Jaime Rodriguez On Windows Phone, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and Windows 7
First CTP of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E) was released last december, Joe Stegman blogged about the goals for WPF/E: ".. leverage your existing skills and web assets to create better web experiences."
Immediately the community created some really cool demos around media & content .. ( amongst my favorites are the channeld 9 video player and this video player )... Of course, with my enterprise/lob bias, I went a different route.. trying to solve an old, recurring pain: creating rich, interactive graphics for data viz ... A few people have asked about this lately, so here are some my insights from a merely a day or so playing with this before the holidays..
Results:For overall results, I do feel WPLF/E helps to create a better experience, the charts are animated, I can interact with these with out having to round trip to server, etc.... I was very happy.. [Disclaimer:I did not spend a lot of time creating full, or good looking charts, but here are some of the ones I created. I have others, like bar, leaving that for a later exercise with aspx integration].
If you have WPF/E installed you can see them live: pie chart and line chart..
If you parse the results w/ a technical focus, here are my impressions:
What does WPF/E bring to this scenario that we did not have before (with HTML)?
[ I am not a charting expert at all, but wrote a few in my life and I always though the rendering + the animations where the hardest part; and WPF/E stacked quite well there]
On skills reuse (or the WPF in WPF/E) :
On performance/stability of the platform:I must admit I did not poke into perf in depth, but so far I was impressed when I saw the shawn's video demo .. wow, these many videos playing simultaneously ... :) On my line chart, I had 600 points .. I did two 'cursors' an ellipse the follows the mouse on the Left hand side, and a bar on the RHS ...the mouse is quite responsive.. I am one of those persons that things for pure visualization [not analysis] you can only look at a finite number of data points, so I am pretty confident WPF/E will meet perf the web chart perf requirements; if it does not, you might want to do server-side charts, as you likely have too much data].
I was also quite pleased with the platform's stability - the error handling could be better and after this post ( this time I will try to do it soon) I can put a list of the issues I ran into (both bugs and/or featurs not yet complete that can throw you for a loop )... but over all, for being the first CTP, I thought the platform did quite well...
Again on WPF/E.. I was chatting w/ Carter Maslan recently on WPF/E end-user benefits and I summarized it as "WPF/E, like AJAX, lowers the developer entry point to create better experiences and to reuse existing assets (e.g. video content) " .. I think with my brief charting experiment I was sold on that ... I hope to see a few intranet/enterprise websites leveraging these new technology to improve their end-users visualization, decision making and producitivity ... Try putting these in sidebar too ... these charts work fine there in sidebar..
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