The Italian Community Days is, since 2006, the most important event organized by all the .NET italian communities. 3 Days of sessions, labs, workshop, 5 parallels tracks, a lot of speaker, a lot of people, a great event!

For the first time in Italy me, and my friend Pasquale Fersini, have made a presentation about Xamarin Robotics, an incoming library that “simplifies the task of building complex .NET Microframework (MF) powered robots and communicating with them from within Xamarin apps”.

The library split in two main platform stack:

  • The Mobile Stack contains features for communicating with wearables (health monitoring devices and smartwatches) as well as microcontrollers (Netduino and Arduino)
  • The Microcontroller Stack runs on .NET Micro Framework compatible microcontroller platforms such as the Netduino

Following the slides from our talk:


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Sparrow is one of the most currently used framework to develop games for iOS and this book is absolutely a nice guide to start with it. Sparrow is an easy-to-use framework and is intended for 2D games and multimedia applications with built-in support for animation, managing objects on the screen, and touch support.

This book offer a good practical introduction to the various concepts of game development applied by the Sparrow framework, starting from “how to move objects in a scene” to “how we can use artificial intelligence”. The book is for beginners in game development, this means that you have to already to know XCode, Objective-C and the principles of object-oriented programming. All code samples are written only in Objective-C, no one is written in Swift.

Here the complete list of table of contents:

  1. Getting Started with Sparrow
  2. Displaying Our First Objects
  3. Managing Assets and Scenes
  4. The Basics of Our Game
  5. Beautifying Our Game
  6. Adding Game Logic
  7. User Interface
  8. Artificial Intelligence and Game Progression
  9. Adding Audio to Our Game
  10. Polishing Our Game
  11. Integrating Third-party Services

Every chapter ends with three questions about what you have learned (correct answers are reported in the last pages of the book), a good way to test your improvements.


The book is well written and provide a good and complete guide to all the game development stages, from concept to the process of publish our game. If you want to learn the Sparrow iOS Game Framework, this is absolutely a book for you.

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In this brand new blog, I would like to start with a new series of books review. If you are looking for a fast and easy way to learn and apply immediately what you are learning, then iOS Development with Xamarin Cookbook  is the perfect book for you.

This book is a cookbook, it follows the simple pattern Problem-Solution with the addition of a deep explaination about the implementation and why it works in that way. As any other Packt publication, the style is clean and fluid. I’ve read the e-book version, then I can’t say a lot about the printed version.

Topics in the book are well organized. The first few chapters explain in an easily way the basics of iOS development, usage of development tools and the different concepts of iOS, and this makes the book suitable for beginners. More detailed topics are covered in the second part of the book. Personally, I would have liked to read a more extensive discussion of multitasking and others recipes in the Graphics and Animations chapter.

Finally, the book covers all the topics in a perfect way so it could be useful for both beginners and intermediates who look for fast solutions and expand on some themes.

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“We’ve used monkey themes for many years, Ximian was a play on simianMono is Spanish for monkeyXamarin comes from the tamarin monkey. And we kept the X, though to tell you the truth, I can’t remember why we used it in the first place.”

In one of the first interview as Xamarin CEO, Miguel de Icaza also talks about the history of Mono, Ximian and Novell.

After three years we can say: well done, Miguel.

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