Wednesday, June 28, 2006

VFP Common Controls Accepted to VFPX

I'm thrilled to announce that my VFP Common Controls project has been accepted into VFPX (what was formerly called SednaX). The library should be released soon once the transistion over to www.codeplex.com is finalized according to Craig Boyd. Craig was kind enough to provide my first feedback about the project, "It looks great and behaves almost flawessly."

So what is it you ask? Here's some snippets from the readme file.... If you'd like to contribute to the project please don't hesitate to contact me: sellenoff AT hotmail DOT COM.

What is it?
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The library is a set of controls which can be dropped on any Visual Foxpro 9.0 Form, written in 100% pure VFP code with no DLL/FLL/OCX dependencies which duplicates the exact functionality of the Microsoft Common Controls found in the Active X control library mscomctl.ocx, also known to C/C++ programmers as the Common Controls Library found in MS Windows ComCtl32.DLL.


Why do we need it?
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Many VFP developers turn to Microsoft’s Common Controls Active X library(mscomctl.ocx) to spruce up their user interfaces. Of particular popularity are the TreeView and ListView controls (which optionally require usage of an ImageList control for graphics support). There are two main disadventages to using the Active X controls. First, Active X controls in general, are more difficult to distribute and register on client computers, and many times version conflicts can cause many headaches.

More importantly, the current Active X controls are not XP Theme aware, and thus, VFP applications that are using XP Themes, look akward and unprofessional by including these non-themed controls. There does not seem to be any
movement on Microsoft’s part to release an updated version of these controls to address the situation as the latest version is a few years old already. This project was born to address these issues.


Installation
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The library files can be placed anywhere you like. Simply open up a vfp form, open up the vfpcomctl.vcx library, and drop the control onto your form as desired. Set the properties as you normally would through the property sheet. A few methods need to be called in code,normally in your form's init method. See the test_vfpcomctl folder for a project with example code. The design goal was to keep it as simple as possible for you, the programmer,to use these controls.


Goals of the Project
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·Provide VFP developers a 100% pure VFP drop in replacement for many of the controls found in Microsoft’s Common Controls Active X Library(mscomctl.ocx)

·Initial focus will be on the TreeView, ListView, and ImageList controls due to their popularity and their current lack of Theme support via the OCX.

·Utilize the Win32API to achive these controls so that from within VFP, they look, feel, and operate exactly as they would for a C/C++ programmer using Windows’ native Common Controls Library(comctl32.dll).

·The controls should be free of any .OCX/DLL/FLL dependencies, so that only pure VFP code libraries are required.

·As much as possible, the controls should be very simple to implement by programmers to use in their own forms, hopefully evolving to the point that they can be worked with as easily as a native vfp control or at the very least as easily as using the Active X controls.

·For some of the more complicated controls - offer two flavors of each:
1.one with a very simple interface for rapid desgin with minimal complexity
2.one that will expose an interface identical to the Active X counterparts, so that porting existing code from the Active X to these controls would require minimal effort.

·Create documentation and samples for all of the components so developers can easily learn how to use the controls, as well as outline any existing known issues so that the controls can be improved upon.

·Future goals of the project include adding additional controls offered by the MS Common Control library depending on feasability and user desire.

1 Comments:

Blogger Carlos Alloatti said...

Any code available?

3:25 AM  

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