December 2008 - Posts
For future reference a quick list of WPF-related books I own:
- Charles Petzold: Applications = Code + Markup
This was my first WPF book and I bought it pretty soon after it came out, so I didn't have a chance to read the bad reviews of other people. The main problem is the lack of images, leaving you just with the text and your imagination if you're not following each and every step at your computer. Contrary to other WPF books, XAML is introduced pretty late (in the second half). In his excellent PDC pre-conference session about WPF, Petzold himself admitted that this was a mistake and chose a different, XAML-first (instead of code-first) approach for the session.
According to a buddy from my .NET user group the book may be nice for reading about some deep-down details, but I cannot comment on that.
Bottom line: No recommendation from me.
- Adam Nathan: Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed
This was my second WPF book and it is the exact opposite to Petzold's book: lots of images, lots of color. I really liked that at first, but it's actually pretty hard to read the book for longer periods of time with the pages being cluttered with colored boxes ("Warning", "Digging Deeper", "FAQ", "Tip") - a bit less color sometimes would have been better. And I would have liked more body text here and there, having the feeling that some things could have been explained in more detail.
Bottom line: By no means a bad book, but I'm not entirely convinced.
- Chris Sells & Ian Griffiths: Programming WPF (2nd Ed.)
My third WPF book. The layout is easy on the eyes, a good mixture of images and longer body text. Like the WPF Unleashed book it has side notes (warnings, tips, recommendations), but they are shown in a less obtrusive way. I really liked the writing: Enough text for explaining things, but never boring. I read large parts of the book away from the computer and enjoyed it.
Bottom line: My favorite "first WPF book".
- Sam Noble, Sam Bourton, Allan Jones: WPF Recipes in C# 2008
Not a book for learning WPF from scratch, but a collection of problems and their solutions. It may seem a bit old-fashioned to have this in a book in the age of Google search, but you'll notice the difference between most things you find on the Internet and the content of this book where the authors actually have spent quite some time on polishing.
Each entry in the book consists of a short description of the problem (Always starting with "You need to ...", very effective wording by the way), a short description of the solution ("Use an X and do Y") and is then followed by a longer part "How it works".
Bottom line: Having this book on your bookshelf may save you a lot of time.
My colleague Jens Schaller has put out a small bugfix release of his Visual Studio add-in SonicFileFinder, a free tool for quickly navigating inside Visual Studio projects and solutions. ReSharper users may argue that R# offers the same functionality (among many many other features of course), but being a R# user myself I still prefer SonicFileFinder's file search.
More information on his blog, download on the SonicFileFinder website.