Friday, November 2, 2012

Callisto: A control toolkit for Windows 8 XAML applications.

Building Windows 8 applications can be hard, there is a lot of stuff you need to implement to pass the Application Certification process. So every tool,framework or library that can help you save some time and focus on the application experience itself is more then welcome.


One of these libraries is Callisto. If we look on the project page on GitHub, we’ll find following information:

What Is It?

Callisto is a library for use in Windows 8 XAML applications (aka Metro style apps). The XAML framework in Windows.UI.Xaml is great, but has some functionality that isn't provided in-the-box in a few controls and APIs. Callisto provides added functionality on top of the XAML UI framework for Windows.

What's In It?

So far Callisto includes:

  • Flyout - a primitive that includes positioning and 'light dismiss' logic
  • NumericUpDownControl - a "spinner" control for numeric values
  • WatermarkTextBox - derivative of TextBox that adds only the functionality of providing a default text 'hint' in the text input area if no text exists
  • FlipViewIndicator - providing some hinting UI to the user where they are in the navigation of items within a FlipView
  • SettingsManagement API making it easier to do app-wide registration of SettingsFlyout elements
  • Menu - primarily to be used from AppBar, contains the base for providing, well, a Menu
  • MenuItem - an item for a menu, including separators and contains the command point for the menu item
  • SettingsFlyout - an item to create a custom settings pane UI
  • Rating - a ratings control for Metro UI
  • LiveTile - an in-app tile experience to give you animated or 'live' tiles
  • Tilt - an effect to provide the tilt experience when clicked on edges/corners
  • OAuth helpers - a set of helpers to create OAuth 1.0 signatures/headers for those sites that hate OAuth 2.0 :-)
  • BooleanToVisibilityConverter - a converter to well, convert boolean to visibility, very common use
  • LengthToBooleanConverter - a converter to examine a string length to convert to boolean (simple validation helper)
  • RelativeTimeConverter - a converter to show time as relative string, i.e., 'about an hour ago'
  • Extensions - some extension method helpers (i.e., bind html content to a WebView)

Probably the easiest way to start using it, is by installing it through NuGet. Also have a look at the project wiki.

(I only used the SettingsFlyout so far, so if you used other parts of the toolkit and want to share your experience, let me know…)

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