I encountered a curious issue while working on ImageListView. In the layout code of the control, I have a check to determine whether to show the vertical scrollbar. If the scrollbar needs to be shown, the layout is recalculated since the display area will be smaller with the scrollbar shown. However, my layout code ended up being called infinitely resulting in a stack overflow eventually. Here is the relevant part of the layout code.
1 public void UpdateLayout()
7 int cols = displayBounds.Width / itemSize.Width;
8 int rows = displayBounds.Height / itemSize.Height;
11 bool vScrollRequired = (cols * rows < items.Count);
12 if (vScrollBar.Visible != vScrollRequired)
15 vScrollBar.Visible = vScrollRequired;
The problem was with line 12 above. The
Visible property of the scrollbar always returned
false, if the layout code was called before the parent control is displayed. This is because -as I learned the hard way-, the getter of the Control.Visible property checks whether its parent control is
visible. If not, it will return
false regardless of what you set.
The solution was simple though. Keep a separate variable to track scrollbar’s visibility rather than relying on
Here is what I do not get. If the
Visible property actually means “the control is displayed on the screen”, then why does it return
true when the control is hidden under another control, or the control is moved beyond the client area of its parent?
ToolStripItem circumvents the issue by introducing the Available property. In the remarks section, MSDN says:
Available property is different from the
Visible property in that
Available indicates whether the
ToolStripItem is shown, while
Visible indicates whether the
ToolStripItem and its parent are shown. Setting either
false sets the other property to
This is what
Control.Visible should be doing in the first place. To determine if the control is actually displayed on the screen, there should have been another
read-only property (
It may not be possible to fix
Control.Visible since there are probably many applications relying on the current behavior. However, it should be possible to extend
ToolStripItem.Available property to the
Control class without causing many compatibility issues.