WinRT XAML Toolkit is Growing

Updated WinRT XAML Toolkit on CodePlex – a set of controls, extensions and helper classes for Windows Runtime XAML applications

Features

  • A copy of the AsyncUI library – a set of extension methods for UI classes that add support for async/await to wait for events such as:
    • Wait for a BitmapImage to load
    • Wait for a Button or one of a list of buttons to be clicked
    • Wait for a FrameworkElement to load, unload or become non-zero-sized
    • Wait for a MediaElement to change state – eg. to start or finish playback
    • Wait for a Selector (e.g. ListBox) to change selected item
    • Wait for a Storyboard to complete
  • Controls
    • AnimationHelper – two attached properties – Storyboard and IsPlaying. Allows to easily control Storyboard playback from a view model (note limitation – a single storyboard per control).
    • AnimatingContainer – a container control that will animate its contents rotating or zooming in/out, eg. to make them feel more alive
    • CameraCaptureControlunder development – currently supports displaying camera preview – ultimately it will look and work much like a regular CameraCaptureUI interface, but embeddable inside of your application UI layout
    • CascadingTextBlock – a TextBlock replacement that animates the individual letters in a cascade – fading in while falling down into position, then optionally fading out while falling down from the standard position
    • ControlExtensions.Cursor – enables setting a mouse cursor to show when hovering over a control
    • CountdownControl – a movie-style control that animates a ring-slice shape while counting down seconds – e.g. to take a picture with a camera after a given number of seconds (supports async/await)
    • CustomAppBar – a custom implementation of the AppBar that automatically handles the three gestures to switch IsOpen (WinKey+Z, Right-Click, EdgeGesture), adds a CanOpen property, so you can prevent it from opening and opens/hides with a sliding animation when placed anywhere in the app, so you can layer content on top of it
    • CustomGridSplitter – a custom implementation of a GridSplitter
    • DelayedLoadControl – given a content/DataTemplate – loads the contents after a given amount of time – e.g. to allow for staged loading of contents on screen
    • InputDialog – a dialog control that takes text input
    • ListBoxExtensions./ListViewExtensions.BindableSelection – allows a two-way binding of the SelectedItems collection on the Selector/list controls
    • ListItemButton – a simple button control with Click event and Command property to be used inside of list controls (the standard button steals pointer capture from the List/Grid~Items so they can’t be selected
    • PieSlice – a pie slice path/shape given StartAngle, EndAngle and Radius
    • RingSlice – a pie slice path/shape given StartAngle, EndAngle, Radius and InnerRadius
    • RichTextBlockExtensions.PlainText – attached property that allows to easily single-way-bind plain text to a RichTextBlock (not really that useful other than for visualizing RichTextBlock styles in the sample app provided)
    • TextBlockExtensions/GetCharacterRect() – an extension method that returns a rectangle that holds a character at a given index in the TextBlock
  • Conterters
    • BooleanToDataTemplateConverter – given two DataTemplates (TrueTemplate and FalseTemplate) – converts the input value to the given template. A different take on DataTemplateSelector.
  • Extensions
    • WriteableBitmap – a set of extension methods for a WriteableBitmap
      • ColorExtensions – Conversions between pixels and pixel buffer types of byte, int and Color
      • IBufferExtensions – Adds a GetPixels() extension method to the PixelBuffer property of a WriteableBitmap that reads in the buffer to a byte array and exposes an indexer compatible to the one of the Pixels property in Silverlight’s WriteableBitmap
      • WriteableBitmapSaveExtensions – support for loading and saving the bitmap to/from files
      • WriteableBitmapBlitBlockExtensions – support for quick blitting of a full-width section of a bitmap to another bitmap of same width
      • WriteableBitmapCopyExtensions – support creating a copy of a WriteableBitmap
      • WriteableBitmapCropExtensions – support for creating a cropped version of a WriteableBitmap
      • WriteableBitmapFloodFillExtensions – support for flood-filling a region of a WriteableBitmap – either limited by an outline color or by replacing a given color – usually a color at the starting position or colors similar to it
    • Serialization
      • JsonSerialization – allows to serialize a properly DataContract-annotated object to a JSON string or file or deserialize an existing one.
      • XmlSerialization – allows to serialize a properly DataContract- or XmlSerializer-annotated object to a XML string or file or deserialize an existing one.
    • StringIOExtensions – allows to easily read or write a string from/to file in a single call
  • VisualTree helpers
    • VisualTreeDebugger – provides a trace of the visual tree structure when a control loads, its layout updates or it gets tapped as well as allowing the application to break in the debugger if one of these events occurs
    • VisualTreeHelperExtensions – provides a set of extension methods that enumerate visual tree ascendants/descendants of a given control – making it easy to do these operations with LINQ as well as simple ways to list controls of a given type or find the first control of a given type searching up or down the visual tree

Work in Progress
The libraries are just a set of helper methods and controls that I found useful to fill the gaps in Windows Runtime XAML framework and continues to evolve.

Likely Additions

  • TransitionFrame – something similar to the one from the Silverlight Toolkit – to get nicer transitions when switching between pages.
  • Pivot control – analogous to a Pivot control on Windows Phone or a TabControl in WPF.

Similar Projects

  • Tim Heuer’s and Morten Nielsen’s Callisto – contains a host of controls (DateTimePicker, Flyout, LiveTile, Menu, SettingsFlyout), converters, Tilt Effect, OAuth helper, SQLite connection helper, etc.
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