Your feedback is wanted: Cider Extensibility Requirements

On Cider, we're rapidly approaching a big planning phase where the outcome of that planning phase will the set of features that are going to be in and out of v1. 

On my side, that means taking a hard look at the features associated with Control development, design time customization and extensibility in general.

Here's a list of features stack ranked and listed by priority category (Must Have, High Want, Nice to Have). 

Is this the right set of features and are these features prioritized correctly?

Must Have

  1. Licensing

  2. Programmatic differentiation of  "design time" from runtime

  3. Custom Property Editors (think UITypeEditor)

  4. Accessing and editing sub-properties of a type

  5. Custom Object Editor (think ActiveX property sheets that allow object level editing, not just property editing)

  6. Access to standard items (resources, data sources, styles, templates)

  7. Access to other items/controls on the design surface

  8. Leverage Cider UI Components (Property Editors, Property Browser, collection editor and design time UI)

  9. Commands/Verbs/Smart Tags (adding commands/verbs to a context menu)

  10. Metadata discovery (decoupling metadata from the controls themsevles -- can be added later)

  11. Add controls to the toolbox at installation time and add references to the current project when that control is instantiated

  12. Run a configuration wizard when instantiating a control from the toolbox onto the design surface

High Want

  1. Ability to replace stock editors with a custom editor (replace the string editor)

  2. Better and easier integration with the help system

  3. Able to add a custom control to any UI that presents a list of controls (i.e. data binding picker)

Nice to Have

  1. In-place design time UI (adorners)

  2. Ability to create custom custom collection editors

Your feedback is wanted and desired.  Please let me know what's missing and if any of the priorities don't resonate with your priorities.




Comments (9)

  1. The list of features you have looks good.  I would think that if the goal is to encourage commercial control development that all of them are Must Have.  I can easily come up with cases where each feature is needed to make a control usable by end-users.  Until Cider can do what both WinForms and EID design environments can do it is always going to be a second class citizen.  I would expect even most developers to use what ever tool provides the experience they are looking for.  In the short term that means they are going to learn EID, and if v1 of Cider does not give them a reason to do most of their work in VS, EID will be so entrenched in the workflow that Cider will never catch up.

  2. I have been in-CIDER from the end of last year. Its been a great busy journey till now. So let me start…

  3. prick says:


    I am tryin to add a insert an item in the menu that pops up when u right click on any contact in office communicator.

    Can u plz help me with that….

    reply at my mail id

  4. Chris says:

    Is it possible to host the Cider Designer much the way you can host the WWF desidner or even the existing Visual Studio Designer?

  5. Chris,

    The Cider designer is designed in such a way that it can be hosted.  Having said that, there are licensing, surface area (i.e. testing requirements) and redistributable issues (Cider is only shipped with VS whereas the Windows Forms designer was shipped with the .Net Framework) which make this very challenging.

    Look for this functionality in v2.

  6. Brennon says:

    Forgive me if this is not relavent, but as far as I can see, even with the July CTP, merged dictionaries are not supported.

    This feature is integral to EID/Cider dev working in the way resource dictionaries are intended. Without, coding up multi inherited assembly layers is a pure nightmare.

    Cheers for your ears.

  7. Hi Brennon, yes merged dictionaries will definitely be supported in a future release, there are just load limitations right now.  Please have a look at the release notes on our Channel9 wiki:

    Can you provide a sample of the particular case that is failing for you along with the details of what WPF/Cider versions you are using?  Thanks!

  8. Nir says:

    Has support for UITypeEditor been made available in latest release of CIDER ?

    I am trying to edit a custom string property for a WPF usercontrol. I am using UITypeEditorEditStyle.Modal, but cannot bring up my custom editor. The property in the property browser does not seem to get an ellipsis button.


  9. With respect to UITypeEditor, in Cider and Sparkle we’re going to have a new API to write property editors and the old UITypeEditor API for Windows Forms will not be supported.

    I do plan to post an article about the property editing API soon, watch this space!

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