Derik Whittaker

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WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?

Like a ton of other developers out there I went out this week and downloaded all the new .Net 3.0 stuff so i could play around and educate my self.  Well, educate myself I did.

Now, let me just say that I have been a dedicated WinForms developer for the past 3-4 years so I would consider myself pretty much an expert in all things WinForms.  So when I fired up my newly updated IDE and created a new project to play with WPF I got pretty disappointed pretty quick.

The first thing I did with my newly created project was put a button on the form and attempt (keyword here) to attach the button click event to the button (message box an hello world message).  W.T.F. in ALL prior versions of .net, you drop a button on the form, double click on the button and poof, you now have a newly created button click event.  NOT with WPF, no, you have to figure out HOW to add the button click event.  Ok, so being the googler I am, I set out on a quick search to find an example on how to wire up a button click event.  The first example I found that actually talked about this had me add a few lines of code to the XAML.... Again, W.T.F.  adding code to the XAML is no way to write code, there has to be a way to create the method in the Code Behind form.  Sure enough, after more searching I confirmed that you indeed can add code to the code behind.  The problem is that my IDE kept trying to tell me that the method was invalid, but when I would compile the project it worked just fine.

My next beef is the XAML.  What purpose does this serve in the grand scheme of things?  What was wrong with the 'old' style of layout and component initialization?  The only solid reason I can see for XAML is so that some day in the far, far distant future, M.S. makes it so that a WinForm app can run like a browser app and vis versa...  Is this the intent???  Please help me understand.  And if this is the intent, why????  Most business apps I have worked on have never needed to be 'multi-plateform' applications.

My last beef is with the number of out of the box UI controls.  Either my tool box is missing UI controls or M.S. decided that there werecertain controls not worth their time developing (if memory serves correctly, they did this same thing with .net 1.0).  Where is my calendar control, my list view control, my link label, my up/down control? 

My conclusion is this, unless I get a pretty compelling reason to continue to play with WPF over the next 6-12 months, I for one am not going to look at this again.....

If I am missing the big picture about WPF, please explain.

BTW, the skinning feature of XAML and WPF is cool, but I don't have much need for that stuff in the type of development I do on a day to day basis.


Posted 11-09-2006 7:15 PM by Derik Whittaker
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Comments

El Guapo wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 11-09-2006 11:58 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this. I predict this crap will die a quick death. Although it will still serve a niche purpose for 3D interactive flash-style apps etc.

Ryan Emerle wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 11-10-2006 8:15 AM

I'm right there with you, however, the IDE integration is only a CTP.

I'm assuming we can expect a much better workflow once Orcas is released.  I'm, personally, going to hold off on further investigation until then.

Artur Herczeg wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 11-10-2006 10:20 AM

I spend a lot of time showing students the nice features of WPF. When it comes to talk about the porpuse of WPF, we reference to XAML as an intermediate language between developers and designers. Both of them know XML so it's easy to learn and understand XAML. Designers design something in their tool (e.g. Microsoft Interactive Designer) and generate a beautiful and very usable UIs. Next the developer opens up the XAML, adds the business logic and that's all. Designers do the design part, developers do the coding part.

Have fun and try out 3D designers (like ZAM3D) as well. ;)

The missing default event handler (double click) is really an annoying thing.

Rob Eisenberg wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 11-10-2006 1:41 PM

Derik,

Excellent questions.  I will post my answer soon, as it will take more space than is appropriate here.  I hope I can convince you not to give up on WPF!

Peter Gomis wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 11-27-2006 1:32 PM

Derik,

Your WTFs with WPF are completely justified because unfortunately the IDE integrations are just not there yet.  This is all new to everyone, but your comment about Windows apps running like browsers apps is somewhat true.  That's the talk at the industry conferences and whitepapers.  The IDE integrations that are out now are basically little more than XAML designers.  I'm sure later editions of Orcas will have more.  In the meantime, we'll just have to muddle through for the time being.

- PG

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Brent wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 08-22-2007 10:48 AM

WOW, you have some major comment spam going on! ;) Was just search for how to wire up a button to the click event, that is annoying as hell! It's not just the button though, it is all UI events!!!  

Also, I wanted to add that the idea of using XML for design is not a bad one, but IMO there should be no code at all in the XAML. All the databinding crap sucks. To me it seems as though presentation and code behind are being pushed closer, instead of creating a seperation.  

Mike wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 04-23-2008 12:17 AM

In Visual Studio 2008 you double click the button in xaml view and it automatically adds the code behind event handler

Derik Whittaker wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 04-23-2008 6:05 AM

@Mike,

Yea, NOW.  Not back when VS2005 was the only game in town.

etro wrote re: WPF, What am I missing...Am I slow?
on 02-03-2009 8:41 PM

I'll assume that you've figured out the answers to your questions and concerns about WPF since writing this. But I figured I would comment in case anyone else lands here as well.

The overall view of the confusion lies with thinking of WPF as a "pretty win forms" library. In that context wpf is unwieldy, cumbersome and confusing. When you understand that WPF is a fundamental change to the way that applications are developed in .Net you begin to open up to new ideas that seemed off at first.

The point about "missing" UI controls sums it up best. There are "fewer" controls than forms because most of the forms controls are duplicate views of other controls. ie... DataGrid is just a glorified ListBox with some better binding capabilities. WPF goes so far beyond that difference that a lot of standard controls are really wrapped into others...

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