Xamlon - Building XAML Applications

Xamlon is an engine to build XAML applications. This engine can be used as a plug-in with Visual Studio .Net to develop XAML applications. XAML stands for eXtensible Application Markup Language. It is said that this is the markup language that is used to build the user interfaces and the events of the user interfaces in the upcoming Windows Operating System, Longhorn.


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This markup language is mostly used to build user interfaces for the software applications very easily. To use this language to build user interfaces, the Xamlon engine is used. When you install the Xamlon engine in your system, if your system has Visual Studio .Net installed then this Xamlon engine is installed as a plug-in for Visual Studio .Net.

Xamlon comes with a three major types of engines, one is for the .Net compact framework, the other is for producing flash swf files called the Flash edition and the final one is the Windows Forms editon.

· .Net compact edition:
This edition is used for building XAML applications for the .Net compact framework using the markup language and the .Net compact framework.
· Flash edition:
This edition is used to create flash applications using the markup language (XAML) and any language in the .Net framework.
· Windows Forms edition:
This edition of Xamlon is used to build windows applications using the markup language very quickly.

The above editions are available as downloads in trial versions and beta versions for testing. Xamlon is available as an MSI download and it is easy to install using this way. The Xamlon engine comes with a lot of sample, an XAML viewer, an XAML Pad and a standalone XAML Editor.

Avalon is the codename for the runtime that interprets the XAML documents and converts them into interactive applications. The Xamlon editor can also import SVG files to work with. The Xamlon engine after installing as a plug-in in Visual Studio .Net, you can create Xamlon Applications by opening a new project in Visual Studio .Net. The installation adds a new project type called “Xamlon Application” to the templates already available in Visual Studio .Net. This adds a Visual designer to the Visual Studio .Net IDE, so that you can easily create and edit the XAML documents.

Consider the structure of the XAML code that is given below to understand how XAML looks like to create user interfaces and how to convert them to flash files using Xamlon Flash edition.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Canvas id=bkCanvas Background="Black" Height="400" Width="400">
<Canvas id="redRect" Height="150" Width="150">
<Rectangle
RectangleWidth="150"
RectangleHeight="150"
Fill="Blue"
Stroke="LightBlue"
StrokeThickness="1"
/>
</Canvas >
</Canvas >

Let the code given above be stored in an XAML file named sample.xaml. The code given above is very simple and self-explanatory. This code build a canvas for the rectangle that is to be displayed. The canvas id is ‘bkCanvas’ and the background of the canvas is set to black color using the attribute Background. The height and width of the canvas are set to 400 using the height and width attributes. This canvas holds another canvas for the rectangle that is to be displayed. The code for creating the rectangle is much like the code in SVG. The attributes of the rectangle like ‘RectangleWidth’, ‘RectangleHeight’, ‘Fill’ for the color to be filled in the rectangle, ‘Stroke’ for the stroke color, and the ‘StrokeThickness’ are given. We have given one canvas within one another since we are going to access this canvas from our C# code and rotate that canvas to a certain angle.

The code to access the above given canvas is given below in C#:

public class rectCls
{
public static void Main()
{
MovieClip clpRect = MovieClip.Root.GetInstance("bkCanvas.redRect");
clpRect.Rotation = 40;
}
}

The above code when compiled will give a rotated rectangle. You can compile the above C# code as given below:
cswf /xaml:sample.xaml /r:SwfNative.dll /launch sample.cs

For the above code to be executed you should have installed Xamlon flash edition, since the above code will run a flash swf movie after the compilation of the C# code.

It is possible to develop more complex XAML applications with rich interfaces using the Xamlon engine in Visual Studio .Net. In future runtime engines for mobile platforms could promote rich scalable XAML applications for the mobile devices.



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