A New Generation of Presentation Frameworks ❘301
You can learn more about the history and goals of Avalon in Chris Anderson ’ s book, Essential Windows Presentation Foundation (Reading, MA: Addison - Wesley, 2007).
The Avalon team aimed to merge the best of the web and the desktop, to integrate fi rst - class multimedia with documents and UI, to streamline the designer - developer workfl ow, and to create a rich presentation platform that could utilize the increasing power of graphics hardware.
footprint to 25 MB for computers that didn ’ t need the full .NET Framework. GPU - accelerated shaders allowed for interesting UI effects. DirectX integration allowed CAD software to have the context presented with Direct3D, as well as the controls and data display with WPF. An Offi ce ribbon control was also added. Finally, Visual Studio 2008 could be used with WPF, as well as with Windows Forms.
In April 2007, Expression Blend 1.0 was released. Expression Blend (or simply “ Blend ” ) was designed to be the tool for the intermediary — the integrator who gets data, behavior, and presentation together. Blend alienated a lot of developers with its “ designer - ish ” look and feel, but with versions 2 and 3, it became an invaluable tool for anyone seriously working with WPF or Silverlight. Blend was the fi rst “ big ” Microsoft application created in WPF. The largest WPF application is probably Visual Studio 2010. The entire UI of Visual Studio 2010 is created in WPF. Many of the performance and feature enhancements in WPF 4 were driven by the need of the Visual Studio team.
WPF 4.0 brings a handful of enhancements to the table. The entire text stack has been replaced to make text faster to render, and be sharper, more legible. New controls (such as a Silverlight - compatible Datagrid, Calendar, and DatePicker) have been added. Silverlight ’ s Visual State Manager is now offi cially part of WPF. Touch and manipulation APIs to handle Windows 7 ’ s new multitouch capabilities are borrowed from the Surface SDK. WPF also borrowed Silverlight 3 ’ s GPU caching and layout rounding features, and added Pixel Shader 3 support.
Silverlight keeps running ahead with version 4. Out - of - browser applications get elevated support for Common Object Model (COM) interoperability, direct fi le access, and full network access. HTML hosting allows Silverlight applications to display HTML pages out - of - the - browser. Enhanced digital