Creating Excluded Projects to Host Shell Source Code in the IDE (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


This topic assumes that you have copied the source code for the standard shell to a new directory and that you adjusted Platform Builder build settings so that your modified shell code builds instead of the original standard shell code. For more information, see How to Customize the Shell.

You can edit your source files in any editor or development environment, from Notepad to a third-party tool.

The following table shows the advantages and disadvantages of using the Platform Builder IDE to edit your custom shell source code.

Pros Cons

Provides quick access to your code while working on other parts of your OS design.

The Platform Builder IDE cannot handle multiple resource script (.rc) files.

Provides the convenience of an IDE that is similar to Visual Studio.

When creating browse information for your code, you might get compilation errors.

No matter which source editor you choose, Platform Builder compiles your code during the run-time image build process.

The remainder of this topic describes how to expose your shell source code in the Platform Builder IDE.

For the source code to appear in the IDE, it must be part of a feature in your OS design tree. Therefore, you must organize the code for your custom shell into one or more application projects, which are then added to your OS design as user projects.

Typically, user projects are built at the end of the run-time image build process. However, you previously adjusted Platform Builder's settings so the shell code is compiled during the run-time image build process.

To prevent your shell code from being compiled twice, set your custom shell projects to be excluded from the usual build process for user projects. After you do this, the projects for your custom shell provide access to your code in the IDE at design time.

Do not edit the Shell and User Interface\Shell\Standard Shell source files in the Platform Builder Catalog. The code within supports the standard shell and is shared by all your Windows Embedded CE-based OS designs. For more information, see Setting Up the Source Files for a Custom Shell.

  1. Make sure your OS Design Project is selected in the Solution Explorer. From the Project menu, choose Add New Subproject.

  2. In the Windows Embedded CE Subproject Wizard dialog box, choose WCE Application.

  3. In the Subproject name field, enter the name for your project, such as MyTaskbar, and then choose Next.

    It is useful to create an individual project for each part of the shell. The following table shows possible names for your custom projects and their corresponding directories.

    Project name Corresponding directory


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\CEShell


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\Main


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\Favorites


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\IEUI


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\PIEUI


    %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\Taskbar

  4. In the next step, choose An empty project, and then choose Next.

  5. In the final step, choose Local and then click Finish.

    Your project appears in the Solution Explorer.

  6. Select the subproject in the Solution Explorer tab. From the Project menu, select the projects Properties. In the Project Property Pages dialog box that appears, choose the Subproject Image Settings branch.

  7. Select your new project, such as MyTaskbar, and click Edit. In the Edit Run-Time Image Settings box, choose Exclude from build and Exclude from image. Choose OK.

  8. Choose OK to close the Project Property Pages dialog box.

You have just created an empty project that is not compiled during the run-time image build process and whose files are not added to the run-time image. Although the code in your project is not built as a user project, it is built into your run-time image because of your previous setup activities.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, expand your project node. Right-click on Include Files, choose Add, then choose Existing Item.

  2. Navigate to the location of your shell code, select the header files that you want to add to your project, and choose OK.

    For example, if you were working on the taskbar, you would add all header files in %_WINCEROOT%\Public\Shell\Oak\<Shell Name>\Explorer\Taskbar and it's subfolders to your project.

  3. Follow a similar procedure to add source files to the Sources Files node.

You can now open the source files and edit them in Platform Builder.

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