While I’m sitting here waiting for the latest daily build of Windows Vista to copy down to my laptop, I thought I’d attempt to collate a list of highlights from the Channel 9 videos we’ve recently done covering WPF. We’re gradually building up a fairly impressive array of content containing information that isn’t yet available in other sources such as the SDK or MSDN; whether you’re new or old to Windows Presentation Foundation, you’ll find something relevant in this selection. I’ve listed them in reverse chronological order – newest first, along with a brief précis of what they cover.
- WPF Architecture. In this deeply technical interview, Greg Schechter explains all the unmanaged portions of WPF, that is, the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) and the Media Integration Layer (MIL). This whiteboard-orientated talk describes how WPF renders content to the screen, both from managed WPF applications and from unmanaged GDI/GDI+ applications. This stuff is really poorly documented today, but it’s crucial to understanding how your application will perform in a real-world environment.
- WPF from Conception to Futures. Michael Wallent, General Manager for WPF and ex-Product Unit Manager for Internet Explorer, describes the genesis of WPF and initial goals, outlines the sweet spots for the technology, explains where WPF fits amidst a landscape of web and rich client technologies, and shares some of the early thinking about what v2 of the product might look like. This is the best talk I’ve heard anyone give on the guiding philosophies behind WPF.
- Mix06 Thailand Demo. There’s nothing better than seeing someone actually write some WPF code if you want to get the hang of how this stuff fits together. In just over twenty minutes, Fil Fortes creates a great looking application from scratch using Expression Interactive Designer and Visual Studio 2005 (our two primary tools for targeting WPF). If you’re the kind of person that just likes to cut straight to the code, then this is a good video to watch.
- What’s WPF All About? My colleague and partner-in-crime Karsten Januszewski gives a good concise explanation of WPF and shows a few demos including 15 Puzzle, 3D cloth, and of course The North Face. If you’re completely fresh to WPF, this is a good starting point.
- WPF Imaging. Peggi, Robert and Rajat (PM, test and dev respectively for Windows Imaging) guide us through the APIs for handling and manipulating image files in WPF. You’ll see the pipeline that we have for things like cropping, rotating and color conversion, along with a description of how you can use the unmanaged APIs this team produces to build your own pluggable image codecs.
- Allscripts Patient Monitoring Demo. This prototype application has been around for a little while now, but I still think it’s one of the single best examples of the kind of immersive, integrated user experience that WPF promotes. The app combines live patient monitoring data with ink-annotated ultrasound videos, electronic journals and 3D animation. This is one to show the non-technical folks in your organization to help them get the idea of what WPF is about.
There’s a number of other videos up there too – check out the Avalon tag on Channel 9.
I’ve got a few more videos in the pipeline to record over the next couple of weeks, but the reason I really started writing this post is I wanted to find out what you would like to see. The whole purpose of Channel 9 is to give you direct access to the product groups; so let me know what WPF or Expression information you’d like to see and we’ll try to take care of the rest.
OK, back to see if my other machine is up and running…