Hello again my Crossbow lovin' friends!  Well, I have good news and bad news...Well not really bad news...you can judge for yourself.

So, first the good news...

We are releasing the Feb CTP version of Crossbow with many new changes.  Whether you know it or not, the code that we have been delivering in the CTPs since PDC have all been basically the same code base.  We finally we are updating what we are sending out via the CTPs with new up-to-date code.  Ah, don't you just love the smell of freshly cut code?

So you may be wondering what new features we have added to the Crossbow runtime in this upcoming release.  Well, I'll give you a little tastly morsel:

  • Improved keyboard handling
  • Improved focus management
  • Extensible property mapping
  • Other important plumbing stuff

Sounds nice, doesn't it?

Okay, so what's the bad news?

Well, we have been trying hard to figure out how we are going to ship Crossbow.  That amounts to finding the right ship vehicle and doing all the infrastructure work that is required to "get on a release train" as we say (more on that in a later post).  This means that there has been some moving around of bits and such.  Yeah, yeah, get to the point...  Well what this means is that we are kind of in the middle of sorting some of these details out and we are kind of straddling both sides of a particular ship fence.  Therefore, in the Feb CTP, we are not only shipping once, but twice!  We are shipping in the WinFX SDK like we have been, but we are also shipping in Cider as part of Orcas CTP ("Fidalgo").  That means that if you install the Feb CTP, you will find two copies of our dll (WindowsFormsIntegration.dll) in two different places on disk.

Note that these are different versions of the dll.  For this release, you should ignore the version that is place in the "Program Files\Reference Assembly..." path and instead use the one that is in the "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\Cider" directory.

The SDK version of the dll is out of date code and in fact will not work if you are using XAML to instantiate Windows Forms controls due to a breaking change that was introduced by WPF in this release.

The Cider drop of our dll is the one that has all the new code and should be better behaved.

We chose to live with this situation, because of several reasons.  We didn't want to remove our stuff from the product all together for the Feb CTP release...that would just be rude!  And we didn't want you to have to deal with old out of date and broken code either...so we compromised.

I promise we'll get all of this ironed out soon.!

Peace, Love and Crossbow!