Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed, Sams
C# Online.NET Book Review
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is the new Windows Vista graphical user interface (GUI) paradigm for Windows programming. Among other things, WPF enables the developer to integrate 3D graphics, animation, rich document support, speech recognition, and video. WPF is part of .NET Framework 3.0. For many old Windows hands, WPF will sport a steep learning curve. This book will help them or any WPF beginners flatten out the learning curve.
First of all, the entire book is in color! The main use of the color is context coloring for the source code—which looks like Visual Studio—and XML examples. Personally, I do not find the color to be a great benefit in itself. However, because of the color, the book is printed on high quality paper which does make a difference in readability. And, the color pages are much livelier and warmer than comparable black and white pages. And, of course, where color appears in illustrations or graphics, it looks great.
The book is organized into five parts—the first two of which are an introduction and first WPF application and three of which introduce more advanced features for developers, such as rich media. The text of the book is supplemented with "Digging Deeper", "FAQ", "Tip", and "Warning" inserts. The book is adequately, rather than profusely illustrated.
Note that WPF is a huge topic; so, this or any other beginner's book will only introduce many topics without going into great detail. Thus, editing—what gets into the book and what is left out—is critical. The author does a great job selecting topics which will make the readers fully functional in WPF without bogging them down in ponderous API detail.
The author—a Microsoft WinFX team insider—is very insightful and knowledgeable about WPF; and, he writes in a conversational style. Despite being a Microsoft principal, the author is very open about WPF limitations and how to deal with them—even relying on third party tools when necessary. The book is very readable and approachable for a book of its type, i.e. a tutorial for an API.
All of the source code examples are in the C# language.
Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed is a magnificent introduction and tutorial for the WPF API.
From the back cover
Printed entirely in color, with helpful figures and syntax coloring to make code samples appear as they do in Visual Studio.
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a key component of the .NET Framework 3.0, giving you the power to create richer and more compelling applications than you dreamed possible. Whether you want to develop traditional user interfaces or integrate 3D graphics, audio/video, animation, dynamic skinning, rich document support, speech recognition, or more, WPF enables you to do so in a seamless, resolution-independent manner. Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed is the authoritative book that covers it all, in a practical and approachable fashion, authored by .NET guru and Microsoft developer Adam Nathan.
- Covers everything you need to know about Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML)
- Examines the WPF feature areas in incredible depth: controls, layout, resources, data binding, styling, graphics, animation, and more
- Features a chapter on 3D graphics by Daniel Lehenbauer, lead developer responsible for WPF 3D
- Delves into non-mainstream topics: speech, audio/video, documents, bitmap effects, and more
- Shows how to create popular UI elements, such as features introduced in the 2007 Microsoft Office System: Galleries, ScreenTips, custom control layouts, and more
- Demonstrates how to create sophisticated UI mechanisms, such as Visual Studio-like collapsible/dockable panes
- Explains how to develop and deploy all types of applications, including navigation-based applications, applications hosted in a Web browser, and applications with great-looking non-rectangular windows
- Explains how to create first-class custom controls for WPF
- Demonstrates how to create hybrid WPF software that leverages Windows Forms, ActiveX, or other non-WPF technologies
- Explains how to exploit new Windows Vista features in WPF applications
About the author(s)
Adam Nathan is a senior software development engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Division. He is the author of the acclaimed .NET and COM: The Complete Interoperability Guide (SAMS, 2002), a coauthor of ASP.NET: Tips, Tutorials, and Code (SAMS, 2001), and a contributor to books such as .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Vol. 2 (Addison-Wesley, 2005) and Windows Developer Power Tools (O’Reilly, 2006). Adam regularly speaks at development conferences and to groups within Microsoft about a variety of .NET Framework topics. Having started his career on Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime team in 1999, Adam has been at the core of .NET technologies since the very beginning. Adam is also the creator of popular tools and websites for .NET developers, such as PINVOKE.NET, CLR SPY (and its Visual Studio add-in), and XAMLshare.com.
Daniel Lehenbauer is the lead software design engineer responsible for the 3D features in Windows Presentation Foundation. Prior to WPF, he worked on multiple graphics and UI technologies, including mobile controls for ASP.NET and Windows Forms. Daniel is active in the WPF community.
Table of Contents (abbreviated)
- PART I Background
- 1 Why Windows Presentation Foundation?
- 2 XAML Demystified
- 3 Important New Concepts in WPF
- PART II Building a WPF Application
- 4 Introducing WPF’s Controls
- 5 Sizing, Positioning, and Transforming Elements
- 6 Layout with Panels
- 7 Structuring and Deploying an Application
- PART III Features for Professional Developers
- 8 Resources
- 9 Data Binding
- 10 Styles, Templates, Skins, and Themes
- PART IV Going Beyond Today’s Applications with Rich Media
- 11 2D Graphics
- 12 3D Graphics
- 13 Animation
- 14 Audio, Video, Speech, and Documents
- PART V Advanced Topics
- 15 Interoperability with Win32, Windows Forms, and ActiveX
- 16 User Controls and Custom Controls
- 17 Layout with Custom Panels
- PART VI Appendix: Helpful Tools