Hammo

I have dutifully followed the development cycle of Vista WPF and .Net 3.0 through over a years CTP's and although it all sounds great, the delivery from MS is very poor.

It's strange how a xbap application will work, then suddenly not work and then I have start a new application with the code from the old one and it works.

The documentation provided by the SDK is so technical and incomplete it's virtually impossible to decipher and errors fly thick and fast through the Extensions to VS2005. I have a entire book shelf of now obsolete .NET 1.1 Framework ... volumes and volumes of it which was outdated before I even got it and was over $600. Now .Net 2.0, and .Net 3.0 Come on MS, where the hell are you going and how the hell do you think we'll keep up How many classes are in the .Net framework now

I've been tempted to donwload the Orcas January 2007 CTP but I'm pretty much fed up with the whole wpf in general.

Hows all this supposed to make my life easier as a developer

Good luck convincing the masses is all I can say !




Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

mwilliamson


I too have run into many problems both for developers and for end-users with .NET. I am shocked how, for example, a 100k EXE application should need a 20MB (!) download of .NET runtime libraries just to be able to run.

This cannot be good for Microsoft or the users of its products.

I would suggest contacting Dino Chiesa who is responsible for .NET:

Dino.Chiesa@Microsoft.com
Director, Application Platform Marketing
+1.425.722.4410

Hope this helps!

regards
Marcus Williamson






Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Rob Relyea

Hammo-
I'm sorry that you are frustrated. Let's talk about each point. We want to adapt to make sure developers have great experiences.

1) XBAP problem: Have you reported the details about the XBAP application working, then not working Perhaps starting a new thread in the forum about that issue will be a good way to understand the issue. (please reply with a link to that thread on this thread.)

2) XAML errors in VS: Yes, the xaml development process is not very polished in VS 2005 with the extensions. That will continue to only get better. Janurary's Orcas CTP isn't yet better than the extensions for WPF development...but stay tuned, it will get better soon.

3) Documentation - too technical and incomplete.
Yes, it isn't complete...please make sure to continue to give feedback on where it is lacking, and we'll continue to evolve and grow it to meet your needs.

Yes, WPF, without great tools, is not ready for the masses...Tools are on the way...Expression Blend, VS Orcas, etc..

Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to digging into the details of the problems.

Thanks, Rob Relyea
Program Manager, WPF Team
http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Rob Relyea

Marcus-

I am also frustrated with the size of the download for the .Net Framework. We understand that it is a problem for client use of .net and are working on a few different ways to make that better.

Hopefully, the wave of .Net 3.0 applications that are coming out with the release of Windows Vista will help make the install of the framework less necessary on most machines. We are already seeing signs of the types of applications possible: New York Times Reader, Yahoo Messenger, etc...

If we have killer apps out there, the framework will become more pervasive, and you won't need to work about it for most of your users of your 100k exe.

Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks, Rob Relyea
Program Manager, WPF Team
http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Hammo

G'day Rob and thanks for the reply (Especially so fast),

Firstly let me apologize for my outburst. I had spent a very frustrating 2 days grappling with WPF and .NET 3.0 (Yet again), and the culmination of all that was my public outburst !!!!

Secondly, let me congratulate you on your ability to see through the pain and address the issues at hand, you obviously deserve the senior position you hold with Microsoft...

First a little about myself, I have no professional training ie. university. I left school at 15 and my first job was as a computer programmer, I'm now 37. I have a higher than average IQ and learn things very fast (Lucky me !). I now making a living from the internet with travel web sites and live and voyage around on my yacht. I make a point of following new technologies as these will (apparantly) make my life faster, easier, better, cheaper as a developer and allow me to lead the bunch again in the next web wave.... I have longed for what WPF and .NET 3.0 claim to be ..

I think the biggest mistake that Microsoft has made is releasing CTP's WAY too early, and changing technologies WAY too fast. Obviously there are commercial issues at stake here and they may be politically driving these Early CTP releases, but all the same it is only putting your average developer (ie. ME, am I really so average ) offside ...

For a great example have a look at XAM3D's Beta release. It is very hard to fault this release, and although we know it's not an RTM, it is still so polished as to leave me with an exceptionaly good view of their technologies and how they've applied it. It will leave a similar experience with the 'Masses'. MS on the other hand has released CTP's and Beta's that are way below this standard of develpment and will ultimately hurt MS image in the big world. Don't forget that Java has just gone Open and is a very similar product minus the WPF (At least that is my understanding and I'm not a Java Guy, and the last thing you want is to drive existing .NET developers into their hands, isn't it ). It's far more stable and changes technologies less often allowing developers to keep up.

I guess my points are ... Slow down MS ... Release CTP's and BETA's when they are more polished and documentation is better.

For me personally, I have given up for the time being and will (Maybe) try again when you are at RTM from a developers perspective as I will waste far less of my time.

Again Rob, Thanks for your CALM response, you deserve credit (Show this to Bill for a free Donut or Milk Shake !)

Hammo






Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

johnvms

Hammo:

I understand your frustration. Overall I've been very impressed with the WPF framework, but was surprised by the following:

1. How little effort Microsoft seemed to put into preparing the very large base of Windows Forms developrs for the transition. So far, the only solid, practical, working examples I've seen have come from the user community, particularly Josh Smith. I can't tell you how many times I've been at the verge of tossing .WPF, and run across something from Josh Smith that bails me out and gets me excited about WPF again.

2. While it seems they make an attempt to provide more than just reference information in the documentation, you have to jump around way to much to find the information. It seems that on almost every page, there's some subtile XAML syntax, or bit of related information I have to chase after.

3. The lack of a few very essential controls was also a big surprise. I understand deadlines, and once your over the rather large learning curve, WPF does give the average programmer the ability to create controls that it would have been extremely difficult in Windows Forms. The lack of a date picker and basic DataGrid was inexcusable.

4. While overall the design architecture was a huge step in the right direction, some fundamental choices just don't make a lot of sense and make life much more difficult than it should be. For example having 'Selector' as a base class. What was up with that Doesn't the GridView and TreeView (which don't inherit from that, provide selection as well ) Someone on the design team should have taken a close look at the Eclipse project.

Anyway, didn't mean to "piggyback" my rants on your post, but did want to acknowledge that WPF can be very, very frustrating. Unfortunatly it seems to get more frustrating the more you work with it when it should be the opposite.





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

imj

Hi, Hammo

I greatly sympathize with your outburst. I've had that frustration at times. I've been working on a WPF application since October, and have had my share of frustrations. I did find out the following:

1. WPF is new and definitely has a learning curve. Once you move on from the simple demos, it takes a little while to get comfortable with it, because it is so rich. I find that this happens gradually in different areas. I now have a zone of comfort with XAML, styles, the layout engine, events, animation. But I still have a somewhat frustrating time with templates for example.

2. As you mentioned, the poor state of the tools makes everything take longer. I waste a lot of time writing XAML by hand, and running the app to make sure the effect is as intended. I don't think the state of the tools has prevented me from doing anything in particular, but it just takes a lot longer. However I'm glad the framework release didn't have to wait for Orcas or Blend to be ready.

3. When I heard of WPF and saw the demos, I was very excited about the prospects of visually compelling applications with a straightforward and consistent API. What I've found in reality is that performance is a huge issue (much more so that with WinForms). Layout and object creation are very slow, and animation takes a back seat to those activities since they're all performed in the main thread. So I often have pages that need several seconds to be created (and they're not that complicated), animations that stutter or that get skipped entirely, and a completely non responsive UI while these things happen. So here's a hint to the WPF team: allow UIElements to be created in a separate thread in v2, and please work on performance!

4. Memory leaks: I have found it very easy to end up with memory leaks with WPF, because of behaviors that aren't obvious (for example with Image objects). I think the documentation needs to be clearer about where the risks are, because WPF objects are very memory hungry, and it's easy to consume a lot of it without realizing why. Anyone developing a non-trivial application is going to have to deal with this.

5. It would be useful to have more guidelines on common programming scenarios and best practices. Here are some things I would like to see more extensive documentation on:

5a. What's the proper way to create a control library I've given up on it with the horrible syntax needed to reference these from XAML (although it does work), getting tools like Blend to understand them, and dealing with application resources and resource dictionaries.
5b. When to derive from Controls, when to use UserControls
5c. What's faster and uses less memory: using styles, inline templates, styles with templates, templates defined in c#, etc...
5d. When is it better to share objects such as brushes When are we better off with separate instances How much of an impact does freezing have

6. Bugs.
6a. I found this bug where the serialization of UserControls inside other elements is completely broken (there's another thread about it). It baffles me that this bug made it through to release since:
a. UserControls are an essential tool to the developer
b. They get serialized with Navigation style applications, for which the framework provides significant support.
6b. The other frustrating issue is font rendering while scrolling. I simply can't believe that Microsoft found it acceptable to release such an important Framework, bundled with their new OS (a great opportunity for widespread availability), but hampered it with a behavior (that can't be turned off) that's going to make end users think there's something wrong with their eyes or their computers. Scrolling text in an application is going to happen all the time. It simply cannot be fuzzy!
So yes, the framework oozes with a feeling of being rushed out the door to make a deadline, and that's extremely frustrating.

So I have good days and bad days with WPF. Over time, I'm hoping the bad days will slowly go away with experience, better tools, and better documentation. I keep plugging at it because I love c# and the fundamentals of the framework (I've done my share of C++). It's going to be fantastic one day. In the meantime, we'll have to deal with the many small issues. I'll just add that I would have given up a while ago were it not for this forum, and I encourage MSFT to answer ALL the questions that come up here, because developers are your friends on this one, and they're going to need a lot of hand holding for the next year or so.

- Imad




Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Rob Relyea

Thanks all for the great feedback. Please keep it coming.

It is Sunday, so I'm not going to dig into the feedback and reply right now...my two boys are looking for me to read some more books to them...

Thanks, Rob





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

AlexCr

Hi Imad,

You raise a lot of interesting and important issues.  I think a "overall evalution" thread like this is a good idea.

  >performance is a huge issue
Under what conditions   What about with a machine whose hardware you'd buy today (including a upper-range graphics card ).

  >Memory leaks:
Wow, I thought .NET was supposed to eliminate that .  The objects that leak must still be referenced by something, right   Who is it

Overall have you actually been able to produce something that is usable by your end-users (maybe with beta kind of quality)

Alex





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

AlexCr

Hi John,

  >I can't tell you how many times I've been at the verge
  >of tossing WPF...

Ha, I know what you mean.  Part of what keeps me going is when I go back to WinForms and see some of its shortcoming.  The scalability and resolution- independence of WPF is what keeps me coming back (so far at least), despite the many "challenges".

I think WPF is probably a once-every-20-years kind of event, so I'm expecting payback on this learning investment for the next 20 years (10-15 at least).

  >The lack of a date picker and basic DataGrid was inexcusable.

The word "inexcusable" is a bit harsh don't you think   Can't you just host existing WinForms controls for those things that are currently missing or inadequate in WPF   (At the slight drawback of some visual style differences )

  >Unfortunately it seems to get more frustrating the more you work
  >with it when it should be the opposite.

Wow that is a scary statement!  How long have you been working with WPF

Alex





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Josh Smith

johnvms,

1. How little effort Microsoft seemed to put into preparing the very large base of Windows Forms developrs for the transition. So far, the only solid, practical, working examples I've seen have come from the user community, particularly Josh Smith. I can't tell you how many times I've been at the verge of tossing .WPF, and run across something from Josh Smith that bails me out and gets me excited about WPF again.

I can't adequately express how fantastic that is to me! Reading your post really made my day. I'm glad that you've found my work useful and exciting.






Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

imj

AlexCr wrote:

Hi Imad,

You raise a lot of interesting and important issues. I think a "overall evalution" thread like this is a good idea.

>performance is a huge issue
Under what conditions What about with a machine whose hardware you'd buy today (including a upper-range graphics card ).

>Memory leaks:
Wow, I thought .NET was supposed to eliminate that . The objects that leak must still be referenced by something, right Who is it

Overall have you actually been able to produce something that is usable by your end-users (maybe with beta kind of quality)

Alex



I think most of the performance issues I see relate to the CPU, not the graphics card. FrameworkElement creation and layout just takes longer than it seems it should take. So for example it takes 3 to 4 seconds to create a page with about 200 controls in a StackPanel on an Athlon X2 4400. When I look for the bottleneck, it's the UserControl creation that takes up the time. Now it may be that I need to look for ways to optimize the UserControl, but when I compare the complexity of my page relative to something a web browser displays, I generally find WPF to be slow, from layout to object creation.

As far as the memory leaks are concerned, I mean an object that doesn't get garbage collected until the application shuts down, even though my code doesn't reference it anymore. I guess I had some leaks that were my fault that tainted my impression. But the one that really bugged me was including XAML like this:
<Image Source="http://blahblah.com/someimage.jpg" />
Something this innocent prevented the image, and the entire Page it was in, from being garbage collected. Now there are ways to prevent this (there's a thread on this), but I'm amazed that the default behavior of the Image object would cause a leak.

- Imad





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

Michael.Weinhardt - MSFT

Howdy,

As with all the other Microsoft responders, the SDK team are *always* interested in hearing feedback. This document [1] describes the various locations that you can go to record your feedback on WPF.

For the SDK specifically, the offline (installed) version of the SDK has a "comments" hyperlink at the bottom of each page. Clicking this will help you construct and send an email to us, to a list that is regularly monitored and responded to.

And, on the online version, the ratings and comments you provide are also regularly checked.

Cheers,
Michael

[1] http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms745659.aspx





Re: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) I am so fed up with WPF and .Net 3.0 !!!!

ivolved_Mike_Brown

Josh Smith wrote:

johnvms,

1. How little effort Microsoft seemed to put into preparing the very large base of Windows Forms developrs for the transition. So far, the only solid, practical, working examples I've seen have come from the user community, particularly Josh Smith. I can't tell you how many times I've been at the verge of tossing .WPF, and run across something from Josh Smith that bails me out and gets me excited about WPF again.

I can't adequately express how fantastic that is to me! Reading your post really made my day. I'm glad that you've found my work useful and exciting.

Okay Josh, you didn't have to create a pseudonym to sing your praises, we all know you rock! Seriously though Kudos to you.

To add my two cents to the thread. Yes I have personally experienced all the pains which you have mentioned...except I was the one helping Josh out with his problems instead of vice versa . I think the best thing right now is to lean on the community to help through the growing pains of learning WPF development. Unfortunately, WPF does require that developers be skilled with control design in many cases that Winforms has an "out of the box" solution. There are a number of initiatives throughout the community to provide a supplemental set of controls to help ease the shock that developers may experience trasitioning from Winforms to WPF.

I can't remember whose blog it was that I first read it (I think either Joel Spolsky or Erick Sink), but the more layers of abstraction provided, the more difficult it is to understand what goes wrong to those who don't understand the underlying layers of the abstraction. Imagine the fun we get to experience when not only is a new abstraction created but the foundation of that abstraction is new as well.

As much as I DESPISE biz talk (not the server but the jargon) but WPF is a MAJOR paradigm shift. Java has gone through similar things...I can't even remember all the names of the different UI frameworks I worked with as a Java developer. And believe me the JRE is as massive as .net 3.0 framework (if not moreso) but you've probably downloaded it so long ago that you've forgotten it by now. My hope is that MSFT will push 3.0 as an important update for those who use automatic updates and the pain will be lessened.

And probably the most telling sign is that despite all the pains you keep coming back . Stick with it, you're part of the vanguard of "the way things will be done."