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RadDocking DesignTime Broken?

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Docking
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David
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David asked on 12 Aug 2016, 02:57 AM
I'm just starting a new project that would use the RadDocking library. Even the most basic example does not show in the designer. At times it seems like Visual Studio is hanging, but after 5-6 seconds it comes back to life. But the XAML Designer just shows a blank window no matter what I do.
 
<Window x:Class="Project1.DockingView"
        mc:Ignorable="d"
        Title="DockingView" Height="1080" Width="1920">
    <Grid>
        <telerik:RadDocking>
            <telerik:RadDocking.DocumentHost>
                <telerik:RadSplitContainer>
                    <telerik:RadPaneGroup>
                        <telerik:RadPane>
                        </telerik:RadPane>
                        <telerik:RadPane>
                        </telerik:RadPane>
                    </telerik:RadPaneGroup>
                </telerik:RadSplitContainer>
            </telerik:RadDocking.DocumentHost>
        </telerik:RadDocking>
    </Grid>
</Window>

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David
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answered on 12 Aug 2016, 11:44 PM

I did manage to get it work briefly by removing and re-adding project references to the Telerik assemblies. But as soon as I close VS and restart it, Design TIme is broken again.

I'm using Windows 10 with the anniversary update, and VS 2015 Update 3 fully patched.

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Geri
Telerik team
answered on 16 Aug 2016, 09:35 AM
Hello David,

Thank you for the code and the screenshot.
As far as I can see, there is no exception in the designer, is that correct?

The blank space usually appears when NoXAML assemblies are used and the theme's xaml files are not merged. Could you please check which assemblies are you using - XAML or NoXAML?

In case you are using NoXAML assemblies, you can take a look at our article for applying theme globally in an application:

http://docs.telerik.com/devtools/wpf/styling-and-appearance/styling-apperance-implicit-styles-overview#applying-theme-globally-in-your-application  

Merging the theme's xaml files should resolve the issue and the control should appear in the designer with the chosen theme applied.

In case you are not using the NoXAML assemblies, please confirm the version of our controls you are using, so we can further investigate.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Geri
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David
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answered on 19 Aug 2016, 09:10 PM
I double-checked and I am using the XAML binaries. Version is Q2 2016.
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David
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answered on 19 Aug 2016, 09:18 PM
I did read the link that you mentioned. It seems like it might be actually better to use the NoXAML assemblies. Is this the best practice in Telerik's Eyes?
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Geri
Telerik team
answered on 22 Aug 2016, 01:45 PM
Hi David,

Thank you for the additional information.

The only scenario that is known to us to cause this behavior of the designer is when NoXaml dlls are used and the xaml files are not merged. Having in mind the information about the binaries you are using, I would kindly ask you to check again all of the binaries. Let me explain why I ask this of you: when a Telerik project is created - Telerik.Windows.Controls and Telerik.Windows.Themes.Office2013 dlls are automatically referenced, and Telerik.Windows.Controls is NoXAML.If you add other assemblies, the designer would stay empty, because the theme's xaml files are not yet merged for all assemblies. So, if in your scenario you're creating a Telerik project, this may be the explanation for the blank designer - please confirm whether this is the case.

If you are using XAML files and the designer is still blank, maybe there is something left cached by Visual Studio. To ensure everything with the references is ok, you can try the following:
  • Check references paths: all assemblies should be of the of the same type and version and should be referenced from the same location - the Telerik installation folder is best, i.e. \Binaries.NoXaml\WPF45 for example. This guarantees there would be no mismatch in dlls.
  • After you are sure everything is ok with the paths, you can unload the project and delete bin and obj folders in the project's folder. Then you can reload the project, clean and rebuild it. This guarantees no cached dlls are left.
  • The designer cache can sometimes cause trouble too. You can clear designer cache by deleting all subfolders in C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Microsoft\VisualStudio\14.0\Designer‌​\ShadowCache
Please try the suggested and let us know the outcome.

If the described behavior persists, we would greatly appreciate a video displaying the creation of the project, adding references and code, just to be sure we're on the same page and are not missing something.

As for your question regarding the use of NoXAML assemblies - we have quite a detailed blog post on the topic, it should answer your questions. You can check it here:

http://www.telerik.com/blogs/xaml-theming-implicit-styles-versus-stylemanager

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Geri
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David
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answered on 22 Aug 2016, 07:04 PM

If I start with a blank project, the Design Time works just fine. So I deleted the obj/bin folders and cleared the Designer cache. I again removed and re-added all references (ensuring that I'm using the correct assemblies). 

The Design Time began working again, but after a couple times of running the project, the Design Time broke again. Once it breaks the Designer also slows down to near unusable. It's like something is stuck in there. 

I'm at a loss as to why this is intermittent. Any ideas?

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Geri
Telerik team
answered on 24 Aug 2016, 01:03 PM
Hi David,

I'm sorry to hear that you're still experiencing difficulties.

We're not able to reproduce the behavior you describe yet, but continue investigating.

It would be of great help if you could try the same scenario on a machine whose OS is different than Windows 10 Anniversary Update - prior versions of Windows 10 or Windows 8 would be perfect, as there is a possibility that the operating system is influencing the designer's behavior.
Another thing you can try is to debug the designer and see if any errors are thrown. If you're not familiar with the process, here is a walkthrough:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13698388/how-to-troubleshoot-and-debug-visual-studio-design-mode-errors

Also, if you have the opportunity to try the same steps on a different version of Visual Studio, please do and let us know whether there is any difference. Any information that would helps us pinpoint the cause of the designer's peculiar behavior would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your patience and looking forward to your reply.

Regards,
Geri
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David
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answered on 29 Aug 2016, 06:48 PM

Hi Geri,

My apologies, I do not have access to other dev systems as I am just a one man shop. I am not an expert at debugging the XAML designer, but I did follow the steps you posted and in the Output window I am getting the following exception thrown whenever I try to add or remove a RadPane from a RadPaneGroup.

"Exception thrown: 'System.InvalidOperationException' in mscorlib.dll"

I have double-checked, re-double-checked, and triple-checked my references to make sure I'm not wasting your time. I've also made some blank windows in the same project that don't use any of my own user controls and I get the same behavior.

What I don't understand is if I just start a blank project, Design Time works fine. And I can't break it. So obviously there must be something up with my project.

If it helps at all, if I make a new Window with the following code, it produces the attached screenshot. It's almost as if the DocumentHost won't render.

<Window
        xmlns:local="clr-namespace:PatchPro.Dispatch.Views"
        xmlns:viewModels="clr-namespace:PatchPro.Dispatch.ViewModels"       
        xmlns:converters="clr-namespace:PatchPro.Dispatch.Converters"
        xmlns:telerikDocking="clr-namespace:Telerik.Windows.Controls;assembly=Telerik.Windows.Controls.Docking" x:Class="PatchPro.Dispatch.Views.DockTestView"
        mc:Ignorable="d"
        Title="DockTestView" Height="500" Width="1000">
 
    <Grid>
 
 
        <telerikDocking:RadDocking HasDocumentHost="True">
            <telerikDocking:RadDocking.DocumentHost>
                <telerikDocking:RadSplitContainer>
                    <telerikDocking:RadPaneGroup>
                        <telerikDocking:RadPane CanFloat="False" Title="orders">
 
                        </telerikDocking:RadPane>
                        <telerikDocking:RadPane CanFloat="False" Title="orders">
 
                        </telerikDocking:RadPane>
                    </telerikDocking:RadPaneGroup>
                </telerikDocking:RadSplitContainer>
            </telerikDocking:RadDocking.DocumentHost>
            <telerikDocking:RadSplitContainer InitialPosition="DockedRight">
                <telerikDocking:RadPaneGroup HorizontalAlignment="Stretch" VerticalAlignment="Stretch">
                    <telerikDocking:RadPane Header="Pane 1"/>
                    <telerikDocking:RadPane Header="Pane 2"/>
                </telerikDocking:RadPaneGroup>
            </telerikDocking:RadSplitContainer>
        </telerikDocking:RadDocking>
 
 
    </Grid>
</Window>

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Geri
Telerik team
answered on 31 Aug 2016, 08:14 AM
Hi David,

Thank you very much for the additional information.

I followed the steps you described, but still can't reproduce the behavior from the screenshot.

When debugging the designer, is there any stack trace or just the exception you mention? If there is a stack trace, we would be grateful to see it. Also, a video recording of the whole process - from the creation of the project to the appearance of the blank designer might be helpful, sometimes videos help us notice details we were unaware of. I'm afraid that without being able to observe any discussed behavior on our side, there isn't much we can do to determine its cause, so we try to obtain as much information as possible.

Thank you for your cooperation thus far and looking forward to your reply.

Regards,
Geri
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