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Posted 18 Oct 2000

A better front end to WinDiff

, 18 Oct 2000
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A GUI front end to a handy utility
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    Sample Image - RunWinDiff.gif

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    If you have ever used WinDiff you will be aware of its poor user interface for selecting files and directories. To this end I developed a simple application that acts as a front end to WinDiff and allows you to drag and drop files or directories, or browse for files and directories using the file and directory chooser dialogs.

    The program also remembers its last screen location, the files last compared and the whether or not the dialog was expanded or contracted. The sample demonstrates collapsable dialogs, window position persistance, and also demonstrates a variation of Chris Losinger's great CDropEdit class (in this case a drop-file combobox).

    New features

    • Extensive use has been made of Davide Calibro's flat buttons, thanks to Daniel Lyons who felt my original UI was a bit boring and gave it a major facelift. Thanks Daniel!
    • The combo's accept dropped files (previously used drop edit controls) and are auto-completing. They store the last 10 files entered and the drop width is modified each time a file is added in order to display as much as possible.
    • Directory pickers start from the last directory visited.
    • My ComboBoxEx class has been renamed - hopefully this will fix the VC6 compilation problem.

    Thanks to:

    • Chris Losinger - Drop Edit
    • Vladimir Kvashin, Girish Bharadwaj and Lars Klose - Directory picker class
    • Davide Calibro - Flat buttons
    • Daniel Lyons - UI work and a new approach to collapsable dialogs.
    • Klaus - suggested setting the initial directory of the directory pickers. No idea why I didn't do that in the first place!


    This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


    About the Author

    Chris Maunder
    Founder CodeProject
    Canada Canada
    Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.

    His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.

    He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.

    Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.

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    Comments and Discussions

    GeneralWinDiff Pin
    George Poulose20-Oct-00 17:23
    sussGeorge Poulose20-Oct-00 17:23 
    GeneralPowerful alternative to WinDiff Pin
    Leo20-Oct-00 0:15
    sussLeo20-Oct-00 0:15 
    GeneralCommand line format for Active Movie Control Pin
    Duc Truong19-Oct-00 16:53
    sussDuc Truong19-Oct-00 16:53 
    Hi Chris,

    I first read this article on CodeGuru a year ago. And it inspired me to write a Philips Flat TV. What I did is to change resolution to 640X480 at startup and launch 4 bitmap windows that constitute a Philip TV image to cover up the whole screen, and and then call WinExec to spawn the MS Active Movie Control. The idea is to use my windows to surround the MS Movie Control leaving only the screen.

    Well, it works! I got myself a Philips Flat TV alright. Only hassle is everytime I pick an item from the Movie Control I have to click on the bottom window which will execute some code to find the other 3 windows and bring them to foreground to cover the Movie Control again.

    Moral of story is "if you don't like something, try to change it" I'd like to quote after Paul DiLascia: "In programming you can do anything."

    My question to you is "how do I pass in a filename to the Active Movie Control so that I will load up that file right away?". Right now I have to use the Movie's File Dialog to load the file I want. This is how I spawn the MS Active Movie
    // This will active the Movie Control and popup the File Dialog
    WinExec ("c:\\Windows\\RunDll32.exe amovie.ocx,RunDll", SW_SHOWNA) // This will popup the File Dialog

    How do you figurethe pattern of command line arguments to a window program?

    Thanks in advance,
    Duc Truong

    Duc Truong

    GeneralExcellent front end... Pin
    anon19-Oct-00 9:48
    sussanon19-Oct-00 9:48 
    GeneralRe: Excellent front end... Pin
    Chris Maunder19-Oct-00 11:10
    sussChris Maunder19-Oct-00 11:10 
    GeneralRe: Excellent front end... Pin
    Crispy23-Oct-00 12:03
    sussCrispy23-Oct-00 12:03 

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