Now that Windows 8 RTM is available to developers, we have prepared a BETA 2 update of our Windows 8 UI suite. This update is fully compatible with the latest Win8 bits as well as it adds several new components/features that we believe will add even more value to the suite.

I can’t wait to share what’s new, so let’s get straight to the list:

HTML – Date/Time pickers

Our commitment is to deliver same components and user experience regardless of the platform – be it XAML or HTML. Following this commitment we have added DatePicker and TimePicker components to the HTML part of the suite and these new components behave and look-like exactly the same way as their XAML equivalents and bring the same experience to the end-user.


The Inline part of the control


The Selector (Popup) part of the control, available when the Inline part is clicked/tapped

XAML – New Doughnut Chart Series

We have received several requests for this new series type and we listened to our users. The new series is available through RadChart:


The new DougnutSeries, using the DefaultDark palette

And here is the XAML needed to setup the series:

<telerik:RadPieChart x:Name="chart" PaletteName="DefaultDark">
    <telerik:DoughnutSeries ItemsSource="{Binding}" ShowLabels="False"/>
</telerik:RadPieChart>

XAML – New Theming routine

Our XAML components are completely customizable and every aspect can be altered to meet specific requirements. Still, in most of the cases related to some visual customization, changing a brush will suffice the new design. Such a brush however may be difficult to change, especially when it resides within a VisualStateGroup, part of the ControlTemplate itself.

The native XAML components that come with WinRT have a very neat concept that allows a brush to be changed without the need to replace the entire control template. There are named resources, available in the scope of the Application’s resources and each native control is bound to these named resources. This allows a specific brush to be changed with a single line within the App.xaml file.

Inspired by this elegant approach, our XAML components follow the same pattern, extending it even further. Here is what you can now do to change the SelectedBrush within a RadDatePicker for example:

<SolidColorBrush x:Key="TelerikDateTimePickerSelectorItemSelectedBackgroundBrush" Color="Red"/>

Or you can change the global SelectedBrush, which change will reflect all the controls that reuse this brush:

<SolidColorBrush x:Key="TelerikSelectedBrush" Color="Red"/>

Note: the above code snippets should be put within the App.xaml file. 

Currently only the Date/Time pickers follow this pattern. We will have all our controls using this approach when the suite is officially released. You can find the Date/Time pickers named resources here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Telerik\RadControls for Metro XAML Q1 2012 BETA\Binaries\Input\Themes\DateTimePickerPaletteDark(Light).xaml 

XAML – New Localization routine

We have added a routine that allows built-in resources to be easily changed within the scope of an application. Each Telerik assembly exposes a singleton LocalizationManager instance – e.g. InputLocalizationManager – that may be used to provide replacement of the default string values. Here is how you can supply custom ResourceMap to be used to retrieve assembly resources:

InputLocalizationManager.Instance.UserResourceMap = ResourceManager.Current.MainResourceMap.GetSubtree("TelerikResources");

This sample code assumes that there is a resource file named “TelerikResources.resw” within the application.

Conclusion

Along with these hot new features we have fixed several bugs, polished the API further and extended the documentation with new articles and examples. Do not hesitate to grab your copy of BETA 2 now and to give us your feedback how you find the components as well as to share your opinion on what may be added/improved to make the suite even better.


About the Author

Georgi Atanasov


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