Thursday, March 15, 2007

WPF (speaker Ian Griffith)

Ian told us upfront that he was not going to show cool 3D rotating buttons that displayed movies and a marquee text. He wanted to get the point across that WPF had more to offer than some kind of Flash-type GUI stuff and really had business value.

Ever since Windows 1.0 or Windows 16 bit, not a whole lot has changed in the way Windows interacts with the user and how it uses the hardware it is running on. Now that 3D accelerated hardware is ubiquitous, the age of the API really becomes evident.

Also, as display density increases (DPI) the bitmap based GDI does not scale well. Just imagine the Start button on a 30”, 2560 x 1600 pixels XHD monitor and you know what Ian was referring to.

WPF adopts a popular pattern namely Separation of Concerns by splitting up markup and behavior. This is not something new as it is also done by ASP.NET where you have HTML and code-behind.

Integration is one of the most importing aspects that WPF has to offer. Now you don’t have to choose or combine one or more of the following technologies as they are combined in WPF. The technologies are: HTML, Win32, DirectX (on which WPF is built by the way, I am guessing DirectX 9), and Flash.

The designers for doing WPF or XAML work have not yet matured to a production-quality level but they are getting there. At least a lot more with Visual Studio Codename “Orcas”.

Even though the presentation was not exactly what I expected, it was no less interesting.

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