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Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton

As I have just been asked to prototype the front end application for the reference architecture that I have recently designed, I was in need of some help.

Here is the thing, I really, really suck at Winforms coding. Give me a web application and I can make a UI that sings and dances, looks pretty, and is a joy to use. Given a Winforms app I struggle to get anything that isn't grey and clunky. My Winforms always look like they were designed in the far reaches of the past.

As the UI is really all that many decision makers see of a prototype, this is where your hard work on an elegant and flexible architecture can fall apart - how many times have you heard people quibbling over the exact layout of the grid during a demo, and being totally disinterested in the miracles of code wizardry you have going on behind the scenes to recover the data.

Fundamentally, if you demo an application - make damn sure the UI looks amazing, because no matter what you think, that is what the people you were showing the application to will remember. I have learned the hard way that all your great coding can be wasted by a poor looking demo, first impressions count.

Well, after a bit of searching, I came across the Krypton Toolkit. This amazing set of controls are visually great, and more importantly for me, they have amazingly good documentation. I'll repeat it, I suck at Winforms coding, so anything that makes my life easier (i.e. good documentation) is a godsend.

Not only do they include help file style documentation, they contain a working example with full source code for every control, and even a mini application that can launch each of the examples without you having to build them yourself. This is how end user documentation should be done. 

And the best part is, they are free for use, even for commercial projects. There are two extra controls that do require licences, and you can purchase the source code for the toolkit itself if you like, but use of the Toolkit controls themselves is totally free.

And as a double benefit, I only downloaded and installed these a few days ago, and already there is a new release with some bug fixes. They were far from bug free or perfect, but they basically work and the bugs are irritating rather than show stopping - I'm sure this new release will make major fixes, and the responsiveness of the author to update them so fast is very reassuring.

Now my UI looks something like this (apologies for the blurring out for confidentiality reasons), and is slick and enyoyable to use - thanks Krypton!


Posted 05-29-2008 7:30 AM by Jak Charlton
Filed under: ,



Dew Drop - May 29, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew wrote Dew Drop - May 29, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew
on 05-29-2008 9:35 AM

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Christopher Steen wrote Link Listing - May 29, 2008
on 05-29-2008 11:34 PM

AJAX Cool ScriptManager stuff I missed... [Via: Jay Kimble ] ASP.NET ASP.NET Memory: Thou shalt not...

Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton | Programmers Blog wrote Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton | Programmers Blog
on 05-31-2008 5:52 AM

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Irfan Faruki wrote re: Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton
on 03-09-2009 2:43 PM

Thanks for this amazing toolkit. I was looking for some free component to use with my .net application and this is just what i was looking for.

The best thing is that ITS FREE!

Faggot90 wrote re: Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton
on 10-22-2009 8:04 AM

I remember putting the tutorial together and think it makes some great points on how to see, how to look for the leading lines in the scene, and where to place your subject within the scene. ,

Daddy74 wrote re: Some Great Free Winforms Controls - Krypton
on 10-23-2009 6:59 AM

Do you ever publish your own work? ,

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