Building a Better Napkin/Whiteboard, Go from Ink to Code
Microsoft’s Garage lab has announced a new Ink to Code app that will take your digital ink sketches and turn them into an actual application. Ink to Code is a UWP app that enables developers to draw a wire frame sketch and then export that sketch into source code for use in Visual Studio.
Urban legend has it that some of the greatest ideas in history started with a napkin. The Gettysburg Address, the poem that gave way to the U.S. National Anthem, and the premise of the Harry Potter series—each were reportedly born into the world through the medium of sketches on scrap paper—and when app creators put pen to paper for their ideas, this is often a canvas of choice. While rapid prototyping with the napkin and the whiteboard holds its charms, less charming is the prospect of translating quick sketches into working code. – Lainie Huston
Ink to Code is supposed to use artificial intelligence and automation to create the code from the wire frame sketches and at this time only supports basic visual elements like labels, text fields, images and buttons. This visual element recognition is similar to what you can find in the Microsoft Whiteboard (Preview) app, which you can download from the Microsoft Store.
This app currently supports Android and Windows UWP apps. At this time the app doesn’t seem to be available on the Microsoft Store, so keep an eye out for it.
New year, new website theme!
For some time now I’ve been looking to refresh my website with a more modern theme from WordPress. I’m using WordPress.com so I’m somewhat limited by the themes they provide online but there are many themes to choose from – both free and premium that you pay for.
After what seemed like a long journey of reviewing theme after theme after theme, I finally settled on a premium theme called Periodical. It provides some awesome customizations, like a nice menu bar at the top for anything. I choose to highlight my pages and then custom links to my social and coding accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, GitHub and YouTube.
I also liked the layout and font used for the content. There are many other customizations I’m playing with but so far I love this theme and highly recommend it to any other technical blogger.
Let me know what you think.
Article Links for Using Expression Design for Windows Store and Windows Phone Logo Assets
2 great articles on how to use Microsoft Expression Design for creating Windows Store and Windows Phone logo assets for every resolution.
Generating Windows Store Logo Assets At Every Resolution by Kyle Anthony Mitofsky
Windows 8 apps need 28 logo varietals; enter Expression Design by Jerry Nixon
Expression Design is Now Available for Free
Microsoft Expression Design is now available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center and as stated by Microsoft, no new versions will be developed.
It’s unfortunate that these tools will no longer be developed, however it looks like Microsoft will shift their focus to help improve the tooling in Visual Studio and Blend for Visual Studio for creating new applications.
Expression Design is a tool for creative professionals and developers who want to build graphics for application user interfaces, the web, or any other medium.
The convenience and ease of editing vector graphics in Expression Design can be a cornerstone of your Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft Silverlight, and web images. Whether you’re a veteran professional illustrator, a designer building a dazzling website, or a budding artist eagerly experimenting with various styles and techniques, you will find Expression Design an indispensable tool for your creative tasks.
You can download Expression Design here.
Microsoft Expression Web is also available for Free and can be downloaded from here.
For more information on Microsoft’s Expression product line, please see the Expression Website.