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An XML-Driven Menu Strip

, 16 Apr 2007 CPOL
In this article, I'm going to show how to generate a dynamic MenuStrip (.NET 2.0's replacement of the MainMenu control) using recursion in C#. The MenuStrip will be based on XML data which contains all the details about the generated Menu.
menustripenhanced.zip
MenuStripEnhanced
MainMenuEnhanced
bin
Debug
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
Release
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
obj
Debug
MainMenuEnhanced.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.MenuStripEnhanced.resources
MainMenuEnhanced.MenuStripEnhancedEventArgs.resources
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
MenuStripEnhanced.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
Refactor
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
TempPE
Release
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.MenuStripEnhanced.resources
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
MenuStripEnhanced.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
TempPE
Properties
MainMenuTestApp
bin
Debug
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.exe
MainMenuTestApp.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.vshost.exe
Release
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.exe
MainMenuTestApp.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.vshost.exe
MenuStripEnhancedTestApp.csproj.user
obj
Debug
build.force
MainMenuTestApp.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
MainMenuTestApp.exe
MainMenuTestApp.MenuStripEnhancedForm.resources
MainMenuTestApp.MenuStripForm.resources
MainMenuTestApp.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.Properties.Resources.resources
MenuStripEnhancedTestApp.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
Refactor
ResolveAssemblyReference.cache
TempPE
Release
MainMenuTestApp.exe
MainMenuTestApp.MenuStripEnhancedForm.resources
MainMenuTestApp.MenuStripForm.resources
MainMenuTestApp.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.Properties.Resources.resources
MenuStripEnhancedTestApp.csproj.GenerateResource.Cache
ResolveAssemblyReference.cache
TempPE
Properties
Settings.settings
MenuStripEnhanced.suo
menustripenhanced_v101.zip
MainMenuEnhanced
MainMenuEnhanced
bin
Release
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
Properties
MainMenuTestApp
bin
Release
MainMenuEnhanced.dll
MainMenuEnhanced.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.exe
MainMenuTestApp.pdb
MainMenuTestApp.vshost.exe
MenuStripEnhancedTestApp.csproj.user
Properties
Settings.settings
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<root>
  <!-- 
    Microsoft ResX Schema 
    
    Version 2.0
    
    The primary goals of this format is to allow a simple XML format 
    that is mostly human readable. The generation and parsing of the 
    various data types are done through the TypeConverter classes 
    associated with the data types.
    
    Example:
    
    ... ado.net/XML headers & schema ...
    <resheader name="resmimetype">text/microsoft-resx</resheader>
    <resheader name="version">2.0</resheader>
    <resheader name="reader">System.Resources.ResXResourceReader, System.Windows.Forms, ...</resheader>
    <resheader name="writer">System.Resources.ResXResourceWriter, System.Windows.Forms, ...</resheader>
    <data name="Name1"><value>this is my long string</value><comment>this is a comment</comment></data>
    <data name="Color1" type="System.Drawing.Color, System.Drawing">Blue</data>
    <data name="Bitmap1" mimetype="application/x-microsoft.net.object.binary.base64">
        <value>[base64 mime encoded serialized .NET Framework object]</value>
    </data>
    <data name="Icon1" type="System.Drawing.Icon, System.Drawing" mimetype="application/x-microsoft.net.object.bytearray.base64">
        <value>[base64 mime encoded string representing a byte array form of the .NET Framework object]</value>
        <comment>This is a comment</comment>
    </data>
                
    There are any number of "resheader" rows that contain simple 
    name/value pairs.
    
    Each data row contains a name, and value. The row also contains a 
    type or mimetype. Type corresponds to a .NET class that support 
    text/value conversion through the TypeConverter architecture. 
    Classes that don't support this are serialized and stored with the 
    mimetype set.
    
    The mimetype is used for serialized objects, and tells the 
    ResXResourceReader how to depersist the object. This is currently not 
    extensible. For a given mimetype the value must be set accordingly:
    
    Note - application/x-microsoft.net.object.binary.base64 is the format 
    that the ResXResourceWriter will generate, however the reader can 
    read any of the formats listed below.
    
    mimetype: application/x-microsoft.net.object.binary.base64
    value   : The object must be serialized with 
            : System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary.BinaryFormatter
            : and then encoded with base64 encoding.
    
    mimetype: application/x-microsoft.net.object.soap.base64
    value   : The object must be serialized with 
            : System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap.SoapFormatter
            : and then encoded with base64 encoding.

    mimetype: application/x-microsoft.net.object.bytearray.base64
    value   : The object must be serialized into a byte array 
            : using a System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter
            : and then encoded with base64 encoding.
    -->
  <xsd:schema id="root" xmlns="" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:msdata="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xml-msdata">
    <xsd:import namespace="http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace" />
    <xsd:element name="root" msdata:IsDataSet="true">
      <xsd:complexType>
        <xsd:choice maxOccurs="unbounded">
          <xsd:element name="metadata">
            <xsd:complexType>
              <xsd:sequence>
                <xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" />
              </xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:attribute name="name" use="required" type="xsd:string" />
              <xsd:attribute name="type" type="xsd:string" />
              <xsd:attribute name="mimetype" type="xsd:string" />
              <xsd:attribute ref="xml:space" />
            </xsd:complexType>
          </xsd:element>
          <xsd:element name="assembly">
            <xsd:complexType>
              <xsd:attribute name="alias" type="xsd:string" />
              <xsd:attribute name="name" type="xsd:string" />
            </xsd:complexType>
          </xsd:element>
          <xsd:element name="data">
            <xsd:complexType>
              <xsd:sequence>
                <xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" msdata:Ordinal="1" />
                <xsd:element name="comment" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" msdata:Ordinal="2" />
              </xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:attribute name="name" type="xsd:string" use="required" msdata:Ordinal="1" />
              <xsd:attribute name="type" type="xsd:string" msdata:Ordinal="3" />
              <xsd:attribute name="mimetype" type="xsd:string" msdata:Ordinal="4" />
              <xsd:attribute ref="xml:space" />
            </xsd:complexType>
          </xsd:element>
          <xsd:element name="resheader">
            <xsd:complexType>
              <xsd:sequence>
                <xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" msdata:Ordinal="1" />
              </xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:attribute name="name" type="xsd:string" use="required" />
            </xsd:complexType>
          </xsd:element>
        </xsd:choice>
      </xsd:complexType>
    </xsd:element>
  </xsd:schema>
  <resheader name="resmimetype">
    <value>text/microsoft-resx</value>
  </resheader>
  <resheader name="version">
    <value>2.0</value>
  </resheader>
  <resheader name="reader">
    <value>System.Resources.ResXResourceReader, System.Windows.Forms, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089</value>
  </resheader>
  <resheader name="writer">
    <value>System.Resources.ResXResourceWriter, System.Windows.Forms, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089</value>
  </resheader>
  <metadata name="$this.TrayLargeIcon" type="System.Boolean, mscorlib, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089">
    <value>False</value>
  </metadata>
</root>

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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

Bryan Ray
Web Developer
United States United States
I've been working with C# since .NET Beta 1 and have been in the development scene since VB3.
 
I've always had a passion for development, technology, and computer as a whole. I consider myself one of the lucky few who actually love their job.
 
I've mostly been involed with web development in the corporate world, but I also work with Windows Forms development at home. Over the past 3 years or so the .NET applications I've developed have been backend maintenance applications. Transfering data, manipulating data, or doing some other back-end processes.

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