Taking the WPF Dive

So I finally started looking into WPF. I finally had a project that could use it. I've spent the last week and three days spending just about all my spare time reading and coding this stuff.

First impression...wow. Over the last few months I have been spending time in ASP.NET Ajax and have been very impressed, and I still am. But this...this just blows me out of the water. Seriously, as I do things, I keep saying "wow" to myself. I also found myself frequently bugging my personal winforms gui guru David just to say "wow" to him.

It is going to have quite the learning curve with most who have experience in winform development. That has been the case for me. It's not that it is very hard; it is just very different.

More thoughts later, for sure. The project that involves WPF will go on for quite some time. I will be able to tell you more about the specific project sometime in March, I expect. Stay tuned.

Until then, if you do any windows development, check it out. It rocks. And while you are at it, check out Expression Blend. Very useful.


Rob 2008-01-22 10:11:20

Are you serious?  Other than this piece of crap being pretty.  There is no tools, virtually no third party tools, and having to use xaml is a huge pain in my butt.  It shouldn't have been released until you didn't have to do anything in xaml.  I find it hard to believe that serious programmers are taking this seriously.  I don't believe you could write a serious business application with it.

What about all the Winform programs out there.  You know that Winforms will turn up going the way of vb6.


Eric 2008-01-22 11:39:54

Winforms, as a technology has some advantages. WPF, as a technology, has some advantages. If you think the only advantage to WPF is that it looks pretty, I'm sorry, I would have to say you don't get WPF. I would recommend taking a better look at it. Yes, that is it's most highly trumpted feature, but there are certainly some things that are easier to do with WPF than with Winforms.

There are some tools like Expression. Are they good enough? No. They need to be better. Are they better than nothing? Certainly! I haven't seen any third-party tools myself.

Can a serious business app be built with it? I can't see why not. Right now I'm doing ASP.NET work in my real day job work, so I can't say in that regard. I've worked on a couple other projects outside of work that have involved WPF (one was educational in purpose, the other was an image viewer). In both of those cases I would have rather used WPF than Winforms, because most of the functionality for both was just as easy if not easier to do in WPF. I did once try to make a little data entry app with WPF. Now that one I definitely could have done more quickly in Winforms. For those kind of apps, which would be like a lot of business applications, Winforms is probably a better choice until designer tools start showing up.

As for not releasing it until tools come out, I disagree. I don't think most programming shops should have started on it before tools came out, but IMHO there is no problem releasing something like this before tools come out. In the end they're just shooting themselves in the foot in some ways, as they'll get lots of negative feedback from those who want designers :)