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Using T4 to Generate Pack URIs for XAML Files

, 25 Nov 2009 LGPL3
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How to use T4 to generate Pack URIs for XAML files.

Yesterday my fellow WPF Disciple Paul Stovell got me thinking about resolving XAML file paths.

As Paul points out, there doesn't appear to be an easy way to locate the URI for a XAML file. Internally, the generated .g.cs makes use of the path, as shown in the following excerpt:

public void InitializeComponent() 
  if (_contentLoaded) 
  _contentLoaded = true; 
  System.Uri resourceLocater = new System.Uri("/PageCollection;component/pages/page1.xaml", System.UriKind.Relative); 
  #line 1 "..\..\..\Pages\Page1.xaml" 
  System.Windows.Application.LoadComponent(this, resourceLocater); 
  #line default 
  #line hidden 

But, how can we get our hands on it? What I’ve done is to incorporate the generation of XAML resource pack URIs into the T4 template I did a little while ago.

To demonstrate I have created a dummy UserControl in a subfolder in the sample application.

Image Figure: Dummy UserControl has a pack URI generated


The resulting output from the T4 template now enables us to determine the path to the XAML file in a safe way. The following excerpt shows the generated Pack URI:

namespace CSharpDesktopClrDemo.XamlMetadata.Folder1.Folder2.Metadata
    /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>Metadata for XAML UserControl1.xaml</summary>
</span>    public static class UserControl1XamlMetadata
            /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>Resource pack URI for XAML file.</summary>
</span>            public const string XamlPackUri 
                 = @"/DanielVaughan.MetaGen.Demo;component/Folder1/Folder2/UserControl1.xaml";

Now we have this, we can write:

Uri uri = new Uri(CSharpDesktopClrDemo.XamlMetadata.Folder1.Folder2.Metadata
                 .UserControl1XamlMetadata.XamlPackUri, UriKind.Relative);
var control = System.Windows.Application.LoadComponent(uri) 
       as DanielVaughan.MetaGen.Demo.Folder1.Folder2.UserControl1;

No more magic string pack URIs!

Download the template and sample application: (393.35 kb)



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3)


About the Author

Daniel Vaughan
President Outcoder
Switzerland Switzerland
Daniel Vaughan is a Microsoft MVP and co-founder of Outcoder, a Swiss software and consulting company dedicated to creating best-of-breed user experiences and leading-edge back-end solutions, using the Microsoft stack of technologies--in particular WPF, WinRT, Windows Phone, and also Xamarin.Forms.
Daniel is the author of Windows Phone 8 Unleashed and Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed, both published by SAMS.
Daniel is the developer behind several acclaimed Windows Phone apps including Surfy, Intellicam, and Splashbox; and is the creator of a number of popular open-source projects including Calcium SDK, and Clog.
Would you like Daniel to bring value to your organisation? Please contact

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