I had a great time presenting at the .Net Meetup last week. It was a lively discussion thanks to everyone who showed up. David Barnhill gave me great support and his extensive knowledge and experience really added depth to the conversation. Everyone’s feedback and prompting was just great and it was very interactive.
Some of what we covered:
WPF is not the same old system. Some older ways of doing things in WinForms are just alien to the WPF paradigm. Extensive use of UI inheritance is out. Use of templates and Prism is in.
WPF is 4 years old and still early in the adoption cycle. Paradoxically, this is because its so good. Its entirely revolutionary (at least compared to WinForms) and so different from what came before that in some ways its like starting over. This leads to learning curves, staffing and project delivery issues during adoption.
The question is what does it really do for business? The main thing is that you can do more. Many things you may not have attempted in WinForms are done simply in WPF.
But how do you get started with WPF? Same as any new technology I suppose:
- Read the books. WPF Unleashed is the top recommendation.
- The videos on Channel9 are great.
- There’s more videos from Microsoft here and here.
- Jason Dolinger’s MVVM video is a classic.
- Take training.
- Hire an experienced WPF developer to join the team or bring in a consultant to help out on your first project. A mentor is invaluable when starting out.
- You can use WPF simply to start. Don’t try to use every feature, just get the basics. At its most simple its not so different from WinForms.
- You can have WPF controls, modules and/or pages in a WinForms app and vice versa so it can come slowly into an organization even with a legacy application.
Here’s an animation I made for my upcoming WPF presentation.
You can download the code here, but you might want to wait till after the presentation when it will be finished.
Or: So Much WPF, So Little Time
I’ll be presenting on WPF at the September 21st .Net Meetup.
A breezy tour of topics in WPF from the ground up with demo examples and source code. Each topic will be given a one minute treatment. For anyone interested in, new to, or learning WPF you can see the scope of the platform and see what you want to learn. For anyone working in WPF, enjoy the highlights of your platform. You might even see something you’ve missed.
Everything will apply equally to Silverlight, subject of course to this diagram.