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Windows CE development resources

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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 10:53 AM
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Problem: It is very hard to get into developing for Windows CE.

C:Amie's tutorial on how to get embedded Visual Studio set up is a great start, but for people who never developed native Windows (CE) apps it's very hard to get started. I have a broad programming experience, but I just never had any touching points with any native Windows APIs, so I miss the basics on that.

Things that would be nice to have:


  • git repositories with samples Windows CE applications

  • List of reading materials. There are a few books, but they're hard to get for me!

  • Some pointers into how to get started. As I understand it, the Windows CE APIs are mostly the same as Windows 9x APIs, except more restricted and ignoring a lot of options.



Usually I pick up things by simply looking at other peoples' sources, but there's sadly not much out there. I did collect a lot of source code from different apps, and I'll put those on github if the license permits and I have time!

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 12:57 PM
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The problem is in defining where to begin. VB programming works, but is limited and only applies to H/PC Pro and HPC2000. C++ is universal (apart from API changes) but is another level complicated, made more complicated by Microsoft over-engineering. With both: where do you start. Explaining what a variable is? A for loop? Spawning hWnd? MFC? Socket Programming?

Douglas Boling wrote the book - basically the only book - on C++ for CE that is worth looking at. We can't exactly clone that onto the site.

The real problem is that coding for CE is - and always was - hard. It's not a modern C# hand-held walk in the park and the IDE's are limit(ed|ing). So it's a difficult one. I'm happy to start a hpcfactor GitHub repository if people want to contribute tutorial code. I might even contribute myself. With that said, I have never been unilaterally prepared to take on the mantle of doing this. That is why it has never happened.

It's not as if I don't do enough around here already
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 5:10 PM
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Is there any VB sample anywhere? I think that would be the easiest way to go. I know VB only runs on HPC Pro and up, but I believe most of the community uses HPC Pro and up anyways (aren’t we all big fans of the HP Jornadas?)
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 5:23 PM
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VB is easier to get going with because the form designer is WYSIWYG.

You could have a look at the source code for Quackenchat for example
https://www.hpcfactor.com/scl/1/Alpaxo_Software/Quackenchat/version_...
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smb_gaiden Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 5:36 PM
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Forgetting clearly since it has been twenty years since learning it, but don't the embedded visual tools have examples that show broad usage of several important APIs?
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 5:51 PM
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Is there anything else extra to VB 3.0 required to compile applications for HPCs? Is VB 3.0 free?
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 6:43 PM
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eVT3 with the H/PC Pro SDK will do it. Free via that method.

The thing to understand with VB is that is doesn't build executables. A rather limiting and frustrating compromise. Many years ago, I did write a configurable C launcher tool that could be used to bootstrap VBCE apps. I can't recall what I did with the code though.
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 9:38 PM
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Wow, such a tool would be great for Java applications. If you find the source anywhere, that would be a great starting point, at there's currently no nice way to really make Java apps into nice executables on Windows CE.

Anyway, a HPCFactor GitHub repository would be fantastic actually. I assume putting up the sources of freeware applications wouldn't be any more problematic than putting the binaries on HPCFactor?
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 9:48 PM
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What about compact .net framework? Microsoft did release a runtime for HPCs at some point right? Is it be better than VB?
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 9:50 PM
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As long as necessary attributions are maintained, I don't see why not. I don't want anyone to think we are stealing someone else's work via forking. If something is already on GitHub, we shouldn't duplicate it.

Are you volunteering to organise this? If so, I'll set it up.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 10:02 PM
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ntware - 2019-07-31 6:48 AM

What about compact .net framework? Microsoft did release a runtime for HPCs at some point right? Is it be better than VB?


I don't know if this is relevant but I found this:

.NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP3 14-Jul-2008 for Windows CE 2.00/2.11
.NET Compact Framework 1.0 14-Jul-2008 for Windows CE 2.00/2.11

https://archive.codeplex.com/?p=netcfwince200

I didn't know they had .NET Compact Framework 1.0 for Windows CE 2.00 / 2.11

I believe the .NET Compact Framework uses Visual Basic .NET or C#.

Edited by stingraze 2019-07-30 10:05 PM
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 10:22 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2019-07-30 11:10 PM
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C:Amie posted a news item back in 2008 about the .NET CF 1.0 port back when it was first released by Stefanov. I posted a thread about it back then too - it's a pinned thread in the H/PC Pro forum. Stefanov even brought up the idea of porting .NET CF 2.0 to CE 2.xx/3.0, but there was never enough interest in that project to pursue it. Microsoft's original release of .NET CF 1.0 was compatible with CE 3 forward.
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