Yvan Rodrigues' problogue

(like a blog, but with less effort)

Disconnected ramblings about software development, iOS, FreeBSD, anti-social networking, kittens, drosophilidae, small business, Android, web services, finches, Windows, electrical engineering, XML, rental cars, rye, or ... FIVE dollars??!... something something beer.

Unity: ArgumentException: The Assembly UnityEditor is referenced by TouchScript.Editor. But the dll is not allowed to be included or could not be found.

You may get this error in Unity when building. Often it is due to a missing DLL, or linking directly to the Unity runtime.

In my case it turned out to be simple. I have the same DLL (TouchScript.Editor.dll)  in two places in my project.

Grouper app reviewed on ILoveFreeSoftware.com

My Grouper app was recently reviewed on ILoveFreeSoftware.com.

Windows 8 actually allows you to create a group of tiles similar apps, for example a group of all social apps, group of chatting apps, group of movies and music apps etc. You don’t need to download anything extra for grouping apps together. However Windows 8 doesn’t provide any mechanism to name these groups of apps. So, you need to install this simple light weight utility app Grouper from the Productivity Category in Windows Store. You can use the Windows 8 Search Charm to locate the app in Windows Store or click on the download link given at the end of this article. Then follow the steps of this Windows 8 tutorial.

Read the full article.

Intermec printer "RFID error"

I have an Intermec PM4i that I've been working on this morning. When I tried to print using the Windows IPL driver, I got the error RFID error, even though the unit doesn't have RFID installed.

The problem is actually due to trying to communicate IPL while the printer is in Fingerprint mode. If IPL mode isn't available, update the firmware to one that supports IPL.

A handy online function plotter

Ads not showing in Windows Store app?

If so, and you have checked that the ApplicationId and AdUnitId are valid, you probably don't have Internet turned on in the application manifest.

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How to clear the back stack in Windows RT (Windows Store) apps

Once you have set Window.Current.Content to a Frame, save a copy of the navigation stack.

// After the main application frame is established, save its navigation state. 
var appFrame = Window.Current.Content = new Frame(); 
var emptyNavState = appFrame .GetNavigationState(); 
// Here we're pushing a page onto the stack. appFrame.NavigateTo(foo); 
// If we want to clear the stack, this won't work: 
// appFrame.GoBack(); 
// So instead we simply restore the navigation state to its empty state. 
appFrame.SetNavigationState(emptyNavState);
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OutOfMemoryException on Graphics.FromImage

I encounted this exception while resizing an image of only 539x539px.

Upon closer inspection, the problem was that the image's PixelFormat was not one supported by the framework (System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat.8207 which is CMYK).

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Tetris

I tripped across Erik's work while searching for a cascading grid layout. The breadth, detail, and creativity in his work is quite amazing. Many of his pieces play with illusion in the style of M.C. Escher.

How to write a design brief or specification document

Writing a Design Brief

Before asking one or more graphic designers to submit designs, time should be taken to write a solid design specification, or brief. The quality of designs received is in reflective of the quality of the brief.

The art of the brief is to give enough information to inspire the designer without inadvertently planting an idea that will limit or bias the his or her creativity.

Introduction

Explain what is being designed, and possibly why. How will it be used, and by whom? Where are we starting, and what does the finish line look like?

Be as specific as possible e.g. “a logo for business cards and envelopes”, or “a home page, a content page, and a report page with charts”.

About the Client

Introduce the client and the nature of the client’s business without revealing the client. This is not for fear that the designer will contact the client but rather that he or she may encounter information that could steer the design in the wrong direction; for example seeing and old logo that the client hates.

Tell the designer about the brand, especially if one has been well established. What colours does the client’s logo contain?

Include any pertinent details about the client’s industry and even its competitors.

Constraints

List all established constraints to avoid wasted time. Stating that a design must be high-contrast for accessibility, or no wider than 960 pixels will allow the designer to focus on only what is practical.

Directions

Brief the designer on the goals and target market for this design.

Are there colours, or colour palettes to adhere to or to avoid? Or other traits, like the client likes/hates rounded corners. Again, mentioning that the client hates rounded corners will help eliminate those designs before we even start, but saying that the client likes them could result in 25 designs, each with round corners.

What values, feelings, or messages should the design convey? Are there themes to consider or avoid.

Consider using metaphors or comparisons to express intangible traits. “Like that Mac guy in the Apple ad, but less of a jerk”, “more like the Beatles than the Rolling Stones”, or “smokes dope, but doesn’t inhale.”

Inspiration

Provide sources of inspiration. This should be as varied as the expectation of diversity.

If “the Victoria’s Secret website” is the only source mentioned, you will probably receive something that resembles the Victoria’s Secret website. If five different clothing websites are specified, each having its own style, the designer will be forced to get a sense of the client’s preference without fixating on one particular style.

If possible, detail about what or why the client likes about each: the typography of one site, the mood of another, the proportions of a third. Make note of any exceptions, “love the colours but its needs way more whitespace”.

Consider

Supply any elements that each design must include. This may include a fake logo that resembles the clients logo in colours and proportions.

Supply any text that will be present such as fake phone numbers or e-mail addresses. Request that any paragraph text be greeked or direct them to http://lipsum.com

If designs will/should contain photographs or drawings, supply a collection of images that the designer is allowed to use and make it clear that other images are not allowed. This keeps the designer focused on layout instead of image selection and likewise enables the client to focus on the designs instead of the photographs.

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