XAF - Improved Image Library Integration, SVG support and other important changes (v18.2)

We’ve nearly completed full SVG support for WinForms 

With our upcoming release, XAF users will get access to a much larger icon set from the DevExpress Image Gallery and new SVG images for use with XAF’s WinForms UI. To replace the former PNG icon set with new SVG images in existing XAF WinForms apps, configure the following options before the XafApplication.Setup method call: DevExpress.ExpressApp.Utils.ImageLoader.Instance.UseSvgImages = True and WinApplication.UseOldTemplates = False. In the final release, WinApplication.UseLightStyle = True will also automatically enable new SVG images. To obtain the entire list of visual elements that support new vector images, read this knowledge base article.

This is an example of our MainDemo.Win with these options:


New Image Picker in the Model Editor

To browse all new and previously available images, XAF’s Model Editor ships with a new Image Picker (used for both SVG and PNG image selection):

Images from the DevExpress.ExpressApp.Images assembly are no longer used in XAF apps. We will retain this assembly for 1-2 release cycles for backward compatibility and then remove completely.

Other Important Changes

I invite you to join our private discussion forum (exclusively for Universal customers) to discuss this and other important changes in XAF v18.2. This forum also has several active discussions and polls on the new SPA UI, which you may find interesting as well.

Your feedback counts!

If you are an active DevExpress Universal subscriber and would like to test these features prior to its official release, please email our support team at support@devexpress.com or rather create a separate private ticket in the Support Center. With that, we can verify your account and provide you with a v18.2 preview installation privately.

If you are using a trial and want to use these features today, you can purchase a DevExpress Universal license online (this will give you access to early builds such as this CTP). If you own a non-Universal subscription and are ready to upgrade, email us at clientservices@devexpress.com for preferential upgrade pricing.

By providing early build access, we hope to find out whether our new features and solutions address your requirements and issues. Your testing efforts and your feedback help us deliver the best possible final implementation. We have described other benefits of this cooperation in this post.

We appreciate any thoughts you post to the comments section below, but it would also help us if you could answer two questions in this survey.

In advance, thank you very much for your help!


18 comment(s)

Integrating DX images is just a great move, pending for many years + many requests as can be found in searching the KB how to do it

Thank you Dennis , great addition , now Actions images will be very interesting and simply picked

6 October, 2018

Great move, go ahead~:

6 October, 2018

Two Thumbs up!

6 October, 2018

Those new images will be available only for XAF or for Winforms only developers (not XAP) also?

6 October, 2018

@Alvis: For both XAF and non-XAF developers.

6 October, 2018

@Dennis : non-XAF developer means WPF as well?

7 October, 2018

YEAHH!!!!!! I cant wait! :)

7 October, 2018

1) Is an extension of the PNG icon set planned? SVG icons are much inferior to them in their beauty and clarity in my opinion, as well as in the opinion of users. Flat style icons depressing. Programs are starting to look gray and squalid.

2) When will any full support for SVG (in particular, gradients) be implemented?

3) Will it be possible to use a DIVISION SVG for a small (16x16) size and a large size (32x32)? One vector icon is not enough. A small image may be completely different and contain fewer details.

Wishes:

1) Please do not remove / reduce the old PNG set (both XAF and normal Devexpress.Images). We will use it for a long time.

2) In the gallery it would be useful to be able to add your own images through specifying folders (this also applies to WinForms / WPF, and XAF). Something like global customization of additional folders for all applications directly in the development environment. Setting up an ImageSource in XAF requires adding images to an application (Embedded resources) - this is not convenient. And so it would be additional data sources for the gallery.

3) I would like to see in the gallery absolutely all the images that are in the components of Devexpress. For example, those that are found in the resources of the demos (24x24). Suppose they are only in one size, but there are wonderful icons about which few people know.

4) Please speed up the work of the gallery component when working with a large number of images. Its original Ribbon component is slow.

I created my own similar application based on WinExplorer in the Grid, everything works relatively quickly there, but the WinExplorer functionality is extremely flawed and unstable. And if I use the gallery component , then you can forget about working with a large number of images. Therefore, I use third-party component to display and work with thumbnails :(

8 October, 2018

Of course, a lot of this is not just about XAF, but I think you can get your opinion across to the rest of the developers and designers.

At the moment , we definitely do not use and do not plan to use standard DevExpress SVG-icons, because their style is absolutely not comparable with the old color pixel style PNG-icons in terms of visual beauty. Our users SVG-icons caused categorical rejection.

Even if you compare them with similar flat vector sets of third-party developers (for example, from Axialis), they are significantly inferior.

Thank you for understanding!

8 October, 2018

Got to agree with Customer37575. I have always much preferred the PNG icons and with every new release pray for a ton more icons. I understand that to support larger displays (4K and up) you need scaleability that SVG provides but I don't plan to switch from PNG to SVG in the near future as the GUI looks much inferior.

Just my $0.02

Andy

8 October, 2018

Have to agree, MS just upgraded outlook 365 icons to be vector , they are much more elegant and beautiful than DX comparable, DX needs to really work on this issue

8 October, 2018

+1 for gradient support :)

8 October, 2018

@Noufal Aboobacker: Yes. You may find this support article helpful:

www.devexpress.com/.../how-to-use-devexpress-images-in-an-application.

@Alvis Kums: Welcome! Please let us know how these images work for you after the release.

Please take special note that XAF's image picker is different from the one you will see in non-XAF apps.

@Customer37575: Thank you very much for such detailed feedback! While I cannot provide ETAs for certain requests, we and our designers will definitely take your suggestions into account. Gradients and small/large icon support is something we would love to implement in the future as well.

To address your other concerns:

1. We do not plan to remove PNG icons. As for XAF, they just migrated to the DevExpress.Images assembly from the DevExpress.ExpressApp.Images one, which is to be removed in the future.

2. In fact, it is already possible to add custom images without an Embedded Resource - we actively used this technique during the v18.1-v18.2 testing phase. As for displaying custom image sources in the gallery, it is supported in the final release: www.devexpress.com/.../182-image-picker - you may want to track this ticket to receive further updates.

3. Ideally, the Image Gallery should display ALL the icons we have. We are working on organizing its structure and surely will consider your suggestion for the future.

4. As far as I understand, you were talking about WinExplorerView. I have created a separate ticket on your behalf to research this further: www.devexpress.com/.../gallerycontrol-and-winexplorerview-performance. If possible, please attach your problematic sample to this thread to allow us to find solutions much faster.

BTW, the current preview build has a known issue with the initial image loading time. We are going to improve this by the final release (as noted in the corresponding KB article). Are you referring to the Model Editor's Image Picker form slowness in the preview build or did you have a different scenario?

8 October, 2018

@Denis, thanks for the detailed answer!

1. It is very happy. We really do not plan to switch to SVG in the coming years. Or you need beautiful SVG :)

2. Thank you, judging by the description, it looks like the desired functionality.

We also have a certain life hack in order not to suffer with the constant addition of our images to the XAF project, but simply to put them into a folder - in the .csproj file the folder with the images is included as EmbeddedResource via WildCard

stackoverflow.com/.../how-can-i-have-an-entire-folder-be-an-embedded-resource-in-a-visual-studio-proje

3. There were similar images and many others i.imgur.com/fVWMXq4.png

Now we have to extract them from the depths of assemblies. I understand that these are internal images, but they are beautiful.

4. As part of Gallery Control there is a simple scenario for slow work. Probably you described it. It is enough to include in the ImageSources any folder with a large number of icons (> 5000). And exactly when opening the gallery we will feel pain every time ..... Need asynchronous loading IMHO.

That is why I cannot use the Gallery control component to view thumbnails in my application.

And I'm not the only one - www.devexpress.com/.../gallery-control-slow-with-20-000-elements

5. Thank you, I will try to demonstrate the disadvantages of WinExplorerView. Perhaps I will prepare a demo project / video.

The disadvantages are of such a nature that the component behaves in an unexpected and illogical way in many situations. Missing required properties. I compared different components to view thumbnails from different developers (including your WinExplorerView and GalleryControl from the Ribbon) and I see flaws. Unfortunately, in the case of WinExplorerView, it is impossible to fix the problems to the end even with the help of various crutches.

8 October, 2018

Another small wish. Make a forum for registered people, not just for subscribers. IMHO this is a very good thing. I saw a lot of interesting things there :) I liked the new screenshots from XAF SPA, I would like to see similar screenshots from DetailView (in the new version, and not in what is shown in the post from the blog)

8 October, 2018

@Customer37575:
1. Welcome!

2. Thank you for sharing your experience. We will also describe our approach in the Support Center ticket created on your behalf.

3. Thank you for your link - we will discuss the possibility of making these images easily accessible.

4-5. I have updated your previous Support Center ticket and we will answer you there as soon as we can. Feel free to attach your demo or video to this thread as well.

If you saw our private SPA UI forum, you already have the Universal license. Would you please clarify your problem behind this forum request?

10 October, 2018

@Dennis (DevExpress Support)

Thank you.

I entered the forum from a corporate account with a Universal subscription.

A open(!) forum in general would be very useful (if there are moderators and a competent structure).

Often we want to share thoughts about what is missing in the XAF. For example, the simplest thing that for some reason is not in the XAF is the search panel in the model editor (both in the tree and in the properties of the node). It makes life much easier. Of course for ourselves, we have already included this. And there are a lot of such ideas. Writing it in the form of requests in the tickets is tiring. The forum is much more convenient to share ideas. Open forum without any subscriptions ;)

I will try to write the details on my ticket when I have free time in the coming days. In general, problems can be observed even in demo projects Ribbon-> Photo Viewer and GridControl-> WinExplorerView (Db).

For example, if you add a large number of images in Photo Viewer, it will be a very slow scrolling with the mouse + it’s pretty easy to make it move infinitely in one direction. I will describe all this myself in the ticket a little later.

10 October, 2018

@Customer37575: This is done specially for Universal customers and we did not plan to open this forum (we may revise this in the future). Currently, everyone with Universal subscriptions will not have problems with this forum - feel free to share your ideas with us there. Or, am I missing something?

It is also possible that we may transform this SPA UI forum into a place for general XAF discussions.

10 October, 2018

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