Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: Apress, 2007
Aimed at: Experienced .NET developers moving to WPF
Pros: Broad coverage of WPF; good depth in places
Cons: Some minor technical niggles
Reviewed by: Dave Wheeler
We have yet another book entering the increasingly crowded WPF space. This is no lightweight, coming in at nearly 1000 densely packed pages. It has comprehensive coverage of WPF, ranging from XAML to 3D, and on the whole the book feels (in more sense than one) solid. All the major topic areas are covered, but like every other WPF book it has strengths and weaknesses, and occasionally the odd minor technical niggle, which means that this book alone is probably not going to be enough for the hardcore WPF developer.
The book is logically arranged, with clear examples, and assumes from the get-go that you will be working with a combination of XAML and code. You can certainly read it from end to end, but it’s also excellent for dipping into from time to time. The code samples and links described in the book are all available online. As you’d expect, there’s little or no coverage on Expression Blend or Silverlight: this book is squarely targeted at developers writing full-blown WPF applications.
On the whole, I found this book slightly less readable than Adam Nathan’s Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed, but this is largely just a matter of personal preference. However, MacDonald provides more detailed coverage than Nathan in many areas, such as printing, which ultimately means that having both on your bookshelf will be an advantage in the longer term. You will have to accept, though, that there will be considerable overlap if you go for this approach.
So is it worth it? All I can say is that Pro WPF is certainly worth a place in the pantheon of WPF books; but as a peer, not the master.