When DevExpress released their roadmap for 2011, WinForms barely got a mention. As a ten year old technology that is basically abandoned by its creator this isn’t too surprising. But what it interesting the amount of negative feedback that generated. A lot of DevExpress’s customers just don’t see WPF or Silverlight as a viable replacement for their major applications.
WPF Application Framework (WAF) and Caliburn are two open source frameworks providing the foundation to developers to write WPF/Silverlight applications based on the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern using a layered architecture.
Microsoft has released a new preview of their WPF-based Ribbon control. Though not the final version, it includes a go live license and a copy of the source code. The quality is quite high and it appears that all of the bugs and API design flaws from last year’s preview have been corrected. While the source code is available, the license only permits read-only access for debugging purposes.
Serena Yeoh, a Microsoft consultant and a contributor to Microsoft pattern&practices Application Architecture Guide, has created a Layered Architecture Sample for .NET 4.0 which was later ported to Azure, showcasing various .NET technologies (WPF, WCF, WF, ASP.NET, ADO.NET EF) used in an architecture based on the Layered Architecture design pattern.
The data binding in WPF and Silverlight is amazing in all regards. Its power and flexibility are beyond compare. Unfortunately its resistance to traditional debugging techniques is equally impressive for the wrong reasons. There is no way to really step through the data binding process, but we collected some other techniques that developers may find useful.
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.