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Delphi advanced GUI

Posted on 2006-05-02
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Hi All,

I am building a Delphi application which should contain a GUI with:

A. Gradient background.
B. Rounded and graphical buttons (meaning buttons that contains some graphics).
C. Rounded and graphical panels.
D. Page control with rounded and graphical tabs.

So can someone please tell me:

A. How I can implement each of the above GUI elements in my Delphi project? (Best way in other words).

B. What is the best image type (JPEG, BMP...etc) I should save the graphical elements in, so that I won't have a huge exe size at the end.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:GiantMatrix
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Expert Comment

by:Eddie Shipman
ID: 16585872
Well, you are not going to be able to do it with standard Delphi contols.
There are several very good third-party control packs out there that will
help you achieve this GUI.
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Author Comment

by:GiantMatrix
ID: 16585923
EddieShipman,

Thanks for your prompt reply. OK can you please recommend to me a good and stable third party control pack which I can use to implement my GUI?

Thanks in advance
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Expert Comment

by:David_Ward
ID: 16586530
If you are moving towards -some- flashy control pack and/or skinning engines the best Image format is going to be .png as this most properly handles transparancy across different screen resolutuions and colour depths.
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Author Comment

by:GiantMatrix
ID: 16586650
Thanks David_Ward for your help.

Do you happen to know a good and stable third party control pack / skinning engine that I can use?

thanks in advance
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David_Ward earned 2000 total points
ID: 16586757
ok,

Woll2Wolls 1stClass4000 is very good, but it is not free, have a look at http://woll2woll.com/

and <below> is the skinning ewngine I currently use, it has, so far, proved to be very good.

website : http://www.link-rank.com
email : info@link-rank.com

VCLSkin is an VCL library that extend Delphi application with skinnable user interface . Unlike other skin component that you must modify source code to build skinnable application, VCLskin can skin existing application using VCL components without source code modification.

VclSkin automatically skin kinds of windows in application, include Delphi forms,MDIform and common Windows dialogs (MsgBox,Open/Save,Font,Print), even the Exception MsgBox.

Vclskin not only support Delphi standard controls, but also support many third-party component, such as TMS Grid pack, EnLib Grid, Developer Express QuantumGrid. It is an excellent choice for those wanting to skin existing applications.  The cool thing is that it uses existing VCL components.

... hope you find this useful ...

Cheers,

David.
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Expert Comment

by:David_Ward
ID: 16586819
and ....

JEDIs jv XP Controls are a good looking set of visual controls which give a very modern look&feel to delphi apps ...
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Author Comment

by:GiantMatrix
ID: 16587061
David,

Thank you so much for your outstanding help :)

I've visited http://www.link-rank.com and their Skin components look really so cool...although I have a 3 questions about those components which I will appreciate it so much if you can please answer them for me:

A. Did you try these components on various Windows OS (I mean Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP...etc.)? In other words did you face any Windows OS related issues/ problems with those components?

B. Does this component require any DLL, files to be distributed with the application? other than the regular bpl's which can be included in the main exe.

C. Did those components change your exe size dramatically? Example jump from 1 MB without components to 3 MB with this component?

Thanks in advance for your answers
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Expert Comment

by:David_Ward
ID: 16587251
A. Nope, they seem consistent across all OppSyss (I have tested skinned apps using VirtualPC ranging from Win98 upwards).

B. No additional .DLLs  a number of skin library files perhaps, if you want to offer your users a choice, but, you can always build them into a resource file if need be and extract them on first execution.

C. No, bloat factor quite small about 100kb + skin library files.



p.s. if you are concerned about exec size UPX is very good for executable file compression.
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Expert Comment

by:David_Ward
ID: 16587291
oh I assume we are talking about vclSkin and "JEDIs jv XP Controls" above.



Woll2Woll 1stClass4000 - Huge amounts of bloat, and I mean, really huge.
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Author Comment

by:GiantMatrix
ID: 16587336
Thanks again David for your outstanding help :)
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