Building a Windows Phone 7 Twitter Application using Silverlight
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by Scott Guthrie
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Building a "Twitter" Windows Phone 7 Application using Silverlight

Rather than just stop with “Hello World” let’s keep going and evolve it to be a basic Twitter client application.

We’ll return to the design surface and add a ListBox, using the snaplines within the designer to fit it to the device screen and make the best use of phone screen real estate.  We’ll also rename the Button “Lookup”:

We’ll then return to the Button event handler in Main.xaml.cs, and remove the original “Hello World” line of code and take advantage of the WebClient networking class to asynchronously download a Twitter feed. This takes three lines of code in total: (1) declaring and creating the WebClient, (2) attaching an event handler and then (3) calling the asynchronous DownloadStringAsync method.

In the DownloadStringAsync call, we’ll pass a Twitter Uri plus a query string which pulls the text from the “username” TextBox. This feed will pull down the respective user’s most frequent posts in an XML format. When the call completes, the DownloadStringCompleted event is fired and our generated event handler twitter_DownloadStringCompleted will be called:

The result returned from the Twitter call will come back in an XML based format.  To parse this we’ll use LINQ to XML. LINQ to XML lets us create simple queries for accessing data in an xml feed. To use this library, we’ll first need to add a reference to the assembly (right click on the References folder in the solution explorer and choose “Add Reference):

image

We’ll then add a “using System.Xml.Linq” namespace reference at the top of the code-behind file at the top of Main.xaml.cs file:

image

We’ll then add a simple helper class called TwitterItem to our project. TwitterItem has three string members – UserName, Message and ImageSource:

image

We’ll then implement the twitter_DownloadStringCompleted event handler and use LINQ to XML to parse the returned XML string from Twitter.  What the query is doing is pulling out the three key pieces of information for each Twitter post from the username we passed as the query string. These are the ImageSource for their profile image, the Message of their tweet and their UserName. For each Tweet in the XML, we are creating a new TwitterItem in the IEnumerable<XElement> returned by the Linq query. 

We then assign the generated TwitterItem sequence to the ListBox’s ItemsSource property:

We’ll then do one more step to complete the application. In the Main.xaml file, we’ll add an ItemTemplate to the ListBox. For the demo, I used a simple template that uses databinding to show the user’s profile image, their tweet and their username.

<ListBox Height="521" HorizonalAlignment="Left" Margin="0,131,0,0" 
      Name="listBox1" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="476">
    <ListBox.ItemTemplate>
        <DataTemplate>
           <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" Height="132">
              <Image Source="{Binding ImageSource}" Height="73" Width="73" 
                  VerticalAlignment="Top" Margin="0,10,8,0"/>
              <StackPanel Width="370">
                 <TextBlock Text="{Binding UserName}" Foreground="#FFC8AB14" FontSize="28" />
                 <TextBlock Text="{Binding Message}" TextWrapping="Wrap" FontSize="24" />
              </StackPanel>
           </StackPanel>
        </DataTemplate>
     </ListBox.ItemTemplate>
</ListBox>

Now, pressing F5 again, we are able to reuse the emulator and re-run the application. Once the application has launched, we can type in a Twitter username and press the  Button to see the results. Try my Twitter user name (scottgu) and you’ll get back a result of TwitterItems in the Listbox:

image

Try using the mouse (or if you have a touchscreen device your finger) to scroll the items in the Listbox – you should find that they move very fast within the emulator.  This is because the emulator is hardware accelerated – and so gives you the same fast performance that you get on the actual phone hardware.


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User Comments

Title: mobile app development   
Name: mobile app development
Date: 2012-10-25 2:14:25 AM
Comment:
Windows Mobile has the ability to reformat itself directly from its menu system. If you are giving your phone away or selling it, it is a good idea to format it first. Additionally, formatting is a quick way to free up storage if your phone is full on memory. Just be sure you back up your important files if you choose to do this.
Title: santa   
Name: santa
Date: 2012-10-25 2:13:37 AM
Comment:
nice






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