[RESOLVED] GUI help needed- beyond MFC?
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  1. #1
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    [RESOLVED] GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    Hi folks,

    This is my first posting, so I'm hoping I've put it in the correct forum.

    I have some experience making GUIs using MFC, but when you do that, all your applications have a distinctive, rather boring look and feel. Then I look at applications such as RealPlayer that look much fancier, and I'm wondering how they do that. The controls are all equivalent to those present in MFC (eg., buttons, menus, scroll-bars, etc), but their appearance is customized. I think some applications call this a "skin".

    I've been assigned to create a user interface for a new product, and I wanted to do some of this custom skinning. Is this something that can be done with MFC? Is there some other package that I should use? I have seen enough GUIs like this that I know there must be a standard, accepted way of doing it.

    As an aside, I currently have Visual C++ 6. I am planning to buy Visual Studio 2010 (however, if there's a way to make my GUI with the old software, I'd welcome that- Visual Studio is so expensive!). Maybe my problem is simply that my software is too old. Please let me know.

    Thank you much for your help.

  2. #2
    Arjay's Avatar
    Arjay is offline Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    Are you forced to code in native C++ or can you code in a .Net language?

  3. #3
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    Re: GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    I think I'm allowed to use .Net
    Is .Net the way to go? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

    Thanks for replying :-)

  4. #4
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    Arjay is offline Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    Quote Originally Posted by YungChewie View Post
    I think I'm allowed to use .Net
    Is .Net the way to go? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

    Thanks for replying :-)
    You're going to have to research this for yourself, but WPF is going to allow way more skinning options and features than MFC.

  5. #5
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    Re: GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    I just looked up about WPF, and it does seem to do the stuff I need.

    I have just one more question- I am concerned about the performance penalty that the .Net VM might have on my code. In your experience, how much does it slow down? Would I be able to write my UI using the .Net Framework, but still use native C++ for my program's underlying engine?

    If there's a way to do it, I can figure it out, but I'd like to know whether it's possible before I start, so that I don't waste a lot of time going down the wrong path.

  6. #6
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    Arjay is offline Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: GUI help needed- beyond MFC?

    Quote Originally Posted by YungChewie View Post
    In your experience, how much does it slow down?
    Not enough to worry about if any.

    Quote Originally Posted by YungChewie View Post
    Would I be able to write my UI using the .Net Framework, but still use native C++ for my program's underlying engine?
    You might want to write a couple of test apps to determine if it's really necessary or if writing a portion of the app in native C++ would be any improvement. I doubt it will and would focus on learning to write proper C# code. Like C++ (or assembly), you can write slow code in C#, but like the other two languages you can also write fast, efficient code.

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