Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Build 186

The new build fixes a number of issues in the compact edition.

Buttons now respect the ForeColor and BackColor property just like they do in desktop applications.

Issuing READ EVENTS no longer brings up a blank form in front of the actual application. I changed the way the message loop is handled. This was necessary because the Compact Framework assumes that your application consists of a main form or just one form at all. There's still some work to do in this area, though.

Forms are a bit more difficult on mobile devices. In addition to the title bar that has been available since the first release, forms now also have the menu enabled. On Windows Mobile the menu is at the bottom of the form in the area that hosts the status bar on desktop applications. Part of the menu is the input selection utility. With that in place you can now bring up the virtual keyboard to enter data into text boxes and other controls.

There's a drawback, though. By default, a form on a mobile device always behaves as if it's maximized. The form occupies the entire area which varies in size depending on the device, the resolution and enabled features. With the menu bar, the usable client area is now smaller. On a regular PDA the size changed from 240x294 to 240x263. The samples haven't yet corrected, so they might look a little strange right now.

In a future release the menu you will be able to control the menu strip with the SET SYSMENU statement. Turning it off should give you back the 31 pixels at the expense of having no input support for text entry.

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