for OmarS – A little history of my Ink Blogging Application (BLInk!)

Omar Shahine, in my comments, says “tell me more…”. So with the presumption that he hasn’t read my blog previously…here’s a little history.

On my dotnetweblog check my tablet category. You will see that I’ve been writing some business applications for a tablet as well as playing with the general features and also trying to push for a little more developer interaction from Microsoft (heh).

At PDC, I took furious notes at the keynotes in ink using Journal and posted them immediately up to my blog:

here, here, here and here.

Although it was very satisfying to just take the notes and post them, I was very frustrated with two things – my handwriting was atrocious and no links! Frankly, I can type just as quickly as I write (and a lot more legibly) so it didn’t make too much sense except I got to doodle a little and draw little smiley faces instead of the ol’ :-). I think there’s a lot of reasons to blog in ink but there is no reason not to leverage the handwriting recognition and what is a blog without links.

So this was on my mind. THen the tablet team put up inklog.com. At first glance, cool – blogging in ink. BUt truly, they had the same problem. Crappy handwriting and no links. It was easy to discover that the blogs were gifs.

I just kept thinking about it. How it would be logically and technically possible to implement it. One thing I though about a lot was placement. If I was drawing all over the page, I would basically need to do some real acrobatics to have as close a snapshot of that as possible. I’m still thinking about that. But in reality, it’s a blog. A blog is mostly a stream of conciousness – or an article. It is not a designed user interface that should require tables to place elements etc.

So this is what I came up with and you see the basic implementation in my two previous posts. I actually had not used any of the ink tools from the SDK yet because my business application was using Infragistics tools which are ink enabled.

So I started playing with them yesterday morning and that’s what I have come up with so far. The thing that held me up the most was editing html in Windows Forms. But I already talked about that in a previous post. I did find another tool by Carl Nolan (MS) on the Windows Forms site Control Gallery , but I’m sticking with Nikhil’s and thinking of extending it a little. I’m still thinking about where the implementation goes next and have figured out how I will handle posting without writing my own blog engine (absolutely not something I am interested in doing). So I can use it with dotText or dasBlog or whatever I want.

Hey, I just thought of a name – BLInk! 🙂

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One thought on “for OmarS – A little history of my Ink Blogging Application (BLInk!)

  1. Just wanna say thank you for the information you have been shared to me and hope that you will continue doing the same great job on the future. Thanks again for the information.

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