A prototype WPF/Silverlight layout designer

A prototype WPF/Silverlight layout designer

  • Comments 14

I’ve been thinking recently about how would I write a WPF UI designer that would specifically highlight the new WPF layout paradigm, and not try to mimic the old WinForms paradigm. The old VB6/WinForms designer was built around absolute positioning. It allowed for rapid WYSIWYG prototyping of interfaces, and the Dock/Anchor functionality provided a relatively cheap and easy support for scalable UI. The new WPF designer in Visual Studio is although very powerful, but some people find it difficult to quickly draft a scalable UI that produces clean XAML.

So I wrote a concept prototype of how I would like to design WPF UI:

http://layout.osenkov.com

It runs right in the browser and requires Silverlight 4 (because it needs to copy the output XAML to clipboard). It only focuses on the basics and doesn’t have a lot of features (it’s just a prototype), but I think it can nicely convey my ideas. Nothing of it is new, and both Blend and VS designers support complex layouts with panels and such, but I still decided to write a simple designer without a lot of complex details.

Let me know what you think!

image

  • Man, you're a genius, did you know that?

  • This is a great application!

    Would it be possible to get the source code to see how you did it?

    Thanks,

    Nadav

  • I suppose it has to do with your prevois post but I did not get your message. Do you mean that all absolute positioning stuff (margins) are defined as a style resource so that layout itself conforms MS Design Guidelines out of the box?

  • I suppose it has to do with your prevois post but I did not get your message. Do you mean that all absolute positioning stuff (margins) are defined as a style resource so that layout itself conforms MS Design Guidelines out of the box?

  • That's pretty good stuff, thanks for making this ! It's actually much easier to use than Cider...

  • What a great idea!

    I always start by typing my basic XAML layout by hand. Starting in the VS designer or Blend produces weird margins and alignments that you have to edit manually anyway. Up until now I never gave it much thought, but the fact is that we type our XAML because the existing designers don't do the right thing.  

  • This is great! I don't know why microsoft doesn't ship in .net framework hostable designer for wpf like that for windows forms (althought not well documented) or workflow foundation

  • Any chance to give source code

  • Thanks everyone!

    I'm currently thinking about publishing the source code... if I can't find any better use for it, I'll publish and blog about it.

    Mikhail: that's the idea. Currently it's not implemented, but knowing the design guidelines, one could do a lot to auto-adjust spacing and margins to conform to them.

  • Great work

  • Folks, thanks for your patience. I've published the source code at http://layout.codeplex.com

    blogs.msdn.com/.../layout-designer-prototype-is-now-open-source-on-codeplex.aspx

    Enjoy!

  • шпасибо тебе большое!

  • Great Job !!!

    Is there a way to use it in wpf desktop application and not as silverlight ?

  • 哈哈   真的很不错啊!!!

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