XAML Developer Reference Book Review
|I have read a lot of the WPF and Silverlight books out there and there are some good ones. The difference I find with this book is that it is XAML centric so the scope is more isolated. A few months ago a fellow developer of mine had to build some XAML forms to integrate with a third party shell. This book would have been the right level of information he needed to knock the project out.|
The first chapter offers an overview view of XAML. The introduction is followed by 8 more chapters and two appendices. The chapters include Object Elements and Attributes, XAML Properties and Events, Markup Extensions and Other Features, Resources, Styles, and Triggers, Layout and Positioning System, Form and Functional Controls, Data Binding, and Media, Graphics, and Animation.
Each chapter goes in-depth into the topic at hand. Each topic is defined and then demonstrated through a practical example. There are not 10 examples showing the same thing, and they are explained in a way that makes them easy to understand.
The authors also do a good job of making use of tables, screenshots, and diagrams without going overboard. I have seen a few books that went way overboard.
The two appendices are Major Namespaces and Classes and XAML Editors and Tools. The Major Namespaces appendix give a nice list of all the major namespaces in Silverlight and WPF. It includes the class and the description and makes for a nice summary of the available tools found in each library.
The author does a good job of pointing you to additional information by including links where appropriate.
Although the author touches on the Silverlight Toolkit, I would have liked to see more coverage and coverage of the WPF Toolkit features.
The downloadable code is all there, but is a little confusing some places. Most of the samples are in projects and those ore well organized, but they also include text file snippets. The author names the snippet files by number, but the book does not label them at all. An example is chapter 9 has 33 snippets of code which is nice, but you have to use a file searcher to find the one you want. Not that big of a deal, and I would rather have them, than not.
I found the authors writing style made the book an easy cover to cover read. The book also includes a nice index which helps to make it a nice reference.
I think this book is perfect for those people looking to get into WPF, Silverlight, or XAML for Windows (Windows 8) development. It gets you up to speed fast on the ins and outs of XAML.
XAML Developer Reference