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XDraw 2.0: Designer/Editor extension for Visual Studio

Aug 4, 2010 at 4:16 AM

I believe XDraw is useful on it's own as a stand alone application but it may also be nice to build a separate VS Add-in component that re-uses most of the code from XDraw in order to edit Drawing resources within Visual Studio. This would be especially useful to close the gap that Microsoft has not yet filled between Expression Design, Expression Blend, and Visual Studio. Currently there is no simplistic integrated way to edit Drawing resources in XAML such as icons within Visual Studio. With an XDraw Extension for Visual Studio editing drawings within Visual Studio WPF controls and resource dictionaries directly within the IDE could be possible and may breath new life into this project.

Aug 5, 2010 at 8:25 AM
Hi, thats already on my list. But as always: Time is limited. Reinhard.
Aug 6, 2010 at 6:44 AM

Good to hear. Also I know where your coming from regarding time limitations. If it were not for deficits in a lot of the apps out there like Visual Studio and Expression Blend I don't think I would be taking a my time to look at XDraw in the first place.

Aug 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM

In order to keep focused on topic I'm moving some of my comments that I originally placed under the design document page over to this discussion.

Questions From XDraw 2.0 Software Design Documentation

Visual Studio plugin

  • How should XDraw be integrated?
  • Because a XAML file can contain everything: Window, Page, UserControl, ResourceDictionary, ... and a ResourceDictionary can also contain more than drawings: How should the editor be integrated? I think somehow like the XRES Editor.

My Thoughts

I would envision that integrating the XDraw plugin to the at the XAML editor level would be the most desirable. There are many tools out there that integrate nicely within the text editor such as ReSharper. Visual Studio 2010 XAML Editor IntelliSense Presenter Extension, XAML Power Toys. If we could integrate XDraw into the context menu in a way that takes into account the position of the cursor and whether it is within an element than can be edited using XDraw that would be quite awesome.

There is a great topic on MSDN about creating custom designers and editors and there is a StackOverflow post which discusses creating a designer for Visual Studio and has some relevant resources.