10 Silverlight loading animations using percentages (HBSL3 Addendum 1)

I’ve been thinking about what ways you’d have to show a loading animation using the progress percentage in a meaningful way.

Following Mike Taulty’s rant avoiding the “Blue Balls” when loading a Silverlight application, I’ve been thinking about what ways you’d have to show a loading animation (a.k.a. Splash Screen 🙂 using the progress percentage in a meaningful way.

The idea was to come up with 10 way to do this and it proved to be harder than I thought. I’ve made a little sketch that is a little further down this post, but first let’s have a look at how to show this. Actually is it XAML only, because the application is not loaded yet, so it can only use Javascript code behind. Creating a XAML-file and a JS-file in your Web project is enough.

Create a new XAML file called SplashScreen.xaml without code behind and a Grid or Canvas as the outer container. Place a Textbox to show a percentage and some Rectangles to show the progress.

[sourcecode language=”XML”]
    xmlns="<a href="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation&quot;">http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"</a>
    xmlns:x="<a href="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml&quot;">http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"</a>
    Width="640" Height="480" Background="White">
  <Canvas Canvas.Top="100" Canvas.Left="100" Width="440" Height="280">
    <Rectangle x:Name="rctProgressBarTrack" Width="300" Height="25" Canvas.Top="50" Canvas.Left="10" Fill="Silver" />
    <Rectangle x:Name="rctProgressBar" Width="300" Height="25" Canvas.Top="50" Canvas.Left="10" Fill="Red">
          <ScaleTransform x:Name="rctProgress" ScaleX="0" ScaleY="1"/>
    <TextBlock x:Name="txtStatus" Height="20" Canvas.Top="55" Canvas.Left="125" Text="Loading: " TextWrapping="Wrap"/>

In your startup file in the Web project add two lines to the Silverlight plug-in:

[sourcecode language=”XML”]
<param name="splashScreenSource" value="SplashScreen.xaml"/>
    value="onSourceDownloadProgressChanged" />

Create a small SplashScreen.js file in your Web project containing only this:

[sourcecode language=”XML”]
function onSourceDownloadProgressChanged(sender, eventArgs) {
    sender.findName("txtStatus").Text =
        "Loading: " + Math.round((eventArgs.progress * 1000)) / 10 + "%";
    sender.findName("rctProgress").ScaleY = eventArgs.progress;

Now copy the SplashScreen.xaml file to your Web project. If you change it later, don’t forget to copy it into your XAML project again . You may want to create something in your MainPage.xaml so there’s something to show after loading…


LoadingAnimations Here are  a 10 ideas for creating interesting loading animations. Most a using the progress percentage in some way. A few are “indeterminate” so, they could run forever. Note that the last 2 are dynamic, so should update every second or so. You can use the bars to fill other paths too, like coffee cups. You may need to scale a Clipping Mask for that.

Don’t make a Splash Screen that needs it’s own loading animation 🙂


2 gedachten over “10 Silverlight loading animations using percentages (HBSL3 Addendum 1)”

    1. You’re quite right, Mark. If you followed the link one would see it too.
      Merit is due to Mike Taulty.

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