Starting Windows 8 development – What do I need?

There is not much you need to start developing windows 8 solutions.
Especially if you compare it with (for example) SharePoint development.

First of all you need to start with the latest windows 8 OS. You can download the free RTM version from here:

The installation is very straightforward, but if you are interested there is a full step by step guide available at
http://www.techspot.com.

The next item you need is Visual Studio 2012.
If you don’t have the possibility to install the Ultimate version, download the free Express version from here:
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8

Then close your eyes and say to yourself:  My app will be the best app to ….
Once you completed this sentence, write it down on a post-it and stick it on your screen. This sentence will be the answer to a lot of questions you’ll have later.

Don’t start immediatly with a production version of your app, in my opinion it is better to learn upfront what is possible and how it works and based upon this knowledge… I design my production app.

First choice you’ll have to make is the following decision:

To XAML & C# or Html & JavaScript?

The french have a very nice proverb for this: “Les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas”.
A good example why this is so accurate for this question, can be found here (including the comments):
http://blog.jerrynixon.com/2012/05/windows-8-why-i-choose-xaml-metro-over.html

I’ve been working with both now and for me personally, I much more prefer the Html & JavaScript way than the XAML approach. The reason for this because for the past seven years I’ve been working with HTML & JavaScript and also because I simply love it.

But would this mean that I’m ignoring the C# and XAML approach?NO! If I want to understand something, I need to look at the problem with different eyes.  Maybe not different eyes, because that would have a huge impact on my personal health. In order to truly provide the best solution you need to know your options and their pro’s and con’s.

Ofcourse I like the HTML approach, because it is easy to me… this only means that I’ll need to put more effort in XAML skills!

For me it’s not a matter of chosing sides, I lose if I don’t master both options.
PS: Please don’t start about C++ 😉

New Project…

  • XAML templates are available under Visual C# > Windows Store
  • JS templates are available under Other Languages > Javascript > Windows Store

Offcourse I took the XAML template 😉

SplashScreen

That was the first thing I wanted to do, changing the empty splashscreen and the tiles. The Package.appxmanifest is the place where the configuration is done:

  • Display name
  • logo’s
  • splashscreen
  • The images you can use are in the Assets directory

I recommend Paint.Net to help you resizing images into the correct resolutions.

I hope this gets you started

Tom

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