Xamarin.Tip – Borderless Editor

I previously put out a post on removing the border of a Xamarin.Forms Entry which was then used to create a custom PinView as well as a MaterialEntry that follows the material design standards for text fields. Check those out here:

In this post, we’ll apply some of the same principles to create a BorderlessEditor. It’s going to use a simple custom renderer, although this could and should be done using an Effect if being used on its own. However, this BorderlessEditor will be the foundation for future controls.

You can find this code as part of my library in progress to create Material Design Form controls for Xamarin.Forms – https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls.

Let’s get started with our custom control by first creating a custom subclass of Xamarin.Forms.Editor followed by a custom renderer class for iOS, Android, and UWP that kills the border.

BorderlessEditor.cs

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms
{
    public class BorderlessEditor : Editor
    {
    }
}

Nothing special here since we are using the default behavior of the Editor.

Android

Now let’s create an Android custom renderer.

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – Android

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.Android.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Editor> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
            if (e.OldElement == null)
            {
                Control.Background = null;

                var layoutParams = new MarginLayoutParams(Control.LayoutParameters);
                layoutParams.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
                LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
                SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
            }
        }
    }
}

We simple kill the default padding and margins while setting the Background property to null. This Background is what creates the drawable underline for the AppCompat Editor.

iOS

Follow with an iOS renderer.

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – iOS

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.iOS.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);

            Control.Layer.BorderWidth = 0;
        }
    }
}

All we do here is set the BorderWidth to 0.

UWP

Lastly a renderer for UWP

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – UWP


[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.UWP.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Editor> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);

            if (Control != null)
            {
                Control.BorderThickness = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Margin = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Padding = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
            }
        }
    }
}

Similar to how we did it on Android, we set both the Margin and Padding to 0 and also set the BorderThickness to a 0’d Thickness.

Using the BorderlessEditor

Now you can use the BorderlessEditor in your XAML or C# code:

MainPage.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:ExampleMaterialApp"
             xmlns:suave="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialForms;assembly=SuaveControls.MaterialForms"
             x:Class="ExampleMaterialApp.MainPage">

    <ScrollView>
        <StackLayout Spacing="16" Margin="16" BackgroundColor="Blue">
            <Label Text="Borderless Editor!" Margin="32" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center"/>
            <suave:BorderlessEditor BackgroundColor="Black" TextColor="White" HeightRequest="300" Margin="32"/>

        </StackLayout>
    </ScrollView>

</ContentPage>

Check out those results on iOS:

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

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Xamarin.Tip – Borderless TimePicker

I previously put out a post on removing the border of a Xamarin.Forms Entry which was then used to create a custom PinView as well as a MaterialEntry that follows the material design standards for text fields. I also added a post just like this one that talks about creating a BorderlessPicker. Check those out here:

In this post, we’ll do exactly what we did with the BorderlessPicker, but apply it to the Xamarin.Forms.TimePicker control to remove the border. This would ideally be done using an Effect, however we will be using this control in a later post to create a MaterialTimePicker to fit the Material Design standards for form inputs, so we will create custom renderers for Android, iOS, and UWP.

You can find this code as part of my library in progress to create Material Design Form controls for Xamarin.Forms – https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls.

Let’s get started with our custom control by first creating a custom subclass of Xamarin.Forms.TimePicker followed by a custom renderer class for iOS, Android, and UWP that kills the border.

BorderlessTimePicker.cs

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms
{
    public class BorderlessTimePicker : TimePicker
    {
    }
}

Nothing special here since we are using the default behavior of the TimePicker.

Android

Now let’s create an Android custom renderer.

BorderlessTimePickerRenderer.cs – Android

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessTimePicker), typeof(BorderlessTimePickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.Android.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessTimePickerRenderer : TimePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<TimePicker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
            if (e.OldElement == null)
            {
                Control.Background = null;

                var layoutParams = new MarginLayoutParams(Control.LayoutParameters);
                layoutParams.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
                LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
                SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
            }
        }
    }
}

We simple kill the default padding and margins while setting the Background property to null. This Background is what creates the drawable underline for the AppCompat TimePicker.

iOS

Follow with an iOS renderer.

BorderlessTimePickerRenderer.cs – iOS

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessTimePicker), typeof(BorderlessTimePickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.iOS.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessTimePickerRenderer : TimePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);

            Control.Layer.BorderWidth = 0;
            Control.BorderStyle = UITextBorderStyle.None;
        }
    }
}

All we do here is set the BorderWidth to 0 and the BorderStyle to UITextBorderStyle.None.

UWP

Lastly a renderer for UWP

BorderlessTimePickerRenderer.cs – UWP


[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessTimePicker), typeof(BorderlessTimePickerRenderer))]

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.UWP.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessTimePickerRenderer : TimePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<TimePicker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);

            if (Control != null)
            {
                Control.BorderThickness = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Margin = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Padding = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
            }
        }
    }
}

Similar to how we did it on Android, we set both the Margin and Padding to 0 and also set the BorderThickness to a 0’d Thickness.

Using the BorderlessTimePicker

Now you can use the BorderlessTimePicker in your XAML or C# code:

MainPage.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:ExampleMaterialApp"
             xmlns:suave="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialForms;assembly=SuaveControls.MaterialForms"
             x:Class="ExampleMaterialApp.MainPage">

    <ScrollView>
        <StackLayout Spacing="16" Margin="16">
            <Label Text="Borderless TimePicker!" Margin="32" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center"/>
            <suave:BorderlessTimePicker/>

        </StackLayout>
    </ScrollView>

</ContentPage>

Check out those results on iOS:

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Borderless DatePicker

I previously put out a post on removing the border of a Xamarin.Forms Entry which was then used to create a custom PinView as well as a MaterialEntry that follows the material design standards for text fields. I also added a post just like this one that talks about creating a BorderlessPicker. Check those out here:

In this post, we’ll do exactly what we did with the BorderlessPicker, but apply it to the Xamarin.Forms.DatePicker control to remove the border. This would ideally be done using an Effect, however we will be using this control in a later post to create a MaterialDatePicker to fit the Material Design standards for form inputs, so we will create custom renderers for Android, iOS, and UWP.

You can find this code as part of my library in progress to create Material Design Form controls for Xamarin.Forms – https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls.

Let’s get started with our custom control by first creating a custom subclass of Xamarin.Forms.DatePicker followed by a custom renderer class for iOS, Android, and UWP that kills the border.

BorderlessDatePicker.cs

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms
{
    public class BorderlessDatePicker : DatePicker
    {
    }
}

Nothing special here since we are using the default behavior of the DatePicker.

Android

Now let’s create an Android custom renderer.

BorderlessDatePickerRenderer.cs – Android

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessDatePicker), typeof(BorderlessDatePickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.Android.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessDatePickerRenderer : DatePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<DatePicker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
            if (e.OldElement == null)
            {
                Control.Background = null;

                var layoutParams = new MarginLayoutParams(Control.LayoutParameters);
                layoutParams.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
                LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
                SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
            }
        }
    }
}

We simple kill the default padding and margins while setting the Background property to null. This Background is what creates the drawable underline for the AppCompat DatePicker.

iOS

Follow with an iOS renderer.

BorderlessDatePickerRenderer.cs – iOS

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessDatePicker), typeof(BorderlessDatePickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.iOS.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessDatePickerRenderer : DatePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);

            Control.Layer.BorderWidth = 0;
            Control.BorderStyle = UITextBorderStyle.None;
        }
    }
}

All we do here is set the BorderWidth to 0 and the BorderStyle to UITextBorderStyle.None.

UWP

Lastly a renderer for UWP

BorderlessDatePickerRenderer.cs – UWP


[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessDatePicker), typeof(BorderlessDatePickerRenderer))]

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.UWP.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessDatePickerRenderer : DatePickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<DatePicker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);

            if (Control != null)
            {
                Control.BorderThickness = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Margin = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Padding = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
            }
        }
    }
}

Similar to how we did it on Android, we set both the Margin and Padding to 0 and also set the BorderThickness to a 0’d Thickness.

Using the BorderlessDatePicker

Now you can use the BorderlessDatePicker in your XAML or C# code:

MainPage.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:ExampleMaterialApp"
             xmlns:suave="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialForms;assembly=SuaveControls.MaterialForms"
             x:Class="ExampleMaterialApp.MainPage">

    <ScrollView>
        <StackLayout Spacing="16" Margin="16">
            <Label Text="Borderless DatePicker!" Margin="32" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center"/>
            <suave:BorderlessDatePicker/>

        </StackLayout>
    </ScrollView>

</ContentPage>

Check out those results on iOS:

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Borderless Picker

I previously put out a post on removing the border of a Xamarin.Forms Entry which was then used to create a custom PinView as well as a MaterialEntry that follows the material design standards for text fields. Check those out here:

In this post, we’ll apply some of the same principles to create a BorderlessPicker. It’s going to use a simple custom renderer, although this could and should be done using an Effect if being used on its own. However, this BorderlessPicker will be the foundation for future controls we will create such as the MaterialPicker that applies Material Design standards to the Xamarin.Forms Picker control on Android, iOS, and UWP.

You can find this code as part of my library in progress to create Material Design Form controls for Xamarin.Forms – https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls.

Let’s get started with our custom control by first creating a custom subclass of Xamarin.Forms.Picker followed by a custom renderer class for iOS, Android, and UWP that kills the border.

BorderlessPicker.cs

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms
{
    public class BorderlessPicker : Picker
    {
    }
}

Nothing special here since we are using the default behavior of the Picker.

Android

Now let’s create an Android custom renderer.

BorderlessPickerRenderer.cs – Android

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessPicker), typeof(BorderlessPickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.Android.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessPickerRenderer : PickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Picker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
            if (e.OldElement == null)
            {
                Control.Background = null;

                var layoutParams = new MarginLayoutParams(Control.LayoutParameters);
                layoutParams.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
                LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
                SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
            }
        }
    }
}

We simple kill the default padding and margins while setting the Background property to null. This Background is what creates the drawable underline for the AppCompat Picker.

iOS

Follow with an iOS renderer.

BorderlessPickerRenderer.cs – iOS

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessPicker), typeof(BorderlessPickerRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.iOS.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessPickerRenderer : PickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);

            Control.Layer.BorderWidth = 0;
            Control.BorderStyle = UITextBorderStyle.None;
        }
    }
}

All we do here is set the BorderWidth to 0 and the BorderStyle to UITextBorderStyle.None.

UWP

Lastly a renderer for UWP

BorderlessPickerRenderer.cs – UWP


[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessPicker), typeof(BorderlessPickerRenderer))]

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.UWP.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessPickerRenderer : PickerRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Picker> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);

            if (Control != null)
            {
                Control.BorderThickness = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Margin = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Padding = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
            }
        }
    }
}

Similar to how we did it on Android, we set both the Margin and Padding to 0 and also set the BorderThickness to a 0’d Thickness.

Using the BorderlessPicker

Now you can use the BorderlessPicker in your XAML or C# code:

MainPage.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:ExampleMaterialApp"
             xmlns:suave="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialForms;assembly=SuaveControls.MaterialForms"
             x:Class="ExampleMaterialApp.MainPage">

    <ScrollView>
        <StackLayout Spacing="16" Margin="16">
            <Label Text="Borderless Picker!" Margin="32" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center"/>
            <suave:BorderlessPicker x:Name="PickerDemo" Title="Options"/>

        </StackLayout>
    </ScrollView>

</ContentPage>

MainPage.xaml.cs

    public partial class MainPage : ContentPage
    {
        public MainPage()
        {
            InitializeComponent();

            PickerDemo.ItemsSource = new List<string>
            {
                "Option 1",
                "Option 2",
                "Option 3",
                "Option 4"
            };
        }
    }

Check out those results on iOS:

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Control – Xamarin.Forms MaterialEntry

Back by popular demand, bringing more Material Design controls to you Xamarin.Forms app! This time we will look at implementing the standards in Material Design’s text fields by building a MaterialEntry control. You can find the source code and example app here: https://github.com/SuavePirate/MaterialEntry but you can build your own by following this post.

Let’s build our Xamarin.Forms control to work the same on not only Android where Material Design is baked in, but also to run on iOS AND UWP. In the end, we should be able to use our floating label, set an accent color that expands on the label and underline when focused while being able to bind these properties through MVVM.

Simulator Screen Shot Jul 14, 2017, 3.42.03 PM

The first thing we need to do is create a BorderlessEntry that removes the border from our entry on all 3 platforms. I’ve done this in a previous blog post here: Xamarin.Forms Borderless Entry, so we won’t be implementing it here. This code is also in the GitHub link above.

With our BorderlessEntry we can now create our custom control WITHOUT ANY MORE CUSTOM RENDERERS!

Let’s set up the layout structure in our XAML file, and then wire up the animation logic in our code behind.

MaterialEntry.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<ContentView xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"               xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"              xmlns:local="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialEntry"              x:Class="SuaveControls.MaterialEntry.MaterialEntry">
  <ContentView.Content>
        <Grid ColumnSpacing="16" Margin="0,8">
            <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                <RowDefinition Height="1"/>
            </Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <Label x:Name="HiddenLabel" FontSize="10" IsVisible="False" Margin="0"/>
            <local:BorderlessEntry x:Name="EntryField" Text="{Binding Text, Mode=TwoWay}" Margin="0,12,0,0"/>
            <BoxView x:Name="BottomBorder" BackgroundColor="Gray"  Grid.Row="1" HeightRequest="1" Margin="0" HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand"/>
            <BoxView x:Name="HiddenBottomBorder" BackgroundColor="Gray" Grid.Row="1" HeightRequest="1" Margin="0" WidthRequest="0" HorizontalOptions="Center"/>
        </Grid>
    </ContentView.Content>
</ContentView>

We set up our BorderlessEntry that will act as our formal point for entering text. We also add a label that is initially hidden and laid out on top of the BorderlessEntry. This is the label we will be using to animate the floating action that Material Design uses based while we fade out the placeholder text. The last bit is two BoxViews that act as the bottom line below the Entry. One is the unfocused which has a standard gray color, while the other has a width of 0 and will have a background color of our selected AccentColor. This will have an animated width expansion when the BorderlessEntry is focused.

Now let’s look at the animation and bindings in the code behind:

MaterialEntry.xaml.cs

public partial class MaterialEntry : ContentView
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        public static BindableProperty TextProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(Text), typeof(string), typeof(MaterialEntry), defaultBindingMode: BindingMode.TwoWay);
        public static BindableProperty PlaceholderProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(Placeholder), typeof(string), typeof(MaterialEntry), defaultBindingMode: BindingMode.TwoWay, propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newval) =>
        {
            var matEntry = (MaterialEntry)bindable;
            matEntry.EntryField.Placeholder = (string)newval;
            matEntry.HiddenLabel.Text = (string)newval;
        });

        public static BindableProperty IsPasswordProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(IsPassword), typeof(bool), typeof(MaterialEntry), defaultValue: false, propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>
        {
            var matEntry = (MaterialEntry)bindable;
            matEntry.EntryField.IsPassword = (bool)newVal;
        });
        public static BindableProperty KeyboardProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(Keyboard), typeof(Keyboard), typeof(MaterialEntry), defaultValue: Keyboard.Default, propertyChanged: (bindable, oldVal, newVal) =>
        {
            var matEntry = (MaterialEntry)bindable;
            matEntry.EntryField.Keyboard = (Keyboard)newVal;
        });
        public static BindableProperty AccentColorProperty = BindableProperty.Create(nameof(AccentColor), typeof(Color), typeof(MaterialEntry), defaultValue: Color.Accent);
        public Color AccentColor
        {
            get
            {
                return (Color)GetValue(AccentColorProperty);
            }
            set
            {
                SetValue(AccentColorProperty, value);
            }
        }
        public Keyboard Keyboard
        {
            get
            {
                return (Keyboard)GetValue(KeyboardProperty);
            }
            set
            {
                SetValue(KeyboardProperty, value);
            }
        }

        public bool IsPassword
        {
            get
            {
                return (bool)GetValue(IsPasswordProperty);
            }
            set
            {
                SetValue(IsPasswordProperty, value);
            }
        }

        public string Text
        {
            get
            {
                return (string)GetValue(TextProperty);
            }
            set
            {
                SetValue(TextProperty, value);
            }
        }
        public string Placeholder
        {
            get
            {
                return (string)GetValue(PlaceholderProperty);
            }
            set
            {
                SetValue(PlaceholderProperty, value);
            }
        }
        public MaterialEntry()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
            EntryField.BindingContext = this;
            EntryField.Focused += async (s, a) =>
            {
                HiddenBottomBorder.BackgroundColor = AccentColor;
                HiddenLabel.TextColor = AccentColor;
                HiddenLabel.IsVisible = true;
                if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(EntryField.Text))
                {
                    // animate both at the same time
                    await Task.WhenAll(
                        HiddenBottomBorder.LayoutTo(new Rectangle(BottomBorder.X, BottomBorder.Y, BottomBorder.Width, BottomBorder.Height), 200),
                        HiddenLabel.FadeTo(1, 60),
                        HiddenLabel.TranslateTo(HiddenLabel.TranslationX, EntryField.Y - EntryField.Height + 4, 200, Easing.BounceIn)
                     );
                    EntryField.Placeholder = null;
                }
                else
                {
                    await HiddenBottomBorder.LayoutTo(new Rectangle(BottomBorder.X, BottomBorder.Y, BottomBorder.Width, BottomBorder.Height), 200);
                }
            };
            EntryField.Unfocused += async (s, a) =>
            {
                HiddenLabel.TextColor = Color.Gray;
                if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(EntryField.Text))
                {
                    // animate both at the same time
                    await Task.WhenAll(
                        HiddenBottomBorder.LayoutTo(new Rectangle(BottomBorder.X, BottomBorder.Y, 0, BottomBorder.Height), 200),
                        HiddenLabel.FadeTo(0, 180),
                        HiddenLabel.TranslateTo(HiddenLabel.TranslationX, EntryField.Y, 200, Easing.BounceIn)
                     );
                    EntryField.Placeholder = Placeholder;
                }
                else
                {
                    await HiddenBottomBorder.LayoutTo(new Rectangle(BottomBorder.X, BottomBorder.Y, 0, BottomBorder.Height), 200);
                }
            };
        }
    }

We first set up the BindableProperties and public properties to enable the binding of the AccentColor, Text, Placeholder, and Keyboard. These BindableProperties also handle their own PropertyChanged events to update the view elements dynamically.

After that, we handle our constructor and wire up our Focused and Unfocused events on our BorderlessEntry. In the Focused event, we set the colors of the hidden bar, and the floating label to the accent color. We then start the animations of expanding the hidden bar, and the fade in and float up of the floating label.

On the Unfocused event, we do the inverse of setting the floating label color back to the unfocused color, check if there is text, if there is not – float the label back down, and then animate the collapse of the colored bar.

With all these things together, we get a nicely animated text field that has a floating label and expanding bottom bar with a given accent color!

ios_Material_Entry2

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tips – MVVM Light Set Expressions Explained

I recently published a post about creating some Visual Studio code snippets for shorcutting the overhead of writing bindable properties and commands with MvvmLight. Xamarin.Tips – Visual Studio Code Templates/Snippets for MVVM Light

This post sparked some people who may or may not have used  Mvvm Light in the past to ask me about how it works underneath, and specifically the Set call made. For example:

private string _myText;

public string MyText
{
    get
    {
        return _myText;
    }
    set
    {
        // This is where the questions are.
        Set(() => MyText, ref _myText, value);
    }
}

I figured I would make another post to dissect this and explain what it is and how it is used!


First off, why are we doing this at all? What does this really do for us?

We use MvvmLight in order to create two-way or one-way bindings to our views whether that is in WPF, UWP, or Xamarin.Forms. The way these bindings are handled is by implementing INotifyPropertyChanged. When we implement INotifyPropertyChanged, we create a public event called PropertyChanged. PropertyChanged takes a custom EventArgs that includes the name of the property that was changed as a string. You would invoke that like this:

PropertyChanged?.Invoke(new PropertyChangedEventArgs("MyText"));

We can then have an event handler attached to this:

myViewModel.PropertyChanged += (sender, args) =>
{
    Console.WriteLine(args.PropertyName); // "MyText"
};

However, platforms such as WPF, UWP, and Xamarin give us the ability to use XAML to create these bindings like this (in Xamarin.Forms):

<Label Text="{Binding MyText}"/>

Setting bindings like this creates event handlers in the background if the BindingContext (or DataContext if you’re in UWP/WPF) implements INotifyPropertyChanged.

So now we can create auto-updating views with our bindings and calling PropertyChanged, but that’s a pain to do for every single property. That’s where libraries like MvvmLight come into play. They help handle a lot of the manual calls and ugly code. So now let’s look at what MvvmLight is really doing under the covers.

First, we need to look at the ViewModelBase class that MvvmLight ships and that contains the Set method we are talking about. ViewModelBase inherits from ObservableObject (another class MvvmLight), and ObservableObject is what is implementing INotifyPropertyChanged! We found it!

So how are ViewModelBase.Set and ObservableObject.Set making their way to calling PropertyChanged?

Let’s dissect the three parameters for the Set method used in the templates I created:

Set(() => MyText, ref _myText, value);
  1. The first is of type Expression<Func>. It is an expression that is returning the property that is calling it? This is where the fun stuff is really happening, so more on that later.
  2. The second is the underlying field that needs to be updated, passed in as a reference type rather than by value.
  3. The third is the new value that it is being set to.

The last two seem to make sense right away: what field are we updating, and what is the value we are setting it to? We need to pass the field in as a ref so that when we update it, it updates in the original model that passed it in rather than simply passing the value of the field into the method.

So what is that Expression?

The only thing left in order to call PropertyChanged is the name of the property being updated, so that must be what the property expression is for. Without decompiling the MvvmLight dlls and looking at the source code, we can infer how we might be able to pull the property name out of that Expression.

First, we need to get the Body of the Expression as a System.Linq.Expression.MemberExpression. The MemberExpression has a Member property which we can then pull property info from. We can cast that Member as a System.Reflection.PropertyInfo, and with that PropertyInfo, we can take the name of the property.

Expression<Func<string>> myTextExpression = () => MyText;
var body = myTextExpression.Body as MemberExpression;
var member = body.Member as PropertyInfo;
var finalPropertyName = member.Name; // we have it!

Then the final step is to finally invoke PropertyChanged with that property name.

I do also want to point out that although I use this particular Set method from MvvmLight, the ObservableObject and ViewModelBase do come with multiple overloads of Set that might work better for your preferred practices. For example, you can call Set without the property expression, and just pass the name of the property in directly. For example:

private string _myText;

public string MyText
{
    get
    {
        return _myText;
    }
    set
    {
        Set("MyText", ref _myText, value); 
    }
}

OR to be even more optimized, you can use nameof to get the name of the property without having to have string-literals floating around in your code:

private string _myText;

public string MyText
{
    get
    {
        return _myText;
    }
    set
    {
        Set(nameof(MyText), ref _myText, value); 
    }
}

Here are all the overloads available to use:

ViewModelBase.cs

protected bool Set<T>(Expression<Func<T>> propertyExpression, ref T field, T newValue, bool broadcast);
protected bool Set<T>(string propertyName, ref T field, T newValue = default(T), bool broadcast = false);
protected bool Set<T>(ref T field, T newValue = default(T), bool broadcast = false, [CallerMemberName] string propertyName = null);

ObservableObject.cs

// THIS IS THE ONE WE WERE USING
protected bool Set<T>(Expression<Func<T>> propertyExpression, ref T field, T newValue);
protected bool Set<T>(string propertyName, ref T field, T newValue);
protected bool Set<T>(ref T field, T newValue, [CallerMemberName] string propertyName = null);

If you happen to have any other questions about how this works, or about breaking down Expressions like we did, feel free to drop a comment on this post, or mention me on Twitter @Suave_Pirate.



And as always:



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Xamarin.Tips – Sending Authorized SignalR Requests

In my last post, I talked about creating a CookieProvider for handling OAuth Bearer Tokens from an HTTP Cookie. Now that we have this capability, we can make a secure connection to SignalR using a Cookie store rather than adding our tokens to the Authorization HTTP Header.

By using cookies instead of the HTTP Header, we can now use a full Websocket connection rather than being forced into long polling. Using websockets increases speed of messages received and messages sent.

So here’s the quick bit of code for making a secure SignalR Websocket connection:

SignalRConnectionService.cs

    public class SignalRConnectionService
    {
        private HubConnection _connection;
        public IHubProxy AppHubProxy { get; set; }

        public SignalRConnectionService()
        {
            _connection = new HubConnection(YOUR_SIGNALR_URL);
            AppHubProxy = _connection.CreateHubProxy("AppHub");
        }

        public async Task StartAsync()
        {
            try
            {
                if(_connection.State != ConnectionState.Disconnected)
                {
                    _connection.Stop();
                }
                _connection.CookieContainer = new CookieContainer();
                _connection.CookieContainer.Add(new Uri(THE_BASE_URL_OF_YOUR_SERVER), new Cookie("BearerToken", YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN));
                await _connection.Start();
               
        }
        public void Stop()
        {
            _connection.Stop();
        }
    }

Now we have the full speed of websockets enabled in our Xamarin, Mac, and Windows applications!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!