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New article: Graphical Interfaces I: Animating the Graphical Interface (Chapter 3)

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MetaQuotes Software Corp.
MetaQuotes Software Corp.  

New article Graphical Interfaces I: Animating the Graphical Interface (Chapter 3) has been published on

This article is the continuation of the first part of the series about graphical interfaces. The first article Graphical Interfaces I: Preparation of the Library Structure (Chapter 1) explains in detail what this library is for. A complete list of links to the articles of the first part is at the end of each chapter. There, you can also download a complete version of the library at the current stage of development. The files must be placed in the same directories as they are located in the archive.

In the previous article of the series, we started to develop a form class for controls. In this article, we are going to continue developing this class and fill it with methods for moving the form over the chart area. We will also integrate this interface component into the core of the library. Also, we will ensure that the color of a form control changes when the cursor is hovering over it.

Changing the Appearance of the Interface Component when the Cursor is Hovering over It

Earlier we considered the implementation of the CElement class, which is base class for all controls. We created the CElement::ChangeObjectColor() method for changing the object color when hovering the cursor over as one of its members. This is the time to create a mechanism which will allow us to use it in our work. Adding such functionality requires a timer. This is disabled in the settings of the MQL application by default. It is up to the application developer to decide whether the timer is to be enabled depending on the set goals.

To enable the timer, the MQL language has two functions with different frequency: EventSetTimer() and EventSetMillisecondTimer(). The first one allows to set an interval no shorter than one second. This does not suit our purposes as one second is too high an interval for a control to change its appearance when the cursor is hovered over it. The change should happen instantly with no delays. We are going to use the EventSetMillisecondTimer() function, which supports setting a timer with intervals measured in milliseconds. According to the MQL reference, a minimal interval that can be set using this function is 10-16 milliseconds. This is enough to realize our plan.

Fig. 2. Test for the object reaction to the mouse cursor.

Fig. 2. Test for the object reaction to the mouse cursor

Author: Anatoli Kazharski

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