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[archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 03 March 2003]

Is there a way in cobol to call the XP Visual Enchangements and make them work in our cobol APP.

Example: in Windows XP and Xp's Internet Explorer: Buttons, Combo Boxes, Text Boxes have a Rounded more GUI effect. but in the COBOL app it does not.....we need to Spice up our Apps,

is there any known way to call these controls or use a more grapgical look.;
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

There is a mechanism introduced with Windows XP, that allows you to make a "descriptive" file for an application. In our case, wrun32.exe would have such a file as: wrun32.exe.manifest.
This file tell the OS about its dependencies (dlls, version info, etc) and is a technique you *may* use to get to use COMCTL32 version 6.

I say *may* because we have not tested this thoroughly at Acucorp, also, from what I have heard, not all visual enhancements appear good looking and there might be other considerations as well.

If you want to know more about manifest files, you can go to msdn.microsoft.com and do a search there, but I will encourage you to think twice, and rather post it as an enhancement request for the runtime to deal with automatically.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

I have experimented with PE Explorer from Heaven Tools wich has a XP Visual Style Manifest Wizard. This utilities insertsa manifest.xml file as a resource in the executable.

Thirs worked fine (also with thin client), but we use entry-fielfds with border style 'Boxed' (default is '3D'). These controls keep appearing with a black border line and the standard XP controls have blue border lines.

Andr
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

I know, these are one of the catches we have found that is the reason we haven't publicly recommended doing this. Good effort by Microsoft, but apparently, some things don't go easy.
If you have read closely, you are also aware that the new ComCtl32.ocx is not portable to pre XP hosts, e.g. things are different in there, which requires some consideration.
I guess we will look into this in not so distant future.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

I just tried the wizard and it worked very well.

However, we are only wanting to implement some extended graphical features to part of our product.

It should would be great if Acucorp had native support for Flash Movies or something like that where we could just embed the movies and run code based off of mouse clicks.....like bitmap buttons.

I'll keep looking....any help would be appeciated.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

I can almost certainly promise you that we will never support a movie out of the box like sort of: DISPLAY MOVIE moviename UPON ...
Such things are not and will most likely never become a part of the COBOL standard.
However, there are a number of Active-X components out there that allow you to do this, so why would you ever want something like that as a part of the COBOL language?
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

Ryan, you should be able to use the acucobol browser control to display a flash movie(and other movie types as well that explorer supports via plugins). As long as the free macromedia flash plugin(activex control) has been installed, it should work.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

from my experiance with ActiveX in TOTEM and AcuBench the ActiveX Definitions are created multiple times within the source code.....meaning if I display "8" embeded controls using the same activex control, the code is written 8 times making the object code HUGE. I first experianced this problem with the Time/Date control when I needs to display it on multiple forms in a program.

As a result it is most of the time not efficent to use multiple ActiveX controls within a program because of the overhead they cause to the object code. It still becomes simpler and more efficent to call VB apps or C+ dlls that contain the controls.

But in our situation of needing multiple graphical objects on a single form ActiveX does not seem to be the best way to display individual controls. The only way I see that ActiveX would be worth wild would be if it does a global change of all opjects like this product http://www.stardock.com/products/directskin/
and then your talking about additional licencing costs upwards of 9000.00 to distribute it with our product.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

thanks Dan...we have used the browser plugin.....our situation is a Point of Sale touch screen system and we are experimenting with dynamicly creating our screens in a web format using microsoft .NET's development tools.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

Ryan,

are you saying that if you have one single object and uses the Microsoft DateTime control multiple places you have to include the dtpicker.def file multiple times???

If so, this is absolutely not correct. Inside one single object, you only have to declare the external object once, but you can have virtually unlimited instances of it on one or more dialogs.

Considering the size.... If you look at my MailMerge sample, the Word .def file is over 1Mb large. The compiled cobol object is less than 10k. How is that compared to your claim? We only link in the used parts of the library.

Please clearify.

As for the ability to show a movie, you don't need to use the browser for that. You can just use for instance the Microsoft ActiveMovie control or MacroMedia Flash Factory Object.
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

>>As for the ability to show a movie, you don't need to use the browser for that. You can just use for instance the Microsoft ActiveMovie control or MacroMedia Flash Factory Object.

True. I was just suggesting something that he could use quickly and easily. But he will probably have to go with your suggestion if we wants to have more control over events, properties and methods. 🙂
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RE: [archive] XP style Buttons / Controls

I also found that when using the wrun32.exe.manifest with the runtime, Tab controls have a white background, and so labels appear strange on them because they use background of the window(usually grey). To fix this I set the TRANSPARENT property of the label. Sample attached.
Maybe soon in runtime XP styles will be supported.
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