Last week we quietly rolled out an updated version of Kaxaml. It’s a “point” release which (wikipedia will tell you)means that it was more of a maintenance release than a feature release. Don’t let me undermine it’s significance, though. That bit of maintenance took us from targeting .NET 3.0/3.5 to targeting .NET 4.0. That’s a big deal because a lot of things get much better in the new .NET. The specific things I’m excited about are:
- You get access to a lot of new properties, including two that matter a bunch for folks creating high fidelity visuals in XAML: UseLayoutRounding (like SnapsToDevicePixels but more reliable) and TextOptions.TextHintingMode which lets you specify whether or not to rendering your text with hinting (a small property with big impact).
- We now support Silverlight 4 and that gives us a much (much, much) better parser. It’s way more stable. Kaxaml support in previous versions was essentially unusable due to constant crashes. In this version we’ve pushed the meter all the way to “usable.”
Unfortunately, a few big upgrades that I’m excited to see are still left undone. I’d really love for Kaxaml to be taking advantage of some really amazing XAML parser support in .NET 4 that would allow us to be smarter about intellsense and load external assemblies. I’d also like to clean up the plugin model. Right now it’s kind of a mess, and one that I’ve been making up as requirements emerged—not with a lot of vision. Finally, the UI could use a little sprucing up. For now, those improvements will need to wait.