As WPF application development continues to pick up steam, it's becoming more and more important to consider which file formats make the most sense for conversion to XAML. Just based on discussions I've had with many of you regarding my Illustrator export plug-in, I know that there are other formats out there that—due to lack of tool support—are very difficult or next-to-impossible to convert to XAML.
So, I'd like to identify a list of "top x" file formats that would help ease the pain for both WPF designers and developers. What tool does your company use to create 2D or 3D content? What file format(s) does it make the most sense to convert? If you don't have an opinion (possibly because you don't work with those tools), please forward this to your design staff. I'm very interested in feedback.
So, are you interested in becoming a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft? Or do you have a friend or associate who might? If so, I currently have two open positions, and I’m looking for great candidates. Both positions focus on our next version of Visual Studio, code name “Orcas.” One provides broad tools and scenario coverage, and the other relates to our upcoming AJAX technology, code name “Atlas.”
Although I’ve been working on an article that explains what a Technical Evangelist actually does at Microsoft, I don’t want to delay posting about these positions any longer, so the article will have to wait. In the meantime, here are some of the bullet-point attributes that make for a strong candidate:
Does this sound like you? If you’re not sure, have a close friend, relative, or associate read this post and see what they think. Or, if you think I just described someone else you know, please direct them to this post.
But, most important of all, send me an e-mail, and convince me why you’d make the best Technical Evangelist we’ve ever seen.
We released the WinFX January CTP this morning along with some associated Go-Live licenses. As Karsten mentions in his post, there are no changes to WPF between the December and January CTPs, and in fact, they're binary compatible. Here are links to the bits:
Note: If you have a prior version of the Windows SDK on your machine, not only do you need to uninstall the SDK, but you also need to uninstall the Monad and Compact Framework bits. I ran into this problem on my machine, and it took me a moment to figure out, so save yourself the potential confusion.
For some extra reading, check out related articles from CRN, ZDNet, eWeek, and Computerworld about today's release.
Last, but not least, for those who are using my Adobe Illustrator to WPF/XAML Export Plug-In, you'll be happy to know that the current version works just fine with the January CTP.
Phil Wright of Component Factory shares his insights about WPF and components in the article, The WPF Tidal Wave. Coincidentally, three of the component vendors he mentions are featured on our Third Party Controls for the Windows Presentation Foundation page on MSDN. Although this page was last refreshed for our September 2005 PDC, it does provide an early glimpse at some of the controls you can expect to see.
Also, the Windows Presentation Foundation site on the Windows Vista Developer Center has just published updated hands-on lab content based on the recently-released WinFX January 2006 CTP. From the description, excercises are provided on topics including: "2D and 3D graphics, data binding, templating and styling, interop, imaging, XPS documents, custom controls, performance and XAML Browser Applications." The lab content is available in both Visual Basic .NET and C# and is a great way to get up-to-speed on WPF development.
I've updated my freely available Adobe Illustrator to WPF/XAML Export Plug-In to be compatible with the WinFX December 2005 CTP. Other than a very minor tweak to the XAML syntax, I've added Width and Height attributes to the outer Canvas tag (Chris only asked for this about three months ago). Remember that you can hold down the left shift key during export to launch the default XAML viewer; this happens to be Internet Explorer in recent builds.
Most of the feedback I get is very positive, and I continue to receive around 650 downloads of the plug-in each month. Frankly, I'm surprised that so many people have found it to be useful. If you're new to the plug-in, you might be interested in watching the 25-minute Channel 9 video I recorded awhile back. As always, comments and suggestions are highly encouraged!