XForms custom controls, using XAML and Silverlight

30 May 2007

[![Silverlight clock as a custom control in XForms/formsPlayer](http://farm1.s tatic.flickr.com/192/521945943_0900de30cb_t.jpg)](http://www.flickr.com/photos /mark-birbeck/521945943/)

The title of this post may sound like an attempt to squeeze as many buzzwords as possible into one line, but I'm genuinely excited by all of the technologies mentioned. Everyone knows that Microsoft's commitment to standards such as HTML and XForms is legendarily lacking, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the quaintly kludgy XAML. But that said, there are some very interesting ideas in the language structure itself, and it's clear that they have done a very impressive job with Silverlight.

So whilst we're certainly not planning to water down our belief here at formsPlayer that standards are (usually) a good thing, we've never seen anything wrong with a pragmatic approach that uses whatever language gets the job done. Having said that, if it's possible to encapsulate non-standard languages like XAML--or even UI-specific languages like SVG--then we will always try to do that.

Which is why we've created a new section on custom controls, and added two new tutorials. The first shows how easily custom controls can be built with XAML and Silverlight, whilst still maintaining a clean separation between the forms that use the controls, and the controls themselves. A second tutorial shows how to create a simple map control, which inherits from an image control.

Using custom controls to more clearly represent different types of data is an important part of our approach to XForms, but at the same time it's important for us to ensure that exciting new technologies such as Silverlight can be used with XForms and formsPlayer. These tutorials make a start, and they'll be followed by a lot of other custom control work in the coming months.