Nuno Filipe Godinho

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Windows Presentation Foundation Major Release 3

   With the release of the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 the WPF suffered the third major release of it’s short history.

   This major areas that were affected were:

  • Deployment

     Now instead of needing the full framework installation it was made a lightweight version in order to run only this technology, and  this is called the Client Profile. This lightweight version that consumes 25 MB includes the following:

  • CLR (bases of the .NET Framework)
  • Click Once (Used in the installation of the WPF applications)
  • Windows Forms (Runtime used to run the Windows Forms solutions that can be held also inside WPF applications using WindowsFormsHost class)
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (Runtime used to run the WPF solutions that can also be held inside Windows Forms Applications using the ElementHost class)
  • Windows Communication Foundation (Runtime used to run and consume WCF services that are normally used by Windows and WPF applications)
  • Graphics

     This versions includes powerful enhancements on the WPF graphics primarily on the 3D scope in controls like UIElement3D and Viewport2DVisual3D (that is responsible for making 2D object viewable in 3D).

     Also brings the HLSL shaders with the ShaderEffect class, that are entirely implemented on the GPU level, which makes it a lot faster, in case you have the Pixel Shader 2.0 support on your hardware).

    Another class that was also enhanced was the WritableBitmap class that now enables a very efficient image manipulation, by giving the ability to provide bitmap images mapped in the system memory that will give us the ability to change it on runtime and have the effects immediately on the screen. 

  • Performance

    Changes to the cold start on the application that are now improved in 45% depending on the application size.

    Virtualization optimizations such as in TreeView, columns that can now be virtualized and that will enable a better and easier creation of DataGrid controls.

  • New Controls

     The much asked Datagrid control is now part of the WPF controls that are made available, but that will be released after the .net 3.5 SP1 release.

     The Office Ribbon control is also part of the new WPF controls and will also be released after the .net 3.5 SP1 release as the DataGrid Control.

      A Rich functionality WebBrowser Control, that in the previous versions worked via a Frame Element, and now will permit javacript and other funcionalities that exist on the normal browsers, and also will provide the ability for WPF applications to host Silverlight contents.

  • Other Enhancements

     Support for String formatting on the databinding of text without having to implement the IValueConverter interface.

     Extended support for the XBAP for the Firefox by providing the ClickOnce native support inside it.

     Improvements in the WPF Designer of the Visual Studio 2008 solving some problems that existed with the rendering of elements majorly when they were based on other custom controls.

     There’s a change that needs to be made on the Blend 2.5 Preview in order to solve some of this problems and that can be downloaded here.

  • Integration

     Improved DirectX integration by having the D3DImage class that enabled the developer to overlay or blend the Direct3D contents with the WPF contents.

In conclusion, all great stuff for those who develop using this powerful Microsoft Technology called WPF that changed the main community site to the WindowsClient.net/WPF.

For more information’s check the following links:

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