First look at WPF

I just finished the first day of a three day course I’m taking on WPF. I have looked at it briefly from time to time, but this is the first real attempt at picking up the skill. If you’re not familiar with WPF it is a relatively new way of writing user interfaces for .NET apps. I’m hoping that with a stronger understanding WPF, I’ll be better equipped to both design desktop apps.

As far as I’m concerned the most interesting bit of WPF is XAML. After years of writing front-end code in HTML, my various attempts at picking up Win Forms felt ham-fisted. XAML is a bit of a “through the looking glass” kind of experience for me as it’s logically similar to HTML while syntactically different in every way. It’s refreshingly familiar because, if you squint at it just the right way, it resembles bad HTML. Following along the sample code in this particular course book, I find myself building matryoshka doll interfaces not unlike building websites from nested tables. Also, all of the styling to this point has been declared inline.

I’m hoping that this is simply “quick and dirty” code examples and not “best-practices” for WPF front-end development. For the time being I’m just going to follow the conventions in the book, but for future projects I’ll definitely be investigating more elegant approaches.