Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2011

Windows Phone 7: Issue with Textblock and Textbox rendering

There is an issue with Silverlight for Windows Phone if you try to show a Textblock or Textbox with a lot of text. In my current Windows Phone 7 project with have a listbox with comments and with large text sizes (above 3300 in our test cases) we have the effect that the space for the text is rendered but not all characters.

The result looks like this:


This happens if the surrounding container object (for example Grid or Stackpanel) has a defined width and the Textbox or Textblock has the VerticalAlignment set to “Stretch”.

The XAML definition looks like this:

   1:  <Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
   2:              <ListBox x:Name="MainListBox" Margin="0,0,-12,0" ItemsSource="{Binding Items}" SelectionChanged="MainListBox_SelectionChanged">
   3:                  <ListBox.ItemTemplate>
   4:                      <DataTemplate>
   5:                        <StackPanel Margin="0,0,0,17" Width="432" >
   6:                            <TextBlock Text="{Binding LineOne}" TextWrapping="Wrap" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextExtraLargeStyle}"/>
   7:                            <TextBlock Text="{Binding LineTwo}" TextWrapping="Wrap" 
   8:                                       VerticalAlignment="Stretch"
   9:                                       Margin="12,-6,12,0" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextSubtleStyle}"/>
  10:                        </StackPanel>
  11:                      </DataTemplate>
  12:                  </ListBox.ItemTemplate>
  13:              </ListBox>
  14:   </Grid>

The workaround for this problem is to truncate the text after 3300 characters or don’t use a fix width for the container of the Textbox or Textblock element.

The behaviour is the same in Windows Phone 7.0 and Windows Phone 7.1 projects.

Samstag, 15. Oktober 2011

Windows Phone 7–Mango süßsauer

Windows Phone Mango


Mein neuster Artikel in der Mobile Technology ist seit Freitag an den Kiosken erhältlich. Entgegen des Arbeitstitels “Mango süßsauer” geht es hier nicht um asiatische Kochspezialitäten, sondern um eine kurze Darstellung der neusten Features für  Entwickler bei Nutzung der Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 für die Entwicklung von “Mango”-Apps. Süßsauer deshalb, weil nicht nur die Neuerungen beschrieben werden, sondern auch ein Auge auf noch Ausbaufähiges zur Windows Phone Entwicklung gelegt wird.

Dienstag, 27. September 2011

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango–it’s on the way

This morning, at roughly 10 a.m. Pacific time, Microsoft began rolling out the Mango update to phones around the world. Windows Phone 7.5 (aka Mango) has about 500 new features and is a major update for the Windows Phone platform.

Eric Hautala says

”I do want to emphasize that today is just the start. Our plan, as I’ll explain in a moment, is to ramp up delivery gradually—but make the update available to most existing customers within 4 weeks.

I’m sure you have lots of questions about the update process and especially when you’ll be able to install Windows Phone 7.5. Here’s our plan.”

More details see: Windows Phone 7.5 update begins

Sonntag, 7. August 2011

Windows Phone: New Silverlight toolkit announced

Good news for Windows Phone developers: it's just been announced that the Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone will be getting a Mango update sometime in August.

This update will giving developers just a few extra weeks to tweak their Silverlight extensions before the Marketplace starts accepting Mango apps. No word on the exact changes the new toolkit will contain, but I think Jeff Wilcox will give us some goodies in there.

Samstag, 2. Juli 2011

Windows Phone Mango 80004005 error

Currently my Mango update for Windows Phone fails with error code 80004005.

Answer from Microsoft:

“This is an error that is still being diagnosed at Microsoft.  At this time there is no workaround for it.  You should restore your phone to its NODO image and wait until there is a resolution for this problem.”

Some suggestions from Microsoft

On these crash / update issues there are two general approaches that you can try.

1. Try to apply the update using a different desktop / laptop system.

2. If a different system still doesnt' help, then remove any personal data from the device and perform a hard reset. Then try the update process again

Montag, 27. Juni 2011

MVC3: Combine JavaScript files

A nice tool on codeplex to combine and minifier several JavaScript files:

Combres - WebForm & MVC Client-side Resource Combine Library – Home

  • Open the Package Manager Console (Tools > Library Package Manager > Package Manager Console)
  • In the command window:
    • If you work with ASP.NET MVC: enter Install-Package Combres.Mvc
    • If you work with ASP.NET WebForm: enter Install-Package Combres

Register Route
This step is only necessary for ASP.NET 3.5 users. ASP.NET 4.0 users can skip to the next step. This step is necessary because there's currently no way to generate/transform/reference different code/config/assemblies for different .NET runtimes with NuGet.
  • Delete the generated file AppStart_Combres.cs
  • Remove the reference to the assembly WebActivator
  • Open global.asax code-behind file
    • Import Combres namespace, i.e. using Combres;
    • Add this to the first line of either RegisterRoutes() or Application_Start(): RouteTable.Routes.AddCombresRoute("Combres");

Modify Combres.xml
  • Open App_Data/Combres.xml (this should be auto-created when you install the Combres NuGet package)
  • Add/remove resource sets, resources etc. as per your need. See this article for more information.

Reference to Combres' resource sets in view
  • Open any view page (e.g. master page) which need to reference JS/CSS resource sets defined in Combres.xml
  • Add the followings:
<%= WebExtensions.CombresLink("siteCss") %>  
<%= WebExtensions.CombresLink("siteJs") %>

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2011

HTML5: Deprecated Tags

HTML5 has introduced a lot of new fantastic elements that will be helpful to build better web pages. But the specification also deprecates a few tags that you maybe used in your web pages. So keep them in mind and use  the more semantically correct tags or use CSS for styling.

Presentational tags that are deprecated:

  • basefont
  • big
  • center
  • font
  • s
  • strike
  • tt
  • u

Also the support for frames has been removed. That means that the following tags are gone:

  • frame
  • frameset
  • noframes

A few other tags are replaced by better options:

  • acronym replaced by abbr
  • applet replaced by object
  • dir replaced by ul

In addition to deprecated tags there are many HTML attributes that are no longer valid:

  • align
  • link, vlink, alink and text attributes on body tag
  • bgcolor
  • height, width
  • scrolling on the frame element
  • valign
  • hspace, vspace
  • cellpadding, cellspacing, border on the table tag

Deprecated HTML attributes are:

  • target for links
  • profile for head tag
  • longdesc for img and iframe

If you plan on using HTML5 for your website, be sure to look at this elements and attributes to be compatible with the future and HTML5. You can use to validate your page with the standards.

Dienstag, 14. Juni 2011

Windows Phone: Share files with Skydrive on Mango

“Today, more than 250 million documents are shared through SkyDrive, making it one of the most popular ways to upload, view, edit or share documents on the web. Again, we worked to connect our services to the applications and devices you use every day. You can save your Office documents right to SkyDrive from Office 2010 on your PC and Office for Mac 2011, or you can upload documents from your web browser. Once documents are uploaded, SkyDrive works seamlessly with the Office Web Apps for accessing, editing and sharing docs in your browser or in the desktop client. And, thanks to SkyDrive, OneNote works seamlessly across your PC, phone (OneNote Mobile for Windows Phone and OneNote Mobile for iPhone) and web browser (the OneNote Web App).”

Don’t wait for your cloud - use Hotmail and SkyDrive today on your PC, Mac, or Phone

Windows Phone: Off-thread decoding of images with Mango

A new blog post in Silverlight Phone Performance team blog about new posibilities of decoding images in a listbox in a background thread per xaml definition with the new property CreateOptions.

For more details see: Off-thread decoding of images on Mango, how it impacts your application ? - Silverlight for Windows Phone Performance team blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Dienstag, 7. Juni 2011

Silverlight 5 beta: Issue with Toolkit controls

With Silverlight 5 beta there is an issue concerning the usage of the Silverlight Toolkit controls. For some of them (in my sample the MenuItem) you get a compile error

“The type or namespace name 'ContextMenu' does not exist in the namespace 'System.Windows.Controls' (are you missing an assembly reference?)”

Oops?! If you use intellisense to select the MenuItem control it exists. So definitively a bug in Silverlight 5. After a quick search a found also a hint in Microsoft Connect: Silverlight Forum: SL5 NumericUpDown control compile error | Microsoft Connect

XAML which produce the error:

    <ListBox x:Name="ListBoxTest">
            <toolkit:ContextMenu x:Name="contextMenu1">
                <toolkit:MenuItem Header="Test"></toolkit:MenuItem>
        <ListBoxItem Content="Listitem 1"></ListBoxItem>
        <ListBoxItem Content="Listitem 2"></ListBoxItem>

Workaround by setting the Menuitems with code behind:


    <ListBox x:Name="ListBoxTest">
            <toolkit:ContextMenu x:Name="contextMenu1">
                <!--<toolkit:MenuItem Header="Test"></toolkit:MenuItem>-->
        <ListBoxItem Content="Listitem 1"></ListBoxItem>
        <ListBoxItem Content="Listitem 2"></ListBoxItem>


public MainPage()
    var menuitem = new MenuItem() { Header = "My Menu" };
    //menuitem.Click += new RoutedEventHandler(menuitem_Click);

Montag, 6. Juni 2011

Windows Phone: Live tile changes with Mango

One of the unique features of the platform Windows Phone is the existence of a start page with tiles. Some of the tiles could be “live tiles” with some informations about the state of the Windows Phone app. For instance, a social network app could use the live tile to displays the number of unseen posts. The developer of a Windows Phone app can in the current version change the background image (local or remote image), title of the app and a counter (range 0-99) via Push Notifications.

Changes in Mango

With the new Mango release of Windows Phone we have the following changes:

  • Possible creation of secondary tiles with deep linking to a URI within your application (with parameters)
  • Access to your tiles with usage of ShellTile.ActiveTiles
  • Manipulate the tile appearance directly without push notifications with the StandardTileData class
  • Each tile now have a back page, which could have a image (remote or local), a separate title and a content text
  • In combination with the new background agent you can now schedule local tile updates
  • With the ShellTileSchedule class you can define that your tile image should be updated in the specified interval

Secondary live tiles

Adding a secondary tile to the start screen is done with the help of the ShellTile class. The StandardTileData class is used by tile creation or the tile update to hold the tile data.

// Check the existence of the new pinned tile
var shellTile = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault(x => x.NavigationUri.ToString().Contains("PartnerID=4711"));
if (shellTile != null)
// Create the tile data with some proeprties
var tileData = new StandardTileData
        BackgroundImage = new Uri("Red.jpg", UriKind.Relative),
        Title = "Secondary Tile",
        Count = 12,
        BackTitle = "Back page",
        BackContent = "This is the back page",
        BackBackgroundImage = new Uri("Blue.jpg", UriKind.Relative)
// create the tile at the start screen
ShellTile.Create(new Uri("/MainPage.xaml?PartnerID=4711", UriKind.Relative), tileData);

The pictures used for the live tile must be in PNG or JPG format and have the size of 173x173 pixels PNG or JPG. The properties of the files in the solution have to be set to Content and “copy if newer”. The BackgroundImage or BackBackgroundImage could also be web URLs, than the UriKind Absolute should be used.

Deep Linking

If you use a secondary tile with a other Uri than “/” the NavigationService automatically navigates to the given page. In the NavigatedTo-Event you can access via QueryString to the parameters of the tile (in this case “PartnerID=4711”).

protected override void OnNavigatedTo(System.Windows.Navigation.NavigationEventArgs e)
    if (NavigationContext.QueryString.ContainsKey("PartnerId"))
        // do something here

Updates the tiles

To access a tile the ActiveTiles prooperty of the ShellTile class will be used.

To find the primary tile and update the back content property:
var tileToFind = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault(x => x.NavigationUri.ToString() == "/");
if (tileToFind != null)
    var newTileData = new StandardTileData
            BackContent = "Changes for the back"
To find a secondary tile and make some updates:

Find a tile with a specific parameter or all with a deep link to a page (for example details.xaml"):

// Find the tile we want to update.
var tileToFind = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault
    (x => x.NavigationUri.ToString().Contains("PartnerID=4711"));
// If tile was found, then update the Title
if (tileToFind != null)
    var newTileData = new StandardTileData
        Title = textBoxTitle.Text

Delete a pinned tile

Delete a secondary or main tile:

var tileFound = ShellTile.ActiveTiles
    .FirstOrDefault(tile => tile.NavigationUri.ToString().Contains("Details"));
if (tileFound != null)


Background worker

With the new concept of Mango to run scheduled background agents you can easily create a local update service for tiles.

Start the background agent with help of the ScheduledActionService class. In my sample I use a PeriodicTask which will be scheduled every 30 minutes to check for updates of the live tiles. More details about scheduled tasks you can find here: Scheduled Tasks Overview for Windows Phone

(1) Add a new SchedulerAgent project to your solution

(2) Start a new PeriodicTask by using the ScheduledActionService

private static void StartPeriodicAgent()
    var periodicTask = new PeriodicTask("PeriodicAgent")
            // The description is required. This is the string that the user
            // will see in the background services Settings page on the device.
            Description = "Periodic task for updating the tile"
    // If the agent is already registered with the system,
    // call the StopPeriodicAgent helper method.
    if (ScheduledActionService.Find(periodicTask.Name) != null)
private static void StopPeriodicAgent()

(3) At the Invoke Event of the ScheduledTaskAgent update the tile:

           if (task is PeriodicTask)
               var tileToFind = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault(x => x.NavigationUri.ToString() == "/");
               if (tileToFind != null)
                   var rand=new Random(0);
                   var newTileData = new StandardTileData 
                       Count = rand.Next(0,99)
                   Debug.WriteLine("Updated " + DateTime.Now.ToShortTimeString());

The user have in Windows phone settings page a list of the current running background agents and can stop them.


Windows Phone: ListBox and ScrollViewer performance improvment

Read some intressting facts from the Windows Phone Performance team blog about performance improvments for the ListBox and ScrollViewer with Mango for Windows Phone: Listbox – ScrollViewer performance improvement for Mango and how it impacts your existing application? - Silverlight for Windows Phone Performance team blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Sonntag, 5. Juni 2011

Windows Phone: Mango ProgressIndicator in SystemTray

With Mango for Windows Phone we have some cool changes for the system tray control. SystemTray is a DependencyObject and because Mango is now running on SL4, DependencyObject can be data bound. The other feature for the System Tray coming with Mango is a ProgressIndicator which can used to display progress on async operations.

More details and sample code about the new ProgressIndicator in the System Tray you can find here: System Tray Progress Indicator - Jaime Rodriguez - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Data Binding of ProgressIndicator

Sample for programmatically data binding of the ProgressIndicator in the Loaded-Event of the page:

this.Loaded += ( x, y ) => 
        var progressIndicator = SystemTray.ProgressIndicator;
        if (progressIndicator != null)
        progressIndicator = new ProgressIndicator();
        SystemTray.SetProgressIndicator(this, progressIndicator);
        var binding = new Binding("IsChecked") { Source = this.ProgressIndicatorIsVisible };
        BindingOperations.SetBinding(progressIndicator, ProgressIndicator.IsVisibleProperty, binding); 
        binding = new Binding("IsChecked") { Source = this.ProgressIndicatorIsIndeterminate };
        BindingOperations.SetBinding(progressIndicator, ProgressIndicator.IsIndeterminateProperty, binding); 
        binding = new Binding("Text") { Source = this.ProgressIndicatorText };
        BindingOperations.SetBinding(progressIndicator, ProgressIndicator.TextProperty, binding);
        binding = new Binding("Value") { Source = this.ProgressIndicatorValueSlider };
        BindingOperations.SetBinding(progressIndicator, ProgressIndicator.ValueProperty, binding);
    } ;              

Updated: Data Binding over declaration

Many thanks to a colleague, who give me the tip that data binding for SystemTray is also possible with XAML declaration.

See sample here: