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Recursive delete from IsolatedStorage and other time savers for Windows Phone development

As you, probably, notice, I returned to the consulting field. So I started to publish here again. Today, we’ll speak about some quick extension methods which help me to work with Windows Phone. We’ll start from IsolatedStorageFile (frankly, I do not know why they called it “File”).

First of all, let’s make a method to delete the directory recursively, including files inside.

public static void DeleteDirectory(this IsolatedStorageFile store, string dir, bool recursive) {
            if (store.DirectoryExists(dir)) {
                if (recursive) {
                    foreach (var directory in store.GetDirectoryNames(Path.Combine(dir, "*"))) {
                        store.DeleteDirectory(directory, true);
                    foreach (var file in store.GetFileNames(Path.Combine(dir, "*"))) {
                        store.DeleteFile(Path.Combine(dir, file));

Usage rather straight-forward (like regular IsolatedStorageFile.DeleteDirectory method but with additional parameter.

var store = IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForApplication();
store.DeleteDirectory(“MyDirectory”, true);

With recursive==true it will delete all inside the directory and the directory itself, without, will work exactly like the original method.

As known. Windows Phone API works only with XDocuments and Xml.Linq, which is good thing, but sometimes, it is nasty getting a value of the attribute you not sure us there. Thus I wrote a method to make the syntax cleaner.

public static string GetAttribute(this XElement element, string name) {
            if (element.HasAttribute(name)) return element.Attribute(name).Value;
            else return string.Empty;

public static bool HasAttribute(this XElement element, string name) {
            return element.HasAttributes && element.Attribute(name) != null;

Usage is simple:

var items = itm.Descendants("item").Where(e => e.GetAttribute("type") != "default");
                foreach (var item in items) {
                    var pid = item.GetAttribute("id");


Another problem is the complicated syntax of visual tree manipulations. Thus I wrote some handy methods to handle it.

Check whether the tree contains an object

public static bool IsInVisualTree(this DependencyObject element, DependencyObject treeRoot) {
            return element.GetVisualAncestors().Contains(treeRoot);

Getting all visual ancestors our of the visual tree on the phone.

public static IEnumerable<DependencyObject> GetVisualAncestors(this DependencyObject element) {
            DependencyObject candidate = null;
            while (element != null) {
                candidate = VisualTreeHelper.GetParent(element);
                if (candidate == null) {
                    var asFe = element as FrameworkElement;
                    if (asFe != null)
                        candidate = asFe.Parent;
                element = candidate;
                if (element != null)
                    yield return element;


…and descendants for the element inside the tree.

public static IEnumerable<DependencyObject> GetVisualDescendants(this DependencyObject element) {
            int childCount = VisualTreeHelper.GetChildrenCount(element);
            for (int i = 0; i < childCount; i++) {
                var child = VisualTreeHelper.GetChild(element, i);
                yield return child;
                foreach (var descendant in child.GetVisualDescendants()) {
                    yield return descendant;


Here are some usage examples

if (originalSource.GetVisualAncestors().OfType<ItemBase>().Any()) { … }

itemsHost = this.GetVisualDescendants().OfType<Panel>().Where(p => p is PanelBase).FirstOrDefault()

Since, today I have a number of projects on Windows Phone, I’ll, probably, add some handy methods on going. As for you, you can put those together inside my golden sugar collection and work easier.

Be good people and have a nice day.

Installation of Windows Phone SDK 8.0 on Windows 7

In order to ignite my comeback to the community I decided to start from Windows Phone development. First of all, I downloaded WPSDK 8 and start it installation on my good old Windows 7 x64 machine.


What’s the hack? Why it wants me to install Windows 8 with all those tiles on my screen? Digging deeper inside the reasons, I found that the root cause of this strange requirement is WP (not Word Press, Windows Phone) emulator which takes advantage on Hyper-V technology on Windows 8. But who cares about it. Real heroes can live without emulators. So, let’s start hacking WPSDK installer.

Let’s see first what WPExpress_full.exe is.  52 61 72 21 1a 07 00! SFX module detected. It’s CAB inside. Let’s see


Very nice. Let’s take a look onto main file (0). This is WiX installer. So let’s unpack this msi pack.


Interesting… Custom UI by using Burn and ManagedUx from WiX SDK. Other words without recreation of WiX project it is almost impossible to recover the installer. So even if

<UxBlocker ShortName="CheckX64runningWin2008ServerOrWin8" Type="Stop" Condition="(VersionNT < v6.1) OR ((VersionNT = v6.1) AND (NTProductType < 3)) OR (NOT VersionNT64)" DisplayText="#loc.Win8X64Block"/>

can be changed, we’ll be unable to recompile it. Let’s try the other way.

Inside manifest.xml we can find a list of all packets with it sources. So we can download all of those and install it one by one using the order from the manifest.

<Payload Id="ssceruntime_x64_msi" FilePath="packages\SSCE40\SSCERuntime_x64-enu.exe" FileSize="2638632" Hash="E33F355F5E83D93099A732E2ECE02E07818B2696" CertificateRootPublicKeyIdentifier="D37F6D0F2894D56049061A44596FFA88CBFD1B5B" CertificateRootThumbprint="19F8F76F4655074509769C20349FFAECCECD217D" DownloadUrl=";clcid=0x409" Packaging="external" SourcePath="packages\SSCE40\SSCERuntime_x64-enu.exe" /><Payload Id="vcRuntimeMinimum_x64" FilePath="packages\vcRuntimeMinimum_amd64\vc_runtimeMinimum_x64.msi" FileSize="155648" Hash="CA08E6E42C30B01D27738E9F3191BEFF4C183D42" CertificateRootPublicKeyIdentifier="D37F6D0F2894D56049061A44596FFA88CBFD1B5B" CertificateRootThumbprint="19F8F76F4655074509769C20349FFAECCECD217D" DownloadUrl=";clcid=0x409" Packaging="external" SourcePath="packages\vcRuntimeMinimum_amd64\vc_runtimeMinimum_x64.msi" /><Payload Id="vcRuntimeAdditional_x86" FilePath="packages\vcRuntimeAdditional_x86\vc_runtimeAdditional_x86.msi" FileSize="155648" Hash="0BEB1DB386D9E75E68C9E35EA2C426548570DDBB" CertificateRootPublicKeyIdentifier="D37F6D0F2894D56049061A44596FFA88CBFD1B5B" CertificateRootThumbprint="19F8F76F4655074509769C20349FFAECCECD217D" DownloadUrl=";clcid=0x409" Packaging="external" SourcePath="packages\vcRuntimeAdditional_x86\vc_runtimeAdditional_x86.msi" />

This method works. However, when I installed it I found some other annoyances related to XAML editor, which crashes Blend (but old school default XML editor method works Smile) and Windows Phone 8 emulator is non-functional.

At the end we have WPDSK 7.1 fully functional, XML editor for XAML, non-functional emulator and voilà working WPDSK 8.0 running on Windows 7.

Is it good or bad thing – you decide. But, as always, do not be greedy and let developers work with their operating systems. Do not try to make people reinstall their work machines only for one SDK.





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