Controls: no transparency

I have some comboboxes, pushbuttons, checkboxes and upDownArrows on a PagePanel. They all lack transparency when running on Windows (7 and 8.1). If one uses a patterned background or the user simply changes the system’s default Window background color, the result is pathetic. Does anybody else have such issues?

I found several entries in feedback related to transparency problems on Windows, but none which indicates that the problem is recognized and addressed. Is it?

Add checkboxes. They are really ugly if you you use alternate background colors or graphics…

What version are you using ?


And I just found stumbled over another long standing bug: when setting a textfield to readonly, it will no longer display the background color one has set…

All these things are so basic , it is just unbelievable what Xojo is (not) doing to Windows. Is anybody producing serious software for Windows, using Xojo?

I just tested in 2013R4.1 and see that… It does not happen when on the Window - but it does when the control is on a pagepanel. That is a significant bug for Windows apps … the Use GDIPlus setting has no effect on the behavior.

Are you setting a background color on the window and NOT using the users selected theme color ?
I cannot make the transparency work incorrectly when switching the overall Windows theme.

Setting some custom color that is NOT the users selections does seem to show this effect.
That said I’d follow MSDNs guidelines on the user of color ( which states

Using theme and system colors
Whenever possible, choose colors by selecting the appropriate theme color or system color. By doing so, you can always respect users’ color preference.

Which suggests NOT setting a custom background color on your windows

So the bug is a feature and nobody is going to fix it.

I used a random custom color… And regardless of what the GUIDELINES are it should work. correctly… There are lots of cases that for specific UIs for specialized apps, that there are good reasons not to follow GUIDELINES.

If teh controls work on a window with a random color the SHOULD work that way on a page panel, by the principle of least astonishment, consistency.

[quote=70247:@Oliver Osswald]So the bug is a feature and nobody is going to fix it.
Where did that get said ? You’re ASSUMING what did NOT get written.

What I DID say was “user interface guidelines from MS suggest NOT using a custom color like this and it works IF you respect the users choices” and CERTAINLY NOT “its not a bug and we’re not going to fix it”

You’ve jumped to an unwarranted response Oliver

[quote=70255:@Norman Palardy]Where did that get said ? You’re ASSUMING what did NOT get written.
What I DID say was … and CERTAINLY “its not a bug and we’re not going to fix it”

So I am assuming right.

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Try putting checkboxes and buttons on a rectangle control, this will help a lot. I’ve found group boxes to be a no-go and ended up writing my own custom controls for those.

Typo on my part as I was so INFURIATED by your response

I NEVER (NOTE NEVER) said “its not a bug and we are not going to fix it”

You assumed that

NO engineer is required to participate on these forums or the the old mailing list
That is not in our job duties
We do so at our own discretion
And we can NOT do so at our discretion

If all you’re seeking is to antagonize us then you’ve succeeded
I’m not sure WHAT your goal is / was by that reply - but all it has achieved is to make me decide that I should not reply to you

End of my replies on this thread - this conversation can go on my mute list
File a bug report

[quote=70264:@Norman Palardy]Typo on my part as I was so INFURIATED by your response

I NEVER (NOTE NEVER) said “its not a bug and we are not going to fix it”

You assumed that

I’m not sure WHAT your goal is / was by that reply - but all it has achieved is to make me decide that I should not reply to you

End of my replies on this thread[/quote]

Allright then. As I’m currently porting a little program to Windows, I am frustrated about the poor quality. For many years I was working with Visual Studio and I never encountered such a thing. And in the last 6 years I did not see the quality of Real Studio / Xojo Windows programs increase, just the opposite. So yes, I believe - despite of what you say - that many of the Windows bugs will never be fixed.

“But hey, the IDE allows you to do it, despite of “Guidelines” - so hello, stupid customer: if you use features which supposedly are not to be used anyway, and they are not working, well then it is your own fault to have wasted your time on it…” -

Of course n o b o d y is saying this. But that is how it sounds to me. And I’ll be damned if I am alone with this interpretation.

Ahhh - I have encountered this so many times throughout the last 6 years that I have just stopped using this IDE for Windows software. And now, that I came back to it, I just see that it is still the same old crap.

Without getting into the personal debate here, I would echo the sentiment that windows support has some distinct challenges over Mac. It’s generally easy to put together a UI on OS X that behaves they way you would expect it to. This is not the case with windows, and it is a challenge in XOJO in a way that it is not in Visual Studio. I understand many of the reasons behind it, and I’m generally sympathetic.

To try and turn this into something constructive it would be foot to build some “best practices” into the documentation. Tips for reducing flickering, hints about transparency, working with custom background colors, when to call refresh/invalidate etc. Right now I believe these bits of info are scattered round forum postings and in different parts of the documentation. Putting this into an updated windows UI section might be a good call and help improve the UX amend XOJO windows developers.

I’ll also put my support behind a move to a .NET based framework with as much haste as possible. As much as I like developing for the the Mac, Windows is still the dominant platform, (especially in the enterprise space), and it’s something that should be resourced appropriately.

         Honestly it's not just Windows that has disabilities, I have reported some "bugs" in building Mac "COCOA" does not happen in "CARBON" and hindering the update of my designs for XOJO, BUT that said, I do not think forum is the place for fights but to aid and I can guarantee to Mr. Oliver Osswald that this space helps a lot because several colleagues this forum have done this for me and if you had wanted to get help and not fight things would become very easier, but this behavior will alienate people with this purpose!

I’m just deeply frustrated and disappointed about the IDE’s output on Windows and on how the Windows platform has been disregarded since I started to use Realbasic in 2008. So when I hear someone attacking me for pointing the finger to one of the countless weak points, instead of just admitting the truth, then yes - then I tend to get upset.

It is just such a lame answer. The truth is that producing a Windows UI with Xojo is a cumbersome path of workarounds, tweaking and try and error. Because it does not work as the documentation implies - and one has to spend countless hours on the forum and with any source you can find, to discover these workarounds.

And then after all those years, nothing else but attacking the customer and come up with such lame, pathetic excuses.

You don’t like what I say? I have no attention to be nice. Just frank.

Oliver: what you call being frank is ok for German speaking people. For the English speaking part of the world it comes across as rude. I’m Swiss born, living in Germany (in Berlin) for many years now. I worked for several non-IT UK-based companies (and one UK/US-based). So I know what I’m speaking about (and I learned it the hard way…).

I write for Windows and I never came across these problems. I have a very big project on my hands right now (for the German market) and there are just a few guidelines you should obey (and that includes refraining from rude behavior on this forum, sometimes walking the dog, or pouring some fresh coffee might help… I smoke one before keying in my primary thoughts).

I stick to Windows default and warn my users not to change backgrounds etc. Because it is in a business environment there are policies in place that prevents changing colors. Do not layer controls. My users are satisfied with it.

I f you want fancy, multicolor screen objects try Jeremy Leroy’s new GUI skins, quite nice actually.

I better stop here.

IMHO (emphasizing OPINION) it’s not a culture thing, but Norman is rather defensive on posts.

Perhaps his point is better taken in context. Your complaint is on graphics-funniness on top of just the “regular” background (re: cases where you aren’t concerned about looking snazzy), all Norman really meant to say was that in Windows it WINDOWS that regulates what the background color is, not you. So changing the background color, while you can do it, isn’t the way Windows operates. So don’t blame Xojo.

It should be said though the VB - then and now - has their controls like you have them with transparency. So why doesn’t Xojo. Good question, but it seems that MS decided to have their set of what their form controls me as a larger subset than what Xojo decided. I think that’s a mistake, though it does Xojo in reliability.

I DO agree with the side issue raised, that 1) REAL/Xojo have let Windows SLIDE for years and 2) they use the “we use the OS controls” as a smokescreen. I advice to Xojo would be this - don’t spend so much time explaining for what Xojo Xojo CAN"T do, but be solution-oriented. Spend a touch of time explaining why things aren’t the way the customer wants, but spend the last, the majority of time helping to SOLVE the problem. I don’t see enough of that.

This is the service the Dan Appleman, Bruce McKinney, and Matt Curland did for VB users in the 90’s. Everyone knew how great a program VB was, and some smart people knew that VB could be extended via WinAPI calls. Appleman’s “Visual Basic Programmer’s Guide to the Win32 API” changed my world, because it SOLVED problems. Hardcore Visual Basic (McKinney) was also phenomenal. Because… they SOLVED problems. Don’t stress the limitations. Don’t advise to “stay in the box”.

(I think Karen said it well, and I agree with Alexander above. I think I’m going to spring for Jeremy’s things, though they seem more Macish. I don’t see them solving Windows issues and additionally Windows programs that look like Mac programs annoy me.)

Actually, to truly answer the OP’s core question: Perhaps there’s some Declares where you can incorporate transparency into the controls if you want it. And going further, the way REAL/Xojo supports Windows, if in any way you want a snazzy customized interface, don’t rely on REAL/Xojo to do the work for you. You almost have to create your own graphics system from scratch, which means reinventing the wheel a lot. That’s not faulting Xojo, it’s just the way REAL/Xojo designed their product (currently). The edginess people speak in is a result of this being really not communicated upfront or well.

Lastly, guys, this isn’t as personal as we make it out to be. So someone (Oliver) spits out a bit? I don’t care, I get what he’s actually saying. And I’m an American. =)