Setting the Record Straight - Charles on WPF


In a post a couple of months ago I gave this book a hard time:

Some notable absences: Petzolds books on Windows Forms (1.0) and WPF; I have read both and been disappointed to say the least...

I want to revisit that assessment. I have been spending the vast majority of my reading time recently with Petzold and specifically the above book (largely since I finished the 7th Harry Potter book). It's seems that my original criticism of the book was simply due to the fact that I did not know enough about WPF to read it. This may seem a bizarre thing to say, given that this is a book that is supposed to teach you WPF, how can I not know enough on a topic before someone can teach it to me?

Let me explain: The problem is that I'm now ready for Charles' explanation of the topic, this is because I now understand it more. His style of teaching requires time, a lot of time:

Charles says on his blog:

So to me the question becomes: Is 31 days too long to learn the next major Windows programming platform, and learn it in a way where you feel comfortable coding in either C# or XAML, and you really understand a lot of the nooks and crannies? And does it really matter whether you begin with XAML on Day 1 or Day 19?

Yes, Charles, it does. It condemned this book to my shelf (and very nearly the bin) for quite some time; basically until I was in a place where I had a pretty descent understanding of WPF already.

Charles is a wonderful teacher and his way of putting things is a delight to me; however, here's the rub: the way the information is presented means that I cannot consume it fast enough; often I need to be able to understand just enough to know if the topic is something I need to learn more about - this type of tour (for want of a better word) is not in Charles' book. Only once I'd been given that tour (thanks Chris, Chris and Ian) did the need to read Charles really kick in.

I think that this book is for people who know that they want to learn WPF, completely, without compromise - for people just flicking through the topic, for people just browsing WPF, they should put the book back on the shelf. However, for people who want to thoroughly understand WPF they should pick this book up, read it cover to cover, type in and compile every code snippet - you won't regret it, I certainly have not.

Thank you Charles.

No comments: