Kraig’s Introduction, which appears below, describes this ebook’s chapters and appendices. intended audiences, and accompanying samples and other companion content.
We’ll be publishing the final ebook (with 20 chapters & 4 appendices) in March/April in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. In the meantime, enjoy the second preview!
As I mentioned in the first preview, this second edition is intended to stand alone for developers who are starting with Windows 8.1. It represents the state of Windows 8.1 rather than trying to document the delta from Windows 8. For this reason I don’t explain how to migrate apps from Windows 8 nor do I highlight many changes to APIs and behaviors (I do occasionally in specific cases). Check the Developer Center for such information.
That said, here’s what you’ll find in this second preview:
As you can see, in this second edition I’ll be using appendices to go deeper into certain topics that would be too much of a distraction from the main flow of the chapters. Let me know what you think. Some of this material I’ve already posted on my blog, http://www.kraigbrockschmidt.com/blog, where I’ve been working on various topics since we published the first edition. I’ll continue to be posting there, though a bit less frequently as I focus on completing this second edition.
Who This Book Is For
In this book I'm assuming that your interest in Windows has at least two basic motivations. One, you probably want to come up to speed as quickly as you can, perhaps to carve out a foothold in the Windows Store sooner rather than later. Toward that end, I've front-loaded the early chapters with the most important aspects of app development that also give you experience with the tools, the API, and some core platform features. On the other hand, you probably also want to make the best app you can, one that performs really well and that takes advantage of the full extent of the platform. Toward this end, I've also endeavored to make this book comprehensive, helping you at least be aware of what's possible and where optimizations can be made.
Many insights have come to me from working directly with real-world developers on their real-world apps. As part of the Windows Ecosystem team, myself and my teammates have been on the front lines bringing those first apps to the Windows Store. This has involved writing bits of code for those apps and investigating bugs, along with conducting design, code, and performance reviews with members of the Windows engineering team. As such, one of my goals with this book is to make that deep understanding available to many more developers, including you!
What You'll Need (Can You Say “Samples”?)
To work through this book, you should have Windows 8.1 installed on your development machine, along with the Windows SDK for Windows 8.1 and the associated tools. All the tools, along with a number of other resources, are listed on the Windows 8.1 Downloads page. You’ll specifically need Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows. We’ll also acquire other tools along the way as we need them in this ebook. (Note that for all the screen shots in this book, I switched Visual Studio from its default “dark” color theme to the “light” theme, as the latter works better against a white page.)
I’ve seen some reviews of programming books that criticize authors for just pulling code samples from documentation rather than writing all their own code samples from scratch. Although I do provide a number of additional examples in this second preview’s companion content, it’s been one of my secondary goals to help you understand where and when to use the tremendous resources in what is clearly the best set of samples I’ve ever seen for any release of Windows. You’ll often be able to find a piece of code in one of the samples that does exactly what you need in your app or that is easily modified to suit your purpose. In most cases these samples are the same ones I would have written myself, and I’m very glad that wasn’t necessary! In a few cases I felt the samples lacked certain scenarios, so you’ll see some modified and extended samples in the companion content.
A big part of the companion content are the many revisions of the app I call “Here My Am!” (a variant of “Hello World.” We start building this in Chapter 2 and refine it throughout the course of the book. This includes localizing it into a number of different languages by the time we reach the end.
Something else I’ve done with this second preview is expand the use of video content. (All of the videos are also available in a folder with this preview’s companion content). As in the first edition, I’ve made a few longer videos to demonstrate use of the Visual Studio and Blend tools. In a number of other cases, it’s far easier to show dynamic effects in video than to explain them in text and screenshots. I’d also love to hear what you think about these.
Beyond all this, you’ll find that the Windows samples gallery as well as the Visual Studio sample gallery also lets you search and browse additional projects that have been contributed by other developers—perhaps also you! (On the Visual Studio site, by the way, be sure to filter on Windows Store apps because the gallery covers all Microsoft platforms.) And, of course, there will be many more developers who share projects on their own.
In this book I occasionally refer to posts on the Windows App Builder Blog, which is a great resource to follow. And if you’re interested in the Windows 8 backstory—that is, how Microsoft approached this whole process of reimagining the operating system—check out the Building Windows 8 blog.
We Want to Hear from You
At Microsoft Press, your satisfaction is our top priority, and your feedback our most valuable asset. Please tell us what you think of this ebook at http://aka.ms/tellpress.
The survey is short, and we read every one of your comments and ideas. Thanks in advance for your input!
Stay in Touch
Let’s keep the conversation going! We’re on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MicrosoftPress. And you can keep up with Kraig here: http://www.kraigbrockschmidt.com/blog.
Waiting for the final e-book! Congrats!
Congrats on this 2nd preview Kraig!
Danke ! Und herzlichen Glückwunsch zum einjährigen Jubiläum
Congrats to the one-year anniversary of this book’s first edition.
Thanks! This is a great 'door' for developers who want to enter the world of developing Windows Store Apps.
Great stuff! Can't believe this is free! Thanks Kraig!
Oh, Great !
thank you so much this can help me provide good apps.