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UWP Community Toolkit Catches Up to Fall Creators Update SDK

With the help of volunteer coders, Microsoft shipped UWP Community Toolkit 2.1, adding features that more closely align the open source app-building kit with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK.

The toolkit includes helper functions, custom controls and services designed to simplify and demonstrate common developer tasks for building Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for Windows 10. While primarily used to create desktop apps, it can also be used to code apps for mobile, Xbox One, HoloLens, Internet of Things (IoT) and Surface Hub devices.

"Thanks to the continued support and help of the community, all packages have been updated to target the Fall Creators Update, several controls, helpers, and extensions have been added or updated, and the documentation and design time experience have been greatly improved," Microsoft announced last week.

Microsoft tweaked the toolkit to ease the smooth transition from the kit's existing controls to the new controls included in the recently launched Fall Creators Update. For example, new properties were added to the HamburgeMenu and SlidableListItem controls to enable them to leverage the NavigationView and SwipeControl, respectively, when apps run on the Fall Creators Update.

As far as completely new features, a DockPanel control was introduced to let developers easily dock elements to the left, right, top, bottom or center.

Other improvements include:

  • Improved design time experience: The kit now has designer support for controls, including toolbox integration and improved design time experience via the placement of properties in the proper category in the properties grid with hover tooltip.
  • New SystemInformation properties: The kit's SystemInformation class has new properties and methods to ease tasks such as providing first-run (or related) experiences and collecting richer analytics. The class provides info such as marking the first use of an app, whether or not it was updated, launch time, launch count, app uptime and more.
  • New HeaderedContentControl and HeaderedItemsControl controls: These allow developers to easily display content with a header that can be templated.
  • Connected and Implicit Animation in XAML: Two new sets of XAML attached properties enable working with composition animations directly within XAML

All of these changes and more are detailed in the release notes.

The source code for the toolkit is available on GitHub, where links are also provided for a sample app available in the store, documentation and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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