Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

Debugging XAML

One of the questions that was raised during the WPF presentation I made at the most recent Microsoft Developers of Southwest Michigan users group meeting was: “Can you debug the XAML?”  It was a very good question, but one that I didn’t have an answer for.

Well, doing a simple search for “debug XAML” turned up quite a few posts about debugging XAML issues.  While I haven’t seen anything as sophisticated as being able to step through the animations as they’re running, but there are a few ways to get more information back about exceptions being thrown.  Here is a small collection:

  1. Get line numbers of XAML issues (Peter Himschoot): http://www.u2u.info/Blogs/Peter/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=183
  2. More descriptive XAML exception details (Rob Relyea): http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!167AD7A5AB58D5FE!1625.entry
  3. More on XamlParseException (Laurent Bugnion): http://geekswithblogs.net/lbugnion/archive/2007/03/14/108728.aspx
  4. Xaml Runtime Parsing Exceptions (c/o Erno de Weerd): http://blogs.infosupport.com/ernow/archive/2006/02/22/3899.aspx
  5. “Debugging Dynamic XAML in Silverlight” (Julia Lerman): http://blogs.devsource.com/devlife/content/silverlight/debugging_dynamic_xaml_in_silverlight_1.html

So, the simple answer is yes, you can debug problems with XAML.  The longer, more qualified answer is that while it’s possible, the support isn’t terribly robust yet but should improve with newer dev environments (Visual Studio, Expression Blend, etc.).

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March 15, 2008 - Posted by | WPF/Silverlight

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