WinJS ViewBox workings and FlexBoxes

I came across this post today that talks about how the ViewBox works in WinJS.  Meaning, what HTML/CSS are being used to create the ViewBox effect.

The same author has another article that talks about the difference between the ViewBox and the FlexBox.  The FlexBox being a CSS thing and the ViewBox being a WinJS control.

Deleting old Windows Server Backup files

Amazingly, if you are using Windows Server Backup, you have no way to delete old backup files.  The service is supposed to simply grow your backup data until your drive is full, and then it should start cleaning up the old backups, but that isn’t ideal.

I found that I was able to delete the oldest backup by using the command:

DiskShadow.exe

followed by

delete shadows oldest f:

Where f: is the drive that is used for backups.  There is no way to tell it to keepLatest 100 like you can if you were just deleting the system state, but you can put a bunch of delete commands into a text file and point diskshadow at it.

Firefox 15 doesn’t scroll much in Windows 8

I’ve had a few of my friends test this behavior and I’m the only one who currently is experiencing it, so I’m not sure what is different about my setup than there’s, but for me, each click of my mouse wheel, whether at work using my wireless logitech, or at home using my USB generic mouse, causes FF to only scroll only a small amount, say 16px give or take.

This isn’t the case in other applications, like IE and Chrome.

If I go into the Windows 8 settings and change the scrolling to be greater, it has no noticeable impact in Firefox.  However, I found that if I go to Firefox settings by navigating to the URL about:config, and modify the mousewheel.withnokey.numlines value (even if I just change if from 6 to 7) it “fixes” the issue.

WinJS Promises

I’m working on an app for Windows 8, and I decided that I would try doing it in HTML5 and Javascript (WinJS), thinking that I’d have an easier time with arranging HTML than with arranging XAML.

I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to be the case as it seems like it’s hard to make my app not look like a formatted webpage (no duh) instead of a native app.  But anyway, the one thing that is cool to see is that MS is making sure that lots of stuff in WinJS uses promises.

A promise is a way to deal with callbacks, but usually in a nicer and more fluent manner.  Rather than messing around with timeouts and callbacks, you can write code like something.execute().then(finish()).done(cleanup());

WinJS has it’s own Promise object.  There is a very nice write up here:

http://stephenwalther.com/archive/2012/02/22/metro-promises.aspx

The best example is this one showing the full life cycle of a WinJS promise:

image

When working in regular javascript (instead of WinJS), you can make use of a number of different promise libraries:

http://api.jquery.com/category/deferred-object/

http://www.commonjs.org/

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rbuckton/archive/2011/08/15/promise-js-2-0-promise-framework-for-javascript.aspx