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on 23 July 2007
It's a good book. You need to sit at your computer and work through all the examples to get the most from it. I wouldn't have been able to stay awake just reading about the WPF anyway.
You can download the code to save you typing it. I prefer typing it out anyway as it helps me to learn. I didn't notice the lack of screenshots as I was running the samples.
It's well written, there aren't many mistakes (see the errata), it introduces new concepts slowly and it covers a lot of ground.
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on 14 March 2009
This book is a long and thorough tutorial in WPF that starts right at the most basic level and adds complexity at a manageable pace. It is not optimised as a reference.

I spent my first couple of weeks trying to learn WPF by dipping in to online sources and various printed books that my new employer had. This was very frustrating because, contrary to my expectations, WPF was not just another windowing GUI. It has several complex, powerful and interacting features that make it conceptually different from the other GUI toolkits I'd worked with. Fortunately I found this book and two weeks later I am enormously more confident with WPF.

I have read criticism about lack of screenshots in this book. I can only assume that the critics have tried to use it as a cookbook. If you type in the examples or download and run the code from Petzold's website then you'll see all the pretty sample apps that you could want. Working on Vista, buttons and trees look different from how they were described in the book (which I assume was written using XP) but this caused no problems.

This book gets 4 stars rather than 5 because I found a few minor errors that don't appear in the only errata list I can find (on Petzold's own website), which has not been updated since '06. I got no reply to an email about this.

I thoroughly recommend "Applications = Code + Markup" to anyone starting to learn WPF who has the patience to work through this very long lesson.
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on 18 November 2009
There are no pictures in this book and - don't be put off - that's a good thing.

If you need to see what's going on then you need to get up and sit at the computer for a while. You can download the code so save a lot of typing, and I found this to be a great way to learn. I sat at the computer when I reached what I thought was a significant milestone in my understanding.

You are paying for every page and these pages are packed with good quality instruction.

It is the sort of book that you can sit down and read, and Charles is a good writer.

My background involves some work a long time ago in Windows 3.1. Life is much, much easier in WPF and Charles does a good job getting you up to speed.

I've been working with Visual Studio 2010 and it works just fine.

Highly recommended.

[Updated: Should have been Charles, not Robert - don't know why I did that!]
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on 15 April 2010
This book gives a very thorough coverage of WPF from both the code size and also using XAML, shoing how the same thing can be done using either version. I have updated some of my programs using this book and have been very successful.
The book does not deliver a series of examples, like some other books, but leads you through the various capabilities of windows presentation foundation, showing you various ways of using the options available.
I did struggle on the binding of data facility but I suspect this was because I didn't spend long enough trying, and my programs so far haven't really needed that functionality.
In summary a very good book that uses C sharp to explain the WPF. If you have this book you are unlikely to need any others.
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on 1 November 2007
Buy this book if you want a deep and full understanding of WPF and how it works. If you are ready to follow a long tutorial, and at the end, know and understand many, many things about WPF. This is not a beginner book, as the title says (pro-developer).
This book is written in "petzold style", that is, short samples, and lots of explanations. Charles Petzold is a great author of Windows programming books for 20 years.
Don't buy this book if you want to quickly "teach yourself WPF in 24 hours", if you want a colorfull book, or if you just want an introduction to WPF that let you create small programs. This book is far more than that.
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on 9 July 2009
If you're looking for a learning resource that gives you a solid foundation in WPF, or a reference volume that covers this deep and wide subject in satisfactory detail then, for me, this fits the bill in good measure. Charles Petzold is a master of explanation. His conversational style is informative, easy to follow and comprehensive in its coverage. One caveat, though, is that you need a good understanding of OO programming, ideally C#, since the first half of the book teaches WPF entirely in code form - you don't meet XAML until half way through. This is a good approach because it gives you a much better understanding of what the markup is doing under the covers later, especially with key concepts such as Dependency Properties and Routed Events, which are central to WPF. If you hanker for screenshots, I have this to say: Instead of bloating the book with images and thereby diluting its payload, Charles has chosen to pack into its 1,000 pages about twice the knowledge you would have got with a text and picture book ... and you still needn't lose out visually. By downloading and running the code, you can see the results in a much better format - on your PC (download Microsoft's free C# Express if you haven't got full Visual Studio). If you want a glossy brochure that gives you a high-level overview of WPF, look for something else. For me, this book is solid, satisfying and nutritional and doesn't leave you hungry.
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on 17 July 2008
This book is an handy piece of work to have in conjunction with the more highly-rated WPF books. What it offers, largely lacking in other titles I've read, is an emphasis on coding WPF at runtime, rather than design time (ie XAML). It's let down only by the organisation of the content, more or less requiring the reader to plod through in order making it much less useful as a reference. That said, if you're doing anything serious in WPF, this book is worth the effort.
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on 22 February 2007
The lack of screenshots is challenging. If code "looks" like it might do what's required I have to type it out - this makes for a lot of typing when an example from the book doesn't quite fit the bill. Makes me think of the UNIX command-line junkies of the 90's - everything's got to be written out by hand to see what it'll do on the screen.

The book lacks practical examples such side-by-side code/XAML comparisons and how they'd work together to, say, load a .jpg from the file system or a web service for use as a tiling brush.

It's probably quite useful to propeller-heads that like theoretical breadth rather than practical application.
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on 23 January 2007
I'm sorry, but for a book on User Interface programming, I was astonished to find that this book lacks ANY screenshots! Therefore although the explanations and theory are coherently explained in prose, the book would be a lot less dry with some illustrations to show the WPF in action.
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