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Posted 3 Nov 2003
Licenced Eclipse

ToDoList 7.2.12 - An Effective and Flexible Way to Keep on Top of Your Tasks

, 4 May 2019
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A hierarchical task manager with native XML support for custom reporting

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Note: Please contact the respective authors directly with comments and questions

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Latest Update (7.2 Feature Release)

The main features of this release are:

  • * NEW * - 'Mind Map' task view
  • * NEW * - 'Week Planner' task view
  • * NEW * - 'Word Cloud' task view

Other changes:

  • Added '<any>' to top of multi-selection filter droplists
  • Added '<nobody>' to single selection filter droplists
  • Added 'Alt' key modifier to trigger 'Import Tasks' when dropping files in 'Task Tree'
  • Added 'Comments' to default task attributes in 'Preferences' dialog
  • Added 'Comments Size' column to 'Task Tree/List View'
  • Added 'Completion Date' column to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added 'Display > Hours' to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added 'Edit' button to 'Preferences' to allow translators to edit the active UI Language file
  • Added 'Elapsed Time' to 'Time Tracker'
  • Added 'Export Format' to 'File > Email Tasks' dialog
  • Added 'Flag' icon to 'Kanban' items
  • Added 'Last Modified By' task attribute
  • Added 'Move > Select Next Task' support to 'Kanban'
  • Added 'Multi-Sort' support to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added 'Parent Task' name to 'Reminder' popups
  • Added 'Quick Find' support to 'Kanban'
  • Added 'Recurrence' option to preserve comments when tasks are recreated
  • Added 'Reload Icons' button to 'Edit Task Icon' dialog
  • Added 'Rich Text Comments' toolbar button to 'Lock Colour Selection'
  • Added 'Rich Text Comments' toolbar button to 'Paste Formatting'
  • Added 'Style > Task View' to 'Print/Preview' dialog
  • Added 'Slovenian' language translation (thanks to Jadran Rudec)
  • Added 'Time Remaining' graph to 'Burndown'
  • Added 'Toolbar' preference to control visibility of 'User Defined Tools' icons
  • Added button to 'Time Spent' to add time to task log
  • Added button to 'Time Tracker' to reset 'Elapsed Time'
  • Added completion checkboxes to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added completion checkboxes to 'Kanban'
  • Added context menu to file path of 'Status Bar'
  • Added custom 'Time Period' attribute
  • Added filtering support to custom 'List' attributes
  • Added menu command 'Edit > Find/Replace in Task Titles'
  • Added menu command 'Edit > Other Task Attributes > Offset Task Dates > Forwards/Backwards'
  • Added menu command 'File > Save Task View to Image'
  • Added menu command 'Move > Go to Task...'
  • Added menu command 'New Task > New Dependent Task Above Selected Task'
  • Added menu command 'Tools > Cleanup Preferences...' (Inspired by Pierre de la Verre)
  • Added menu command 'Tools > Enable Logging' menu item
  • Added menu command 'View > Show Reminder Notification Window'
  • Added menu command 'View > Toggle All Tasks Expanded State'
  • Added mouse-wheel support to 'Calendar' mini-calendar
  • Added parent task 'Rollups' to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added preference to 'Calendar' to 'Show overdue tasks as Due Today'
  • Added preference to 'Calendar' to hide parent tasks
  • Added preference to 'Gantt Chart' to colour 'non-working hours'
  • Added preference to 'Gantt Chart' to control column visibility
  • Added preference to 'Gantt Chart' to display 'Task Title' after Gantt bar
  • Added preference to 'Kanban' to indent subtasks
  • Added preference to position Edit fields above Comments field when stacked
  • Added preference to calculate parent 'Last Modified' as latest of subtasks
  • Added preference to show full task path in 'Sticky' reminders
  • Added preference to specify a sound for time-tracking notifications
  • Added preference to stop time-tracking after reminder
  • Added preference to use 'Creation Time' when initialising 'Start Date'
  • Added preference to configure a 'Custom Toolbar'
  • Added resizability to 'Task Reminders' dialog
  • Added splitter bar to 'Find Tasks' dialog
  • Added splitter bar to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added support for 'Kanban' tasks to be created directly in selected column
  • Added support for 'Move > Select Next Task' to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added support for 'QuickFind' to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added support for high DPI (4K) monitors
  • Added support for individual 'Custom Attribute' selection in 'Print/Preview' and 'Export/Transform/Email Tasks' dialogs
  • Added support for inheriting 'Custom Attribute' values from parent task
  • Added support for title sorting in 'Calendar View'
  • Added task 'Drag and Drop' support to 'Gantt Chart'
  • Added task links to 'Stickies' reminders
  • Added the ability to copy task attributes via the commandline
  • Added tooltips to 'Task Links' in 'Comments' fields

Introduction

You know how it is - you start work on one project and halfway through, you find one or two side-projects crop up that have to be solved before you can continue on the original project.

This is one such project with the added twist that it too started its life as a side-project. Here's what happened:

<Cue wavy screen effect>

I can only imagine that the planets must have been in (mis-)alignment or something, because at one point a few months ago, I was suddenly fielding emails on four or five separate articles I had previously submitted to CodeProject, some asking for features and others for bug fixes.

Foolishly or otherwise, I largely agreed with all the points raised, and subsequently found myself with fourteen or fifteen separate issues to resolve.

The situation was also made worse because I was trying to use CodeProject to keep track of all the things I had agreed to do, meaning that I had to continuously trawl the comments section of each article to remind myself of what I was supposed to be working on.

It even got to the stage where I was worrying that I'd fail to deliver on something - silly I know, but there you are!

Keeping a list on paper was a definite step in the right direction, but since I do all my coding on the same machine, it seemed somewhat inelegant, and anyway, we all know what happens to crucial bits of paper left lying around on desks and such.

The next step was to hunt around on the web for a tool to meet the following requirements:

  • Simple interface
  • Support for hierarchical data
  • Numbered items/subitems
  • Open file format
  • Freeware

Simple, huh! not!

I will admit that I did not spend weeks searching, but I am still surprised at the general lack of software matching my needs.

On reflection, I think that the reason may be simple: people are so used to commercial software being 'feature-rich' that when they come to design software themselves, they (not unreasonably) think they too need to cram as much in as possible, often leading to software where a lot of essential functionality is hidden away in the menu bar.

So, surprise, surprise, I decided to write something myself.

However, it's fair to say that I did not originally intend to post it on CodeProject and am only really doing so because I had a heap of fun solving some very interesting problems and these are what I think make it worth it.

Using the Software

There's really very little I need to say here since every feature/function is explicitly visible in the interface.

Nevertheless, the following list of basic capabilities and omissions may go someway to answering any questions that arise:

  • Files are stored in XML format with .xml file extension.
  • Trying to load a non-tasklist file will generally fail (unless you read the code to see how to circumvent it).
  • The number of items/subitems is limited only by memory (although performance may be the deciding factor before you exhaust memory).
  • Marking a parent item as 'done' will also gray-out child items, but they are not disabled or automatically marked as 'done'.
  • An ellipsis (...) indicates that an item has sub-items.
  • All items can be expanded or collapsed (by double-clicking).
  • Top-level items and sub-items are created using different toolbar buttons.
  • There are task-specific context-menus.
  • The previously open tasklists are re-opened on startup.
  • The tasklist is automatically saved when closing the software or minimizing it to the system tray.
  • The priority of a task is shown as a grayscale box to the left of the item.

Points of Interest

Here's where we come to the side-projects I was talking about, the first two of which I intend to work up into follow-up articles.

They are:

  1. The 'ordered' tree control, which incorporates a non-client gutter for displaying the item numbers.

    The idea stemmed from research I did into alternative designs for a tree-list control, which did not solve it by creating a hybrid control incorporating a tree and a list.

    The hybrid control seems such an obvious solution that I suspect few people have stopped to question it, but it has still always struck me as looking far too much like hard work to be truly elegant ('square pegs' and 'round holes' spring to mind).

    One possible idea is to implement the 'list' portion entirely in the non-client area of the tree. I.e., shift the right hand client edge to the left and then render the list portion in the resulting non-client area.

    Whilst I've yet to get round to building a proof of concept, it was nevertheless this ongoing mental debate which prompted me to try to solve the requirement for numbered items and subitems by rendering the item/subitem numbers in the non-client area.

    Without going into too much detail (as this will subsequently be an article of its own), this is how I got it to work:

    • Handle TVM_INSERTITEM and TVM_DELETEITEM to know exactly when items are added and removed.
    • In these handlers recalculate the width of the gutter required to display the widest 'dotted' item/subitem number. (Note: this is not necessarily simply the deepest subitem.)
    • If the required gutter width changes, call SetWindowPos(NULL, 0, 0, 0, 0, SWP_FRAMECHANGED | SWP_NOMOVE | SWP_NOSIZE | SWP_NOZORDER) to force Windows to recalculate the non-client area of the control.
    • Handle WM_NCCALCSIZE when it does, and offset the left border by the required gutter width.
    • Handle WM_NCPAINT for painting the numbers.

    This is necessarily an over-simplification, but it captures the essence of the solution, and all that essentially remains is lots of fiddling about to ensure the non-client area gets redrawn at the the right times to stay synchronized with the client area.

  2. Embedding .RC control definition data directly in a .cpp file to break the dependency on binary resources (a.k.a. 'Runtime Dialogs').

    This is an idea that has been floating about for quite some time and which has only recently gelled into a workable solution.

    The problem, put simply, is that if you want to take advantage of the resource editor in Visual Studio (and who doesn't), then you very quickly find yourself stuck with having to load dialog templates from resources compiled into the binary file.

    This further means that if you want to make use of a dialog across multiple projects, then either you need to copy and paste the dialog template between project .RC files, or you need to build the dialog into a DLL from which it can be accessed.

    'Runtime Dialogs' (a snappy title I coined myself) is a solution that neatly sidesteps both the nuisance of copying dialog resources between resource files and the extra work (and maintenance) involved in packaging dialogs in DLLs.

    And it works like this:

    • First, you design your dialog template in the resource editor, create a CDialog derived class using class wizard, and wire up all the controls just as you normally would.
    • Next, you #include "runtimedlg.h" and change all instances of CDialog to CRuntimeDlg.
    • Then, you cut and paste the control definition section from the appropriate section in the .RC file and embed it directly in the dialog's .cpp file as a static string (with a bit of tweaking to handle double quotes and such like).
    • Finally, in the constructor of your dialog, you simply call CRuntimeDlg::AddRCControls(...) passing the control definitions as a string.
    • And CRuntimeDlg takes care of the rest including, if required, auto-sizing the dialog to suit the control layout.

    I'm certainly not suggesting that this is a 'win-win' solution for all situations but it certainly has merits in its closer coupling of dialog template to dialog code which makes sharing dialogs across multiple projects a breeze.

    P.S.: In case it's not clear here, I used CRuntimeDlg to create CToDoCtrl which encapsulates the ordered tree together with the priority, date and comments controls as a single simple-to-instantiate control.

    I'm also proposing to use them in the .NET port of my ProjectZip add-in for VC6.

  3. Embedding the XML file in a web page.

    This is possibly the most satisfying aspect of the whole project because it was completely unexpected.

    What I mean is that, until recently, my knowledge of DOM and XMLDOM was virtually non-existent, as it's only since I've become more interested in the presentation of AbstractSpoon that I've been forced to get to grips with the various implementations of DOM and XMLDOM out there.

    I'm pleased to say that the code on my site works under IE 6.0, Netscape 7.1, and Mozilla, although custom code was required to achieve this.

Generic MFC Classes that may prove Useful to You

The following table lists a wide range of utility classes written for this project. They can all be included in any MFC project provided you include any class dependencies too. Feel free to ask any questions relating to these specific classes and how to use them.

Class Name

Description

Class Dependencies
(apart from MFC)

CAboutDlg

Customizable "About…' dialog not requiring a dialog resource. Supports html encoded text

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser

CAutoComboBox

Adds only unique items to the drop list and shuffles the list so that the last added item is at the top

CHoldRedraw

CAutoFlag

Encapsulates the setting and unsetting of a boolean variable thru the lifetime of the class instance

 

CColorButton

Non-ownerdraw button that displays the selected colour on the button face and displays the colour dialog when clicked

CEnColorDialog

CColorComboBox

Owner-draw combobox for displaying and selecting user defined colours

 

CDateHelper

Encapsulation of various rountines for calculating date spans and for formatting

 

CDeferWndMove

Encapsulation of the Win32 API

 

CDialogHelper

Re-implementation of the CDialog DDX/DDV rountines to avoid the MFC error messages when the user clears a number edit (for instance)

 

CDlgUnits

Encapsulates the MapDialogRect Win32 API

 

CDockManager

Class for managing the docking of one popup window to another.

*CSubclassWnd, CHoldRedraw, CAutoFlag

CDriveInfo

Encapsulates various rountines for querying about drives, files and disk space

 

CEnBitmap

Adds support to CBitmap for loading non-bmp files and resources.

 

CEnBitmapEx, CColorReplacer, CImageBlurrer, CImageColorizer, CImageContraster, CImageEmbosser, CImageFlipper, CImageGrayer, CImageLightener, CImageNegator, CImageResizer, CImageRotator, CImageSharpener, CImageShearer, CImageSysColorMapper, CImageTinter

Adds image manipulation funationality to CEnBitmap

CEnBitmap

CEnColorDialog

Adds saving and restoring of custom colours to CColorDialog

 

CEnCommandLineInfo

Adds functions for extracting and querying commandline switches

 

CEnEdit

Adds user-defined button capabilities to CEdit

CMaskEdit, CThemed, CDlgUnits

CEnToolBar

Adds support for using alternative resource or file images

 

CFileEdit

Adds buttons for browsing and displaying the file represented by the text in the edit control. Also shows the file's small icon.

CEnEdit, CFolderDialog, CMaskEdit, CDlgUnits, CThemed, CSysImageList

CHoldRedraw

Encapsulates WM_SETREDRAW

 

CHotKeyCtrlEx

Fixes a number of behavioural problems including the handling of certain keypresses

 

CHotTracker

Tracks the cursor movement over user-defined windows and posts event messages as necessary

*CSubclassWnd,

CLimitSingleInstance

Provides simple method to detect if another instance of an app is running

 

CMaskEdit

Adds simple character masking to CEdit

 

CNcGutter

Allows the UI of standard windows controls to be extended by supporting any number of columns to be added to the non-client area of the window. Favours tabular controls like lists, trees, etc

*CSubclassWnd, CHoldRedraw, CThemed, CDlgUnits

COrderedTreeCtrl

CTreeCtrl implementation of CNcGutter displaying a single column showing the hierarchical position of each tree item in '1.2.3.4' notation.

CHoldRedraw, CThemed

CPasswordDialog

Very simple password dialog not requiring a dialog resource

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser

CPropertyPageHost

Simpler replacement for CPropertySheet allowing easier creation as a child window

 

CRCCtrlParser

Used by CRuntimeDlg for parsing dialog resource-like text

 

CRuntimeDlg

Adds support to CDialog for building dialogs at runtime ie. dialogs do not require a dialog resource

CRCCtrlParser

CShortcutManager

Class for handling application keyboard shortcuts.

*CSubclassWnd, CWinClasses

CSpellCheckDlg

Spellcheck dialog not requiring a dialog resource, which interfaces with ISpellCheck (interface to Open Office dictionaries)

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser, ISpellCheck

CSysImageList

Encapsulates the Windows system image list (file/folder images)

 

CTabCtrlEx

Adds post rendering callback for the tabs without using owner-draw

 

CThemed

Encapsulates themed (XP) and non-themed (the rest) drawing of windows controls

 

CTimeEdit

Adds a button for specifying time units and provided routines for converting time to and from different time units

CEnEdit, CMaskEdit, CThemed, CDlgUnits

CToolbarHelper

Adds support for dialog toolbar tooltips, multiline tooltips and dropbuttons with menus

*CSubclassWnd, CEnBitmap, CEnBitmapEx

CTrayIcon

Encapsulates the Shell_NotifyIcon Win32 API. Also provides balloon tips and animation

*CSubclassWnd,

CUrlRichEditCtrl

Adds support for recognizing urls, clicking them and setting custom url callbacks

 

CWinClasses

Encapsulates the ::GetClassName Win32 functions

 

CXmlFile, CXmlItem

Non-Unicode class for reading and writing xml files

 

CXmlFileEx

Adds encryption capabilities to CXmlFile

CXmlFile, IEncryption

* CSubclassWnd was originally written by Paul DiLascia for MSJ magazine. The version I use has been heavily extended to suit my specific needs. The classes that depend on it here need this extended version.

Further Work

Whilst this tool was originally intended for my personal use only, it is now a 'community' project, so if you find it useful and want to make suggestions for enhancements or bug fixes, please post to our Google Group.

History

  • History now held at our Google Group
  • 1.1-7.1 (removed by .dan.g.)
  • 1.0 (4 Nov 2003)

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Eclipse Public License 1.0

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About the Author

.dan.g.
Software Developer Maptek
Australia Australia
.dan.g. is a naturalised Australian and has been developing commercial windows software since 1998.

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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionThe software cannot display continuity of task in-between start and due date Pin
Don_Juan30-Apr-19 3:10
memberDon_Juan30-Apr-19 3:10 
Questionby compiling tdcsort.h can not found? Pin
forumarbeit19-Mar-19 11:26
memberforumarbeit19-Mar-19 11:26 
QuestionToDoList - Edit grid content Pin
A/./kur1-Mar-19 15:38
memberA/./kur1-Mar-19 15:38 
AnswerRe: ToDoList - Edit grid content Pin
Patrice T6-Mar-19 17:31
mvePatrice T6-Mar-19 17:31 
QuestionDomain or Network connectivity within the orgranization Pin
Member 1116635526-Feb-19 21:39
memberMember 1116635526-Feb-19 21:39 
PraiseNot the prettiest, but super powerful Pin
Jared Beach24-Feb-19 19:33
memberJared Beach24-Feb-19 19:33 
QuestionGantt Chart "Weekend color" is not working Pin
d gorti18-Feb-19 20:01
memberd gorti18-Feb-19 20:01 
QuestionIsn't there a way in ToDoList to add itself to Windows Startup? Pin
Deepak Vasudevan8-Feb-19 19:06
memberDeepak Vasudevan8-Feb-19 19:06 
AnswerRe: Isn't there a way in ToDoList to add itself to Windows Startup? Pin
Patrice T21-Feb-19 3:32
mvePatrice T21-Feb-19 3:32 
QuestionWhy is there different colors? Pin
sepwolves1-Feb-19 2:38
membersepwolves1-Feb-19 2:38 
Questionno update now? Pin
sepwolves29-Jan-19 1:49
membersepwolves29-Jan-19 1:49 
AnswerRe: no update now? Pin
iamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:44
memberiamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:44 
GeneralRe: no update now? Pin
sepwolves2-Feb-19 3:26
membersepwolves2-Feb-19 3:26 
QuestionArchived tasks no longer create a separate tasklist Pin
wla_1845867-Jan-19 7:12
memberwla_1845867-Jan-19 7:12 
AnswerRe: Archived tasks no longer create a separate tasklist Pin
iamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:45
memberiamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:45 
QuestionDisplay Task Attribute Fields by default Pin
wla_1845867-Jan-19 4:36
memberwla_1845867-Jan-19 4:36 
QuestionHide non-working hours from Week Planner view Pin
wmjordan6-Jan-19 13:59
professionalwmjordan6-Jan-19 13:59 
AnswerRe: Hide non-working hours from Week Planner view Pin
iamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:46
memberiamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:46 
GeneralRe: Hide non-working hours from Week Planner view Pin
wmjordan21-Feb-19 16:03
professionalwmjordan21-Feb-19 16:03 
QuestionFeature Request. Ability to offset recurring tasks by number of days. Pin
mabrownmab25-Nov-18 3:58
membermabrownmab25-Nov-18 3:58 
SuggestionAdding button that erases all chosen priorities, people tags, categories. Pin
FerdinandO_o17-Oct-18 16:10
memberFerdinandO_o17-Oct-18 16:10 
GeneralRe: Adding button that erases all chosen priorities, people tags, categories. Pin
iamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:49
memberiamstarbuck29-Jan-19 11:49 
SuggestionCreation Date and Default Category Pin
woodywood24514-Jul-18 22:26
memberwoodywood24514-Jul-18 22:26 
GeneralRe: Creation Date and Default Category Pin
.dan.g.18-Jul-18 0:56
professional.dan.g.18-Jul-18 0:56 
QuestionUDTs - Can they be used for operations i.e. calculation (and if so, what language, syntax etc)? Pin
Jon75329-Jun-18 9:26
memberJon75329-Jun-18 9:26 

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