Making handsome applications is a top priority for eye candy lovers as myself. Thanks to the Windows Forms introduced in .NET, VB programmers no longer needed to scratch their heads over manifest files, inconsistencies in the runtime and design time look of their applications.

Again, the urge to build applications that stand out has pushed the demand for custom skinning of Forms. Fortunately, implementing these using .NET are much easier, although still no child’s play. The complicacies involved in the Drawing of Windows is something that I am realizing now. Countless Messages need to be intercepted, scenarios handled. I must say that there are quite a few quality products that allow painless skinning of Forms and controls, Skincrafter being one of them.

Though, what I want is to have total control over the skinning. Something which can only come when the source code is with you. After a lot of Googling, I found a project developed by Szymon Kobalczyk to be extremely good. But once again, I am not satisfied with things. I want to create a skinning tool that would be even better and so I start a journey today, as I did with Pika Bot. Only this time, with a lot more experience.

I have been traversing through Szymon’s codes quite a lot. Getting a hold of someone’s code takes a lot of time. But I do seem to be getting there little by little. I am going to build the skinner from ground up and use his codes for references where I falter.

Friday, June 8 2007

Not much luck in getting the thing to work. Nor have I been able to rectify the resizing bug that’s present in Szymon’s code.

Sunday, June 10 2007

I have made considerable progress in the Skinner. Most of the messages have been intercepted pretty well although some bugs continue to exist along with an overall slowness in the drawing.

Saturday, June 16 2007

Fixed major problems which had quite simple roots. Still, a few painting bugs remain.

Saturday, June 23 2007

The Form Skinner is almost ready to be released. It also includes a new licensing mechanism that uses hardware fingerprints for activation.

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