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Teched Developer 2007: Day 2

09u: Cool looking 3D visualizations with Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ) by Dennis Vroegop

First session of the second day and it was a nice one!  There were no amazing effects and 3D models, but a good and clear presentation on how 3D works in WPF.  For 3D in WPF, 3 things are needed:

  • a Camera
  • some light
  • a 3D object or model

Each of these aspects was explained in detail, and was showed with a live demo in XAML.  We started with drawing an "ugly" cube and make it look better, playing with the camera, the lights and different transformations.

For me personal, it may be a good start to write a tutorial about 3D in WPF.

 

10u45: Design Rich Client Experiences with Expression Blend and Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ) by Dick Lantim

This session was a good one for people who has just started with Expression Blend and WPF.  There were four parts in the session:

  • What is WPF
  • How to create a WPF application
  • What is Expression Blend and Studio.
  • An overview of Expression Blend

There was also an announcement: Expression Studio Blend 2.0 will be released in the second quarter of 2008.  This is also the time that the first preview of Blend 3.0 with more support for Silverlight 1.1 will be released.

The overview of Expression Blend were several demo's that showed how to draw on a stage, the possibilities of the different containers, working with transformations and animations,...

The last part of the demo showed how to edit the style or even the template of a control.  Still one of my most favorite parts of WPF.

 

13u30: Design to Blend: How to express your creative self with Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ) and Silverlight by Dale Jones

This session started with the story that XAML makes designers and developers work together because they "talk" the same language.

But how can a designer create his XAML content?  There is Expression Design, which allow the designer to create vector graphics but the first version is pretty limited.

There is also a plugin for Illustrator CS2 and CS3 that can export an Illustrator file to XAML, but when the designer uses meshes or other more "complex" features, this exports fail to work properly.

At this session, I learnt a new way to get nice XAML code form a professional design tool.  The answer is Fireworks CS3.  There is al plugin that can export Fireworks content to XAML.  The plugin can be downloaded at http://www.adobe.com/devnet/fireworks/articles/fw_xaml_panel.html. I haven't tested it myself, but the demo in the session looked pretty cool.  A personal test of the plugin will follow very soon.

 

15u15: Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ): Beyond styles and templates by Josh Wagoner

Just like my previous session, the speaker works for Identity Mine.  This company has already done a lot of WPF applications.  So be sure to check out their website.

This was a very technical session with a lot of C# code using RoutedEvents, RoutedCommands, Attached properties,...

Using these things makes it possible for the developer to create a fully functional working control with a very basic design.  When the control is finished, the designer can use Expression Blend or another tool to add all the XAML code he wants and make the control look great.

If you like to study the code and take a deep dive into WPF styles and templates, you can download the source code form here: http://labs.blendables.com

 

17u00: What's new in Windows Presentation Foundation ( WPF ) 3.5 by Ian Griffiths

The last session of the day offered an overview of the new features in WPF 3.5.  The most important features are in the following:

  • 3D: it is much easier to use a 2D control in a 3D viewport
  • XBAP: it is possible to run a XBAP application in firefox
  • Data binding: there are a lot of improvements for data binding in WPF 3.5.  It is possible to use LINQ with data binding, the debugging features has improved and the validation rules became a lot easier.
  • Add-ins: it is possible to use add-ins in WPF 3.5, but this is a general feature of the 3.5 framework and not only for WPF.
  • Text and documents: now you can use controls in a richtextbox and also jump to pages where you made announcements.
  • Finally there are also a lot of performance improvements.  These updates will also work for 3.0 applications once you have the 3.5 framework installed.

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