Silverlight Tip: Enumerating embedded resources

November 13, 2009

Today I’ve got a “Call for Help” from one of Silverlight MVPs – Bill Reiss. The mail said:

“I would like to enumerate all items that were marked as Content or Resource in the main XAP file.

If I can’t do both I’d settle for one. Any sample code for this would be greatly appreciated.



I decided to help with embedded resources, because I did something like this in WPF.

I’ve created sample application, which will display a list of resources in list box – from here it is very easy to use them by name. My sample will load the resource as image.

For application I’ve added 3 sample images and marked them “Resource” in properties:


The application UI:


XAML for sample:

    <StackPanel x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White" Orientation="Vertical">
        <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" Margin="5">
            <Button Content="Embedded Resources" Padding="5" Margin="5" x:Name="btnEmbedded" Click="btnEmbedded_Click"/>
        <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" Margin="5">
            <StackPanel Orientation="Vertical" Margin="5">
                <TextBlock Text="Embedded Resources:" Margin="5,0"/>
                <ListBox x:Name="lstEmbedded" SelectionChanged="lstEmbedded_SelectionChanged" Margin="5"/>
                <Image x:Name="imgEmbedded" Stretch="Uniform" Width="150" Height="150" Margin="5,0"/>

At code behind I have 2 event handler functions. First – to handle button click and get the resources.

First of all I have to open XAP file as a resource:

WebClient wc = new WebClient();
wc.OpenReadCompleted += (s, args) =>
   if (args.Error == null)
      //rest will be here
wc.OpenReadAsync(new Uri("SL_Resources_Test.xap", UriKind.RelativeOrAbsolute));

When the OpenRead completes, first I have to get the list of assembly parts in XAP using application manifest.

XmlReader reader = XmlReader.Create(Application.GetResourceStream(new StreamResourceInfo(args.Result, null), 
new Uri("AppManifest.xaml", UriKind.Relative)).Stream); AssemblyPartCollection parts = new AssemblyPartCollection(); if (reader.Read()) { reader.ReadStartElement(); if (reader.ReadToNextSibling("Deployment.Parts")) { while (reader.ReadToFollowing("AssemblyPart")) { parts.Add(new AssemblyPart() { Source = reader.GetAttribute("Source") }); } } }

Now, when I have a list of all parts (DLLs which could have embedded resources) I will get resources from each one of the DLLs:

List<string> embeddedResources = new List<string>(); //Will use this list as source for ListBox later in code

foreach (var part in parts)
   Assembly assy = part.Load(Application.GetResourceStream(new StreamResourceInfo(args.Result, null), 
new Uri(part.Source, UriKind.Relative)).Stream); //Load current assembly string[] resources = assy.GetManifestResourceNames(); //Get embedded resource names foreach (var resource in resources) { ResourceManager rm = new ResourceManager(resource.Replace(".resources",""), assy); //All resources has “.resources” in the name – so I have to get rid of it Stream DUMMY = rm.GetStream("app.xaml"); //Seems like some issue here, but without getting any real stream next statement doesn't work.... ResourceSet rs = rm.GetResourceSet(Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture, false, true); //to get the actual values - create the table //Dictionary<string, object> table = new Dictionary<string, object>(); IDictionaryEnumerator enumerator = rs.GetEnumerator(); while (enumerator.MoveNext()) { embeddedResources.Add((string)enumerator.Key); //It is also possible to get the value and key instead of just key //object obj2 = enumerator.Value; //table.Add((string)enumerator.Key, obj2); } } } lstEmbedded.ItemsSource = embeddedResources; //Use prepared list as a source for ListBox

Now my embedded resources enumerated.

Second part – use the resource by name when selection changed in the list box:

private void lstEmbedded_SelectionChanged(object sender, SelectionChangedEventArgs e)
    Uri uri = new Uri(lstEmbedded.SelectedItem.ToString(), UriKind.RelativeOrAbsolute);

    BitmapImage img = new BitmapImage(uri);
    imgEmbedded.Source = img; 


Running application:


image image image


Sample source here.


Stay tuned for more posts and news to come from PDC09.



See you at PDC09 and SDP!


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  1. joeNovember 24, 2009 ב 1:15

    Were you ever going to push the source? This article interested me but I wasn’t able to implement my own take based on the snippets above.

    I’d really appreciate it. It’s a neat idea.

  2. Alex GoleshNovember 24, 2009 ב 8:52

    Sample posted! Sorry for delay:)

  3. Roulett TrickDecember 31, 2009 ב 18:02

    Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

  4. Roulett TipDecember 31, 2009 ב 18:23

    Damn, that sound’s so easy if you think about it.

  5. online rouletteDecember 31, 2009 ב 18:24

    Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

  6. Roulette SpielenJanuary 2, 2010 ב 3:49

    Great idea, thanks for this tip!

  7. jetzt roulette spielenJanuary 2, 2010 ב 3:54

    Damn, that sound’s so easy if you think about it.

  8. Online RouletteJanuary 2, 2010 ב 19:29

    Hey, ok, I get it, I guess – but does this really work?

  9. Tip TricksJanuary 12, 2010 ב 23:35

    This brings me to an idea:…

  10. TagesgeldFebruary 4, 2011 ב 6:28

    Da frage ich mich beim Durchlesen von ja schon, ob man selbst nicht komplett auf den Kopf gefallen ist. Herzlichen Dank fur deine Erlauterungen

  11. 4, 2011 ב 4:33

    Silverlight tip enumerating embedded resources.. WTF? 🙂

  12. 22, 2011 ב 16:02

    Silverlight tip enumerating embedded resources.. I like it 🙂

  13. E CigaretteApril 27, 2011 ב 13:16

    Monument to the author posed for this:)

  14. goldfishkaMay 7, 2011 ב 22:01

    Super! All would be well written:)

  15. zhenskayaobuvMay 28, 2011 ב 7:47

    Hooray!, The one who wrote nishtyak wrote!