Monday, July 13, 2009

Developing using C# for Windows Mobile is harder than it should be

I got side tracked today and starting playing with Quakk, a Twitter client for Windows Mobile. It was a good time to peak under the hood and learn how the Twitter API worked as well as see how someone implemented a Windows Mobile client. Quakk compiles and runs under Visual Studio 2008 once you get all the mobile development tools downloaded, installed, and configured. Microsoft makes that harder than it should. For example, in order to connect your mobile VM to the Internet you have to install Microsoft Virtual PC. Microsoft used to allow you download the network drivers. Now you have to install their entire Virtual PC in order to use the network drivers for the Windows Mobile VMs.

The Mobile VMs allow you to scale up the VM so it easier to read. Otherwise I would be stuck with 240x240 pixel emulation on a large screen. After you make the change you need to save the configuration or it will revert back. The same is true with the network settings.

Once I got Quakk running I took a good look at the code. Parts were well comments. Parts use lots of "magic numbers". For example, there were several places where the code would subtract 13 from the width of the panel. The default width of a vertical scroll bar is 13 pixels on Windows Mobile. At a bare minimum, that should have been a constant. It was not.

I decided to start removing the "magic numbers". This was a lot harder than it sounds. If you develop for Windows, then the System.Windows.Forms.SystemInformation class provides a great deal of information. Unfortunately, if you develop for Windows Mobile, Microsoft decided to lobotomize this class. This means for most applications you need to use the lower level GetSystemMetrics. This is fine if you are programming in C++. But if you are using C#, well things are harder than they should be. After much searching, I found the code to P/Involk the GetSystemMetrics call. Pinvolk.net is a useful resource, but as I write this, they did not document the Windows Mobile version of the GetSystemMetrics call; which is slightly different than the GetSystemMetrics call for Windows. Again, Microsoft made things a bit harder than they should be by changes the DLL that contains GetSystemMetrics when they ported it to Windows Mobile. My code for GetSystemMetrics is below.


using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace WindowsAPI
{
public static class WinAPI
{
/// <summary>
/// Call the system metrics function
///
/// Windows mobile uses coredll.dll and not user32.dll
/// </summary>
/// <param name="smIndex">The value to return</param>
/// <returns>Integer value requested</returns>
[DllImport("coredll.dll")]
public static extern int GetSystemMetrics(SystemMetric smIndex);

/// <summary>
/// Windows mobile uses coredll.dll and not user32.dll
///
/// Flags used with the Windows API (User32.dll):GetSystemMetrics(SystemMetric smIndex)
///
/// This Enum and declaration signature was written by Gabriel T. Sharp
/// ai_productions@verizon.net or osirisgothra@hotmail.com
/// Obtained on pinvoke.net, please contribute your code to support the wiki!
/// </summary>
public enum SystemMetric : int
{
/// <summary>
/// Width of the screen of the primary display monitor, in pixels. This is the same values obtained by calling GetDeviceCaps as follows: GetDeviceCaps( hdcPrimaryMonitor, HORZRES).
/// </summary>
SM_CXSCREEN = 0,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the screen of the primary display monitor, in pixels. This is the same values obtained by calling GetDeviceCaps as follows: GetDeviceCaps( hdcPrimaryMonitor, VERTRES).
/// </summary>
SM_CYSCREEN = 1,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a horizontal scroll bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYVSCROLL = 2,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a horizontal scroll bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXVSCROLL = 3,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a caption area, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYCAPTION = 4,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a window border, in pixels. This is equivalent to the SM_CXEDGE value for windows with the 3-D look.
/// </summary>
SM_CXBORDER = 5,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a window border, in pixels. This is equivalent to the SM_CYEDGE value for windows with the 3-D look.
/// </summary>
SM_CYBORDER = 6,
/// <summary>
/// Thickness of the frame around the perimeter of a window that has a caption but is not sizable, in pixels. SM_CXFIXEDFRAME is the height of the horizontal border and SM_CYFIXEDFRAME is the width of the vertical border.
/// </summary>
SM_CXDLGFRAME = 7,
/// <summary>
/// Thickness of the frame around the perimeter of a window that has a caption but is not sizable, in pixels. SM_CXFIXEDFRAME is the height of the horizontal border and SM_CYFIXEDFRAME is the width of the vertical border.
/// </summary>
SM_CYDLGFRAME = 8,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the thumb box in a vertical scroll bar, in pixels
/// </summary>
SM_CYVTHUMB = 9,
/// <summary>
/// Width of the thumb box in a horizontal scroll bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXHTHUMB = 10,
/// <summary>
/// Default width of an icon, in pixels. The LoadIcon function can load only icons with the dimensions specified by SM_CXICON and SM_CYICON
/// </summary>
SM_CXICON = 11,
/// <summary>
/// Default height of an icon, in pixels. The LoadIcon function can load only icons with the dimensions SM_CXICON and SM_CYICON.
/// </summary>
SM_CYICON = 12,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a cursor, in pixels. The system cannot create cursors of other sizes.
/// </summary>
SM_CXCURSOR = 13,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a cursor, in pixels. The system cannot create cursors of other sizes.
/// </summary>
SM_CYCURSOR = 14,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a single-line menu bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMENU = 15,
/// <summary>
/// Width of the client area for a full-screen window on the primary display monitor, in pixels. To get the coordinates of the portion of the screen not obscured by the system taskbar or by application desktop toolbars, call the SystemParametersInfo function with the SPI_GETWORKAREA value.
/// </summary>
SM_CXFULLSCREEN = 16,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the client area for a full-screen window on the primary display monitor, in pixels. To get the coordinates of the portion of the screen not obscured by the system taskbar or by application desktop toolbars, call the SystemParametersInfo function with the SPI_GETWORKAREA value.
/// </summary>
SM_CYFULLSCREEN = 17,
/// <summary>
/// For double byte character set versions of the system, this is the height of the Kanji window at the bottom of the screen, in pixels
/// </summary>
SM_CYKANJIWINDOW = 18,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if a mouse with a wheel is installed; zero otherwise
/// </summary>
SM_MOUSEWHEELPRESENT = 75,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the arrow bitmap on a vertical scroll bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYHSCROLL = 20,
/// <summary>
/// Width of the arrow bitmap on a horizontal scroll bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXHSCROLL = 21,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the debug version of User.exe is installed; zero otherwise.
/// </summary>
SM_DEBUG = 22,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the left and right mouse buttons are reversed; zero otherwise.
/// </summary>
SM_SWAPBUTTON = 23,
/// <summary>
/// Reserved for future use
/// </summary>
SM_RESERVED1 = 24,
/// <summary>
/// Reserved for future use
/// </summary>
SM_RESERVED2 = 25,
/// <summary>
/// Reserved for future use
/// </summary>
SM_RESERVED3 = 26,
/// <summary>
/// Reserved for future use
/// </summary>
SM_RESERVED4 = 27,
/// <summary>
/// Minimum width of a window, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMIN = 28,
/// <summary>
/// Minimum height of a window, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMIN = 29,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a button in a window's caption or title bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXSIZE = 30,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a button in a window's caption or title bar, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYSIZE = 31,
/// <summary>
/// Thickness of the sizing border around the perimeter of a window that can be resized, in pixels. SM_CXSIZEFRAME is the width of the horizontal border, and SM_CYSIZEFRAME is the height of the vertical border.
/// </summary>
SM_CXFRAME = 32,
/// <summary>
/// Thickness of the sizing border around the perimeter of a window that can be resized, in pixels. SM_CXSIZEFRAME is the width of the horizontal border, and SM_CYSIZEFRAME is the height of the vertical border.
/// </summary>
SM_CYFRAME = 33,
/// <summary>
/// Minimum tracking width of a window, in pixels. The user cannot drag the window frame to a size smaller than these dimensions. A window can override this value by processing the WM_GETMINMAXINFO message.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMINTRACK = 34,
/// <summary>
/// Minimum tracking height of a window, in pixels. The user cannot drag the window frame to a size smaller than these dimensions. A window can override this value by processing the WM_GETMINMAXINFO message
/// </summary>
SM_CYMINTRACK = 35,
/// <summary>
/// Width of the rectangle around the location of a first click in a double-click sequence, in pixels. The second click must occur within the rectangle defined by SM_CXDOUBLECLK and SM_CYDOUBLECLK for the system to consider the two clicks a double-click
/// </summary>
SM_CXDOUBLECLK = 36,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the rectangle around the location of a first click in a double-click sequence, in pixels. The second click must occur within the rectangle defined by SM_CXDOUBLECLK and SM_CYDOUBLECLK for the system to consider the two clicks a double-click. (The two clicks must also occur within a specified time.)
/// </summary>
SM_CYDOUBLECLK = 37,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a grid cell for items in large icon view, in pixels. Each item fits into a rectangle of size SM_CXICONSPACING by SM_CYICONSPACING when arranged. This value is always greater than or equal to SM_CXICON
/// </summary>
SM_CXICONSPACING = 38,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a grid cell for items in large icon view, in pixels. Each item fits into a rectangle of size SM_CXICONSPACING by SM_CYICONSPACING when arranged. This value is always greater than or equal to SM_CYICON.
/// </summary>
SM_CYICONSPACING = 39,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if drop-down menus are right-aligned with the corresponding menu-bar item; zero if the menus are left-aligned.
/// </summary>
SM_MENUDROPALIGNMENT = 40,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the Microsoft Windows for Pen computing extensions are installed; zero otherwise.
/// </summary>
SM_PENWINDOWS = 41,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if User32.dll supports DBCS; zero otherwise. (WinMe/95/98): Unicode
/// </summary>
SM_DBCSENABLED = 42,
/// <summary>
/// Number of buttons on mouse, or zero if no mouse is installed.
/// </summary>
SM_CMOUSEBUTTONS = 43,
/// <summary>
/// Identical Values Changed After Windows NT 4.0
/// </summary>
SM_CXFIXEDFRAME = SM_CXDLGFRAME,
/// <summary>
/// Identical Values Changed After Windows NT 4.0
/// </summary>
SM_CYFIXEDFRAME = SM_CYDLGFRAME,
/// <summary>
/// Identical Values Changed After Windows NT 4.0
/// </summary>
SM_CXSIZEFRAME = SM_CXFRAME,
/// <summary>
/// Identical Values Changed After Windows NT 4.0
/// </summary>
SM_CYSIZEFRAME = SM_CYFRAME,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if security is present; zero otherwise.
/// </summary>
SM_SECURE = 44,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a 3-D border, in pixels. This is the 3-D counterpart of SM_CXBORDER
/// </summary>
SM_CXEDGE = 45,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a 3-D border, in pixels. This is the 3-D counterpart of SM_CYBORDER
/// </summary>
SM_CYEDGE = 46,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a grid cell for a minimized window, in pixels. Each minimized window fits into a rectangle this size when arranged. This value is always greater than or equal to SM_CXMINIMIZED.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMINSPACING = 47,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a grid cell for a minimized window, in pixels. Each minimized window fits into a rectangle this size when arranged. This value is always greater than or equal to SM_CYMINIMIZED.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMINSPACING = 48,
/// <summary>
/// Recommended width of a small icon, in pixels. Small icons typically appear in window captions and in small icon view
/// </summary>
SM_CXSMICON = 49,
/// <summary>
/// Recommended height of a small icon, in pixels. Small icons typically appear in window captions and in small icon view.
/// </summary>
SM_CYSMICON = 50,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a small caption, in pixels
/// </summary>
SM_CYSMCAPTION = 51,
/// <summary>
/// Width of small caption buttons, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXSMSIZE = 52,
/// <summary>
/// Height of small caption buttons, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYSMSIZE = 53,
/// <summary>
/// Width of menu bar buttons, such as the child window close button used in the multiple document interface, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMENUSIZE = 54,
/// <summary>
/// Height of menu bar buttons, such as the child window close button used in the multiple document interface, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMENUSIZE = 55,
/// <summary>
/// Flags specifying how the system arranged minimized windows
/// </summary>
SM_ARRANGE = 56,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a minimized window, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMINIMIZED = 57,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a minimized window, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMINIMIZED = 58,
/// <summary>
/// Default maximum width of a window that has a caption and sizing borders, in pixels. This metric refers to the entire desktop. The user cannot drag the window frame to a size larger than these dimensions. A window can override this value by processing the WM_GETMINMAXINFO message.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMAXTRACK = 59,
/// <summary>
/// Default maximum height of a window that has a caption and sizing borders, in pixels. This metric refers to the entire desktop. The user cannot drag the window frame to a size larger than these dimensions. A window can override this value by processing the WM_GETMINMAXINFO message.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMAXTRACK = 60,
/// <summary>
/// Default width, in pixels, of a maximized top-level window on the primary display monitor.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMAXIMIZED = 61,
/// <summary>
/// Default height, in pixels, of a maximized top-level window on the primary display monitor.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMAXIMIZED = 62,
/// <summary>
/// Least significant bit is set if a network is present; otherwise, it is cleared. The other bits are reserved for future use
/// </summary>
SM_NETWORK = 63,
/// <summary>
/// Value that specifies how the system was started: 0-normal, 1-failsafe, 2-failsafe /w net
/// </summary>
SM_CLEANBOOT = 67,
/// <summary>
/// Width of a rectangle centered on a drag point to allow for limited movement of the mouse pointer before a drag operation begins, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXDRAG = 68,
/// <summary>
/// Height of a rectangle centered on a drag point to allow for limited movement of the mouse pointer before a drag operation begins. This value is in pixels. It allows the user to click and release the mouse button easily without unintentionally starting a drag operation.
/// </summary>
SM_CYDRAG = 69,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the user requires an application to present information visually in situations where it would otherwise present the information only in audible form; zero otherwise.
/// </summary>
SM_SHOWSOUNDS = 70,
/// <summary>
/// Width of the default menu check-mark bitmap, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXMENUCHECK = 71,
/// <summary>
/// Height of the default menu check-mark bitmap, in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYMENUCHECK = 72,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the computer has a low-end (slow) processor; zero otherwise
/// </summary>
SM_SLOWMACHINE = 73,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the system is enabled for Hebrew and Arabic languages, zero if not.
/// </summary>
SM_MIDEASTENABLED = 74,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if a mouse is installed; zero otherwise. This value is rarely zero, because of support for virtual mice and because some systems detect the presence of the port instead of the presence of a mouse.
/// </summary>
SM_MOUSEPRESENT = 19,
/// <summary>
/// Windows 2000 (v5.0+) Coordinate of the top of the virtual screen
/// </summary>
SM_XVIRTUALSCREEN = 76,
/// <summary>
/// Windows 2000 (v5.0+) Coordinate of the left of the virtual screen
/// </summary>
SM_YVIRTUALSCREEN = 77,
/// <summary>
/// Windows 2000 (v5.0+) Width of the virtual screen
/// </summary>
SM_CXVIRTUALSCREEN = 78,
/// <summary>
/// Windows 2000 (v5.0+) Height of the virtual screen
/// </summary>
SM_CYVIRTUALSCREEN = 79,
/// <summary>
/// Number of display monitors on the desktop
/// </summary>
SM_CMONITORS = 80,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) Nonzero if all the display monitors have the same color format, zero otherwise. Note that two displays can have the same bit depth, but different color formats. For example, the red, green, and blue pixels can be encoded with different numbers of bits, or those bits can be located in different places in a pixel's color value.
/// </summary>
SM_SAMEDISPLAYFORMAT = 81,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) Nonzero if Input Method Manager/Input Method Editor features are enabled; zero otherwise
/// </summary>
SM_IMMENABLED = 82,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) Width of the left and right edges of the focus rectangle drawn by DrawFocusRect. This value is in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CXFOCUSBORDER = 83,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) Height of the top and bottom edges of the focus rectangle drawn by DrawFocusRect. This value is in pixels.
/// </summary>
SM_CYFOCUSBORDER = 84,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the current operating system is the Windows XP Tablet PC edition, zero if not.
/// </summary>
SM_TABLETPC = 86,
/// <summary>
/// Nonzero if the current operating system is the Windows XP, Media Center Edition, zero if not.
/// </summary>
SM_MEDIACENTER = 87,
/// <summary>
/// Metrics Other
/// </summary>
SM_CMETRICS_OTHER = 76,
/// <summary>
/// Metrics Windows 2000
/// </summary>
SM_CMETRICS_2000 = 83,
/// <summary>
/// Metrics Windows NT
/// </summary>
SM_CMETRICS_NT = 88,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) This system metric is used in a Terminal Services environment. If the calling process is associated with a Terminal Services client session, the return value is nonzero. If the calling process is associated with the Terminal Server console session, the return value is zero. The console session is not necessarily the physical console - see WTSGetActiveConsoleSessionId for more information.
/// </summary>
SM_REMOTESESSION = 0x1000,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) Nonzero if the current session is shutting down; zero otherwise
/// </summary>
SM_SHUTTINGDOWN = 0x2000,
/// <summary>
/// Windows XP (v5.1+) This system metric is used in a Terminal Services environment. Its value is nonzero if the current session is remotely controlled; zero otherwise
/// </summary>
SM_REMOTECONTROL = 0x2001,
}
}
}

Now I was able to remove one set of magic numbers from Quakk. I run Quakk on an old Treo 700w. The Treo has a 240x240 screen. If you tweet using Quakk on a 240x240 device the system displays a horizontal scroll box. Quakk made some incorrect assumptions about screen size. I was able to fix the horizontal scroll bar problem with some minor code changes. In that same code, Quakk makes some assumptions about the font size and placement of the input boxes. The correct way to fix that is to call the SHGetUIMetrics to get the current system font size. SHGetUIMetrics is not available without using a P/Involk. I found one article with the sample code.

I thought I would make a few changes. I did, but it was a lot harder than it should have been.


1 comment:

Loda said...

Thanks for sharing !