[mono-vb] VB Form Designer

Quandary quandary82 at hailmail.net
Sun Mar 27 14:47:43 EDT 2011

Sounds cool.

The only question would be how to drag & drop controls on it, unless one
adds the
toolbox as HTML JQuery accordion, too.

But I think your project is already doomed before it even really begins.
Let me outline the reasons for that below.

First, but not foremost, there is a GTK# designer.
You install MonoDevelop 2.6 Beta.
Then create a GTK# solution.
Then goto the menu "View" and enable "Visual Design".

The GTK designer there is better than the old Glade in the repositories,
at least for Ubuntu 10.
And I just saw it now has a "table" control.
Unfortunately, I just don't know how the databinding works.

In general, I found using the GTK# controls challenging (well I have
zero experience with GTK).
I've once tried about 6 to 12 months ago, an entire day, got it working
on Windows in VisualStudio, including Glade, although the documentation
was obsolete and thus wrong.

I even managed to populate a DropDown box (but only after consulting a
code sample on the web).
Haven't managed to set the background colour when one scrolls down when

I've tried a bit with Chinese characters, to see if it works with
Unicode in labels and textboxes.
I was surprised to see that it did.

However, the positive surprise faded when I found the textbox
change/selected event doesn't really support Unicode (well, maybe I did
it the wrong way).

Still, the main reason why I don't use it is the lack of samples and the
resulting excessive development time, and the lack of a
DataGridView-like control.

So, about a year ago, I was bothered by the inability to quickly
generate a DataGridView on a WinForms to view information retrieved from
a database.

GTK# doesn't even offer a control like this.
So I had to resort to ASP.NET.

I found it rather disturbing, because the main things I need is querying
databases and see the returned tabular data. Starting a server every
time is time-consuming, plus I don't like Firefox, although there very
probably is a way to set the MonoDevelop browser to Chrome.

So then I wanted to write a SQL Server Management Studio like tool for
Linux, for different kinds of databases, like MS-SQL, PostGre, MySQL and
There was SQL workbench, but it is just horrible.
And then there are all those other rather crappy tools, like pgadmin,
mysqladmin and especially FlameRobin.

I hadn't had much time, so I didn't do anything.
So recently, when I used XSP to embed a webserver in a windows server
(wrote a webinterface for LumiSoft mailserver), I had an interesting idea:

If there was a JavaScript control for highlighting SQL syntax while
writing it (http://codemirror.net/), I could write a web application
just like SQL Server Management Studio, and then embed an XSP server and
a WebBrowser control in a WinForms application.

To see a demo of what it would be like, see here:

The only problem with that is that WinForms browser on Windows is IE 7,
a piece of crap, and I haven't figured out how to get WebKit-Sharp
running on Windows.

So what that means is, you have to roll your own browser !
There, I had the added problem that if I embed Webkit.NET on Windows
(since I don't know how to get Webkit-Sharp working there), and
WebKit-Sharp on Linux, then the one uses WinForms while the other one
uses GTK.

Then, it also means you have to maintain 2 separate programs, which
although they do the same, will eventually diverge, as separate projects
always do.
Not an exciting prospect.

Plus even if it was possible to deploy WebKit-Sharp on Windows, I'm not
excited about deploying GTK# on Windows computers.
First, because it means I need an installer for GTK, and I would need to
incorporate that into my own project installer, which means I would need
one in the first place, which is another thing I don't want.

I want to be able to just copy-past the entire thingy, not worrying
about anything else.
(Which also might mean XSP is a problem, because it needs GAC
installation [AKA admin rights] to work).

Second, because native GTK needs to be in the path environment variable,
and that creates a problem if the user has already installed an older
version of GTK (Exception entry point not found, etc.).

And third and most importantly, because GTK# is very undocumented and it
takes a long time to do even simple things with it.

For the same reason, I think your project is already doomed.
Because there is no consistent WebBrowser control.

I mean if everybody would use Google-Chrome/WebKit, then it would be a
piece of cake.
But getting it to work with browsers as crappy as IE 6/7/8/9 or Firefox
will eventually drive you crazy.

Well, I guess you can forget about IE6, but that still leaves all the rest.

* Ducking now for fear of being trolled by FireCrap fans *

On 03/27/2011 06:26 PM, MagicZelda wrote:
> Hi All,
> Last year I posted about having a winforms designer for mono VB.NET. As
> there was not one I went back to MS Vis Studio :(.
> Now the good news.
> I have (be it very basic and needs work) created a webpage that will allow
> you to design the layout of the form and create the .Designer.vb and Form.vb
> (basic class) code. Ive done this in HTML and Javascript so can be used
> directly in Firefox on Linux. 
> As I said it is very basic and I will continue working on it but it sort of
> does the basics to get the form designed up front.
> If anyone is interested, let me know and I will post somewhere.
> Many thanks to all.
> --
> View this message in context: http://mono.1490590.n4.nabble.com/VB-Form-Designer-tp3409540p3409540.html
> Sent from the Mono - VB mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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