Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WPF Development Tools

I've decided to write this entry before I could actually master these tools because I don't think I will afterwards (I'd be too old to type). So here it goes:

  1. ReSharper - yes! I will probably need a ReSharper blog tag. This thing is good for everything! Its XAML smart intellisense is a gem, as well as the various options you get when writing WPF code or XAML
  2. Snoop - this is a very small tool that acts like a WPF FireBug. It can select an element, show properties, even change some of them
  3. Mole Visualizer - this is a Visual Studio debug visualizer, one that allows very detailed exploration of debugged objects, especially WPF elements
  4. XAML Power Tools - a Visual Studio addon, it allows a lot of stuff, like automatically generate the view from a model, extracting a style from a control, etc
  5. KaXaml - a tool that works like a XamlPad, but has more options. You basically use it as a poor man's Blend; and it's very light
  6. XamlPad - this is a Microsoft tool. Unfortunately, to use it you need to download the entire Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, which is 1.5Gb in size
  7. Pistachio - this is a Visual Studio project resource browser. Give it the project and you can see the brushes, the style, the templates, the usages
  8. Expression Blend - the de facto Microsoft tool for editing XAML and working with design stuff. Not only it is not free, but it is also buggy. Unfortunately, I have a hunch I will have to use it in the near future to work with WPF styles
  9. ShowMeTheTemplate - Small application that explores the WPF default templates for various controls

All of the tools above, except ReSharper and Blend are free to use.