At the BUILD event a lot of great applications were released. The big one of course was the Windows 8 preview. One of the released ISOs contains a couple of preview version of development tools. Expression Blend 5 preview is one of them.
The first thing to notice are the new project templates. There’s only one category in the preview: Windows Metro Style. The category contains 5 templates. All templates help you getting started creating Html applications for Windows 8 in Metro style. The Language and Version dropdown lists only contain one element in the preview version. I assume these will grow over time, when Silverlight, WPF and WP7 return.
The Blank Application template creates a solutions with only the minimal elements needed. The designer shows a tablet-shape around the surface, like you might be used to when working on Windows Phone 7 applications. The solution contains a couple of Css and .Js files needed for the Metro Style. A manifest file is also added which defines what is needed to run the app on Windows 8.
The second project template, Fixed Layout Application, adds some basic layout to the blank application.
The Grid Application template is where things get a lot more interesting if you’re just starting writing these kinds of apps. This template contains a couple of .Html files glued together (I might dive into this in a later tutorial) with html attributes. It’s a basic starting point a grid application and contains some navigating from master to detail views.
The Navigation Applications template creates a solutions which looks a lot like the last, but blank. The basic Html elements are in place. This would be a great template to start you applications.
The last template, Split Application, create a more complex solution again. It demonstrates how to create a master/detail application showing the master and the details side by side.
That’s it for the templates.
Although this first preview of Expression Blend 5 only does Html, I think it’s moving in the right direction. Looking at the .Dll files in the root directory of Blend reassures me that the future will bring everything we’re used to back to one of my favorite tools.
Great job Expression Blend team! Keep up the good work.