Category Archives: Tablet

Is “Ink” cooler if we call it “annotating”?

There are a few silverlight demos that use the InkPresenter, though two of them don’t refer to Ink at all…:

The page turning demo has it. You can annotate the pages and that gets remembered during your session. As you flip the pages back and forth, the annotations are incorporated into the effects.

The scribbler demo has it. This is straight drawing. What I love here is the cool pallette.

The Ink Tattoo Studio demo has it. This a fun demo.  On a tabletpc, the pressure of the stylus can be registered by the digitizer.I saw a version of this app that said “Ouch!” if the pressure got too high. Otherwise, the tattoo tool buzzes.


Ink Support in Silverlight

Silverlight does INK! Yay. I’ve been asking about it for a while thinking it was the next natural step. I actually have played with it a bit and have a little app that I wrote that I need to deploy with the GoLive license. This is with the 1.0 version of Silverlight so it is all javascript against the InkPresenter XAML object. This also means that it is very different than coding against the Tablet PC API. However with the .NET runtime support for Silverlight that will change.

The InkPresenter has a StrokeCollection, just like we are familiar with in the Ink API. And then you drill into each individual stroke and even stylus points. With the stylus point data not only can you redisplay the ink in XAML, but you can redraw it and you can do so in real time (eg at the same speed that it was originally drawn in.

The way you interact with the user drawing ink via the javascript is by responding to mousedown, mousemove and mouseup events. Billy Hollis recognized this as how he worked with ink before we had the Ink APIs. It’s a little frustrating to have to work at this low level but it’s very interesting and i have a lot of flexibility. However, I do look forward to the .NET runtime implementation!

As always, my key interest is in persisting the ink. This can be done in XAML (you have to iterate through the ink structure and create the XAML, a function which can be encapsulated of course) and the CreateFromXAML javascript function will deserialize the XAML back into the inkdata that can be fed into the InkPresenter.

This is a pretty high level description and I’ll explain more of the guts of what I have done in a later post as well as have a screencast available while I deal with getting the golive version on the web.

In the meantime, check out Gavin Gear’s blog – he is a Program Manager on the tablet team and has done some amazing work with ink in Silverlight. Along with Sam George, he gets to show off a very cool demo tomorrow that they wrote. There are some live examples in the Silverlight gallery as well.

From Gavin’s blog

Want to check out a Silverlight Ink sample? Check out “Ink Tattoo Studio” and “Page Turn” here:

Also, I know that Loren Heiny , who has always been a great innovator with tablet pc development, is playing with this stuff too. So keep an eye on his blog as well.

Another Ink on the Web article

Once I got writing, I guess I couldn’t stop.

First there was the just published INKED! in aspnetPRO earlier this month.

Now I have the latest CoDe Focus Mobile PC Development (special focus issue published by CoDe Magazine) where along with a lot of cool articles on WPF and Ink (thanks Billy, it was my first foray into WPF-finally), Ink Analysis and more, is my article on Inking in ASP.NET 2.0, AJAX and IE7.

There’s one more coming for MSDN Online on the Mobile Dev Center. It’s just in final edits right now.

INK at MIX 07

Tablet PC/Ink related sessions & HOLs I see on the MIX site:

Ink for Designers and Developers
Speaker(s): Sam Geroge – Microsoft
Audience(s): Designer, Developer
Imagine if your users could add handwritten annotations over online photos, greeting cards or video (including live playback of your handwriting). Learn how to use Ink to take your Web sites to new heights of interactivity, personalization, social interaction, and usability. Learn the key design principles for Ink, and see how to code for Ink in the browser and on the server.

Ink in Web Applications
Audience(s): Business Decision Maker, Designer, Developer
Adding ink and annotations makes your Web applications far more interactive and enables users to add their own personal touch. This lab shows just how easy it is to add ink and annotation, which integrate seamlessly with other features of Web development. You will become familiar with a Web page for browsing photos; implement ink support; change the thickness and color of the ink; implement erasing with the back of the pen, and more.

(I think there are more HOLs. I just don’t see them on the site yet)

Code Project Windows Vista Mobile PC App Competition

Think Mobile apps are cool? Wanna win a UMPC (now that’s cool, too!)

From the mobility folks:

Today’s apps must work in an increasingly mobile environment and must allow new means of input: ink, touch, and more. Build a great application that encompasses these needs, write an article about what you’ve done, and you may win one of three cool Samsung Ultra-Mobile PCs. One winner per month, 3/15/07–6/15/07.
Check out Code Project for more details.

Hmm, now that I’ve got my own TOUCH SCREEN tablet, all I need to do is find some free time, and I’m so there….

Couldn’t this be a Tablet PC?

Here’s a picture of a guy from FEMA going door to door in Oklahoma checking on residents who have been out of power from the ice storms. He’s carrying a clipboard with lots of papers. Surely what he writes will then get typed into a computer. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a Tablet and do the data entry directly?

The benefit of the clipboard however is it’s light weight and it’s not dependant on battery life. Yes, it’s cheaper, too.

Atlas and Ink on the Web

Last night I took one of my demos that I have used in past articles (Persisting Ink on the Web for MSDN online and Ink on the Web for CoDe Mag) and that will be in my session at Mobile Connections in November (Las Vegas) and redid it in a page using Atlas. Anyone attending my session will be the first to lay eyes on it!

It was very sweet. The demo has an ink control on the page and grabs ink data from a database and loads it into the control. It’s not rocket science and I’m just saving a full postback, but since then I have been dreaming up a fun new project that I am hoping to find some time to dive into that will make nice use of these combined tools. I’m not sharing that quite yet, but just the fact that ink and atlas go together is pretty groovy.