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Build Your Own Windows Mobile RSS Reader

Phones using the Windows Mobile 6 Standard do not have touch screens, which poses certain challenges when developing applications to run on them. Learn how to develop with these challenges in mind as you build a useful RSS Reader application for these devices.


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ith the recent introduction of the Windows Mobile 6 platforms, we are now beginning to see a proliferation of new devices supporting the Windows Mobile 6 Standard (aka Smartphone). Because Windows Mobile 6 Standard devices do not have touch screens, they pose certain challenges when developing applications to run on them. This article will show you how to develop a Windows Mobile 6 Standard application, and at the same time, build a useful RSS Reader application that you can actually use if you have one such device.

Building the User Interface
To get started, launch Visual Studio 2005 and create a new Windows Mobile 6 Standard application. Name the application RSSReader.





Author's Note: You need to download the free Windows Mobile 6 Standard SDK in order to create the application detailed in this article.

Populate the default Form1 with the following controls (see Figure 1):

  • TreeView control
  • MenuItem controls

Add an ImageList control to Form1 and add three images to its Images property (see Figure 2).


Figure 1. Form1: Populating the default Form1 with the various controls.
 
Figure 2. Adding Images: Adding three images to the ImageList control.

Set the ImageList property of the TreeView control to ImageList1.

Add a new Windows Form to the project and populate it with a WebBrowser and MenuItem control (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Form2: Adding a WebBrowser and MenuItem control to Form2.

Switch to the code behind of Form1 and import the following namespaces:


Imports System.IO
Imports System.Net
Imports System.Xml
Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions
Declare the following constants and variable:

Public Class Form1
    '---constants for icons---
    Const ICO_OPEN As Short = 0
    Const ICO_CLOSE As Short = 1
    Const ICO_POST As Short = 2

    '---file containing the list of subscribed feeds---
    Const FEEDS_LIST As String = "\My Documents\Feeds.txt"

    '---used for displaying a wait message panel---
    Dim displayPanel As Panel


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