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Vista-style dialogs and applications - Which SDK to use?

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  • User profile image

    okay I have a question and it could be a simple (silly) one, but I am struggling to find an ans:

    What should I use to create Vista style dialogs, wizards and apps in general? I have the PDC build installed (also had Beta 1 previously) but didnt find anything installed (SDKs) by default. I just downloaded the Longhorn Beta 1 SDK from MSDN (the only one I could see that relates to Vista) - but that just looks like a normal Platform SDK - nothing about the Vista guidelines.

    I am refering to the Vista UX guidelines and they talk about the new dialogs, wizards, controls etc that apps should use (if deployed on vista), but how??!

    I am pretty sure the APIs are both managed and unmanaged (so win32 apps can use them), and its definately different than WinFX, so where is it guys? Any blogs/samples you've come across?


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    Tyler Brown

    I haven't experimented with the dialogs... but I'm 99% positive that they are the conventional dialogs, but the Aero Glass experience gives them the Vista style. Try creating a simple tool-tip or notification window in a Hello World application and run it on your Vista Beta 1 box to see what happens.

  • User profile image


    Over at MSDN forums for Vista, Lori Pearce replied that the version on MSDN (Longhorn SDK beta 1) are indeed the correct docs/sdk, but they arent updated fully yet.

    I converted a VS 6.0 project to VS 2005 (unmanaged c++ code from our product, just one module though for testing) and in there we call common file dialogs for open and save. The overall app is taking somewhat Vista style (checkboxes, drop-downs, etc), but the dialogs still look (ugly in this case because of the Vista UI changes) old-style. I was hoping there'll be a new SDK and new API functions for Vista-style message boxes and dialogs. (since otherwise all existing apps should look like Vista apps if they used the same API/methods).

    Anyways, I'll poke more at the Longhorn SDK on MSDN (since that's the only one that's out, and WinFX is completely different).

    - Keeron

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    Wouldn't that the Avalon SDK?  I admit I haven't started trying to learn how to code for Vista, but I thought Avalon handled ALL graphic related goodness in Vista.

  • User profile image

    Nope, Avalon is the presentation framework that also works on XP (and Win2k3). It should not contain Vista-specific APIs since its' not bound to any OS (well Vista that is).

    If you look at XP and older OSs, its always the Platform SDK that gives you these type of APIs (FileOpen, FileSave, font dialog, etc)...and I don't think that it'll change with Vista - there should be (if the Longhorn Beta 1 SDK is not) a Platform SDK update for Vista soon.

    Avalon, Indigo and Workflow (whatever that is) are just part of WinFX APIs built on top of .NET framework that allow better productivity (rich UI - avalon, messaging - indigo, and not sure what Workflow component does Smiley )

    - Keeron  

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    I believe you are talking about the Windows Vista User Experience Wizard and the Task Dialog.  According to the MSDN site:

    "The API for the Task dialog is primarily a replacement of the existing message box, although it adds support for features such as hyperlinks and customizable button labels and icons."

    So I'd probably start by looking at the existing message box API.  Unfortunately my search of the MSDN Windows SDK Beta 1 docs returns a "service not available" error:

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