Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Ribbon for WPF

Microsoft Ribbon for WPF

Leia em Português

This item in japanese

Microsoft has released a new preview of their WPF-based Ribbon control. The Ribbon is a replacement for the traditional menus and toolbars and was first offered in Office 2007. Microsoft spent millions on usability research and it so proud of their results that they only allow others to imitate it when the follow strict design guidelines. Though royalty free, any violations of the Ribbon guidelines must be fixed within 6 months or Microsoft will revoke the license on the associated patents.

Given the daunting task of implementing the whole Ribbon design, some developers have turned to commercial vendors or open source projects. Others have simple waited for Microsoft to produce an official version for .NET applications. One such version was demonstrated last year, but with serious bugs and a clumsy API.

On Monday an updated version was finally released that appears to have fixed all of the bugs and API design flaws. Breaking changes include removing the need for adding a RibbonCommand to every menu item and explicitly setting the button resizing. Making the necessary changes doesn’t take long and the use of standard ICommand bindings is much welcomed.

Sample code for both traditional and MVVM style applications is included with a separate download. That download also includes source code for the Ribbon control itself, but this is not an open source project. The license states:

We have also included a reference copy of the source code for the RibbonControlsLibrary. This is not sample code. You may use this source code form of the RibbonControlsLibrary within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging and maintaining your products to run on a Microsoft Windows operating system product.

The binaries and samples are available on Microsoft Downloads.

Rate this Article