Microsoft KB Archive/104394

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Dynamic Data Exchange Interface for Replacement Shells

Q104394



The information in this article applies to:


  • Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) 3.1





SUMMARY

This article is a reprint of the Windows 3.1 SDK WIN31WH.HLP section on the WinOldAp dynamic data exchange (DDE) specification.



MORE INFORMATION

You may choose to write an application that replaces the Windows shell. This replacement shell must be able to provide property information to the application that starts non-Windows programs in an MS-DOS window. (This application is known as WinOldApp.) This section discusses how a replacement shell can provide property information for WinOldApp. Applications other than WinOldApp do not need this information. The DDE protocol described in this section may not be supported in future versions of Windows.

Properties

A replacement shell should maintain several pieces of information, called properties, for each application that WinOldApp might start. These are the same properties that appear in the Program Item Properties dialog box of Program Manager. These properties include:

Description (title)


Command line

Working directory

Shortcut key

Icon

The shell must provide a DDE interface that allows WinOldApp to obtain three of these properties: description, working directory, and icon. To obtain its properties from the shell, WinOldApp must accomplish the following tasks:


  • Establish a DDE conversation with the shell.
  • Request a property from the shell.
  • Receive a property from the shell.
  • Terminate the DDE conversation.

Establishing a DDE Conversation

WinOldApp requests property data from the shell by using the SendMessage function to broadcast the WM_DDE_INITIATE message. The wParam parameter of the SendMessage function is the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The low-order word of the lParam parameter is an atom that represents the name of the shell application: "Shell". The high-order word is an atom that represents the name of the properties topic: "AppProperties". A "Shell" DDE server that supports the AppProperties topic responds to the WM_DDE_INITIATE message by sending a WM_DDE_ACK message. The server should send the following parameters with the WM_DDE_ACK message:

   Parameter       Description
   -------------------------------------------------------------------
   hwnd            Specifies the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The
                   shell should use the handle that WinOldApp specified
                   as the wParam parameter in the WM_DDE_INITIATE message.

   message         Specifies the WM_DDE_ACK message.

   wParam          Specifies the handle of the "Shell" server's DDE
                   window.

   HIWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the name of the
                   shell application: "Shell".

   LOWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the name of the
                   properties topic: "AppProperties". 

It is not necessary to free the atoms used in a conversation with WinOldApp. It is WinOldApp's responsibility to create and free the atoms.

Providing Property Data

After the DDE server that provides a replacement shell responds with a WM_DDE_ACK message to the WM_DDE_INITIATE from WinOldApp, WinOldApp sends a WM_DDE_REQUEST message to request property data. The server can respond to the WM_DDE_REQUEST message by posting a WM_DDE_DATA message.

The Windows shell associates an item name with each of the application properties that it provides. The item names are described in the following table:

   Item name       Description
   ---------------------------------------------------------------

   GetDescription  The shell provides an application's description
                   (title) property.

   GetWorkingDIR   The shell provides an application's
                   working-directory property.

   GetIcon         The shell provides an application's icon property. 

WinOldApp requests properties by obtaining an atom for each of the item-name strings and passing the atoms to the shell in a sequence of WM_DDE_REQUEST messages (one message for each property). WinOldApp also passes the handle of the application's instance as the low-order word of the lParam parameter in the WM_DDE_REQUEST message. The shell should use this instance handle to find the properties associated with the application. If a "Shell" DDE server does not recognize the application's instance handle, the server does not support properties for the application instance. In this case, the server should respond by sending a negative WM_DDE_ACK message. The parameters passed with the negative WM_DDE_ACK message are as follows:

   Parameter       Description
   ------------------------------------------------------------------

   hwnd            Specifies the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The
                   shell should use the handle that WinOldApp specified
                   as the wParam parameter in the WM_DDE_REQUEST message.
   message         Specifies the WM_DDE_ACK message.

   wParam          Specifies the handle of the "Shell" server's DDE window.

   LOWORD(lParam)  Specifies zero. The "Shell" DDE server does not support
                   properties for the specified application instance.

   HIWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the item name of
                   the requested property. Depending on the type of
                   property requested, the atom should identify one of
                   the following strings: "GetDescription",
"GetWorkingDIR",
                   or "GetIcon". 

When WinOldApp receives a negative WM_DDE_ACK message, it terminates the conversation with the "Shell" DDE server. If a "Shell" DDE server recognizes the application's instance handle and the requested property is available, it should allocate a global memory object and copy the property data to the object. Then it should post a WM_DDE_DATA message to WinOldApp. The WM_DDE_DATA message should contain the handle of the global memory object.

The contents of the global memory object allocated by the shell depend on the type of property WinOldApp requested. The following three sections describe the description, working-directory, and icon properties.

Providing the Description Property

If the shell is responding to a request for the "GetDescription" property, the shell should pass the following parameters with the WM_DDE_DATA message:

   Parameter       Description
   -------------------------------------------------------------------

   hwnd            Specifies the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The
                   shell should use the handle that WinOldApp specified
                   as the wParam parameter in the WM_DDE_REQUEST message.

   message         Specifies the WM_DDE_DATA message.

   wParam          Specifies the handle of the shell's DDE window.

   LOWORD(lParam)  Specifies a handle to a global memory object that
                   contains a DDEDATA structure. A description of the
                   contents of the DDEDATA structure follows this table.
                   To report an error, the server should use one of the
                   error values listed with the WinExec function.

   HIWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the string,
                   "GetDescription". 

The low-order word of the lParam parameter should be a handle to a global memory object that contains a DDEDATA structure (defined in the DDE.H header file). The contents of the DDEDATA structure are as follows:

#include <dde.h>

typedef struct tagDDEDATA {   /* ddedat */ 
    WORD    unused:12,
            fResponse:1,
            fRelease:1,
            reserved:1,
            fAckReq:1;
    short   cfFormat;
    BYTE    Value[1];
} DDEDATA; 

The Value member should contain the description property, in the form of a null-terminated string of characters from the Windows character set. The string can be any size but typically contains fewer than 30 characters. If the server sets the fAckReq bit, WinOldApp responds to the WM_DDE_DATA message by posting a WM_DDE_ACK message after processing the data. If the server sets the fRelease bit, WinOldApp frees the global memory object after copying the description string. Otherwise, WinOldApp does not free the memory object.

Providing the Working-Directory Property

If the shell is responding to WinOldApp's request for the "GetWorkingDIR" property, the shell passes the following parameters with the WM_DDE_DATA message:

   Parameter       Description
   ------------------------------------------------------------------

   hwnd            Specifies the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The
                   shell should use the handle that WinOldApp specified
                   as the wParam parameter in the WM_DDE_REQUEST message.

   message         Specifies the WM_DDE_DATA message.

   wParam          Specifies the handle of the shell's DDE window.

   LOWORD(lParam)  Specifies a handle to a global memory object that
                   contains a DDEDATA structure. A description of the
                   contents of the DDEDATA structure follows this table.
                   To report an error, the server should use one of the
                   error values listed with the WinExec function.

   HIWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the string,
                   "GetWorkingDIR". 

The low-order word of the lParam parameter is a handle to a global memory object that contains a DDEDATA structure. The contents of the DDEDATA structure are as follows:

#include <dde.h>

typedef struct tagDDEDATA {   /* ddedat */ 
    WORD    unused:12,
            fResponse:1,
            fRelease:1,
            reserved:1,
            fAckReq:1;
    short   cfFormat;
    BYTE    Value[1];
} DDEDATA; 

The Value member should specify the location (drive and path) of the application's executable file, in the form of a null-terminated string of characters from the Windows character set. The character string has a maximum size of 128 characters (including the terminating null character). If the server sets the fAckReq bit, WinOldApp responds to the WM_DDE_DATA message by posting a WM_DDE_ACK message after processing the working-directory property. If the server sets the fRelease bit, WinOldApp frees the global memory object after copying the working-directory string. Otherwise, WinOldApp does not free the memory object.

Providing the Icon Property

If the shell is responding to WinOldApp's request for "GetIcon" property, the shell passes the following parameters with the WM_DDE_DATA message:

   Parameter       Description
   -------------------------------------------------------------------

   hwnd            Specifies the handle of WinOldApp's DDE window. The
                   shell should use the handle that WinOldApp specified
                   as the wParam parameter in the WM_DDE_REQUEST message.

   message         Specifies the WM_DDE_DATA message.

   wParam          Specifies the handle of the shell's DDE window.

   LOWORD(lParam)  Specifies a handle to a global memory object that

                   contains a DDEDATA structure. A description of the
                   contents of the DDEDATA structure follows this table.
                   To report an error, the server should use one of the
                   error values listed with the WinExec function.

   HIWORD(lParam)  Specifies an atom that represents the string,
                   "GetIcon". 

The low-order word of the lParam parameter is a handle to a global memory object that contains icon-property data. The icon data should be in the following form:

unsigned reserved:12,  reserved            
             fResponse:1,   /* always 1                         */ 
             fRelease:1,    /* 1 if app. frees object, else 0   */ 
             reserved:1,    /* reserved                         */ 
             fAckReq:1;     /* 1 if app. should respond, else 0 */ 
    int      cfFormat;      /* clipboard format (not used)      */ 
    int      nWidth;        /* width, in pixels, of the icon    */ 
    int      nHeight;       /* height, in pixels, of the icon   */ 
    BYTE     nPlanes;       /* number of planes in XOR mask     */ 

    BYTE     nBitsPixel;    /* number of bits/pixel in XOR mask */ 
    LPBYTE   lpANDbits;     /* points to AND mask array         */ 
    LPBYTE   lpXORbits;     /* points to XOR mask array         */ 
} ICONPROPS; 

If the server sets the fAckReq bit, WinOldApp responds to the WM_DDE_DATA message with a WM_DDE_ACK message after processing the data. If the server sets the fRelease bit, WinOldApp frees the global memory object after copying the working-directory string. Otherwise, WinOldApp does not free the memory object.

The lpANDbits and lpXORbits pointers may be either near or far. If the pointers are near (that is, the segment selector portion of the pointers is zero), the bits are part of the global memory object. The offset portion of the pointers is a near offset from byte zero of the object. Because the bits are part of the global memory object, they are freed along with the object. The combined size of the ICONPROPS structure together with the bits pointed to by the lpANDbits and lpXORbits members must be no more than 64K.

If the server needs to use far pointers for the lpANDbits and lpXORbits members, the bits must be part of a separate memory object. This object is not freed automatically when the global memory object is freed.

Terminating the DDE Conversation

The shell may terminate the conversation at any time by posting a WM_DDE_TERMINATE message. After WinOldApp has obtained its properties from the shell, it terminates the DDE conversation by posting a WM_DDE_TERMINATE message.

Additional query words: no32bit 3.10 dosapp winexec

Keywords : kb16bitonly
Issue type :
Technology : kbAudDeveloper kbWin3xSearch kbSDKSearch kbWinSDKSearch kbWinSDK310


Last Reviewed: November 12, 1999
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