[dba-VB] C# winforms vs WPF

Dan Waters df.waters at comcast.net
Sat Oct 6 12:34:36 CDT 2012

Hi John,

Based on the recent discussion in our list, I recently purchased a used copy
of Pro WPF in VB 2010 (there is a C# version too), because the reviews said
the book gave a good description of WinForms vs. WPF.  I read the
introduction and stopped there.  WPF can apparently do all the things that
WinForms can do, and a lot more.  The 'lot more' is a very enhanced GUI.
For me, I develop basic business applications, and none of the enhanced part
would be wanted by my customers.  So I will stick with WinForms.  The
difference between MS deciding to stop enhancing a particular technology and
MS deciding to prevent it from working for anyone is probably at least two

Several months ago I had purchased WPF 4 Unleashed and I got the same

>From Apress:

Who this book is for:
This book is designed for developers encountering WPF for the first time in
their professional lives. A working knowledge of Visual Basic (VB) and the
basic architecture of .NET is helpful to follow the examples easily, but all
concepts will be explained from the ground up.


-----Original Message-----
From: dba-vb-bounces at databaseadvisors.com
[mailto:dba-vb-bounces at databaseadvisors.com] On Behalf Of jwcolby
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2012 10:22 AM
To: VBA; Access Developers discussion and problem solving
Subject: [dba-VB] C# winforms vs WPF


I do a fair amount of C# programming, much of which is automating SQL Server
from C#.  I do almost no "DB Front End" kind of stuff, though I want to
learn that.

I have never taken the time to learn the Windows form / control stuff and
today I went researching and discovered that apparently System.Windows.forms
is dead technology.  Something I read said that the programming team at MS
was dismantled and WPF is not the latest thing.

Obviously I don't know either one.  For my purposes learning how to use the
individual controls has worked pretty well, I have programmed wrapper
classes, passed controls into the classes, sunk control events, raised
events etc. I do not claim that is a superior paradigm, just 'what I know' 
from doing it that way in the Access / VBA environment.

My question, addressed to any folks who do heavy duty windows form interface
programming, is should I just keep on doing what I do or try to figure out
how to use WPF.

Just as an example, so that you can understand what I am looking to do, I
have an existing class which takes a listview control, a progress bar, a
'clear status' button and a 'print' button and I pass all of these objects
in to a class which forms a status system for my projects.  I wrap all of
the delegate functionality for writing back up to the controls, sinking the
events of the buttons, setting up and using the progress bar and so forth.
I then just instantiate one of the clsStatus objects in a form, place the
controls on the form, pass the controls in to the form in the init and then
call methods of this class to write status information to the list, tick the
progress bar, clear the status list and so forth.

Notice that none of this is 'data bound', and is used by my application to
tell me (the operator) what the application is doing in real time.

I hired a programmer to work with me (now moved on to another job), and I
was the architect so to speak but didn't do very much of the bit twiddling
of making this stuff happen.  I do understand the C# code but I am having
difficulty (for example) getting a handle on how to use the split container
vs the splitter, the panel, dropping controls onto these objects, docking
them and getting them to be where I want them to be at run time, mostly just
because he figured this stuff out.  He showed me (last year) how to do this
stuff but...

So here I am trying to learn the form / control stuff and I am reading that
it is dead technology. 
But can WPF give me this level of object control?  Do I need this level of
object control?  Has MS bypassed me and provided a framework that does the
kind of stuff that I am doing programmatically? 
I obviously need some books to learn what I need, but I am not clear on what
I need to learn.

Any thoughts from interface programmers more experienced than I am?

John W. Colby
Colby Consulting

Reality is what refuses to go away
when you do not believe in it

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