WinRT application
  • Circumvent file access limitation of SQLIte for WinRT
  • Load cover files of each book
  • Create incremental-loading Gridview using ISupportIncrementalLoading

Calibre is a great open source and free to use ebookmanager. It allows me to manage my ever-growing ebook-library and it supports lots of ebook-filetypes, including the ability to convert between the types.

My goal is to write a simple Windows Store application that acts as a frontend for the Calibre database. It will show my library in a visual appealing manner (aka TDPFAM, “The-design-principle-formerly-known-as-Metro”) and allow the user to rapidly query his database from anywhere in windows. At least that’s the idea. We’ll see where we end up (check here for a little video demonstrating the application I’m building).

Future follow ups on this project might be found here on the Calibre developer forum.

Early alpha of Calibre frontend, simply demonstration what can be done (check out the youtube movie). Note the layout that is based on one of the existing VS2012 WinRT project setup.

The original Calibre program

With this post I hope others get triggered to create their own Calibre frontend, because, knowing myself, I’ll get bored of the project pretty soon once I have to tackle the UI/UX stuff …which I don’t like.
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Using delegates, func and lambdas: a tutorial with soldiers

In this tutorial, written for beginning programmers, I’d like to show a little demonstration on the usage of delegates and how we can go all crazy by refactoring and magically see all our duplicate code disappear.

Imagine we are writing the next ultimate Command&Conquer spinoff which can run on any computer …in console-mode. Read more of this post

Writing a WP7 website scraper application

In this tutorial I will explain how you write a WP7 application using the HtmlAgility Pack in order to use information scraped from a website.
Website scraping is the act of retrieving information from a website page. An act by some considered stealing, by others borrowing. Let’s leave that debate to the others. In this post I will show how easy it is to scrape content from a website so that you can (re)use it in your Windows Phone 7 application. As it is, this information will for the most part also work in other, non WP7, projects of course.
Sometimes website scraping is the only means available to consume certain information from a website. If the website doesn’t have some publicly available API or web service you can use you’re pretty much left with scraping, whether you like it or not.

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Using enum flags to write filters in Linq

Here’s the premise. Suppose we have a cookbook that contains all possible recipes with their names and needed ingredients. Using Linq it should be easy to query the cookbook and, for example, only show those recipes you can make given one or more ingredients you have at your house. My solution is a) extremely nice or b) very strange, bloated and way wrong. I leave it up to you and make sure to message me if you have a much nicer solution…because franky, I’m not a big fan of what follows (I have the itching sensation that using the correct binary logic I can solve this problem much easier…).

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