Docking General Questions (evaluation)

Docking/MDI for Windows Forms Forum

Posted 9 years ago by EntityDev
Version: 14.1.0323


I'm evaluating the docking library and have a few questions, please.

First I'd like to point out that searching the Docking/MDI for Windows Forms forum for keywords doesn't seem to work very well. For example, searching for the strings "color" or "theme" result in 0 matches.

Secondly, the VB sample application piles all the designer and user code into the MainForm.vb file, making it impossible for me to get a discrete view of what is required to use the library effectively. I am opening the solution file SampleApplication-VB.VS2010.sln.

The MainForm.vb and MainForm.resx arrangement is very strange to me. It doesn't appear to actually be a VS2010 project/solution, considering that when I add a form to a VS2010 project, Form1.vb and Form1.designer.vb are created. Once a control is added and the project built, the .resx file is added.

Do you have a sample VB application with the code separated into MainForm.vb and  partial class MainForm.designer.vb?

My initial impression is that the mechanics and visuals of the library are solid. The naming of objects in your namespace hierarchy looks very good as well. This is something often lacking in vendors' libraries. Good naming is of utmost importance to me. Once I can see sample 'user' code (and not designer code), then I can evaluate the ease of use of the DockManager and associated objects. As it is, there are over 2800 lines of code in MainForm.vb to wade through.

Please point me to a resource which gets all that designer code out of the way so I can see what's going on.

And finally, I see that Visual Studio Gallery has some themes for WPF, but I find none for Winforms. I have zero interest in WPF now or in the future and would like to know if you folks or your users have created any available custom Winforms renderers beyond the 6 provided for DockManager. I'd be especially interested in one which mimics VS2010. I do find the built-in Visual Studio 2002 and Visual Studio 2005 renderers acceptable. Anything Metro/No Contrast/Flat Battleship Gray/Windows 8/Modern I'd have no interest in ever seeing or using in any project of my own.

While I'm at it, are there any more main menu renderers available? The defaults are fine, except for the one with olive green in it (yuck). I'd sure like to see a VS2010 renderer for all renderable components, if possible.

Thank you. I look forward to learning about additional resources for working with the Winforms docking library.

Comments (2)

Posted 9 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA


Thanks for the feedback.  For the forum question, it could be that we don't have forum posts in that area.  If you look in the documentation that comes with the product, check out the "Extensible Rendering" topic in the Docking area for info on that.

As for the VB file arrangement, the files were originally created a long time ago back in much earlier versions of VS that arranged them that way.  They have been inherited down in that fashion.  Sorry but we don't have any other separated designer code examples at this time.  You could use code outlining to collapse that designer part of the code, or could create a partial class and move it out to that if you'd rather it completely be in a separate file.

The documentation topic mentioned above shows the themes available for our WinForms Docking/MDI product.  Likewise, an "Extensible Rendering" topic in the Bars area shows the renderer options there too.  All renderers can be fully customized by setting various background fills, etc.  So if you see a theme that you like in general but want to make a couple tweaks to, it's pretty easy to do so.

Hope that helps!

Actipro Software Support

Posted 9 years ago by EntityDev

Ok then, I'll just do it meself :D

Also, thank you for the tip to the "Extensible Rendering" topic, I'll give it a whirl.

The latest build of this product (v24.1.0) was released 4 months ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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