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WPF Control Development Unleashed: Building Advanced User Experiences Paperback – September 21, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0672330339 ISBN-10: 0672330334 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (September 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672330334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672330339
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pavan Podila, Architect at NYC’s Liquidnet Holdings, has worked extensively with many leading UI technologies, including WPF/Silverlight, Flash/Flex/AIR, and DHTML. In the past, he has worked with Java Swing, Eclipse SWT, and TrollTech/Nokia Qt. His primary interests include 2D/3D graphics, data visualization, UI architecture, and computational art. He created FluidKit (, an open-source WPF library of controls such as ElementFlow, TransitionPresenter, etc. He is a Microsoft MVP for Client App Dev and blogs actively at


Kevin Hoffman got his first computer, a Commodore VIC-20, when he was 10 years old and has been hopelessly addicted to programming ever since. He has written desktop applications, web applications, distributed enterprise applications, VoIP software, and pretty much everything else in between. He is currently a .NET Architect in New England building large-scale, next-generation web applications.


More About the Author

I have always been passionate about programming User Interfaces and Visualizations. I am a visual person and anything graphically appealing always has my undivided attention! Even better if I am involved in building it.

I have a CS background in Image Processing and Compilers.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Sadly, that's not what I paid for it.
Darrell Plank
I highly recommend that book to any WPF developer which have already a good experience in it.
Eric Ouellet
In fact, if you just read the book and don't look at the code you are really missing out.
Joshua Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Adams on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been writing apps for business and pleasure in WPF for 2.5 years now. I own every significant book on WPF that is out there. Most are quite good, and can do a nice job showing Joe Developer how to build an app in WPF by teaching about the out-of-the-box controls, basic data binding, validation, DataTemplates, ControlTemplates, Styles, Triggers, etc. That sort of book can get you building an app that looks very nice and leaves its WinForms battleship gray apps in the dust.

However, actually building custom controls in WPF is a topic that is barely glanced upon in most of those books. Furthermore, there simply wasn't much information specifically on the topic of building your own WPF controls on MSDN. The best sources where blogs such as Josh Smith, Dr WPF, and Pavan Podila (one of the authors). But a book that systematically covered the topic was a void that has been very nicely filled by WPF Control Development Unleashed. This is great because well-done custom controls can really increase the "sizzle" of an app and make it enjoyable to use.

As others have written, this book isn't for someone who is just learning WPF. It is for some advanced developers who are building their own WPF controls. On the first page the authors explain that they are going to teach the "whys" of WPF so that compelling apps can be built, and that they are also maintainable and can stand the test of time because they are built in accordance with the WPF design philosophy. I think the book does a great job of achieving that goal.

One of the biggest strengths of the book is that it spends time showing when NOT to build a custom WPF control in favor of re-templating existing controls.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WPF is a vast topic. This book does a great job of zeroing in on some of the most powerful functionality WPF has to offer and assembling it in a very concise format.

The book starts out covering the WPF Design Philosophy which is a great for those who need an introduction to the overall context WPF offers the developer. I would recommend reading only to those who have some experience with WPF. This become evident right away. Chapter 2 `The Diverse Visual Class Structure' does a great job of covering all the most important classes in WPF, and it fits them together like a puzzle providing a complete view of the WPF, but I can see the beginner being completely overwhelmed and lost throughout the chapter. This is not a ding to the book, it warns the book is for intermediate to advanced WPF programmers.

The book continues to dig into some of the most advanced features WPF has to offer. The only thing about the book I would change is providing more printed code. The authors say they believe in only printing the most relevant code, which is fine, just not my personal preference. I like to be able to read a book without having to be on my computer to review the code. This is not a ding against the book either, since it is just a preference and the code download is great. It is very well organized and usable.

Beyond the chapters on building controls with WPF the authors also offer guidance on achieving high performing code and the use of performance measuring tools. It is a short chapter but it gets you started.

They also have a chapter of design tips. This chapter is not just WPF centric. The chapter includes a list of the well know design patterns for GUI development. They are not covered in detail, but they have a good summary about the pattern.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ross P. Wright on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book consistently make promises its fails to keep. Chapter after chapter starts with "in the chapter you will gain an in-depth knowledge of X" and after several pages of very high-level discussion and nearly irrelevant examples concludes with, "Now that you know all about X..." and the authors barely even grazed the topic - then alone provided you with anything you can actually use to implement the topics supposedly covered.

Case in point: Data Templates. They spent the first four chapters raving about them and talking about how they have shown you the power of them and did not provide a single explanation of how to actually use one, or where they are used. No examples or even discussions of concrete examples at all. So when I read "now we have shown you..." and they have not shown me anything at all - well, I'm done. I admit I only made it half-way before I was so disgusted I put it down and quit wasting my time. Chapter after chapter I finished wondering where was the beef?

I'm no WPF beginner, but then I'm no expert either - that is why I am reading the book, right? I am sure if you are reading this stuff already knowing everything it makes more sense - but I found myself thinking as I read about topics I already know, "Man, that is a convoluted way to describe that to someone just learning. I'm sure glad I already know it." It was positively inspiring in the sense that I began thinking if these guys can write a book this bad and get published, maybe I should take a shot at writing a book myself.

Seriously, the entire book needs a reality check - the best is when they claim to be presenting a simpler method of accomplishing some task and then proceed to unfold something grotesque.
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