Just Arrived: Applications = Code + Markup (Charles Petzold)
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.