Windows Presentation Foundation is quickly becoming well known for the ease in which memory leaks are introduced. Most of these leaks seem to come from the use or misuse of weak references, upon which WPF’s data binding technology is based. In the recent set of hotfixes many of these leaks are fixed.
Visual Studio 2010 comes with a feature they call the “Binding Builder”. This tool, launched from the properties pane, helps developers quickly construct XAML bindings for WPF and Silverlight. But without some help, it doesn’t work when the data context is only set at runtime. Karl Shifflett shows how to work around this using design-time markup extensions.
Having modular code does not help when applications still have to be deployed in an all-or-nothing fashion. Prism addresses this by allowing you do deploy a WPF or Silverlight shell to the users separately from any specific functionality. Individual features are released out-of-band as modules that may be stored locally, on a corporate file share, or served up by a web site.
There is some confusion about when to use WPF and when to use Silverlight. Choosing the right technology for a project depends on precise requirements the application has and the differences between WPF and Silverlight’s capabilities.
Silverlight 4 was released back in April without essential development tools.Recently it was announced that Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 is ready. In addition to basic Silverlight 4 support and templates for RIA Services, there are many IDE enhancements to make working with Silverlight, WPF, and XAML easier.
Microsoft has recently released a new version of their MultiPoint Mouse SDK. This technology is designed to allow up to 25 users to simultaneously interact with a single PC each using their own mouse. The stated goal of this technology is to support educational environments and full-class participation.
February’s edition of the WPF Toolkit brings three more controls from Silverlight: Accordion, AutoCompleteBox, and Rating.
WPF developers often find themselves with an unappetizing choice. They have to either pollute their code-behind files with special case logic or create value converter classes, most of which will only be used once. PyBinding offers a third option, embedding small scripts right inside the XAML.
At PDC 2009, Michael Shim and Rob Relyea presented Microsoft’s plans for the future of XAML. Long term, they plan on unifying the various XAML languages and parsers, but for now developers will only get XAML 2009 for non-UI technologies like Workflow Foundation. The new parser, on the other hand, will bring new functionality to everyone who needs to analyze, manipulate, or generate XAML.
Clarity Consulting Inc. and Microsoft have released Facebook SDK 3.0, a toolkit allowing developers to write WPF, Silverlight, WinForms or ASP.NET applications integrated with Facebook.
As both WPF and Silverlight increase in importance, the confusion about the difference between the two has also increased. Back in June Wintellect released an incredibly important whitepaper on the topic titled "Microsoft WPF-Silverlight Comparison Whitepaper". While we recommend developers read all of it, we offer you a summary of the major ones that impact line-of-business developers.
WPF 4.0 will be adding new controls, Pixel Shader 3.0, and a completely rewritten text rendering pipeline. These and other features will find their way into Visual Studio 2010, expected early next year.
WPF, also known as Windows Presentation Foundation, represents the future of UI on the Windows platform. And if Microsoft has its way, its younger sibling Silerlight will take over the web and mobile markets. But like any new technology, it has some issues to work through including some rather serious memory leaks.
Jason Zander, General Manager of Visual Studio, posted the first images of Visual Studio 2010 where WPF is used to render the Visual Studio UI. Users will be able to try this for themselves in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 coming later this year.
Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight v2.0, a.k.a. PRISM 2, has been released on Microsoft Downloads. This release offers guidance for building Silverlight client applications as well as guidance for reusing code between WPF applications and Silverlight ones.