Our v2019.1 WPF and Universal Windows controls have been updated with new maintenance releases that are now ready for download. There were a number of minor enhancements and bug fixes made across various products.
See the announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:
The C# parser and resolver have been updated to support C# 7.3 syntax. Likewise, the VB parser and resolver have been updated to support VB 15.8 syntax. These enhancements allow SyntaxEditor's syntax checker and IntelliPrompt engine to work with recently-added C# and VB language features.
Triple-clicks now selects an entire view line. Dragging the pointer on the final click will extend the selection by view line.
Editor view searching and search result highlighting logic was improved, including offloading some pieces to worker tasks for better performance.
The search overlay pane's textbox now displays a red border when no match for the find text is located.
Object Name Sorting
The name sort logic for shell objects now uses a natural sorting algorithm, where digits in the names are considered as numerical content rather than text. This behavior matches Windows' own sorting logic.
PropertyGrid DataObject Clearing
We added a new section to the PropertyGrid documentation that talks about best practices for clearing the DataObject property when the PropertyGrid is no longer needed to prevent memory leaks. We improved some of our own internal logic in how we watch for property value changes to help prevent memory leaks regardless. A PropertyGrid.CanClearDataObjectOnUnload property was also added that can be set to true to automatically clear the DataObject property when the control is unloaded.
VS 2019 Designer Functionality (UWP)
The original 2019.1 version of the UWP Controls changed the minimum Windows 10 target version to the Fall Creators Update. This change indirectly triggered a different set of designer functionality APIs in VS 2019 that are breaking changes from the old ones. This new UWP Controls maintenance release updates our designer functionality to be based on the newer APIs.
We are pleased to announce the release of the 2019.1 version of our UWP Controls. This version includes the massive SyntaxEditor enhancements and updates we’ve been working on that have previously been described as “SyntaxEditor vNext” in the blog.
This announcement post contains the detailed list of updates in the 2019.1 version. Please be aware that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) or later and usage of the Microsoft's free 'Win2D.uwp' NuGet package are now required.
We also have published a maintenance release for the 2018.1 version. All of the updates are listed in this announcement post, and are included in the 2019.1 version codebase as well.
Let’s dig in and see a handful of the larger SyntaxEditor updates.
The internals of SyntaxEditor have been heavily refactored to support a cross-platform API across the WPF, UWP, and WinForms platforms. This allows SyntaxEditor features for the three platforms to be kept in sync moving forward. The 2019.1 WPF version of SyntaxEditor is already out and the WinForms version will follow later this year.
Text rendering is many times faster than in the previous versions, making an enormous leap forward in performance.
Text rendering now properly handles cultural editing concepts like complex glyphs, bi-directional text, etc.
Carets and Selection
Multiple selections, each with their own caret, are now supported. A new selection can be added by holding the Ctrl key when clicking in the text area or clicking on the selection or line number margins. Most edit actions have been refactored to fully support multiple selections. For instance, pressing Shift+Right Arrow will extend all of the selections by one character.
Copying text from multiple selections unions the selected text, joining each range's text with a line terminator. Pasting multi-line text into a view with the same number of selections as text lines being pasted will replace each selection with a related line from the pasted text.
Carets now support movement at both the start and end of word wrapped lines.
Virtual space is now supported at the end of lines when a new option is enabled. Block selections can be made in virtual space at the end of lines, even without line end virtual space being enabled. This prevents the caret from snapping to an offset when making a block selection, which can sometimes be problematic.
Text drag and drop support has been added, allowing text to be quickly moved around the editor.
Search Overlay Pane
A new search overlay pane displays over the upper-right of the active editor view when Ctrl+F (find mode) or Ctrl+H (replace mode) are pressed in a multi-line editor. A toggle mode button on the search overlay pane switches between find and replace modes, and all common search options are supported via toggle buttons and other controls. The search overlay pane can be closed by clicking the X button or by pressing Esc.
Ctrl+F3 will open the search overlay pane without focusing it, and will search forward for the currently-selected text. Ctrl+Shift+F3 will do the same but will search backwards.
F3 will search for the next match of the previously-used search options. Shift+F3 will search for the previous match of the previously-used search options.
If the SyntaxEditor.IsSearchResultHighlightingEnabled property is true, the search results can be highlighted while the search overlay pane is open. Closing the search overlay pane, clears the search result highlights.
The Metro Light and Metro Dark common image sets are now in vector form and render beautifully in high DPI.
Completion filters have been updated so when there are multiple active filters with the same ICompletionFilter.GroupName, any one of those filters can includes an item. Toggle button completion filters were changed to appear unchecked when they aren't active, which is more natural.
Ctrl Key Opacity Changes
The logic for making IntelliPrompt popups and the new search overlay pane semi-transparent when the Ctrl key is held has been refactored and improved. A brief delay was added before the opacity change occurs.
Splitting the editor to show two stacked views is now possible.
The view splitter can be dragged to the bottom of the view to remove the split and keep the top view.
Scrolling and Zooming
Smooth inertia-based touch scrolling has been added.
Auto ScrollBar Visibility
The horizontal and vertical scrollbars now support an Auto visibility option that will only display then when necessary.
Editor views can be scrolled horizontally with Shift+MouseWheel
Better logic was implemented for managing horizontal scroll maximums, especially when scrolling vertically.
The vertical scrollbar accelerates its scrolling speed the longer you hold the up or down button.
New programmatic scroll methods were added that allow for aligning an anchor line to the top/center/bottom of a view with a specified pixel displacement, or scrolling by pixels.
Line Number Customization
A new line number provider language service was added that allows for complete customization of how line numbers are rendered in the line number margin. In addition, a property was added to the document that sets the line number for the first line in the document, defaulting to one.
A new optional ruler margin has been added.
The rendering of built-in indicator glyphs was improved.
The TextStylePreview control has been added that renders a highlighting style.
.NET Languages Add-on
IntelliPrompt completion list toggle button filters were added for the various kinds of items displayed in the list. The IntelliPrompt completion filter UI (toggle buttons and tabs) only shows based on the available items in the unfiltered list. For instance, if there are no types in the list, no 'Types' toggle button filter is visible.
Python Language Add-on
IntelliPrompt completion list toggle button filters were added for the various kinds of items displayed in the list. The IntelliPrompt completion filter UI (toggle buttons and tabs) only shows based on the available items in the unfiltered list. For instance, if there are no classes in the list, no 'Classes' toggle button filter is visible.
Web Languages Add-on
Full XML schema support, including validation and automated IntelliPrompt, has been added to the XML syntax language.
As the massive SyntaxEditor vNext project heads towards completion, we are now asking for beta testers to work with preview builds of what’s coming.
Beta testers will get an early look at all the new features, and can give us valuable feedback to influence any necessary development and/or bug fixes prior to a final release.
The WPF version is closest to ready for a beta. We still have a bit more work to accomplish before the first WPF beta is ready for testing, but it could be a week or two away at this point.
The UWP version will follow the WPF version, once the WPF beta is tested for some time. A benefit of SyntaxEditor vNext using the same codebase across WPF, UWP, and WinForms is that any changes/fixes made to one platform can easily flow into the others as well.
Finally the WinForms version will enter beta after the other two are out and both being tested, and after the documentation updates for the WPF/UWP versions has been completed.
We will continue posting status updates in our blog.
We are looking for beta testers who:
Will actively use supplied preview builds to help ensure the beta is stable.
Will report suggestions for improvement of new features.
Will report any bugs that are encountered.
Ideally is signed up in our Slack workspace, as it’s easiest to communicate through that during testing phases.
Please contact our support team privately via a ticket to sign up for beta testing:
Another feature we're looking to add to SyntaxEditor vNext (the 2019.1 version) is editor view panes, which are small UI panes with editor-related functionality that slide in from the view's top-right corner. We originally started this effort with the idea of adding an inline search view similar to the one found in Visual Studio.
Here's a walkthrough showing how it works when you press Ctrl+F:
We will cover this new inline search view in detail in a future post, as it's still being developed at this time. But you can get a feel for how it will function via the video above.
As we worked on this feature, we thought it would be a great idea to try and make more of a generic mechanism to host these kinds of editor view panes. Other editor view panes could be added for go-to line, go-to anything, refactoring, etc. kinds of user interfaces.
Submit Your Feedback
We're just in the planning stages of this more generic editor view pane mechanism right now and would love to get your feedback.
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments on what kinds of built-in panes you might like to see, or what kinds of custom panes you might build with this mechanism!