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Using animated GIFs as "Please Wait" images

Posted on 2007-12-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I have an animated GIF that I would like to use in my VB .NET application when a process is running. It works fine with asynchronous tasks but the problem I have is with processor intensive tasks, the animation stops until the line of code has been executed.

I have a third party control on one of my forms and it takes two or three seconds to initialise, because I dont have access to the inner workings of the control I cannot use Application.DoEvents.

I have tried putting my GIF on a different form and loading it before the code line runs thinking that it may be on a different thread but it does the same thing.

I dont necessarily think this is a problem with the GIF as I have tried a progress bar in marquee mode, it too stops when it reaches the line of code.

Does anybody know how I can get around this?
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Question by:3Si_pnewman
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Expert Comment

by:Dhaest
ID: 20410842
It looks like you need to use threading.
Thread Programming
 http://www.wilsonmar.com/1threads.htm

Threading in .NET Part 2
http://dotnetjunkies.com/Tutorial/5AEE38D7-2B4E-4FC7-8760-A8298F565A0C.dcik
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jpaulino earned 150 total points
ID: 20410850
You have to use a multi-threads.

Look this example http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315577
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Author Comment

by:3Si_pnewman
ID: 20411517
I have tried a couple of threading methods but I still cant get it to work, I think the control is locking foreground thread.

I have amended the Microsoft example slightly to try and replicate my problem, it can be found here http://files.filefront.com/ThreadWinAppzip/;9195002;/fileinfo.html

If you click the button the animation and progress bar both stop until the count has finished.
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Expert Comment

by:jpaulino
ID: 20411550
Can upload in another site ? My system polices filter is locking that site.

Can you use ee-stuff.com
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Author Comment

by:3Si_pnewman
ID: 20411591
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Expert Comment

by:jpaulino
ID: 20411944
You have to lunch a new thead for the cycle  not for the animation. An easy way (I use it allot)

Add a BackGroundWorker to your project then:

Private Sub BackGroundWorker1.DoWork(...) Handler backgroundoworker1.DoWork
    ' Add your cycle
   For x As Integer = 1 to 2000
      Debug.Print(x)
   Next X
End Sub

And in the button1.click event simply do
BackGroundWorker1.RunWorkerAsync()

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Expert Comment

by:mastoo
ID: 20412036
I don't have an answer offhand but would venture the problem is that the 3rd party control and your animated gifs are both running on the form and both using the message pump thread.  Does the 3rd party control have a visual component or is it just doing some functionality?
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Author Comment

by:3Si_pnewman
ID: 20412136
It is a report preview control from http://www.componentone.co.uk/StudioEnterprise/NETToolset.aspx

There is a method that populates the control with the actual document and it sometimes takes a while.  I have tried creating the controls dynamically and not adding them to the form until all the processing is completed on a separate thread (as suggested by jpaulino) but get all kinds of cross-threading errors.

Looking at the stack trace the errors are coming from the control itself not any of my code, I think I might have to contact support and see if they can suggest anything.
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Assisted Solution

by:mastoo
mastoo earned 100 total points
ID: 20412845
I hate to give an "unhelpful" answer but that might be a best first step.  I'm not aware of a practical method of keeping a responsive gui when a visual component won't yield the message pump which is what this sounds like.
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Author Closing Comment

by:3Si_pnewman
ID: 31412827
Im getting nowhere fast so I think I'll have to give support a go.

Thanks for your help.
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