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Essential Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342374476
ISBN-10: 0321374479
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Chris Anderson was one of the chief architects of the next-generation GUI stack, the Windows Presentation Framework (WPF), which is the subject of this book. Chris's insights shine a light from the internals of WPF to those standing at the entrance, guiding you through the concepts that form the foundation of his creation."
"-From the foreword by Chris Sells""As one of the architects behind WPF, Chris Anderson skillfully explains not only the 'how, ' but also the 'why.' This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to understand the design principles and best practices of WPF."
"-Anders Hejlsberg, technical fellow, Microsoft Corporation""If WPF stands as the user interface technology for the next generation of Windows, then Chris Anderson stands as the Charles Petzold for the next generation of Windows user interface developers."
"-Ted Neward, founding editor, TheServerSide.NET""This is an excellent book that does a really great job of introducing you to WPF, and explaining how to unlock the tremendous potential it provides."
"-Scott Guthrie, general manager, Developer Division, Microsoft""WPF is a whole new animal when it comes to creating UI applications, drawing on design principles originating from both Windows Forms and the Web. Chris does a great job of not only explaining how to use the new features and capabilities of WPF (with associated code and XAML based syntax), but also explains why things work the way they do. As one of the architects of WPF, Chris gives great insight into the plumbing and design principles of WPF, as well as the mechanics of writing code using it. This is truly essential if you plan to be a serious WPF developer."
"-Brian Noyes, chief architect, IDesign Inc.; Microsoft Regional Director; Microsoft MVP""I was given the opportunity to take a look at Chris Anderson's book and found it to be an exceedingly valuable resource, one I can comfortably recommend to others. I can only speak for myself, but when faced with a new technology I like to have an understanding of how it relates to and works in relation to the technology it is supplanting. Chris starts his book by tying the WPF directly into the world of Windows 32-bit UI in C++. Chris demonstrates both a keen understanding of the underlying logic that drives the WPF and how it works and also a skill in helping the reader build on their own knowledge through examples that mimic how you would build your cutting edge applications."
"-Bill Sheldon, principal engineer, InterKnowlogy"Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) replaces Microsoft's diverse presentation technologies with a unified, state-of-the-art platform for building rich applications. WPF combines the best of Windows and the Web; fully integrates user interfaces, documents, and media; and leverages the full power of XML-based declarative programming. In "Essential Windows Presentation Foundation, " former WPF architect Chris Anderson systematically introduces this breakthrough platform, focusing on the concepts and techniques working developers need in order to build robust applications for real users. Drawing on his unique experience as an architect on the team, Anderson thoroughly illuminates the crucial new concepts underlying WPF and reveals how its APIs work together to offer developers unprecedented value.Through working sample code, you'll discover how WPF draws on the Web's simple models for markup and deployment, common frame for applications, and rich server connectivity, and on Windows' rich client model, simple programming model, strong control over look-and-feel, and rich networking. Topics explored in depth includeWPF components and architecture Key WPF design decisions-and why they matter XAML markup language Controls Layouts Visuals and media, including 2D, 3D, video, and animation Data integration Actions Styles WPF Base Services"Essential Windows Presentation Foundation" is the definitive, authoritative, code-centric WPF reference: everything Windows developers need to create a whole new generation of rich, graphical applications.
""Foreword by Don Box
""Foreword by Chris Sells
""About the Author
"Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Applications
Chapter 3: Controls
Chapter 4: Layout
Chapter 5: Visuals
Chapter 6: Data
Chapter 7: Actions
Chapter 8: Styles
Appendix: Base Services
"Index "

About the Author

Chris Anderson, architect in Microsoft’s Connected Systems Division, specializes in designing and architecting .NET technologies for the next generation of applications and services. In ten years at Microsoft, he has worked on technologies ranging from Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual J++ 6.0 to .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1. In 2002, he joined the Windows Client team as an architect for Windows Presentation Foundation. Anderson has spoken at numerous conferences, including PDC, TechEd, WinDev, and DevCon.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (April 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321374479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321374479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Borek Bernard on September 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Chris has always impressed me with his talent to explain even the hardest bits of WPF in an approachable fashion - I guess many Channel 9 and other dev-related sites visitors would agree with me. Therefore, I started reading Essential WPF with high expectations...

There is nothing wrong with the book itself, but the marketing is completely and utterly false. Chris himself emphasizes that he would like to talk about the "why-s" of the platform and this is the very reason why I bought his book - only to find out that nothing like that happens. Quite honestly, any technical author could write this book after reading Windows 3.0 SDK documentation thoroughly - there is very little added value or insight. There are moments when Chris writes "this may be confusing..." and in this very moment, you would expect "... but it was necessary because of this and that" but that almost never happens. You are left with doubts about the quality of WPF which is probably the worst thing an author can do.

Don't be confused as I was: this book is not about "why-s", it is not about reasoning, it is not about in-depth discussion of some decisions made. It is an extensive walkthrough through the WPF features, it is a description of the framework but nothing more. Of course you will find some insights in this book but they are definitely not in proportion to Chris's role in the WPF team and his otherwise great skills.

I, personally, started reading this book as a big fan of WPF and was left with doubts if all the complexity is really necessary (and some things are pretty complex compared to Flex which is my current development environment). Actually, I think that I enjoyed reading the WPF introductory articles in the Windows SDK 3.
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Format: Paperback
My intention is not to criticise this book but to provide a bit of balance to the other "superlative" filled reviews. I had already read Adam Nathan's book before this and had high expectations of this one after reading the other reviews. After finishing the book I can't really understand why the reviews were so glowing. There are definitely some design insights and Chapter 7 (Actions) covered the important Command pattern in good detail, but I'm struggling to think of any advantages over the WPF Unleashed book.

I would definitely recommend WPF unleashed over this and the bottom line is I'll be looking to sell my copy of Essential WPF as I don't see the value of having both.
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Format: Paperback
I thought no one could top Adam Nathan's WPF book, and this one doesn't top it - no what it does it match it but does so without tediously repeating the same material and approach. Chris Anderson's book is the one to read if you want to know the Why's and not just the What's - this is not just because Chris was one of the chief architects but because he explains it all so clearly. The book's organisation is wonderful, WPF has a huge surface area but Chris's presentation of it is effortless, enlightening and entertaining. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Overall, I was not impressed with this book. I kept getting the sense that I was about to learn something interesting when - poof! - the book moved on to another topic.

So, if you're looking for an introduction to the concepts of WPF, this might be for you but do not expect any in depth coverage of any topic. I was hoping for (consider the author's background) a lot more detail.

To put this review in perspective: I have been working with WPF for quite some time and have already been through other books on WPF (including Petzold's and Adam Nathan's - the later being my personal favorite to date).
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Format: Paperback
I bought all available WPF, so at the beginning i wondered: "What else can another book say new about WPF?". Well, this book has a lot of interesting details missing on others, probably because it has been written with an "inside" view, i knew a lot of architectural decisions reading it.

It has a good mix of xaml and code, it has pictures (!) and its a pleasant reading. Recommended to people migrating from Windows Forms to WPF world.
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Format: Paperback
Essential Windows Presentation Foundation is precisely what the title says it is. What more can you ask for in a book? There are already several books on the RTM of WPF, and there are bound to be more. The unique value this one has is that it is written by Chris Anderson, who as most know, was an instrumental architect in designing WPF, and this (along with his direct connection to the others who worked on it) gives him insight that you just otherwise can't get.

In particular, I like that he often provides the thinking that went into particular design decisions. He readily admits in several places that the design of this or that was hotly debated, and one can only imagine that they would be. Having worked at a few commercial software vendors myself, I know how difficult it can be to know the best way to design a thing, and it can only be more challenging as your audience widens.

After this, the main thing that makes the book valuable is that it is deeply conceptual. The point of the book is not to be a reference, a recipie book, or a smattering of tutorials. Rather, the book provides, in a coherent form, the key principles underlying the different aspects of WPF. And by elaborating these principles, Chris establishes a strong sense that the Foundation was designed in a similarly coherent manner.

My favorite chapters were the one on Data, the one on Actions, and the Appendix. For a solutions architect and developer, these I think provide the most interesting meat. Of course, these types will likely want to delve into the first three chapters as well. In fact, the only one that I'd suggest you can probably get away with skipping is the one on Visuals; I found this one pretty dry and hard to push through.
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