Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta
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by Scott Guthrie
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WPF Data Improvements

.NET 3.5 SP1 includes several data binding and editing improvements to WPF.  These include:

·         StringFormat support within {{ Binding }} expressions to enable easy formatting of bound values

·         New alternating rows support within controls derived from ItemsControl, which makes it easier to set alternating properties on rows (for example: alternating background colors)

·         Better handling and conversion support for null values in editable controls

·         Item-level validation that applies validation rules to an entire bound item

·         MultiSelector support to handle multi-selection and bulk editing scenarios

·         IEditableCollectionView support to interface data controls to data sources and enable editing/adding/removing items in a transactional way

Performance improvements when binding to IEnumerable data sources

WPF also now exposes hooks that enable developers to write custom panels w/ virtualized scrolling.  We'll be using this support together with the above data binding improvements to build the new WPF datagrid that will be shipping later this year.

WPF Extensible Shader Effects

.NET 3.5 SP1 adds support in WPF for a new shader effects architecture and API that allows extremely expressive visual effects to be created and applied to any control or element within WPF.  These shader effects support blending multiple input compositions together.  What makes them particularly powerful is that WPF executes effects (including custom effects you build yourself) using the GPU - giving you fully hardware accelerated graphics performance.  Like almost everything in WPF, you can also use WPF databinding and animation on the properties of an effect (allowing them to be fully integrated into an experience).

Applying an effect onto a Control is super easy - just set a Control's "Effect" property.  For example, to add a hardware accelerated drop-shadow effect on a button you can use the built-in <DropShadowEffect> on it via either code or XAML:

Figure 7

Which will cause the button to render like so:

Figure 8

Because Effects are extensible, developers can create their own custom Effect objects and apply them.  For example, a custom "DirectionalBlurEffect" could be created and added to a ListBox control to change its scroll appearance to use a blur effect if you rapidly scroll across it:

Figure 9

Keep an eye on Greg Schechter's blog to learn more about how the Effects architecture works and to learn how you can both create and apply new effects within your applications (his first set of posts are here). 

Note: In addition to introducing the new Shader Effects API, WPF in SP1 also has updated the existing Blur and DropShadow Bitmap effects already in WPF to be hardware accelerated.

WPF Interoperability with Direct3D

.NET 3.5 SP1 adds support to efficiently integrate Direct3D directly into WPF.  This gives you more direct access to the hardware and to take full advantage of the Direct3D API within WPF applications.  You will be able to treat Direct3D content just like an image within an application, as well as use Direct3D content as textures on WPF controls. 

For example, below are three samples from the Direct3D SDK:

Figure 10

We could either load them in as image surfaces within a WPF application, or map them

Figure 11

Note: the Direct3D integration isn't today's SP1 beta release.  It will appear in the final SP1 release.

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User Comments

Title: Not seeing Classic ASP Intellisense   
Name: Dave Neely
Date: 2008-09-18 10:18:26 AM
I'm not seeing the intellisense for classic asp even in .asp pages. Is there a setting or library that you have to reference for this to work?
Title: SP1 Classic ASP support not quite there   
Name: Dave Tigweld
Date: 2008-08-11 4:27:54 PM
Well now that the vs20008 sp1 rtm is out, I am having the same issue Tim mentions. Yes, I get my .asp color coding and intellisense back but only for .asp files. In VS 2005 all I had to do was to set the file assocition to web Editor for .inc file to make this work. Unfortunately this does not work in vs2008 sp1. What is the workaround?
Title: Visual Studio Support for Classic ASP Intellisense and Debugging   
Name: Tim
Date: 2008-07-11 6:49:16 AM
Great so as long as we use .ASP pages and put VBscript at the top of each page it works. Not particularly useful though if you have one asp page including lots of .inc files that has all the code that you change on a day to day basis. At least in 2005 the highlighting worked in the .inc files. Now its comlpetely useless.

Is there no way to say all ".inc" files are ASP/VBScript pages?

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