Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Silverlight 5 Essential Training

Debugging XAML bindings


From:

Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

Video: Debugging XAML bindings

Gather a crowd of developers together and they will soon be grumbling about their daily code battles. Markup languages like HTML and XML often become a target for developer angst during these times due to their lack of debugging support. Silverlight suffers from this problem and is particularly aggravating when using data binding in your XAML. In this movie, I will show you how to use the new XAML debugging feature, plus a few other data debugging tips. For this demonstration I will use Visual Studio and a project called DebuggingXamlBindings. Let me show you the problem.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 35m 0s
    1. Overview of Silverlight
      3m 29s
    2. Setting up a developer computer
      2m 46s
    3. Installing the Silverlight Toolkit
      2m 21s
    4. Exploring the toolkit samples
      2m 35s
    5. Using Visual Studio 2010 to create a Silverlight project
      5m 10s
    6. Using Expression Blend to create a Silverlight project
      3m 13s
    7. Getting to know the Visual Studio interface
      8m 15s
    8. Working in the Expression Blend interface
      7m 11s
  3. 29m 46s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio project structure
      3m 38s
    2. Creating a Silverlight page
      3m 17s
    3. Compiling your first application
      5m 0s
    4. Using other assemblies in an application
      5m 45s
    5. Deploying a Silverlight application
      3m 43s
    6. Understanding the startup process for an application
      3m 13s
    7. Understanding how users get Silverlight on their computers
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 59s
    1. Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
      3m 57s
    2. Using C#
      7m 16s
    3. Exploring the code-behind file
      5m 46s
  5. 43m 22s
    1. Working with XAML elements and Property attributes
      4m 56s
    2. Investigating XAML namespaces
      7m 31s
    3. Converting XAML properties with TypeConverters
      5m 1s
    4. Working with Property elements
      4m 24s
    5. Assigning runtime data with XAML markup extensions
      4m 21s
    6. Digging into the dependency property system
      6m 12s
    7. Creating a custom dependency property
      4m 42s
    8. Understanding attached properties
      6m 15s
  6. 9m 35s
    1. Debugging your code
      5m 17s
    2. Special Silverlight debugging techniques
      4m 18s
  7. 36m 0s
    1. Understanding layout
      4m 55s
    2. Using DockPanel and WrapPanel
      4m 2s
    3. Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid
      6m 40s
    4. Absolute positioning with the Canvas panel
      5m 20s
    5. Scrolling content with the ScrollViewer
      3m 28s
    6. Adjusting content alignment, margins, and sizing
      5m 6s
    7. Using the TabControl
      2m 17s
    8. Manipulating elements with transforms
      4m 12s
  8. 20m 32s
    1. Painting the user interface (UI) with SolidColorBrush
      6m 7s
    2. Getting colorful with gradient brushes
      3m 15s
    3. Decorating elements with ImageBrush
      4m 56s
    4. Creating effects with VideoBrush
      6m 14s
  9. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding routed events
      3m 12s
    2. Wiring up event handlers in Silverlight
      6m 4s
    3. Understanding event bubbling
      4m 39s
    4. Exploring mouse events
      7m 43s
    5. Exploring keyboard events
      4m 4s
  10. 32m 31s
    1. Displaying text on the screen
      3m 24s
    2. Gathering text input from the user
      5m 30s
    3. Showing complex text with RichTextBox
      6m 7s
    4. Understanding text overflow and text linking
      3m 14s
    5. Searching content with the AutoComplete type-ahead control
      6m 45s
    6. Using and embedding Silverlight fonts
      7m 31s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding content controls
      5m 7s
    2. Understanding button controls
      6m 16s
    3. Using the BusyIndicator
      4m 40s
    4. Showing tooltips
      4m 34s
    5. Changing content size with ViewBox
      1m 39s
    6. Exploring more controls
      4m 31s
  12. 55m 36s
    1. Connecting elements with binding
      9m 54s
    2. Using business data in a binding
      9m 21s
    3. Listing data with ItemsControls
      6m 39s
    4. Digging into the DataGrid
      8m 28s
    5. Using the DataForm
      3m 49s
    6. Storing data on the client
      7m 10s
    7. Debugging XAML bindings
      5m 41s
    8. Charting data
      4m 34s
  13. 24m 36s
    1. Creating an Out-of-Browser (OOB) application
      6m 16s
    2. Controlling aspects of an OOB application
      2m 49s
    3. Alerting the user with notification windows
      7m 13s
    4. Hosting HTML content in Silverlight applications
      8m 18s
  14. 30m 2s
    1. Exploring Silverlight trust levels
      3m 51s
    2. Creating an elevated trust application
      5m 57s
    3. Reaping the benefits of XAP signing
      6m 5s
    4. Making cross-domain calls
      5m 1s
    5. Getting started with COM Interop using the Speech API
      4m 21s
    6. Using COM Interop to interact with Microsoft Office
      4m 47s
  15. 16m 33s
    1. Showing child windows
      3m 48s
    2. Using a child window as a dialog window
      5m 7s
    3. Creating native windows
      2m 53s
    4. Maximizing a window with full screen mode
      4m 45s
  16. 13m 20s
    1. Dynamically loading UI content with user controls
      4m 46s
    2. Using the Navigation Framework
      8m 34s
  17. 9m 28s
    1. Using resource files
      3m 53s
    2. Using images in an application
      5m 35s
  18. 16m 32s
    1. Playing audio
      4m 27s
    2. Playing sound effects
      5m 4s
    3. Viewing video content with MediaElement
      4m 58s
    4. Changing video playback speed with TrickPlay
      2m 3s
  19. 14m 40s
    1. Capturing video with a web camera
      4m 16s
    2. Working with a microphone
      3m 47s
    3. Creating print output
      6m 37s
  20. 22m 35s
    1. Understanding Silverlight animations
      4m 35s
    2. Creating animations
      7m 52s
    3. Controlling animations
      4m 18s
    4. Simulating physics with animation easings
      5m 50s
  21. 27m 47s
    1. Placing XAML resources within a FrameworkElement
      6m 47s
    2. Centralizing settings in styles
      4m 8s
    3. Creating an alternate control UI with ControlTemplates
      6m 29s
    4. Dressing up your data with DataTemplates
      4m 33s
    5. Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states
      5m 50s
  22. 10m 55s
    1. Handling global errors in a Silverlight application
      5m 46s
    2. Showing an application loading screen
      5m 9s
  23. 10m 48s
    1. Integrating with XNA
      7m 40s
    2. Exploring data analysis with PivotViewer
      3m 8s
  24. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Silverlight 5 Essential Training
8h 51m Beginner Mar 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Microsoft Silverlight 5 is a rich application framework for creating high-performance, cross-platform desktop and mobile applications. In this course, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to build a variety of applications in Silverlight, with particular focus on building compelling business applications and delivering premium video and audio content. Developers will work with the C# programming language and Visual Studio Professional, as well as Expression Blend, a tool that simplifies creation of the interactive user interfaces expected in modern-day applications.

Topics include:
  • Installing the toolkit and setting up the development environment
  • Using Expression Blend vs. Visual Studio 2010
  • Creating a Silverlight page
  • Compiling an application
  • Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
  • Using C#
  • Working with XAML
  • Digging into the Dependency Property System
  • Deploying and debugging code
  • Creating sophisticated layouts with panel elements
  • Managing Visual State with Visual State Manager
  • Transforming the user interface (UI) with templates
  • Understanding the event model
  • Working with text
  • Using business data in a binding
  • Creating an out-of-browser (OOB) application
  • Exploring trust levels
  • Playing audio and video
  • Handling errors
  • Exploring animations
  • Working with application windows
  • Integration with XNA
Subject:
Developer
Software:
Silverlight Visual Studio
Author:
Walt Ritscher

Debugging XAML bindings

Gather a crowd of developers together and they will soon be grumbling about their daily code battles. Markup languages like HTML and XML often become a target for developer angst during these times due to their lack of debugging support. Silverlight suffers from this problem and is particularly aggravating when using data binding in your XAML. In this movie, I will show you how to use the new XAML debugging feature, plus a few other data debugging tips. For this demonstration I will use Visual Studio and a project called DebuggingXamlBindings. Let me show you the problem.

I have this window called UseOutputWindow and I have a simple binding. I have got some TextBlocks that have some text binding. And I'm instantiating an instance of the RentalHouse class and storing it in these and binding to that information. When I run the application and look at my data, I can see the House Name showing up and the Location showing up, but the Description is not showing up. When binding fails in XAML, you don't typically see a runtime error or other obvious indicator that something bad has happened.

Instead, you simply see that your field doesn't contain a value, or the value is not updated in your database. To help solve binding issues, Microsoft provides a stream of binding information in the Visual Studio Output window. In order to see this information, you have to have the correct settings on in your debug output. Let me show you where you change those. Go to Tools > Options, and then go to Debugging. Click on Output Window and then look in this section, WPF Trace Settings.

It says WPF, but this also implies Silverlight. The part I'm looking for is Data Binding. If it says Warning here, you're ready to go. Click OK. Now, my application is still running, and the Output window is where Microsoft places that information. Let's see what's in the Output window. The next bit of information in this line of data looks interesting. It says there is an error, and then it says the BindingExpression path error: 'Description' property not found on 'DataClasses.RentalHouse'.

Well, it seems obvious that there's a typo in this property. Let's go look at my binding. Sure enough, there it is. So I would fix this and then the application should work. The output content is generated by the Silverlight team. If you want to see more information, you can use a favorite technique of veteran Silverlight programmers. The idea is to create a custom value converter whose sole purpose in life is to provide a place for you to put a break point and inspect values and types involved in the binding expression.

On my projects I typically call this the DebugConverter. Let's look at mine. I should probably stop my application too. Click on the Stop button. I have a DebugConverter that implements IValueConverter, and it has the Convert function, which does nothing but pass the information through. So the information comes in and then is returned directly to the binding. But now I can put a break point in this code, press F5 to run the application and attach a debugger, and you see that I'm hitting my break point. Once I am at this break point, I can use all my standard debugging techniques: I can use the Locals window and the Watch window, look through the Call Stack, my Thread Stack, or whatever is interesting to me.

Remove that break point, and we'll talk next about XAML debugging. To do that I am going to open this page here, XamlDebugging. My favorite new feature in Silverlight 5 has to be the XAML Debugging support added to Visual Studio. Finally, it's possible to put break points in my XAML, press F5 to step through the binding markup, and see binding details in the Visual Studio Locals window. It's quite easy to add a break point. In your XAML, you select the line that has the binding and then press F9 to add a break point or press F9 to remove the break point.

If you like, you can also click in the gutter on the left-hand side with your mouse. Now that I have a break point, I will press F5 to run the application. You see I am hitting my binding. And now let's go look at the information that's available. Microsoft provides the binding state object in the Locals window and packs it with useful debugging information. Now, my Locals window is a bit small, so one of my favorite tips is to take the Locals window and drag it out into the center of the screen and then make it a little bit larger. To put this back where it was originally, I can hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the title bar.

Another way of moving it out to the center is to double-click on the title bar while it's docked. This BindingState information is packed with information. For instance, it has details about my binding. Here I can find information that's set in my XAML, like the StringFormat value. I also have an Error section. Let's see if there is anything interesting in there. It looks like there is a message that says, BindingExpression path error, 'Description' property not found on 'DataClasses.RentalHouse'.

We've seen that before. That's my error that helps me debug my application. While I am in here, I can also look for InnerExceptions. The way .NET handles exceptions is it can nest one exception inside another, so I could open this up to see InnerExceptions. And also, I've got something called a FinalSource property, which gives me all of the bound information. This shows me all of the information in my underlying data source. Having this information is invaluable for successful debugging.

You will encounter a binding error in your Silverlight application. It happens to all of us eventually. Now you have seen a few tools to help you find the problem, so you can get back to the fun part of programming.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Silverlight 5 Essential Training.


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
Q: I'm trying to access a Silverlight 3D application template, [cid:image001.png@01CD0E7D.3E07ECA0]. I have already installed the Silverlight 5 SDK and my Visual Studio 2010 is professional. Could you please help me?
A: You must install XNA Studio in order to use the new Silverlight 3D templates. Otherwise the new templates will not show up. Download it at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=23714.

For other Silverlight downloads (the toolkit, developer runtime, etc.), see http://www.silverlight.net/downloads.
Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Silverlight 5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked