The Visual Component Framework is a C++ application framework that offers a modern, clean, C++ architecture and is designed to be cross platform. The core framework is divided into three major libraries, the FoundationKit, the GraphicsKit, and the ApplicationKit. The FoundationKit provides basic services such as file access, streams, threads and synchronization primitives, and advanced RTTI features. The GraphicsKit provides a nice set of graphics classes for working with both image and vector graphics, and has built in support for the Anti-Grain Graphics library, as well as image loading services to facilitate loading various graphics formats. Finally, the ApplicationKit provides a rich set of GUI controls, use of the Model-View-Control pattern, property and component editors, undo/redo support, drag-and-drop, and clipboard services, application resources, and UI metrics and policy managers.
To facilitate cross platform functionality the VCF is is built using a system of peer interfaces that abstract away the various platform specific calls, with each peer tackling a specific service, such as as threading, file handling, windowing system controls, and so forth. These peer classes are also exposed, and can be used to get access to the lower level OS handles or primitives that they wrap, allowing the developer to write platform specific code if the need arises.
Finally, the VCF is flexible. While it is certainly designed to be a standalone application framework, it also aims, as much as possible, to cooperate with existing toolkits and/or frameworks. For example, if you have an MFC application, you can easily use just the GraphicsKit to make use of the more advanced features in it, as opposed to using the MFC CDC, CBrush, and CPen drawing classes.
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