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Questions on WPF/E RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have been reading blogs on WPF/E and it's has got me pretty excited: I had a few questions on it:

    1) I plan to use WPF/E to design a kind of user input form  (WPF/E to get better user interaction - do something funky) - Can this be done?

    2) Can I make call to webServices from WPF/E application to process data, Is there any built in support?

    3) What are the things I could do in WPF/E which cannot be done in Flash - i.e. what is it that would drive people to migrate from Flash to WPF/E.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regard -

    A..K

     

     

    Thursday, December 14, 2006 4:54 PM

Answers

  •  A..K wrote:
    I plan to use WPF/E to design a kind of user input form  (WPF/E to get better user interaction - do something funky) - Can this be done?
    Not really, no.

    At the moment, WPF/E doesn't have any user interface controls, nor any layout controls.  That makes it rather difficult to build a UI, which is why all the demos you see are some type of clock. 

    Of course, with drawing primitives and mouse/keyboard events, you could build any sort of user form you cared to.  But that's like saying you can build a video game using just the VGA registers and keyboard I/O instead of a 3D engine.

    You don't realize how much code there is in something like a TextBox  or a DropDownList until you try to write one yourself.  Text positioning, undo buffers, that little flashing cursor where you're typing: Those things don't just code themselves.  Not to mention inter-control interactions, cut-n-paste, input focus management, scrollbars -- you get the idea.

    When you hit TAB and the focus moves to the next control.. When you click a menu and it interacts with you modally, then drops the focus back where it came from.. When you click "Open File" and a nice file dialog comes up.. None of those things is available in WPF/E at the moment.

    The sort of application you could whip up in an hour using WinForms and .NET 2.0 would take you months using WPF/E.

     A..K wrote:
    Can I make call to webServices from WPF/E application to process data, Is there any built in support?
    Not per se, but you could probably shim something together using javascript's XMLHttpRequest.

     A..K wrote:
    What are the things I could do in WPF/E which cannot be done in Flash - i.e. what is it that would drive people to migrate from Flash to WPF/E.
    In its current form, nothing.  There's nothing WPF/E does which Flash doesn't do better.  Flash also has a host of development tools available, whereas WPF/E has none -- though I believe you can use the CTP of VS2005 extensions of WPF ("Cider") and cut-n-paste the resulting XAML code into a place where WPF/E could get to it.  And the Expression suite is in beta, though I've played with it and I thought Cider was better.  Maybe I'm just used to Visual Studio.

    Whether WPF/E is eventually going to become an application development environment is a matter of some conjecture.  Some people from Microsoft hint that it will, but without some sort of timeline it could be the next WinFS.

    If it happens, it's still a long way away.  At the moment, WPF/E is a cross-platform media player that doesn't understand obscure formats like ".mp3"

    Friday, December 15, 2006 2:46 AM
  •  

    My post on this may help.  Also, see Mike Harsh's post here may help as well.

    Related to web service support, we don't have built-in web service support, however you can use xmlhttp with JSON to do this fairly easily (I need to do a blog post on this...).

    In terms of WPF/E maturity, our CTP is a preliminary version of what will be the V1 version of WPF/E - it's as immature as it will ever be.  Don't assume this is it - it will grow into more and will be backed by the Microsoft developer and designer tools.  But even without that, try building a WPF/E sample - all you need is a text editor the WPF/E plug-in and a web browser - so barrier to entry is about as low as it gets.

    Joe

     

    Saturday, December 16, 2006 4:21 AM

All replies

  •  A..K wrote:
    I plan to use WPF/E to design a kind of user input form  (WPF/E to get better user interaction - do something funky) - Can this be done?
    Not really, no.

    At the moment, WPF/E doesn't have any user interface controls, nor any layout controls.  That makes it rather difficult to build a UI, which is why all the demos you see are some type of clock. 

    Of course, with drawing primitives and mouse/keyboard events, you could build any sort of user form you cared to.  But that's like saying you can build a video game using just the VGA registers and keyboard I/O instead of a 3D engine.

    You don't realize how much code there is in something like a TextBox  or a DropDownList until you try to write one yourself.  Text positioning, undo buffers, that little flashing cursor where you're typing: Those things don't just code themselves.  Not to mention inter-control interactions, cut-n-paste, input focus management, scrollbars -- you get the idea.

    When you hit TAB and the focus moves to the next control.. When you click a menu and it interacts with you modally, then drops the focus back where it came from.. When you click "Open File" and a nice file dialog comes up.. None of those things is available in WPF/E at the moment.

    The sort of application you could whip up in an hour using WinForms and .NET 2.0 would take you months using WPF/E.

     A..K wrote:
    Can I make call to webServices from WPF/E application to process data, Is there any built in support?
    Not per se, but you could probably shim something together using javascript's XMLHttpRequest.

     A..K wrote:
    What are the things I could do in WPF/E which cannot be done in Flash - i.e. what is it that would drive people to migrate from Flash to WPF/E.
    In its current form, nothing.  There's nothing WPF/E does which Flash doesn't do better.  Flash also has a host of development tools available, whereas WPF/E has none -- though I believe you can use the CTP of VS2005 extensions of WPF ("Cider") and cut-n-paste the resulting XAML code into a place where WPF/E could get to it.  And the Expression suite is in beta, though I've played with it and I thought Cider was better.  Maybe I'm just used to Visual Studio.

    Whether WPF/E is eventually going to become an application development environment is a matter of some conjecture.  Some people from Microsoft hint that it will, but without some sort of timeline it could be the next WinFS.

    If it happens, it's still a long way away.  At the moment, WPF/E is a cross-platform media player that doesn't understand obscure formats like ".mp3"

    Friday, December 15, 2006 2:46 AM
  •  

    My post on this may help.  Also, see Mike Harsh's post here may help as well.

    Related to web service support, we don't have built-in web service support, however you can use xmlhttp with JSON to do this fairly easily (I need to do a blog post on this...).

    In terms of WPF/E maturity, our CTP is a preliminary version of what will be the V1 version of WPF/E - it's as immature as it will ever be.  Don't assume this is it - it will grow into more and will be backed by the Microsoft developer and designer tools.  But even without that, try building a WPF/E sample - all you need is a text editor the WPF/E plug-in and a web browser - so barrier to entry is about as low as it gets.

    Joe

     

    Saturday, December 16, 2006 4:21 AM