By Brian Finnerty
Director of Marketing,
www.innerworkings.com
I’ve read numerous articles, reports, and blogs on the promise of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) lately. Things got a little easier once I understood that WPF is a programming model for developers building rich Windows applications that incorporate UI, media, and documents. It took me some time to figure out why we should care about this new XML-based graphics engine and API, however. I mean, it’s nice that everyone can build applications that look as good as Grand Theft Auto IV but will enterprise developers really use these capabilities?
The hype is pretty substantial out there – I’ve seen bold claims that WPF is the precursor to Microsoft’s ‘PDF-killer’ called WPF/E, a cross-platform and cross-browser standard that will lure developers away from Adobe. Similarly, WPF/E’s 3-D capabilities will target developers using Flash as a standard today and gradually begin to win them over. Perhaps the biggest promise I’ve seen for WPF is in the area of better working relations between developers and designers – I can only imagine how tough it is to take a superb website design in Photoshop and try to render it faithfully (both in UI and behavior) as a working application. It may be a little early to tell software developers and graphic designers that the war is over, but I’d say that the goal itself is a noble one…
Before we get too carried away with the potential of WPF to bring developers and designers to a joyful place where old grievances are forgotten, we should be careful to learn the basic capabilities of WPF as part of the .NET Framework 3.0 today. With both feet planted firmly on the ground, InnerWorkings has released a new Drill specifically for developers who wish to learn basic controls and layout in WPF. Shouldn’t you know the basic elements of WPF before launching into high-end 3-D images, complex animations, and composite graphics?
This is why I’d encourage you to check out our latest Drill on WPF – it’s called Basic Controls and Layout (3+ hours) and consists of 6 tasks for developers who want to learn the fundamentals of WPF:

  • Introduction to WPF controls
  • Using brushes in WPF
  • Creating a user interface in XAML
  • Using StackPanel and WrapPanel
  • Creating a layout using the DockPanel
  • Creating a layout using the Grid panel

Each task is based on InnerWorkings’ hands-on, challenge-driven learning methodology and fully integrated within Visual Studio – you’ll find this new WPF Drill on Basic Controls and Layout for sale in our online catalog priced at $24.95 for individual developers. We’re also offering a discount code for all new online purchases from our catalog – simply use the code IW-JAN-07 on checkout to claim a 15% discount on any Drills you purchase online this month.
When we say “hands-on”, that means you’ll be asked to code real WPF controls in sample Visual Studio projects; so you must have the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 and the Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for .Net Framework 3.0 installed on your computer to complete our coding challenges. In the meantime, all horror stories and disastrous experiences that involve developers working with designers are welcome and appreciated!
[tags]WPF, IT training[/tags]

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