Two major open-source tools for Windows Phone 7 have arrived

The past couple of days have seen some much-anticipated and highly regarded open-source code releases which will undoubtedly excite developers building applications for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Applications for Windows Phone 7 can be built either with Silverlight or the XNA Framework, both Microsoft .NET technologies. This has initially made the platform very popular with developers already skilled in Silverlight and game development on Microsoft platforms.

There have been two major code drops for open-source Windows Phone 7 code to help developers build prettier, easier to use and more effective applications more quickly. The first release, of the Coding4Fun Windows Phone Toolkit, is by the Coding4Fun team at Microsoft. The code covers all kinds of helpers including UI controls such as progress overlays, toggle buttons, prompts and more; it also contains a Popup renderer that is GPU accelerated (unlike the native popup window); binding helpers; data helpers; and data converters to go with these.

The second project is a community effort by Richard Griffin and other community members. As well as a set of UI controls which differ from Coding4Fun’s, it includes a complex caching and messaging helper that gives developers an easy way to cache data in various persistence modes on the client (handset) without having to write the code from scratch. It also provides a healthy stack of communication and service helpers that will be useful to developers looking to build more complex applications.

The Coding4Fun toolkit and WP7Contrib are both on CodePlex for download.

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