MetroSidebar Docs

Interface

Each MetroSidebar tile has two interface elements that users may interact with;

  1. MainControl (default and/or large size) – This is the primary interaction point for your tile. You define both the default size and the large size of this tile in tile.cs.
    • The width is set automatically to 264px
    • The height is defined in tile.cs with Height() and LargeHeight() for large view
  2. Settings window – a window which is displayed when the user clicks on "settings" button in the charm bar.
  • The figure below shows the default size of the tile.

    MetroSidebar interface
  • The figure below shows the large size of the tile (enlarged).

    MetroSidebar interface

Architecture

Basics

Each MetroSidebar tile is a collection of files stored in a single directory:

  • ini file (tile.ini) that contains metadata about your tile
  • dll file (tile.dll) that contains application/interface elements of your tile
  • preview file (preview.png)

The core component of a tile is the dll file:

  1. The dll file (tile.dll) contains all the interface elements such as the Settings window, MainControl or any additional elements

Packaging and Delivery System

We have built a centralized and secure delivery system for MetroSidebar tiles. Whenever you publish your tile it is reviewed by the MetroSidebar team before it can be distributed. Upon approval your tile is packaged and signed on the server and can now be distributed and installed by a user.

Our system ensures the tiles installed on a user’s computer have been approved by the MetroSidebar team.

  • All tiles are reviewed by the MetroSidebar team before they can be installed by a user
  • When a user initiates the install of a MetroSidebar tile, MetroSidebar communicates with the MetroSidebar server to ensure:
    • Which tile to install
    • The location of the tile package to download
    • Post download verification of the package
    • Verification of the tile once it's unpacked and ready to be installed

You can think of this as a signing and verification system.

Technology

MetroSidebar is built on the following technologies:

  • .NET WPF
  • Microsoft Windows shell integration library for WPF

We believe these open source technologies are at the forefront of Windows technologies and emerging standards. We strive to keep up to date with these technologies as they advance ensuring the latest features and functionality are available to MetroSidebar developers while maintaining stability and security.