Wizard stop working in windows forms designer in VS 2005

Wizard for Windows Forms Forum

Posted 14 years ago by JP Dube
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Hi,

I'm using the latest version of the wizard control (3.0.0112). I'm experiencing a few irratating problems with the wizard control. The first problem occurs when I drop some controls on a wizard page. Sometimes the control will disappeared from the page that it's supposed to show on. If I looked in the windows desginer controls list I can see that the control has actually been added to the form but it's not showing up in the wizard page. The second problem occurs after my program has been compiled and executed, the wizard control will not navigate to the next/previous page in the windows form designer. The only way to solve this problem is to close the windows form designer and reload the form in the designer. But the next time I compile and run my program the wizard navigation will stop working again. So far my experience with the wizard control has been more negative than positive, I'm not happy with the product since I spend more time trying to work arround it's quirks. My support is supposed to end on feb 26, 2006. After this date I will not be able to download any updates. I paid for a product that is supposed to work and I expect to get updates to critical problems. I hope that you will take care of my problems even after feb 26.

Steps to reproduce these problems:

1- Drop a wizard control on a form
2- Drop some user controls or other controls on a wizard page
3- Compile and run the program

Thanks

Comments (14)

Posted 14 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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If you look at our release history, we put out a lot of maintenance releases to fix bugs found by customers and add feature enhancements. And maintenance releases are always free for the version you own. For instance Wizard 3.0.0112 is the 12th free update for Wizard 3.0 customers. So we're very good compared to other companies in that department.

As for your issues, I haven't heard of those things being reported by other customers but I'm happy to look into them for you. I'll create a new Form in VS 2005 and will put a Wizard control on it. Now I'm adding a couple interior pages and an exterior page. I'm dropping controls on each page as I go. I click run to run the application. Everything is appearing correctly on the pages. I close the app and am back in the designer. I'm still able to navigate through the pages ok.

I can tell you that the VS 2005 designer is buggier than the designer in previous VS releases. This is based on my own personal experience even when not using our controls at all in a project. You perhaps might be exposing some bug in the Microsoft code. But I do have some tips that might help.

First, when you drop controls on a page, it might be better to select the control in the Toolbox. Then instead of drag/dropping, actually click and size the control to drop in the wizard page. That should help ensure that the page is getting the control, whereas just drag/dropping should also work but may have been a problem in your case. FYI, I also tested drag/dropping in the test I did above and it worked fine.

Next if you think a control is not on the correct parent, you can select it in the Properties window. Then on the four-way move arrow that appears by the selected control in the designer, right click that. The context menu in VS 2005 allows you to see the parent chain of controls and you can select each by clicking on the appropriate menu item. This way you can determine if the wizard page actually is the parent of the control or not and if it isn't, update it appropriately.

Sometimes in the past (even in projects without our controls), I've seen issues with leaving a designer window open when running a Form. I've seen the VS designer completely delete UserControls in a Form where I did that and didn't even have our controls in that project. Therefore, I've recommended to clients to always save and close the designer window for all Forms BEFORE running the application. These VS bugs seem to kick in with UserControls when running the app and leaving the designer open. So closing the designer first seems to help with that one. FYI, in my above test, I did actually leave the designer open when I ran it and didn't experience any issues. However I didn't have any UserControls in my project either.

Another issue I've seen with the designer is that after doing some things, the cut/copy/paste/etc. commands just completely disable. This has occurred sporatically for no apparent reason. The way to get around that is close the designer and reopen. Again, I've seen this in projects without our controls as well. I'm not sure if the same sort of issue is happening with the Next/Previous page commands disabling as you mentioned.

I'll be happy to look into this more but I wasn't able to duplicate any of the issues you mentioned. If you come across a detailed step-by-step procedure to replicate them, please email us and we can try it out. Obviously if there is something that is buggy in our code and not something in Microsoft's code, we want to get it fixed ASAP.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 14 years ago by JP Dube
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Hi,

I know that VS 2005 windows designer is less stable than in VS 2003. But the point is I that use other controls from other vendor's (Infragistics) and they work flawlessly. I tried some of the tips you mentionned in your reply and I'm still getting the same result. I never closed my windows form desginer when running my program and I never ran into this problem. Closing the windows form designer each I compile and run my program is not an option for me.

Regards,
Posted 14 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Can you email a simple project that shows this behavior to us then? I'm not able to duplicate it myself so far.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 14 years ago by JP Dube
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I can't send you a sample project that can recreate the problem. If I create an empty project add a wizard to it the problems that I experienced in the real project are not there.
Posted 14 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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We're happy to work on any bugs in the product but we do need steps to reproduce the issue in our sample project or a small project of your own creation that shows it. This allows us to debug the issue and one we resolve it, allows us to ensure that it truly is fixed.

We spent a lot of time trying to get this issue to happen for us but we unsuccessful. If you are able to find a way to duplicate it, please email us. Thanks!


Actipro Software Support

Posted 14 years ago by JP Dube
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I'm working on the problem. As soon as I can pinpoint what's causing this problem I will get back to you. Thanks
Posted 13 years ago by JP Dube
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Hi again,

After some testing I found the problem to be related to controls in my project. Whenever I drop a control that was developped in my project from the toolbox to a Wizard Page, the wizard will not display any of the pages after the program has been compiled. Here are the steps to reproduce this behavior:

1- Create a control that derived from the UserControl class
2- Once the control is compiled add this control to the Windows Form designer toolbox.
3- Drag the control to a wizard page
4- Compile the program

After that the wizard control will not show the pages in the designer but if you right click on a wizard page and click the "Goto Page" option the wizard will show all the pages that have been created but navigating to one of them will display an empty page. If you close the form and reload it then everything will work fine until the next compile.

I hope I gave you enough info to reproduce this problem. If you need more please let me know.

Thanks
Posted 13 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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UserControls and the designer can be a nasty thing. Basically if you make any sort of change to a UserControl, you should probably not have any designer windows open while you do it. Then close VS, reopen and do a rebuild solution. I've seen projects without our controls where you make a change to a UserControl, and suddenly they disappear off the Forms that contained them without any warning.

I tried your steps but was able to get the control on there fine. I'd suggest following my steps above and mixing them in with your steps. That worked for me.

If you are still having a problem, then please send us a sample project that shows it. Thanks!


Actipro Software Support

Posted 13 years ago by JP Dube
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One thing I forgot to say, is that the control that is being added to the toolbox and then dragged to a wizard page is from the same project as the wizard being developped. This problem will not occured if the control is coming from a seperate library (project). Is still persist to say that the wizard is not refresh correctly after the project is being compiled. I can use the same procedure when creating a form or user control and they will get refresh after a re-compile.

Thanks
Posted 13 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Yes that's what I tested too. Like I said though, the VS designer has always had some goofy bugs show up periodically when using UserControls that are in the same project as the Form which you are designing. I've seen these bugs exposed in projects that don't even use our controls.

As you found, the safest way to work with UserControls is to place them in a separate project. One thing I had to do because of issues when working with UserControls at a client (and this was on a project that didn't use our controls at all) is to create the UserControls at run-time rather than design them. That worked around the VS designer bugs too.

Think of Wizard simply as a 2-3 level deep set of Controls. That's all they are. We don't do anything special in the designer other than add some verbs and draw some text. So if there is a VS designer bug that you are running into with UserControls, unfortunately I don't know what we could possibly do to fix it since the problem lies with Microsoft's code. Your best bet is to do one of the workarounds as described above. Those will prevent the issue from happening.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 13 years ago by JP Dube
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Ok thanks for the input
Posted 13 years ago by Richard Bysouth
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Hi

Just to let you know I get exactly the same issues as experienced by JP Dube. I find that if I have a designer open with a form that uses the wizard control, if I swap between that and a code Window, every so often the designer enters a "confused" state where I can no longer see the wizard control or navigate between pages. The only way around this is to close the designer and re-open it. A bit of a pain to be honest!
Has been like this since I first purchased the control, through all product updates and after installing VS2005 SP1 beta.

Was any further solution/fix found for this issue?

thanks

Richard Bysouth
Posted 13 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Sorry Richard but I really don't believe this is anything we can control. It's a bug in the VS designer itself. Our designer code in Wizard is about as basic as it can be (just adding verbs, handling clicks on the buttons, etc.) so there isn't really anything in our code that would cause odd things like that.

Again the best way to edit a Form is to open either the designer or the code, but not both at the same time. That ensures that things don't be messed up in the designer.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 13 years ago by Richard Bysouth
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ok - no problem! I can certainly live with it for now - have got used to working around the various bugs in VS2005.
The latest build of this product (v2018.1 build 0342) was released 10 days ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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