The new vbAccelerator Site - more VB and .NET Code and Controls
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NOTE: this page has been superceded by the version at the new site.



Last Update: 21 March 2000. Next update due 14 April 2000. Check out Whats New for details.

&nbsp 21 March 2000
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Microsoft Announce Plans for VB7 -Steve Ballmer's keynote at VBITS

    "[by the end of the presentation] you'll surely agree we remain Hardcore, 100% committed to developers as the core audience for Microsoft. Developers have really been the key to all the success we have had with Windows, and particularly [we want to show] our committment to the VB community. More applications get developed and produced and deployed in VB, and we have very exciting plans to help the developer community, and the VB community in particular, to take advantage of not only the PC but the internet."
    - Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
Although this streaming video is rather long (55 minutes) it is great stuff. I was surprised that I could still watch it successfully even on a pathetic 33.6k modem download (we've heard the term DSL over here in the UK, its just someone decided we should maintain our grasp over the empire by keeping a stiff upper lip on the matter and staying with our excellent in-house system of two tin cans connected together by a large amount of string). Steve Ballmer passionately enthuses about Visual Basic and there is also an excellent demonstration of a ASP Plus/Visual Basic showing how you can extremely easily deploy VB code onto a server to support a DHTML web form. As the demonstrator says, the best thing is "You already know how to do it!"

Visual Basic 7 Is Coming - With Serious New Language Features
And probably the best news of all! For the next version of Visual Basic, Microsoft are promising to add full object-orientated language support to Visual Basic, including new Inherits, Protected and Overloads functions, full support for polymorphism of objects and constructors with parameters.

In addition, there will be native Free Threading support, Structured Exception Handling (try..catch..finally) and, erm, finally, my all time number one request for the VB language is getting done:


Dim X As Integer = 1

is equivalent to these statements:

Dim X As Integer
X = 1

Excellent stuff. You can get excited about how good this is going to be by reading the full details.

Steve Ballmer announced that Visual Studio 7 was expected early next year. There will also be an interim Visual Studio update to support some of the more advanced VB-web server integration.


&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp vbAccelerator NeoCaption Component
There's lots of new stuff to play with in this site update. But check this one out: a VB skinning component which seamlessly changes everything about the non-client area of a window:

Dark Metal Skin
Now it looks like this...

Neo-vbAccelerator Skin
And then like this...

Setting the skin is a simple matter of creating a couple of bitmaps and setting up the right colours for other components. Basically, you only need three to four lines of code to get it running! And if you want the same code to run everytime, why not check out the capabilities of the XML Property Bag object for total control over saving and loading persistent object settings?


&nbsp
&nbsp 20 December 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Moving... (Slight Return)
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp The transfer to DataReturn took somewhat longer than anticipated - 4 weeks longer, not to mention vbAccelerator was lost in space for at least 4 days. Apologies for the outage, I hope that this will never need to occur again (Hmmm....) Oh - I'd like to thank everyone who wrote in with kind messages of support.

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Although Some Things Never Change
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Well, its certainly back to normal on the update front. The promised bi-weekly updates aren't happening - but visit here early next year and I >will< start to post this material! Coming up: Docking Windows, Icon Editor, Drop-Down Colour Picker, Generic Menu Toolbar, New Icon menu, Skins, play any AVI including adding true-transparency to an AVI, WinSock component, System-wide Hooks, MP3s, Owner-Draw Slider, Outlook-style frame and bar components, Base64 encoding and some long-awaited XML and FTP components....

Also, VB6 binaries and projects for everything, some more sample programs, and more indexes: control and component cross-indexes, index by API call...

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp ... Oh! But You Noticed
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Before you start thinking I wasn't going to mention it, certain things have changed at vbAccelerator. There is the return of the scroll bar on the left-hand side menu. (Unfortunately it got shy just around the update in August and decided it would hide well off the left hand edge of IE. Only by delicate coaxing could I ever manage to get it to come back again.)

Oh ok, then, I admit, there are some ads at the top of the pages. Well, I couldn't afford to run vbAccelerator without a bit of assistance anymore. Sell out? Bad deal? Send your stuff. Messages containing obscure insults such as "Thou Cantankerous Bum-Faced Goat-Breeder" are positively encouraged and will be particularly appreciated.



&nbsp
&nbsp 18 November 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Moving... (Again!)
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp After months of promises vbAccelerator has now signed up to a new provider and should shortly transfer to DataReturn.

DataReturn - Advanced Microsoft Hosting

Here's to the next year or so of satisfying our bandwidth demands!

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp ...And We Want To Use Up All The Bandwidth NOW!!
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Get ready for yet more new code. In a bizarre new fangled Update strategy I'm going to be attempting to post new content every two weeks for a bit...


&nbsp 25 August 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp 99 Articles With FULL source code
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Another update, and that means more source! vbAccelerator is proud to say there are 99 source code articles available at the site, many of them including fully operating ActiveX objects you can incorporate straight into your application.

Please go visit What's New to check out the new additions. Its been a while since there was a code update, so there's quite a bit this time. And still I had to hold quite a few back this time so October (erm, that would be November -Ed) promises to be another good update.


&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Our First VB6 Binaries!
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Well Ain't That Cute? There isn't much here yet, but following a long period of gestation the first VB6 binaries have been born. You can now use a VB6 native version of SSubTmr in your projects, and there are also versions of the Header Control and UpDown Control. Thanks to Ed Haswell for his help in compiling the original versions of these binaries.

Since VB6 binaries are not compatible with VB5 ones (they require a different run-time library) vbAccelerator is rebuilding all ActiveX components for VB6 with a different filename and ProgID.

The standard for all controls that get converted is to add a 6 to the Project Name (first part of the ProgID) and also to the file name. So for example, the SSubTmr.DLL implementation class (ISubClass) for VB5 has a ProgID of SSubTimer.ISubClass. The VB6 binary has a ProgID of SSubTimer6.ISubClass and a filename of SSubTmr6.DLL.

This may mean a little migration work is needed moving VB5 code over to the VB6 version. But basically this is just to change the project reference and to add a 6 whenever VB comes up with an error.



&nbsp
&nbsp 1 July 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp What's All That About Then?
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Sorry to all visitors who tried to reach the site for the last 5 days of June and were told they could not enter. vbAccelerator aims to move yet again to another service provider to prevent the problem recurring.

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Great Help
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp VBHelper Award Thank you to Rod Stephens at VB Helper for nominating vbAccelerator for this VB Guru award. Visit the site and you can get a real newsletter that even works!



&nbsp
&nbsp 30 May 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Time for CoolMenus
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp vbAccelerator is proud to present the latest version of the Toolbar and Rebar control. This version adds support for all the new features provided in COMCTL32.DLL version 5, such as rebar band Chevrons and drop-down only buttons. Improved code and internal workings mean the control is more robust too, with new support for alignment left, top, right or bottom and flexible customisation, including support for runtime style changes and button-by-button text-label hiding. But that is not all: it also implements the new CoolMenu style as seen the most recent Explorer releases, where the menu bar is smartly integrated with the other toolbars.

The CoolMenu functionality goes further than the Explorer versions. It has also been designed to work seamlessly with icon menus and in MDI forms too. Check out the Office 97 Style User Interface Sample to see the new control in full effect!

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Newsletter AWOL
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Please accept my apologies, but unfortunately the much vaunted joint newsletter effort from vbAccelerator has collapsed after barely one issue. Sadly the owner of VB Toolshed received a higher calling (to go and do some real work, apparently) and the newsletter has disappeared too.
A new newsletter venture is currently under preparation.

&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp See This!
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp VB Web Directory Must See Site Thanks to VB Web Directory for placing vbAccelerator in their "Must See" sites category. &nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp

&nbsp
&nbsp 21 March 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp S-Grid Again
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp There were a few teething problems with the release version of the S-Grid Control. Some display problems, lack of support for non-standard character sets and a bug in the sorting logic affecting grids with two rows have now all been fixed. &nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp ... And vbAccelerator ImageList
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp Version 1.2 of the vbAccelerator ImageList control has also been released. This adds many new features: the ability to import .GIF, .CUR and .ANI files (either as the first frame or all frames), persistance of Keys, automatic setting of keys based on the file loaded, automatic detection of transparent colour when importing bitmaps. In addition, this release fixes bugs in the image ordering when inserting images, some errors which could cause a crash if the wrong button was pressed at the wrong time :) and also makes sure to import the correct resource size from icons containing multiple resources.
Please note that the S-Grid control demonstration requires this new version.

&nbsp
&nbsp 14 March 1999
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp S-Grid
&nbsp
&nbsp &nbsp The S-Grid Control has just been released! This all-VB control allows you to create a grid in the style of the Outlook Inbox and has many powerful features for creating state-of-the-art user interfaces. Too many features to list here: download the demo and try it out!

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Copyright 1998-1999, Steve McMahon ( steve@vbaccelerator.com). All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: 20 December 1999