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Tool to convert from XAML to Code

March 15, 2007

[update 6/10/2007: I’ve posted a version of this Xaml to Code tool on  Select sample.xaml from the right side of the home page of the application and choose open.]

This has been a frequent request…

Today, I saw a WPF forum post asking again, so I started building this.  I’m building it on top of some classes that help store information about types, properties, etc…

If you don’t see anything in 1-2 weeks, please ping me with a comment on this post.


[Update: 3/16]

Here is a picture of how it looks now:

(as you may be able to see by the code, i have the basics going…)


Next steps:

  • Treating properties of type double appropriately
  • TypeConverters (don’t call them from code…figure out the associated code…)
  • Property Elements
  • Markup Extensions
  • More?

From → XAML (non-UI)

  1. Jerryn permalink

    My question is this: Why? Other than for learning purposes, what could possibly be the point?

  2. Rob permalink

    I also want to understand when people want this.
    i can think of a few reasons:
    1) i know how to do it in markup, but I haven\’t figured out how to do it in code.
    2) i want to better obfuscate some functionaity…IL has better obfuscation than baml.
    3) i am the wpf team and i want to continue to test the perf of baml and continue to make sure it compares with code.
    4) more?

  3. Chris Russi permalink

    This raises a question that has been in my mind since I started learning WPF.  Are there situations where XAML markup is better (i.e. more efficient) than code (or vice versa)?  I understand that there are some things that can only be done in code or only done in markup.  But, when something can be done in both; what is the preferred method, markup or code?  I understand that "more efficient" is somewhat vague.  What I mean is "anything" that makes it better (i.e. renders faster, easier to maintain, easier to modify, easier to automate).

  4. Rob permalink

    A long time ago, the markup compiler used to be able to generate code instead of baml.  We cut that feature since at the time BAML was nearly as fast.  Since then, we have been able to optimize BAML even more.
    However, I don\’t thnk we did a great job of continuing to test that we continued to be faster than straight code.  We are writing this code generator again to test against baml and make sure we find any perf optimizations that we can to.
    So, in short, we believe baml to be faster than code…but we\’ll be measuring more scientifically soon.
    Markup, in general, is what visual designers target, and how many formats (2d, 3d) get imported into WPF artifacts.  I lean towards markup unless code is better for some reason…  (but being focused on xaml, i am probably not the most objective person here…)  I\’d love to hear what others think.
    Thx, Rob

  5. Rob permalink

    This is on hold for a bit.  Good progress but not shippable or previewable yet…Likely won\’t be for months…Will pick it back up at some point…

  6. Douglas permalink

    Hi Rob,
    Here at iBloks we have a very skillled designer doing Storyboards for us in Expressions.  We have code which applies some of these 2D effects to 3D via visual brushes.  As such I need to manually transcode Xaml -> C#.  At the end of the day I have to understand the concept his code is attempting and then make the translation.  I think that your tool would be immensely helpful.  How can I get a copy of your .exe in it\’s current form?
    From a learning perspective,I\’ve always wanted a tool like this to allow me to prototype C# code. 

  7. Rob permalink

    Glad it will be helpful to you.
    I\’m hoping to release this externally in the next 1-3 weeks…
    Ping me via email or more comments if that doesn\’t happen.

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  19. andrew permalink

    Any chance you have this available anymore? I was looking for a tool like this and would be very interested. Thanks!

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