Monday, January 29, 2007

Project 1 - A Basic MCML File

This is the first part of my project. Like all my Media Center interfaces, the new version of Yougle is going to have the same look and feel (or as close as I can get to it, anyway) as the Media Center interface.

But I'm just starting out here, so let's get the basics covered.

Step 1: Make sure Visual Studio 2005 (Express or Pro) is installed. They aren't required for a basic application, but chances are you'll want to write some code to work behind the UI eventually - that, and the fact that Intellisense works for your MCML file in Visual Studio is just plain invaluable.

Step 2: Download and Install the Windows Media Center 5.0 SDK from

Step 4: Create a new project in Visual Studio. Once the SDK is installed, you will have a new template under 'Media Center Applications', called 'Windows Media Center Presentation Layer Application'. This will set up a project so you can get started quickly and easily.

Step 5: Now, it's time to write some MCML code. MCML is an XML based language, so all the usual rules to tagging apply. You'll have an MCML application already generated with colour-changing text and a bouncy smiley button. But for now, Let's kill that off and learn a couple of new tags...

<mcml> - Just like the 'html' tag in web pages, this tag is the first one that should appear in any MCML file, after the schema information.

<ui> - This defines a User Interface. These are also used to define new types of reusable control. We will explore this a lot more later. Right now, we just need to get us a working page, so simply know that everything inside a UI tag is part of your user interface.

<text> - This, quite obviously, displays some text.

So, let's get some code in.

<mcml> <ui name="HelloWorld">
<text content="Hello World" color="White">

There ya' go. A working MCML file, which should give you a 'Hello World' in pretty white, sitting in the middle of the screen.

Don't you feel special?

Next up: Using UI's

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