Pro WPF: Windows Presentation Foundation in .NET 3.0
I ve always been a big fan of Apress. The quality and depth of their books have always been leagues above the rest. This title is no exception. One thing to note right off is that this book is not for beginners. Apress makes this clear on the back cover. They recommend that those new to WPF start with Foundations of WPF: An Introduction to Windows Presentation Foundation and I couldn t agree more.
The author of Pro WPF: Windows Presentation Foundation in .NET 3.0, Matthew MacDonald, is a Microsoft MVP and famed author of more than a dozen other .NET books. In the first chapter, he provides an incredible overview of what WPF is and the problems it solves for us. He also provides an understanding of how it works behind the scenes. However, because this book doesn t target beginners, MacDonald doesn t walk us through any details covering how to set up a development environment to start coding with WPF.
In the first few chapters, MacDonald walks us through WPF application flow, layout, and XAML. This information gives us a good foundation to begin building our first application. With this understanding of WPF flow and layout, we begin to see how powerful this new programming model can be. One of the nicest features of this book is all the side notes and tips. The author uses these to give us a multitude of little-known facts about how WPF works and can be twisted.
In the next dozen chapters, MacDonald spends a lot of time getting us acquainted with the many different controls, data manipulation, and resource usage in WPF. Even with the complexity of these topics, the author does a great job of helping us understand how these technologies can be used. This book then spends its final chapters going through flow documents, 3-D rendering, and click-once deployment. I found these last chapters to be some of the most exciting. The technologies covered are so new and groundbreaking for Windows development that it made me thrilled to see Microsoft moving in this direction.
Like many great programming titles, this book s source code is available for downloading online. I reviewed all the online samples and found that not only are they great examples for the many facets of WPF covered in this book, but they also work! In my experience, that s unusual. Online code samples usually need some sort of tweaking to run, but not in this case. The author also makes his book available in eBook format, although it will cost you an additional $10.
Overall, I think Pro WPF: Windows Presentation Foundation in .NET 3.0 is the best book I ve seen on WPF. It provides so much detail and so many examples that I found it more valuable than the MSDN coverage and other online documentation for WPF. The only WPF topic MacDonald covers too briefly is Silverlight. The reason for this is quite simply the enormity of that topic. However, there are many other books out there that focus only on Silverlight. This should not be a deterrent I highly recommend this book.
Title: Pro WPF: Windows Presentation Foundation in .NET 3.0
Author: Matthew MacDonald
Web Site: http://www.apress.com
Page Count: 980