This chapter explains fundamental Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) concepts. Normally, it's the glaringly obvious chapter that you skip to get to the good stuff. If this were a cookbook, this would be where I explain food and tell you why it's important ("so you don't starve").
In this case, however, I encourage you to at least skim this chapter before plunging ahead. Many parts of WPF are confusing and seemingly inconsistent. This chapter gives some useful background on what WPF is (that question has caused more confusion than you might imagine), WPF's goals, and the underlying architecture used by WPF.
These tidbits of information will give you some useful perspective for understanding WPF's quirks and idiosyncrasies. For example, this information will let you say, "Oh, WPF does it that way because Direct3D does it that way" or "I'll bet this weird behavior was provided to save me a few keystrokes of typing."
In addition to this background, this chapter describes the basic types of WPF projects.
Finally, this chapter can help you understand what's contained in the later chapters. This chapter briefly defines resources, styles, control templates, and other terms that are described more completely in later chapters. A quick introduction to those terms now will help you know which chapters to read later.
WPF has been around for quite a while now, but there are still plenty of people out there who don't really know what it is. I've heard people ...