QuickTime Development in Windows XP

Sometimes we just have to do Windows... One of the tasks at work was to design and implement a video player that would synchronise video playback across a number of computers (under Windows XP of course...). Naturally the video player engine would be QuickTime, of course! Fortunately Apple’s Windows implementation of QuickTime came with a number of ActiveX components and controls. However, I’m still using Microsoft’s (ugh) Visual Studio .NET 2003 (VS 2003) - because it works... There is little or no information in the Microsoft documentation or website about how to install controls onto the Toolbox so I can drag and drop them into my Form.

Did some judicious websearching and came up with this link: “The easy way to add controls to the VS2005 Toolbox” - which also works for VS 2003. Just drag and drop the DLLs into the Toolbox and voila - they appear! Easy yet quite obscure... Apparently the “Add Item” command works with VS 2005 but I haven’t tried it in VS 2003.

Markdown!

I was looking for a minimalistic markup language - a project was using DocBook markup - which of course is pretty wordy XML, way too many angle brackets for me, and all that tag matching to boot... I remember (fondly) Setext which was used by Tidbits way back when. And then I recalled that John Gruber at Daring Fireball had a markup language called Markdown (wikipedia link). Exactly what I needed!

And then I found pandoc - which takes text marked up in one form and translates it to another. And it does Markdown to DocBook - right down my alley. So I’m writing minimalistically marked up text and creating very nice DocBook files, lowers the effort and aggravation of tag and bracket matching...

PS Turns out there’s a plug-in for RapidWeaver which annotates a section of text as Markdown formatted. It’s called MarkUp and is available for both RW 3 and 4. Check it out here (RW4 version).