Kean Walmsley


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April 03, 2012

Adding snapping to the AutoCAD MRU browser using WinRT

I visited another Windows 8-related conference in Zürich, yesterday. Despite much of the content being repeated from the last one I attended, I actually found it really useful: having spent time working with Windows 8 and WinRT over the last few weeks, I found I got more out of the demos and could also ask more intelligent questions of the Microsoft personnel in attendance (thanks for all your help, Ronnie :-). And there was some new content I hadn’t seen, previously: I managed to sit in briefly on an Azure session (which was admittedly a bit too IT-centric for my personal tastes) and a couple of “WinRT via HTML5 & Javascript” sessions, too.

During the breaks, I also took the opportunity to finish off a half-completed feature in the MetroCAD app: snapping. Snapping allows you – on screens with a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768, something you could circumvent with the Windows 8 Developer Preview but not with the Consumer preview, it seems – to dock one application to one side of the screen while you have another application (even your traditional Windows desktop) available on the other side. This mode is the way Windows 8 enables users to “multi-task” (meant at the user-level rather than the process level), making use of multiple applications at the same time (as otherwise Metro-style applications run in full screen).

I won’t go into the specific code changes, as most of the code was there, just needed tidying up (as I simply hadn’t tested that mode of operation before yesterday).

Here’s the updated source project, and here’s snapping in action:

I’m now fairly happy with implementation of the snapping feature and the overall capabilities of the app, which means I can crack on with the series on moving application functionality to the cloud.

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