Monday, November 30, 2009

How to create your own Silverlight Cube Control similar to Telerik's Cube

Well, as part of our lastest project, I needed to figure a way how to spin a widget.

So, how do you rotate widgets in an Asp.Net application? Well that question is fairly simple to answer - Silverlight!

The next question is much harder: Buy or Build?

After some searches I found two controls for sale: The Telerik Cube control and the ComponentOne C1Cube control.

So, first stop, download each and put them through the paces. I found a deal breaker for each control.

We need to be able to minimize our widgets but both controls had problems with that:
- The Telerik control would resize but would apply a transform to 'Squash' the widget and according to the Telerik website FAQ, this behaviour can not be overridden.
- The Component one control 'Must' be in the shape of a cube. Ok, I know that sounds like a 'duh' point, but like I said, we need to minimize our widgets. But when I altered the height of the control to just the height of the header, the cubes' width was also adjusted.

So, that left build - but there did not seem to be any examples of how to rotate a cube from side to side, on demand. I did find an example of a continuously spinning cube. With this example to decompose, I slowly taught myself the parameters and transformations that were needed to create the appearance of a cube spinning from one face to another.

So, here is my demo of a rotating six sided cube. If you do not need to rotate to the top and the bottom, you can have sides of any height, as long as all the sides are of the same height. Plus, my example is not limited to four or six sides. This example allows for an unlimited number of sides!

Now, there a couple of things that the professional controls do that my demo cannot. My code cannot free rotate and it also does not twist as it rotates to properly show a side. If you need these properties, you may want to go with the professional controls.

Here is the Visual Studio 2008/Silverlight 3 project.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Personal Site Launched!

Well, it has taken awhile but I've finally rolled out a personal website. is a place that I can post about all things that interest me ... except dot net programming, of course!

There is not much content as of yet, but the reason I am posting about it here is that I've used the web template that I created in a previous post. So if you want to see a live site, not just a live example, then head out to!