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The 2017.1 versions of our WPF Controls, Universal Windows Controls, and Silverlight Controls were recently released, with the WPF and UWP controls getting some enormous updates in these versions.
The primary focus of the 2017.1 version in WPF and UWP was to add an improved PropertyGrid control and tree controls (TreeListBox and TreeListView) in our new Grids product, and to update Editors to be more modern/lightweight, and share a codebase between the two platforms. Another focus was on maximizing the performance of all the controls. The new PropertyGrid for instance shows a massive speed increase over the older WPF v2016.1 PropertyGrid.
See the entire lengthy detailed update list in these announcement posts:
If you want to discuss the new controls added in 2017.1 or have suggestions for additional features, please join our #UIControls channel in our Slack team. It's free and you can chat with us and other customers.
Please note that the v2017.1 WPF Controls have PropertyGrid, Editors, and licensing breaking changes to support better API design and features, so be sure to read the "Converting to 2017.1" topic in the documentation that comes with the controls. It walks through everything in detail.
Grids is a new product added to the WPF and Universal Windows Controls in v2017.1. It features three primary controls: TreeListBox, TreeListView, and PropertyGrid.
TreeListBox is a single-column control that renders a tree structure. It is designed to mimic the features found in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer. You have full control over the appearance of each node, and can easily wire up any tree data model for rendering via the use of our adapter pattern.
The UI tree is virtualized for optimal performance. Unlike the standard WPF TreeView, TreeListBox is a single ItemsControl that is far less resource intensive and doesn't experience odd vertical scroll jumpiness.
You have full control over whether nodes are expandable, when they load children (and with optional use of async loading with a busy indicator as seen above), and selection modes (single/multiple). A powerful filtering mechanism is included that allows you to add type-to-filter support. F2 can initiate inline editing of node text. Drag and drop can be enabled and you determine what is dragged/dropped. This just scratches the surface, and there are many other features included.
The TreeListView control builds on top of the foundation provided by TreeListBox and adds multiple columns with an optional header, similar to a standard WPF ListView.
Columns can be sized using several algorithms, resized/reordered by the end user, or certain columns frozen such that they don't scroll horizontally. Grid lines can be optionally displayed.
The PropertyGrid control is based on TreeListView and renders a grid of all the properties of one or more objects and their values. Properties can be displayed by category, alphabetically, or using a custom sort.
A PropertyGrid control was available in older versions of our WPF Controls, but we rewrote much of the internals for v2017.1 and optimized the object model to focus on maximizing speed and ease of use. The new PropertyGrid can load large complex objects almost instantly. It's simpler than ever to customize how properties are edited via the use of property editor DataTemplates. You have full control over which properties are presented and how.
The 2017.1 version ported the Universal Windows Editors back to WPF so that they now share a codebase. This decision was made because the newer Editors designs are much more lightweight in terms of UI elements used in each control, and the number of bindings involved. This improves UI performance when using many Editors controls in grids like PropertyGrid.
You'll still find many great editing features such as the ability to use arrow keys when typing in edit boxes to increment or decrement part values.
Each edit box now has an optional dedicated picker control that is used in the drop-down, like the calculator shown above. The picker can be easily styled if a custom appearance is needed.
In addition to porting the UWP Editors to WPF, we also added a number of new editor controls. Editors in both platforms feature specialized edit boxes and pickers for these .NET types: Brush, Byte (WPF only), Color, CornerRadius, Date, DateTime, Double, Enum, Guid, Int16, Int32, Int32Rect (WPF only), Int64, Point, Rect, Single, Size, Thickness, Time, TimeSpan, and Vector (WPF only).
Editors also has these other various miscellaneous controls: Calculator, CountryComboBox, CurrencyComboBox, EnumListBox, GradientStopSlider, HsbColorPicker, MonthCalendar, RadialHuePicker, Rating, SaturationBrightnessPicker, and Spinner.
The licensing mechanism was updated for the WPF Controls in v2017.1 to be simpler. Regardless of which WPF products you've licensed from us, your apps will only need a single line in the licenses.licx file going forward. Please read the Converting to 2017.1 topic in the documentation for details on these updates.
Enjoy the new version!
Hey everyone, we've been working very diligently on the 2017.1 version of our WPF controls for the past several months and a public beta is almost ready. We'd love as many customers as possible to participate in the beta. First, let's give an overview of what's new in the 2017.1 version.
In the 2017.1 version, we reimplemented all Editors controls to be faster and more lightweight in terms of elements/bindings, and to use a common codebase with the Universal Windows Editors product. The new designs are better optimized for use in large quantities such as within data grids or property grids.
Every new edit box control has more fine-grained control over the step values. Now a native TextBox control is used for input, which allows for more free-form editing, IME input, and better UIA support.
New and improved drop-down pickers have been designed for each edit box. The pickers are optimized for mouse, pen, and touch-based entry. The screenshot above shows the BrushEditBox and the new BrushPicker drop-down control. Altering any edit box's drop-down is simply a matter of providing an alternate Style for its picker control.
New edit boxes have been added for the Byte, Int16, and Single numeric types, along with dedicated date-only (DateEditBox) and time-only (TimeEditBox seen above) variations of DateTimeEditBox.
Our customers have requested custom tree controls from us for a while now and we delivered in this version. We now offer a new TreeListBox control that is a single column tree similar to a native TreeView but optimized for MVVM usage, virtualization, and speed. It supports nearly all of the advanced features you'll find in a tree control like the Visual Studio Solution Explorer tree.
We also offer a new TreeListView control that is built upon the TreeListBox control but displays multiple columns similar to a ListView. Each column supports its own distinct user interface via data templates.
Both of these controls are packaged in a new Grids product.
While the PropertyGrid control found in our 2016.1 and earlier versions was very feature-rich, its performance sometimes left much to be desired and customization via property editors wasn't very straightforward.
In the 2017.1 version, PropertyGrid has been rewritten from scratch and constructed around the foundation provided by the new TreeListBox and TreeListView controls. It's now lightning fast and loads complex objects (like the properties of itself) almost instantly. A lot of this is due to simplification of the internal object model, use of virtualization techniques, and fewer overall UI elements. You'll definitely notice the speed increase.
The core object model used to track properties and categories has been improved and creating custom property editors is much more straightforward now.
The new PropertyGrid is part of the Grids product as well.
If you'd like to help us beta test the product, please write our support address and let us know your existing 2016.1 license information. We will notify you as soon as the public beta is ready and will send you a 2017.1 license if your subscription is still active.
The code for the beta is near complete and should be pretty stable. We have a full array of samples and documentation has been completely updated, including conversion notes.
We also will be chatting about the beta in our Slack channels so please join if you have Slack.
Very large maintenance releases of our v2016.1 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have been released and are now available for download.
We've been blogging about our new TreeListBox and TreeListView controls for a little while now. They have been in private alpha testing and now we have placed the alpha test in a new public Grids assembly that has shipped in this WPF and UWP maintenance release.
TreeListBox is a TreeView-like control but has many advanced features like those found in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer. See this blog post for some details on the feature list.
TreeListView inherits TreeListBox and includes all of the tree hierarchy features found in it. It also displays each row similar to a ListView, columns and all! This blog post summarizes the features found in this control.
With this public alpha release of the controls, you are able to start using them and can provide us with feedback. We'd love to hear from you, whether it be via our ticket system or Slack. Our plan is to finalize them for the 2017.1 version, but they should be pretty stable for usage now. Anyone with a WPF/UWP Studio or PropertyGrid license should be able to use them immediately under your existing 2016.1 license.
Going forward, we have already made major progress on rewriting our PropertyGrid control and basing it on TreeListView. So far, performance tests are showing that it's loading large property trees almost instantly. We'll blog more on this in the upcoming weeks.
There were a lot of tweaks and bug fixes in this build for the Docking/MDI product. We recommend you grab the latest if you use Docking/MDI.
There were numerous improvements too, including some more major ones like:
Line modification mark tracking logic has been completely rewritten. It now works much better and even introduces new orange marks that track "reverted" changes, similar to how the Visual Studio editor does.
We added the ability for a programmatically created text change to merge into previous text change on the undo stack. This allows you to chain additional text changes onto previous ones and have them be undoable as a single unit.
We added a new property that can be set to false to only allow backspacing over a single character when the document's AutoConvertTabsToSpaces is true.
The PasteDragDrop event is now also raised drag over events so that the drag effects can be manually altered.
The ITextChange.CustomData property is now settable so it can be updated after the text change was created as needed.
A text formatter for the JSON language has been implemented that beautifies the JSON data.
We added the DynamicImage control, which is a drop-in replacement for Image that will auto-grayscale the image content when the control is disabled. Going along with this, we updated ImageConverter to return a DynamicImage instance instead of Image. Our toolbar, menu, and Ribbon control themes have been updated to use DynamicImage so that you get grayscale effects on images out-of-the-box. Note how the cut, copy, and undo buttons are all grayscale when disabled in the screenshot above.
If you encounter a 'Could not find a part of the path' to bitmap image source error after upgrading to this version, specify the absolute path to the image source using pack syntax as described in the DynamicImage documentation instead of using a relative path.
We moved ImageToMonochromeConverter from our Ribbon assembly to Shared and renamed it to ImageSourceContentConverter. Along the way, it was updated to work on vector GeometryDrawings too. We added an attached ImageSourceContentConverter.CanConvertToMonochrome property, which can be set on portions of a DrawingImage that shouldn't be converted to monochrome, such as areas that display a selected color. We also added a ImageSourceContentConverter.Mode property that sets whether to convert to grayscale (default) or monochrome.
All products received numerous other minor enhancements and bug fixes. See the announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:
In the last blog post on our TreeListBox control development, we announced that the TreeListBox control was ready for closed alpha testing. TreeListBox is a new control that has much of the same functionality as the tree control found in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer.
In today's post, I'd like to announce a new TreeListView control that is now also ready for alpha testing. The TreeListView control is a multi-column variant of the TreeListBox control that renders similar to a standard ListView but has all the tree and advanced features found in TreeListBox.
The animation above shows several of the features found in this new control such as node expansion, column resizing, column reordering, column header context menus, and more.
Thus far these TreeListView features have been completed:
If you would like to start working with either of the controls and provide us with feedback, please write our support address or chat with us on Slack to sign up for testing. Now is the time to contribute your additional feature ideas and report bugs. Anyone who has a WPF Studio license is fully licensed to use the control in their apps.
In the last blog post on our TreeListBox control development, we talked about new features like async loading and inline editing that were added. In today's post, we'll talk about some more new features and we're also announcing that the alpha test of this control is now ready.
If you would like to start working with the control and provide us with feedback, please write our support address or chat with us on Slack to sign up for testing. Now is the time to contribute your additional feature ideas and report bugs. Anyone who has a WPF Studio license is fully licensed to use the control in their apps.
Since our new post, we've continued to enhance the control and add new features. First, you now can optionally display the root item in the control. When you choose not to do so (the default), the root node's children will be the top-level items.
There is now more control over expandability and when children are queried.
A robust drag and drop system supports dragging to external controls, dragging and dropping on the same control, and dropping from external controls. You have full control over the visual feedback that is provided and what happens when a drop executes.
The control supports data virtualization when virtualized lists of child items are used. With data virtualization, it's possible to support paged retrieval of items as they are requested for display.
A couple new options determine how far items are indented based on their depth.
Thus far these features have been completed (New! marks new features since the last post):
The TreeListBox control is now ready for alpha testing. Please contact us via our ticket system or in Slack to sign up for testing and send in your feedback. We will continue to refine the API based on your feedback before a future final release.
In the last blog post on our TreeListBox control development, we gave a list of features that have been implemented so far and showed a screenshot of sample usage with rendering customization. In today's post, we'll show some more usage scenarios, will request your immediate input for drag/drop, and will give an updated feature list.
First, what's new since the last post? We now have multiple options for governing if and when the determination of expander display is made for a node. This is handy when you want to do minimal data model access checking for children, or when you know for certain that a node never has child nodes.
We now support optional async loading features where you'll be able to utilize a new RingSpinner control (or any other busy indicator) to relay a loading state to the end user. Async loading means that potentially lengthy operations such as file or database access won't block the UI thread when expanding a node.
Here's an example of async loading, where a simulated random delay is invoked when expanding each file folder:
Notice how the UI remains fully responsive even while loading items.
Inline editing is fully supported when enabled. Press F2 or single click on a node's content to enter edit mode where a new text value can be entered. Pressing Enter or losing focus commits the value, while pressing Esc cancels the edit.
An event will fire when an item requests a context menu. Dynamically create the menu for that particular item (or the entire multi-item selection).
Drag and drop is one of the last features we want to get in place before an alpha test version is prepared of the control. This is a complex topic since it involves single/multi-selected items (that could be at various tree depths) being dragged and dropped at other depths, or even dragged externally. Likewise, external items could be dragged onto the control. We want to get your feedback now as we start on drag/drop features to ensure we meet all your needs!
Please either write our support address with your feedback or join our Slack discussion on the topic and chat right with us. The benefit of the chat option is that we are posting screenshots and asking for feature input right during development. It gives you an opportunity to give direct feedback and help guide features.
The TreeListBox control continues to progress well and its feature set is coming right in line with the VS Solution Explorer's tree control's feature set. We look forward to discussing drag/drop feature requirements with you via our ticket system or in Slack!
Last month we posted that we were beginning development of a new TreeView replacement control that addressed the many shortcomings of the native WPF TreeView, and were asking for input at that time. We've been working on this control for both WPF and UWP and have made very good progress.
Thus far these features have been completed:
Here's a screenshot of a recent sample being put together for the control:
In this sample, we have two levels of nodes. The top-most level is folders (whose icons actually toggle with the expand/collapse state), while the inner level has checkboxes and buttons that allow for a dialog to be displayed when clicked for further configuration.
Double-clicking a folder item will toggle its expansion state, while double-clicking a checkable node will toggle its checked state. This sample also shows usage of a DataTemplateSelector to pick which DataTemplate to use for each node.
The control is coming along really nicely and our goal is to match general features found in the VS Solution Explorer. The features above are implemented for both WPF and UWP. We still have more features planned before we open up a beta.
If you have any other suggestions, please either write our support address with your feedback or join our Slack discussion on the topic and chat right with us. The benefit of the chat option is that we are posting screenshots and asking for feature input right during development. It gives you an opportunity to give direct feedback and help guide features.