I received a box through the internal mail today containing ten copies of Charles Petzold’s new WPF book: Applications = Code + Markup. I’ve barely had time to do more than riffle through the pages, but I’m looking forward to spending time with it. He takes a novel approach in the structure of his book: he doesn’t introduce XAML until the second half of the book, preferring instead to give the first half over to a detailed treatment of the platform as a .NET class library. I obviously can’t comment on how well this works yet – I’m reminded of the disappointment I felt when reading the original Microsoft Press ADO.NET book on discovering that strongly-typed datasets were left until the very end of the book – but in Charles’ capable hands I’m sure it turns out happily ever after.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many of Charles’ works. In common with many other developers, my earliest memories of Windows development were with Microsoft C 6.0 + SDK, for which Programming Windows 3.0 was as essential to successful work as the compiler itself. To see the breadth of his oeuvre, Code goes beyond the traditional realm of developer-orientated books, taking the reader on an engaging journey that gradually builds layers of abstraction all the way from Morse code through basic electronics circuits and finally to a complete operating system.
In short, if you’re at all serious about WPF development, buy this book. Charles, thank you for writing it and for your many contributions to the Windows development community.