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Windows API GUI library?

Posted on 2003-03-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
There are tons of Windows add on components for MFC, .NET, ActiveX, etc...  but, I am still a Win32 purist... and am looking for an old fashioned add on static library that implements enhanced GUI components... from masked entry fields, to Outlook style toolbars, docking windows, sliders, etc...  I would be intereste din any type of third party GUI enhancing library... as long as it is not implemented as a DLL, ActiveX, .NET or MFC.

Anyone have nay recommendations?

Question by:jeffs1
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 8223294
The funny thing is, once you start encapsulating an HWND, or a ListView control, or Slider control, or attempting to automate the message-processing....  You end up with a CWnd, a CListview, a CSlider and BEGIN_MESSAGEMAP ... in other words, you reinvent MFC only with many, many bugs and deficiencies.  MFC has the advantage of having had 1,000,000 programmers work out the kinks over the years.

-- Dan
LVL 86

Expert Comment

ID: 8224634
Agree with Dan. However, if you are thinking of a portable and free alternative, I'd suggest takin a look at wxWindows: http://www.wxwindows.org/

Expert Comment

ID: 8227696
Being a purist while looking for a general purpose library will eventually turn out to be a contradiction in itself. Have to agree with Dan, go with MFC.

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Author Comment

ID: 8227738
Not being an MFC expert by any stretch... here's the problem.

I have a app built using Borland C++ 5.01... if I were to use MFC, is it all or nothing?... i.e. main window is a CWin and put up with the performance hit... or can I use MFC in certain areas without affecting the customized, high performance drawing stuff I have done via API...

I have just heard horror stories of performance in MFC...

LVL 49

Accepted Solution

DanRollins earned 1000 total points
ID: 8227935
Your GDI drawinq does not need to use MFC at all.  In fact, that is one of the beauties of MFC... you can drop down to Win32 -- something that is difficult with the old Borland OWL classes -- because MFC is a much thinner wrapper.  When you look at CWnd members function, the majority are simple inlines that send messages or make API calls, but with one fewer parameter (it sends the HWND for you) and some handy overloaded defaults.

The only performance hits I've seen is when you start in with the document/view stuff (which I mainly avoid).  And even then, most of that is because it is doing a lot of work, and most of that work is during U/I activities where the bottleneck is the user anyway.

-- Dan

Expert Comment

ID: 8251230
Hi Jeff, I'm having the same problems as you, but I'm going the lengthy route of learning how to encapsulate components (in win32api) so I can learn the common controls and UI programming well.

For lightweight components, you could try browsing the web for WTL components, based on ATL.  It looks quite nice as long as you're not squeamish of templates and doesn't have the slow bloat of MFC.

There are plenty of WTL UI components here:

Includes Tabbed MDI Document, dockable toolbars, coolbars, splitter windows, and the like.

Expert Comment

ID: 8268734
you can find 3rd party controls all over, on my site (www.PlanetCpp.com) you can download a custom button class that we made. allows you to use bitmaps, conform to the bitmap shape and etc. it's a lib file so once compiled you don't need to send anything over.

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