The Actipro Blog

All the latest UI control development news from Actipro

Editors for WPF - TimeSpanEditBox coming in next build

In the upcoming release we've added the TimeSpanEditBox control, which is a parts-based editor for the TimeSpan type. Like the other editors, setting it up is quick and painless. In addition, you can embed your own controls right inside it.

Parts

TimeSpanEditBox comes with parts for days, hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds, ticks (fractions of a second), and the sign (positive or negative). Each part has an associated format specified, which is fully documented in our help file.   More...

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Filed under: Actipro, New features, WPF

WPF Studio 2009.1 customers can now download default control styles

We’ve just enhanced our Organization Purchases page so that customers of our WPF Studio 2009.1 suite can download a ZIP containing the default styles and templates for the controls.

DownloadStyles

Note the new link highlighted above that you’ll see in your account if you own WPF Studio 2009.1.  Click that link to download a ZIP that has all the XAML source files used in the various WPF Studio products.  These XAML source files define the brushes, templates and other resources that are used by the products.

Enjoy!

Filed under: Actipro, General, XAML, WPF

SyntaxEditor for WPF - Expanded use of the service locator design pattern

The other day we posted about how syntax languages are changing to use the service locator design pattern.  This design pattern allows us to generically make available new features for syntax languages, and for language designers to easily implement them.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

While we’ve been working on adding support for languages to respond to user input and show completion lists, etc., we changed the internal model we use for handling IntelliPrompt input to be based on the service locator design pattern as well.  More...

SyntaxEditor for WPF - Syntax languages to be service locators

One thing we’ve been working on this week in the world of SyntaxEditor for WPF is the ability for syntax languages to support the display of IntelliPrompt completion lists, and to be able to easily respond to Ctrl+Space, etc. without code having to be written external to the language implementation.  These sort of features are already supported in SyntaxEditor for WinForms.

The WPF version has a bit of a different design however, where the text/parsing framework is in one assembly and the WPF UI portion is in another.  This has been done so that we can eventually reuse the new text/parsing framework on other platforms like WinForms.  The separation is great design-wise however the problem we found was that in order to have some sort of IntelliPrompt provider (defined in the UI assembly) on the ISyntaxLanguage interface (defined in the Text assembly), we’d need to do some non-straightforward things like having a language class optionally implement an interface.

We just weren’t happy with where that was headed so instead decided to change ISyntaxLanguage for the next build to use the service locator designer pattern.  More...

WPF products to add support for Microsoft’s Pixel Shader Effects (WPF FX) Library

The next maintenance release of WPF Studio will include some new functionality that allows HLSL-based pixel shader effects to be used with any of our WPF products that use transitions, including Wizard, Docking/MDI, NavigationBar, and more.

BandedSwirlTransition

The Banded Swirl transition

Shader effects are a new feature in .NET 3.5 SP1 and can help make a lot more complex transitions than what can be created with standard WPF-based transitions.  More...

Filed under: Actipro, In development, WPF

Integrating MGrammar DSL parsers with SyntaxEditor to implement syntax highlighting

Now that the public beta of SyntaxEditor for WPF has been released, I’d like to show off a really neat feature that you probably haven’t heard about yet.  Microsoft has been working on a new modeling technology that has been codenamed “Oslo”.  You can read all about it here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/oslo/default.aspx

One piece of Oslo is the ability to create GLR-based text parsers that basically parse text and output an AST node graph.  This part of Oslo is called MGrammar.  We first looked into this technology back at PDC 2008 and became involved with the Oslo team shortly thereafter.  Special thanks go out to Chris Sells and his team for all their help.  Our goal was to make an add-on for our SyntaxEditor control that provided syntax highlighting within the control based on an MGrammar DSL parser.

MGrammarIntegration

The MGrammar Integration sample included with WPF Studio, which shows a SyntaxEditor instance that has loaded an MGrammar DSL parser and is using it for syntax highlighting

We’ve implemented this new Oslo Dataflow Add-on and have included it in the WPF Studio 2009.1 release that came out last week.  Download the WPF Studio Evaluation to check it out… it includes a complete sample project showing how simple it is to get working.  More...

Filed under: Actipro, New product, WPF