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After thinking for a while about the open source WPF control library, I have decided to name it the WPF Toolbelt. Now that the hard part is out of the way , I can get down to actually coding the library. The foundation of the first control (SmartGrid) is finished. I just need to refactor out code that is proprietary to my company, add a few touches here and there and voila!
 
Here is a list of current and planned functionality for the Grid (that will be available at the first release).
 
  • Automatic binding to IEnumerable<T>: If you give the grid a collection of objects, it will reflect on that collection’s type and generate a default column for each public property.
  • Recognition of DisplayNameAttribute: If your properties have the DisplayName attribute set on them, the column will display that name.
  • User specified columns: In addition to the collection of Items, you can provide a ColumnsCollection that will override the default binding for your collection.
  • Customizable styles: The SmartGrid exposes properties for styling of the Column Header, Column Header Cells, Rows, Alternate Rows, and Cells.
  • Multiple Cell Types: Right now the SmartGrid provides text, image, and drop down cells. I also intend to implement regex cells, validated cells (using the new found for me ValidationRule), date cells, object cells, and number cells.
  • Virtualization (not yet implemented): UI Elements will not be created until they are visible
  • Sorting: Because each column holds its binding information, it natively knows how to perform forward and reverse sorting if the column’s type implements IComparable. Or you can turn off sorting altogether.
  • Column moving: You can reposition columns by dragging the header.
  • Column resizing: Columns can be resized.
  • And more to come…

The goal is to make databound grids as simple to use in WPF as they are for Winforms. While at the same time allowing for easy enhancement of styling through WPF. Hopefully, this will be just one of many useful tools in the WPF Toolbelt library.

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