The Actipro Blog Has Moved

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 8:28pm

We rolled out our brand new modern company website a couple weeks ago, and the response has been fantastic.  As part of that rollout, we also updated the appearance of our blog to match our main web site.

The new blog theme

Our blog was previously hosted using a third-party web app (the classic BlogEngine.NET) on a separate blog.actiprosoftware.com sub-domain.  While that web app has served us well, it was time to move on.

One thing we've wanted to do for a long time was eliminate the use of a third-party web app for the blog, and merge the blog right into our main company website.  I'm pleased to announce that today we’ve accomplished that goal. 

New Blog URL

Please update your bookmarks appropriately since the blog is now fully integrated into our company website and is found at this new URL:

https://www.actiprosoftware.com/blog

Benefits

The primary benefit of this change is that it’s now easier than ever for you to comment on blog posts.  Simply sign into your normal Actipro website user account and if you’ve performed the e-mail validation (you’ve already done this if you post in our discussion forums), you’re ready to post in the blog comments.  It’s a very seamless experience.

Another benefit is that the new integrated blog uses the same powerful comment editing mechanism as our forums.  Comments used to be limited to plain text in the old blog.  The new blog comment editor fully supports rich formatting, code snippets, etc.

The New Actipro Software Website

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 3 comments
Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 9:00pm

A website is a very important piece of any business, as it often makes the first impression on customers and gives them a feel for your company and what products you offer.

At Actipro, we've worked for quite a while developing a brand new company website with a fresh, modern design that is built on the latest web technologies and performs very fast.

https://www.actiprosoftware.com

Without further ado, here's a peek at the new home page:

WebSite2019

Goals

Responsive Design

A main goal was to ensure the web site was fully-browsable on any device, everything from large desktop screens to tablets and phones.  A lot of thought has been put into the site's responsive design, so that it's beautiful on any device.

Vibrant Colors

We've fully embraced the use of numerous colors in our website's theme, that all blend together in harmony.

Subtle Animations

Websites shouldn't simply be static content.  The use of animations can breathe life into a page and keep the end user's interest.  You'll find that we use a number of quick, subtle animations throughout the website.

Simplifying Presentation (or Reducing TL;DR)

Simplifying our product presentation was another goal.  For product pages, we reduced the amount of verbiage and increased the number of screenshots.  We've worked hard to relay interesting facts about our products, while enticing you to take the next step and download free evaluations to learn more.

Easy Navigation

A website should be easy to navigate.  Large buttons guide you through where to go, page by page.  Or use links at the header and footer to navigate to other sections of the site.

Maximum Performance

We wanted the new website to render much quicker than in the past.  And we achieved that.  This new website is built on the latest ASP Core platform and is extremely fast.

Matching Blog Design

The blog should match the design of the main company website, so we've updated this separate blog site's appearance to match thematically.

Summary

Now that the new website is out, we invite you to have a look around.  Please contact us if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for improvement.  We'd love to hear your feedback!

SyntaxEditor vNext IntelliPrompt Updates

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 5:00pm

BlogPostBanner-SyntaxEditor-DevNotes

As mentioned in a previous post, we have been working on refactoring the core internal implementation of our SyntaxEditor code editor control on the WPF, UWP, and WinForms platforms.  This effort (codenamed vNext) is being made to bring all three platforms onto the same codebase for easier updating moving forward, and to enhance features wherever possible.

The past three weeks or so, we've been plugging along on refactoring a lot of the internals of SyntaxEditor's IntelliPrompt UI features so that the same codebase can be shared across the WPF, UWP, and WinForms platforms.

While the WPF and UWP version's APIs are pretty much staying the same (with a couple minor tweaks to completion filters), the WinForms version will see some massive new capabilities, especially with completion.

IntelliPrompt Features Summary Video

Let's dig in and see a visual summary of some amazing completion list features that will be available in the all three SyntaxEditor vNext platforms.  This video shows the WPF SyntaxEditor editing a Python document using our advanced Python Language Add-on.

2018-12-12_10-46-08

Toggle Button and Tab Completion Filter UI

The completion list allows for toggle button and tab filters to be added.  Toggle button filters allow you to check the kinds of items you wish to see in the completion list.  If nothing is toggled, then all results are displayed.  Tab filters let you select between two or more main options, with one being an "All" option.

While the current WPF and UWP versions already support toggle button and tab filter UI, this is a new feature for the WinForms version.  And in vNext, the toggle buttons work more like they do in Visual Studio 2017.

Filtering Unmatched Items

As you type, the completion list filters out items that don't match.  This is an option already available in the WPF/UWP versions, but is new for the WinForms version.

Matched Text Highlights

When typing text, the letters in each item that match will be highlighted in the list.  This feature makes it clear why an item is matched and is especially useful when not filtering unmatched items, or using some more advanced item matcher algorithms like acronym or shorthand.

This feature is already available in the WPF version, but is new for the UWP and WinForms versions.

Python Language Add-on

As described in this previous post, the Python Language Add-on is new for the WinForms version of SyntaxEditor.

We've also updated the IntelliPrompt completion in the add-on to dynamically show toggle button and tab filter UI based on the items that are present.  For instance, in the animation above when there were no classes available in the list, there was no "Classes" toggle button in the UI.

New Icons

As described in this previous post, the WPF and UWP Metro icons used in IntelliPrompt have been drawn from scratch as vector icons and will render crisp and clear on any high DPI monitor. 

The WinForms version is getting Metro icons as well, whereas they only had Classic icons before.

What's Next

We have IntelliPrompt completion, parameter info, and quick info completed for all three platforms.  Next is to knock out code snippet UI and then all IntelliPrompt features should be about done.

WinForms SyntaxEditor vNext Updates

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Friday, November 16, 2018 at 7:38pm

BlogPostBanner-SyntaxEditor-DevNotes

As mentioned in a previous post, we have been working on refactoring the core internal implementation of our SyntaxEditor code editor control on the WPF, UWP, and WinForms platforms.  This effort (codenamed vNext) is being made to bring all three platforms onto the same codebase for easier updating moving forward, and to enhance features wherever possible.

In today's post, I wanted to call out a couple of new WinForms SyntaxEditor vNext updates that are being made as part of unifying the codebase across all platforms.  These features were already available in the WPF and UWP versions.

Python Language Add-on

While we've had an advanced Python language add-on for the WPF and UWP versions of SyntaxEditor for a while, due to infrastructure differences, it was never available in WinForms. 

SyntaxEditorWinFormsPython

This is all changing in vNext.  The full add-on will be available, including automated IntelliPrompt as seen ion the WinForms SyntaxEditor screenshot above.

NavigableSymbolSelector Control

The WinForms version had a dropdown that sat above the editor and could be used for .NET language types and members.  The problem is that it was limited to the C# and VB languages only, since it shipped in the WinForms .NET Languages Add-on.

In vNext, we have a NavigableSymbolSelector control that can display one or two dropdowns.  And any language can be wired up to show symbols, not just C# and VB.  In the screenshot above, you can see Python showing the current function in it.

What's Next

We are currently working through porting IntelliPrompt feature areas to vNext.  Quick info and parameter info popups are completed.  Next, we will move onto completion lists.

SyntaxEditor vNext Vector and Metro Images

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, November 9, 2018 at 5:29pm

BlogPostBanner-SyntaxEditor-DevNotes

As mentioned in a previous post, we have been working on refactoring the core internal implementation of our SyntaxEditor code editor control on the WPF, UWP, and WinForms platforms.  This effort (codenamed vNext) is being made to bring all three platforms onto the same codebase for easier updating moving forward, and to enhance features wherever possible.

We've been plowing through remaining SyntaxEditor feature areas that need to be ported to our vNext codebase, and there are only a few left.  One that we just completed is updating images used in the product, which appear in IntelliPrompt popups and the NavigableSymbolSelector.

Vector Metro Images (WPF/UWP)

The WPF and UWP versions of SyntaxEditor have had Metro Light and Metro Dark image set options for quite a while now.  But they've always been raster (bitmap) graphics that don't appear crisp on high DPI monitors.  This is something we're addressing in vNext.

For vNext, all of the Metro images will be vector images.  They will look crisp and clear at 16x16 100% DPI, but will look just as good (if not better) when used on high DPI monitors.

Here's the images at 200%:

SyntaxEditorVectorImages

Metro Images for WinForms

The WinForms SyntaxEditor has only had the Classic image set in the past.  The Classic image set is similar to the full color gradient images found in earlier versions of Visual Studio.

In vNext, we're bringing the Metro Light and Metro Dark image sets as options to the WinForms SyntaxEditor, with the Metro Light set as the default.

What's Next

We are continuing to work through remaining feature areas that need porting to the vNext codebase.  The last big one to tackle is IntelliPrompt.  Some of the UI pieces involved in IntelliPrompt need to be updated a bit for compatibility between the three platforms.  Once we get that going, these new vector images will look amazing in the IntelliPrompt UI.