- Paperback: 110 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 13, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449320554
- ISBN-13: 978-1449320553
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,570,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Getting Started with Windows 8 Apps: A Guide to the Windows Runtime 1st Edition
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About the Author
Ben Dewey is currently employed at Tallan, Inc. as a Senior Software Consultant. Ben Dewey works during the day on Web and XAML based technologies with heavy use of WCF and a service-based architecture. In his free time, Ben Dewey works on Apps for mobile platforms and has two apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Ben strives to create SOLID applications of the highest craftsmanship while paying special attention to clean User Experiences (UX). Ben Dewey recently completed a book title A Guide to Metro Style Apps for O'Reilly publishing. Ben is actively involved in numerous community events, from speaking at local user groups and helping to organize the ALT.NET Meetup in NYC.
Top customer reviews
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First, it's bookended with filler. Chapters 1 and 5 were not directly about creating win8 apps. Chapter one was a brief tour of the new UI features in win8, and chapter 5 (the last chapter in the book) is about submitting to the Windows Store. Good information, but probably all things you already know if you're interested enough in win8 to buy a book. These might have been appropriate if the book was longer, but spending 28 pages of a 92 page book on introduction and app submission is ridiculous.
The single example app itself is a mess. The app is presented in snippets of C# and XAML without much context. All of the meat of the app is handled by the Bing Image Search api. The example app might make a nice demo, and is the kind of thing you see in "look what I can code up in five minutes" presentations, but as a programmer trying to learn these new API's I would rather have seen an app that used more widgets and explained them more deeply, and explained more about the structure of win8 apps and how the xaml/CLR interactions work. Chapters 3 & 4 are wasted talking about architecture and structure of a hypothetical large win8 app, using a very questionable "MessageHub" class which seems to do little good for the structure of the app. While these are very important concepts for large apps, and the book freely admits that they are beyond it's scope, so why mention this at all? I expect an intro book (especially one from oreilly) to be a collection of concrete, useful examples.
The remainder of the book was filled with a loosely organized collection of quick feature descriptions, giving a brief overview and code snippet for a win8 feature such as Tiles. That's useful, if a bit scattered, but unfortunately if you collected these useful bits and extracted them from the book you'd barely have a few full pages of actual useful info.
Skip this book and instead try the "Getting Started with Windows Store Apps" tutorial on MSDN
Unfortunately this book was still a disappointment.
This book is however a shining example of the often inappropriate, overly zealous and excessive use of frameworks, abstractions and other plumbing intensive approaches to simple scenarios that often accompany the recently trendy MVVM fad in our industry. Getting Started with Windows 8 Apps (or Getting Started with Metro Style Apps as the original cover reads) is a very high level overview of Windows 8 features bordering on superficial at times. It is made unnecessarily complicated by Ben's choice to embellish his simple starter application with his flavor of an MVVM pattern. MVVM as a strategy has its place, but for a single developer sample app of this size the code samples needlessly include a messy set of plumbing with message pumps and factories that have little if anything to do with the features and changes that he mentions Windows 8 introduces. Instead, this book burdens the reader with the job of rummaging through the abstractions to figure out which parts of the syntax are truly central to the Windows 8 features that are being described.
If MVVM and testing strategies were the intended focus of this book, a different title and a better job of explaining the details of those topics would have been appropriate. In more than a few places they are described as being broad topics that he was not able to cover in this short guide. Instead, the short guide could have been much better if it focused that same energy on better explaining the Windows 8 features used to create a simpler, less architected, sample app with the same features but without the avoidable abstraction and distraction of some particular MVVM implementation.
Instead of an informative light read, I found this book to be a waste of time and ten dollars. The extra layers and organization of the plumbing and code wrappers also make it of very limited for use as a quick reference for the handful of Windows 8 features that are actually covered.
Senior Software Consultant Ben Dewey uses this book to provide developers with a low-expectation guide to beginning programming the Windows 8 Metro platform. He uses a singular example of a Bing Image Search app as a way to explore the various aspect of the Windows 8 framework. By starting off simple, he gradually introduces features such as the Bing Image Search API and the Windows 8 UI design, giving a foundation for the rest of the book. The book then talks about how to integrate the seemingly simple image search app with the unique features of Windows, for example by utilizing the built-in Search and Share charms. The last chapter is arguably the most useful, because it explains the process of publishing an app to the new Windows Store. This process isn't the most user intuitive, and Ben does a great job of providing a quick guide for helping the first-time publisher to navigate through it.
One of the things that I didn't personally particularly like was the extensive explanation of MVVM (Model-View-VewModel). While this is an important concept, the discussion of it can get a little dry.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to either get started Windows 8 programming, as a quick overview of the platform. It provides a good stepping stone to more advanced book on the topic.
Most recent customer reviews
There's a solid, very quick Intro to Windows 8 features, plus a more...Read more