WPF-E Moved to WordPress

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Just moved to WordPress hope to have new content soon.

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Silverlight 4 add Bidi support

November 18, 2009 100 comments
This is short post to show today that the silverlight 4 beta now supports Bidi http://www.silverlight.net/learn/videos/all/bidi-right-to-left/ 
This was a major internatioal feature request and tim has done a great introduction video. I played with this and seems pretty solid.
Unfortunately we still dont have any support for indic complex scripts as yet. I hope to do bidi sample over the weekend.
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Binding to Server based Resx Files in Silverlight 3

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment


In Silverlight you can easily bind to compiled resx files, and the translations are baked into your xap as resourse dlls. In the majority of cases this is fine, as translations don’t change very often unless the UI changes which mean re-translation and redeploying anyway.

Editorial Content

If you have content, that needs to be changed frequently, you should use RIA Services or WCF that binds some editorial section that is not locked in your regular UI strings. Examples of this would be : Special Offers, promotions etc…. The translator would update your Content Management System and translate a default English text or promote something specific to that market. Eg: NFL tickets for US and Rugby Tickets for France. Then your RIA or WCF would poll this content from your CMS system each time your Silverlight application page loads for that market. This way the core translations are still baked into app but you have flexibility, to update certain parts of the UI dynamically. Code for this is pretty standard RIA services and is out of scope for this article. I may post a sample if people are interested.

Server based Resx

Under some circumstances a mixture of core UI and editorial content is not flexible enough. You may not want all your translation compiled into one mega xap or use MEF for dynamic resource loading, but keep them uncompiled on the server side until user requests a different language. In the example project below, I use a English resx with no code generation and stored as static resource. When the page loads it reads the local resx in the xap and creates strongly typed dynamic object of the dictionary using reflection. We wrap this in the LocStrings class that implements inotifypropertychanged interface to allow dynamic loc string binding.

When the user selects a different culture in the dropdown the we make a request to the server get the resx. We then set the contents to LocStrings and update the thread culture.

Possible uses include:

        Reuse translations from your aspx site

        Add new languages dynamically

ViewBox in Localization

In reading a SVG localization article I noticed developers sometime need some way to update fontsize based on the character length of a translation in some . Part of the Silverlight Toolkit contains a control called viewbox. A viewbox in WPF or Silverlight is a layout control that scale transforms it contents to fit the dimensions of it container. This should be used sparing and instead you grid that expands to the size on the content and translations using Textwrapping and scrollviewers.


Code: http://cid-289eaf995528b9fd.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/ServerResx.zip

Demo: http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/6655/ServerResX/iframe.html

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Silverlight 3 Intl Improvements

July 14, 2009 Leave a comment

As you aware by now Silverlight 3 is now available on http://microsoft.com/silverlight


Below is a list of international features that have seen updated in this release.


1. Comprehensive documentation on localization : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc838238(VS.95).aspx

2. Local Font support including Cambria and Segoe UI http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd547542(VS.95).aspx 

3. ClearType support (Tip: Greatly improved but use native resolution)

4. Merged Dictionary Support

5. Element to Element Binding

6. Bug fixs – Improved support for asian cultures on XP, thai input issue


Im still waiting patiently for the localized runtimes and tools but that is generally very quick after the main launch.


Anyway below is a sample enables updating UI strings in realtime without re-starting your application.


This uses a singleton class to the PublicResxFileCodeGenerator that implements iNotifyProperyChanged


public class LocStrings :INotifyPropertyChanged


        // INotifyPropertyChanged plumbing

        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;

        private void NotifyChange(String name)


            if (PropertyChanged != null) PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(name));


        //public constructor

        public LocStrings()



        // PublicResXFileCodeGenerator

        private static loc.Strings lStrings = new loc.Strings();

        public loc.Strings LStrings {

             get {  return lStrings; }

             set {  NotifyChange("LStrings");}




private void ComboBox_SelectionChanged(object sender, SelectionChangedEventArgs e)


            ComboBox langddl = sender as ComboBox;

            string selectedLang = (langddl.SelectedItem as ComboBoxItem).Content.ToString(); ;

            Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = new CultureInfo(selectedLang);

            Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = new CultureInfo(selectedLang);

            ((LocStrings)this.Resources["LStrings"]).LStrings = new SL3Loc.loc.Strings();



Demo: http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/6655/SL3loc/iframe.html

Code: http://cid-2b248d261d0e0035.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/SL3Loc.zip


BTW: SilverlightRTL updated their excellent code to work on SL3 http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/alex_golesh/archive/2009/07/10/silverlight-3-hebrew-and-arabic-support.aspx


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LocWebService: Only download resources per UserControl

November 16, 2008 Leave a comment
  1. Introduction
  2. UserControl local resources configuration
  3. WCF Service
  4. Code


1. Introduction

In this sample I will show how bind text elements that load localization resources from the server side resx file via a WCF service in silverlight 2.0.


  1. Only download resources per usercontrol
  2. Remove the need for custom resx code generators locally
  3. Local binding in design mode to english or your source language


  1. UserControl are slower to load (wait for WCF response before displaying)


2. UserControl local resources configuration

I first created two helper class’s to assist in design time binding called LocItem and LocCollection

LocItem implements the INotifyPropertyChanged class and contains two properties ItemName and ItemValue. This will enable us to dynamically update a localizable string at runtime. We then need to a LocItem for every localizable string we add it to our UserControl Resources  per control or page.

LocCollection is another helper class based from Silverlight Control Toolkit ObjectCollection This is a enumerable collection of our loc strings on a page, that get over the limitation that ResourceDictionary does not implement iEnumerable.

Both these are instantiated in markup and then bound to your localizable element.

        <Loc:LocItem ItemName="tb1" ItemValue="tb1" x:Key="LocItem1" />

<Loc:LocCollection x:Key="LStrings" >


<TextBlock x:Name="tb1" Text="{Binding ItemValue}" DataContext="{StaticResource LocItem1}" />


3. WCF Service

When the control initializes we make a WCF request to get all translations in our LocCollection. On the server side we lookup our server side resx file for each requested string and wrap it in a XDocument of LocString . Once the WCF loaded event fires we then update the  ItemValue our individual LocItems to display the localizable strings.


4. Code

This is a pretty crude sample but you could wrap this functionality in asp.net style base page to make it scale cleaner.

Download: LocWebService.zip

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SL 2.0 localization on-demand sample updated

October 26, 2008 1 comment


Updated To fix bugs on english code to check for culture installed and to fallback to english if culture not available

This is a more advanced sample showing concepts I showed beta 2 samples and integrated into Silverlight 2.0  RTW project. Im not going over each part as this has already been detailed in earlier posts.

  1. Localization placeholder substitution
  2. Exposing localizable properties in custom control
  3. On-demand xap download (Explained in detail here)


Visual Studio professional or greater plus the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and the excellent Dmytro Kryvko’s Extended Strongly Typed Resource Generator 2.3 at http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/ installer is at http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx23.zip

Code: http://cid-2b248d261d0e0035.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/LocOndemand.zip

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Creating a localizable Silverlight 2.0 RTW Application

October 17, 2008 3 comments


The sample below shows how you can bind language resources (resx) using only markup. The final version of Silverlight makes localization alot cleaner.


Visual Studio professional or greater plus the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and the excellent Dmytro Kryvko’s Extended Strongly Typed Resource Generator 2.3 at http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/ installer is at http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx23.zip


1. Open Visual Studio
2. Click File \ New Project…
3. Select Visual C# \ Silverlight \ Silverlight Application
4. In the name field type SL2_RTM_Loc
5. Click ok and ok
6. In the Project Explorer
7. Right click on the SL2_RTM_Loc (c# Icon) Project
8. Click Add \ New Folder
9. Name it Resources
10. Right click on Resources folder and click add New Item…
11. Select Resources File
12. Name it Strings.resx and click ok
13. Close Strings.resx in VS
14. Select Strings.resx in VS and its file properties replace it Custom Tool field from ResXFileCodeGenerator to ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx
15. Right click on the strings.resx file and Select Run Custom Tool
16. Open strings.resx in VS
17. In the Name Field type tb1 and value “tb1 in english”
18. Repeat with Name Field type tb2 and value “tb2 in english”
19. Click Save, press F5 and add debugging to web.config
20. IE opens up with a blank page
21. Close IE
22. Open Page.xaml in xaml editor window
23. In the user control add a new xml namespace xmlns:Loc="clr-namespace:SL2_RTM_Loc.Resources"
24. Add a locstrings as a  resource to your page eg: <UserControl.Resources><Loc:Strings x:Name="LocStrings" /></UserControl.Resources>
25. Inside the grid add a Textblock and bind it to your resource Tb1 eg: <TextBlock Text="{Binding tb1, Source={StaticResource LocStrings}}" />
26. The String should appear in the Design view above
27. Wrap the textblock inside a vertical stackpanel  and add a second Textkblock

<StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">

<TextBlock Text="{Binding tb1, Source={StaticResource LocStrings}}" />

<TextBlock Text="{Binding tb2, Source={StaticResource LocStrings}}" />


28. In Project Explorer right click on Strings.resx and copy and paste it into the resources folder
29. Rename “Copy of Strings.resx” to “Strings.de.resx” (DE is the two letter language code for German)
30. Select Strings.de.resx in VS and its file properties remove it Custom Tool field from value ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx and change its Copy to Output Directory field to Copy if newer
31. Open Strings.de.resx Edit the value to “tb1 auf deutsch” and “tb2 auf deutsch”
32. Click Save, press F5
33. Repeat the last three steps to add fr
34. Notice the file %HOMEPATH%\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\SL2_RTM_Loc\SL2_RTM_Loc\bin\Debug\de\ appears but is not embedded in your xap yet
35. To add that culture to your xap you must open the %HOMEPATH%\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Projects\SL2_RTM_Loc\SL2_RTM_Loc\ SL2_RTM_Loc.csproj in notepad  
36. Update SupportedCultures to <SupportedCultures>de,fr</SupportedCultures>
37. Save and close
38. VS 2008 will ask you to reload project, click reload
39. Next we need to update the SL browser object reference
40. Delete the SL2_RTM_LocTestPage.aspx and set SL2_RTM_LocTestPage.html as your start page inside SL2_RTM_Loc.Web project
41. In SL2_RTM_LocTestPage.html  Add the culture and uiculture params to your silverlight object

<param name="culture" value="de" />

<param name="uiculture" value="de" />

42. Click Save, press F5
43. IE should open up with the German strings

Code: http://cid-2b248d261d0e0035.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/SL2%7C_RTM%7C_Loc.zip

Further Reading


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