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Okay, this post isn’t really about creating a full blown Natural User Interface (NUI)…
I just wanted to jump on the NUI bandwagon while it’s still the cool new thing!
Since then, I have periodically been asked how one would go about creating a panel that behaves like the application launcher in Surface.
If you have not seen the app launcher, I would describe the panel as simply a horizontal Stack Panel that infinitely cycles its children.
This zero-sized rect provides a perf optimization (less layout processing and generated render data), especially for elements with elaborate subtrees, which you might have in an Items Control with a complex item template. This meant I would need a property that could be used to identify the index of the pivotal child. The name might not make a lot of sense at first, but it should shortly.
What might make even less sense is that the Offset property is of type double.
To enable this infinite looping of children, the Offset property is completely unbounded. So to truly determine the index of the pivotal child, the Offset value is taken modulo the current count of children.
So animating the Offset from 6 to 7 when you only have 5 children is equivalent to animating the Offset from 1 to 2.
which is, incidentally, achieved using a Drop Shadow Effect in the new effects pipeline.) Even in the new pipeline, Drop Shadow Effect is a rather expensive effect because it requires multiple passes.What happens when you animate the Offset from 6 to 7, but there are only 5 children?Well recall that the Loop Panel needs to cycle its children infinitely.So why would we need a double value to act as an index into a collection?Actually, only the whole portion of the Offset value is considered when determining the index of the pivotal child.