User Interfaces in C#: Windows Forms and Custom Controls / Edition 1by Matthew MacDonald, Matthew Macdonald, M. Macdonald
Pub. Date: 10/03/2002
Another .NET book?
.NET User Interfaces with C#: Windows Forms and Custom Controls is a comprehensive look at cutting-edge user interface programming. It goes far beyond other .NET titles, describing how to extend .NET controls, create data binding strategies, program graphics, and code UI "intelligence" with context-sensitive help and dynamic agents.
Another .NET book?
In the past few months, a deluge of .NET books has hit store shelves, each one eager to explain the new programming philosophy of the .NET world. In the excitement, many of these books have left out the tricks and insights you need to really master .NET programming. Part of the problem is that no single work can cover the entire .NET platform-a sprawling, ambitious Framework that revolutionizes everything from Internet applications to data access technology. Many .NET books provide a good overview of essential concepts, but they can't deal with the subtleties needed for every type of development.
This book represents the start of the second wave of .NET books: closely focused works that give you the insight of experienced developers about a single aspect of .NET programming. In .NET User Interfaces with C#: Windows Forms and Custom Controls, you'll take a close look at all the ingredients you can use to design state-of-the-art application interfaces. You'll also delve into entirely new topics like custom control design and GDI+, the next-generation painting framework for Windows. You won't just learn about anchoring and docking, you'll work with complete examples that show document-view architectures, custom control layout engines, dockable windows, and hit testing with owner-drawn controls.
You'll also learn how to design irregularly shaped forms, unshackle data binding, and build integrated help systems.
In short, this is the sort of .NET book that I would want to read as a professional developer. It's a book that goes beyond the basics, and combines user interface design principles with practical guidelines for creating the next generation of software applications. And seeing as you are reading this introduction, you've probably already realized that this next generation will be built using the .NET Framework.
User interface design deals with several different aspects of programming. The tendency in a book about a topic like this is to pursue one of these themes exclusively, and hope the reader will find other books to fill the gap. Sometimes this approach works, and leads to a useful, condensed work that makes a nice addition to a well-stocked bookshelf.
With .NET, however, the programming framework is entirely new. A reference that only explains controls and commands is dangerous, and without a proper discussion of best practices and design tips, programmers are likely to wind up in a great deal of trouble-with applications that are difficult to enhance, debug, or scale up. For that reason, I've made the decision in this book to focus on three distinct themes.
You'll find that this book fills three roles. It provides the following:
- An overview of how to design elegant user interfaces the average user can understand. This is addressed directly in the first chapter, and indirectly in tips and asides throughout the book.
- A comprehensive examination of the user interface controls and classes in .NET. Although this book is not a reference, it contains an exhaustive tour of almost every user interface element you'll want to use, including providers, components, and custom controls.
- A tutorial with best practices and design tips for coding user interfaces and integrating help. This represents overall focus, and the single most important aspect of the book. As a developer, you need to know more than how to add a control to a window. You also need to know how to create an entire user interface framework that's scalable, flexible, and reusable.
Matthew MacDonald is an author, educator and MCSD developer. He's also a regular contributor to programming journals like Inside Visual Basic and C# Today, and the author of several books about programming, including The Book of VB .NET (No Starch Press).
- Shows how to create elegant custom controls tailored to your data and application logicin almost every chapter!
- Describes the architecture of a well-planned user interface: everything from data binding strategies to document-view architecture with MDI
- Shows how to create dynamic user interfaces, dockable windows, and your own vector-based drawing program
- Teaches GDI+ essentials like hit testing, irregularly shaped forms, owner-drawn menus, and animated controls
- Shows how to integrate "intelligence" into your user interfaces with embedded help and user agents
Table of ContentsChapter 1 - Creating Usable Interfaces
Chapter 2 - Designing with Classes and Tiers
Chapter 3 - Control Class Basics
Chapter 4 - Classic Controls
Chapter 5 - Forms
Chapter 6 - Modern Controls
Chapter 7 - Custom Controls
Chapter 8 - Design-Time Support for Custom Controls
Chapter 9 - Data Controls
Chapter 10 - MDI Interfaces and Workspaces
Chapter 11 - Dynamic User Interface
Chapter 12 - GDI+ Basics
Chapter 13 - GDI+ Controls
Chapter 14 - Help and Application-Embedded Support
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