I had an opportunity to catch up with UK Software Startup IPrinciples. IPrinciples specialises in building Rich Internet Applications (RIA) on the Microsoft Platform, predominantly using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) but also using Silverlight. I have known Richard and Paul who run IPrinciples for many years and I have been impressed with what they have been building over the last year using XAML. When I last popped in I had my trusty Flip Mino with me and I took the opportunity to interview Richard about “Why XAML?” as well as get a demonstration of a couple of their applications and a chat with the designers who helped create the UX. Whilst the quality of the video will never win an award – it does make for interesting viewing.

To me, IPrinciples is a great example of a startup company benefitting from Bizspark to get access to great software and tools to build first class applications. They are using XAML to deliver rich and compelling user experiences which would be near impossible to do in traditional Windows Forms. Well done guys!

Interview with Richard Godfrey (CEO but also still a coder)

We discuss:

  • The need for designers vs developers
  • The importance of Expression Design when building RIAs (see “Learn Expression Design” videos)
  • WPF vs Silverlight – with IPrinciples favouring WPF
  • Microsoft Bizspark which Richard thoroughly recommended for startups. (I also previously posted on Bizspark in the UK for a little background)

After the interview Richard gave me a demo of two of their applications and I had a chance to talk to the lead designers of each.

Silverlight 2 football team management application

Demonstration covers a walkthrough of the application followed by (3mins 45s in) an interview with the lead designer Adam who shows how he used Expression Design to create it. It was interesting to see Expression Design hosting most of the UI on a single page. I have often wanted that exact feature as a developer as you often work on groups of pages. Something for the wish list for VS2012? :-)

WPF photo album creation application with touch features

Demonstration covers a walkthrough of a feature rich album creation application followed by (4min 16s in) a short interview with the lead designer Phil who shows how he used Expression Design and Blend to create one element, the “big wheel” bottom left. Interestingly they have also started to touch enable the application both for Vista and soon Windows 7.