Programming WPF

Programming WPF
Chris Sells, Ian Griffiths
28 Aug 2007
Purchase online

If you want to build applications that take full advantage of Windows Vista's new user interface capabilities, you need to learn Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). This new edition, fully updated for the official release of .NET 3.0, is designed to get you up to speed on this technology quickly. By page 2, you'll be writing a simple WPF application. By the end of Chapter 1, you'll have taken a complete tour of WPF and its major elements.

Page 2 of 2
  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Gordon Padwick said
I bought this book with great expectations, but was disappointed. After spending several months trying to become somewhat familiar with WPF, I thought I was ready to delve into the details. So, I purchased "Programming WPF." Sorry to say, I couldn't understand much of what the authors had to say.

If you already have a good understanding of WPF, you can probably learn more from the book. Don't expect this book to help you much if you are relatively new to WPF.

This book suffers from three common problems. The index doesn't relate well to the content. The book lacks a glossary of terms. The book was apparently reviewed by a technical editor who focused only on accuracy; it should also have been reviewed by an editor who focused on how well the text might be understood by learners.

People who already know WPF well might learn much from this book. It's not a book for people who are not already experienced.

Gerry 73 said
A person learning C# programming like me needs a method to gather user input and show results to users; WPF is the obvious choice. This book provides a good overview of WPF and gets you started programming it. However, you will still have to make frequent reference to the Microsoft library documentation for details of the various classes. Also, many of the examples are advanced and presume you are just adding on WPF knowledge to a strong .NET probramming background. This makes the book of limited value to beginners.

Mathew Upchurch said
The book is well organized and very easy to read. It captures both the novice as well as those who have been working in WPF since beta (or is that CTP). The only complaints I have for the book are really just complaints on WPF in general. A lot of the material in the book (as well as WPF in general) focuses on making fairly outlandish applications (getting all the wizz bang features and animations). What I find lacking are items like validation, threading (when having a long background task), and items more akin to Windows Forms development. This book was an invaluable tool while I put together my first WPF application.

T. Dowdell said
A quick background of my skills prior to reading the book so you know where I'm coming from:
- Strong: C++, Win32, 2D UI
- Learning: C#, .NET, WPF, XAML, XML

Being extremely anxious to dig in to WPF, I was seeking a book that would hold my hand through the process but by the end, leave no stones unturned. This book comes close.

My first attempt at learning was "Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed" by Adam Nathan. I quickly became frustrated with the book because I was regularly feeling lost. You know, like when you are conversing with a really intelligent person who has a hard time helping you connect the dots. I do recommend Adam's book as a supplement as it's got good material and is in full color. After reading the reviews for "Programming WPF" by Sells & Griffiths I took the leap.

I read the book cover to cover minus 3 chapters: 3D, Interoperability and Async/Multithreaded -- about 700 of 800 pages. Usually books this fat have lots of useless pages. Not this book, no sir, which just goes to show how much there is to learn about WPF and XAML. In a word, the book is brilliant, written for experienced programmers who want to learn WPF and XAML.

It has the same feel as Petzold's Win 3.x books, i.e. Light-hearted, start easy and built to a powerful crescendo as the chapters progress. The latter chapters are no more difficult to digest than the previous chapters, but do build upon previous chapters. That said, I was extremely grateful that the book didn't have a grand project that was slowly built upon chapter by chapter; code examples mostly stood on their own and were plentiful (and they worked as printed!)

As noted above, I know very little about WinForms, and WPF is the obvious successor. Though parallels were duly noted, I was thrilled that there were not constant sidebars saying "Hey Mr. WinForms! Everything's OK! This is just new stuff and you can handle it. Rah! Rah! Rah!" As the authors make abundantly clear from page 1, WPF is light years ahead of WinForms.

As noted above, WPF and XAML are big topics so be prepared to get up and stretch your legs a lot, hold you head frequently and doubt the wisdom of learning new things.

On the down side, the book is weighted a bit too heavily towards XAML for my tastes. Since C# can do absolutely everything (and more) that XAML can do, I wish there were more dual examples that show how XAML does it and then how C# does it. There are examples like this but not enough. This would satisfy the curiousity of developers who wonder about how XAML "magically" achieves things.

Another gripe, now that I am attempting to apply what I have learned: I am frequently having to turn to a Google search to find details not present in the book. For example, the section about event bubbling covers good ground but I immediately had a problem when trying to use bubbling: I was attempting to use it with sibling elements and that does not work but (as far as I can tell) this was not noted in the book. It feels as though the book was not field tested.

And a final gripe: The index is sparse. I am regularly having to pencil in items.

Some brief notes:
- I really hope this book evolves along with WPF's evolution
- The material seemed fresh (as of Oct 2008) except the Silverlight appendix which has aged since Silverlight 2.0 has been released
- The corresponding errata website does not seem to be updated regularly (though I didn't encounter many editing problems)
- Even though the book only has a dozen pages of color plates, you won't feel deprived as the examples will light up your display in all sorts of fun ways.

Akash Aggarwal said
I have both WPF books by Chris Anderson and Adam Nathan. I read initial chapters of both of them but never got so excited to continue reading and got astray into LINQ and other stuff. Then I bought this one from Chris Sells and all I can say is it is much better than both Anderson and Adam book and the book keeps you engaged making you eager to find out what next in very simple terms and wonderful example. I loved the way the data binding chapter was explained and am hoping to finish this soon.

Great Job Sells and Ian.

You might also like...



Why not write for us? Or you could submit an event or a user group in your area. Alternatively just tell us what you think!

Our tools

We've got automatic conversion tools to convert C# to VB.NET, VB.NET to C#. Also you can compress javascript and compress css and generate sql connection strings.

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field” - Niels Bohr