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Chapter 16. Command Widgets

Most modern applications perform more than one task, and even single-task applications are likely to be configurable in various ways. In order to perform its role, then, just about every application must be able to take orders from the user. In the bad old days, of course, users issued orders to applications using a “command-line interface”—they simply typed in the commands using whatever syntax the application defined. If you remember what learning your first programming language was like, you know perfectly well what's wrong with this approach. The burden it places on the user's memory is just too great.

Windows applications, in fact any application that uses a graphical user interface, relieve this burden by replacing typed commands with the command objects we'll examine in this chapter: buttons, toolbars, and menus. By replacing a command prompt with command widgets, you make the application discoverable—the users don't have to remember how to use the application, they can simply go exploring.


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