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WPF Tip: Identifying WPF Applications

Pete Brown - 16 February 2010

Often on twitter I see posts like “I just downloaded X, it looks awesome. Is it WPF?”

One way to easily answer that question for yourself is to download snoop and run it. If you hit refresh and the application shows up, it’s a WPF app. If not, well, it’s not :)


Here’s Snoop’s 3d view working on Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2


posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
filed under:      

5 comments for “WPF Tip: Identifying WPF Applications”

  1. Mikesays:
    <p>While WPF is very cool and definitely the future for MS development, there is a long way to go before truly great UI/UX apps are out there. MS has developed a great tool, although there is very, very little help and real world, inspiring examples. Apple, however, has developed the tools, then made some real world apps that are awe inspiring. MS is just taking it half way, in that they throw the tool out there and say there you go. They need to eat there own dog food and use WPF to come up with some really inspiring UI's. The VS 2010 IDE is a little bit of a start I guess, but I wouldn't call in awe inspiring. And most folks don't know it's being done in WPF!</p>
  2. Pete Brownsays:
    <p>@Mike</p><p>There are lots of great WPF apps out there. Did you see the Book of WPF?</p><p><a href="/blogs/pete_browns_blog/archive/2010/02/10/The-Book-of-WPF.aspx" rel="nofollow" target="_new">http://community.irritatedvowel.com/blogs/pete_browns_blog/archive/2010/02/10/The-Book-of-WPF.aspx</a></p><p>Apple (generally) makes consumer products. The comparison seems flawed unless you compare the consumer products from MS.</p><p>Speaking of which, have you seen the new Windows Phone UI? Pretty inspiring.</p><p>Pete</p>
  3. Mikesays:
    <p>Yep, I’m gotten the Book of WPF and it has helped. It is a great collection and I was lucky to find it. It has helped me defend my choice to develop in WPF in status meetings. Yes, Apple is a creator of consumer products and MS creates OS's, office tools, and dev tools. But, it’s amazing to me that so many MS oriented folks don't see what makes Apple products so incredible. It's their UI's. Apple places the most incredibly high standard on their User Interfaces I think it's the secret to their success. I think they have to, because you are correct, they develop consumer products. Apparently, for a lot of folks, non-consumer oriented products don't need has high a standard. Of course this is not true, we are all consumers. We all need incredible UI's. This is why I jumped on WPF as soon as I saw it in 2007. </p><p>I've been learning/using WPF now for almost 2 1/2 years. I develop for a fortune 250 corporation and WPF is tough to use in real applications of any size. MVVM has helped a lot, although I think, along with everyone else, that WPF and its design patterns are just not quite fully baked yet. There are still features and design issues that just aren’t right yet. .Net 4.0 helps with some of the issues, but not on the design patterns. Some things are just still much harder than they should be. I still use WPF and advocate it as the future in my company, mainly because I can envision what WPF can be. But most folks can't see that. They don't see what's so great about it or see that the huge amount of extra time and effort to move to WPF is worth it. This is where MS itself needs to have shown them incredible apps that make it self evident that you can create great UIs with WPF that just can't be created any other way. But they haven't. They've shoved out WPF not fully baked and it is just falling flat. It appears most of the excitement and focus of MS and 3rd party component developers is on Silverlight now. WPF is getting ignored. After investing two years of time and effort into WPF this is sickening and frustrating. WPF is starting to look like yet another great technology that MS, because they don't understand the other half of the equation, is going to let die. Just pushing out a great technology to developers is not good enough to make the technology succeed. </p><p>I have an iPhone. As a UI developer, it was/is one of the best UI’s I’ve ever seen up till now. I bought an iPhone development book, and have watched the iPhone programming classes being taught at Stanford via iTunes U. I was blown away by the level of thoughtfulness, of help, of examples, of a great design pattern built right into the dev tools. Apple has seen that developing the technology was the first step, which then had to be followed by an incredibly thought out program to help developers use it. It was after this experience that I realized that MS is in big trouble. I know there are some really brilliant folks at MS, I know some of them. But somewhere in that huge monolith of a corporation there are folks that are just not getting it. I think this has always been an issue for MS. They got by with it in the past because they relied on their size, momentum, and they had the mojo back then. But, this isn’t the 80’s, 90’s or the 00s’ anymore. </p>

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