WPF for those who know WinForms

As a programmer, I am primarily self-taught. I’m at the stage now where some new technology articles I can read at the highest level and follow and understand, but others I am looking for the absolute most basic beginner’s guide around.

I recently began a project in WPF to try and learn what it could do – I find the best way to learn a new technology is to come up with an application for it and just go for it! The more complicated your application, the better, since it will force you to find more stumbling blocks, gaps in your knowledge, and interesting quirks. Of course, some things may just be a little too much to take on all at once (as I’ve discovered) and my first try was by no means going to be a releasable app! WPF was definitely in the category of ‘most basic beginner article please’ and although there are some beginner’s articles around, I just couldn’t get my head around what was going on.

I struggled for a while, then blamed it on the fact that WPF was really just very different to WinForms. It needn’t be – you can make a WPF app as if it were a Forms app – but to really use WPF to it’s potential, templates, styles, binding and the rest, there’s something very different about how to approach the problem. Accusing this of being my flaw (since a bad craftsman always blames his tools) I smashed in the relevant keywords to Bing and eventually crept upon jfo’s coding: Getting Started in WPF. The title of the document is “WPF for those who know WinForms” and it’s an excellent primer for… well… those who know WinForms to get their heads around WPF. There’s a lot of talk about the prototype and code names for what are now older versions of Visual Studio, but altogether it’s a good first resource. I just can’t seem to find any up-to-date blog from jfo, which is a shame given how helpful this document is!