Friday, April 27, 2007

Silverlight - Client Side Invasion! [in a good way]


I haven't posted anything in a while and I wanted to write a quick message pointing out some items I've recently learned/figured out/been working on.

  • The SourceString property of the "WPF/E" object provides some VERY cool possibilities. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on creating an online wizard that will then generate a small JavaScript snippet that people can copy and paste to display some Silverlight content on their webpage/blog. This is really cool because it allows individuals that may not be very technical, yet know how to display a YouTube video on their webpage/blog the ability to use Silverlight content in the same fashion. This will make more sense once the wizard is posted. I have a working prototype, however I'm not making it publicly available just yet. I'm hoping that during the MIX 07 conversation, a new Silverlight CTP will be announced/released [crossing fingers]. There is currently one item that I'm looking forward to.
  • I've been writing an article for related to authoring ASP.NET user controls that host Silverlight content. This article should be published within the next week and I will write a message on this blog once it is published.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

WPF/E - How To Put VirtualEarth Content Above WPF/E Content

During the implementation of the GeoPhoto User Control I ran into a problem I had not anticipated. Please allow me to setup the problem.

A WPF/E control is rendered as an ActiveX Control, which happens to also be considered a windowed control. Within IE 5.5+, HTML content cannot be layered above windowed controls in a straight forward approach. You may have seen this in some DHTML style menus on the web. You may have noticed a menu "hiding" behind a drop down list, though you would expect the menu to be above the list. Because the drop down list is an example of a windowed control, the menu is rendered under, or behind, the drop down list.

Occasionally, you may want to present HTML content, such as integrating Virtual Earth content, on top of your WPF/E content. The previously described problem, may cause some frustration. However, don't worry, here's how to get around the problem.
  • Place your HTML content within a DIV element.
  • Define the height and width of the DIV element. This is recommendation to ensure that everything is working properly.
  • Define the top and left positions of the DIV element.
  • Create an IFRAME element that is the same height and width of the DIV element.
  • Position the IFRAME element at the same location of your DIV element.

This works because as of Internet Explorer 5.5, IFRAME elements are no longer windowed controls. Crafty.