Posts Tagged ‘threading’

WPF: Making good progress

April 15, 2008

Recently I came across a situation where I had a list box of items which I wanted to process on separate threads but report progress to the user. I had never had to do something like this in Win32 let alone WPF so I decided to knock up a little prototype which is the basis for this blog entry.

Download the source code:

The prototype application basically contains a list of video clips which need to be converted. User selects a clip and presses the Convert button which kicks of a new thread to perform the conversion and shows progress through a ProgressBar which is part of the DataTemplate.


First off I defined some simple XAML for the ListBox items:

<Window.Resources> <DataTemplate DataType="{x:Type local:VideoClip}"> <StackPanel x:Name="stack" Background="Gainsboro" Width="200"> <Button x:Name="save" Width="60" Height="20" Click="convert_Click">Convert</Button> <Label Content="{Binding Name}"/> <ProgressBar x:Name="progress" Width="100" Height="15" Maximum="100" Value="{Binding SaveProgress}"/> <Label Content="{Binding Status}"/> </StackPanel> </DataTemplate> </Window.Resources>

Then I wired up the convert_Click event to start a BackgroundWorker thread which runs some code to mimic the conversion. This simply loops for a period of time reporting progress each second or so. The main window hooks into an event on the converter to pick up the progress which can then be set on the ProgressBar.Value.

There were two issues which I came across during this prototype:

1. Accessing the ProgressBar inside a DataTemplate

WPF provides a handy little method called FindName which you can use to find controls within a given ContentPresenter. Not quite as straightforward as the old favourite FindControl 😉

private ProgressBar GetProgressBar(VideoClip clip) { int index = clips.Items.IndexOf(clip); ListBoxItem selectedItem = clips.ItemContainerGenerator.ContainerFromIndex(index) as ListBoxItem; if (selectedItem == null) return null; DataTemplateKey key = new DataTemplateKey(typeof(VideoClip)); DataTemplate template = base.FindResource(key) as DataTemplate; Border border = VisualTreeHelper.GetChild(selectedItem, 0) as Border; ContentPresenter presenter = border.Child as ContentPresenter; ProgressBar progress = template.FindName("progress", presenter) as ProgressBar; return progress; }

This method allows me to take an object (which is the data type for the DataTemplate) from the list and use it to access the ProgressBar control.

2. Update the ProgressBar from a different thread

Converter converter = new Converter(); converter.OnConvertProgress += delegate(object sender1, ConvertEventArgs args) { Dispatcher.BeginInvoke(DispatcherPriority.Normal, (SendOrPostCallback)delegate { ProgressBar bar = GetProgressBar(args.Clip); if (bar != null) bar.Value = args.Clip.SaveProgress; } , null); };

Using the Dispatcher I get hold of the specific ProgressBar I want to update and simply set the value.