Interesting WP7 ListBox Behavior

I just finished a knock-down drag-out battle against my own code.  And I won.  Finally. 

Quite frankly, this was completely unexpected behavior, and I wasn’t sure if it was native behavior or introduced by something I did, or something that the Non-Linear Navigation Service provided by Yochay Kiriaty caused, but it turns out to be native behavior.  I’ll explain the problem, then show how I overcame it.

Non-Linear Navigation Service

But first of all I want to emit a word or two in praise of Yochay Kiriaty and the Windows Phone Developer team for their work creating the Non-Linear Navigation Service!  Hip hip hooray!  The Ham Radio Practice Exam app is complex enough to be getting into some serious loop navigation problems and I was starting to despair that I would have to interrupt development in order to fix the problem myself.  But then I happened upon NLNS, and my problem was solved!  I am most grateful, and this ought to demonstrate the dedication and attention to detail put forth by Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developement Team.  This is one classy bunch!

Navigation Using a List Box

Rather than trying to work inside my app, which in the relevant locations has a lot of code unnecessary to illustrate the problem, I’ll use  a bare-bones example.  Let’s start with the list box:

Basic List Box Xaml code

List Box XamlList Box with Selected Item

Here is its SelectionChanged handler:  

List Box Selection_Changed Event Handler

List Box Selection_Changed Event Handler

Page1.xaml is a simple page with nothing in particular on it. The interesting behavior is demonstrated by running the app.  Click on either of the two list box items, and you will be taken to Page1.  Everything very normal and boring.  But now click on the Back navigation button. You find yourself back on the MainPage looking at the List Box, as expected, but there’s a difference.  See the color of the List Item you clicked earlier?  It’s a blue color and if you click on it now, nothing happens.  If you click on the other List Item, you will be taken to Page1, and upon return to the MainPage this time the other List Item will be blue and unselectable. 

List Box with Selected Item

List Box with Selected Item

The reason for it being unselectable is because its state is already Selected.  Since you can’t select something that is already selected, it ignores your click!  That seems normal, but what doesn’t seem normal is that a simple GoBack from the navigated-to page leaves your list box item selected!  Is there a simple way to avoid this?  I don’t know, but I did figure out a workaround.

The Workaround

What I did to get around the problem was to place code in the Page_Loaded event that goes through each List Box Item checking to see if it is Selected, and if it is then it sets the IsSelected property to false.  Since doing this will cause the ListBox_SelectionChanged event to fire and undesired naviagation to Page1, I suppress this by temporarily setting a boolean to route around the navigation code. 
Here’s the complete code:
The Code Workaround

The Code Workaround

And so it is fixed.
Now, if there is some simpler thing I could have done perhaps someone could explain it!
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3 Responses to Interesting WP7 ListBox Behavior

  1. marcus says:

    I had this problem, so all you do is under the line of code that navigates you to the page your after, you set the Selected Index to -1
    See the below for my implementation.
    private void FirstListBox_SelectionChanged(object sender, SelectionChangedEventArgs e)

    // if an item is selected
    if (MainMenuListBox.SelectedIndex == 1) // quick search
    NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri(“/QuickSearch.xaml”, UriKind.Relative));

    MainMenuListBox.SelectedIndex = -1; // Clear the Selection Index

    // if an item is selected
    if (MainMenuListBox.SelectedIndex == 3) // about page
    NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri(“/AboutPage.xaml”, UriKind.Relative));

    MainMenuListBox.SelectedIndex = -1; // Clear the Selection Index


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