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Vesuvius vesuvius Count Orlock
  • Ideas for a new .NET Ryflector

    Bas said:
    I think it's a neat idea. Even if you've built the exact same Reflactor we already have, it'll have been interesting to build, and you can extend it in various ways.
    @ steveo_
    I expect this to be the overwhelming sentiment. This is one ubiquitous application. My prime object is to dissect the reflection namespace, not to placate developers by saying I have re-invented sliced bread.

    @ Wisecarver

    I'm already at a disadvantage then, but it will be interesting to see how this all works. Someone like Blowdart always says "look at the amount of 1/2 baked projects on Sourceforge", so I don't expect someone of your experience to get excited, but to offer pragmatic advice/stumbling blocks


    Exactly right. Anders Hejlsberg and the C# team have spoken about Metaprogramming for the inevitably forthcoming dynamic features in C/VB[next versions]. I don't really have a clear understanding of how this works in .NET i.e. compile time programming, so hope this will be all but a window. Writing Websites or Smart Client applications gets cumbersome sometimes, and apart from a few specific methods where the code does something interesting, most of it is just boilerplate plumbing, getting this to work with that, over and over again, especially on the bigger projects.

    I hope this will give me some respite.

  • Ideas for a new .NET Ryflector

    W3bbo said:
    Usability aesthetics 101: Always respect the user's colour and system settings. I'm not a fan of the button icons either (they're visually inconsistent and too large).

    Anyway, there's no point fixing something if it isn't broken and Reflector is fine (even if it could do with being GPL'd). If I were in your position I'd copy it directly first, then take it from there.
    You will find the UI is an exact replica of reflector except the big buttons. Everything else is identical, including the function of the icons. I have gone with big icons (though the user will have the option to have a small, medium or large toolstrip. In these days of high resolution screens, you can afford to use bigger icons as they still look small - does on my screen. Firefox, IE etc. all have 24X24 icons, I've just gone one size larger with 32X32 - Vista is usually 128X128.

    I don't want to re-invent the wheel, this is an oportunity to dissect the reflection namespace for me (learn something new), and illustrate that the UI can be improved. I do have a few ideas best visualised, but give that a few weeks or so and you will see.

    This is a fun project first and foremost.

  • Ideas for a new .NET Ryflector

    I have always wanted to delve a little deeper into the reflection namespace, and since Eric has mentioned that the ubiquitous .NET Reflector is going to Redgate, I thought it about time I gave it a shot.

    In truth business application development has it's droll periods, and Jeff Prosise says try new stuff, so new stuff I must try. I have elected to write a lightweight .NET reflection based application called Ryflector(for the moment) .

    What is it that is missing in the current .NET reflector? What do you dislike about it? What would you like to see changed or improved? What ideas for Ryflector would you like incorporated? Do you like the colour scheme (a system one will be included)?

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    DCMonkey said:
    While I agree that there should be WPF versions of the new Vista controls, you seem to be ignoring the problems with using GDI based Win32 controls (managed wrapper or not) in a WPF app, airspace being the main one. With that in mind, I don't see why they should go any futher than to wrap those controls in Windows.Forms and let you use them in WPF via Interop if you really want to.

    And WPF-native versions of these controls would have another advantage; they would work on XP and Vista. The new Win32 controls (or the new features of pre-existing controls) would only work on Vista, and I don't see Vista-only apps as being a viable entity any time soon.
    It was possible to use an application created on XP in windows 2000, so there really shouldn't be a difference. There are . NET 2.0 features introduced that simply don't run on Win2K. Likewise I know that it is possible to run WPF applications on XP, but you really want a good graphics card (for the best experience) and most XP machines do not have this, so even though the WPF app may run, it wont look as good.

    Interop is not such a bad thing, and as long as Windows is C based and growing, then Interop will always be needed. It's just that Microsft make things so difficult, and Visual Studio will have Windows Forms based controls now as the most visible until 2010.

    I love WPF, but most component manufacturers of are still at the stage where they are re-creating date time pickers and datgrids etc. and it will be ages before you have a full toolbox. During this time we'd have been using these managed wrappers and having less monolithic applications, that don't look as good on Vista. As a developer, there really was no overwhelming reason to develop on Vista [controls wise], And it appears this will be the case until windows [next version].

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    Dexter said:
    vesuvius said:
    If you're talking about the selection background then SetWindowTheme will "fix" that (and the good thing about SetWindowTheme is that is available on XP too so the application won't break but the normal theme will be used since "explorer" theme does not exist on XP).

    If you're talking about the header dropdown button then it's somewhat complicated (partly because you'll also need to handle a notification message when it is clicked). Also keep in mind that this is only about the dropdown button itself, the dropdown that Explorer displays is not part of the ListView control, you have to implement it yourself.

    Yes, set windows theme works, even with the treeview. Simple and elegant and a very easy way to upgrade any legacy windows applications to be cognisant of the new theming. I especially like the treeview, you sort of wish they did this with Visual Studio or the image above. I especially like that this will work on XP as well. IS there another theme apart from "explorer"?

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    Dexter said:
    vesuvius said:
    Umm... and what exactly is stopping you from using 256x256 32bit images with WinForms ListView?! I've yet to try with 256x256 but I know for sure that 48x48 32bit (with alpha transparency) images work just fine on Vista. On XP the same images appear as if they were 8bit (or maybe 16bit) but the application still works fine.

    And the explorer theme is only one line of code away (well, 3 lines if I include the interop declaration Smiley )

    [DllImport("uxtheme.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode, ExactSpelling = true)]
    private static extern int SetWindowTheme(IntPtr hWnd, string appName, string partList);

    SetWindowTheme(listView1.Handle, "explorer", null);

    Of course it would be better if this would be part of the framework but it is also easy enough to do it yourself if you really want to.

    And the devil is in the details: there is no such thing as Vista ListView control. There is a Windows ListView control and System.Windows.Forms.ListView is a wrapper of that. It only happens that a couple of messages and flags (mostly groups related) are not exposed in the managed API. But that's nothing new, not all functionality that was introduced with XP is available in WinForms.

    I will try this.

    I tried things like http://www.danielmoth.com/Blog/2007/01/treeviewvista.html but I was getting unexpected behaviour and I presume this is what the library is that Tommy linked to at the top

    there is a difference between this listview

    and this one

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    Maddus Mattus said:
    Bas said:

    Kinda like when you ate at McDonalds Wink
    The thing is they have tried though with ASP.NET. Not to say the developer division are biased or anything (I do think the love is with the web), but ASP.NET has a tonne of value with each Visual Studio release. You can almost bet on a new grid type control, data sources and so forth. AJAX and MVC being the newest additions. The Entity Framework is in all truth designed top to bottom for REST (full) web services and a sweet spot will be when it and Silverlight meet.  Experience tells you to never use the standalone ASP.NET menu or grid control for instance, but as starting tools they are loads better than client stuff. CSS is such a strong element though in web design. We are beginning to see the same with sites like http://reuxables.nukeation.com/ for WPF - surely it should have been vica-versa.

    Hopefully at some point people are skilled enough to provide free resource dictionaries for Silverlight or WPF - just like CSS - because the system makes it so easy to do this sort of thing, I'm not sure you should be paying. In WPF or Silverlight, emphasis is in recreating all the standard controls at the moment, be it a datetime picker or a datagrid and it will be some time before a new type of control not previously available surfaces in WPF.

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    Maddus Mattus said:
    vesuvius said:
    I still have to agree with Bas that I would want superiour stuff as standard or bundled with Visual Studio.
    So do I, I agree with Bas entirely!

     I love things that are standard, and in general hate having to go to this vendor for this, and that vendor for that. Ray7 has just linked to an advert that Jerry Seinfeld (won't steal the link to his thread) is being paid $10 million for, in an attempt to reverse Vista Misconceptions.

    If they used that 10 million in managed wrappers for the OS, users would be wow-ed when 90% of their applications have cool Vista theming with a Listview that has very clear 256X256 icons and lovely filtering etc.

     As it is, it's "money for old rope" in my opinion.

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    Maddus Mattus said:
    Bas said:

    Microsoft is a huge partner organisation, they will do anything not to rub the partners the wrong way. As you may know many of those partners are third party control vendors. If Microsoft would all of a sudden release their Vista control suite for free with VS 2008 for instance, they would disappoint the partners.

    I would not like to be in their shoes, constantly weighing the pro's and the cons. Knowing that each choice will make someone angry.

    Microsoft,at present, are developing a datagrid for WPF. I will tell you for free, that it will not compare within a country mile of the Xceed grid for WPF. Microsoft are also developing a Silverlight datagrid. That already is piteous in comparison to the Silverlight one from DevExpress ( free as well).

    For all their previous controls, windows forms for example, 3rd party vendors always augmented them and added new features,  improving performance. The same can be said for the Vista API controls. Were managed wrappers to be available, these third parties will love it, as they would augment them. If you look for the best performing - and looking - datagrid (client wise), it certainly is not Microsoft, but Xceed and DevExpress. The same can be said for a variety of their standard controls

  • Reinventing the Vista wheel

    TommyCarlier said:
    It's not from Microsoft itself, but you could try Windows Forms Aero, an open source project that provides WinForms wrappers around the native Vista controls.
    Those controls are great  and only serve to illustrate a few tricks that Microsoft have missed. It just seems to me that there is a climate of ploughing resources into one thing , e.g. WPF and completely ignoring previous technologies. What was there for winforms in the new service pack? A new repeater control that wasn't even developed for the service pack (all other component vendors are continuing to plough resources in). It just so happened that the Visual Basic powerpacks team happened to create one in their power packs three. It is the year 2008 and client applications have a repeater control, at last. ASP.NET seems where all the resources have been spent as they have repeaters, datalists and several grid and listview controls.

    This in some ways is what limits the Vista operating system and ignites a "nothing is new" stance that people take with Vista. In Tommy's link there is a comment by a WPF mover and shaker Marlon Grech asking if a WPF will be supported, so as you can see, this spans all presentation technologies.

    So what is next? PDC 2008 which means Windows and Visual Studio [version next] will arrive 2010 at the very earliest. I presume a Vista SP2 is already in the pipeline. what I wonder will be the focus?