Thursday, February 1, 2007

MCMLPad, and a Better Blog

Three quick notes for todays post.

1) MCMLPad (the program used to test your MCML interfaces) does NOT scale correctly. I'm sure you'll find a reason for this in the Microsoft Knowledgebase, filed somewhere under 'flimsy justifications', but in the mean time be aware that if you are testing something to ensure it size and layout is correct, launch MCMLPad from Media Center instead

When started from Media Center, MCMLPad will function correctly and scale appropriately.

I blew almost two hours trying to figure out how to scale the darn interface properly with ScaleLayouts, and wondering why none of the MS examples included the basic functions to scale the interface - only to find out that it's an odd quirk with MCMLPad.

Thought I may save you guys the time :)

2) My next tutorial was going to be on what I called the 'CategoryBar', the blue bar that allows you to choose the category/sort order in most Media Center windows. However, someone beat me to it (and quite franky, is much better than I am anyway). Check out to see a master at work! He also has an excellent tutorial in creating 'Gel Buttons', the new version (found in Now Playing) of the old Media Center 2005 style interface buttons.

3) I've opened a new SourceForge project, called MCMLookalike (, to create open source, shared libraries for MCML development. Feel free to use them and contribute to the project - the first files should be uploaded this afternoon.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've been avoiding MCMLpad since the very beginning due to not trusting it after having ripped my hair for some time. Now I have a perfect setup that moves everything from my Development Box (Windows XP) and execute a script on the MCE box which installs the whole thing in a matter of a second or two... Then I always click my way through the application in Media Center instead. :)

Anonymous said...

The above comment was Sorry/Joakim Romland by the way (I rip my hair a lot ever since I started with MC development. Never in my 20 years of hacking have I had so many issues...)

Anonymous said...

Can the first anonymous commentor post how they setup their dev environment. I am trying to do some stuff but keep running into issues with mcmlpad but do not want to have to go through registering the app everytime I want to test in the real MC interface.

Does anyone think Microsoft will actually win developers over with this type of coding structure? Macromedia flash can do everything that media center can do and the development is soooo much easier(granted it ain't media center sooo....)


Ignorance said...

The trick is to make sure you have an .XML file with the registration information (when you start your project it should create one for you).

As a post-build event, you need to run RegisterMCEApp.exe (which is part of Media Center) which will register your Media Center app, allowing you to run it from the real Media Center interface.