Version Tracker.NET v 1.0 released

Published 1/26/2009 by Henry in C#

Today I released Version Tracker.NET v 1.0. It's a tool that simplifies version management in large solutions. This release only supports C#, but who knows, if someone asks for VB.NET (or another language) to be supported by Version tracker, maybe I will do it.
It is a WPF application, I had not worked with WPF, only Silverlight. I had a lot of fun experimenting and discovering the parts of WPF I needed for this app.

Version Tracker.NET
Version Tracker.NET

I learnt about Templates, Styles, Model-View-ViewModel and on the other side: Solution files, Project files and AssemblyInfo.cs files.
It was so much fun, I am going to try to put more features in Version Tracker.NET and maybe create another tool that's useful.

Quick download links

You can install it through ClickOnce installment or simply download the install.

Click to install Version Tracker.NET v 1.0 through ClickOnce deployment                           Click to download  Version Tracker.NET v 1.0 setup

Pick the ClickOnce deployment version if you always want the latest version, ClickOnce will tell you when a new version is available, pick the setup download if you do not need the latest version as soon as it is available and these features are all you need.

This version (v 1.0) is free for download, if you want the sourcecode drop me a line, you are free to use it, but you must mention me as the original author.

My thoughts exactly...
Henry Cordes

NDepend analyses staticly

Published 1/20/2009 by Henry in C#

A few months ago Patrick Smacchia a C# MVP and the author of NDepend approached me to take a look at his product: NDepend

I must admit until than I never done anything with it.

Nevertheless, after I checked the request was really from Patrick, I started to think about it and decided to do it, because:
A.) I felt honoured to be asked;
B.) I was curious if this product could be of value to me

A short overview of the area's NDepend focuses on, I took the area's from NDepend's site:

Conventions, Rules, Constraints Design, analyse and enforce your code conventions, naming guidelines and coding standards
Code Structure, Design, Dependencies     Know and control the design and structure of your code base
Build comparison Design rules to avoid breaking changes, only review changed and newly added code
Metrics Report over number of lines of code, increase testability and readability, coupling, dead code, design flaws
Code Coverage In general, but more important of newly added and refactored code, also it integrates with MS Visual Studio and NCover
Build Process / CI integration NDepend is designed to integrate with: CruiseControl.NET, VSTS Build Server, Nant and many other CI or Build tools

This list already shows that NDepend is more than just a dependency tool. Sure it can help you get an insight into the dependencies of your app or code base, but it is much more than just that.
It can help you get a deep understanding of the design and structure of any code base real fast, so if you are in the consulting business like me, this tool can really help you to get up to speed fast.
Also it can help you enforce design and coding standards, not only in the case of problems, reviews or in consulting gigs, but you can integrate it into your CI an/or build process, to get your code base to live up not only to your (quality) standards, but report about them to your clients and/or users also!
Now we know how valuable this tool is in theory, let's find out how it perform's in the real world.

So I installed NDepend, installing in the case of NDepend is nothing more than copying the files onto your harddrive and you are good to go!
I really like this approach, no registry hacks, no dependencies on stuff you do not want on your system, just the 16,6 MB of files and the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher (pic. 1).


Picture 1: NDepend Files
Picture 1: NDepend Files

When we start it up it looks quite familiair to the Visual studio user (pic. 2):

Picture 2: Ndepend start pagePicture 2: Ndepend start page

I think the UI is made with the help of DevExpress controls (, so the app has dockable windows like we know and love from Visual Studio and MS Office. NDepend is skinable. In this post I started out using the default skin, but from picture 9 (Dependency Graph) on I use another skin. When I load the first assembly I must admit that I experienced exactly what Scott Hanselman describes in his post about NDepend.

The first 10 minutes of NDepend is the hardest. It has to click first. There's the whole "what the hell am I looking at" process, often followed by the "screw this" declaration, followed by a quick uninstallation and a sense of "what happened."

For this post I use the Enterprise Library 4.1 and I am going to analyze the DataAccess Application Block by selecting all dll's and .pdb files in the bin directory of the application block's source folder and dragging and dropping them onto the NDepend assembly grid (pic. 3).

Picture 3: Ndepend drag and drop assemblies

After we dropped the grid (pic. 4) shows the assemblies that we dropped onto the grid.

Ndepend drag and drop assembliesPicture 4: Ndepend drag and drop assemblies

When I click on OK, NDepend starts it's magic, after a minute Internet Explorer is loaded with a report that contains all information on the project and the NDepend start page (pic. 2) is replaced with multiple dockable windows, containing multiple windows that present information about the codebase in their own way (pic. 5).

Picture 5: Ndepend First analysisPicture 5: Ndepend First analysis

While the analyzing takes place NDepend shows what it is doing in a for Visual Studio users very familiair way.
The Visual Studio Output Window and the error list rolled into one. It looks the same and it behaves the same. The window in picture 6 shows what NDepend is doing and what the results of it's actions are.

Ndepend Error listPicture 6: Ndepend Error list

NDepend calls this the Error List (familiair?). Because of the complexity that NDepend is dealing with, I think that the familairity with Visual Studio is a good thing. If you are like me, deep inside you know that static code analysis is necessary, but it can get really overwhelming. Making NDepend familair helps getting over the initial "why do I need all this?" feeling, it does not completely remove it, but it helps. In other words: IMO this approach is good .

As shown in picture 5 left the 'Class Browser' window is shown, again exactly like we are used to in Visual Studio, the NDepend 'Class Browser' shows a treeview with all classes and their methods, properties, interfaces and fields (pic. 7). Not exactly the same, but close enough.

Ndepend class BrowserPicture 7: Ndepend class Browser

CONTEXT (sensitive)
Everything in the NDepend UI is context sensitive, by that I mean wherever you select an item in a list or in a picture the other windows of NDepend show data that is relevant to the selected item.

This window (pic. 8) puzzled me a lot at first. what am I looking at?
It is a visual way of showing the codebase, all elements are shown as grey rectangles. which are grouped into a rectangle which is the assembly or class. all methods and members are grey rectangles inside the class rectangle. The rectangles are bigger if they contain more lines of code. You can hover over them with your mouse and information (names etc.) is shown in a context sensitive way. Again, the other windows react to these changes and show data accordingly.

Ndepend MetricsPicture 8: Ndepend Metrics

The Dependency Graph (pic. 9) window shows an image that is a visual represantation of the code base (or selected part of the code base!).

Picture 9: Ndepend Dependency Graph

Again it is context sensitive, if you select some class or member in another window, the content of the Dependency Graph changes accordingly and when you hover over a class in the Dependency Graph, the other windows react to this change.

Picture 10: Ndepend Dependency Graph contextPicture 10: Ndepend Dependency Graph context

The Dependency Matrix shows the coupling of the classes in  the code base. It shows exactly how many methods and fields are used between all classes.

Ndepend Dependency MatrixPicture 11: Ndepend Dependency Matrix

Picture 11 shows that 74 methods of Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.Data are using 71 members of Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.Common, so green are methods and blue are members.
By right clicking on an item in the matrix a contect menu is opened where several actions can be chosen.

Picture 12: Ndepend Dependency Matrix contect menuPicture 12: Ndepend Dependency Matrix contect menu

In this window (pic. 13) the CQL Queries can be selected. When selected the query is done during the analysis. The queries are grouped. NDepend comes with a lot of pre-defined queries. They are called queries for a reason, Patrick Smacchia created his own query language called CQL (Code Query Language). With this language it is possible to query code. CQL is the heart and soul of NDepend, it makes NDepend flexible and extensible. It is possible to create your own groups and CQL queries.
It goes too far for this article to go into detail, but I think it is brilliant to use a query language to analyse code.

Picture 13: Ndepend CQL Queries window

You might think: "real nice that I can write my own queries, but such a query language must be time consuming to learn", and discard this option right away, DON'T! Patrick did not only created his own query language, he also made an editor with intellisense! And it really works, it is really easy to write your own CQL query. Give it a try and you know what I am talking about.

Picture 14: Ndepend Roll your own CQL Queries

While I was working on this article, I came to appreciate NDepend more and more. I think it is a mature and well structured tool.
The integration with NCover, Reflector, Visual Studio 2005 and 2008, CruiseControl.NET, VSTS Build Server and Nant are impressive.
It also provides the possibility to choose another code editor over Visual Studio, all these integration possibilities make it very strong, because no matter what your preference is, NDepend will work with the tools you work with. 

The UI provides all functionality needed, but I hope that in the future we get a WPF based version of NDepend. The Windows forms UI and the DevExpress dockable windows provide all functionality, but in this day and age I just expect that slick look and feel.

Because NDepend focusses on static analysis only and does this very well. The use of CQL, the query language created to query code is brilliant. Every weird aspect that you need to report over in your codebase is possible through this language and it's editor with intellisense.

The way all windows show information about the code base in their own unique but comprehensive way is exactly what you would expect from a tool like this. The way all windows react in a context sensitive way to selections or changes made in other windows, gives me the feeling that this tool is created with a professional in mind and makes it a pleasure to work with NDepend.

My thoughts exactly...
Henry Cordes

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta  


In my post Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1. I started creating a UserControl in Silverlight using Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1, Beta 2 is out now.
Because I want to get familair with Silverlight (WPF, Silverlight should be a subset of WPF and thus IMO a great way to get more knowledge of this technology).

In my first part of the story, I made a UserControl. I did it with the .NET knowledge I already had, but doing so, I completely forgot to RTFM.
Later I did and learned about DependencyProperties. A great other way to work with properties.

A property that is backed by the WPF property system is known as a dependency property.
The purpose of dependency properties is to provide a way to compute the value of a property based on the value of other inputs. These other inputs might include system properties such as themes and user preference, just-in-time property determination mechanisms such as data binding and animations/storyboards, multiple-use templates such as resources and styles, or values known through parent-child relationships with other elements in the element tree. In addition, a dependency property can be implemented to provide self-contained validation, default values, callbacks that monitor changes to other properties, and a system that can coerce property values based on potentially runtime information. Derived classes can also change some specific characteristics of an existing property by overriding dependency property metadata, rather than overriding the actual implementation of existing properties or creating new properties.

The concept is a little overwhelming at first, seeing DependencyProperty code the first time can be confusing.
In Part 1 the HC.Silverlight.TryOut.GenderChooser had the property Gender.

   1:  public GenderChoice Gender
   2:  {
   3:      get { return _Gender; }
   4:      set 
   5:      { 
   6:      _Gender = value;
   7:      SetColorAccordingToChoice();
   8:      OnGenderChosen(this, _Gender);
   9:      }
  10:  }

Listing 1

In the setter of the Gender property, the method SetColorAccordingToChoice is called, this sets the colors of the symbols in a particular way and it fires the OnGenderChosen event.
Every containing control can subscribe to this event and react to changes when it is fired.

Now, in WPF and Silverlight DependencyProperties are available, this property is a great candidate for this concept. But how does it work?
First we refactor our Property  to use GetValue in the setter and SetValue in the setter. We also add a GenderProperty of type DependencyProperty and call the static method Register on the DependencyProperty object:

   1:  public GenderChoice Gender
   2:  {
   3:     get { return (GenderChoice)GetValue(GenderProperty); }
   4:     set { SetValue(GenderProperty, value); }
   5:  }
   7:  public static readonly DependencyProperty GenderProperty =
   8:     DependencyProperty.Register("Gender", typeof(GenderChoice), 
   9:                                           typeof(GenderChooser), 
  10:                                           new PropertyMetadata(
  11:                                           new PropertyChangedCallback(OnGenderChanged)));

Listing 2

Now we got the skeleton to use the DependencyProperty concept in the getter and setter of the property. And we also got a DependencyProperty with the name GenderProperty registered on the FrameworkElement.

Lets analyse the registering of the DependencyProperty. First we look at the signature for the public static Register method on the System.Windows.DependencyProperty class.

   1:  // Summary:
   2:  //     Registers a dependency property with the specified property name, 
   3:  //       property type, owner type, and property metadata for the property.
   4:  //
   5:  // Parameters:
   6:  //   name:
   7:  //     The name of the dependency property to register.
   8:  //
   9:  //   propertyType:
  10:  //     The type of the property.
  11:  //
  12:  //   ownerType:
  13:  //     The owner type that is registering the dependency property.
  14:  //
  15:  //   typeMetadata:
  16:  //     A property metadata instance. 
  17:  //       This can contain a System.Windows.PropertyChangedCallback
  18:  //     implementation reference.
  19:  //
  20:  // Returns:
  21:  //     A dependency property identifier that should be used to set the value of
  22:  //     a public static readonly field in your class. That identifier is then used
  23:  //     to reference the dependency property later, for operations such as setting
  24:  //     its value programmatically.
  25:  public static DependencyProperty Register(string name, 
  26:                                            Type propertyType, 
  27:                                            Type ownerType, 
  28:                                            PropertyMetadata typeMetadata);

Listing 3

The first parameter in the static Register method is name (string). Name is the name of the identifier field that you use to store the name and characteristics of the dependency property must be the Name you chose for the dependency property as part of the Register call appended by the literal string Property.
It is very important to follow the naming pattern, if you fail to designers might not report your property correctly, and certain aspects of property system style application might not behave as expected.

In our example,

  • the name of the dependency property and its CLR accessor is Gender;
  • The identifier field is GenderProperty;
  • The type of the property is GenderChoice;
  • The type that registers the dependency property is GenderChooser;
  • The PropertyMetadata is used to register the PropertyChangedCallback OnGenderChanged on the DependencyProperty, whenever the value in the property changes (is set) this callback is fired. In this callback you put the code to do your validation or any code that needs to run when the value of the property changes. 

So now we need a delegate to declare our EventHandler. The delegate OnGenderChangedEventHandler returns nothing but takes an object and a GenderChoice as parameters.
Furthermore we need a public event GenderChanged and a private static void OnGenderChanged which is the callback function that is fired when the value of the Property changes.

   1:  public delegate void OnGenderChangedEventHandler(object sender, GenderChangedEventArgs e);
   3:  public event OnGenderChangedEventHandler GenderChanged;
   5:  /// <summary>
   6:  /// Raises Event for DependencyProperty
   7:  /// </summary>
   8:  /// <param name="d"></param>
   9:  /// <param name="e"></param>
  10:  private static void OnGenderChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
  11:  {
  12:     if (d is GenderChooser)
  13:     {
  14:         ((GenderChooser)d).SetColorAccordingToChoice(e);
  15:         ((GenderChooser)d).OnGenderChosen((GenderChooser)d, 
  16:                            new GenderChangedEventArgs((GenderChoice)e.NewValue));
  17:     }
  18:  }

Listing 4

This is all the code you need to make a DependencyProperty.
But in our UserControl from Part 1 ,the GenderChooser, we need the GenderChosen event to fire as soon as the value of our Gender property changes. As we see on line 15 of Listing 4 the OnGenderChanged method must be static, because the DependencyProperty.Register method on line 8 of Listing 3 is static and it calls the callback.

Because the callback function OnGenderChanged is static, we need to cast the DependencyObject d to the right object, GenderChooser, after we check if d is of type Genderchooser ofcourse.
Next we call the methods on the calling object itself with the help of a cast (((GenderChooser)d).SetColorAccordingToChoice(e);).

As is shown on line 15 of Listing 4 the OnGenderChosen method is called, which takes an object and a GenderChangedEventArgs, with a GenderChoice as parameter in the constructor, as parameters.
This is the method that will raise the event GenderChosen, if a class is attached to the eventhandler.

So we need the following code to make the event GenderChosen to work.

   1:  // Outside the class!
   2:  public delegate void GenderChosenEventHandler(object sender, GenderChoice gender);
   5:  // public partial class GenderChooser : UserControl
   6:  // {
   8:  public event GenderChosenEventHandler GenderChosen;
  10:  private void OnGenderChosen(object sender, GenderChangedEventArgs e)
  11:  {
  12:      if (GenderChosen != null)
  13:      {
  14:          GenderChosen(sender, e.SelectedGender);
  15:      }
  16:  }

Listing 5

The GenderChosenEventHandler needs to be global, so needs to be outside the class and inside the namespace.
On line 10 (Listing 5) you see GenderChangedEventArgs, this is a class derived from EventArgs with nothing more than a TimeStamp and a GenderChoice property.
So it is easy to pass the SelectedGender in the Event.

GenderChangedEventArgs code

   1:  using System;
   3:  namespace HC.Silverlight.TryOut
   4:  {
   5:      public class GenderChangedEventArgs: EventArgs
   6:      {
   7:          #region Properties
   8:          public DateTime Stamp { get; set; }
   9:          public GenderChoice SelectedGender { get; set; }
  10:          #endregion
  12:          #region C'tors
  13:          public GenderChangedEventArgs(GenderChoice selectedGender)
  14:          {
  15:              Stamp = DateTime.Now;
  16:              SelectedGender = selectedGender;
  17:          }
  18:          #endregion
  19:      }
  20:  }

Listing 6

In Part I Line 36 to 55 the region 'Events' and the region 'EventHandler' can be removed! (thank you, Micheal Ashby (Microsoft) for pointing this out...).

Last but not least, the project is available and can be downloaded here.

DependencyProperties is a well thought out concept it was one of the first things designed when Microsoft started with WPF.
I cannot forget Mark Miller, I attended his session on WPF at the DevDays in Holland, he said: "WPF is designed by geniuses, but implemented by ...", I think the first part means a lot coming from Mark...

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta  

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...

ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 released!

Published 5/31/2008 by Henry in ASP.NET | C#
Tags: ,

ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 is released. You can download it from here:

I took the following quote from ScottGu's blog which is a dutch translation!
Je kan hier een geintegreerd pakket van de ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 setup downloaden. Als je dat wil, kan je ook de ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 framework broncode en de framework unit tests hier downloaden.
Which means something along the line of:
You can download an integrated ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 setup package here.  You can also optionally download the ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 framework source code and framework unit tests here.

The way Microsoft is open about the code they write, is awsome to me.
The 'ScottGu teams' really turning the game upside down, IMHO it is so cool and insightfull to look at the way the MVC Framework team sets up the framework. The opportunity to look at their tests is another learning experience to me.
So download an learn, is what I say!

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...


When I migrated my blog over to a new provider and blogengine, I lost some images,replaced them using VS2010, so some screenshots look 'newer'.

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x  

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 (this post)
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta

Wanting to know what all the hype is really about, I started to think about creating a web application with Silverlight.
Before I will create an application, my idea is to start of with a UserControl. A really simple one too. For the application I am going to maybe be building with Silverlight, I need a UI component to choose the gender of a person.
You could use two radiobuttons, make them a member of the same group and we're off. But with Silverlight we can try a more graphical approach, maybe a more intuitive control. I want to create a control that has the Male and Female Symbol that are clickable, through clicking on a symbol you select the gender.

I installed:

  • Microsoft Expression Design
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 2.5 March 2008 Preview
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008

First thing you learn when starting to use this technology is that you really need a designers eye on things. So if you are not a creative person, that likes designing stuff, maybe you need a designer to do it for you.
We are going to try to do the design ourselves for now.

Create Solution and projects
First I Fired up Visual Studio 2008. I created a new Silverlight Application (so it is easy to try our control out).

Create Silverlight Application

As soon as you click OK, you are presented a choice, because Silverlight will be hosted on or inside a web page, you have to choose from the following options:

  1. Create only the Silverlight app and let Studio generate an HTML page for you to test the app with (only in bin/debug)
  2. Add a Website project to your solution
  3. Add a Web Application Project to your solution


Select hosting application type

I choose option 3. a Web Application Project. Now I got two projects inside my solution. I right click on the Page.xaml file and choose "Open in Expression Blend"


Open in MS Blend

Rightclick on the Silverlight project file and choose "Add New Item..." from the menu

Add new item to Silverlight application project in Blend Add New Item

Select UserControl as template and give the control a name.

Give the xaml file for your UserControl a name New Item

Rightclick in the area named: "Objects and Timeline" in the left side of Blend, on the UserControl and select Rename, give the control a name (GenderChoose), it cannot be the same as the name you gave the .xaml file (this is confusing, because the New Item dialog suggests you name the Usercontrol, but all you do is name the xaml and these names both must be unique.

Rename the UserControl in blend Rename Control

Because the background of the LayoutRoot is white  We need to change it to transparent, we do this by selecting the LayoutRoot inside the UserControl

Select LayoutRoot Grid in Blend Select LayoutRoot

After this,we select the little square that is on the right of the BackGround Brush setting

Background brush

In the contextmenu choose "Reset" and the background is transparent

No brush


Now it is time to fire up Microsoft Expression Design, it is a vector based drawing and design tool. I need to create the Male and Female symbols with it.
Click File > New and create a document with Width: 120 px and Height 140 px.
From the toolbox select an Ellipse

Select Ellipse

Draw a circle and select a line, to draw the arrow on the upper right of the circle. Set the width of the line to 10px. You should be making something like this:

Male symbol inside Microsoft Expression Design Male Symbol

Select all paths in your drawing, than click Object > Compound Path > Make, or use Ctrl + 8. Than again select all on your drawing

Compounded path

and paste into your control in Blend.

Male symbol pasted into Blend Path inside Blend Control

Rename the Path to MalePath. Do the same for the Female symbol (draw, make compound path, copy and paste into Blend) and rename this path into FemalePath. Give the paths a color you like, by selecting and choosing the right color in Brush option. Now we got something like this

Symbols have color Colors added

And the result in Xaml is this:

   1:  <UserControl
   2:      xmlns=""
   3:      xmlns:x=""
   4:      xmlns:d=""
   5:      xmlns:mc=""
   6:      mc:Ignorable="d"

   7:      x:Class="HC.Silverlight.Tyout.GenderChooser"
   8:      d:DesignWidth="288" d:DesignHeight="160" x:Name="GenderChoose">
  10:      <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Height="160" Width="244" >
  11:          <Path x:Name="MalePath"    
  12:              MouseLeftButtonDown="MalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown" 
  13:              MouseEnter="MalePath_MouseEnter"    
  14:              MouseLeave="MalePath_MouseLeave"   
  15:              Stretch="Fill" StrokeThickness="10" 
  16:              StrokeLineJoin="Round" 
  17:              Stroke="#4C0E1B4B" 
  18:              Data="M71.182777,43.484818 C88.632889,57.770176 91.340874,83.323097 77.231247,
  19:                  100.56004 C63.121323,117.79601 37.536755,120.18899 20.086346,
  20:                  105.90402 C2.6360354,91.620079 -0.071950652,66.066154 14.037977,
  21:                  48.829205 C28.147804,31.592951 53.732468,29.20006 71.182777,
  22:                  43.484818 z M71.687004,42.605003 L102.30298,5.2050009 L104.313,
  23:                  34.850189 M71.437004,42.401001 L102.053,5.000001 L72.594521,8.885973" 
  24:              Height="120.23" 
  25:              HorizontalAlignment="Left" 
  26:              Margin="2.93199992179871,2.15100002288818,0,37.6189994812012" 
  27:              VerticalAlignment="Stretch" 
  28:              Width="109.313" 
  29:              d:LayoutOverrides="Width"/>
  30:          <Path x:Name="FemalePath"  
  31:              MouseLeftButtonDown="FemalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown"    
  32:              MouseEnter="FemalePath_MouseEnter"    
  33:              MouseLeave="FemalePath_MouseLeave"   
  34:              Stretch="Fill"   

  35:              StrokeThickness="10"   
  36:              StrokeLineJoin="Round"   
  37:              Stroke="#4CF502E4"   
  38:              Data="M 75.6667,46.1667C 98.2183,46.1667 116.5,64.2245 116.5,86.5C 116.5,108.775 98.2183,126.833 75.6667,
  39:                  126.833C 53.1151,126.833 34.8333,108.775 34.8333,86.5C 34.8333,64.2245 53.115,46.1667 75.6667,
  40:                  46.1667 Z M 76.5,126.5L 76.5,185.167M 103.833,159.167L 48.8333,159.167"   
  41:              HorizontalAlignment="Left"   
  42:              Margin="122.833000183105,0.166999995708466,0,10.8330001831055"   
  43:              Width="91.667"   
  44:              d:LayoutOverrides="Width"/>
  45:      </Grid>
  46:  </UserControl>

Listing 1

Now we open Visual studio again, we get the file modified message

We select Yes to all and in the upper side of the Studio Design screen we click reload.
We open the code window for our GenderChooser class (GendserChooser.xaml.cs) and I wrote the following code:


   1:  namespace HC.Silverlight.Tryout
   2:  {
   3:      #region Enums
   4:      /// <summary>
   5:      /// Tells which Gender
   6:      /// </summary>
   7:      public enum GenderChoice
   8:      {
   9:          /// <summary>
  10:          /// Gender for man
  11:          /// </summary>
  12:          Male = 0,
  13:          /// <summary>
  14:          /// Gender for woman
  15:          /// </summary>
  16:          Female = 1,
  17:          /// <summary>
  18:          /// Not sure :-)
  19:          /// </summary>
  20:          Unknown = 2
  21:      }
  23:      #endregion
  25:      #region Delegates
  26:      /// <summary>
  27:      /// Handles GenderChosen Event
  28:      /// </summary>
  29:      /// <param name="sender"></param>
  30:      /// <param name="e"></param>
  31:      public delegate void GenderChosenEventHandler(object sender, GenderChoice gender);
  32:  #endregion
  34:      public partial class GenderChooser : UserControl
  35:      {
  36:          #region Events
  37:          /// <summary>
  38:          /// GenderChosen
  39:          /// </summary>
  40:          public event GenderChosenEventHandler GenderChosen;
  41:          #endregion
  43:          #region EventHandler
  44:          /// <summary>
  45:          /// Raises event, if EventHandler not null
  46:          /// </summary>
  47:          /// <param name="message"></param>
  48:          private void OnGenderChosen(object sender, GenderChoice selectedGender)
  49:          {
  50:              if (GenderChosen != null)
  51:              {
  52:                  GenderChosen(sender, selectedGender);
  53:              }
  54:          }
  55:          #endregion
  58:          #region Privates
  59:          private GenderChoice _Gender = GenderChoice.Unknown;
  60:          private SolidColorBrush _MaleColor = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(255, 14, 27, 75));
  61:          private SolidColorBrush _MaleColorDisabled = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(70, 14, 27, 75));
  62:          private SolidColorBrush _FemaleColor = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(255, 245, 2, 228));
  63:          private SolidColorBrush _FemaleColorDisabled = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(70, 245, 2, 228));
  64:          #endregion
  66:          #region Properties
  68:          #region Colors
  69:          /// <summary>
  70:          /// Gets or sets MaleColorDisabled, the color if the Male symbol is disabled
  71:          /// </summary>
  72:          public SolidColorBrush MaleColorDisabled

  73:          {
  74:              get { return _MaleColorDisabled; }
  75:              set { _MaleColorDisabled = value; }
  76:          }
  78:          /// <summary>
  79:          ///  Gets or sets FemaleColorDisabled, the color if the Female symbol is disabled
  80:          /// </summary>
  81:          public SolidColorBrush FemaleColorDisabled
  82:          {
  83:              get { return _FemaleColorDisabled; }
  84:              set { _FemaleColorDisabled = value; }
  85:          }
  87:          /// <summary>
  88:          /// Gets or sets MaleColor
  89:          /// </summary>
  90:          public SolidColorBrush MaleColor
  91:          {
  92:              get { return _MaleColor; }
  93:              set { _MaleColor = value; }
  94:          }
  96:          /// <summary>
  97:          /// Gets or sets FemaleColor
  98:          /// </summary>
  99:          public SolidColorBrush FemaleColor
 100:          {
 101:              get { return _FemaleColor; }
 102:              set { _FemaleColor = value; }
 103:          }

 104:          #endregion
 106:          /// <summary>
 107:          /// Gets or sets GenderChoice
 108:          /// </summary>
 109:          public GenderChoice Gender
 110:          {
 111:              get { return _Gender; }
 112:              set 
 113:              { 
 114:                  _Gender = value;
 115:                  SetColorAccordingToChoice();
 116:                  OnGenderChosen(this, _Gender);
 117:              }
 118:          }
 119:          #endregion
 121:          #region C'tor
 122:          public GenderChooser()
 123:          {
 124:              // Required to initialize variables
 125:              InitializeComponent();
 127:          }

 128:          #endregion
 130:          #region MouseEvents
 131:          private void MalePath_MouseEnter(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 132:          {
 133:              MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 134:          }
 136:          private void MalePath_MouseLeave(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 137:          {
 138:              if (Gender == GenderChoice.Male)
 139:              {
 140:                  MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 141:              }
 142:              else
 143:              {
 144:                  MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 145:              }
 146:          }
 148:          private void FemalePath_MouseEnter(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 149:          {
 150:              FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;
 151:          }
 154:          private void FemalePath_MouseLeave(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 155:          {
 156:              if (Gender == GenderChoice.Female)
 157:              {
 158:                  FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;

 159:              }
 160:              else
 161:              {
 162:                  FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 163:              }
 164:          }
 167:          private void MalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
 168:          {
 169:              Gender = GenderChoice.Male;
 170:          }
 172:          private void FemalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
 173:          {
 174:              Gender = GenderChoice.Female;
 175:          }

 177:          #endregion
 179:          #region Private Methods
 180:          /// <summary>
 181:          /// Sets color for Male and Female according to Gender chosen
 182:          /// </summary>
 183:          private void SetColorAccordingToChoice()
 184:          {
 185:              switch (Gender)
 186:              {
 187:                  case  GenderChoice.Unknown:
 188:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 189:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 190:                      break;
 191:                  case GenderChoice.Female:
 192:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 193:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;
 194:                      break;
 195:                  case GenderChoice.Male:
 196:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 197:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 198:                      break;
 199:              }
 200:          }
 201:          #endregion
 202:      }
 203:  }

 Listing 2

I use the SolidColorBrush to change the color of the symbols, (I only change the Alpha channel). I decided to make properties for the colors, that way the colors are dynamic.
An enum is used for the Gender choice, a property Gender of type GenderChoice (the enum) holds the current Gender.
In the setter for Gender the method SetColorAccordingToChoice is called in this method the current Gender is read and accordingly the richt colors are set on the symbols.

Control in startup state Control has Female selected
Control in action

The control in action, the first picture shows the control in startup state (symbols greyed out), the second picture shows the female symbol selected, under the hood the Gender is filled with GenderChoice.Female and the GenderChosen Event is fired.

All in all I think Silverlight is cool for it's purpose. It is possible to create strong graphics for your application and use them programming the language you already are used to.
The fact that not everybody is a designer is really the downside. A lot of developers will be better of creating windows or web apps using standard controls.
Ofcourse with Silverlight 2.0 standard controls are available, but the strong point of Silverlight is it's decoupling of UI from logic.

When designers are going to adopt Blend and MS Design, it could be really taking off, but until that time we have to do it ourselves.

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 (this post)
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...