The evolution of dialog templates – Introduction

Raymond Chen


In the history of Windows, there have been four versions of dialog templates. And despite the changes, you’ll see that they’re basically all the same. My secret goal in this six-part series is to address questions people have had along the lines of “I’m trying to generate a dialog template in code, and it’s not working. What am I doing wrong?” As it turns out, that you can get the resource compiler to tell you what you’re doing wrong. Take the template that you’re trying to generate, create an *.rc file for it and run it through the resource compiler. Attach the resource to a dummy program and dump the bytes! Compare the compiler-generated template against the one you generated. Look for the difference. In other words: To see what you’re doing wrong, take somebody who does it right and compare. Clearly there’s a difference somewhere. It’s just bytes. Anyway, enough of the rant against laziness. The next several days will cover the evolution of the dialog template, with annotated byte dumps for people who are trying to figure out why their dialog template isn’t working.

Non-geeks may want to go into hibernation for a while, since this will take over a week to play out. I’ll try to keep you amused with the non-technical side-postings.


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