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MvvmCross TipCalc - Step 6: Creating a WPF UI

, 26 Mar 2013
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Step 6 in the TipCalc tutorial for MvvmCross v3 - Hot Tuna

Introduction 

This article is step 6 in the TipCalc tutorial for MvvmCross v3 - Hot Tuna!

The Story So Far...

We started with the goal of creating an app to help calculate what tip to leave in a restaurant.

We had a plan to produce a UI based on this concept:

Sketch

To satisfy this, we built a 'Core' Portable Class Library project which contained:

  • our 'business logic' - ICalculation
  • our ViewModel - TipViewModel
  • our App which contains the application wiring, including the start instructions

We've then three User Interfaces - for Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS and WindowsPhone:

Android

v1

v1

v1

For our next project, let's shift to Windows Desktop - via WPF - Windows Presentation Framework.

Here, we'll build up a new project 'from empty', just as we did for the Core, Android, iOS, WindowsPhone and WindowsStore projects.

Obviously, to work with WPF, you will need to be working on the PC with Visual Studio.

Create a New WPF Project

Add a new project to your solution - a 'WPF Application' with name TipCalc.UI.Wpf.

Important - Make sure this is at least .NET 4.5 - as this is the version required for PCL Profile104 - goodbye, XP!

Within this, you'll find the normal WPF application constructs:

  • the 'Properties' folder with the 'AssemblyInfo' file, some resources and a settings file
  • the 'App.Config' configuration file
  • the App.Xaml 'application' object
  • the MainWindow.Xaml and MainWindows.Xaml.cs files that define the default Window for this app

Keep MainWindow.xaml

We do actually want a MainWindow for this app. Smile | <img src= " align="top" src="http://www.codeproject.com/script/Forums/Images/smiley_smile.gif" />  

Add References

Add references to CoreCross and MvvmCross - PCL versions

Add references to the new project for the portable libraries:

  • Cirrious.CrossCore.dll
    • core interfaces and concepts including Trace, IoC and Plugin management
  • Cirrious.MvvmCross.dll
    • Mvvm classes - including base classes for your views and viewmodels

Normally, these will be found in a folder path like {SolutionRoot}/Libs/Mvx/Portable/.

Add a reference to MvvmCross - WPF specific version

Add a reference to the new project for the WPF specific library:

  • Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.dll

This extends the functionality of its PCL counterpart with WPF specific additions.

Normally, this will be found in a folder path like {SolutionRoot}/Libs/Mvx/Wpf/.

Note: MvvmCross uses simple behaviors from System.Windows.Interactivity - so in order to build MvvmCross Wpf apps, you will need Expression Blend installed.

Add a reference to TipCalc.Core.csproj 

Add a reference to your TipCalc.Core project - the project we created in the last step which included:

  • your Calculation service
  • your TipViewModel
  • your App wiring

Add a Setup Class

Just as we said during the Android, iOS, WP and WindowsStore construction, Every MvvmCross UI project requires a Setup class.

This class sits in the root namespace (folder) of our UI project and performs the initialisation of the MvvmCross framework and your application, including:

  • the Inversion of Control (IoC) system
  • the MvvmCross data-binding
  • your App and its collection of ViewModels
  • your UI project and its collection of Views

Most of this functionality is provided for you automatically. Within your WPF UI project, all you have to supply is:

  • your App - your link to the business logic and ViewModel content

For TipCalc, here's all that is needed in Setup.cs

using System.Windows.Threading;
using Cirrious.MvvmCross.ViewModels;
using Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Platform;
using Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Views;

namespace TipCalc.UI.Wpf
{
    public class Setup : MvxWpfSetup
    {
        public Setup(Dispatcher uiThreadDispatcher, 
        IMvxWpfViewPresenter presenter) : base(uiThreadDispatcher, presenter)
        {
        }

        protected override IMvxApplication CreateApp()
        {
            return new Core.App();
        }
    }
}

Modify the App.xaml.cs to Use Setup

There are other lifecycles and display techniques that you can use to write WPF apps.

However, here we will just use a 'one window with one view' approach.

To achieve this, add some lines to the WPF App class that:

  • provide a private flag to determine if setup has already been done:

    private bool _setupComplete = false;
  • perform the setup - using a Simple presenter based on MainWindow:

    private void DoSetup()
    {
        var presenter = new MvxSimpleWpfViewPresenter(MainWindow);
    
        var setup = new Setup(Dispatcher, presenter);
        setup.Initialize();
    
        var start = Mvx.Resolve<IMvxAppStart>();
        start.Start();
    
        _setupComplete = true;
    }
  • override the OnActivated event to perform this startup:

    protected override void OnActivated(System.EventArgs e)
    {
        if (!_setupComplete)
            DoSetup();
    
        base.OnActivated(e);
    }

After you've done this, your App.xaml.cs might look like:

using System.Windows;
using Cirrious.CrossCore.IoC;
using Cirrious.MvvmCross.ViewModels;
using Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Views;

namespace TipCalc.UI.Wpf
{
    public partial class App : Application
    {
        private bool _setupComplete = false;

        private void DoSetup()
        {
            var presenter = new MvxSimpleWpfViewPresenter(MainWindow);

            var setup = new Setup(Dispatcher, presenter);
            setup.Initialize();

            var start = Mvx.Resolve<IMvxAppStart>();
            start.Start();

            _setupComplete = true;
        }

        protected override void OnActivated(System.EventArgs e)
        {
            if (!_setupComplete)
                DoSetup();

            base.OnActivated(e);
        }
    }
}

Add your View

Create the UserControl

Create a Views folder.

Within this folder, add a new 'User Control (WPF)' and call it TipView.xaml.

The page will generate:

  • TipView.xaml
  • TipView.xaml.cs

Turn TipView into the MvvmCross View for TipViewModel

Open the TipView.cs file.

Change the class to inherit from MvxWpfView.

public partial class TipView : MvxWpfView

To link TipView to TipViewModel, create a public new TipViewModel ViewModel property - exactly as you did in Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS, WindowsPhone and WindowsStore:

public new TipViewModel ViewModel
{
    get { return (TipViewModel) base.ViewModel; }
    set { base.ViewModel = value; }
}

Altogether, this looks like:

using Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Views;
using TipCalc.Core.ViewModels;

namespace TipCalc.UI.Wpf.Views
{
    public partial class TipView : MvxWpfView
    {
        public new TipViewModel ViewModel
        {
            get { return (TipViewModel)base.ViewModel; }
            set { base.ViewModel = value; }
        }

        public TipView()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
        }
    }
}

Edit the XAML layout

Double click on the XAML file

This will open the XAML editor within Visual Studio.

Just as with the WindowsPhone and WindowsStore, I won't go into much depth at all here about how to use the XAML or do the Windows data-binding. I'm assuming most readers are already coming from at least a little XAML background.

Change the root node from:

<UserControl 
         ...
</UserControl>

to:

<views:MvxWpfView 
         xmlns:views="clr-namespace:Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Views;assembly=Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf"
         ...
</views:MvxWpfView>

To add the XAML user interface for our tip calculator, we will add exactly the same XAML as we added inside the ContentPanel grid for the WindowsStore example. This includes:

  • a StackPanel container, into which we add:
    • some TextBlock static text
    • a bound TextBox for the SubTotal
    • a bound Slider for the Generosity
    • a bound TextBlock for the Tip

This will produce finished XAML like:

<views:MvxWpfView 
         xmlns:views="clr-namespace:Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf.Views;assembly=Cirrious.MvvmCross.Wpf"
         xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
         xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
         x:Class="TipCalc.UI.Wpf.Views.TipView">
    <StackPanel>
        <TextBlock
                    Text="SubTotal"
                    />
        <TextBox 
                    Text="{Binding SubTotal, Mode=TwoWay}" 
                    />

        <TextBlock
                    Text="Generosity"
                    />
        <Slider 
                    Value="{Binding Generosity, Mode=TwoWay}" 
                    SmallChange="1" 
                    LargeChange="10" 
                    Minimum="0" 
                    Maximum="100" />

        <TextBlock
                    Text="Tip"
                    />
        <TextBlock 
                    Text="{Binding Tip}" 
                    />
    </StackPanel>
</views:MvxWpfView>

Note that in XAML, OneWay binding is generally the default.

To provide TwoWay binding, we explicitly add Mode to our binding expressions: e.g. Value="{Binding Generosity,Mode=TwoWay}".

In the designer, this will look like:

Designer

The Wpf UI is Complete!

At this point, you should be able to run your application.

When it starts... you should see:

Designer

This seems to work perfectly, although you may notice that if you edit the value in the SubTotal TextBox, then the rest of the display does not correctly update.

This is a View concern - it is a UI problem. So we can fix it just in the WPF UI code - just as we did in the WindowsPhone and WindowsStore examples.

Moving On...

There's more we could do to make this User Interface nicer and to make the app richer... but for this first application, we will leave it here for now.

And actually... that's the end of our journey through this first app.

One day soon, there will be more steps - a step for Mac desktop, a step for XBox, a step for TV, etc - but for now, this is the end.

The Articles

History 

  • 22nd March, 2013 - First submission  

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)

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About the Author

slodge
Software Developer Cirrious Ltd
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Developing software since 1982. Currently engrossed in both cloud and mobile technologies. Currently spending far too much time on MvvmCross... and loving every second of it Smile | :)
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionThis step results in TipView.xaml which is 'invalid' Pinmemberjimokeane9-Jul-13 11:34 
AnswerRe: This step results in TipView.xaml which is 'invalid' Pinmemberslodge20-Jul-13 9:41 

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