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Disappointed with FlowDocuments

Jan 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM
Edited Jan 11, 2012 at 1:19 AM

All, just wanted to check what your feelings are.

I must confess that the more I work on this project, the more disappointed I get with FlowDocuments. I mean, I love the idea of a markup language, be it HTML, XML or XAML for definining "documents". I also love the idea of DependencyObjects and dependency properties, in particular attached properties. Add to that the support for styling and the best data binding mechanism I've seen in years, and FlowDocument really seemed to be the prefect candidate for generating documents in my mind.

But, as I mentioned, the more I work with it the more disappointed I become. Yesterday I was trying to define a document that would have a table listing properties of an assemby, something like this:

Culture Neutral
Public Token 1234567890ABCDEF

Simple, left aligned, sized to content. And I can't find a way to do it. Sure, I could hardcode the column widths but that's just it. I don't feel I should HAVE to. With all the work I've done for SmartPaginator recently, I have started to consider defining an alternative set of classes for describing documents. This means defining my own FlowDocument, Paragraph, Table, etc classes as well as dealing with rendering and pagination myself. Seeing that I m already doing this for SmartPaginator, it didn't seem that big of a jump.

The main issues is not only the feeling of "reinventing the wheel", but the loss of other things like the FlowDocumentReader and FlowDocumentScrollViewer controls.

So, what do YOU think?

Apr 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Hi Fallinor,

I'm working on a WPF app for reading Web documents etc. and I'm using FlowDocument for presenting the content, I have been following your project for some time and I think you are doing great work, I also looked at the 'Smart Documents project' and it is awesome!

I do have one suggestion to make, I think you need to target Win8 METRO with SmartDocuments, in my opinion documents support METRO is very poor and SDF will be great help for developers like me.

I'd love to join this project and help out.



Apr 25, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Hey Svart.

I must confess I am a little slow on the uptake of Metro. But I think it deserves a look.

As I believe I mentioned before, ultimately I am looking for a report/document generation engine. I just found data templating so powerful and easy to use that I wanted to get to a place where I could use data templating to generate actual documents (think PDFs). For example, to print receipts and other stuff like that. So, it is not really for "viewing", probably more for "printing".

I've done quite a bit of work on the SDF and need to upload the new code to that project. Just didn't have the time yet.

I'll send you a PM about joining this project though.