Here are two scenarios where merged ResourceDictionary objects are the way forward.
I’m working on a WPF project that needs to be single instance. Heaven forbid that the WPF team should pollute the purity of their framework with support for this kind of thing (or NotifyIcon support but that’s another story) so I’m using the code recommended by Arik Poznanski: WPF Single Instance Application. I like this because it both enforces a single instance and provides an interface that reports the command line passed to any attempt to launch another instance.
WPF: When it's good it’s very, very good and when it’s bad it’s like sautéing your own eyeballs.
When you’re about to launch a process that will trigger an elevation prompt it’s polite to decorate it with the little UAC shield so the user knows what to expect. Of course there’s no such capability in WPF, and WPF controls have no handles so you can’t use SendMessage / BCM_SETSHIELD as with Windows Forms.
System.Drawing.SystemIcons.Shield seems promising, but it returns the wrong icon on Windows 7 (at least in .NET 4).
SHGetStockIconInfo will allow you to get the correct icon, but isn’t supported on Windows XP. I’ve just added the necessary interop signatures for SHGetStockIconInfo to pinvoke.net so I won’t duplicate that code here. Once you have the interop you can get the correct icon as a BitmapSource using the following code:
BitmapSource shieldSource = null;
if (Environment.OSVersion.Version.Major >= 6)
SHSTOCKICONINFO sii = new SHSTOCKICONINFO();
sii.cbSize = (UInt32) Marshal.SizeOf(typeof(SHSTOCKICONINFO));
SHGSI.SHGSI_ICON | SHGSI.SHGSI_SMALLICON,
shieldSource = System.Windows.Interop.Imaging.CreateBitmapSourceFromHIcon(
shieldSource = System.Windows.Interop.Imaging.CreateBitmapSourceFromHIcon(
I've written an extension for BlogEngine.NET that automatically adds several different geographical tags to blog posts. I knocked this up for my Hikes blog. It might be useful for any blog where some of the posts are related to a real world location.
To get started download GeotagFromKML.zip (2.24 kb) and copy GeotagFromKML.cs to the App_Code\Extensions folder in your BlogEngine.NET instance.
The extension does two things. Firstly it looks for a link to a KML file when post is added or updated (it does this because each of my hike posts includes a Google Earth KML file for the hike). If a KML link is found then a paragraph is added to the post containing the longitude and latitude of the first coordinate in the KML file. The paragraph uses the Geo microformat. You can customize the text in settings for the extension. You can also regenerate by deleting the paragraph and saving the post.
The second function is to add ICBM and Geo Tag META tags when serving a post that contains the geotagged coordinates. You can take advantage of this without linking to a KML file, just include a location like this in your post:
Once you have geotagging up and running you might also want to add GeoURL to the list of ping services for your site.
.NET doesn’t support rebooting, logging off or shutting down your computer though a managed API. Searching for the best way to do this brings up three options: WMI, shutdown.exe and ExitWindowsEx.
I regard WMI as the last resort of the desperate. Weakly typed magic string juju.
Calling Process.Start(“shutdown.exe /r /t 0”) might work, but how would you know? And you’ve got the overheard of starting a new process just to accomplish a reboot. Lazy.
The best way to reboot is P/Invoke to ExitWindowsEx. Unfortunately there’s some really awful sample code out there which will either fail to do anything or mask any errors. I’ve included a drop-in class below that fixes these problems.
I'm slowly converting a number of blogs from Blogger to BlogEngine.NET. The least fun part is dealing with the Blogger export file. For this blog I used a Powershell script but had problems with comments not exporting correctly and it was quite painful to fix everything up. Blogger allows you to export a copy of your blog using ATOM, however BlogEngine.NET (and other tools) speak BlogML.
I've just released a command line tool that takes the ATOM format Blogger export and converts it to BlogML. You can download Blogger2BlogML from Codeplex. The tool uses .NET 4.0 (client profile) so you'll need to install this if you don't already have it. If you give Blogger2BlogML a try let me know how you get on.
I've just released a small update for my ESRI Shapefile Reader project on Codeplex. The only change is a patch from SolutionMania that fixes a problem when the shapefile name is also a reserved name in the metadata database. The patch escapes the name preventing an exception from being thrown.
Catfood.Shapefile.dll is a .NET 2.0 forward only parser for reading an ESRI Shapefile. Download 1.20 from Codeplex.
I've been going nuts trying to scan from the document feeder on my Canon imageClass MF4150. Everything worked as expected from the flatbed, no dice trying to persuade the ADF to kick in. I found some sample code but it was oriented towards devices that can detect when a document is available in the feeder. Evidently my Canon doesn't expose this and so needs to be told the source to use.
The way to do this is to set the WIA_DPS_DOCUMENT_HANDLING_SELECT property to FEEDER. You then read WIA_DPS_DOCUMENT_HANDLING_STATUS to check that it's in the right mode and initiate the scan. This did not work for toffee.
After much experimentation I discovered a solution. I had been setting device properties and then setting item properties before requesting the scan. Switching the order - item then device - made everything work.
Here's the function to scan one page:
After floundering a bit with the WPF Dispatcher I've come up with a simple way to make sure an event handler executes on the UI thread without paying the overhead of always invoking a delegate.
void someEvent_Handler(object sender, SomeEventEventArgs e)
// do work on UI thread
// or BeginInvoke()
this.Dispatcher.Invoke(new Action<object, SomeEventEventArgs>(someEvent_Handler),
This has the benefit (for me at least) of being very easy to remember. Hook up the event handler and then if there's a chance it could be called from a different thread wrap it using the pattern above. It's easier to read than an anonymous delegate and much faster than defining a specific delegate for the event in question.
I haven't tested the various methods to see which is the fastest yet… will get round to this at some point.
When testing out a WPF app on XP I got an unhelpful XamlParseException error report.
I was a little puzzled because I was hooking up error reporting in App.xaml.cs:
My error handler was attempting to create a XAML window to report the error, and evidently this was bombing out as well triggering the good doctor Watson. I added a MessageBox call instead and discovered that the XamlParseException was wrapping a FileFormatException and the stack trace indicated that the problem was with setting the icon for the window. After removing the icon the app started up fine. Weird.
It turns out that WPF chokes on a compressed 256x256 icon on XP and Vista (Windows 7 seems to cope fine). Saving the icon without compression fixes the problem. I use IcoFX and you can set this at Options -> Preferences -> Options -> Compress 256x256 images for Windows Vista. Of course the consequence is that the icon is a couple of hundred kilobytes larger.