Unmanaged C++ Windows Forms?

Not really a techy question, but an easy one.  Can one use Windows Forms for GUI design whilst using unmanaged C++ code?  Or am I stuck with MFC?  If so, are there any good net resources (eBooks, tutorials) on MFC, cheap or free?  I know nothing about it, and every time I try to muck around in VS.NET with MFC I just get more and more confused.  Starting a personal project soon and it's a requirement that I have a pretty GUI to go with the backend.

Also, any recommendations on alternate implementations of STL that are a bit more lightweight than the included one?

Thanks so much for any help.
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dbunderAsked:
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DeanHorakCommented:
Visual Studio (at least the 2003 version) does not support the GUI form design for C++ (don't ask me why!). The best I've been able to do is design the forms using C#, then copy/paste and modify the code into the C++ project. I then made the changes needed to convert the C# code to C++ - not a terribly difficult undertaking, but certainily not a very clean way of doing it...

Even if you choose not to do the cut/paste thing, using .Net instead of MFC is far easier.

An article that details the C# to C++ technique can be found at http://www.developer.com/net/net/article.php/1378751
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ikeworkCommented:
hi dbunder,

there are alternatives to ms windows forms. Qt is one, a very intuitive one. it has no need for managed code. if you going to
implement an open-source project, you can use the GPL-license of it. if its a commercial-project, then you
have to use the commercial license.

here is the Qt-windows-open-source download page:

http://www.trolltech.com/download/qt/windows.html


good luck ;)
ike
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dbunderAuthor Commented:
never thought to use qt!  i think of it as a linux/bsd/etc. only library when it can be compiled and used almost anywhere.  i've no experience with it, but the docs are great and the featureset is awesome.  may just end up doing that, thanks!  extremely cool that qt designer integrates with visual studio, too.

any comments on a faster, more compact stl implementaiton?  i'll have to be using it a lot in my project, and i know the memory usage can get pretty hefty with the standard one.  i've heard of a few lighter ones, i just don't remember what they were called.

*crams in more questions*

are there any tricks to keep executables built with VS.NET's compiler with small file sizes, fast execution (minimum overhead), etc?  i've never been able to figure out how to get rid of all that extra junk microsoft's compiler adds to your executables and libraries.  a prime example for what i'm looking for is the tiny filesize, memory footprint, and speed of an app called utorrent.  the guy who wrote it must have had some tricks up his sleeve, but he ain't talkin'. ;)

upped the point value of this one by 65pts since i'm asking for more help.

thanks to you both, and an advanced thanks for any more suggestions.
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dbunderAuthor Commented:
welp, in lieu of getting any help with my other questions, ike gets it.  thanks ike
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