Better Looking Windows
Many programs go outside the realm of the basic window. Examples: iTunes, Roxio Easy Media Creator 9, AOL software. How do they do it? I was thinking maybe a WS_POPUP window and then drawing everything by themselves. Either that or a library that lets you customize your window further.
Skinned windows, and user-drawn objects. I'll say right off though, what you see those programs have is no easy task, if you notice only the big boys have such fancy interfaces.
Skinning windows is easy, once you know the basic priciplas of GDI and double buffering. Most of my windows are skinned.
Creating irregular apps is slightly more difficult.
The reason these types of apps are limited is because they suffer from low useability.
People react to a computer program in standard ways. Computer programs are therefore coded in these standard ways. Breaking that standard creates difficulty in use.
If you MUST there is code around (codeproject IIRC) to do this. I would recomend you don't do commercial apps this way though.....
The concept isn't too hard, but only the big boys can make it look good and function right.
Some of the big boys that make a skin are not always make good programs grrrrrrr system mechanic 7.
But It does add something very nice to your program though.
I've got everything figured out. I don't have the window moving yet but I'll get that pretty quick. I didn't even have to use DirectX. Create the window with WS_POPUP | WS_SYSMENU | WS_MINIMIZEBOX. Draw your custom skin with BitBlt anytime WM_PAINT is called. Check the mouse position to change you custom minimize and close boxes and check mouse clicks to act on them.