The Actipro Blog

All the latest UI control development news from Actipro

WinRT XAML Controls 2015.1 Build 164 Released

BlogPostBannerWinRT.2015.1.0164

The final 2015.1 version's maintenance release of our WinRT XAML controls has been released and is now available for download.  This build remains on the 2015.1 version since beginning in the 2016.1 version, our new Universal Windows controls set that targets Windows 10 replaces the older WinRT XAML controls.

This version contains several updates to SyntaxEditor and its add-ons.  See the announcement post for details.

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Filed under: Actipro, New features, WinRT, XAML

WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML Maintenance Releases

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New maintenances of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls have been released and are now available for download.

These releases mostly focus on minor feature additions and bug fixes as we prepare to start work on our 2016.1 versions.  See these announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:

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WPF and WinRT Controls Updated for Visual Studio 2015 Compatibility

VisualStudio

Visual Studio 2015, the latest version of Microsoft's IDE, officially released the other day and we updated our WPF and WinRT controls yesterday for compatibility with it.  Grab the latest maintenance releases from our download page.

The new maintenance releases also contain a number of other minor updates as described in these announcement posts:

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Filed under: Actipro, New features, WPF, WinRT

WPF, Silverlight, WinRT/XAML, and WinForms Maintenance Releases

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New maintenances of our WPF, Silverlight, WinRT/XAML and WinForms controls have been released and are now available for download.

These releases mostly focus on minor feature additions and bug fixes.  See these announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:

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Easily Manage Task Queues Using the TaskBoard Control

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The 2015.1 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls were released a couple weeks ago and in today's post I'd like to highlight one of the great new controls that were introduced in that version:  TaskBoard.

TaskBoard Overview

A task board consists of zero to many columns, each of which can contain zero to many cards.  Columns and cards can be dragged and reordered, using pleasing animations.  Let's see an example to give you a picture of how it all works.

In the demo below, we have a TaskBoard control that is being utilized for a task planning system, commonly used in project management to help organize the priorities of a team.  The columns represent task groupings, and the cards represent individual tasks.  Each column has a header and optional footer that surrounds the contained card items.

TaskBoard
In this sample, each column header specifies the task grouping name and the column footer contains an "Add a task" button.  The footer of the overall TaskBoard control contains an "Add a list" button, which shows at the end of the list of columns.

The entire UI of the task board can be fully customized.  The cards can show any custom content as well, or can vary content based on data template selectors.

The TaskBoard control is designed for MVVM usage and makes it easy to fully alter the appearance of the entire layout with properties for column/card spacing, padding, corner radius, etc.  Best of all, rich animations are used whenever dragging columns or cards.

TaskBoard also works great with touch input.  Use it to create task planning systems on large touchscreen displays.

Summary

The full source TaskBoard demo seen above is included in the sample projects that ship with our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls, and is available for you to check out today.

Let us know what you think after you try it!

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SyntaxEditor - Find All Using EditorSearchView

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In today's post, we'll show the optional Find All button that was recently added to the SyntaxEditor (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML platforms) EditorSearchView control.

Feature Description

SyntaxEditor has always had the ability to perform "find all" searches programmatically, however we received feedback from numerous customers looking to add this to our EditorSearchView control so that their end users could also access it.

EditorSearchView

The EditorSearchView control seen above shows the new Find All button visible.  Note that it is not visible by default (the new EditorSearchView.IsFindAllButtonVisible property defaults to false) since unlike the other find and replace operations, there is no automatic UI change in the editor itself for a find all operation.  Instead, you need to display the results somehow, such as in a find results list.

FindResults

This screenshot shows an example find results list.  The full source code for this sort of setup is included in the samples that come with SyntaxEditor.

Summary

Providing the ability for your app's end users to find all instances of search text is certainly a handy addition.

The features described above are available in our latest WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML control versions and are available for use.

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SyntaxEditor - Move Selected Lines Up/Down

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In today's post I'd like to show a new feature that was recently added to SyntaxEditor (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML platforms): move selected lines up or down.

Feature Description

Moving a range of selected lines from one place to another is a very common task in any text editor.  Of course this can be accomplished by cutting and pasting the selection around.  But for small adjustments to the location of several lines, the ability to simply move the lines is a valued feature.

We've added the ability to move selected lines up and down via the Alt+Up and Alt+Down keys respectively.  Let's see a couple examples of it in action.

MoveSelectedLinesUpDown

In this sample, I selected the lines that contain the AnotherMethod method.  Then I pressed Alt+Up several times to move the method above the Bar method.  I then pressed Alt+Down to move the lines back down to their original position.

MoveSelectedLinesUpDown2

In this second sample, I had a comment that wasn't in the right place and I wanted to move it up.  I just put the caret on the line and pressed Alt+Up a couple times to move it back to the right spot above the color property declaration.

Summary

The ability to move selected lines up and down is a real productivity enhancer when doing text editing.

The features described above are available in our latest WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML control versions and are available for use.

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WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML v2015.1 Released

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The 2015.1 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls have been released and are now available for download.

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement posts for the large detailed list of enhancements and updates, including many items not listed below:

ProductHeadingWinRTBarCodes

Our Bar Codes product has been ported to the WinRT XAML platform.  This product, which already exists on WPF and Silverlight, allows your apps to render vector-based bar codes using many common 2D and linear bar code symbologies.

BarCodes

A full set of demos and QuickStarts are included to help you get going.

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The interop assembly that makes it easy to use Docking/MDI with the Prism framework has been updated to reference the latest Prism v5.0.

DockingMetro

We've made numerous layout and performance updates to further improve the product. 

We also have been working hard on building a completely new internal engine for the Docking/MDI product, which will be available sometime later this year.  Keep an eye on our blog for posts detailing the advanced features that are coming with those updates.

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All of our edit box controls in the WinRT Editors now have an IsEditable property.  When set to false, the edit box behaves more like a ComboBox, while still retaining the rich popups that make the editors unique.  This is an ideal option for apps whose primary mode of interaction is expected to be touch.

ColorEditBoxNoAlpha

The CornerRadiusEditBox, PointEditBox, RectEditBox, SizeEditBox, and ThicknessEditBox controls have been updated to support text parsing one and/or two number entries where appropriate, which is useful for easy uniform value entry.

ThicknessEditBox

In the above ThicknessEditBox, a 2 is typed and then Enter is pressed.  The value is converted to a uniform thickness of 2.

A ValueChanged event has been added to all edit boxes, which fires when a value change is committed.

Finally, edit box padding has been adjusted so that more content is visible in the same amount of space.

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A new DigitalGauge.CharacterSegmentThickness property allows for segment thickness adjustments.  This gives you even finer control over the presentation of your digital characters.

DigitGaugeSegmentThickness

We've enhanced the 'Linear Gauge Rolling Scale' QuickStart with a new infinite rolling scale example for navigation headings.

HeadingGauge

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The EditorSearchView control now supports an optional "Find All" button.

EditorSearchView

The RTF export logic has been updated to support extended ASCII characters.

The free CSS language definition now supports the syntax highlighting of media queries.

We've dramatically improved the speed of large completion list display.

Several other performance improvements have been made, such as optimized the scenarios for which the TokenTagger raises its TagsChanged event, and refining of the automatic outlining update logic.

In the WinRT version, we added the SyntaxEditor.AreSelectionGrippersEnabled property, which determines whether the selection grippers show after touch within a view.

.NET Languages Add-on

The C# parser has been improved to recover better when encountering open block statements so that its AST node structure remains better in tact.

DotNetPropertyAccessor

The IntelliPrompt quick info for properties now includes accessors, making it possible to see whether a property is read-only.

Python Language Add-on

The Python language has received an enormous amount of updates, that in sum really improve the entire automated IntelliPrompt feature set.

PythonAddon

Check out all these enhancements:

  • Added IntelliPrompt for private members and updated the completion list to have Public and All filter tabs.
  • Added reflection data for private methods/fields of built-in primitive types.
  • Added IntelliPrompt for built-in exception types.
  • Improved IntelliPrompt for numerous built-in modules.
  • Greatly improved IntelliPrompt for package and module imports.
  • Improved IntelliPrompt for function parameters by examining available assert statement isinstance calls.
  • Added IntelliPrompt for static fields on classes.
  • Improved the resolution of base types for classes.
  • Added the optional IResolver.UnknownReturnTypeReferenceCallback callback that can be used to provide return type references for unknown types.
  • Updated the resolver to recognize where 'cls()' in a class method can create a new instance of the related class.
  • Updated the IntelliPrompt completion list to filter unmatched items.
  • Updated the IntelliPrompt docstring display to retain presentation of line feeds.

ProductHeadingGenericViews

The Views product has a new TaskBoard control added, available in all three (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT) platforms.  TaskBoard can be used to create a board of reorderable columns and cards.  All of the drags use smooth animations to give you the feel that you are really interacting with the object.

RepairShopScheduling

The first full-source sample that comes with the control is a Repair Shop Scheduling demo, which shows how a TaskBoard can be used to interactively schedule work to resources, such as employees. TaskBoard excels at providing a visual way of representing work/tasks (displayed as cards) within a queue of some sort (displayed as a column).

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The second sample is a Task Planning demo, which shows how a TaskBoard can visually organize a project's tasks.

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We've added another new primitive SemiEllipse shape, which renders half of an ellipse.

SemiEllipseShape

The existing Triangle shape has a new IsClosed property that when set to false will create a triangle with only two of the sides rendered.

TriangleShape

Finally, in the WPF Shared Library, we added GradientBrushSlider.CanAddStops and CanRemoveStops properties that determine whether stops can be added and removed from a GradientBrushSlider.

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SyntaxEditor - ASP-Style Server Tags with IntelliPrompt

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We've had a lot of customers throughout the years ask us for a sample that could show how to harness our SyntaxEditor .NET Languages Add-on and its automated IntelliPrompt within an ASP-style server tag context.  This is especially useful for any sort of template generating scenario.

We had an internal sample that we would send customers upon request, but several months back, we cleaned it up, enhanced it, and added it as a new QuickStart sample.  In this post, let's have a look at the QuickStart sample that was added to the SyntaxEditor for (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML platforms) in the 2014.2 version showing how to achieve automated IntelliPrompt within ASP-style server tags.

Usage Example

In the animated presentation below, you can see how there is a basic parent language whose lexer only knows to tokenize and color the word "date" as a keyword.  In real-world usage, the lexer could be made to fully colorize the text like normal.  The lexer has hooks that cause a transition to the C# language found in our .NET Languages Add-on when ASP-style delimiters are encountered.

SyntaxEditorServerTags

Both <% %> and <%= %> style tags are shown in this example.  What happens behind the scenes is that the parent language's parser will code generate C# code.  It will make a C# class named "__Generated" and a method named "__WriteOutput".  All the text of the parent language is output within "Response.Write" method calls.  C# code in the server tags is injected directly.  The resulting full C# code is placed in a separate in-memory document and parsed.  Finally the resulting parse data is returned, along with mapping data to know how offsets between the server tag range in the source document and those in the parsed C# document align.

Then there are several customized C# IntelliPrompt providers that know how to use that mapping data and translate offsets so that automated IntelliPrompt is fully functional within the server tag regions of the main source document, yet based on the generated C# code.

Tricky stuff, but it works great!

Summary

The full source sample described above was added in the first v2014.2 release of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls and is available for you to check out.

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Filed under: Actipro, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT

SyntaxEditor - Read-Only Regions

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In today's post I'd like to show a new feature that was added to SyntaxEditor (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML platforms) in its latest 2014.2 maintenance release: read-only regions.

Feature Description

SyntaxEditor documents have always had the ability to be fully read-only and developers can also can cancel specific text change events for more fine-grained control. That being said, there are many cases where developers want to have an easy way to tell SyntaxEditor that a certain of text should not be editable by the end user.  That's where read-only regions come into play.

SyntaxEditorReadOnlyRegion

Read-only regions are implemented using our powerful tagging mechanism.  There is a new IReadOnlyRegionTag interface (with related ReadOnlyRegionTag implementation class) that can be used to mark read-only regions.  Getting going is as easy as tagging a text range using an instance of that class.

Best of all, the ReadOnlyRegionTag class also implements IClassificationTag, which associates the tag with a classification type for read-only text and gets styled with a silver background.  Of course this is fully customizable if you wish to have a different appearance, or no appearance difference at all.

When the end user attempts to edit anything that would cross within a read-only range, the text change will realize that it intersects a read-only range and will cancel.  The text range protected by the read-only region remains unchanged.

This is a very handy feature for certain scenarios and was highly requested by our customers.

Summary

The read-only region features described above were added in the latest v2014.2 maintenance releases of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls and are available for use.

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Filed under: Actipro, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT