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C# 2010 All-in-One For Dummies® by Stephen R. Davis, Charles Sphar, Bill Sempf

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Chapter 1. Introducing WPF

In This Chapter

  • Taking a first look at WPF and what it can do for you

  • Working with XAML

  • Building your first WPF application

  • Comparing XAML to C#

WPF, or Windows Presentation Foundation, is a graphical system for rendering user interfaces. It provides great flexibility in how you can lay out and interact with your applications. With Common Language Runtime (CLR) at its core, you can use C# or any other CLR language to communicate with user interface elements and develop application logic. The advantages of WPF for your application are its rich data binding and visualization support and its design flexibility and styling.

WPF enables you to create an application that is more usable to your audience. It gives you the power to design an application that would previously take extremely long development cycles and a calculus genius to implement. Now you can implement difficult things like graphics and animations in as few as three lines of code!

This chapter introduces you to key WPF concepts as well as common application patterns used in the software industry today.

Understanding What WPF Can Do

WPF's graphics capabilities make it the perfect choice for data visualization. Take, for instance, the standard drop-down list (or combo box). Its current use is to enable the user to choose a single item from a list of items. For this example, suppose we want the user to select a car model for purchase.

The standard way of displaying this choice is to display a drop-down list ...

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