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Posted 6 Jan 2004

Tab Controls And Splitters - Adding Some Dockable And Floating Sugar

, 6 Jan 2004
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Another implementation of dockable, floating, tabbing and splitting environment.

Tab Controls And Splitters - Adding Some Dockable And Floating Sugar


In the previous article, I introduced SplitPane class that manages client view windows with splitters and tab panes and provides an interaction interface with the owner class. In this article, I would like to represent Frame class that extends SplitPane functionality with dockable and floating features. Also, I am going to consider that you know what dockable and floating windows are. Sure, the best example of those is Visual Studio .NET IDE. I guess you are also aware of an excellent job that has been done by Sergey Klimov and the further improvement by Daniel Bowen. This article is just an attempt to provide a simpler interface for the particular case, with a little bit different paradigm. I hope I have succeeded in it.

What it does

Briefly: Frame class provides dockable and floating environment for client views. There are three parts to this environment, the main pane, dock panes and float frames. All of them are owners of SplitPane, so you can split and tab all client views. Also, the client views are separated in two different groups, dockable views and document views. The difference is simple. The dockable views cannot be attached in the main pane but can be docked in one of the docked sides. The document views are unlike them, they can be attached in the main pane but cannot be docked. Both of them are able to become floating. That's the difference with Visual Studio .NET IDE. To prevent a floating window to get docked to any place, keep CTRL key pressed while dragging it.

Using the code

The use of Frame class can be as simple as the use of SplitPane class. It's also designed for SDI applications. I won't repeat all steps but a few points. With all include files mentioned in that, you will want to use DockTabFrame.h with the Frame class implementation. This is also in DockSplitTab namespace. There is a ClientView class that has all necessary properties for the client view windows. Frame class provides a communication interface for the interface with the owner or parent class. This is the FrameListener abstract class. clientDetached is the only function provided for this interface so far. Frame class calls it when a user closes a dock pane, a float frame or a tab. In other words, when he pushes a close button. There is a detachClientView function for Frame class that does the similar action but does not raise clientDetached event. Frame sends WM_CONTEXTMENU Windows message to the client views in appropriate cases. For instance, when you click a right mouse button on the tab.

Frame class

Public methods:

<PRE lang=c++>// creates a new Split Pane window with parentWnd and rect parameters HWND create( parentWnd, rect); // sets the keyboard focus to the specified client view window bool setFocusTo( clientViewWnd) { // retrieves the client view window that receives the keyboard focus HWND focusedClientView(); // toggles client view state and move // the client view to an appropriate pane bool toggleClientViewState( clientViewWnd, ClientView::State); // retrieves client view properties with client view window handle ClientView* getClientView( clientViewWnd); // adds a new client view bool addClientView( clientView); // adds a new client view and attach it to the specified dock pane bool dockClientView( dockSide, clientView); // shows/hides the specified dock pane bool showDockPane( dockSide, show); // retrieves the visibility state of the specified dock pane bool dockPaneVisible( dockSide); // retrieves the existence state of the specified dock pane bool dockPaneExists( dockSide); // float frame iterator functions POSITION floatFrameStart() HWND floatFrameNext( &position); // adds a new client view and attach it to a new float frame // with the specified location HWND floatClientView( rect, clientView); // retrieves the visibility state of the specified float frame bool showFloatFrame( floatFrameWnd, show); // check if a float frame is visible bool floatFrameVisible( floatFrameWnd) // check if a float frame exists bool checkFloatFrame( floatFrameWnd); // reattach the client view. the function uses // the last location object propertes void attachClientView( clientView); // detaches the client view window // This method changes the parent window of the client // view window to the Frame's parent. ClientView* detachClientView( clientViewWnd); // retrieves the visibility state of the specified client view window handle bool clientViewVisible( clientViewWnd); // checks if client view window is attached. bool clientViewAttached( clientViewWnd); // set and get Image List void setImageList( imgList); HIMAGELIST getImageList();

Inside of Frame class

There are implementations of two very important classes for Frame class. These are DockPane class and FloatFrame class. Each of them has its own SplitPane member. So you can split and tab client views inside of each DockPane or FloatFrame instance. Frame class itself also owns SplitPane instance. An objective of this instance is to keep document views. Frame class communicates with the float frames, dock panes and main pane via FloatDockFrameListener interface class that extends CallBackListener interface.

class DockPane- contains docked client views.
class FloatFrame- contains floating client views.
class FloatDockFrameListener- communication interface between float frames, dock panes and their owner. (Frame class)
class SplitPaneWrapper

- encapsulates common data and methods for split pane containers.

Used by FloatFrame class and DockPane class.

class FloatFrameDragContext- stores drag and drop context. Inherited from RectTracker class.
class DropParcel-the result of drag and drop operations.
class LayoutManager- layout implementation for Frame class.

What's the next

Two things are left to do: Serialization and Auto hide panes.



This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

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About the Author

Igor Katrayev
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: rookie questions Pin
weibin12326-Jun-14 17:05
memberweibin12326-Jun-14 17:05 
GeneralRe: rookie questions - II Pin
Dr.Rugelj17-Feb-04 4:41
memberDr.Rugelj17-Feb-04 4:41 
GeneralRe: rookie questions - II Pin
Igor Katrayev17-Feb-04 6:44
memberIgor Katrayev17-Feb-04 6:44 
GeneralRe: rookie questions Pin
Dr.Rugelj17-Feb-04 4:56
memberDr.Rugelj17-Feb-04 4:56 
GeneralRe: rookie questions Pin
Igor Katrayev17-Feb-04 5:02
memberIgor Katrayev17-Feb-04 5:02 
GeneralA good Article Pin
eriust17-Jan-04 4:22
membereriust17-Jan-04 4:22 
GeneralRe: A good Article Pin
Igor Katrayev17-Jan-04 4:29
memberIgor Katrayev17-Jan-04 4:29 
QuestionCould you make a version for VC6? Pin
freehawk12-Jan-04 22:06
memberfreehawk12-Jan-04 22:06 
It is great, but now my project is written by VC6 and can not use it.
If you can write a version for VC6, it will be very big help for me. Thank you.

AnswerRe: Could you make a version for VC6? Pin
Igor Katrayev13-Jan-04 5:40
memberIgor Katrayev13-Jan-04 5:40 
Questionfor VC6 ? Pin
z_j8-Jan-04 2:56
memberz_j8-Jan-04 2:56 
AnswerRe: for VC6 ? Pin
Igor Katrayev8-Jan-04 5:01
memberIgor Katrayev8-Jan-04 5:01 
GeneralRe: for VC6 ? Pin
armentage24-Feb-04 8:09
memberarmentage24-Feb-04 8:09 
GeneralA Bug :P Pin
Xuewu Liu6-Jan-04 21:26
memberXuewu Liu6-Jan-04 21:26 
GeneralRe: A Bug :P Pin
Igor Katrayev7-Jan-04 8:23
memberIgor Katrayev7-Jan-04 8:23 
GeneralRe: A Bug :P Pin
Xuewu Liu11-Jan-04 19:31
memberXuewu Liu11-Jan-04 19:31 

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