Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 3/9/2009 5:56 PM | Comments (3)

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If you have been working in Silverlight, I'm sure you had to installed Microsoft Expression Blend to edit the XAML files. If you haven't good luck and doing that by hand. Microsoft Expression Blend is the editor for the files that you were expected to find on Visual Studio 2008, you did not expect to run another program to do that task. In any case, after you installed Expression Blend, you'll find a plug in into VS2008 to launch it by right clicking in any of your XAML files:

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When first open the tool you'll find yourself very lost, the whole idea of VS2008 is gone and replace by something completely non Windows, I'm guessing they were trying to appeal to artistic people.

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The screen is gray, you can change it to a lighter gray, but that's about it. There is no way to learn how to use it if you do not know what tools are on that editor. You may want to look at some videos from Scott Guthrie before you start working with this editor.

After a few days, you'll find that you are missing the standard controls, you can create them using the 3 shape controls on the left hand side:

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The shapes description is cut off. Of course you got a pen and a text tool, not to be confused by a textbox, to edit your XAML files. You will not find a TextBox or a DropDownList on the tool set.

The editor has crashed more than once or worse yet, the XAML output could not run on VS2008, in that case you have to by hand fix the issues.

Something pretty cool on Microsoft Expression Blend 2 September Preview is the animation, you'll find it under Objects and Timeline:

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Pretty easy to create animations, to run those animations you can go into your xaml.cs file and call the Timeline you create by name and execute the method Begin();

If you are loading the XAML by hand so you have a user control you can access the animation/timeline by finding the XML using the FindName and casting it to Storyboard class

Storyboard Timeline1 = _root.FindName("Timeline1") as Storyboard;
Timeline1.Begin();

Now I must warn you here the animation won't run after you compiled the first time, I'm still looking at what looks like a bug on Expression Blend. You need to add more code under the Begin() method for the animation to show. I'll be working in this bug to find out how to reproduce it.

Overall the tool is confusing and I really hoped that Microsoft would embed it into VS2008.

“Buy Microsoft Expression Blend at a low price from eCostSoftware”

Cheers

Al

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