Announcing Hilo

Announcing Hilo

  • Comments 21

What is Hilo?

Project “Hilo” is an effort to tell the story of building high performing, responsive rich Windows applications using C++. We will do this by walking you through our own experience of building some sample applications which we believe provide differentiated user experiences. We will tell you everything from setting up the development environment to taking advantage of the feature set of Windows 7.

The Samples

The first of these sample applications is a photo browser that implements a touch-enabled user interface for browsing photos on your computer. We call it the Hilo Browser.  Below is a screenshot:


This application illustrates how to take advantage of the following Windows functionalities:

  • Direct2D: For high performance and high-quality rendering of graphics.
  • Windows Animation Manager: To give the application a unique personality and to improve the user experience.
  • Windows Touch: To provide a more natural user interface through which the user can just “point” and “do”.
  • Libraries: To enable the application to provide users with a single, coherent view of their files.
  • Shell API: To navigate the images, to optimize by using the pre-built thumbnail cache and also to provide folder icons from their actual content.

You can download the source code for this application from the Hilo Code Gallery Page.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of articles on MSDN Library (here) that will provide the walkthrough promised above. The introductory article is already up.

If you have questions or comments about the sample code, the usage of technologies or anything in general, please feel free to let us know through the Hilo Discussions Page.

You can also follow Hilo updates on Twitter @projecthilo.

We’ll soon be publishing the next article in the series, which will describe in detail how to prepare your development environment for Windows development. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

  • I think it's a great idea and a little love for native code can't heart.

  • I think it's a great idea and a little love for native code can't heart.

  • Tried the code sample - doesn't work. First came up with a blank screen, and when I turned on recursive folders in CarouselPaneMessageHandler::SetCurrentLocation, gave me a Debug Assert.

  • @Sushovan: You probably see a blank screen because there is nothing in the "Pictures" library on your computer.  Try adding some photos there or even just  creating folders and run the app again.  You will see both pictures and folders.  Good to see you already debugging though !.  Recursive listing is not yet enabled.  Would love to see what you can do with the app by looking at the examples in the code.

  • It's great to see some C++ stuff still coming out of MS.

    I only wish these were written in more modern C++ instead of COM-friendly stuff -- it really sucks to have to write wrappers for everything if you want to use exceptions instead of tedious and error-prone C-style error checking.

  • Hey, that sounds great. Rich Windows apps in native C++.

  • Sounds good!

    By the way, is there any chance to see a C++ version of Silverlight (similar in a sense to Sliverlight for Windows Embedded) available on the desktop? It would allow us to combine the raw power of C++ with a modern UI framework, would love that!

  • Finally, native coding. I had almost given up on C++ on Windows.

  • Is it possible to create pure C++ wrappers around DirectX APIs so that the development becomes easier and more accessible to people who don't know COM?

  • Looks good.  However, it took me a while to figure out how to get back to the directory view from an image -- double-click.  The directory navigation doesn't work once you've gone to an image view then returned to the directory view.  Also, after returning to the directory view from an image, double-clicking on an image sometimes displays just a blank screen with a left arrow (image index is screwed up?).  I don't have a touch screen.

  • Cool! Keep on with projects like this!!!

  • This is awesome, thank you!

  • @Cory: Thanks for the feedback.  In the upcoming articles, we do plan to talk about our decision for COM vs. pure C++-style programming as well.

    @Dan: That seems like a bug.  We'll take a look.  Why don't you as well :)

    @WinWear @Yannick @cythe @Patrick @Ryan: Good to know you liked it.  Stay tuned for more updates.

  • Sounds damn boring

  • It makes me sick. You guys, last stronghold in ms, must write about compilers, parsers, algorithms, may be about history of msvc and another cool stuff, not about NEW BRILLIANT BEAUTIFUL HALF TRANSPARENT BUTTONS like a "How do I: create a zeppeline in net framework in 30 minutes"

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