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WPF/XAML Web News 2006/09/22

September 22, 2006

Love this stuff!

Coding Samples

WPF Details

  • Jessica Fosler, a "Cider" developer, writes several articles about Learning WPF from the Windows Forms developer perspective:

I’ve put together a series of articles on WPF, from a Windows Forms developer perspective. This started out as a simple document entitled “So you know Windows Forms and you wanna learn Avalon” way before there was as much content out there as there is now. I hope this twist in perspective is useful for folks. 

Until today I was not able to fully understand what this obnoxious unit in WPF called "device independent pixels" really means. It was somehow clear to me that this was some kind of virtual unit and that it means that WPF pixels are not actual device pixels, meaning that a pixel in WPF does not map necessarily to a "real" pixel on the screen. 

If you’ve ever tried to load a Bitmap in Windows Forms using the new Bitmap(typeof(MyType), “sunset.jpg”) constructor, you’ll appreciate that they wanted to do something more friendly for markup in WPF.

In particular, its:  <Image Source="Sunset.jpg"/>

…when you want to have one code base only for both the standalone and the XBAP scenarios. The idea here is to develop one code base only, and to compile it and deploy it differently depending on the platform you’re targeting…

WPF Previews & Demos

Over the last week or ;so, I’ve had a couple of people point out some cool videos ;of WPF that have been posted up, so I thought I’d collate these for your interest and ;entertainment. If ;you want to be wowed by some of the cool things people are…

  • Snowball posts a nice list of 5 resources in New WPF Articles (cubeapp, times reader, wpf feature montage, xaml cruncher, 3d xaml article from petzold)

Wise Advice from Chuck

It looks like none of my children will become programmers. Instead of letting my fatherly advice to my new programmer son or daughter go to waste, I am going to inflict it on you. If you are newly embarking on the journey that is becoming a programmer, here is advice your father would tell you if he was a programmer. These are things I had to learn the hard way…

Brad Abrams discusses Web Apps vs Installed Apps

…So the question I am struggling with is how to think about the end-user model of what runs in the browser or not. That is what is your mom’s expectation when an app runs in browser vs out of browser. There are two schools of thought here…

If we re-examine the runtime vs. browser decision today, would we make the same decision?

  • Browser downloads are now comparably sized to full-fledged runtimes and networks are much faster, so the browser no longer has any clear advantage in runtime distribution.
  • “Applets” or transportable .NET code is plenty fast for the client now, so that reason favoring the browser is also gone.
  • Downloaded byte-code or IL can still be pretty big.  This can be managed with proper techniques, but it is still nowhere near as light as interpreted script and markup.

So it seems that the size of the executable is the last strong fundamental reason to favour the browser model.  This must be balanced against the inferior programming model.

I definitely agree that WPF is taking us in the right direction and gives us a much cleaner development story than ASP.NET/Ajax. However, you might not have the option of assuming .NET 3.0 on the client for quite some time. But if you do have control over what is on the client, then WPF is a great choice for smart client applications (or is it a rich client?). Then you have the choice of running in the browser or not which gives you lots of great options.


  • Fritzenhammer’s XamlWriter problems are cleaned up.  I’m glad we had a great underlying API that made my sample possible to fix his perf issue in the short term.  I had started my sample earlier that same week after a documentation review of the area…it didn’t take very long.

New York Times Reader

  • says:

It is still unclear if what we have at the moment will remain free or just a two week trial. If it is only a two week trial then I am quite sure I will be dishing out the US$49.95 yearly subscription for the ‘Times Select’.

V2 Products

  1. Keith permalink

    On the web vs. WPF topic, outside development differences (and as I\’d like to ultimately see ASP & WPF use similar APIs, I keep 3 sub-libraries off my main UI library that mirror each other for web, wpf, and winforms for this purpose) I don\’t see much to differentiate the two outside visual experience.  I consider WPF and web apps to both be at least somewhat "live" these days, so WPF is good for a richer visual experience, like video brushes, fades/blurs, no postback flicker.  But ultimately, desktop apps are going more towards web-based interfaces for the mouse-based interface, whereas WPF lends itself better than the web towards video game & Media Center UIs.  So instead of WPF apps being just the web UI with better quality animation (and maybe that\’s a choice as well…use the ASP renderer if the user lacks a WPF render & emulate what it can, or use the WPF version if present for a better experience; and if the object models weren\’t different, XSLT could still transform the markup on-demand), WPF provides a completely different, non-pointer-based interface more akin to video games & the media center, where the primary interface is more of a sequential input than the mouse pointer. 

  2. gill permalink

    I wrote an article for the Belgian MSDN site on Windows Presentation Foundation, it can be found here: Is it possible you can link to it?Thanks in advance! 

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