Thoughts to WPF

Thoughts to WPF

For several years now, I write my smaller tools in C#. I like the language and the runtime framework is powerful. For that matter I do not care about platform independance. Or for Mono. I am a fan of Windows Forms. It is a nice and capable GUI tool kit, close to the traditional c++ world, but with good abstractions at the right places. And then, there is WPF.

I do not know what to think about WPF.

On the one hand, Microsoft claims WPF to be the future. Many new functions are introduced (first or only) to WPF. Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phone Apps require the programmer to use WPF for the GUI. The data binding is nicely done and cleanly integrated into the language, compared to Windows Forms.

On the other hand, WPF is not a perfect solution. The performance is not great, if the GUI gets complex or heavily modified. The editor integrated in Visual Studio is not very good. (Okey, there is Expression blend, but I do not like to use two editors for one project at the same time.)

What realy bothers me, however, is that even Microsoft has no clear policy concerning this issue. Visual Studio 2012 is written using WPF and this is the required GUI toolkit for Apps. However, for example, the new Office, although sharing the new Metro design, does not use WPF, but uses classical GUI toolkits recreating the same look-and-feel. All in all, I just do not know which one to bet on, Windows Forms or WPF. Probably, it really does not matter at all. But, somehow, I do not like the current situation.

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