Being a natural WPF developer.

ReminderBack in 2000 when I first started playing around in the .NET space, one of the things that drew me to the platform was how language concepts in C# and VB.NET meshed so well with the framework – it was a very natural development experience, you could learn a few simple rules and apply them all over the place to help you understand complex things.

As I start working with Windows Presentation Foundation I’m starting to realise that there is another set of rules that to learn, and that if I can I’ll be able to delivery extremely sophisticated user interfaces without too much difficulty.

If we take XAML as an example, I can see that there are a few fundamentals that developers must get across before they can be truly proficient, what follows is a (very) short list of what I think is important to understand.

  1. XAML is just an object graph represented in XML.
  2. When you get a runtime exception, always look at the InnerException.
  3. It is important to understand PropertyPath syntax.

In addition to these starting points, a useful way to approach learning XAML is to follow these steps on a continual basis.

  1. First, get it working on a single UI element.
  2. Second, get it working on multiple UI elements using styles.
  3. Third, get it working on multiple UI elements using DataTemplates.

While in general it is fairly straight-forward moving between each of these approaches, there are some gotchas – and you learn a lot of tricks in the process.


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