Thursday, August 24, 2017

UWP Tip #5 - UWP Community Toolkit - Part 3, Leveraging Code Helpers (Color, Connection, Converters and ImageCache)

Previous Tips in the UWP Community Toolkit series:


In part 3 in this mini-series on the UWP Community Toolkit, we will get an overview of four of the available groups of Code Helpers in the toolkit.


The Colors helper methods provide a few simple conversions when working with colors in your UWP app.

ToColor() - Take a string, which can be an HTML color, Alpha code or string representation of a Windows.UI.Color, and it returns a Windows.UI.Color.

ToHex() - Takes a Windows.UI.Color and returns the hexadecimal value of that color (string).

ToInt() - Takes a Windows.UI.Color and returns an ARGB structure as an integer.

ToHsl() - Takes a Windows.UI.Color and returns an HslColor.

ToHsv() - Takes a Windows.UI.Color and returns an HsvColor object.

FromHsl() and FromHsv() - Just the opposite of the last two helper methods.


The ConnectionHelper currently expose two (self-explanatory) Boolean properties;

  • IsInternetOnMeteredConnection
  • IsInternetAvailable


The toolkit provides four Converters in the current version of the NuGet package.

BoolToVisibiltyConverter - I think we have all written this one a few times before, or perhaps leveraged one from another UWP or WPF library. It converts a Boolean property from your DataContext to a Visibility enum value.

CollectionVisibilityConverter - This converter will return Visible if a collection is null or empty. This can be useful to display a message when no results are available for a list.

StringFormatConverter - Converts an object to a string and takes an option parameter to use when the converter calls string.Format(object, optionalParameter).

StringVisibilityConverter - Similar to the CollectionVisibilityConverter, this converter returns Visible if a string is null or string.Empty.


The ImageCache will help you store images in a cache in temporary local storage in an async manner. Available methods and properties include:

InitializeAsync() - Sets up the cache with a folder location and a name for the cache folder.

ClearAsync() - Clears the cache. An overload is also provided to clear cache contents based on a TimeSpan.

PreCacheAsync() - Pre-caches a supplied image from the online Uri.

GetFromCacheAsync() - Fetches an image from the cache. If the image is no longer in the cache (or never was), it will be fetched from the supplied Uri.

CacheDuration - Sets the duration (TimeSpan) to store images in the cache.

MaxMemoryCacheCount - The maximum number of images to store in the cache instance.


There are dozens of great helper methods and properties available in the UWP Community Toolkit. We're just getting started with the review of what's available. Next time, we'll examine the rest of the helper categories. Go check them all out and add the NuGet package to your UWP project today!

Happy coding! Tags: ,

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