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Tools Of The Trade

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

When I started learning WPF a couple of years ago I had two books lying around all day: Adam Nathan’s Windows Presentation Unleashed and Charles Petzold’s Applications = Code + Markup. I prefer Nathan’s book, because it starts with a xaml based approach in full color, while Petzold looks at WPF from the C# point of view with only code to break the text. My next book will probably be WPF Control Development Unleashed by Pavan Podila. I read somewhere that it shows some of the more advanced stuff you can do with WPF.

When you’re done with the books your main source of information will be a lot of blogs on the internet. I have many WPF blogs listed in my RSS reader, but these are the ones I can really recommend:

  • Dr. WPF: Number one on my list with a great series about the most versatile control of all, the ItemsControl. I also use his code snippets a lot for creating dependency properties, routed events and commands. Thanks doc!
  • Josh Smith: Great info on the WPF corner stones; co-author of the Mole debugging tool and MVVM guru.
  • Karl Shifflett: Co-author of Mole and he has a great series on writing line of business applications using MVVM.

Besides just information you also need the right tools to make your life easier:

  • Visual Studio / Blend: Duh! Can’t do much WPF without them, although I haven’t used Blend much.
  • Snoop: My number one debugging tool. Inspect the visual tree and element properties at runtime!
  • Mole: Debugging tool. Inspect the Visual and Logical tree and element properties in debug mode.
  • Kaxaml: My preferred tool to quickly create xaml examples. Very useful for forum posts.

Well, that’s about it. No more excuses, you’re all set to go! 🙂

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