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Pocket PC Development using Pelles C

, 31 Mar 2013 CPOL
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This article describes how we can develop pocket PC applications using Pelles C IDE.

Introduction

There are various options for program development on Pocket PC, for e.g., embedded VC and Visual Studio. But the drawback of using eVC for Pocket PC development is that eVC currently does not work on Vista and later operating systems. Also device development is not supported on Express Editions of Visual Studio. It requires full version of Visual Studio to develop for Pocket PC. So if you want a free environment for developing Pocket PC applications, you need to look for an alternative.

A good free alternative for Pocket PC development is Pelles C. Pelles C contains compiler, linker and install builders for Pocket PC as well as Windows. It also has an Integrated Development Environment with Project Management, source code editor, debugger and resource editors for various resources like dialogs, menus, icons, cursors, etc.

Background

Pelles C can be downloaded from here.

To demonstrate the use of Pelles C, I have developed a sample application PocketScribble.

Anyone who knows Windows Programming in C can write Pocket PC programs using Pelles C.

To create a new Pocket PC application in Pelles C IDE, select the File->New->Project menu command. You will get the following screen:

Choose the WinCE Pocket PC Program(EXE) project type.

You can add C source file using the Add files option as follows:

You can generate the executable code of your program by choosing the Build EXE option from the Project menu as follows:

The generated EXE file can be copied to the actual Windows mobile or emulator using either Active Sync (on Windows XP) or Windows Mobile Device Center (on Vista or later O.S).

Using the Code

The execution of a Pocket PC program or a Windows program begins with the WinMain function whose prototype is as follows:

int PASCAL WinMain(HINSTANCE hInst,HINSTANCE hPrevInst,LPWSTR lpCmdLine,int nCmdShow)

In the above code, HISNTANCE is a macro representing an unsigned int and LPWSTR is a macro representing a long pointer to char.

The parameters of the WinMain function are as follows:

  • The first parameter is hInst, which represents the current instance.
  • If more than one instance of the program is running concurrently, then the hPrevInst parameter contains the hInstance value for the last copy started.
  • The lpCmdLine parameter is a pointer to the character string containing the command line arguments passed to the program.
  • The nCmdShow parameter is an integer value representing the window state when the program starts (minimized, normal or maximized).

In the WinMain function, we use the WNDCLASS structure to define window characteristics as follows:

wc.hInstance=hInst;	// Current Instance
wc.lpszClassName=L"MYWINDOW";	// Window Class Name
wc.lpfnWndProc=myWndProc;	// Window Procedure to handle window events.
wc.hbrBackground=GetStockObject(WHITE_BRUSH);	// Window Background

The RegisterClass() function is used to register the window class as follows:

RegisterClass(&wc);

After registering the window class, a window is created as follows:

hWnd=CreateWindow(L"MYWINDOW",L"Pocket Scribble",
WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW,20,20,200,200,0,0,hInst,0);

The parameters of the CreateWindow() function are as follows:

  • The first parameter is the window class name.
  • The second parameter is the window title.
  • The third parameter is the window style (WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW).
  • The fourth parameter is the x co-ordinate of the window's top left corner.
  • The fifth parameter is the y co-ordinate of the window's top left corner.
  • The sixth parameter is the window width.
  • The seventh parameter is the window height.
  • The eighth parameter is the parent window handle. A value of zero for this parameter indicates that the current window has no parent window.
  • The ninth parameter is the menu for the window. A value of zero for this parameter indicates that the current window has no menu.
  • The tenth parameter is the current program instance.
  • The eleventh parameter is the pointer to the window creation data.

The newly created window is displayed by using the following function call:

ShowWindow(hWnd,nCmdShow);

In the ShowWindow() method, the first parameter is the window handle returned from CreateWindow() method and the second parameter is the nCmdShow parameter from the WinMain() function representing the window state.

The window contents can be updated using the following function call:

UpdateWindow(hWnd);

After this, a message loop is created as follows:

while(GetMessage(&msg,0,0,0))
{
	TranslateMessage(&msg);
	DispatchMessage(&msg);
}

The above message loop performs the following tasks:

  • It uses the GetMessage() method to read messages from the message queue and store it in a MSG structure.
  • It uses the TranslateMesage() method to convert keyboard messages in the msg structure to character messages.
  • Then it uses the DispatchMessage() method to send the translated message to the window procedure which processes the message.

The following is the window procedure:

LRESULT CALLBACK myWndProc(HWND hWnd,UINT uMsg,WPARAM wParam,LPARAM lParam)
{
	HDC hDC;
	switch(uMsg)
	{
		case WM_DESTROY:	// Window is closed
				PostQuitMessage(0);	// Post the WM_QUIT message
				break;
		case WM_LBUTTONDOWN:	// Left mouse button pressed
				down=1;	// Trap the left mouse button state
				x1=LOWORD(lParam);	// Store the current x co-ordinate
				y1=HIWORD(lParam);	// Store the current y co-ordinate
				break;
		case WM_MOUSEMOVE:
				if(down==1)	// If left mouse button pressed
				{
					x2=LOWORD(lParam);	// Store the new x co-ordinate
					y2=HIWORD(lParam);	// Store the new y co-ordinate
					hDC=GetDC(hWnd);	// Get the device context
					MoveToEx(hDC,x1,y1,0);// Move to the starting point
					LineTo(hDC,x2,y2);	// Draw a line 
					                    // upto the second point
					ReleaseDC(hWnd,hDC);// Release the device context
					x1=x2;
					y1=y2;
				}
				break;
		case WM_LBUTTONUP:	// Left mouse button released
				down=0;
				break;
		default:
				break;
	}
	//Call the default window procedure to provide default processing
	return DefWindowProc(hWnd,uMsg,wParam,lParam);	
	
}

In the above code, the uMsg parameter contains the messages generated. The WM_DESTROY is generated when we close the window. We use the PostQuitMessage() method to post the WM_QUIT message, which causes the message loop in the WinMain() function to be terminated and the program stops.

The WM_LBUTTONDOWN message is generated when the left mouse button is pressed. The down variable is set to 1 to indicate that the left mouse button is pressed. The LOWORD and HIWORD macros are used to trap the current x and y co-ordinates respectively.

The WM_LBUTTONUP message is generated when the left mouse button is released. The down variable is set to 0 to indicate that the left mouse button is released.

The WM_MOUSEMOVE message is generated when the mouse is moved. We use the LOWORD and HIWORD macros to trap the new x and y co-ordinates and draw a line between the old and new co-ordinates. The MoveToEx and LineTo functions require the device context which is obtained using the GetDC() function.

Following is the complete code of the PocketScribble application:

#include <windows.h>

LRESULT CALLBACK myWndProc(HWND,UINT,WPARAM,LPARAM);
WNDCLASS wc;
int down=0;
int x1,y1,x2,y2;
int PASCAL WinMain(HINSTANCE hInst,HINSTANCE hPrevInst,LPWSTR lpCmdLine,int nCmdShow)
{
	HWND hWnd;
	MSG msg;
	wc.hInstance=hInst;
	wc.lpszClassName=L"MYWINDOW";
	wc.lpfnWndProc=myWndProc;
	wc.hbrBackground=GetStockObject(WHITE_BRUSH);
	RegisterClass(&wc);
	hWnd=CreateWindow
	(L"MYWINDOW",L"Pocket Scribble",WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW,20,20,200,200,0,0,hInst,0);
	ShowWindow(hWnd,nCmdShow);
	UpdateWindow(hWnd);
	while(GetMessage(&msg,0,0,0))
	{
		TranslateMessage(&msg);
		DispatchMessage(&msg);
	}
	return 0;
}

LRESULT CALLBACK myWndProc(HWND hWnd,UINT uMsg,WPARAM wParam,LPARAM lParam)
{
	HDC hDC;
	switch(uMsg)
	{
		case WM_DESTROY:
				PostQuitMessage(0);
				break;
		case WM_LBUTTONDOWN:
				down=1;
				x1=LOWORD(lParam);
				y1=HIWORD(lParam);
				break;
		case WM_MOUSEMOVE:
				if(down==1)
				{
					x2=LOWORD(lParam);
					y2=HIWORD(lParam);
					hDC=GetDC(hWnd);
					MoveToEx(hDC,x1,y1,0);
					LineTo(hDC,x2,y2);
					ReleaseDC(hWnd,hDC);
					x1=x2;
					y1=y2;
				}
				break;
		case WM_LBUTTONUP:
				down=0;
				break;
		default:
				break;
	}
	return DefWindowProc(hWnd,uMsg,wParam,lParam);
}

Points of Interest

I was since long searching for an alternative to Visual Studio for Pocket PC Programming and was lucky to find this excellent IDE. I hope this article will be helpful to all Pocket PC enthusiasts who are looking for an alternative IDE for Pocket PC development.

The following figure shows the application being executed on my HTC_P3450 Mobile with Windows Mobile 6 Professional:

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Azim Zahir
Instructor / Trainer NIIT, India
India India
I am a trainer by profession. Currently I am working with NIIT (Mumbai, India) as a Senior Faculty. I enjoy programming as a hobby. My favorite technologies are Flash, Flex and Silverlight.
 
Of late I have developed keen interest in WPF and Windows Mobile programming.
 
Apart from computers, my favorite pastime is bicycling.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionWow... PinmemberSuper Lloyd22-Sep-14 21:30 
AnswerRe: Wow... PinmemberAzim Zahir24-Sep-14 19:08 

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