C#, Root, UI, Windows 8, WinRT

Localizing Enums (in a ComboBox)

Enums have many useful applications and are often used in CoboBoxes to let the user select things. In the code behind the enum values are often defined using more or less cryptic text, because neither spaces, special characters, or leading numbers can be used in enum values (for good reasons!). Therefor it is necessary to change the text to something more understandable (language-localized in some cases). One way to achieve this is to create the ComboBox items manually, but it’s much more comfortable to fill the ComboBox items directly with the enum values, because you can get/set the SelectedItem without converting it back and forth from/to the enum value. You can’t override the .ToString() method of the Enum type, so we have to come up with another solution. Just like any other control, the ComboBox uses a Template to create its items. We will replace the default template with one…

C#, UI, Windows 8, WinRT

Keyboard Dismissing ComboBox

In the last few days I came across a design issue with the touch keyboard on Windows 8. The keyboard dismissal logic (documented here) defines a list of controls which do not cause the keyboard to dismiss when they get focused. The purpose is to prevent the keyboard from opening and closing all the time when the user fills out a form and is likely to switch between keyboard-editable controls such as TextBox and other controls like AppBar, Checkbox, RadioButtons the ComboBox and some more. While that works fine with the other controls, ComboBox expands when interacted with and might get covered by the touch keyboard. And unfortunately you can’t change that behavior, or manually dismiss a deployed touch keyboard. (The user is in complete control over the keyboard.) While on the MSDN forums it was suggested to alter the layout such that the ComboBox is less likely to collide with the…