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Mobile App - Hello World to PhoneGap Cordova + Ionic


We are going to build some apps in Android and iOS, as I have never done that before, I am going to build a really simple Hello World app that would introduce me to the world of apps. 



There are quite a few things to prepare before we can even say hello to the world.
There are many options for choice of IDEs. Popular ones are as follow.



Firstly we will create the app by using a command line. This will be compatible for Android and iOS by adding the platforms to the app.

$ cordova create HelloWorld com.helloworld HelloWorld
$ cd HelloWorld
$ cordova platform add android


Setup Environment variable for ANDROID_HOME. This can be found by opening the Android SDK Manager.

Therefore, we will setup as follow.


We will use our Command Line Interface to build our app as follow.

$ cd HelloWorld
$ cordova build android

If you are a little unlucky, you might run into error like this. Error: Please install Android target: "android-22".

This indicates we are targeting an incorrect version of android. We need to change our target in both places.


It will look like this if built successfully.


As part of the Android SDK installation, it comes with the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager.

Choose Device Definition and Click Create AVD.

We will launch the AVD that we just created, and deploy our app to the emulator by running this command.

$ cordova run android

If everything ran smoothly, by default it should load up the Cordova Device Ready page from our /HelloWorld/www/index.html

Hello World

Before we begin, we will need to pick a mobile framework to work with. I have chosen the Ionic Framework.

Firstly, we will install the packages.

$ npm install -g cordova ionic

Then, we will scaffold our site.

$ ionic start HelloIonic blank

Similar to our Cordova commands, we can build and run our apps in Ionic commands.

$ cd HelloIonic
$ ionic platform add android
$ ionic build android
$ ionic run android

This time, we have a default page from the Ionic framework.

We are going to create some simple notifications. There are infinite ways of doing it. The most simplist form will be this.

alert('Hello World!');

However, we have not much control with the default alerts. The next step for me is to utilize some available plugins to do a bit more customizations. eg.

function alertCallBack() {
 alert('Hello World');

 'The World is Amazing!',  
 'My App',       

The first message pops up is 'The World is Amazing!', then a callback function is invoked when the message is dismissed, so the alert message 'Hello World' will pop up.


USB Device

We can run the app not just on emulator, but a USB connected device as well.

Firstly, we will need to setup our device for development.

For my Samsung device, I needed the extra Windows drivers which I was hardly able to find from within the Samsung support page, but with a bit of googling, I found the hidden gem in their developer site.

After installing the drivers, we can connect our device to the computer via USB, we can test if our device is available for debugging purpose by running an adb (Android Debug Bridge) command.

$ <android-sdk>/adb.exe devices

The device is now visible to us and we are just one step away. On our device, we need to authorize our computer for USB debugging. After connecting our device to the computer, a similar screen should popup on your device.

We will run our adb command again. This should now say device after it is authorized.

With our Ionic commands, we can now explicitly specify to run our app in our device.

$ Ionic run --device

It will install and run the app in our USB attached device.



How about iOS? It happens that iOS can only be done in OS X and I don't have any. I tried to add the iOS platform in Cordova with my Microsoft machine, and I got the error as follow. There are some hackintosh way that I could get around the Apple issue, but I will leave that for another project next time.

Took me awhile to get there, but it is all worth it. As a web developer, I am now able to use my existing web knowledge to start building multi-platform mobile apps.

nopCommerce - AWS Migration


We are moving our existing websites to AWS EC2. From a high level perspective, our plan as follow.
  • Move the websites to EC2
  • Move the database to RDS
  • Content Images upload via CMS will go to s3
  • Product Images on the websites are moved to s3
  • Move the console apps to a t2.micro instance
We are using nopCommerce 3.3.


Websites and Console Apps

Moving sites and apps to cloud instances are pretty straight forward. There are no code changes required in nopCommerce.


We used the SQL Database Migration Wizard tool, pretty straight forward.


Migration to S3 required some code changes, but we are not getting much resistance because of the advantage of using OO and polymorphism.

Previously we already wrote a custom class that inherit from the PictureService.

public class TAPictureService : PictureService, ITAPictureService, IPictureService

Now, I can inherit my custom class by my new AWS class.

public class AwsPictureService : TAPictureService, ITAPictureService, IPictureService

We will then override the image read / write method to connect to AWS. This was mentioned previously in my other post Amazon SDK S3 with .Net

In our DependencyRegister, we now register our new AWS Service.


Now my system is able to support either local or S3 images by changing the register type via DI.

How to remove all namespaces from XML with C#?


How to remove all namespaces from XML with C# is a commonly found questions in developments. It is not the best practice to remove the namespace and I see it as an anti-pattern to remove it rather than utilizing it, but there are cases that this can be an 'acceptable' solution.

One of the example could be this - Converting a DTD / XSD to strongly typed C# class

In this scenario, I was working with multiple servers that their returning namespaces are different each time, and the serializer fail to validate the namespace. Given the return xml is only so short lived and it was not worth the effort to implement multiple or dynamic namespaces.


After looking up the stackoverflow, I was a little surprise that the first few answers seem to have issues with attributes being remove. They did not seem to serve the purpose of what they were asking - A clean, elegant and smart solution to remove namespacees from all XML elements.

Since no working solutions are available to me, I had an attempt to write my own as follow.

public static XElement RemoveAllNamespaces(this XElement element)
    return new XElement(element.Name.LocalName,
        element.HasAttributes ? element.Attributes().Select(a => new XAttribute(a.Name.LocalName, a.Value)) : null,
        element.HasElements ? element.Elements().Select(e => RemoveAllNamespaces(e)) : null,

And I have tested the code with the following XML that have multiple level of nodes and attributes.

The 4 liner solution all serve it's purpose.

  1. Firstly, it creates the root node
  2. Appends all attributes
  3. Append all elements 
  4. Lastly, the value

The trick is in line 3, where it picks all the elements() and pushed back to it's own function from the current element. Thus, recursively doing the same thing for all the nodes.

The magic for it to work is the elegant way of how the XElement constructor works. I often found using XElement will end up with a 1 liner solution because of it's constructor, so a good coding style and line breaks will really help the next person who read your code.

Did my solution look clean, elegant and smart to you? Share your thoughts :)