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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World Forms Designer Programming thread about creating a .NET custom forms designer
Custom Forms Designer: Toolbox and ToolboxService - Part 1
Reminder: All posts in this series can be found here. The Toolbox and the DesignSurface work together to allow a developer to add new components and controls to the design surface. There are two interfaces that implement this functionality: IToolboxService and IToolboxUser. IToolboxService defines an interface that provides methods and properties to manage and query the Toolbox capabilities in a development environment. All forms designer systems must implement the IToolboxService in their Toolbox ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:41 PM

Custom Forms Designer: ServiceContainer
Reminder: All posts in this series can be found here. Simply, it is a container for services. Services are classes that have a well-known interface, that have instantiations which be stored in service containers, can be obtained from a service provider, and are addressable by type. The ServiceContainer class is a service provider and implements IServiceProvider. You obtain a service by supplying the Type of the service you want to the service provider's GetService method. The ServiceContainer.GetService ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 10:15 PM

Custom Forms Designer: Name Creation Service
Reminder: All posts in this series can be found here. The first code I will look at is from one of the simplest services supporting the Windows Forms designer. The Name Creation Service is called each time you drop a control/component onto the visual design surface. Your job is to return a unique name for the new control that also means something. The standard process, per convention, is to take the control/component Type name, camel case it (lower case the first letter) since it will be a member ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:12 PM

Custom Forms Designer: A Restart
Reminder: All posts in this series can be found here. Some time ago, I started work on hosting the Windows Forms design surface in a project. Since that was nearly three years ago, I believe it was in the early .NET 2.0 days. My priorities got redirected and the project languished. A new project is clearly targeted at achieving the same goal, so I am back to building a solid implementation to get a beta front end out the door. Those old posts are still of good use to remind me of everything I have ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:02 PM

Custom Forms Designer: Framework 2.0
In a comment to an earlier post, Tim Dawson pointed out that there are some significant improvements with respect to design surfaces in the upcoming .NET Framework 2.0. I was going to get to that after I covered what bits need to be assembled in order to get a design surface to work. Instead, I will modify my table now to indicate what the new Framework brings. Here is some info from MSDN2: ---------- The new DesignSurface class implements what the user perceives as a designer. DesignSurface is the ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 8:10 PM

Custom Forms Designer: Classes and Interfaces
An obvious first question when building a designer is: Where do you start? Unfortunately, the answer is that you need to start everywhere. A custom Windows Forms designer requires multiple interlocked services that all need to run correctly from the beginning. Getting this web of classes up an running is not trivial. Luckily, we have three operating samples at which to look. I will start this part of the discussion with a comparison of the classes and interfaces implemented in the three samples. ......

Posted On Thursday, January 6, 2005 10:12 PM

Custom Forms Designer: The Goal
My previous post on a .NET custom forms designer was a basic listing of the samples that are out there and some of their merits. It was not an exceptionally enlightened piece, so I intend to correct a few things and add some additional detail over the next couple of weeks. I included a listing of interfaces and made an unfulfilled hint at completing a full-featured design surface. I’ll get to the point eventually, so bear with me on this. We are off on a voyage of discovery.... I listed five examples ......

Posted On Thursday, January 6, 2005 9:29 PM

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