Jump to content



Photo

Win32 background application questions

windows win32 background application question c++ events tray icon

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 emilxp

emilxp

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 20-December 10

Posted 27 April 2013 - 22:29

I'm really annoyed right now. I'm trying for days to figure this out and I've got to the conclusion that I definitely need to post a question or two here.

So, I'm trying to make an application in C++ with the win32 api that has just one tray icon and no window, but I still want the message pump working in the background because I want to handle events from my synaptics touchpad. I think I figured out how the synaptics SDK works, but I'm still struggling with this win32.

What may the neowin community suggest?


#2 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 28 April 2013 - 00:30

Most events are only going to be delivered to your window via the message pump when your application is in the foreground. Since you have no window, that will be almost never.

I definitely understand your struggle with WIN32. It's not the most user friendly interface, which even Microsoft recognizes. There have been many attempts at C++ wrappers around the windowing portion of the WIN32 API to make it easier to use. Microsoft themselves once promoted MFC, but that has been long since depreciated. I'm not sure what Microsoft's current recommendation for WIN32 in C++ is; maybe Asik or one of the other pros around here can tell you. My understanding is that Microsoft is pushing C# and .NET for traditional desktop applications and is not really focused on providing and easy C++ wrapper anymore.

Personally I have used SmartWin++ for many years. It is a very lightweight, clean object-oriented wrapper around the WIN32 API that melds the power of WIN32 with ease-of-use. In case you are interested in extending its functionality, SmartWin++ is also designed to be highly module and provides extensive examples and documentation for all aspects of development within and without. Unfortunately the project died in 2008. However, I still use it extensively in my own Windows programs. I have maintained my own fork of the last released version of SmartWin++ to which I have added support for newer compilers (mostly GCC/MinGW, I don't really care about MSVC), an enhanced build system, more widgets, many bug fixes, and extended documentation. My fork is not publicly available, but you should have no difficulty using the last official version of SmartWin++ if you so choose.

#3 vcfan

vcfan

    Doing the Humpty Dance

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 12-June 11

Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:14

what you're looking for is "windows hooks".

http://msdn.microsof...9(v=vs.85).aspx

what these allow you to do is intercept messages of system wide processes,or they can be thread specific.

for example,you install a system wide mouse hook , and you get system wide mouse messages. this is actually how a lot of keyloggers work. they install a keyboard system hook,and receive every character typed. you can do the same with the mouse. since only foreground windows receive mouse or keyboard messages, you will receive all mouse message no matter which app is open,and again you can make it thread specific if you want.

#4 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:16

what you're looking for is "windows hooks".

http://msdn.microsof...9(v=vs.85).aspx

what these allow you to do is intercept messages of system wide processes,or they can be thread specific.

for example,you install a system wide mouse hook , and you get system wide mouse messages. this is actually how a lot of keyloggers work. they install a keyboard system hook,and receive every character typed. you can do the same with the mouse. since only foreground windows have an active message loop, you will receive all mouse message no matter which app is open,and again you can make it thread specific if you want.


THAT. IS. COOL. I had no idea that was even possible! Thanks for the explanation. Hopefully it helps the OP too.

#5 vcfan

vcfan

    Doing the Humpty Dance

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 12-June 11

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:39

THAT. IS. COOL. I had no idea that was even possible! Thanks for the explanation. Hopefully it helps the OP too.


yep,and there are other ways to do it too. you could use DLL injection into whatever process you want to spy on its messages, get the class name, modify the function pointer to the windows procedure in the class structure to your own windows procedure. In your windows procedure, call up the original processes windows procedure for everything but mouse messages, and handle mouse messages yourself.

#6 Andre S.

Andre S.

    Asik

  • Tech Issues Solved: 10
  • Joined: 26-October 05

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:57

It should be noted that hooks have a system-wide performance cost as long as they're active, so they should be used sparingly. They can also make it difficult to break execution in a debugger, I've seen them cause very long stalls.

I'm not sure what Microsoft's current recommendation for WIN32 in C++ is; maybe Asik or one of the other pros around here can tell you. My understanding is that Microsoft is pushing C# and .NET for traditional desktop applications and is not really focused on providing and easy C++ wrapper anymore.

.NET + P/Invoke from Win32 what isn't exposed in .NET is pretty much the way to go today; MFC and ATL are quite dead as far as I'm aware.

#7 +Phouchg

Phouchg

    Resident Misanthrope

  • Tech Issues Solved: 9
  • Joined: 28-March 11
  • Location: Neowin Detainment Camp

Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:46

Synaptics SDK suggests that you can do without message loop. Create a global named event, SetEventNotification for it and then WaitForSingleObject for this very event in an infinite loop and process each SynPacket as it comes.
It does make it troublesome for tray icon, but then again - what's it for?

#8 MFH

MFH

    RAII fanatic

  • Joined: 24-June 10

Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:24

For completeness sake: MFC is not deprecated and MS still release new versions (11.0 has been released with VS2012)...

#9 Radium

Radium

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 08-April 04

Posted 22 May 2013 - 22:42

You need to create a blank window with nothing in it. 0 size and make sure it's invisible. Use CreateWindow().
And on top of that empty nothingness window, enable the tray Icon.
Play around with the flags until you get a window that's not visible in the task bar but is visible in the systray. Then play around with the window messages that are sent when someone clicks or double clicks. Just make the code ignore any handling of the messages to make sure that it doesn't fall back to the default window proc that's automatically executed for unhandled messages, if you make your window message loop the right way.
This is at least how I did it a few years back. Certain window types are not visible in the task bar. I think this is how it's meant to be done. But I could be wrong.