Ran through a simple Tutorial today using the Beta of Expression Interactive Designer. It’s quite an odd experience, sort of like a cross between a image tool and a traditional Windows form designer, at least as far as the UI is concerned. However, the tutorial wasn’t without its problems.
Problem 1, "Namespace is incorrect, please change root namespace element in the project". When I ran the tutorial I got a very strange error. This shows one of the major drawbacks of this tool. Essentially what I guess had happened is that at some point I’d been forced to "Save As" and used a different name, "Fabrikum Tutorial2". Unbeknown to me this create a rootNamespace element, in the actual project file, called "Fabrikum Tutorial2". So after fishing around with the C# code produced (via notepad) it dawned on me that it was using "Fabrikum_Tutorial2", i.e. no spaces. So I manually changed the project by inserting the underscore and hurray it compiled. Now I’m not suggesting that I’m some kind of developer super hero but this tool is aimed at UI designers who shouldn’t have to care about c#, that’s really the point of it. So why show bizzare errors that mean nothing and can’t be fixed without getting low down and dirty with the code. Oh well I guess that’s Beta software.
Project 2. Data binding. The first example gets you to set up a number of data bound controls. However, it didn’t work. The automatic synchronising between master and detail panes simply didn’t happen. Opening the finished sample of the code I tried to compare the XAML produced. Now I could see differences but I had no idea how to get these changes via the designer. That’s how I left it, tutorial 1 complete, but with it not working. Score another one for the Beta product, but you’d think at this late stage a simple tutorial should work.