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Review: Programming WPF
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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When I recently reviewed Chris Anderson's Essential Windows Presentation Foundation, I had mentioned that in order to learn all the concepts of WPF completely, you will be compelled to buy another book. If you are in search for another book then you should check out "Programming WPF" from O'Reilly. Written by Chris Sells and Ian Griffiths, the book provides a solid coverage of all the concepts in a comprehensive manner.

Inside the Book and Recommendations

The book begins with a short introduction to WPF and also provides a sneak preview of the remaining chapters covered in the book. Chapter 2 discusses the concept of Application and Settings. Chapter 3 examines the various kinds of layouts, such as StackPanel, WrapPanel, DockPanel, Grid and Canvas. A key point to note is that each topic has been examined with the help of a comprehensive explanation, complete source code in C# and screenshots.

The remaining chapters provide a detailed coverage of Mouse/Keyboard events, Controls, Data Binding, Styles, Control Templates, Windows and Dialogs. You will learn how to debug data binding including binding to list data, Master-Detail binding, Hierarchical Bindings and Triggers.

Chapter 11 examines the usage of WPF in ASP.NET applications. The book is written in a lucid style and I hope beginners will find it easy to grasp the contents. The remaining chapters analyze the advanced concepts such as Resources, Graphics, Text & Flow Documents, Printing and XPS, Animation, Media and 3D Graphics. The book concludes with a detailed coverage about the creation of custom controls.

From my point of view, the Table of Contents of the book requires little modification as the authors have covered 2D Graphics in Chapter 13 and 3D in Chapter 17. I would suggest the authors swap Chapters 14 and 17 in the next edition of the book so that readers can learn 3D Graphics immediately after learning 2D concepts.

The book includes five appendixes which cover syntax of XAML, Interoperability, Asynchronous and Multithreaded WPF programming. The author has also examined the various base types of WPF in a detailed way with the help of a flow diagram. The book ends with a detailed appendix on Silverlight, which enables readers to learn the creation and deployment of a basic Silverlight application. It is in no way an exhaustive reference, but I hope it will set a foundation for you to explore the advanced concepts of Silverlight easily at a later point of time. I feel that the book will be useful for all level of developers as it contains wide range of content.

Some of the important concepts are given inside boxes to gather the attention of readers. Moreover, the authors have provided colored screenshots of some of the core features in the middle of the book including a colorful 3D picture and Silverlight sample.

The complete contents of the book and source code can be viewed and downloaded from the website of the publisher.


The book contains several advanced topics which enables developers to create and deploy cutting edge WPF applications in a minimum amount of time. I must say that Programming WPF is truly a heavy duty companion for developers.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (Microsoft MVP and Chief Technical Editor, is the author of Community Server Quickly.

About the Book


Programming WPF


Chris Sells, Ian Griffiths



ISBN - 10


ISBN - 13



August 2007, Second Edition




US $49.99




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