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Theming Issue

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Themes and Visual Style Builder
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piratenwichtl asked on 24 Sep 2008, 12:56 PM
Hi Guys,

<rant>sometimes I really wonder if there is any quality control before rolling out new software releases. i am really a supporter of telerik controls, but such problems I come accross are really a pain in the arse.
my suggestion is to put more effort into quality than new flashy features.....
this theme-thingy and visual style builder does not even deserve the title "beta"-version in my opinion</rant>

since my last therming issue, where we at last achived it to successfully load a ressource-file into thememanager, i focused on more important bits and pieces of my application.
but now i am back to style my application and...well, i actually dont care much if visual studio renders the application and controls at design-time in wrong colors and styles(as it does sometimes...) as long as it does it right when starting the application. but it really fucks me off, if it is the other way around.

i am still using RadControls for Winforms Q1 2008 SP1

I am trying to style a textbox... to paint the background grey if it gets the focus.
plus I dont want to paint a border, so I set the border-property in visual style builder to hidden and the forecolor to transparent(bec. hidden is apparently not quite hidden?!?!?). the result is a thinner than usual textbox. it gets displayed the right way in visual studio design view, but just after i set the theme-name at the control again.
but when I close and reload the form with the designer it gets displayed wrong again. it also gets displayed wrong when starting the application.

when i look into my theme-style.xml i see several entries named something with "textbox". is there a mixup occured???!???

what i want is simply a way how to style my application.
but this try and error approach i am doing at the moment is 1. very time consuming, 2. very frustrating and 3. not acceptable. i am way faster to edit/style the ui-items of every control individually and this cant be the way doing it!??

i will supply you with a screenshot if you cant follow my explanations...

best regards

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Telerik team
answered on 25 Sep 2008, 03:15 PM
Hi Christian,

Thank you for your feedback. You have touched on a topic that is with very high priority in our ToDo plans for improvement.

When we introduced RadControls for WinForms, we wanted to provide powerful way of styling our controls, that would differentiate us from the competition. Back then we did an extensive research on several styling implementations and on WPF and the end result was the Visual Style Builder (VSB) - a powerful application which had to support styling customizations, themes, animations, states, etc. In addition, it became a hybrid between a design tool (such Microsoft Expression Blend) and a developer tool (such as Visual Studio).

As time went by, and more people started to use the VSB, we started to see the "baby glitches" of the application - people found it overly complicated and hard to use, mostly because there is not enough documentation.

So, a couple of months ago we ran a survey on what we can improve. The survey also covered a similar application we plan to introduce for our ASP.NET controls. The results gave us several very good ideas on how to improve the VSB and we have started working on these. The VSB will be simplified, will be more usable, and will come with new documentation and supporting videos on how to create the compelling UI we are advertising.

I sincerely hope that the new version of the VSB will help you achieve better UI than the current one. These improvements are scheduled to appear towards the end of the year, or early next year.

Until then we will need to help you fix the problems you are facing, so feel free to send us your comments and questions.

Here I am sending you a custom theme for RadTextBox with
a hidden border, Transparent ForeColor and Gray background when the text box is focused. Also find attached a sample project that shows RadTextBox with this theme. To achieve the affect when the TextBox is focused I am using the RadElement property IsFocused (see the screenshot1).

I hope this helps.

All the best,
the Telerik team

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