Really great news for MFC developers!
Microsoft announced a hugh investment in MFC which is currently being finished and available in March 2008. It will be an add-on for VS2008. Next month there will be an Release Candidate (RC) available.
Here is just a small overview:
If you just recompile with VS2008, then you have the vista-common-controls (for example the new OpenFileDIalog; of course, you can also use the old-style dialog, if you want!).
If you change some small parts of your code, you can use the new visual manager. Several styles are currently available and you can also write your own visual manager to implement your own style! And the best: You can change the style during runtime!
Also the menu icons will be automatically displayed by looking at the toolbar icons!
Also by adding some code, you can use the Office 2007 Ribbon Controls! Customizing the Toolbar by the user! (of course, everything is highly customizable by the programmer, you always can disable these features). Commands-Routing and all other stuff are not changed! Just add some code and then you has then new styles.
Also Docking is now for free aviable in MFC (DockingPane)!
MS also made a strong commitment to native code. If Office will have a new UI, MFC will also be implementing this style in the next version.
And the best: All the UI controls are supported starting with Windows 2000 and just uses native code (so no need to have Office2007 or Vista to enable these features)!!!
If you changing the Theme in the UI-Settings of the OS, it depends on what Visual Manager have used. The “Windows-Visual-Manager” will follow the OS settings of the OS.
I have made some pictures from the session, you can download it here: http://blog.kalmbachnet.de/files/TechEd2007_MFCNext.zip (39 MB). Enjoy!
Just some small (funny) notes at the end:
- Expression Blend is written in MFC! The main frame is MFC and only the content is WPF 😉
- Most controls are “ported” from BGCSoft into MFC!
- For Ribbon, there is currently no designer available, it must be done in code.
- The VC++ team will put a video on Channel9 in the next hours/days, so you can also see this imporvements: