Creating an Object Model for a Windows Application - Part 1
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by Brian Mains
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Document Windows

An application works with documents in some way.  Though some content is not document-specific, the term document is used to mean any content that appears in the center of the window.  For instance, in Visual Studio, a document is code, help content, or URL content that appears in the tabbed area in the center.  Even though this content varies, a user interface represents it in a specific and customized way.

Each document has a common set of attributes associated with it.  Each object has a name, which is a unique key, and a title, which is the display text.  This can be easily abstracted into the architecture described above.  Document windows go beyond it because it requires a user interface.  This user interface could be a Windows forms user control, a WPF user control, a form, or some other object that can render a UI.

To start, think of the functionality that is involved with document windows.  Document windows are the main area content windows, which can be added, inserted in the middle of the collection, removed when clicked on the "X", selected by clicking on the tab, and moved within the collection.  The first three items are normal collection-based behavior.  The last two are specialized behavior, but aren't hard to do.

All windows use the BaseWindow object, since they have similar behavior.  You first saw this in the previous section.  All BaseWindow objects have a BaseWindowCollection, which inherits from UIElementCollection, which utilizes all of these features as shown below:

Listing 3

public abstract class UIElementCollection < T > : IEnumerable < T > where T:
  UIElement
{
  public virtual void Add(T item)
  {
    //Typical add
  }
 
  public bool Contains(string name)
  {
    //Typical contains
  }
 
  public int IndexOf(string name)
  {
    //Typical index of
  }
 
  public virtual void Insert(int index, T item)
  {
    //Typical insert
  }
}
 
public virtual bool Remove(T item)
{
   //Typical remove
}
 
public bool Remove(string name)
{
  if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(name))
    throw new ArgumentNullException("name");
 
  T item = this[name];
  if (item == null)
    return false;
  return this.Remove(item);
}
}

These are the base features of a collection class.  Windows need other features, which the BaseWindowCollection class adds to this, as shown below:

Listing 4

public abstract class BaseWindowCollection < T > : UIElementCollection < T >
  where T: BaseWindow
{
  public event DataEventHandler < T > SelectedIndexChanged;
 
  public T Selected
  {
    get
    {
      return _selected;
    }
    set
    {
      if (_selected != value)
      {
        _selected = value;
        this.OnSelectedIndexChanged(new DataEventArgs < T > (value));
      }
    }
  }
}

With windows, such as a document window, the window can be selected by clicking on the related tab.  This property represents that by storing a reference to the selected item, and upon changing the item, an event is fired for that selection.  Not only can this property be used, but the BaseWindow class has a select method.  This select method is shown below:

Listing 5

protected virtual void OnSelecting(EventArgs e)
{
  if (Selecting != null)
  Selecting(this, e);
}
 
public void Select()
{
  this.OnSelecting(EventArgs.Empty);
}

This event is caught by the collection class and upon doing so this value is assigned to the Selected collection property.


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User Comments

Title: good article   
Name: RangaswmyR
Date: 2008-01-25 4:41:03 AM
Comment:
This artical gives the best learning knowledge and it is very use full for creating and developing of a window form application and according to knowledge wise it is very use full to identified the controles which are usead to devlope a login page for any web sites.

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