May, 2006

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Write a caption...


    So jfo and I were talking lately...

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Your feedback is wanted: Cider Extensibility Requirements


    On Cider, we're rapidly approaching a big planning phase where the outcome of that planning phase will the set of features that are going to be in and out of v1. 

    On my side, that means taking a hard look at the features associated with Control development, design time customization and extensibility in general.

    Here's a list of features stack ranked and listed by priority category (Must Have, High Want, Nice to Have). 

    Is this the right set of features and are these features prioritized correctly?

    Must Have

    1. Licensing
    2. Programmatic differentiation of  "design time" from runtime
    3. Custom Property Editors (think UITypeEditor)
    4. Accessing and editing sub-properties of a type
    5. Custom Object Editor (think ActiveX property sheets that allow object level editing, not just property editing)
    6. Access to standard items (resources, data sources, styles, templates)
    7. Access to other items/controls on the design surface
    8. Leverage Cider UI Components (Property Editors, Property Browser, collection editor and design time UI)
    9. Commands/Verbs/Smart Tags (adding commands/verbs to a context menu)
    10. Metadata discovery (decoupling metadata from the controls themsevles -- can be added later)
    11. Add controls to the toolbox at installation time and add references to the current project when that control is instantiated
    12. Run a configuration wizard when instantiating a control from the toolbox onto the design surface

    High Want

    1. Ability to replace stock editors with a custom editor (replace the string editor)
    2. Better and easier integration with the help system
    3. Able to add a custom control to any UI that presents a list of controls (i.e. data binding picker)

    Nice to Have

    1. In-place design time UI (adorners)
    2. Ability to create custom custom collection editors

    Your feedback is wanted and desired.  Please let me know what's missing and if any of the priorities don't resonate with your priorities.




  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Better than the dream...


    We just finished wrapping up the May CTP release of Cider and we're really excited about how far we've come since the Feb CTP!

    Of course, it is important to remember that these are still very early previews of the direction that we are taking Cider.  That said, we haven't added any new features, in fact we've cut some and have really shored up the behaviors and quality.  Check out the release notes.

    For this release, my main area of focus was serialization.  In the Feb CTP, unless you had a relatively simple XAML file, it probably didn't load.  Not true in the May CTP -- the support for XAML Load is greatly improved, have a look at some of these cool UIs loaded in Cider:

    healtcare mediamania welcomescreen HyperBar

    Click on them to see a larger version.

    Of course, there are some caveats -- these have been modified to work around my documented XAML Load Limitations

    The biggest issues you'll run into are:

    1. No in-project references are supported, and only file referenced assemblies are supported.
    2. StaticResource references are not resolved in Application.Resources.
    3. External (i.e. separate XAML file) ResourceDictionaries and MergedDictionaries are not supported.

    Nonetheless, it's a very exciting release that's definetly worth checking out.  The May CTP is tied to the Windows Beta 2.  In order to try this out you'll need:

    Additionally, you may be interested in:

    Have fun and let me know what you think!  If your XAML file doesn't load, please post the project and description to the Cider Forum.

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    MIX06 Sessions Now Online


    This years MIX06 sessions (all 52) are now online.

    Sessions here:

    More here:

    Mike Swanson has the breakdown.

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