The life and times of this developer...

WPF, C#, XML and other stuff

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Hi and welcome!

I'm a software developer and this is my geeks blog. I have 20 years Visual Studio mainly C++, MFC,  ATL and now, thankfully, C# and I am embarking on the new world (well new to me) of WPF, so I thought I would try and capture my successful...and not so successful...WPF experiences with the geek world.

So where to start? WPF?

What I know so far...

From wiki..."Windows Presentation Foundation (or WPF) is a graphical subsystem for rendering user interfaces in Windows-based applications."

Hmm, great but didn't MFC, ATL (my head hurt with that one), and .Net all have APIs to allow me to code against the Windows Graphical Device Interface (GDI)?

"Rather than relying on the older GDI subsystem, WPF utilizes DirectX. WPF attempts to provide a consistent programming model for building applications and provides a separation between the user interface and the business logic."

OK, different drawing code, same Windows and weren't we always taught to separate our UI, Business Layer and Data Access Layer?

"WPF employs XAML, a derivative of XML, to define and link various UI elements. WPF applications can be deployed as standalone desktop programs, or hosted as an embedded object in a website."

Cool, now we're getting somewhere. So when they say separation they really mean separation. The crux of this appears to be that you can have creative people writing the UI and making it attractive and intuitive to use, whist the geeks concentrate on writing the Business and Data Access stuff.

XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language) maps XML elements and attributes directly to Common Language Runtime (CLR) object instances, properties and events. True separation of the View and Model.

WPF also provides logical separation of a control from its appearance. In a traditional Windows system, all Controls have a base class containing a Windows handle and each Control knows how to render itself. In WPF, the controls are more like those in a Web Browser using Cascading Style Sheet, they are not wrappers for standard Windows Controls. Instead, they have a default 'template' that defines a visual theme which can easily be replaced by a custom template.

But it gets better. WPF concentrates heavily on Data Binding where the client can bind directly to data on the server. I think this concept was first introduced in 'Classic' Visual Basic, where you could bind a list directly to a data from an Access database, and you could do similar in ASP .Net. However, the WPF implementation is far superior than it's predecessors.

There are also other technologies that I want to look at like LINQ and the Entity Framework, but that's all for now.

#

 

posted on Friday, February 18, 2011 3:59 PM