Letters from Readers
XAML Offers Promise
Readers chime in on XAML.
A reader responds to the Frameworks column ("Finally Time for XAML?") in the July issue of VSM:
I'm a certified enterprise application developer and I build all kinds of Microsoft-based applications for corporate environments. Because of tooling challenges with Windows Presentation Foundation [WPF], I spend most of my time writing XAML. I've stayed away from Silverlight because there was not a good story for deployment in locked-down environments and for offline scenarios (though this has changed with Silverlight 3). Also, having to download an entire large app for network-challenged parts of the world makes me question the benefit of Silverlight over a well-designed AJAX/jQuery application.
Concerning WPF, the offerings from vendors like Telerik and Infragistics are poor at best. I was very disappointed that these vendors have much better offerings for WinForms than WPF. I was delighted to find plenty of quality examples on sites like CodePlex.com and CodeProject.com. I was able to put together an application that supports multiple dynamic themes that I feel is better and more complete than any WPF-controls vendor has to offer.
I wouldn't say that I'm more productive in WPF versus WinForms yet, but I will say that you can do things in WPF that you wouldn't even dream of trying in WinForms. I'm able to design apps that allow the user to interact with the data in a more natural way than your basic Windows application. I can duplicate how [users] use data in the real world in an application. I'm looking forward to moving my application to WPF 4 to take advantage of the multi-touch capabilities. Another important development is PRISM/MVVM. I can design my applications to multi-target Silverlight 3 for occasional users and WPF for power users. The multi-target abilities-in addition to using data in a more natural way through multi-touch applications-should propel the use of WPF/Silverlight into the stratosphere. The only problem is that the amount of training and knowledge for developers to get to that point is immense. Hopefully Microsoft is working to address this.
Geoff Niehaus, MCPD:EA
.NET Solutions Developer
This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.