Tuesday, 5/1/2012 3:46 PM
by Peter Kuhn
I've released version 2.0 of my open source component "Your Last About Dialog". This major new release adds full styling support to the about page, which gives you complete control over the visual appearance of the component. This not only includes simple details like foreground and background colors, font sizes and styles, but also much more sophisticated things like the possibility to add page transitions from the Silverlight Toolkit, or control the visibility of the system tray and other details.
Version 2 also improves the install experience from NuGet by integrating some quick start help, to get you up and running in only a minute, without the need to study the documentation separately. As always, installing from NuGet is the recommended way, but you can of course also download the binaries and source code from CodePlex if you want. To learn about the new features in more detail, consult the "Styling" section of the documentation. The default styles that are created for you when you install the NuGet package also contains some pointers and comments on what you can do.
Have fun :)
Monday, 2/13/2012 1:24 AM
by Peter Kuhn
Almost two years ago, Firefox started to isolate plug-ins like Silverlight in a separate operating system process. One of the consequences was that debugging Silverlight applications with Visual Studio became somewhat more tedious, because the Silverlight debug engine was not able to automatically attach to the correct processes anymore. At that time, I started developing a small and simple Visual Studio Add-In named "Firefox Debug Helper". Later on, when I discovered that Visual Studio also had problems with other browsers like Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome, I extended support for this Add-In to these browsers, and renamed the tool to "Silverlight Debug Helper".
Today, the topic is still relevant for Silverlight developers, and this small tool continues to serve me and others well. Every now and then, someone asks for the source code of the Debug Helper Add-In, either to learn about how to extend Visual Studio by a practical example, to extend the existing features, or because they want to track down issues when they use the Add-In. I'm pleased to announce that starting today, the source code of the "Silverlight Debug Helper" is available for free to everyone (the tool itself always was available for free from the first day) on CodePlex. It's not very sophisticated and probably could be improved in some areas, but I still hope those of you interested in it can make good use from this release. The new project page also is the place where new releases will be made available at, if applicable:
This also means that the existing project page here on this blog will be suspended and link to the new home on CodePlex from now on.
Today, I've also released a new version of "Your Last About Dialog" for Windows Phone. This new release adds support for trial mode, which means that a "buy" button is automatically added to the about page if you are using this feature of Windows Phone. As always, I've tried to make the default behavior suitable for most scenarios, so you usually don't have to worry about it – it simply will work "out of the box". But if you want to override the default behavior and either force the buy button feature both on or off for your particular scenario, YLAD offers the flexibility to do so. The new version is already available on CodePlex and (recommended) NuGet, and in addition improves the default configuration template as well as fixes a potential bug with multiple successive taps on the "review" button of the about page. Learn more about the release and the new features on the project page and its documentation section:
Have fun ;)
Friday, 11/4/2011 11:52 PM
by Peter Kuhn
Inspired by a blog post from Jeff Wilcox back in July (here), I started creating a generic about dialog for Windows Phone based on his initial ideas and design. Over time I improved the code more and more, created new features and avoided pitfalls, and eventually added localization support. At this point I think it's a pretty handy piece of code that is also interesting for others to use in their applications, and it has proven to be robust and reliable by multiple applications in the Marketplace that use it. Remembering my own "reinventing the wheel" issues with about and help screens, I hope that this addition will indeed be "your last about dialog", serving all your requirements. Included features:
- Extracts all information about your app automatically (name, version, description etc.).
- Allows overriding all information with alternate fixed values.
- Shows a configurable list of hyperlinks to your web site(s) or email addresses etc.
- Shows a button that lets the user rate your app in the Marketplace.
- Supports additional pages (pivot items) to be added, containing local or remote content.
- Freely configurable fallback content for remote sources that cannot be retrieved.
- Supports both text (with auto-formatting/highlighting) and XAML content.
- Can be localized for any culture you want to support.
- Only loaded when the user requests it – zero memory/performance impact otherwise.
To learn more about the project and configuration options, please visit the documentation on CodePlex. The download package there contains the binary library and multiple sample configurations, and the available source code also has a small additional Windows Phone sample app that uses the dialog for demonstration. The more convenient way to pull the library into your project is to use the NuGet package.
YLAD – Your Last About Dialog:
In the NuGet gallery (recommended for installation)