Paul Olsen's experiences developing for the Compact Framework
Friday, April 11, 2008
Visual Studio 2008 Compatibility
There have been a few enquiries about the compatibility of the controls and Visual Studio 2008 (especially the ColorTab Control
With the developer demo and the purchased controls there is a Visual Studio 2005 and a Visual Studio 2008 install.
The controls in the Visual Studio 2005 install are to be used in Visual Studio 2005 targeting the .NET Compact Framework 2.0
The controls in the Visual Studio 2008 install are to be used in Visual Studio 2008 targeting the .NET Compact Framework 3.5
So, when upgrading your project to Visual Studio 2008, you must right click on the project in the solution using the Pocket PC Controls.com control and upgrade it to target .NET Compact Framework 3.5, then remove the reference to the old Pocket PC Controls.com control (targeting .NET 2.0) and add the control targeting Visual Studio 2008 and targeting .NET Compact Framework 3.5. The projects are not automatically updated to target .NET CF 3.5 when upgrading the solution to Visual Studio 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008 3:53:02 AM UTC Technical
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Controls Updated to Support Visual Studio 2008 (.NET 3.5)
We have updated the demo control & deliverables available to include installs for Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5.
All has been tested and is running well.
The process involved:
- Update the solutions using the Visual Studio conversion wizard from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008
- Upgrade each of the projects from .NET 2.0 to target the .NET 3.5 platform using the right click menu on the projects themselves.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:47:28 AM UTC Technical
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Vista & XP gradient styles added to .NET ColorTab control v1.6
After quite a bite of work and extending the existing gradient class in the ColorTab control, we are now able to offer a .NET tab control that supports the desktop, Windows Mobile, Smart Phone & tablet platforms AND offers Vista & XP gradient styles!
The great thing about how the gradient class has been constructed is that all gradients are drawn at runtime.
With this in mind, you are able apply *ANY
* color scheme you like to the ColorTab with this sort of effect:
You can have a closer look at the ColorTab v1.6 control by downloading and implementing the developer demo
Thursday, January 03, 2008 6:17:39 AM UTC Color Tab
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Color Tab - Tab Stop for Smartphone
Due to the limited nature of the Smartphone interface, here are some notes on how we have organised tab stops for the Smartphone interface.
Within the ColorTab control, it is the tab pages that hold focus. With this in mind, when a tab page has focus, the left and right keys are used to switch between tabs.
All but the Smartphone OS have some way of the user entering the tab page contents (either by mouse, or stylus), we have therefore made the enter key on the Smartphone the trigger for the first control within the currently selected tab page to gain focus. After the tab control pages loose control of focus, it is up to the developer to nagivate between existing controls within the tab pages and to give focus back to the tab control when the user is done.
If there are brighter ideas than this out there, we would be gratefull to hear them.
Here is the code used within the KeyUp event on the tab page for reference:
protected override void OnKeyUp(KeyEventArgs e)
Thursday, November 01, 2007 3:59:58 AM UTC Color Tab
// enter into the tab page
// the developer is going to have to set focus from here on in
// due to the limitations of the Smartphone
if (base.Controls.Count > 0 && base.Focused)
SelectNextControl(this, true, true, true, true);
Friday, July 27, 2007
FREE 'HANDY AS HELL' TOOLS...
This is not so much technical... more helpful.
I just wanted to share a couple of tools that I find very handy for day to day use:1: Sync Toy
- Microsoft have a free tool for, well I use it for backing up in Echo mode to an external drive. I am not too fussed with the backup system for Vista... I keep all my gear in one directory and this is all I want backed up. As you are not able to backup one directory, Sync Toy is the answer for me, you can find it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E0FC1154-C975-4814-9649-CCE41AF06EB7&displaylang=en2: Microsoft GIF Creator
- For ages, I was looking for FREE animated GIF creator and couldn't find one that I liked, the other week, I came across the Microsoft contribution and although it has been around for ages.. it is really good! If you need to create animated GIF's, you can find it here: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/win/13212
.. just MAGIC!!!
Friday, July 27, 2007 4:55:36 AM UTC Technical
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
ILMerge GUI Source Code & Application
Well, I have tried to find an ILMerge GUI out there that will run on my machine and have had no luck, so I finally took it upon my self to create my own (although basic) GUI for the ILMerge utility for combining IL libraries.
Download Links:ILMerge GUI ExecutableILMerge GUI Source Code (VS 2005)
You will need the ILMerge application also, you can download it here
There is also the version history of the software here
I use this for wrapping up the different controls into one demo executable file which saves me having to collect source code from different places and compile manually.
As I add to the app, I will update the site.
If you would like to add to the app, add comment with your changes and I will update the source & app.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 6:06:18 AM UTC Technical
Friday, June 01, 2007
Custom Control Design Time Attributes
I was just asked a question by a recent ColorButton Source code customer about how the design time .dll (ColorButton.PocketPC.asmmeta.dll) is created for the ColorButton Control and seeing how it is not obvious in code (there is not a seperate project), I thought I had better explain what is going on.
Within the ColorButton source, there is a file called 'DTAColorButton.xmta
'. The DTA part is an abbreviation for Design Time Attributes, by no means a naming convention standard, but something that I have become comfortable with.
The .xmta file simply contains an .xml format definition of the public properties within the ColorButton class. The compiler (magic really) recognises the existance of the .xmta file and creates the ColorButton.PocketPC.asmmeta.dll file, or one appropriate for the project target.
Further, the ColorButton solution shares the one set of source code across all projects in the solution:
Apart from the Desktop compile which has alot of #'s in the code which takes care of the desktop design time attributes:
[Description("Gets or sets the position information for button content"), Category("Appearance")]
The rest of the projects compile an asmmeta.dll to suit the device:
I hope this explains a bit about the source provided by Pocket PC Controls.com and may even give you some insight into creating your own controls.
If you need more info, feel free to add comment.
Friday, June 01, 2007 10:01:07 AM UTC Color Button | Technical
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is the second release of the Color Tab control this month.. the earlier v1.5 realease saw additional properties added like:ShowBorderNonSelected - border non-selected tabs
TabStripBackColor - set color behind tabs
TabStripShowGradient - Show gradient behind tabs
Spacing - Set the spacing between tabs
Align - align
tab content: left;center;right
BackgroundImage - tab
page background image
- tab background imageTabImageSelected
- selected tab background image
The latest release of the ColorTab control (v1.6) includes much improved keyboard navigation and a new property 'HotTrack'.
Navigational functionality has been emulated from the standard Tab Control so that you are now able to tab onto the Color Tab control using the keyboard, then using the arrow keys navigate your way through the available tabs. With the HotTrack property set to true the border on the focused tab is highlighted for easy reference to which tab is focused.
Pressing the tab key, then takes you inside the tab area where you can navigate your way through controls as you would on the standard Tab Control.
I must say, after having a bit of a look around the net, there doesn't seem to be another feature rich Tab Control available quite like this one with support for PocketPC, Smartphone, Desktop, WindowsCE & Tablet.
Please see the help file for a complete list of features: http://www.pocketpccontrols.com/controls/help/
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:01:03 AM UTC Color Tab
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Using Assembly Resources
In the Pocket PC Controls.com Color Picker control their is an embedded bitmap called 'palette.bmp' used for the drop down color selector. Due to the source code being available to clients, it was not acceptable to hard wire the name of the resource which would include the namespace as the source code may be inserted into projects with namespaces other than PPCC.
The palette.bmp was added to the project inside a project folder called 'resources' and the build action for that file set as 'Embedded Resource'. When compiled, this resource is embedded into the assembly saving the need for adiditional external files.
Rather than using the fully qualified name for the image ie: 'PPCC.resources.palette.bmp', I have simply searched through all available resources to find the 'palette' bitmap.
System.Reflection.Assembly asm = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
string s = asm.GetManifestResourceNames(); // extract names of all embedded resources
for (int i = 0; i <= s.GetUpperBound(0); i++) // wind through all available resources
if (s[i].IndexOf("palette") > 0) // if we find the one we want
_ColorBitmap = new Bitmap(asm.GetManifestResourceStream(s[i])); // assign that resource for use into a local variable
If you are happy to hard wire the resource name, you could always use ILDASM.exe after compilation to find the fully qualified name of the embedded resource, simply double click on the MANIFEST entry. ILDASM.exe is installed with Visual Studio (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\Bin) and is an excellent tool to have a look at what is going on inside your compiled IL assemblies, it has been a great tool for me over the years.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 9:33:40 AM UTC Technical
Sunday, May 20, 2007
ColorButton Control v1.7
It was brought to my attention that the ColorButton control had no way of determining that it had focus!!!
We stuck with the standard button behavior of thickening the border of the button when focused.
The DrawColorButton method looks like this now:
private void DrawColorButton()
// draw the button to the screen
case ButtonShape.Ellipse :
Draw.Gradient(_Graphics, this.Bounds, _BackDownColor, BackColor, (int)_GradientDirection, (int)_ButtonShape);
_Graphics.FillEllipse(_Brush, 0, 0, Width-1, Height-1);
_Graphics.DrawEllipse(_Pen, 0, 0, Width-1, Height-1);
_Graphics.DrawEllipse(_Pen, 1, 1, Width - 3, Height - 3);
case ButtonShape.Rectangle :
Draw.Gradient(_Graphics, this.Bounds, _BackDownColor, BackColor, (int)_GradientDirection, (int)_ButtonShape);
_Graphics.FillRectangle(_Brush, 0, 0, Width, Height);
_Graphics.DrawRectangle(_Pen, 0, 0, Width-1, Height-1);
_Graphics.DrawRectangle(_Pen, 1, 1, Width - 3, Height - 3);
Those of you who purchased the control in the last 6 months would like the update please send me an email.
There is still no way of determining if the ColorButton has focus when using images and we will add this functionality in the near future. If there are any of you who would like to see a new image property added to cater for the focused state, please let me know and we can push that along.
You can see here that colorButton2 has focus:
Sunday, May 20, 2007 6:32:03 AM UTC Technical | Color Button
MEDC 2007 Sydney Australia
I attended my first MEDC this week.
There were a few streams that you could take... as it happens, I have been into RDA (Remote Data Access) for a while and thought it would be good to see what the experts had to say, I would have loved to hear some one talk at me about security for an hour or so but as it happens there was not that
much time, so there was quite a bit of glossing over subjects. Probably should have taken the Business stream which talked about the interaction between Windows Mobile and Exchange Server to learn something new. Oh well, it was a good day out and I got to speak to quite a few interesting people and I got a nice back pack and jacket. Will try the Tech Ed next year I think.
Sunday, May 20, 2007 5:55:11 AM UTC Events
Saturday, May 19, 2007
New to blogging
We have had PocketPC Controls.com up and running since January 2004 and have loved every minute of creating the controls for the site as well as the interaction from developers who come from all over the world.
Over the years, we have had interaction with some fantastic developers from large corporations to one man operations and have enjoyed dealing with every one of them.
Since the offset, we have relied on the internet (as a well as a few books) for information on how to create and expand the controls that we create. Often I have wanted to share some of the things that I have learnt (and sometimes it takes some doing) with other developers. It is difficult to know where to post as there are so many sites available for development information these days. This is my answer, a very relaxed blog, which I hope will become useful for others with a similar passion for Mobile Device software development.
Saturday, May 19, 2007 12:59:36 PM UTC Events