Dialogs are too much Stupid Code

If you develop a complicated dialog (editing non-trivial data structures, showing/hiding parts of the dialog), it usually turns out to be a lot of work until everything is working as it should - and this doesn't really surprise anyone. If you use something trivial as a OpenFileDialog or a MessageBox, you know that this is just a matter of minutes.

But what really gets on my nerves are these "simple dialogs". Imagine a dialog consisting of a couple of text fields and some checkboxes. Some text fields are disabled unless a certain checkbox is checked. And so on, I think you get the idea. Each time I have to write one of these dialogs, I...

  • underestimate the actual time required to "get things right", and
  • ask myself "how often did I write code similar to this?" when I move data in and out the dialog, handling OK and Cancel, enabling/disabling controls.

Sometimes I feel like a "human code generator" because there's virtually no real thinking involved when writing down the code for such a dialog.

Is this something I just have to get over with? Any ideas to keep the amount of code as low as possible?

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