Yikes! Has it really been over a month since my last blog entry!?!
Okay, the last 6 weeks are a bit hazy and I wish I could blame my absence from the WPF Forum (and this blog) on something exciting, but honestly, it’s just been work. A number of projects all converged at once creating “the perfect storm” of work engagements. And although I love writing WPF code, I’m now hoping for a small respite from the daily deadlines. Hopefully, the next few weeks will be a little more tame and I will be able to catch up with life in the WPF community.
Whenever we go through these crunch times, I realize how much I’ve come to depend upon the code snippet support in Visual Studio 2005/2008/2010. I totally rely on my WPF code snippets… and its not just because of the time they save me writing code, but also because of the consistency they bring to my code. I can look at any WPF classes I’ve written over the past few years and immediately understand what is going on in the properties, events, and commands exposed by those classes.
If you do not yet have a good set of Visual Studio code snippets, I would encourage you to develop them. I have posted my C# WPF snippets here for anyone who is interested in perusing, adopting, or improving them.
January 4, 2008: The downloadable snippets file now contains a .vsi file that can be used to directly import these snippets into Visual Studio 2005/2008/2010. (Special thanks to the coworker who was nice enough to create the install package for me!)
(Apologies to the VB.NET WPF developers out there… I have never ported these to VB, as the time I spend writing VB code is extremely limited. But if anyone is up for a challenge and wants to port these and send them my way, I’d be happy to post the equivalent VB snippets on my site.)
September 22, 2008: I finally got around to porting these snippets to VB. See this post for the details.
I have designed these snippets to cover 98% of the usage scenarios that I encounter in a typical WPF development project. I have also designed them to enforce good coding patterns, especially around consistency and documentation.
I won’t spend a lot of time explaining how to use them (because hopefully they are self-explanatory for WPF developers). There are really only three shortcut keywords to remember:
- dp (for dependency properties)
- rc (for routed commands)
- re (for routed events)
From there, it’s just a matter of choosing the correct snippets from the context menu. I’ve found that I can now invoke most of my snippets without even thinking about the keystrokes… my fingers just go into “auto” mode ( d – p – <tab> – <tab> – 2 – <enter> – property name – property type – … ).
Of course, I created the blasted things, so maybe I’m not a representative sample.
In addition to the framework-specific snippets, I’ve included a few other snippets in this zip that I also use quite a bit in WPF projects… “inpc” provides an implementation of the INotifyPropertyChanged interface and “op” is used to define observable properties that raise change notifications.
For Silverlight developers, note that I use these same snippets for Silverlight projects. Well really, it’s just a few key snippets… namely, ”inpc”, “op”, and “dp”. You will want to use variation 2 of the dependency property snippets (both standard and attached properties). Just remember that Silverlight uses PropertyMetadata rather than FrameworkPropertyMetadata, so hit delete when you tab to that field in the snippet.
I’m looking forward to a day when I’ll be able to do more advanced things in my snippets (custom functions, custom formatting, capitalization, custom placement for different code parts, etc). In the meantime, I hope others will find my existing snippets useful!