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Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft® Windows® Presentation Foundation: A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (Developer Reference) Hardcover – September 13, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits:

- Delivers UI information in digestible chapters (often fewer than five pages) with plentiful code samples
- Provides the classic Petzold Windows UI treatment, adapted for the capabilities of WPF, Windows Vista, and the latest hardware
- Features information about both XAML (difficult but sometimes richer) and C# (familiar, powerful) development for WPF

About the Author

Charles Petzold has been writing about programming for Windows-based operating systems for 24 years. A Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development and a Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic Programming Windows, currently in its fifth edition and one of the best-known programming books of all time; the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software; and more than a dozen other books.


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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Hardcover: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735619573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735619579
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Mead on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book seems to have had several negative reviews.
The gist of most people's complaints seem to be:

(a) "There's no XAML until Chapter 19" and/or

(b) "There aren't any pictures".

The Complaints - are they justified?

a. No XAML

People making this complaint have in my opinion totally missed the point for several reasons.

Firstly, this is not Charles Petzold's "How to Write XAML" book. It's a book whose title explicitly tells you that it will approach WPF from both the code (C#) and markup (XAML) perspectives. Unusually (actually I think it is uniquely) he doesn't mix and chop up the two approaches, but deals with each of them in isolation.

Secondly, WPF is not XAML. You can use XAML, sure. You'd be silly not to in many situations. But XAML is only one part of the big picture. As this book clearly shows, you can successfully create an awful lot of WPF output with code alone.

b. No Pictures

Normally I would have some sympathy with Complaint (b) because it's always nice to see what the code samples should produce. But if you use this book as the author intended and actually run the samples yourself you will gain far more than any quick glance at a screenshot would give you. You will gain insight and experience in how to master this new technology.

The Book

This is a book that very carefully works its way through the requirements needed for the reader to achieve a thorough understanding of the major concepts. One of the reasons why I recommend reading it - and using it - from cover to cover is that, even in the early basic chapters little gems of code and explanation are slipped into the narrative or the examples.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book late last year, took a vacation and spent a week reading it cover to cover. Since that time I've written several production WPF applications of moderate complexity that are several generations beyond the WinForms and WebForms apps I had been writting. Several months ago, when it was released, I also got to read Adam Nathan's book on the topic of WPF. Having read both books and used WPF to produce better apps under the usual deadlines, I can honestly say that I benefited from the additional insights gleaned from both books.

When I read Petzold's book and saw the code first approach with XAML introduced later, my impression was this seemed contrary to the preference to XAML I saw espoused in other sources and beta books. As I reconciled this new technology being taught by a long tenured veteran, I got a feeling that perhaps earlier concepts around Win32 UI programming may be the lens through which the author is presenting the material on how to best apply WPF. Needless to say, I paid attention and got more value than I anticipated and beyond what I learned from his WinForms book of similar size. While Adam Nathan's book was a more efficient read for me, and one that I could appreciate in its attention and orientation to the more mainstream presentation of WPF, I think that later book in conjunction with this one is quite useful.

My real critique of Petzold's book was that it should have played more to the what may have been the author's strengths in elucidating the API and imperative coding in WPF. Such an approach may have been a great book as a complement to the many XAML focused ones to follow. I believe the API focused chapters that do exist makes Petzold's book a great contribution to WPF knowledge and application.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disclaimer - I am one of the senior leads in WPF and helped answer a few questions for Charles (as I do for other writers, press, and developers), and I bought my own copy of this book.

Windows Presentation Foundation sets a new baseline for an application development framework, not only for Windows development, but across the industry. Of note are the integration of UI, documents, and media functionality into a consistent programming model, and the way that this set of functionality interoperates, as well as the expressibility of these concepts in XML (the set of XML tags is referred to as XAML). This is a lot of material to cover, and this book does the best job so far in covering the breadth of knowledge that you will need to develop WPF based applications.

Charles's book reads very naturally (sometimes it felt like I was reading one of the Inside Mac books 18 years ago, which I really enjoyed). Charles provides a good introduction in the first four chapters to get you going, and then takes you through the key built-in layouts (you can also extend by creating your own Panels - chapter 12).

In chapter 8 and 9 he goes through some of the fundamentals that you will need to build your own custom elements/controls, which he tend proceeds to cover in chapters 10, 11, and 12.

Chapter 13 through 16 go through some key controls in a lot of detail.

Chapter 17 takes you into Printing.

In chapter 18 you build a full simple application (a Notepad clone).

Chapter 19 kicks-off a series of chapters that deal with XAML.

Chapter 22 deals with some key concepts, such as running WPF applications/content in a browser, and navigation applications.
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