Nightly news, 2 September 2011

Two weeks of nightly updates to catch up on today, thanks to TechEd, so let’s get stuck in. Here’s what you’ll find in the latest hot builds.

WPF Diagrams

  • DiagramToolBox support for scroll bar visibility attached properties
  • Node tool drag sizing is now cancelled if the user doesn’t click on the diagram surface
  • You can now control the heuristic function used by the A* pathfinder
  • New sample: custom shapes
  • Added an IsDragResizeEnabled property for enabling or disabling drag-sizing when using a charged cursor to create new node


  • Fix for a spurious discriminator warning if a STI root class derived from another class using concrete table inheritance
  • We’ve relaxed the warnings for discriminators on abstract classes
  • Improved error if you set an entity to be its own direct parent. “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
  • If you drag from Server Explorer and you haven’t saved your password, we’ll now try to detect this and remind you
  • Fix for error in certain grouping queries with joins
  • Email validator now accepts the ‘+’ character in addresses
  • Improvements to find by identifier in DistributedUnitOfWork

Phone Elements

  • Support for styling alternate Y axes

WPF Elements

  • Fixed a property grid bug with keyboard navigation on expanded nodes

Web Workbench

  • Fixed a couple more cases where we were indicating syntax errors on correct CSS

Free editions of the nightly builds are on the downloads page, and full editions are in the store.

Nightly news, 19 August 2011

I hereby declare this to be snow week, the funnest week in the history of Wellington. Oh hush, you northern hemisphere types, we only see snow here in tropical Wellington every fifty years or so. Indulge us. Here’s what we’ve been doing while we’ve been snowed in.


  • Compiled queries! Yay!
  • Fix for an error when projecting only base class fields while filtering only on derived class fields in class table inheritance
  • Fix for a class table inheritance cascade delete issue
  • Fixed a column mapping issue with unversioned partial updates
  • Fix for BeginEdit on a distributed entity

WPF Diagrams

WPF Elements

  • Fixed an error when typing non-Latin characters into a numeric text box
  • Fixed an issue where the minimum and maximum values of an alternate Y axis could not be set automatically

Phone Elements

  • Fixed an issue where the minimum and maximum values of an alternate Y axis could not be set automatically
  • Fixed a font sizing issue with the picker controls

Silverlight Elements

  • Fixed an issue where the minimum and maximum values of an alternate Y axis could not be set automatically. Coincidentally enough

All these features and fixes are in the current nightly builds. Free editions are available from the downloads page, and full editions from the store.

New versions of WPF Elements, Silverlight Elements, Phone Elements!

We’re pleased to announce a trio of releases: WPF Elements 4.1, Silverlight Elements 2.1 and Phone Elements 1.1!

This point release occurs at the same time as it represents primarily the addition of new charting types across the product line and the sharing of performance improvements across them all. There is also a roll up of individual product improvements in each product as well.

What’s new in all three products?

  • Polar charts including rose charts, radar charts and polar scatter/bubble charts
  • Additional events for interactive chart usage (e.g. DataSeries.SelectedDataPointChanged)
  • Added ChartAxis.MinimumRange, TitleVisibility and LabelStep properties
  • DataSeries.Visibility can be used to collapse a series on the chart
  • Additional performance improvements

We have also rolled up a number of general enhancements – for example basic image support in the Silverlight Rich Text Editor, improved keyboard navigation in the Book and Coverflow controls and new colour palettes for WPF and Silverlight.

This brings the number of overall controls to 45+ for WPF Elements, 40+ for Silverlight Elements and 30+ for Phone Elements. If you haven’t tried these products before but want to create amazing user experiences you can download the trials free from the download page. Customers already have the latest builds available on their account pages.

To whet your appetite, here’s an example application built using WPF Elements charting:

WPF Dashboard built with WPF Elements

We would, as always, love to hear your feedback on what’s new and what you’d like to see in the future.

Happy coding!

Mindscape Phone Elements and Mango

A while back we released Phone Elements, a suite of controls for Windows Phone 7 containing a wide range of charts and other useful controls.

Now that Microsoft have unveiled the latest ‘Mango’ version of Windows Phone 7, we’ve been asked if Phone Elements will work with Mango. The answer is yes. We’ve tested our controls with the Mango pre-release, and all the controls work happily as you would expect. You won’t need to make any changes or download any updates.

Just to remind you, here’s a taste of all the cool stuff in Phone Elements.

Phone Elements

Get your Mango on — download the trial today!

Tagged as Phone Elements

Phone Elements: Radial gauge control

One of the controls you will find in the latest builds of our Phone Elements control suite for WP7 is the radial gauge. Gauges are great for displaying current values within a specified range to the user. Radial gauges in particular could be used to display speed, acceleration, time, pressure and any thing else you want. When changing the current value of the gauge, the needle moves using smooth animations to update the displayed value.

Using the radial gauge control in your applications is very simple. It extends from the RangeBase class so you just need to set the Minimum and Maximum values to specify the range, and use a binding to set the Value property from your business model. Additionally, the StartAngle and SweepAngle properties can be used to customize how the labels get displayed. The StartAngle defines where the first label gets rendered. A value of 0 will display the first label at the top of the gauge. Larger values move around the gauge in a clockwise direction. The SweepAngle is the total angle of an arc that the labels will be positioned against. A value of 180 for example will display the labels around half a circle. Here is an example of setting up a radial gauge in XAML.

<ms:RadialGauge Maximum="100" StartAngle="200" SweepAngle="270" />

Custom styling

Custom radial gauge style

Like all controls in Phone Elements, the radial gauge can be styled in all sorts of different ways to make your applications sparkle. From nice looking styles that follow the Metro guidelines, to shiny styles with smooth gradient paints. Here is some example code used to create the style seen above.

<LinearGradientBrush x:Key="RadialGaugeBackground" StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="0,1">
    <GradientStop Offset="0" Color="Black" />
    <GradientStop Offset="0.6" Color="Black" />
    <GradientStop Offset="1" Color="#3A3A3A" />
<LinearGradientBrush x:Key="ShineBackground" StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="0,1">
    <GradientStop Offset="0" Color="#77FFFFFF" />
    <GradientStop Offset="1" Color="#11EEEEEE" />
<LinearGradientBrush x:Key="RadialGaugeBorder" StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="0,1">
    <GradientStop Offset="0" Color="#FBFBFB" />
    <GradientStop Offset="1" Color="#363636" />
<LinearGradientBrush x:Key="RadialGaugeInnerBorder" StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="0,1">
    <GradientStop Offset="0" Color="#363636" /> 
    <GradientStop Offset="1" Color="#FBFBFB" />
<Style x:Key="RadialGaugeStyle" TargetType="ms:RadialGauge">
    <Setter Property="Template">
            <ControlTemplate TargetType="ms:AnimatedValueDisplay">
                    <Ellipse Fill="{StaticResource RadialGaugeBorder}" />
                    <Ellipse Fill="{StaticResource RadialGaugeInnerBorder}" Margin="5" />
                    <Ellipse Fill="{StaticResource RadialGaugeBackground}" Margin="10" />
                        <Path Name="PART_Arc" Stroke="White" StrokeThickness="8" />
                        <ItemsControl Name="PART_LabelsHost">
                                    <Grid />
                        <Grid Margin="20">
                                <RowDefinition Height="*" />
                                <RowDefinition Height="*" />
                            <Path Name="PART_Needle" Data="M 0.5 0 L 1 1 L 0 1 Z" Fill="#C21218" Width="6" Stretch="Fill" />
                            <Ellipse Margin="40,-8,40,-20" Fill="{StaticResource ShineBackground}" />
                        <Ellipse Width="20" Height="20" Fill="#C21218" />

If you need any help with creating custom styles for any of the controls in Phone Elements, then let us know by leaving a comment on this blog post, or come visit the forum and we’ll help you out. You can also let us know of any features you would like to see in the gauge control and we’ll see what we can do.

Tagged as Phone Elements


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