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Silverlight 5 Essential Training

Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states


From:

Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

Video: Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states

Control templates give you the ability to completely revamp the appearance of a control. With the templating system, it is common to have designers creating new control skins for application UI. Most controls have multiple states. For instance, a button has an enabled and disabled state. The disabled state has a different appearance than the default state, to give the user a clue that they can't interact with the control. Real controls might have dozens of states. The button control might also have a focused and unfocused state. A control skin or a template needs a way to configure the control states.
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  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

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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

Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states

Control templates give you the ability to completely revamp the appearance of a control. With the templating system, it is common to have designers creating new control skins for application UI. Most controls have multiple states. For instance, a button has an enabled and disabled state. The disabled state has a different appearance than the default state, to give the user a clue that they can't interact with the control. Real controls might have dozens of states. The button control might also have a focused and unfocused state. A control skin or a template needs a way to configure the control states.

I am going to show you an example of a control state. I am inside Visual Studio, and I am going to go to the Tools > Option menu and look at the Projects and Solutions node. Look at the buttons on the right side of the screen. I am going to press the Tab key to move the focus into the buttons. That is an example of a focused state. You can see that there is blue border and a dotted outline. When I leave the controller, pressing Tab, it goes to the unfocused state, and then the next button gets the focused look. Silverlight has templates.

These provide the replacement UI for controls. To enable you to manage what a control looks like in each state, Silverlight provides the Visual State Manager. The Visual State Manager is an element that manages the control state and the transitions between states. There are a number of parts in the Visual State Manager which we will see in the next demonstration. My favorite tool for working with the Visual State Manager is Expression Blend. I am inside Expression Blend, inside a project called ExploringVSM. I will start by looking at the states for the button control. To do that, I am going to edit the control template and choose this button and then select Edit a Copy of the control template.

Next I am going to click on the States tab. This shows the states that Microsoft created for the button control. Here you can see there is a Normal state, MouseOver, Pressed, and Disabled, and down here are Focused and Unfocused states. Now, I am going to change the Focused state. To do that, I am going to click on the Focused state, and then I am going to zoom in on the button with my mouse wheel. Next, I am going to select this FocusedVisualElement item. I am going to make it a little bit smaller and change the StrokeThickness, like that.

So, when the user moves their focus into this button, this is the UI that they are going to see. Press F5 to run the application. Select the button, tab out of the button, and you see that this is the default look. There is a blue border, but it matches the edge border of the button, whereas my custom focused state has a smaller rectangle. For the next demonstration, I am going to work with this control, ChangeTrafficLight. This is supposed to simulate a traffic light with a red, yellow, and green light. I am going to add my own state manager to this.

I do that by going to States, clicking on the Add state group, and then within the State group, I am going to create the three light states by clicking here, Add a state. This is going to be called GreenLight, RedLight, and YellowLight. So when I am in the GreenLight state, the green light should be enabled, and the yellow and the red should be black. I'll tell you how I am going to fix that.

Choose GreenLight, I click on this ellipse, and then I am going to set these two center gradient stops to black. I will do the same thing for the YellowEllipse. Now, I will go to the red state. Here, I should have the red light enabled and the yellow and the green disabled. And the finally, we will go to the YellowLight state and do the same thing. Now, I can switch back and forth between the states by clicking here on the State item.

Next, I'd like to show you how to do a transition between states. I can animate between the different states. Here is the default transition time, currently set to 0 seconds. I will set that to 2 seconds. Now, you will not see the preview unless you click on this button up here and say Turn on transition preview. Now, when I go from the GreenLight to the RedLight, you will see that it takes two seconds to get to that state. Now I'll click on the yellow light and so on. In my example, I really want to have one transition state go from green to yellow, another transition state go from yellow to red, and then from red back to green again.

So you can control the different transitions by going to this Add transition section. So I want to go from green to yellow, so I will click here, and say green to yellow has this transition. Then from the YellowLight to the RedLight, I will add a transition, YellowLight to RedLight, and then finally from RedLight back to GreenLight. Let's go look at the green to YellowLight transition. Currently, it's set to 2 seconds. I can change that to my own timeframe, let's say 1 second. And the other things I can do on this particular transaction is change the Easing value or add an effect.

The Easing value of course is the same as in the Innovation chapter. I go in here and I pick my new transition speed. Now, when it goes from green to yellow, it will use this curve to manage that. I can also choose any of the built- in effects that are part of Blend, for instance the Pixelate effect. Now, let's watch what happens when I go from the states. Here we are in YellowLight, here in GreenLight, and I go from GreenLight to YellowLight. There is the pixel transition. It took one second, and it also had a speed curve.

What you've seen is that you can have fine control over the states and their transitions, plus Expression Blend gives you a nice designer for creating the state.

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


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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.
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