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What's New in RadVC v1.2

Related Links:

Bugs Fixed in Version 1.2.

Download RadVC 1.2 Beta.

New Features

RAD C++ Open Architecture
Powerful 3-way RAD.
"Resource-on-the-Fly" IntelliSense.
Option to show / hide RadVC windows. (toolbox, project and property windows).
Allows users to change form's grid size
Faster project loading in RadVC mode.
Smooth and almost instant switching between VC and RadVC mode.
Persistence of size and locations of RadVC windows between RadVC sessions.
Better ActiveX control support.
Better synchronization between code editor and form designer.
Copy and paste controls on a form.
Option to link projects with static RFC library.
Availability of full source code of RFC library.


Powerful 3-way RAD

The following diagram shows a typical illustration of this powerful feature.

whatsn1.jpg (54674 bytes)

(1) On the Form: Change the size and position of any control on the form and see the new position / size reflected in the source code and on the property listbox.

(2) In the Source Code: Change any property value in the source code and save. See the changes reflected immediately on the form and the property listbox.

(3) In the Property Listbox: Change any property in the listbox and see the new property reflected in the form designer and also in the source code.

Why Should You Use 3-Way RAD?

You should consider using 3-way RAD for the following two fundamental reasons:

(1) Enhanced Run-time Performance:

Traditionally the properties of the form and its child controls are implemented through resource strings (an approach similar to the way dialog templates are implemented in MFC). For example, the property string of the form can be found in the form's constructor as follows:

    m_nPropStringID = IDS_PROP_FORM1;

Similarly, the property strings of the controls can be found in the "Create" functions of the respective controls. [the second argument in each statement]

void CForm1::CreateRFCControls()
    m_SubmitButton.Create(this, IDC_BUTTON1, IDS_PROP_BUTTON1);
    m_AddressText.Create(this, IDC_TEXTBOX1, IDS_PROP_TEXTBOX1);

Each property string holds the properties of the form / control in a comma delimited text format. At run-time, when the form is loaded, RFC parses these properties and apply them to the respective forms and controls.

When 3-way RAD is selected, RadVC implements design-time properties by making direct calls to the functions that are pre-bound in form's ::SetProperties function. For example, the following block of code inside the function ::SetProperties() is generated when the user changes some control / form properties from the property listbox:

void CForm1::SetProperties()
    Caption = _T("Form1");
    BackColor = RGB(192, 192, 192);
    m_Button1.Caption = _T("Button1");
    m_TextBox1.Text = _T("TextBox1");
    m_TextBox1.BackColor = RGB(255, 0, 0);
    m_TextBox1.Font = _T("Arial");
    m_TextBox1.FontSize = 14;
    m_TextBox1.FontBold = TRUE;

At run-time, after the form and all of its children controls are created, RFC calls ::Set properties() function and sets their design-time properties.

The property implementation through resource strings involves a resource file (typically a *.rc file), so re-compiling the project upon property changes can be faster when compared to the same of a .cpp file [in 3-way RAD]. However at run-time, the parsing of properties can slow down the form loading process significantly, particularly if the form contains a number of controls each having a number of design-time properties.

The 3-way RAD totally bypasses the expensive dynamic parsing mechanism and improves runtime performance. Also the function calls are made on a "needed basis" - RFC only sets those properties that are pre-bound by the user and not each and every property of the form or control.

(2) Flexibility in Editing Design-time Properties:

When 3-way RAD option is selected, the design-time properties appear more transparent to the user. The user can now clearly see which properties of which controls / form will be set when the form is loaded. This provides them a greater flexibility in changing (or even manually adding) design-time properties in source code (in ::SetProperties() function). This is in contrast to the traditional resource string based property implementation case, where it is nearly impossible to change a design-time property on the source code level (typically in a *.rc file).

How Positions and Sizes are Implemented in 3-way RAD?

With "3-way RAD" option selected, the "Create" statements for the controls have different format from that with "string resource" based property implementation:

void CForm1::CreateControls()
    m_Button1.Create(this, IDC_BUTTON1, CRect(140,35,231,98));
    m_TextBox1.Create(this, IDC_TEXTBOX1, CRect(70,126,154,189));

The third argument of each Create statement contains a "CRect" value describing the position and size of the controls.

The position and size of the forms are implemented by a CRect member variable (called m_rect) in the form's constructor, as follows:

    m_rect = CRect(0,0,364,301);

In either case, whenever the user changes the position or size of the control on the form or the size of the form itself, the "CRect" value is modified.  The value is also changed when the user changes either of the "Left", "Top", "Width" or "Height" properties from the property list box. On the other hand, when the user changes this "CRect" value in the code and save the file, this change is reflected on the form designer and the property listbox.

How To Use?

In order to activate this powerful feature, you need to select RadVC menu item "3-way RAD." (Figure below) by clicking on the "Options" button and make sure that it is checked.

The user can use 3-way RAD with the existing resource based property implementation.

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"Resource-on-the-Fly" IntelliSense

Now in this version, you can add new resource just by typing resource prefix anywhere in your code editor. The prefixes for "bitmap", "Icon", "Cursor" and "String" are "IDB_", "IDI_", "IDC_" and "IDS_" respectively. Here is a typical example of adding new bitmap resource.

wpeD.jpg (6027 bytes)

Once the menu "<Add New Bitmap>" is selected, RadVC will display an enhanced "File Open" dialog. In this dialog, the user can select the bitmap file to add and also the ID (an IDB_) name for the bitmap (picture below).

whatsn4.jpg (28440 bytes)

The user then can also select a bitmap resource from the list of existing bitmaps (picture below).

rofly.jpg (12035 bytes)

This IntelliSense works with any kind of VC++ supported resource. Here is an example of selecting an "Icon" resource "on the fly".

wpe6.jpg (8248 bytes)

And here is an example of a text string

wpeB.jpg (9082 bytes)

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New Options

RadVC 1.2 has added a fourth button to its toolbar. The user can set various RadVC options using this button. When clicked on this button, RadVC displays a pull-down menu as shown below.

WhatsN2.jpg (6985 bytes)

The are 5 options the user can select..

(1) Refresh Project Info: RadVC deletes the existing project info file (<project name>.dat file) and creates a new one by reading the active project. This option is particularly useful, if the project need to be repaired.

(2) Grid Size: Displays a grid size dialog allowing users to change form's grid size.

(3) 3 - Way RAD [described above]

(4) Deactivate IntelliSense: Activate or deactivate RadVC IntelliSense.

(5) Views: Shows or hides RadVC windows. (toolbox, project and property windows).

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