Chapter 15. Windows Forms

Windows Forms is a part of the .NET Framework that is used to create user interfaces for local applications, often called Win32 clients. Windows Forms does not change in moving from Visual Basic 2005 to Visual Basic 2008. Accordingly, the version number used for Windows Forms in Visual Studio 2008 is still 2.0.

The pace of change in Windows Forms is slowing because of the advent of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Visual Studio 2008 is the first version of Visual Studio with a capable visual designer for WPF. Going forward, you can expect continued innovation in WPF, but not much in Windows Forms. However, that does not imply that you should abandon Windows Forms or be reluctant to write programs in it. Windows Forms still has many advantages over WPF.

Those advantages include a more complete set of controls and a mature, easy-to-use designer. The result is faster development in Windows Forms compared to WPF. WPF has advantages of its own, of course. These are discussed in Chapter 17, which provides an introduction to WPF.

This chapter summarizes the changes in Windows Forms 2.0 compared to the earlier 1.0 and 1.1 versions that were present in Visual Studio 2002 and 2003. This enables those with some experience in previous versions of Windows Forms to quickly identify key changes. Then the chapter looks at the behavior of forms and controls, with emphasis on those elements that are most important for routine application development.

Chapter 16 includes ...

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