I got a copy of Programming Windows Presentation Foundation by Chris Sells and Ian Griffiths a few weeks ago. Though I really haven't been looking into WPF so far, I figured at the least I should be familiar with it and start learning it (though I'm focusing mostly on other stuff right now), and this book really seemed like a good choice to start with.

While I'm not done with the book yet, I've liked quite a bit what I've read so far. The writing style is pretty clear, and engaging and very easy to read. Then again, I expected no less, since I was already familiar with the author's writing style (I was a reviewer for the Mastering Visual Studio .NET book Ian and Chris cowrote with Jon Flanders a couple years ago). There are a couple of spots where the going gets rough and it becomes a little bit repetitious but that doesn't detract from the overall quality of the book (they are very few and far between).

There are several things I like about the book:

  • I've found quite useful in understanding WPF from the book is that it makes a lot of comparisons to how Windows Forms and Win32 work, so that makes the topic more approachable for those of us with previous experience in this area, since there are a lot of concepts that use the same names in all technologies, but have different behaviors.
  • I liked is that it doesn't fail to point out limitations or weaknesses in WPF (at the time of writing, of course).
  • The book is just full of examples and code snippets illustrating every point in the book. This is great particularly when things like layouts are explained, because it makes it easy to see the result of the options described, and not just having them described in text (the color plates included with the book help quite a bit as well here). This is possibly my favourite feature of the book so far.

I still haven't had a chance to play much with WPF (busy with other stuff), though now I certainly feel like I understand what all the fuzz is about :-)

Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia.