CUSTOMIZING THE CHILDWINDOW in VB.NET

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CHAPTER 15 CUSTOMIZING THE CHILDWINDOW
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Like almost everything else in Silverlight, you can do some basic customization of a ChildWindow to change things such as background and overlay colors without messing around with the control template. Some of those properties specific to ChildWindow are listed in table 15.9.
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Table 15.9 Properties of the ChildWindow control Description Set this value to determine whether the close button, typically at upper right, is visible or collapsed. If you set this to false, make sure you provide another way to close the window. When the ChildWindow is displayed, it includes an overlay that covers all other content in the current Silverlight application. This gives the illusion of a modal dialog. Use OverlayBrush to set the brush to be used for that overlay. Sets the opacity of the overlay. A higher opacity means less background content shines through. Displays content in the window title bar. Although typically text, this can be any element.
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Property
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HasCloseButton
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OverlayOpacity Title
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The ChildWindow provides the capability to create any in-application dialog that you need. Two other types of dialogs are more operating system specific in their display and use: the OpenFileDialog and the SaveFileDialog.
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15.5.3 Prompting for a file
The OpenFileDialog class enables you to ask users for one or more files from their filesystems. From there, you can load the data from the selected files into memory, giving you the flexibility to do any number of things. For instance, you can send the contents of a file to a server or load the contents into your Silverlight application. The SaveFileDialog performs a similar function but provides a mechanism to save a single file to the filesystem. Either way, before you can do any of these items, you must understand how to interact with the OpenFileDialog and SaveFileDialog classes. Throughout this section, you ll learn the three steps involved in interacting with an OpenFileDialog. The first step involves launching and configuring an instance of the OpenFileDialog class. Next, you must wait for and retrieve the results of a user s interaction with an OpenFileDialog. Finally, you ll parse the results if a user has selected at least one file.
LAUNCHING THE DIALOG BOX
To give your users the opportunity to select a file or multiple files, you must instantiate an instance of the OpenFileDialog class from procedural code; you can t create an OpenFileDialog from XAML. After it s created, you can use several properties to customize the selection experience. These properties and their descriptions are provided in table 15.10.
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Showing dialogs and pop-ups
Table 15.10 Property
The configuration properties available on the OpenFileDialog and SaveFileDialog Description Represents the type of files that are displayed in the dialog. Determines which filter is specified by default if the filter specifies multiple file types.
Filter FilterIndex Multiselect DefaultExt
OpenFileDialog-only. Specifies whether users may select multiple files. By default, users may select only one file. SaveFileDialog-only. Specifies the default extension to use if the user types in a filename without an extension.
As this table shows, you have flexibility in customizing the selection experience, but you don t have complete control over the dialog box. For instance, you can t dictate the appearance of the dialogs. Instead, the dialogs use the user s OS to determine the general look of the dialog box. By using the values in table 15.10, you can guide the selection experience, as shown in figure 15.12. The following is the code to achieve this:
OpenFileDialog openFileDialog = new OpenFileDialog(); openFileDialog.Filter = "Text files (*.txt)|*.txt|Xml Files (*.xml)|*.xml"; bool fileWasSelected = openFileDialog.ShowDialog();
This example shows an OpenFileDialog box that enables a user to select a text or XML file. You can accomplish this by appropriately setting the Filter property of the OpenFileDialog object. The dialog is then launched by calling the ShowDialog method. The code for a SaveFileDialog is similar. Unlike the ChildWindow-type dialog shown in the previous section, this method is a blocking call that prevents the execution of any
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