Alex Yakhnin, .NET Compact Framework MVP

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WPF adventures (Part I)

Recently I was submerged into the WPF. I had to create a proof of concept screens for one of the clients. The UI that was designed closely resembled the Office 2007 interface with Ribbon and such. So I bravely jumped into WPF. Installed .NET 3.0, Orcas extensions for VS, Interactive Designer and started on the UI. It is only after I jumped, I realized that am in a completely new world of the client development, that the learning curve has become a “learning cliff” and all of the tricks that I had learned when developing WinForm applications don't work here anymore. I had to start learning basics. Layouts and positioning, coloring, fonts and text etc... And as an early adapter you encounter with limited information available on the subject. There's only one book exists at this time (Chris Sells and Ian Griffits). Everything else is spread around in the WPF blogs, MSDN forums and documentation. When starting development with WPF you are presented with just a somewhat XP like looking standard controls. How do you change the look and feel of the control? Umm... inherit from the control and override some painting procedure... Right? - Nope, wrong! You create your own template and style in XAML! After 4 days of intensive “how do I do that, try, learn, search, download sample, try again...”, I started to see the light. The bits started to fall into pieces and the world had become a logical place to live again. With a mix of amusement and excitement I realized that MS had finally achieved its long winding goal - separate the presentation code from the functionality. A somewhat sophisticated UI that I have created had almost non existent C# code. Everything else has been done in XAML. In the next posts I'll try to share a few tips that I learned during this process and hope they'll help somebody ease up the transition.

posted on August 30, 2006 10:52 AM by ayakhnin

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