Posts Tagged ‘Open Source’

WPF NotifyIcon 1.0.5 Released

November 25th, 2013

I just published a maintenance release of my NotifyIcon control, which addresses a few (long due) issues, most notably for applications that target more recent versions of the .NET framework, or x64 applications.

Source code and samples can be downloaded via the control’s project page. Alternatively, there’s now also an official NuGet package for the control (binaries only) that contains builds for .NET 3.5 up to 4.5.1.

What’s next?

I already started working on a new version of the control. The most important feature will be interactive tooltips (so you can hover over them and interact with clickable content), along with a few minor new features. Check back in a few days/weeks, or follow me on Twitter in order to get the update once it’s released. Also, if you have specific feature requests, let me know!


Quick and dirty (but nice!) ToolTips – revisited and interactive

November 12th, 2013


Download sources, binaries, and sample application (Version: 1.0.1, 2013.11.22)


A few years ago, I posted an article that leveraged markup extensions to quickly show localized ToolTips with minimal effort. Fast forward to 2013: I still like ToolTips, but interactive / clickable ones would be nice, and there’s Blend Behaviors that provides developers with a great design-time experience. As a result, I wrote a simple control and a complementary Blend Behavior that get’s me quite a bit of flexibility with minimal impementation effort.

The behavior allows you very easily create simple ToolTips like this:

A simple ToolTip


However, it doesn’t stop there. The following Blend Behavior generates an error ToolTip:

Behavior properties in Expression Blend




Also, unlike the built-in ToolTip service, the behavior supports interactive/clickable ToolTips. As the ToolTip takes arbitary XAML or a user control for Content or Header properties, you can display arbitrary controls on the popup.



Features at a glance:

  • Blend Behavior with design-time support – you can setup rich ToolTips within Blend in a matter of seconds.
  • Unlike regular ToolTips, those are clickable – you can put interactive content such as buttons or Hyperlinks on them.
  • Built-in header / content support.
  • Data Binding and MVVM-friendly.
  • Content and header not limited to text.
  • Built-in themes: You can show a ToolTip as an information, warning, or error.
  • If bound to strings, values can be formatted on the fly using the HeaderStringFormat and ContentStringFormat properties.
  • Disabling ToolTips through a bindable IsEnabled flag.


Some final notes: I didn’t make everything configurable – that would have been overkill for the scope of a ToolTip. Instead, I recommend you to tweak the control styles to your needs. Things you might want to change:

  • When being displayed, ToolTips are slightly transparent – full opacity is only set if you hover over them. You can easily adjust this in the animation that fades in the control.
  • If you shorten the delay in which the ToolTip is being displayed remarkably, you should also adjust animations (fade-in / fade-out in order to not cut them off.
  • Placement of the ToolTip’s popup (near Mouse pointer) is currently hardcoded in the Behavior class.

Happy coding 🙂


A Parser for Formatted Text in WPF / Silverlight

November 5th, 2010

I finally got round to implement on-the-fly text formatting for Sketchables, which will  allow you to define text formatting while typing (similar to wikis or forum posts). Sketchables will parse such strings and format them on the fly for you:

the star renders *bold* text

I didn’t rely on regular expressions here, but wrote a simple forwarding parser to process markup text. As it makes a pretty neat tool, I extracted it into a little sample app that shows a possible use for it. The presented implementation just creates nested text blocks, but you should be able to easily adjust it to your needs.



Latest Update:  2010.11.07 – Fixed issue with single character chunks.

Download Sample Application

A Custom Text Encoding Generator For Silverlight

March 30th, 2010

Unlike the .NET platform, Silverlight only provides two text encodings out of the box: UTF-8 (UTF8Encoding class) and UTF-16 (UnicodeEncoding class).

Accordingly, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to encode or decode data with another encoding (e.g. iso-8859-1), you’ll have to write your own Encoding class (or delegate the work to a server-side service).

I found myself in this exact situation yesterday, and came up with a little tool which automates the process. The Encoding Generator is a WPF application which takes the name or code page of a well known encoding, and generates source code for a custom Encoding class which compiles under Silverlight.


Get Source Code


Get Compiled Executable

Current version: 1.0.0, 2010.03.31, requires .NET 3.5 SP1 or higher

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How Does It Work?


Specifying the Encoding

In order to specify the encoding you want to use, you can either enter the name or numeric code page of a well-known encoding. As soon as you enter a valid value, some information for the encoding is being displayed in the right hand border you can see on the screenshot.

As a sample for valid encoding names or code pages, here’s some values you can enter in order to tell the tool to generate an iso-8859-1 encoder (see screenshot):

  • iso-8859-1 (name)
  • latin1 (name)
  • 28591 (code page)
    A list of encodings can be found here.

Fallback Character

The tool gives you the option to specify a fallback character value, which is used as a default in case a character or byte value is being processed during encoding/decoding. In case you don’t specify the character, the encoding class will crash at runtime should it receive data that cannot be properly encoded or decoded.

Single-Byte Encoding Limitation

The generated class only works if a single byte can be translated into a single character and vice versa. Accordingly, if you try to generate code for an encoding that uses several bytes per (e.g. utf-8) character, the generator shows an error message.

Byte Range

You need to specify the byte range of the encoding. For example, ASCII supports only 128 characters, and therefore has a byte range of 128 bytes. Most other encodings support a byte range of 256 bytes, though. 256 is the maximum value that can be specified, as a single byte cannot deliver more values (the byte data type covers a numeric range from 0 – 255).


The generator also creates an NUnit test class that compares the results of the generated class against the original encoding. Accordingly, this test class is supposed to run in a regular .NET environment, not in Silverlight (if the original encoding that is used in the test was available in SL, you wouldn’t have to generate a custom encoding class in the first place…).


At runtime, the following is happening: Basically, the generator maintains mapping tables to do the encoding and decoding from characters to bytes and vice versa. Fore every request, it just looks up the translation tables for every supported character/byte value of the encoding.

The generator creates these translation tables on the fly in the form of a static array and dictionary.


The library doesn’t contain any performance tweaks and performs much slower than the built-in encodings that rely on all sorts of black magic. However, as long as you don’t have to encode or decode huge amounts of data, this shouldn’t be noticeable.

Here’s the results from my machine for 10000 iterations:

  • Encoding the whole character table to a byte array (256 characters)
    • 17 milliseconds with the built-in encoding
    • 94 milliseconds with the generated encoding
  • Decoding the bytes back into a string
    • 2 milliseconds with the built-in encoding
    • 46 milliseconds with the custom encoding

Windows Live Writer: Plug-ins to Format Content through CSS Classes

September 30th, 2009

I like using CSS classes to format specific content of my blog posts, in order to keep my formatting centralized. I prefer HTML that looks like this over inline styles:

If you invoke the <span class="code">GetData</span> method, ...


Quickly inserting CSS directives is something you can’t easily do with Windows Live Writer. This started to annoy me while writing an article, so I came up with two simple plug-ins that do just that: Formatting selected text through CSS classes.


Read more…

WPF NotifyIcon 1.0.1 – Minor Improvements, Major Tutorial

May 15th, 2009

I just posted an upgrade to my WPF NotifyIcon, which adds some minor improvements to the control. The most important one is probably the simplified data binding support for context menus (thanks to Nic Pillinger for the hint), but I also managed to add some polish in a few other areas.




Apart from the updated control itself, I completely revamped the sample project. It’s no longer just a showcase but contains various standalone samples which cover all aspects of the control. And last but not least, I published a complementary tutorial on the CodeProject. One could say I was quite busy 😉


Further information and download on the project page: