Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some More Tips

Here are some Tips.....

1. Reducing xap size
  • Select Release in properties before moving the xap to the production and build.
  • rename the .xap file to .zip. Extract the zip and then re-zip it. It generally decreases the size quite a bit.
  • Use vector graphics instead of images.
  • Load the assets on demand instead of packaging them in the xap.
2. How to set some value to Auto?
  • You can set a value (Say Width of a canvas) to Auto in xaml. How can you do it from code? Set canvas width = double.NaN.
3. ObservableCollection
  • You get a new type of collection with Silverlight, called ObservableCollection. You can use this type of collection wherever you normally use a list. Like setting the ItemsSource of a ListBox. The benefit of using this over List is that it automatically updates the Items whenever the collection changes. This is really helpful for data binding.
4. How to rotate something from its edge?
  • Suppose you have a red rectangle. Now if you rotate it with a storyboard it will rotate like the below image. i.e from center of the rectangle.

Now you want to rotate it from its edge. You can see a small dot in the center of the rectangle like the following in blend design view when you select the rectangle.

That dot defines render transform origin or the origin of all the transformation that will be applied to the rectangle. Now you can drag the small dot to the edge of the stick and the stick (rectangle) will rotate from the edge like the below image.

5. How to set style from code?
  • You can apply a style in xaml like the following. Style="{StaticResource ButtonStyleKeyName}". Now if you want to set it from code do like the following. MyButton.Style = (Style)Resources["ButtonStyleKeyName"];
  • Remember you can set style only once. So if you are trying to do like MyButton.Style = (Style)Resources["ButtonStyleKeyName2"]; After setting the style for the first time you will get an exception.
6. Auto refresh page after silverlight installation.
  • Suppose someone viewing your website and does not have silverlight installed. You prompt him to download and install it. Now after installing the silverlight the page should be auto refreshed so he can see your silverlight application. If you use object tag and include Silverlight.js file this behavior is default. This line in Silverlight.js determines that. Silverlight.onSilverlightInstalled = function () {window.location.reload(false);}; Set the parameter to true if you want to bypass the cache.
  • Could not find a way of doing this with asp:Silverlight tag still. Please tell me if you know the way.
7. Double click support:
8. Where are the dlls for Silverlight?
  • The library dlls for Silverlight are in library folder inside Silverlight SDK. The default location for it is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v2.0\Libraries. This is specially useful if you are adding any reference from Expression Blend.
9. How to make sure user does not get the old xap from the browser cache?
  • There are many solution for this. One quick way is to Add a random number in the querystring of the xap source. for ie Source="~/ClientBin/RotateExp.xap?rnd=029db68e-02c0-4dc8-a4f9-81b09f8000da"

That's it for now. Happy New year. :)

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