Two interesting releases today:
Windows Vista RC1 (release candidate for a small happenstance OS that might be a bit of a distraction for standard computer shoppers)
.. and ..
IronPython v1.0 (Python language for .NET)
So it looks like VMWare is not an option for installing the last build of Windows Vista that precedes RC1. VMWare doesn’t like the strange stuff Windows Vista is doing. Makes one wonder if Microsoft is explicitly trying to kill VMWare as a competitor to force us to use Microsoft Virtual PC.
But Virtual PC is crap, IMO, in comparison. It’s slow in comparison to VMWare, and it’s severely lacking in features (to say nothing of snapshots which I would never expect of VPC). You can’t even mount an ISO without starting the session first.
Well paint me pink and call me a pig. I didn’t blog today because it was a day off. While everyone else was off hanging out with family for a three-day weekend, I spent the day tidying my home office, which is now tidier than it has ever been since before I moved into this condo. 😉 That’s not saying much, though. I have too much .. ehh .. stuff.
Charles Petzold’s new book on Avalon (Windows Presentation Foundation) just arrived at my doorstep earlier today. I get to be one of the lucky ones who pre-ordered this big thing and be one of the first proud owners of the book.
Without having done a thorough reading and only cracking it open, here are my quick observations:
- It’s a big, hardcover book. Not as big as Programming Windows, though, which is still on my shelf.
- Looks pretty chock full of content, I don’t think anything is going to be missed for general introduction to all major facets of WPF.
- A pretentious title. Microsoft is being "cute" but it hits a nerve in a bad way. To define the word "application" as "code + markup" is stupid, no matter how prevalent Windows Presentation Foundation intends to be in Windows Vista. The word "application" is a long-standing software term that Microsoft cannot just go and redefine–no, not even Petzold.
- Much more approachable from what I can tell than O’Reilly’s book, which frankly is a very bumpy ride.
- About 60-70% or so of the book consists of code samples, and about 75% of the code samples are written in XAML while the other 25% are in C#.
- I can see this book as being the new "Bible" of Windows user interfaces.
- Covers content, docking, events, elements, menus, treeviews, listviews, data binding, graphics, animation, and more.
- One of my biggest concerns about WPF is that from what I’ve seen so far of WPF it is very much like DHTML for its menus in that a menu cannot be displayed beyond the borders of its window, and I will miss that greatly. I am curious about Ch. 14 (Menus) to see if my observation was incorrect. (Update: My observation has proven to be incorrect.)
- Looks like "Orcas" is required to run the samples. Darn. "Orcas" won’t be released for .NET 3.0 RC1 for a few more days, so I had to roll back to the June CTP of .NET 3.0 to install the "Orcas" preview, then uninstall .NET 3.0 and install .NET 3.0 RC1.
Update: Thanks to Rob Relyea’s blog (his comments therein), an easier way to install the June "Orcas" preview is: msiexec /i vsextwfx.msi WRC_INSTALLED_OVERRIDE=1
- 3D stuff does not appear to be covered at all.
Question of the Day: How do you scale out the server load of a web site to multiple IIS hosts to improve performance?
If anyone out there is reading this, make your comments known, I will update this post tomorrow. If you’re viewing an RSS feed, follow the article URL.
Something that HTML doesn’t have, which has always intrigued me (as being such a ridiculous limitation), is auto-flowing columns, such that when text fills up a table column it would cascade to the next column.
This is something that’s possible in Windows Presentation Foundation (but unfortunately not WPF/E). Not only that, but with coding techniques as you resize or zoom, you can change the number of columns at runtime to ensure readability.
A good video of this is here:
Another slick feature demonstrated (@ 00:14:00) is the OpenType typography implementation where you can choose from multiple different versions of the same character in order to make a particular letter or character more or less splashy, yet it’s still the same font. Here is an overview of its implementation.