MSDN Webcast on creating attractive UI on WM devices

Please join me for the webcast that I will be presenting the upcoming Wednesday:

MSDN Webcast:

24 Hours of Windows Mobile Application Development: Creating Compelling and Attractive UIs for Windows Mobile Applications.


You can download the source code from:


Comments (12)

  1. Kevin Daly says:

    Thanks Alex, that was very informative and thought-provoking.

    And I resisted the urge to ask if the Silverlight Mobile CTP is ready yet 🙂

  2. Andy.Long says:

    Thanks Alex, that was very good indeed.

  3. aymanfm says:

    Thanks for this great webcast. As a mobile developer who would like to target Windows Mobile, I am a bit hesitant at the moment. I want to build some applications, and I want them to have all the neat stuff you have mentioned in the webcast. But just the fact that Silverlight is going to be supported stops me from using these libraries and DLLs.

    So, from your background, should we just wait for the first Silverlight Mobile CTP? or should we use these libraries to build our apps?



  4. AlexYak says:

    The SLM is the future. These libraries available now.

    It’s your choice.

    Thanks… Alex

  5. Andy.Long says:

    Hi Alex, I am new to mobile development, I thought you demo and presentations were great for beginners.

    I have a one question that maybe you can help me with.

    Is it possible to draw smooth lines with the MSDN. UI Framework?

    I have an example on how to do this with the GDI Plus wrapper, but when I add this into a project with the MSDN UI Framework, any function calling an alpha blend does not work. An error reporting ‘hdc has an unexpected value’ in the Draw Aplha function at the the line:

    IntPtr hdcSrc=gxSrc.GetHdc();

    I have no idea why, although I have a sneaky feeling that it is to do with the graphics being defined as a graphics plus object, required for smooth line – or at least that is how I understand it.

    Any help would be appreciated, as I think this is the last stumbling block I have in generating quality graphics for my application.

    Thanks in advance, Andy


  6. aymanfm says:

    Thanks Alex for your reply. Under which category would you put Windows Mobile 6.5? The future, or now?



  7. AlexYak says:

    To aymanfm:

    WM 6.5 should be released this year, however the development story is the same as it was for WM 6.1.

    To Andy.Long:

    There’s no functionality for drawing smooth lines in the Msdn. framework. As for the error you are getting – if you could send your sample solution I may be able to take a look at it. You can send it to:

    alex.yakhnin(at)m i c r o s o f

  8. Dr.Luiji says:

    Thanks Alex as usual a great article.

    I’ve used in the past your projects as base for mine many times, and recently for 2 projects on CodeProject.

    Thanks for all hard work you have made in the comunity.

    Now I’m waithing Silverlight for mobile for the new challengs.

  9. Andy.Long says:

    Hi Alex/Anybody,

    I have used the MSDN.UI Framework to create my own application whereby I have created a button bar with notification area, an extension to the example of the menu bar and I am now in the process of creating other UI’s, one of which is a meter guage. Now, here is my problem. If I invaidate the UI using On_invalidate(UIname) with a reference to the UI, i.e only invalidate the UI area, the On_render() is called in canvas class where it re-renders all of the UI’s. I can see why this is so because there could be UI’s on top of other UI’s, i.e. if the a menu is activated which is top most on the screen. However, the problem comes when I have animation on the screen because the update is quite slugish. I have tried to modify so that only controls that need to be updated get re-rendered but to be honest it is still quite slow.

    Do you or anybody have any advice on how I can speed or optimise the rendering process?

    FYI. I have converted the UIFramework to VB (my prefered language). If anybody wants a copy, let me know.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.


  10. AlexYak says:


    You should be able to use the InvalidateChild method of the Canvas class which should invalidate only the rectangle of the element.


  11. Jaycephus says:

    Just watched your UI webcast and downloaded your source and am about to dig in. 🙂

    I’m new to mobile Window development, but I’ve recently been doing a bit of CE embedded dev.

    I guess it is a very old complaint now, (and that is the problem: it is an OLD complaint) but I’m seeing from your comments that WM6.5 development will have the same VS WM control set available to it that WM6.0 and 6.1 have now. I was dissapointed to hear that.

    At this late date, I’m shocked that there aren’t any touch-friendly controls included with WM development refresh kits. I realize that a great portion of WM dev is targeted and smartphones, but ever since I got my Tilt (HTC WM6.1 QVGA touchscreen phone), I’ve been amazed (in a negative way) at WM GUI design. Not just at the OS level, either. MS Reader for WM is a prime example of an application written by someone who ‘just doesn’t get it’!! Yes, my phone comes with a touch screen. That is no excuse not to make the app usable with a D-pad only. But it isn’t. You must have access to the touch screen to use Reader. Then on top of that, it is really difficult to use without a stylus. Again, no reason not to make it more friendly for finger touches, except that would require some custom programming. And all the annoyances found in Reader are duplicated in every facet of MS WM config screens and apps, such as Mobile Office.

    I’m also surprised no one has stepped up to offer a set of custom controls that fills this need, especially since the iPhone GUI was first revealed. I’ve found a couple of offerings, one of which appears to be comprehensive and also as expensive as the upgrade to VS2008 Pro. Too rich for me right now. The other one is affordable, but not very comprehensive, and without the source, I wouldn’t want to invest in it.

    But I’m seeing a lot of comments on Silverlight.

    Is this the path for next generation WM GUIs? Use Silverlight as the application UI if you want a touch-friendly iPhone-killing app?

    Or are there new controls in development?

    I figure at SOME point, MS would want to rework the GUIs for WM Office, WM config screens, etc.

    Any elaboration on this, or link to a relevant article would be much appreciated!

    Thanks Alex!

    – Jay

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