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, 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, Silverlight, Visual Studio

Customizing Silverlight properties for Visual Designers

When building custom or user controls you probably end up with a large amount of properties on that control. When using the control in a visual designer like Blend or the Visual Studio designer these properties just show up. Adding a bit of structure in this can be done very easily by adding a couple of attributes to the properties. The attributes to let the visual design know what to do can be found in the System.ComponentModel namespace. There’s a WPF version of this namespace also. For the sake of simplicity I’ve created a UserControl and set the background color…


Dependency Injection, MVVM, Ninject and Silverlight

Intro The MVVM patterns is pretty popular these days. In Silverlight and WPF it is used a lot. Dependency Injection is also used very often. In this tutorials I would like to show you how to use Dependency Injection when building a Silverlight application using the MVVM pattern. There are numerous Dependency Injection Frameworks. For this tutorial I’ve chosen Ninject. The main idea on how to implement DI in your application is pretty much the same for all frameworks. In this tutorial I hope I can give you a small introduction in using Ninject in you projects. Ninject is an…

Presentation, Silverlight, Slides

Unit testing MVVM in Silverlight – SDN Event–Code and Slides

Yesterday I gave a talk at the SDN Event in Zeist about Unit testing MVVM in Silverlight. I talked briefly about how MVVM works in Silverlight and dove deeper into the Unit Testing Framework which is available in the Silverlight Toolkit. After going through the various attributes used in the framework I gave a demonstration on how to use StatLight, a command line tool for running tests. I would like to thank anyone who attended my session for coming and SDN for organizing and hosting this great and informative day. Slides Code  

HTML5, Presentation, Silverlight, Slides

HTML5 – An Introduction – Code and Slides

Today I gave a talk about HTML5 at the UNIT4 DevDay. Thanks to UNIT4 for giving me this opportunity and thanks to everyone who attended my session! Although HTML5 far from completed, it is a lot of fun to work with. Not all tags used in HTML5 are supported by the browsers. You can try the demos on different browsers to see if they work. Download the code here. Download the slides here. For those at UNIT4 who missed this presentation, I will repeat it at UNIT4 Internet Solutions and at UNIT4 Oost Nederland.  So maybe I’ll see you there.…

.NET, Silverlight, Visual Studio


If you often use open source libraries you probably have a large library with various tools, like I do. NuGet is an extension for visual studio that enables you to install, uninstall and upgrade open source packages into your application very easily. Say for example you want to use MvvmLight or Ninject in your project, with NuGet it’s nothing more that tell it to add the package to your project. NuGet NuGet (formerly known as NuPack) is a free, open source developer focused package management system for the .NET platform. You can download the .vsix extension at After installing…

Expression Blend, Silverlight

Using Visual States in custom controls in Silverlight

Intro Visual States are an easy way to change the looks of your controls based on certain states. This state can be something like a mouse hover, some invalid state or any state you need in a control. For this tutorial I chose a traffic light control that can be one of four states. Green, Orange, Red and Inconclusive (blinking orange). In the end I show you how to use behaviors on buttons to set the state of the traffic light. This makes the use of visual states perfectly suitable for use in MVVM projects. Part 1 – Setting up…

.NET, Expression Blend, Silverlight

Custom Assets folder for Expression Blend

In the projects I’m doing I often use controls from my own library or use control from third party vendors. I don’t like the process of doing this. Rather I would like to have the libraries available inside Expression Blend, like the controls that came with the Silverlight Toolkit or Blend itself. One way is to add the custom assemblies containing the controls to one the folders in your Program Files containing the assemblies for the toolkit for example. Another and for more elegant way is to make Expression Blend look in an additional location in your UserProfile (c:/Users/SomeUser/…). The…

Presentation, Silverlight, Sixin, Slides

Sildes and Code – Devnology Community day

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Devnology Community Day about Unit testing Mvvm in Silverlight. Although only a handful of people came to my session, we had some nice discussions about writing tests using various frameworks. Slides Code I would like to thank Devnology and VXCompany for organizing and hosting this great and informative day. One last note. Tuesday, November 9th Sixin is organizing a user group meeting about Design and Development Experiences in Silverlight at Macaw in Schiphol-Rijk in the Netherlands. There are some places available.