A developer cannot live on grids alone—but that doesn't mean you can't make some serious interface magic with one. Here are three examples of FlexGrid being bent, twisted, and shaped like Play-Doh. Viva la extensions!
1. The “iTunes”: A TreeGrid Extension on Steroids
The classic iTunes-like treeview is an elegant, easy way to drill down through your music library. It’s Windows Explorer-like in its simplicity (yes, I compared iTunes to Windows!) and between the sorting, column movement and ratings, allows a high level of user interaction. All that said: it’s another day in the life of FlexGrid. Selecting an artist and viewing the albums? Grouping. Moving those columns? You can do that in any grid. Ratings? A little extra icon and interaction. Play around with the borders, the images, and the Cell Factories and you’ve got your own personal music library extension. Samples:
2. The TV Guide: Custom Cell Merging Gone Wild
Sure, we’ve got an entire category of Scheduling controls, but you can also merge contiguous cells in a grid and construct your own blocks of time—both horizontally and vertically. Custom merging allows you to take some serious liberties with the strict design of a traditional grid and dynamically merge the full range of columns and rows to your specifications. Not bad. Samples:
And one to grow on: Sudoku
One of our senior developers, the great John Juback, developed this awhile back to illustrate the use of .NET controls in gadgets. When I published this post on May 7, we didn't have the sample tracked down, but Greg Lutz did some sleuthing and found it: Embedding .NET Controls in Windows Gadgets! It was built in 2007, in .NET 2.0, and he even got it to run with some minor modifications. The sample link is in the post. Maybe updating this simple sample is a weekend project for you? If you develop a Sudoku in FlexGrid or GridView, we'd love to see it! Let us know what you've done with grids in the comments.