Last night I made an arduous journey through Atlanta traffic to present at the Middle Georgia .NET User Group in Macon. (I have to tease them that middle Georgia is like Middle Earth without the Hobbits...)
Well, it was my first opportunity to present publicly one of the topics from our upcoming MSDN Events series, sort of as a practice run. I chose to do the WPF session. As I was going through the slides and demos, I was feeding off the growing energy and excitement in the room. By the end of the evening, I confessed to the group that it was nice to be excited about Windows development again.
That hasn't happened, really, since I discovered VB 3.0 all those years ago. I remember how fantastic it was to actually drag controls onto a form, double click to add code, and really see what I was building. Sure, Windows Forms in .NET was interesting when it first came out, and ClickOnce is a pretty compelling piece of the SmartClient story with .NET 2.0, but being able to produce basic interactive UIs in Windows has been almost a given from the beginning and hasn't changed drastically since.
What has amazed me continuously for many years has been the advances in web development. To go from one of the earliest incarnations that I used (WinCGI that was a part of O'Reilly's WebSite product) to "classic" ASP was a big jump, and moving to the event driven model of .NET was great too. Then the recently released ASP.NET 2.0 got me revved up again with the new grids, data source controls, membership controls, provider model... (sigh)
Anyway, the possibilities for cool UI in WPF through VS2005 as well as Expression Interactive Designer have just given me goosebumps about Windows development all over again....
So if you are still asking yourself "WTF is WPF???" then you need to make it a point to come to the next MSDN Event that I'll be presenting. Maybe you'll see me get a shiver live, right in front of you.
Below are details...
SmartClients combine the best elements of both Windows and web applications. But SmartClient means so much more than just a Windows Forms application. In this free half-day event, see three different SmartClient approaches in action, while leveraging what you already know about Microsoft tools and platforms. First, expand your reach by creating mobile applications that go way beyond miniature versions of your current applications. Next, take advantage of the functionality already present on your users’ desktops by creating solutions with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 Tools for Office that integrate seamlessly with Excel, Word and Outlook®. Finally, get ready for the future of UI development for Windows Vista™ by learning about WinFX®, XAML, and other valuable tools and technologies for this emerging platform.