Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shortcomings of the WPFToolkit DatePicker - Part 1

Anytime i develop and application using WPF, i can't help but wish i was doing it in Silverlight instead. The Silverlight Toolkit has been given way more love than the WPF Toolkit in terms of coming out with new and sexy looking controls. Despite the transparent differences in toolkits, they both had a DatePicker that left me wanting more.

The application i had wanted to use this DatePicker for needed to have all input controls optimized for speedy entry. Our employees however have come from using different kinds of programs developed by different programmers. Some developers made use of masking, some made things very key friendly, some made it mouse friendly, and some...made the user hate him by doing nothing.

So with the end user coming many different ease of entry backgrounds, i needed a DatePicker that has EVERYTHING

The first thing i had hoped to find, was textbox masking on the entry of the date so that it would hold the proper __/__/____ format and not allow excessive numbers to extend the text. Although errors were handled when the DatePicker was treated like this, it still allowed extra entries, and even letters to be entered into the DatePicker. The Calendar/DatePicker control from Telerik in their RadControls had the same drawbacks. I also didn't find what i was looking for in the DateTimePicker in the AvalonControlLibrary.

The second thing i was hoping to find, was smart increments and decrements made by the Up and Down arrow keys. The last thing, related to my last wish, are small "Arrow" buttons near the calendar button to allow for quick date increments for each of the 3 sections just by a mouseclick if you happened to select the wrong year or something. None of the above mentioned developers/groups had these feature either.

So now what?

Since i couldn't benefit from someone else's work, i decided that i would allow others to benefit from mine! Stay tuned for Part 2!

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for your disgust for my lack of knowledge with Best Coding Practices
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