WPF Unleashed – New Book from Sams Publishing

If you're looking to learn WPF from a book, there are an increasing range of good choices out on the bookshelves that are based on the shipping APIs.

The latest book to be published is WPF Unleashed by Adam Nathan. If you've ever needed to do any coding to the Win32 API from a managed environment, chances are high that you've either got a well-thumbed copy of his book .NET and COM on your desk or you've found an API wrapper at his website pinvoke.net. Almost uniquely for a technical book, .NET and COM was so popular that there was a grass-roots developer campaign to resurrect it after it went out of print - for a while, it sold used for significantly over its list price on eBay, before the publisher ordered a new print run.

So what's the new book like? While I haven't yet had the opportunity to read the final manuscript from cover to cover, I've seen a number of draft chapters and there's a lot to like here. Adam has a readable, human style that isn't as dense or exhaustive in its coverage of each topic as Charles' work, but provides some great practical insights in the many sidebars scattered throughout the book that will help you apply WPF concepts to your own projects. As one of the key developers on the 3D team, I'm looking forward to reading Daniel Lehenbauer's contributions on that topic, particularly since there's only sketchy printed coverage available thus far on that topic.

For such a visual technology, SAMS have taken the smart choice of publishing the entire book in color, and that has a powerful impact on comprehension: being able to scan through code listings printed with the same color scheme as you'd see on-screen in Visual Studio makes it far easier to pick out the salient points. Of course, it's even more important for coverage of topics like styles or vector drawings, when color is everything. This book sets a new bar for visual polish, and I hope other publishers take note.

The publishers have been generous enough to offer a sample chapter available for download from this blog; it covers a number of the major new concepts in WPF - dependency properties, routed events, visual trees. Remember - you saw it here first!

Which of these three books should you buy? It's hard to make a categorical recommendation of just one title: they all have their strengths. If you're just starting out with WPF and are looking for a survey of the major elements and concepts, then Laurence's Apress book is a great introduction. If you're already developing with WPF, you'll find Charles' Microsoft Press book to be a treasure trove of elegant solutions, clever tricks and precise explanations. If you're looking for a good general purpose, approachable guide to the breadth of the WPF platform, then Adam's SAMS book is definitely worth a look.


Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath : WPF Unleashed – New Book from Sams Publishing より。 Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget about interactive designers and visual developers. Adam’s book is great for developers of all types, and even designers who need to know what Blend is doing.

    So, I recommend this book over all the others…and yes, I’m biased in this case 🙂

  3. pradeepchellappan says:

    I loved Adam Nathan’s .NET and COM book. I couldnt find a print copy for a reasonable price at the time I was looking for it, so I had to buy a PDF and read it on my computer. The depth of the book is astounding but yet it manages to be very readable. Hats off to Adam Nathan. I look forward to reading his new book on WPF.

  4. Tim Sneath says:

    Remind me again who the technical editor for this book was, Robert (TheRHogue)? 🙂

    Of course you’re right though – as well as the continuum of introductory to advanced material, there’s a separate continuum of developer to designer. I’m dying to see a really good WPF / Expression book that is written primarily with a designer audience in mind – I think it would fill a huge gap in the book market right now. Which publisher is going to take this up, I wonder?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did I mention I was biased 🙂

    The last I heard Sams Publishing has been screening a Blend book author for sometime. I’ll bet some SDK writer on the Blend team has been pinged 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Actually it’s me…

    Now that we have a solid move forward on the Blend application, I have had to re-write several chapters and so, if I manage to deliver on time, the book should be out in Q2 2007.


  7. Anonymous says:

    I got my hands on two copies while on vacation and gave them to family members, but now that I’m back

  8. Anonymous says:

    I was at the local bookstore this weekend … and stumbled across Adam’s WPF unleashed book … this

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read most of the WPF books on the market at the moment and like Tim Sneath mentions they all take…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here are the demos and some links that I used for my presentation, as well as some that I did not get

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here are the demos and some links that I used for my presentation, as well as some that I did not get

  12. Anonymous says:

    Here are the demos and some links that I used for my presentation, as well as some that I did not get

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