среда, 6 августа 2008 г.

Kodama - a spirit of tree.

Some of you have probably read my post about Josh Smith and ViewModel coming to rescue people (WPF-addicted people, to be precise), just joking don't mind. In brief words, I wrote how ViewModel helped working with ComboBox or another Selector control to manage state of underlying CollectionView. After that I've generalized my thoughts, and there came a SelectorCollectionPresenter class, which made my sleep quiet. =) I'll publish code in the end as a bonus.

But now I want to write about the TreeView control, and how it can be united and simplified with ViewModel pattern. I was inspired a long time ago, when I read this article by Josh Smith, but had no time to work with WPF, solving other infrastructural problems, but I've got the idea stuck in my head.
And finally I got time to think about it and put it together in a reusable manner. As a result I've got a tree control with a spirit living in it. I named it Kodama, because kodama is a spirit from Japanese folklore, which is believed to live in trees. And the control itself was called KodamaView. As you might have already guessed, this spirit, which lives in my tree control, is nothing more than a ViewModel!

- he said ViewModel?

I want to warn everybody – I've just put together my thoughts on DM-V-VM pattern and Josh's fantastic ideas, so most of honors should go right to Josh!


KodamaView - is a UserControl, hosting a TreeView inside itself. In order to simulate TreeView's behavior, it inherits ITreeView interface, based on my IWPFView interface, and delegates all incoming calls to internal TreeView control.

TreeView simulating interface.

KodamaView control.

Control's xaml.


And now here are some words about Kodama.

Toriyama Sekien's illustration of a kodama appearing as an old man.

My Kodama (if it is allowed to say so) is an inheritor of ViewModel class, parameterized with ITreeView and IDataModelBase interfaces. The last one is made basic to be able to create Kodama with any derived DataModel class, because all of them embody this interface. DM is the source of data for the tree.

Every TreeViewItem gets its own ViewModel - a TreeViewItemViewModel.

TreeView is able to load child nodes "lazily", only when their parent node is expanded (I've borrowed the code from Josh's article, I hope he doesn't mind). All work on loading children is done in a LoadChildren method.

There is another one class in hierarchy - TreeViewItemViewModel`1. It has only one purpose to exist - to populate a typed Entity into the visual tree.

StructureTreeKodama is my example demonstrating this philosophy.

I remember, when I started the post, I've promised you a bonus. So here it is - SelectorCollectionPresenter class code. You can read some on details of it here.

Good luck!

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