December 2, 2003 .net

More Love for XAML Syntax: Dotted Element Names

Don Box simplified my XAML code using resources and styles. He also illustrates another XAML-ism that I’m coming to love: dotted element names. When you see something a dotted element name in XAML:



what you’re looking at is a more convenient way of specifying an XML attribute using XML element syntax. For example, while you can specify a menu item like s

<MenuItem Header="New" />

However, if you’re doing anything fancy, like specifying an access key, you can do this using the dotted element name syntax:


      <AccessKey Key="N" />

In the first case, we’re just specifying a string, so declaring the Header attribute inline makes sense. In the second case, we’re composing the Header for the MenuItem as a FlowPanel, combining an AccessKey and a SimpleText element. Underneath the covers, XAML attributes translate into properties, so for those properties more complicated than strings, the dotted element name syntax allows properties to be specified as sub-elements.