…Or how you should manage predefined themes in Q2 2008
As mentioned previously, RadControls for WinForms is the only WinForms suite which provides WPF-like effects on the classic Windows Forms platform. This has its challenges, because the Windows Forms platform was not build with such rich visualization in mind. For example, performance suffers if too many elements are animated on the form; the form/application start up time increases with too many visual elements on the form, etc. It is our job to try and find ways to keep these times at a minimum, but keep the same rich functionality and dazzling visual effects.
Following the path we went for the Desert and Aqua themes, we moved all common themes in separate components, apart from the controls assemblies. This seems like a small change, but the benefits are huge, because RadThemeManager now keeps track of the loaded theme files to avoid theme loading redundancy. Not only does this make application development easier, it also improves the loading time of the application, especially if it uses only one or a small subset of the provided themes. The new approach also loads only the themes used in your application, but not all of them, as before.
The themes which have been extracted as components are Telerik, Office2007Silver, Office2007Black, Vista and Miscellaneous. To use them just drag the desired theme component from the toolbox onto the form and the theme will appear in the ThemeName dropdown of the property grid for the controls that have it.
If you are updating your application to work with the new Q2 2008 version of RadControls you will need to make some modifications, because the old settings will not work. If, for example, you are using the Telerik theme for RadGridView you should drag the Telerik theme component to the form. Then you will be able to set and use the Telerik theme for RadGridView again.
Nikolay Diyanov Diyanov is the Product Manager of the Native Mobile UI division at Progress. Delivering outstanding solutions that make developers' lives easier is his passion and the biggest reward in his work. In his spare time, Nikolay enjoys travelling around the world, hiking, sun-bathing and kite-surfing.
Find him on Twitter @n_diyanov or on LinkedIn.