Re: using bitmap for dialog background

"David Ching" <>
Sun, 11 Feb 2007 17:27:05 GMT
"Joseph M. Newcomer" <> wrote in message

Once, a long time ago, I was given such a project. The dialog background
was beautiful
pastel colors, and the controls were placed at exact x,y coordinates. It
worked fine at
640x480x256. Unfortunately, the customers were now buying 800x600 laptops
and wanted
full-screen display. The result was a total disaster. The solution was
to remove the
pretty colors, since they actually added nothing to the value of the
product, put controls
where they should go, and handled resizing properly. The difference was
that the pretty
colors were gone, and the product worked at any resolution, on any
display, at any color
depth, with any font size. The notion that you can take a bitmap and use
it as a guide
for layout is pretty risky under almost any imaginable modern condition,
where there are
multiple resolutions, multiple display sizes, etc., and in fact any one
system can have
two or more resolutions (e.g., my main monitor runs 1900x1200 and my
secondary monitor
runs 1024x768, so the resolution for full-screen depends on which monitor
I've maximized
it). You can safely assume that resizing the bitmap image will fail to
give desired
results. Trying to correlate controls with bitmap positions is going to
difficult-to-impossible. It is one thing to just draw a background; to
draw something
that has "holes" in it for controls is a nightmare. You cannot control
the size of the
controls; if you try, you defeat the automatic scaling done for dialogs,
and in some cases
make localization near-impossible.

Dialogs with resizeable controls are OK if pretty interfaces are not a
premium, but they suck if it is at a premium. Not everyone agrees with your
tradeoffs that functionality (i.e. perserving user's choice of font size) is
more important than using a fixed size window. I happen to agree with you,
but that severely limits what the graphic artist can do. I've had several
contracts that called for a fixed window about 750x550 (to fit on a 800x600
screen), and for a fixed size font that fit within the gaps provided in the
background bitmap.

-- David (MVP)

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