[SOLVED] Vista theme

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While porting Windows Forms applications to web pages that you browse on a computer (not on a mobile phone), one tries to keep the look and feel of the application. On a more concrete note, you try to use the same forms, the same icons, the same behaviour. Otherwise we aren’t porting an application, we are re-developing the application. So I’d rather use a theme that looks as closely as possible to the original application.

If we use a theme with SVG icons, we need to choose new SVG icons for the rest of the application so it looks consistent.

If I use a theme with thick window title bars and thick borders, I loose form area to display all my carefully designed and aligned controls.

If I use a theme where the DGV has thick lines, it will show less lines and will reduce the ported application usability.

I could also add something about the colours, but I guess you got the point. I’m asking for a Vista theme in order to make application porting easier.

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Best Answer

Hi Tiago,

We’ll add a “Classic-#” theme to the downloadable themes.

However, we have been porting apps for a while and in the last few years it is imperative to provide a modernization path/technology rather than simply porting. It has been a consistent request coming from prospects. Porting is now only the first step.

In general, the theme system and the UI in Wisej already take in consideration the constraints that you mentioned when coming from WinForms.

Client Area

Wisej preserves the ClientSize of a form (window) so it doesn’t matter how large or small the border or caption of a form is. The internal usable are stays the same. Wisej recalculates the Non-Client area and adapts the outside size. You can see this by changing the theme either in the designer or at runtime. The form gets automatically bigger or smaller while the client area remains unchanged.

Visual WebGui broke this behavior by setting the (overall) Size of the form. That is also why the PointToClient-type functions in VWG don’t work. Once a VWG form is loaded in Wisej this is fixed automatically but you may see a slight change. So the classic theme may help for the initial load. It doesn’t make any difference if coming from WinForms.

Editable Controls

Wisej built-in themes are all designed with the same height in pixels as WinForms (adapted using the font) to preserve the original dimensions and locations. The only elements that have been modernized are the inner elements that are not controlled by Size and Location.

General Approach

With Wisej we want to provide a cutting edge framework that is good for porting and but even better for modernizing and developing new apps. It includes all the newest browsers features and widgets enabling LOB developers to build modern web apps without having to dig through dozens of blogs and trying to stitch together countless javascript packages, sometimes incompatible, setting them back to the text editor times.

We know we can do it since, as we use to say, we eat our own dog food. And Wisej is vital for our modernization projects.



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First of all, let me say I agree that Wisej is a “cutting edge framework” and includes a lot of features that are expect on today’s web applications. Just to name one, the ability to transform any control into a drop target for external drag objects, meaning files (I think I already said that on another thread…). I like the idea of having access to a lot of interesting Javascript widjets (FullCalendar, ChartJs and all the extensions available and planned). If I insist on points that I think are improvements, that’s exactly because I think Wisej has great qualities.

Back to the point, besides the DGV issue outlined by Alex, there is also the question of the default font (typeface/font size). I attach a very simple Windows Forms form that was converted to Wisej. As you can see, in Wisej the text length is much bigger than in Windows Forms and the labels drop out of the form. (Of course in this case this isn’t a problem, as I could easily expand the form, but that’s not the point.)

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+1 for a Vista theme, in the meaning of a desktop-like appearance.

I agree with Tiago that in our to-be-ported applications (Winforms and VWG) we have spent considerable amounts of time to squeeze a lot of information on a single page and there is a huge amount of valuable viewport space that goes wasted with the new Web-looking themes/styles. This themes, is my personal view, are way too much influenced by Twitter Bootstrap themes, that might look good on a tiny mobile screen but are completely inadequate for desktops.

As a more general point here, I believe it would be very useful that Wisej focus more strongly on desktop-like development. This is what is missing in the market, and this is what VWG also missed out. Trying to be desktop- and mobile-friendly at the same time is a utopia, as one has to make compromises in both directions. My personal belief is that ASP.NET and server side rendering is meant more for LOB applications with heavy data entry and not for mobile app development. There are plenty of tools for the second kind of development.

In my recent experience with converting a VWG application to Wisej, I saw my main datagrid which with the VWG Vista theme had 23 rows viewed on my laptop going down to 12 rows with the Wisej default theme. I have not tried yet to customize Wisej themes, it could be extremely straightforward. But it would be nice if Wisej offered a more desktop-like theme out of the box.

These were some thoughts of mine initiated by Tiago’s post.

All the best,

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I agree that we need a more “Windows Application” -Centric theme in order to do LOB applications and utilize as much screen real estate as possible.

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