Windows API Code Pack 0.90
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Incredibly, I haven’t got a chance to blog about the Windows API Code Pack yet – even though it’s been out on MSDN Code Gallery for a couple of months already. It’s an open source .NET library which provides interop wrappers to Windows 7 (and Windows Vista) features. In fact, it would be unfair to say that these are wrappers – some of the features are organized and designed to make access from managed code significantly easier than from the native Win32/COM counterparts.
By the time of this writing, there are already several extensive posts on the features covered by the Windows API Code Pack, so I would rather refer you to them instead of rehashing:
The latest release of the Windows API Code Pack (version 0.90) is fairly close to stable, and is feature-complete with regard to several areas of the Windows 7 APIs. Specifically, the latest release incorporates the following features of the Windows 7 taskbar, my pet feature:
- Jump lists, including user tasks, custom categories and known categories
- Icon overlays and progress bars, including a multi-window progress bar which incorporates progress information from multiple windows which share the same taskbar button (and app ID)
- Thumbnail toolbars, including support for separate thumbnail toolbars for individual thumbnails in the same application
- Thumbnail customization, clipping, live preview and tabbed thumbnails (window switchers)
These features are up-to-date with the latest Windows 7 RC changes from Beta, which I will briefly cover in a future post. There are a couple of things that didn’t work smoothly for me – for example, there is a bug with thumbnail toolbars when using them in a 64-bit process. However, I’m sure these things will be sorted out by the time v1.0 is released.
There are also significant updates in other areas – Direct2D, DirectWrite, WIC, Sensor platform, and other Windows 7 APIs. The library is definitely worth checking out, and it’s time that we start phasing out the sample wrappers developed during the past few months. It’s been a great time, but it’s also about time that these samples are replaced by a properly tested library, which seems to have potential for support at some point in the future.
Published at DZone with permission of Sasha Goldshtein, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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