MapInfo Window Manager Version 1 – Coming Soon!


Since the release of version 0.5 of my MapInfo Window Manager I have been working on the new version which will be Version 1.0 and to be released soon. It has some new features, bug fixes and a improved UI.

Some Screenshots and feature run down:

Windows Tab: (Shows Open Windows)

Features:

  • Double click to bring window to the front.
  • F2 turns on rename function for the selected window.
  • Supports all windows types, even info and stat windows. (Version 0.5 just supported Maps and Layouts)
  • Groups can be sorted alphabetically in ascending or descending order.  (A and D buttons)
  • Groups can be sorted individually.
  • All windows can be cloned except for Special windows.
  • Shows count of windows open in each group.
  • Windows can be locked to stop accidental closing.
  • Fancy icons :)

Closed Windows Tab: (shows closed windows allows them to be reopened)

Credit to Peter Horsboll Moller of PBBI MapInfo for this idea, which came from his MapBasic Window Helper tool.

Features:

  • Records all windows as they are closed, letting you restore the window later. (Handy for accidentally closing a legend window)
  • Double click to reopen window.

Settings tab: (Pretty boring just lets you change some settings)

Features:

  • Allows the program to be auto loaded and the tool to be shown when MapInfo loads.
  • Allows the program to store the position of itself.

About Tab: (Pretty boring also, just some info about the app and where to contact me)

Features:

  • It’s an about page, what features can it have!? :)

I have been testing my Window Manager at home and at work, I use it almost everyday, and with some people that I know.

However I would like to get some more testing done by some other people to make sure that Version 1.0 is good and stable.  I am also still look out for anymore ideas that I could throw into Version 1.0.

If you would like to give the beta a test and do some bug hunting for me, or likewise if you have a feature you would like to see rolled into Version 1.0, please contact me on here or by email (which you can see in the about tab page screenshot above)

Just for fun:

Here is a comparison screenshot of the old and new one:

New MapInfo Pro Tool – Window Manager


Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on a new MapInfo Professional tool called Window Manager, it is nothing big but I find it very handy.  The window manager shows all the open map and layout windows in a visual WPF tree view control and gives the users quick access to basic functions when dealing with windows in MapInfo eg Rename and Clone etc.

Screenshot

The current version (0.5) is only really a preview version and still has a little bit of work to make it a bit more polished looking, however I have tested the clone, close,rename and bring to front commands a lot as I use this tool all the time and it feels stable.  I am releasing it early rather than waiting for a couple of more weeks for a couple of reasons 1) Fear of forgetting to release it due to being busy 2) Would like to see what other people would like to do with a tool like this.

The wiki page with more details, download link and how to install instructions can be found here: http://code.google.com/p/nathansmapinfoprojects/wiki/WindowManager

This tool uses WPF and in doing so needs .Net 3.5, must people should have this so it shouldn’t be a big deal.

If you find any bugs or would like to see something added please let me know by commenting on this blog post, on the wiki page or on the issue tracker on my Google code page.

Showing a WPF form in Mapinfo 9.5.


Being able to call methods inside of an dll or exe that has a CLR header is one of MapInfo 9.5 newest features. MapInfo 9.5 was released a couple of weeks ago now and since then I have been playing around with this new ability which I must say has some really good advantages with .net being a type safe and managed.

Then first thing I tried was to call a shared method in a dll that presented very basic win32 form with a couple of buttons on it, this works like a charm and was very easy to do (I’ll make my next post about this). Anyway yesterday I was sitting there looking at the create a new project dialog in Visual Studio and thought “I wonder if I can show a WPF form in MapInfo”.

It turns out that you can show a WPF form in MapInfo 9.5 but I requires some different code then that of the Win32 way. I created a basic WPF form with some text “This is a test MapInfo WPF form” and a button. Now for the code in order to show a WPF form in Mapinfo you need to use a class called Windows.Interop.WindowInteropHelper which will allow you to use a window handle as the owner of the of a WPF form becuase the WPF form ShowDialog function dosn’t take any arguments like the Win32  

The resulting code looks like this:

using System.Windows.Interop;
//...
public static void ShowForm(int handle)
        {
            Window1 window = new Window1();
            WindowInteropHelper helper = new WindowInteropHelper(window);
            helper.Owner = new IntPtr(handle);
            window.ShowDialog();
        }

Now when you run the mbx calling the ShowFrom method it will set the owner of the WPF form to the MapInfo window with that handle. Which will result in something like this:

wpfform