Sunday, June 12, 2022

Template Studio for WinUI

For creation of new WPF, WinUI3 and UWP applications you can now use Template Studio - it is a new suite of Visual Studio 2022 extensions.

You can now install Template Studio extension and use Template Studio for creation of WPF, WinUI3 and UWP applications. First you select project type as one of the following: Blank, MenuBar (with menu added) and NavigationBar.

MVVM Toolkit is applied now in the application by the default, template creates Views/ViewModels (that's a great idea I believe to have MVVM by default):

Then you can initialize your content to Blank, WebView2, Settings, DataGrid, etc.

On the last step of the wizard, you can add theming and select between packaged/unpackaged app:

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Inno Setup 3rd party tools

There is a bunch of 3rd party tools which can simplify your Inno Setup installers development. They include Inno Script Studio, Visual & Installer and others. You can find their list here.

Recently we've got a chance to try some of these tools and found Graphical Installer really nice and easy to use. It can be useful if you create an installer for a game, for example or if your application has some unusual skin or graphics. Graphical Installer supports both Inno Setup and NSIS. It is not free but its price is really affordable (this is not an advertisement :) ).

With Graphical Installer you can select custom background, custom images for installer elements, custom colors for headers, texts, buttons, scrollbars, etc. This is possible through wizard or (advanced option) through code where you can add any number of scripts.

With all its advantages Graphical Installer has its own limitations. Mostly these limitations are due to Inno Setup itself. For example, you can't take Next/Cancel/Install button to arbitrary place of the window. There is a working area where you can do whatever you want (the middle of installer pages) and the edges are mostly restricted by background images changes.