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Microsoft Cloud: Book Review

Book Review: WPF 4.5 Unleashed

This book is a pure pleasure to read

So, do we stick with a technology that Microsoft has labelled as legacy - WPF, or do we go with the new unpopular WinRT for line of business applications? After the Silverlight fiasco I personally do not trust Microsoft to not throw the baby out with the bath water again in the future. My hope for Microsoft is all placed on the fact that the Steves (Sinofsky, Ballmer) are gone/going.

Right now I am sticking with WPF instead of moving to WinRT for new LOB applications. My primary reason is WinRT tablets are still sitting on shelves and I can't come up with any reason why they shouldn't stay there.

I want nothing more than to keep WinRT off my laptops and desktops. It is fine for tablets, but I need to run the same app on tablets, laptops, and desktops. Logic would say perfect, WinRT is on all three. In the past I would have believed that would remain true, but I can see the new Microsoft mentality pulling it from desktops and laptops to get people moving off Windows 7. They have a long way to go to earn my trust back.

Ok, my soapbox is in the closet. I just thought I would provide some background as to why I am still interested in keeping current with WPF.

Like its predecessor, this book is a pure pleasure to read. It is in full color, the content is laid out in an easy to read style, the author's writing style makes it easy to read, and the content is all valuable. There is no fluff like you find in a lot of the books written today.

The book starts out with an awesome chapter on XAML, and then moves on to a very thorough treatment of everything WPF. It covers everything and covers it in depth.

The book is broken down into 6 parts and an appendix. I have listed each part and the chapters they contain below.

Part I: Background
Chapter 1. Why WPF?
Chapter 2. XAML Demystified
Chapter 3. WPF Fundamentals

Part II: Building a WPF Application
Chapter 4. Sizing, Positioning, and Transforming Elements
Chapter 5. Layout with Panels
Chapter 6. Input Events: Keyboard, Mouse, Stylus, and Touch
Chapter 7. Structuring and Deploying an Application
Chapter 8. Exploiting Windows Desktop Features

Part III: Controls
Chapter 9. Content Controls
Chapter 10. Items Controls
Chapter 11. Images, Text, and Other Controls

Part IV: Features for Professional Developers
Chapter 12. Resources
Chapter 13. Data Binding
Chapter 14. Styles, Templates, Skins, and Themes

Part V: Rich Media
Chapter 15. 2D Graphics
Chapter 16. 3D Graphics
Chapter 17. Animation
Chapter 18. Audio, Video, and Speech

Part VI: Advanced Topics
Chapter 19. Interoperability with Non-WPF Technologies
Chapter 20. User Controls and Custom Controls
Chapter 21. Layout with Custom Panels
Chapter 22. Toast Notifications

Appendix A. Fun with XAML Readers and Writers
Overview
The Node Loop
Reading XAML
Writing to Live Objects
Writing to XML
XamlServices

As you can see by the chapter's titles there are a ton of topics covered. The author's writing style is very clean and easy to understand making the book an enjoyable read. It is actually fun to read. I can't say that about too many programming books.

The code samples are well organized, very usable and work as downloaded. I mention the work as download because lately I have been downloads some author's code samples and the time it takes to get them to work is more than they are worth.

There is no coverage of the MVVM pattern at all. With all the MVVM material available out there today, to include it may have just been redundant. There is also nothing worth mentioning on networking either. That is not a bad thing, just wanted to mention it. The author sticks to the client.

This is a great cover to cover read as well as a great reference to keep close by when working with WPF.

All in All I think this book is the perfect book for taking a WPF beginner to a WPF expert.

WPF 4.5 Unleashed

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