Blend for Visual Studio, Expression Blend

Extending Blend for Visual Studio

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, I wrote a couple of tutorials on how to write extensions for Expression Blend. Today there’s still not much information available on how to write your own extensions. But it is still possible to extend Blend for Visual Studio. The way to do this is slightly changed though. I recently came across a question at StackOverflow.com that made me decide to update/rewrite some that older tutorials. Instead of building some dummy extension I’d like to show you how to build an extensions that might be useful for developers of Windows Store…

CSS, Expression Blend, HTML5, Windows Store apps

setting view states in HTML windows store apps using Blend

Intro From developing XAML applications I got used to working with the visual state manager to set various states of my applications and controls. In Windows Store apps that are build using XAML use the visual state manager to change various properties when the view state of the app changes. The app can be ran in fullscreen, filled or snapped state. When building Windows Store apps using HTML and JavaScript I wanted to show some UI different when the view state changes. One way to accomplish this is to change the CSS class of the elements from JavaScript. Just handle…

Expression Blend, Windows Phone 8, WP7, wp7nl

Wp7nl utilities Contribution

When building apps for Windows Phone I use my own library. I’m a “lazy” developer and don’t like writing code twice. So I place a lot of code that can be reused, like behaviors, converters and extension methods, in my library. For I while I’ve been thinking about sharing the library as an open source project on Codeplex, but in the end decided to contribute to the Wp7nl Utilities project of Joost van Schaik. The first bunch of utilities are added. I will continue to add more and describe those on my blog too. Actions for Launchers I often have…

Expression Blend, Silverlight, WinRT, WP7, wpf

Customized Sample data

Intro When working on Windows Phone or Silverlight applications I use the sample data feature of Blend a lot. I like to see what I’m working on. The only downside of this sample data is that it rarely mirrors the data (unless I’m working on the chair application for a company called Lorem Ipsum). I’d like to see Dutch phone numbers, cities and postal codes. So I’ve decided to create my own list of sample data. At first I thought I had to build a new extension for Blend to be able to customize the data. It turned out to…

Expression Blend, Windows 8, WinJs

WinJs DesignTime Mode

While working on the port of my game Orbizoid to Windows 8 I ran into an issue with the starfield in de background of the game. The starfield was running in Expression Blend too. At first this was kinda funny, but soon the performance dropped and it became unworkable. There used to be a property to detect if you are running inside Expression Blend before, I hoped this was still available when working on Windows 8 applications in javascript. I had to search for a moment, but it is possible. var isInDesigner = Windows.ApplicationModel.DesignMode.designModeEnabled; if(!isInDesigner){ // code not running in…

Expression Blend

Getting started with Metro, JS and blend

Intro In this first tutorial in a series about building a Windows 8 application with JavaScript, HMTL and CSS using Expression Blend 5, we’re going to make a start on a very simple game. In this game the player has to guess a random number between 1 and 10. The player wins if the guess is correct, and looses if it’s wrong. In future parts of the series this game will be extended to include various features of WinJS and Windows 8. File-New I’ve started with a new “Blank App” from the HTML list. I added a few HTML elements…

Expression Blend, WP7

Styling Windows Phone 7 Pivot Control Titles

For a Windows Phone 7 application I’m currently working on I needed to change the font the titles of a couple of PivotItems on a Pivot control. Normally I won’t recommend using another font than Segoe WP for this, but sometimes the branding of the app leaves you no other choice. Changing the font of the title turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. To spare you the trouble, here’s how it’s done in Expression Blend. Walkthrough For this walkthrough I created a very cool app, containing a Pivot control with three PivotItems. Changing the font of…

Expression Blend, WP7

colorizing images using expression blend

Yesterday I recorded a screencast to demonstrate how to colorize images in a Windows Phone 7 application using Expression Blend 4. In Silverlight or WPF I use a shader to colorize images, but because shaders aren’t available in the same way in Silverlight for Windows Phone I had do come up with a different technique. In this tutorial I show how to use application bar icons as an opacity mask on rectangles. I set the fill brush of these rectangles to the default phone accent brush. Here’s the video: colorizing images using expression blend

Expression Blend, Silverlight

What’s new in Expression Blend for visual studio?

Intro With the release of Windows 8 Customer Preview came the release Visual Studio 11 Beta. This beta release van with a new version of Expression Blend. To get it, just download the Visual Studio 11 Beta and install the Ultimate, Premium of Professional version. If you don’t have installed or don’t want to install Windows 8, you can install Visual Studio on Windows 7 now. It runs side by side with any previous installation of that. There is one downside of running the Beta on Windows 7: you can’t develop WinRT applications. The file->new Project windows is even completely…

Expression Blend, WP7

Setting visibility based on wp7 themes

Intro The Technical Certification Requirements for Windows Phone 7 applications state the following: 5.5.2 – Content and Themes Application content, such as text and visual elements, must be visible and legible regardless of the phone theme. For example, if the phone theme changes from black background to white background, the text and visual elements of your application must be visible or legible. This means that everything in you application, including images, should be well visible in the dark and light theming of the phone. Handling dark/light support is very easy. Dark and Light Often companies have a special version of…