WPF bindings for fable-elmish.
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WPF done the Elmish Way

NuGet version

Never write a ViewModel class again!

This library uses fable-elmish, an Elm architecture implemented in F#, to build WPF applications. Fable-elmish was originally written for Fable applications, however it is used here for WPF. It is highly recommended to have a look at the elmish docs site if you are not familiar with the Elm architecture.

Getting started with Elmish.WPF

  • Create an F# Windows Application (or Console) project. This is where your Elmish model will live.
  • Add nuget package Elmish.WPF to to your Elmish project.
  • Create a WPF Class Library project. This is where your XAML views will live.
  • Reference your View project in your Elmish project.

The Elmish Stuff

Here is an example of an Elmish model (Model) with a composite model inside of it (ClockModel) and the corresponding messages:

    type ClockMsg =
        | Tick of DateTime

    type ClockModel =
        { Time: DateTime }

    type Msg =
        | ClockMsg of ClockMsg
        | Increment
        | Decrement
        | SetStepSize of int

    type Model = 
        { Count: int
          StepSize: int
          Clock: ClockModel }

The init function returns your initial state, and each model gets an update function for message processing:

    let init() = { Count = 0; StepSize = 1; Clock = { Time = DateTime.Now }}
    let clockUpdate (msg:ClockMsg) (model:ClockModel) =
        match msg with
        | Tick t -> { model with Time = t }

    let update (msg:Msg) (model:Model) =
        match msg with
        | Increment -> { model with Count = model.Count + model.StepSize }
        | Decrement -> { model with Count = model.Count - model.StepSize }
        | SetStepSize n -> { model with StepSize = n }
        | ClockMsg m -> { model with Clock = clockUpdate m model.Clock }

Subscriptions, which are events sent from outside the view or the dispatch loop, are created using Cmd.ofSub. For example, dispatching events on a timer:

    let timerTick dispatch =
        let timer = new System.Timers.Timer 1.
        timer.Elapsed.Subscribe (fun _ -> dispatch (System.DateTime.Now |> Tick |> ClockMsg)) |> ignore
        timer.Enabled <- true

    let subscribe model =
        Cmd.ofSub timerTick

Binding the Elmish to the XAML

Bindings in your XAML code will look like typical bindings, but a bit of extra code is needed to map those bindings to your Elmish model. These are the viewBindings, which expose parts of the model to the view.

There are helper functions to create bindings located in the Binding module:

  • oneWay
    • Basic source-to-view binding. Maps to BindingMode.OneWay.
    • Takes a getter ('model -> 'a)
  • twoWay
    • Binding from source to view, or view to source, and usually used for input controls. Maps to BindingMode.TwoWay or BindingMode.OneWayToSource.
    • Takes a getter ('model -> 'a) and a setter ('a -> 'model -> 'msg) that returns a message.
  • twoWayValidation
    • Binding from source to view, or view to source, and usually used for input controls. Maps to BindingMode.TwoWay or BindingMode.OneWayToSource. Setter will implement validation which is exposed to the view through typical INotifyDataErrorInfo properties.
    • Takes a getter ('model -> 'a) and a setter ('a -> 'model -> Result<'msg,string>) that indicates whether the input is valid or not.
  • cmd
    • Basic command binding
    • Takes an execute function ('model -> 'msg)
  • cmdIf
    • Conditional command binding
    • Takes an execute function ('model -> 'msg) and a canExecute function ('model -> bool)
  • vm
    • Composite model binding
    • Takes a getter ('model -> 'a) and the composite model viewBindings, where 'a is your composite model member.
  • oneWayMap
    • Basic source-to-view binding with a map function. This should be used for cases where it is desirable to have one type in your model and return a different type to the view. This will be more performant than mapping directly in the getter.
    • Takes a getter ('model -> 'a) and a mapper ('a -> 'b).

The last string argument to each binding is the name of the property as referenced in the XAML binding.

    let view _ _ = 
        let clockViewBinding : ViewBindings<ClockModel,ClockMsg> =
            [ "Time" |> Binding.oneWay (fun m -> m.Time) ]

        [ "Increment" |> Binding.cmd (fun m -> Increment)
          "Decrement" |> Binding.cmdIf (fun m -> Decrement) (fun m -> m.StepSize = 1)
          "Count" |> Binding.oneWay (fun m -> m.Count)
          "StepSize" |> Binding.twoWay (fun m -> (double m.StepSize)) (fun v m -> v |> int |> SetStepSize)
          "Clock" |> Binding.vm (fun m -> m.Clock) clockViewBinding ClockMsg ]

Note: A viewBinding created with Binding.vm would be bound to the DataContext of a user control.

Tying it all together

Pass an instance of your main window into Program.runWindow. The DataContext of this instance will be automatically set to your main model.

    let main argv = 
        Program.mkSimple init update view
        |> Program.withSubscription subscribe
        |> Program.runWindow (Elmish.CounterViews.MainWindow())


This library would not have been possible without the elmish engine, fable-elmish, written by et1975. This project technically has no tie to Fable, which is an F# to JavaScript transpiler that is definitely worth checking out.