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Introduction to WTL - Part 1

, 30 Apr 2001
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The 'what' and 'where do I get it' of WTL

What is the Windows Template Library you ask?

Brief history

In the beginning when ATL appeared, developers were happy. We had a way to write fast, small COM components. Well the happiness ended soon after when we found that we had to write code wrappers for any of the window's controls we wanted to use. So MS responded to our plight and gave us WTL, completely unfinished and unsupported (for now).

See WTL Documented for more information.

Features

  • All the power of C++
  • Thin wrappers for the common controls
  • A small but functional Application framework (minus the ever-popular Document-View Architecture)
  • Print and Print Preview support
  • Ports of MFC’s CPoint, CRect, CSize, CString, etc.
  • New Message cracking Macros, conceivably they’re an upgrade of the existing ones.

All this but no documentation! Oh well, we're all professionals and can read code, so for now that will have to suffice.

Where do you get it?

Thanks to Nenad Stefanovic of the WTL development team we now have 2 methods of downloading the WTL source file (Special thanks to Shannon McCoy for pointing this out).

Method 1

Click here to download the WTL source files.

Method 2

Go and get the Platform SDKs.

WTL resides in the Platform SDKs. To find and install WTL you need to download the latest release of the Platform SDKs. In the screen seen below, Expand the Source code tree item and select the Windows Template Library for download.

So, you have the SDKs installed, your ready to go... well almost. Don’t forget to add the WTL include path to Developer Studio. To do that in Developer Studio go to Tools | Options and click on the 'Directories' tab. Once you are there simply add the include path to the 'Include files' list.

What’s in the box?

Let’s take a look at the goodies we got. The WTL is setup so that all the code resides in header files; it's setup this way so that we have full control of what is been tacked into your project.

The Headers

File name Description
   
atlapp.h Message loop, interfaces, general app stuff
atlcrack.h Message cracker macros atlctrls.h Standard and common control classes
atlctrlw.h Command bar class atlctrlx.h Bitmap button, check list view, and other controls
atlddx.h Data exchange for dialogs and windows
atldlgs.h Common dialog classes, property sheet and page classes
atlframe.h Frame window classes, MDI, update UI classes
atlgdi.h

DC classes, GDI object classes

atlmisc.h

ATL ports of CPoint, CRect, CSize, CString, etc.

atlprint.h

Printing and print preview

atlres.h Standard resource Ids
atlscrl.h Scrollable windows
atlsplit.h Splitter windows
atluser.h Menu class

The Samples

Directory Description
   
MTPad

Multithreaded notepad sample

MDIDocVw

ATL version of the MDI sample

GuidGen

ATL version of the GuidGen sample

The App-Wizard

File Name Description
   
AtlApp60.Awx ATL/WTL AppWizard

And of course there is a 'readme.txt', which outlines the class hierarchy of the WTL. Sorry, I said there was no documentation, my bad Smile | :)

Thats it! You got the WTL and your ready to go.

Ben Burnett

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Ben Burnett
Student University of Lethbridge
Canada Canada
Ben was born in New Zealand and grew up in Mexico; however, he has lived in Canada for most of his adult life. He has traveled to a few places in Canada so far: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia, but has only ever lived in Alberta — all over Alberta. From Lethbridge to Calgary to Fort McMurray: he has seen most of what the province has to offer. He has also left the comfort of his—at the time—home country and gone abroad. In recent history he has been in China, New Zealand, the US, Central America and back to Canada (where he now resides).
 
He completed a degree at the University of Lethbridge, in Computer Science; worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Computer Sciences Department as a Systems Programmer for the Condor Research Project[^]; and is currently completing another degree at the University of Lethbridge, once again, in Computer Science.
 
Ben has been known to enjoy reading, watching movies, playing console games, and learning everything he can about computers. And, more importantly, with regards to his character: does not usually speaks about himself in the third person.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! Pinsussjhalsey11-Oct-00 12:43 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinsussJWright13-Oct-00 5:42 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinsussAnonymous2-Nov-00 13:21 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinmemberFabio3-Nov-00 12:31 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinmemberCrispy1-Apr-01 7:55 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinmemberS van Leent8-Jan-02 8:27 
Generalassert(++critique != convaincant | réaliste) Pinmember-o-m-24-Apr-01 8:19 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinmemberAnonymous8-Oct-01 17:55 
Sigh...Yet another programming Primadonna. Look, if you wanna wave your linux distro around like it was a nine foot pleasuring device, go over to the *BSD forums and see if they care--because I don't. I only care about getting the answers I need, and to be honest I could care less about which platform is better than the other because frankly, I (unlike SOME OTHER PEOPLE) just don't have that much time on my hands. No matter what tool you use the question must always be two things: 1) Can this get the job done by meeting my requirements, and 2) How much time will it take me to implement it. Thats it. That's the bottom line. The client doesn't care whether I use MFC/ATL/WTL or KDE, they just ask me this very simple question: Can this get the job done for me?
 
Its a simple yes or no question that requires a damn good yes or no answer.
 
So go play with yourself and your distro. Go ahead. But while your there still contemplating as to why windowing system (insert whatever you want here) is better then windows, I'll be making money while you continue to work your job flipping burgers.
 
I'll see you at the drive thru. And don't forget my fries next time.
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinsussShannon McCoy15-Aug-02 23:27 
GeneralRe: Poor Windows Programmers! PinmemberBill Dickinson25-Feb-03 11:01 
GeneralWTL Download PinsussFranky Braem15-Jun-00 23:54 
GeneralRe: WTL Download Pinsusstakashi (in japan)27-Jul-00 17:54 
GeneralWTL support from MFC PinsussDavid Hubbard12-May-00 6:09 
GeneralDocumentation PinsussBen Burnett4-May-00 6:41 
GeneralMicrosoft will not support WTL PinsussAlvaro Mendez4-May-00 6:16 
GeneralWTL is the best thing MS has released in years! [Was: Microsoft will not support WTL] PinsussCarlos A. Ferarro Cavallini30-May-00 3:47 
GeneralThe cat's out of the bag Pinsusscdr26-Jun-00 16:44 
GeneralThis article Pinsussanonymous2-May-00 2:34 
GeneralRe: This article Pinsussbajy2-May-00 18:51 
GeneralRe: This article Pinsussanonymous6-May-00 4:18 
GeneralLink to another introductory article PinsussStuart Carter1-May-00 22:45 
GeneralExcellent article!! PinsussRamon Smits30-Apr-00 20:47 
GeneralRe: Excellent article!! PinsussBen Burnett30-Apr-00 23:44 

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