On WPF reference applications and the new location for the WPF Hands-on-lab for building the Outlook UI?

Tim is OOF and his automated response forwards WPF requests to me..   want to know the most FAQ was last week ?  Where is the hands-on-lab for building the Outlook UI using WPF?.. 

Answer: It is here.    Give me a few days to look through it and ask Ronnie –the author – if we should post it on windowsclient.net too..  

There was 6 requests for it last week,  which is great because it confirms some thing we are thinking today: we need more WPF reference applications.  

We do have Family.Show,  but are thinking of a new one. Should we??

If so, what is the scenario?   should it be a LOB or a consumer scenario? high-end graphics?    Do you really need step-by-step HOL?? Or would a slightly higher level write-up explaining all the trade-offs and best practices do??  [we are leaning for the latter]..

Let me know via comments or email…



PS – if we move it or add it to windowsclient.net I will put it in the comments for this post to avoid an extra post…   I tried to do that on Tim’s original post but new comments were disabled..

Comments (8)

  1. Jaime

    That’s a wrong link, when you click to download the HOL you get the famous MS wrong link page, do you any other link ?

  2. dusank says:

    We have done our project management tool for Scrum called ScrumDesk fully in WPF.

    Thanks guy, great technology!

  3. small_mountain says:

    Hey, Jaime,

    Thanks for the Outlook UI HOL.  

    Yes, we absolutely need more WPF reference applications.  I think what we need you guys to do is to define a set of application models to serve as starting points for ISVs.  With MFC, we had a wizard that started us with an MDI or SDI app, and we went from there.  WPF lacks this.  What we’re not getting enough help from Microsoft on is frameworks for what rich client applications should look like with WPF.  So, if MDI is dead (or is it, since Excel seems to still be MDI), what are the application models that replace it?  You might think you are stunting creativity if you put out a set of application model reference apps, but the alternative will be everybody will roll their own and we will lose cross-application consistency.  And please stop using terms like "LOB" and "consumer" when you talk about these applications.  I hear those terms so much in reference to WPF that I’m starting to think that’s all it’s good for.  Is WPF a general purpose application framework for rich clients?  If it is, let’s start talking about it like it is.

    And there is no need for a "high-end graphics" reference sample, because, IMHO, being retained-mode-only, WPF is not a good tool for high-end graphics.  The way you get high-end (i.e., fast and interactive) graphics out of WPF is you drop down to GDI (or GDI+ if you can stand the performance hit), draw to a GDI bitmap, and then use InteropBitmap to display the results.  Here’s hoping Windows 7 will introduce immediate-mode hardware-accelerated graphics.



  4. small_mountain says:

    Forgot to say:  HOL’s are nice, but not required.  High-quality reference samples are sufficient, IMHO.


  5. edddy says:

    I would love to learn how to make an UI as usable as this one, made by Billy Hollis:


  6. Oran says:

    I’d rather have a REAL WPF application from Microsoft.  Open-sourcing it and explaining the design decisions would be the cherry on top.

  7. Alberto,

    The link works for me. Can you try again..  Please click on the "Answer it is here" link, not on Tim’s post; we know that link is broken.

    Edddy, we concur that Billy’s app is cool.

    Small_mountain, you make some great points.. but I am not sure how to solve it.

    1) On LOB/Consumer. I agree the term is overused, but I needed to ask people the end scenario. Yes, WPF is a platform, but in the end scenarios do matter; if we can be more prescriptive, why not?

    2) On App frameworks. I hear you. WPF needs this. Unfortunately it comes to priorities and bandwidth and it has not happened there; it should come; I am just not sure it is fast enough. Keep reminding us.. I forwarded your email to the folks that are thinking about this.

    3) On graphics, I disagree that retained excludes high-end. If the scene is not refreshing too often, retained is OK and even beneficial in some scenarios.

    If you need scalability beyond what WPF can handle then D3DImage and WriteableBitmap do the trick -as you suggest.  

    Oran, stay tuned and see if one of the samples we have coming helps..

    THANKS all for the great feedback and all the ones that emailed directly..  It is very useful (and definitely alters our thinking)..

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