Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Fantasies

When I was attending session on "Windows Forms Internals" at TechEd, I came to know about some really good features in Windows Forms 2.0. Here is a big list:
1. Now you can have menus (MenuStrip) looking similar to those are in Office 2003. Before Windows Forms 2.0, you had to achieve this by buying some third party control.
2. Your menus may have an icon for each MenuItem. Previously you had to write some junk code to first make it in OwnerDraw mode and then draw custom icon.
3. Common item of general menus will be added for you by default. It is another fact that you have to do code to implement the logic behind them. Any way it saves you some amount of time from coding those items.
4. Now you can have toolbar (ToolbarStrip) similar to Office 2003.
5. It also does have common items created out for you.
6. Now you can place a dropdown list box on toolbar without doing much wrestling with this control
7. Another amazing control is ToolbarStripContainer. It may host MenuStrip as well ToolbarStrip and guess what feature does it give to you. You make it the parent of MenuStrip and ToolbarStrip and set its dock mode as DockFill and see the magic. Now you can move either your MenuStrip or ToolbarStrip to any corner of your Form. Isn't it cool? Do you strill remember how much juggling you had to do with native APIs to achive the same thing.
8. Another sibling of these controls is StatusbarStrip. It does have same amount of exciting as other controls are having. Now you can have ProgressBar as well as DropDownlist in statusbar without digging into the details of owner drawing.
9. Do you remember yourself trying to accomplish out something with Windows Forms in .Net 1.1 or earlier. You poor boy. Windows Forms datagrid control in .Net 1.1 was the worst control in universe. Do you still remember, how much wrestling you had to do with DataGridColumnStyle to put a dropdown list in Windows datagrid. Now gone are those days. Windows datagrid in .Net 2.0 gives you all kinds of column styles those you need in simple life. It is a boon, if you need to give some sort of tabular capabilities to your application.

Now what? After getting these many new features, you are ready to create your next killer application. A great amount of thanks to Microsoft Windows Forms team, which has done a great job. All of my fantasies about Windows Application have come true. :)

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