WPF: Taking a Look

Yes, I know, WPF is old news and it had been released almost three years ago – it is a well petrified stone axe for most cutting edge developers.

I made a couple of attempts to look into it, but only now I’ve got time to actually touch it. Obviously, the first question that comes to mind is “why WPF”? How is it better than Windows Forms? Different people give different answers, and here’s what I hear (without being a WPF expert):

  • Flexibility: everything can be combined with everything. If you want an elliptical button with a multi-colored multi-font text on it, it’s a snap. And then you can put it as a texture on the surface of a 3D sphere, it will still work.
  • Data binding: somehow it is better, I am not sure yet what it means.
  • Hardware acceleration: WPF uses DirectX or whatever, which allows it to harness the power of those gazillion-triangles-per-second modern graphic cards.

Now, some state declarative UI programming. I am not completely sold on this one – the party line has changed so many times on this topic. In the dark ages we programmed everything in code. Then there were Windows dialog resources. Then there were Windows Forms where everything is in code, which allegedly was a good thing. Now after 15 or so years we are back to dialog resources, only they are called XAML and the language is much more extensive. Everything is a spiral.

I will post more on WPF in the near future (starting today) until I either get bored with it, or get something more important to do.

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