WPF 9 month review

 

I have been struggling with WPF on a fairly constant basis for the last 9 months, and have come to respect it in some ways, and be quite disappointed with it in others. Here are my thoughts, feelings and bugbears about Windows Presentation Foundation.

The good

The bad

The above two items mean that all of the great animation work done in wpf is of no use to animators beyond creating flash style animations for web pages or windows forms.

Expression Blend has both of the above. Can we have them as re-usable controls please?

The ugly

Overall, my impression of WPF is very positive despite my frustration with the long and painful learning curve. I feel like a dog with a new bag of tricks, and I am well aware that I haven't even opened all of the tricks yet. WPF is a far larger subject than Windows Forms/GDI+ ever was, and has far more capability. I hope my frustrations will be short term ones as I begin to understand more, and also as more becomes available from Microsoft and also the developer community.

One sobering observation I have come to realize is that Windows Forms/GDI+ are now deprecated technologies even if no-one has said so. Nothing has changed in GDI+, despite its shortcomings, since 2005. All of Microsoft's visual efforts appear to be going into WPF, and rightly so, as it has far more potential.

For those of you who jumped from Visual Basic to .Net, I would suggest the jump from Windows Forms/GDI+ to WPF is far bigger.