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open source Windows Forms

Windows Forms is still the mostly used desktop technology for Windows Desktop Apps world wide, and WPF is only very slowly catching up. Still today, even the most new Desktop Applications projects become Windows Forms Apps, and on Windows CE industry devices, Windows Forms is often without alternative. Open Sourcing Windows Forms would allow the community to extend Windows Forms with functionality like true Mvvm support or seemless High Dpi scaling to find an easier, albeit long-term migration path to newer UI technologies, and it would increase business apps count for Windows 10, which derive from a new WinForms Developing paradigm that would most probable emerge.

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    Klaus LöffelmannKlaus Löffelmann shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    23 comments

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      • Andy BolstridgeAndy Bolstridge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        True, WPF is a bloated hog that fails to work properly with the Windows base, the dev division just tried to do their own windowing thing - and look at the inconsistent mess that resulted, and lost all the great debugging and control features we used to have that are baked into Windows.

        Winforms was also really, really easy to use - the barrier to entry was tiny and the functionality just as good as anything anyone actually did with WPF.

        Opensource it and let devs make it shine. which woudl also be a great testament to the guys who originally designed the windows UI architecture, that it worked so well back int eh day of 100 Mhz CPUs that it still works great today.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        On one side you say you like the WinForms API since it s so easy to use, on the other you want to implement stuff which will break your old workflow to be implemented realistically. Trying to make the Win.Forms library something it isn't is silly. This request is very narrow-minded.

        Open sourcing old parts of the .NET Framework is indeed a much more general request. But that will not happen due to licensing. Nobody stops you from wrapping the old WinAPI UI stuff with all its issues and relicts and compatibility issues by yourself and do something WPF already has (including utilizing modern UI technology) - WinForms is a very thin layer on top of that. If you really want all your features to happen, you finish reimplementing them earlier than waiting for MS to put old .NET Framework parts under a permissive open source license.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

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      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The great thing about winforms is the designer, docking/layout, usercontrols, events etc is so easy to create UI with just the designer and it works so well.

        WPF is so much more complex and designer is not so good.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The problem is Microsoft.
        Microsoft abandon developers.
        They abandoned Silverlight developers
        They abandoned LightSwitch developers
        They abandoned VB6 programming developers
        If you use Microsoft you just know they will abandon you too.

      • Developers Win!Developers Win! commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        FWIW, a somewhat-related vote can be found here: http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/10027638-create-a-ubiquitous-net-client-application-develo

        Additionally, it is worth mentioning that this vote is mentioned in an article that outlines different .NET client application models and compares them to ubiquitous qualities. Specifically, it is referenced in the section covering Windows Forms and it can be found here:
        http://blog.developers.win/2015/10/existing-net-client-application-models/#windows-forms

        Conceivably, a ubiquitous .NET client application development model offering could reflect and support any .NET client application model -- existing or otherwise. It could start by providing UWP as the initial model, but could be extended to provide WPF as a model and even the Windows Forms model if the movement got ambitious enough. All with the purpose of enabling these models so that they can run in any hosted (native or web) environment.

        Thank you for any support!

      • SchnickelfritzSchnickelfritz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This should happen since there are bugs in WinForms that have been there since 1.1. The bugs were reported 12 years ago and never touched.

        Sadly, this won't happen.

      • Klaus LöffelmannKlaus Löffelmann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well, Karl, it would be not cross platform, but we could do even better tools to use the cross platform paradigm also in Windows Forms.

        We started already with that: It is called MvvmForms, and you find it on GitHub (https://github.com/ActiveDevException/MvvmForms) and NuGet (MvvmForms). But with Windows Forms open source, we could do even better things!!

      • Karl SchulzeKarl Schulze commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understand this would not likely be a cross platform module (very windows dependent), but would be incredibly useful on windows to have the source opened up.

      • Klaus LöffelmannKlaus Löffelmann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well - the differrence is that Windows Forms is part of the .NET Framework, and many parts of that are changing to be available via NuGet and open source already. On top: Windows Forms is up to date in terms of 64bit, security, and much more. So, the resources Microsoft needed to open source Windows Forms would be much less, and on top Microsoft would benefit from it, because special interest business application had a clear migration path to Windows 10 over years to come. If you make VB6 available, what good is it for Microsoft, because the Apps would stick in an old paradigm or environment.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If Microsoft won't open source the VB6 programming language they are not likely to open source Windows Forms.

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