Tag Archives: Xamarin Modal Page

An Await-able Transparent, Custom, Popup Input Dialog in Xamarin.Forms! ;)

Imagine you wanted to prompt your user with a popup alert dialog (which is also transparent, because its cool! lol) 😉 asking them to enter some value and you want to await the whole task (make it awaitable) while you’re at it, so the execution will halt until the user enter the value, and then retrieve the user entered value to the point of origin? 😀

And just to add some sugar to it, may be you wanted to customize and decorate the appearance of the input view?

Something like this?

Seems pretty cool yeah! That’s what I’m gonna share today!

Right outta Xamarin.Forms?

Now there’s no way you could do either of those things in that scenario right out of Xamarin.Forms! Nope, not with a Modal Popup, which doesn’t support transparency, and not even with DisplayAlerts or ActionSheets, since the’re not customizable, they don’t allow text input or any kind of custom input view, only multiple button selections.

So how could I do it?

Let me explain fellas!

So for transparency and ultimate flexibility of setting up custom popup views, we are going to use the awesome Rg.Plugins.Popup library for Xamarin.Forms and to make the whole Task awaitable let’s use a TaskCompletionSource (Thank you dot net)! 😉

So the trick here for adding custom input views to the popup page, is by creating our Xamarin.Forms custom views using a ContentView and set them to the Content of popup page.

Alright then time for some coding!

Let the coding begin…

But first, setting up!

First thing first create a Xamarin.Forms PCL project in Visual Studio. 🙂

Then install Rg.Plugins.Popup library for Xamarin.Forms through Nuget Package manager.

I’ve actually written a blog post about Rg.Plugins.Popup in my blog right here: So I created a Popup with Transparent background in Xamarin Forms… 😉

Create the Transparent Popup Page…

Once you’re done with that, let’s create our custom Transparent Popup Page using the Rg.Plugins.Popup we just installed.

Something to keep in mind,

  • We should allow it to use Generic data types as for the return data type. 😀
  • Popup page provides us with many cool features, including Page background click handling and back button press handling, which we will override as of disable page background click to dismissal and disable back button press cancellation.
  • Pass in a View and set it to the PopupPage’s Content property, which we will attach the custom input view we want to use in our popup page.
  • Set the transparency level to 0.4 of alpha value.

Let’s call it InputAlertDialogBase.

/// <summary>
/// The awesome Transparent Popup Page
/// sub-classed from Rg.Plugins.Popup
/// Customized for our usecase with
/// Generic data type support for the result
/// </summary>
/// <typeparam name="T"></typeparam>
public class InputAlertDialogBase<T> : PopupPage
{
	public InputAlertDialogBase(View contentBody)
	{
		Content = contentBody;

		this.BackgroundColor = new Color(0, 0, 0, 0.4);
	}

	// Method for animation child in PopupPage
	// Invoced after custom animation end
	protected override Task OnAppearingAnimationEnd()
	{
		return Content.FadeTo(1);
	}

	// Method for animation child in PopupPage
	// Invoked before custom animation begin
	protected override Task OnDisappearingAnimationBegin()
	{
		return Content.FadeTo(1);
	}

	protected override bool OnBackButtonPressed()
	{
		// Prevent back button pressed action on android
		//return base.OnBackButtonPressed();
		return true;
	}

	// Invoced when background is clicked
	protected override bool OnBackgroundClicked()
	{
		// Prevent background clicked action
		//return base.OnBackgroundClicked();
		return false;
	}
}

 

There you go, over to the next step!

Configure the await-able Task properties…

So let’s create a Task and TaskCompletionSource inside our InputAlertDialogBase, to handle await-ability of our “Transparent, Custom, Popup Input Dialog” as I’ve mentioned in the blog title! 😉

public class InputAlertDialogBase<T> : PopupPage
{
	// the awaitable task
	public Task<T> PageClosedTask { get { return PageClosedTaskCompletionSource.Task; } }

	// the task completion source
	public TaskCompletionSource<T> PageClosedTaskCompletionSource { get; set; }

	public InputAlertDialogBase(View contentBody)
	{
		...

		// init the task completion source
		PageClosedTaskCompletionSource = new System.Threading.Tasks.TaskCompletionSource<T>();

		...
	}

	...
}

 

Note that how we are initializing the TaskCompletionSource in the Constructor.

Alright, now our Transparent Popup is ready. Next we need to construct the Custom Input View, that we are going to pass into the InputAlertDialogBase to display and retrieve data input (text or any kind) from the User. 😀

Create your Custom Input View! 😀

Alright this step is totally up to your desires, you could construct any kind of a Custom Input View to be displayed on top of the InputAlertDialogBase we just created above, and retrieve the User’s inputs.

So for this example, let’s create a simple View with Title Label, Text Entry and Ok button yeah! 😉 Also let’s add a simple validation Label inside it to show up if the User tries to leave the Text Entry empty and hit the ok button to quit.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<ContentView
    x:Class="XFCustomInputAlertDialog.InputViews.TextInputView"
    xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
    xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml">
    <ContentView.Content>
        <StackLayout
            Padding="10"
            BackgroundColor="White"
            HorizontalOptions="CenterAndExpand"
            Spacing="5"
            VerticalOptions="CenterAndExpand">
            <Label
                x:Name="TitleLabel"
                FontSize="Medium"
                Text="Enter the value:" />
            <Label
                x:Name="ValidationLabel"
                FontSize="Micro"
                IsVisible="False"
                Text="You can't leave this field empty!"
                TextColor="Red" />
            <Entry x:Name="InputEntry" Placeholder="Enter Here..." />
            <Button x:Name="CloseButton" Text="Ok">
                <Button.HeightRequest>
                    <OnPlatform x:TypeArguments="x:Double">
                        <On Platform="Android" Value="40" />
                        <On Platform="iOS" Value="30" />
                    </OnPlatform>
                </Button.HeightRequest>
            </Button>
        </StackLayout>
    </ContentView.Content>
</ContentView>

 

As you can see we have created a simple ContentView with a custom Text input view! 😀

Notice that we have explicitly named all the elements and added a button click event, this is to make it easy to set custom textual values to the elements and to handle the OK button’s click event as for the closing of the Popup Page. 🙂

Pretty simple yeah, next let’s handle the back end of this custom View to manage the Textual values, Ok button’s click event and validations.

Let’s manage code-behind of Custom Input View…

Now this is important, if you consider a ContentView, all it’s Child elements are private to it’s class scope, so we can’t observe or interact with any of the property value changes or behaviors from outside of the View.

Therefore we need to create custom properties that will expose those required values and events to the public.

Something to keep in mind here,

  • In order to customize the values displayed in the Child elements of the ContentView (Label,Button, etc..) we should pass in the values to the Constructor and set them to the Child elements there.
  • We should create a public EventHandler to handle the Ok Button’s click event from outside the View and add a public string Propery to expose the text Entry’s value to the public.
  • Subscribe to the Entry’s TextChanged event to reflect the value the public string property.
  • Create a public bindable Boolean property to display or hide Validation label in the ContentView. Or you could handle this internally in the View on the Ok Button’s click event as well, but it would be nice if we could expose the Validations to public so we could handle it outside the View.

public partial class TextInputView : ContentView
{
	// public event handler to expose 
	// the Ok button's click event
	public EventHandler CloseButtonEventHandler { get; set; }

	// public string to expose the 
	// text Entry input's value
	public string TextInputResult { get; set; }

	public TextInputView(string titleText, 
          string placeHolderText, string closeButtonText, 
           string validationLabelText)
	{
		InitializeComponent();

		// update the Element's textual values
		TitleLabel.Text = titleText;
		InputEntry.Placeholder = placeHolderText;
		CloseButton.Text = closeButtonText;
		ValidationLabel.Text = validationLabelText;

		// handling events to expose to public
		CloseButton.Clicked += CloseButton_Clicked;
		InputEntry.TextChanged += InputEntry_TextChanged;
	}

	private void CloseButton_Clicked(object sender, EventArgs e)
	{
		// invoke the event handler if its being subscribed
		CloseButtonEventHandler?.Invoke(this, e);
	}

	private void InputEntry_TextChanged(object sender,
					TextChangedEventArgs e)
	{
		// update the public string value 
		// accordingly to the text Entry's value
		TextInputResult = InputEntry.Text;
	}
}

 

So you can see we are passing in all the required values to set to our Child element’s we are passing in to the Constructor and setting them up there. Also we are subscribing to the Ok Button’s OnClick event and text Entry’s TextChanged event.

Inside the CloseButton_Clicked() event we are invoking the public EventHandler CloseButtonEventHandler if it’s being subscribed to by outside.

As well as  the Entry’s InputEntry_TextChanged() event we are updating the public TextInputResult to reflect the Entry’s text value to the public.

Don’t forget to handle Validations…

Oh and here’s the Bindable Boolean property you should include inside the TextInputView code behind to handle the Validations from outside the View.

public partial class TextInputView : ContentView
{
	...
	
	public static readonly BindableProperty 
           IsValidationLabelVisibleProperty =
		BindableProperty.Create(
			nameof(IsValidationLabelVisible),
			typeof(bool),
			typeof(TextInputView),
			false, BindingMode.OneWay, null,
			(bindable, value, newValue) =>
			{
				if ((bool)newValue)
				{
					  
		((TextInputView)bindable).ValidationLabel
					 .IsVisible = true;
				}
				else
				{
					 
		((TextInputView)bindable).ValidationLabel
					.IsVisible = false;
				}
			});

	/// <summary>
	/// Gets or Sets if the ValidationLabel is visible
	/// </summary>
	public bool IsValidationLabelVisible
	{
		get
		{
			return (bool)GetValue(
                             IsValidationLabelVisibleProperty);
		}
		set
		{
			SetValue(
                         IsValidationLabelVisibleProperty, value);
		}
	}
	
	...
}

 

Now speaking of the bindable IsValidationLabelVisibleProperty, we are updating the Validation Label’s visibility based on its value changes accordingly. 🙂

Following this method, you can create any kind of custom Input Views to be attached to our Transparent Popup Page. 🙂 All you need to do is expose the required Values and Events to the public.

Alright next step…

Time to assemble everything and consume it!

Now we are going to put everything together and get it to be used as our “awaitable Transparent, Custom, Popup Input Dialog”! 😉

Somethings to keep in mind here,

  • We need to initialize our TextInputView by passing in the parameters we would like the necessary child elements to display
  • Create an InputAlertDialogBase<string>(), yes of type string, since we are going to return a string from the Popup Alert.
  •  Subscribe to the CloseButtonEventHandler of TextInputView’s instance to handle validation and reflect the Text input value to the TaskCompletionSource.
  • Push the popup page instance to Navigation Stack and await the page’s Task
  • Upon result retrieval Pop the page from Stack and return the user inserted value.

Alright let’s do it…

private async Task<string> LaunchTextInputPopup()
{
	// create the TextInputView
	var inputView = new TextInputView(
		"What's your name?", "enter here...", 
		"Ok", "Ops! Can't leave this empty!");

	// create the Transparent Popup Page
	// of type string since we need a string return
	var popup = new InputAlertDialogBase<string>(inputView);

	// subscribe to the TextInputView's Button click event
	inputView.CloseButtonEventHandler +=
		(sender, obj) =>
		{
			if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(
                         ((TextInputView)sender).TextInputResult))
			{
				
                            ((TextInputView)sender)
                               .IsValidationLabelVisible = false;
				
                            // update the page completion source
                            popup.PageClosedTaskCompletionSource
                                .SetResult(
                                ((TextInputView)sender)
                                      .TextInputResult);
			}
			else
			{
				
                             ((TextInputView)sender)
                                 .IsValidationLabelVisible = true;
			}
		};

	// Push the page to Navigation Stack
	await PopupNavigation.PushAsync(popup);

	// await for the user to enter the text input
	var result = await popup.PageClosedTask;

	// Pop the page from Navigation Stack
	await PopupNavigation.PopAsync();

	// return user inserted text value
	return result;
}

 

There you go, step by step as I explained before you can see how it’s being consumed. Specially inside the CloseButtonEventHandler, every time the event fires we are checking the TextInputResult property and enabling or disabling the IsValidationLabelVisible property, as well as updating the PageClosedTaskCompletionSource property value if a text value is being entered by the User, which will in return update the awaiting PageClosedTask and task will proceed to completion state, then return the value after popping the Page. 😀

There you go! 😀 How straight forward is that! 😉

Keep in mind like I said before you can add any kind of a customized View on top of our Transparent Popup Page, and retrieve any kind of result as you expect from the User following the same steps. 😀

Let’s see this in action…

 

Look at that coolness right! 😉

Since it’s full on Xamarin.Forms, and doesn’t have a single line of native code, you could straight up run this implementation on all Android, iOS, UWP, WinPhone as you wish! 😀

I want more! 😮

Alright now that’s just a little bit of basic head start of what you could do, whereas if you get creative and smart you could do a lot more cool stuff like this…

  

 

 

There you have it, some cool stuff I played around with my implementation. 😉

You can grab the Github code from here: github.com/UdaraAlwis/XFCustomInputAlertDialog

Well fellas, that’s it for now!

Enjoy! 😀 Share the love!

-Udara Alwis 😀

So I created a Popup with Transparent background in Xamarin Forms… ;)

Alright so I was supposed to post this few months back, before I got stuck with my day job which led to temporary put my blog on hold. Either way, recently I managed to find some free time off from work, so I would go ahead and post this with some necessary updates! 🙂

So a while back I was asked to create a Transparent popup control in Xamarin Forms, as ordered by my boss (a very cool guy) to be used for instances such as Loading Spinner screens, and Popup Dialog boxes.

Xamarin Forms ContentPage ? Transparency ?

So I tried to derive my custom control from the default ContentPage control of Xamarin Forms, by setting the Background color of the page to Transparent.

Although I’ve failed by pushing the Page to NavigationStack, I managed to get it working as a Modal page by pushing it to the ModalStack but only on Android platform.

Let’s get into coding…

Alright let’s get into some coding, first create the Custom Control by deriving from ContentPage.

    public class TransparentPopup : ContentPage
    {
        public TransparentPopup()
        {
            // set the background to transparent color 
            // (actually darkened-transparency: notice the alpha value at the end)
            this.BackgroundColor = new Color(0,0,0, 0.4);
        }
    }

 

Although this implementation worked out of the box on Android, it didn’t work as expected on iOS, probably due to the differences the page drawing process of Android and iOS, specially as a popup View.

So I played around with iOS and managed to get it working. So let’s create a custom renderer for iOS.

The deal here is to prepare the Popup to draw over the Parent View Controller which is the previous page. So that we could see through the Popup to see the page underneath which is the parent view. Becase in iOS when a new View Controller is introduced the previous View Controller’s View gets removed from the Window.

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(TransparentPopup), typeof(TransparentPopupRenderer))]
namespace WhateverYourNamespace.iOS
{
    public class TransparentPopupRenderer : PageRenderer
    {
        protected override void OnElementChanged(VisualElementChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
        }

        public override void DidMoveToParentViewController(UIViewController parent)
        {
            base.DidMoveToParentViewController(parent);

            if (ParentViewController != null)
            {
                // Preparing the view to get the presentation of the parent view for the background
                ParentViewController.ModalPresentationStyle = UIModalPresentationStyle.OverCurrentContext;
            }
        }

        public override void ViewDidLoad()
        {
            base.ViewDidLoad();

            // Setting the background color to transparent when the view is appearing
            View.BackgroundColor = UIColor.Clear;
        }
    }
}

 

DidMoveToParentViewController called when the current view gets added to the parent ViewController, so at that point we will set the ModalPresentationStyle of the parent controller, to OverCurrentContext property which will draw our popup view over the previous view.

Well that’s the iOS Custom Renderer, and like I mentioned before we are not going to be needing a Custom Rendering for Android, hence the Modal Page get’s drawn directly above the previous page view.

So let’s put it to use eh! 😉

 Navigation.PushModalAsync(new TransparentPopup());

 

Yep! that’s pretty much it. 🙂

Thou shalt grab em code up on my github: XFTransparentPopup

Cheers!

Wait for it……..

A journey through time…

*fast forwards time…*

*forwarding through time 4-6 months…*

*passing through them late night work hours at office…*

*days of procrastinating and laziness…*

*till this date (November, 2016)*

So after time travelling to this date I updated my local Xamarin installation and this project solution’s Xamarin references, hoping to refresh everything an finally finish off this article.

BOOM! EVERYTHING BROKEN!

Yep since the upgrade to the latest Xamarin references the above implementation has broken and transparency is working no more for the Modal Pages.

Hence it appears to be a change in the Xamarin Core implementation for ContentPage and the rendering process of Modal Pages with the latest update, there had been some other complaints in the Xamarin Forums regarding this. Although whatever the changes Xamarin Forms team has done, I’m sure they had their reasons. This seems to be occurring from all the new Xamarin versions, since I’ve been trying out few fresh Project solutions as well

Looks like I need to find an alternative (until I find a workaround)….

Alternative?

Very well… lucky enough I stumbled upon this awesome library called, Rg.Plugins.Popup! Which literally saved me tons of time. This is a Xamarin Forms library that allows you to create Transparent Popup pages, allowing you to open any ContentPage control as a popup page with full transparency background.

And this library solves a massive problem xamarin developers have been facing, which is the Transition animation control between pages, where as in default Xamarin Forms navigation stack, we can not modify the Transition animations between pages, but with this library, it’s all possible and we could add our own custom animations for page transitions.

capture

Go ahead visit their Github page for description: https://github.com/rotorgames/Rg.Plugins.Popup

Looks very promising indeed. Alright let’s try it out!

Praising le third party library…

Alright just for basics add the Rg.Plugins.Popup library to your Xamarin Forms project from Nuget.

This library provides us a base control that is called PopupPage, which gives you full Transparency background properties, therefore instead of deriving from ContentPage, now we are going to derive from PopupPage to our Transparent Page.

namespace WhateverYourNamespace
{
    public class TransparentPopup : PopupPage
    {
        public TransparentPopup()
        {
            // set the background to transparent color 
            // (actually darkened-transparency: notice the alpha value at the end)
            this.BackgroundColor = new Color(0, 0, 0, 0.4);
        }
    }
}

 

There you go, now let’s add some decorations to our Transparent Popup Page. 😉

public TransparentPopup()
{
	Button btnClose = new Button() { Text = "Close this" };
	btnClose.Clicked += BtnCloseOnClicked;

	Content = new StackLayout()
	{
		BackgroundColor = Color.Transparent,
		Children =
		{
			new Label()
			{
				Text = "Hello from Transparent Modal Page",
				FontSize = 18,
				TextColor = Color.White,
				HorizontalTextAlignment = TextAlignment.Center
			},
			new ActivityIndicator()
			{
				IsRunning = true
			},
			btnClose,
		},
		VerticalOptions = LayoutOptions.Center,
		Padding = new Thickness(10,0,10,0),
	};

	// set the background to transparent color 
	// (actually darkened-transparency: notice the alpha value at the end)
	this.BackgroundColor = new Color(0, 0, 0, 0.4);
}

private void BtnCloseOnClicked(object sender, EventArgs eventArgs)
{
	// Close the modal page
	PopupNavigation.PopAsync();
}

 

Alright, shotgun! There we have added a welcome Label, Activity indicator and a Button to close the popup.

Something important!

And as you can see on the BtnCloseOnClicked event, we are accessing a property called PopupNavigation, instead of default Xamarin Forms Navigation property, to remove the page from Stack.

Well its because Rg.Plugins.Popup maintains its own Popup-Navigation Stack which keeps references to the Popups of it’s own kind, which derives from the PopupPage. So we need to access that property to remove the page from our Navigation stack.

It also provides a Page background click behavior, which is if the user clicks on the background of the page, we could trigger an event to exit the page. Well in my case I didn’t want that to happen so let’s disable it. 😀

protected override bool OnBackgroundClicked()
{
	return false;
}

 

Alright, let’s consume this fella right now as below,

Navigation.PushPopupAsync(new TransparentPopup());

 

Now you must have expected to use the ordinary Navigation.PushModalAsync() as what we normally do in Xamarin Forms, yes of course you could do the same to open this Transparent Popup page, but you may loose the Transparency and ability to override the Navigation Transition animations.

Therefore we are using the PushPopupAsync() extension method that’s provided by this library, which is pretty cool. Now the reason for this I shall explain later in this post.

Alright! Let’s run this fella and see for ourselves! 🙂

nexus-5-lollipop-screenshot-1  simulator-screen-shot-6-dec-2016-10-46-02-am

WOOT! WOOT!

there you go! 😀

For You lazy people may fetch my code up on my githubXFTransparentPopupUpdate

Enjoy!

Important after-notes to share…

1. Page Transition Animations

In default Xamarin Forms Navigation we do not have the access to Page Transition Animations, hence we have to suck it up with the default boring Transition animations of Xamarin Forms.

But thanks to this library, Rg.Plugins.Popup maintains its own Popup-Navigation Stack which to allow us to control the Page Navigation Transition effects, unlike in default Xamarin Forms Navigation Stack. This is a great feature that is provided by this solution hence a lot of developers were having issues with this restriction of Xamarin Forms since long time back. 🙂

2. PushPopupAsync()

Also it is important to mention that, when using Popup pages of Rg.Plugins.Popup  we should always use the Navigation.PushPopupAsync() extension if we want to preserve the Transparency and Custom Page transition features. Meanwhile using the PopupNavigation.PopAsync() to remove the pages from the stack while maintaining transition effects. 😀

3. PushPopupAsync()

We are all aware of how on Android run time, Xamarin Forms uses a Single Activity to populate the Pages of our app. And usually when we add a Modal Page, it gets populated on top of the Single Activity the app is running on. But in this Library it uses a separate Android Dialog View which doesn’t use the Activity Stack, instead it draws itself over the Activity, (blocking the whole Activity content) such as in AndHUD library. So that’s something to keep in mind if you wonder why you couldn’t Push a Page on top of this popup page. 😉

Finally kudos to the developers of Rg.Plugins.Popup plugin for Xamarin Forms!