I am so glad there are people smarter than I am. Especially folks that are working on Blend and who knew I would be posting about sample data, and how that might work.
And the fact that they were working on it for months before I ever piped up. :oD
Expression Blend 3 does the exact thing that I was hoping Microsoft would integrate into the designers for WPF: sample data can now be auto-generated for you, or you can specify an XML file to populate the design-time data.
Here’s Soma’s preview from his blog…and an inexplicitly long set of gripes from people who obviously haven’t upgraded their IDE since Visual Interdev…
For those that are highly critical I encourage you to dive a little deeper than what's at the surface here. Templating, binding, providers, extensible components, the frameworks and base classes now provided, and now behaviours...there are a lot of great tools here. I've been using .Net since 2001 and have deployed apps with up to 10,000 users. It has come a long way, but you have to take off your "Here's what I know" cap and adopt the new functionality.
I remember when a friend got Vista, an upgrade from Win95. She refused to start using the new document folders and insisted on using her old DOS-style directory structure for storing. When she finally let go and adopted the new style of organization she was pleasantly surprised…