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My personal experience has always been with web applications and lots of "back-end stuff" but recently I've been poking around for some personal projects to widen my knowledge.

An obvious thing to look at as I'm in the .net world is WPF but now I read this:

WPF has no product manager

And from the same guy's blog (he is a former Silverlight Product Manager):

WPF has no investment, it’s kept together by a skeleton crew and its evangelism / community efforts have little to no funding attached to it. It’s dead, the question now is how is the corpse going to be buried and no amount of cheer leading will change that outcome in the near future.

Although it won't change my short term plans - should this affect the amount of effort I put into learning WPF? What are my alternatives to look at if I want some up-to-date winapp gui knowledge?

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closed as not constructive by ChrisF Jan 30 '12 at 22:48

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Oh, please. I've heard so many "x is dead" ramblings about Microsoft's technologies that I don't listen to them anymore. –  Robert Harvey Oct 31 '10 at 14:49
    
An alternative view on the future, from a present employee is the-present-and-future-of-wpf –  llcf Oct 31 '10 at 15:55
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Normally I'd agree, but having been semi-stung by Linq2SQL I'm not keen to begin learning a new technology that's going nowhere as I can direct my efforts elsewhere. –  FinnNk Oct 31 '10 at 16:08
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Totally with you on this question FinnNk. Its enough to drive a man completely batty. I want bada$$ UI's and there isn't a lot to chose from... –  Martinez Oct 31 '10 at 16:45
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I can feel your pain as someone looking to possibly invest time learning this technology. Seems odd that the GUI tech behind Visual Studio might be a dead-but-don't-know-it-yet tech. However, it seems more than possible. I wouldn't spend the time to learn it if it won't be active in 2 years (unless I had to for work). –  qes Nov 12 '10 at 22:42
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3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Product Managers are developer marketing folks. They perform an important role, but the number of them assigned to a product is more indicative of marketing workload, not development workload. I worked with some of the Product Managers when putting together the WPF futures post.

While we typically do not discuss numbers for any of the staff, WPF has plenty of Program Managers and Developers on the team responsible for delivering the bits you all rely on. I think that's more important. Look at my blog post on WPF Present and Future (mentioned in the thread here) and Rob Relyea's WPF talk from PDC10 to see just a small bit of what we're planning for the next version.

Pete Brown

Developer Division Community Program Manager, Microsoft

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+1 for being an authoritative source. –  Paul Nathan Nov 1 '10 at 15:43
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Well I think that answers this one! Thanks for stepping up with the information Pete –  FinnNk Nov 1 '10 at 17:20
    
It is great to get word from the company in charge of the tech. Thank you for your time. –  qes Nov 12 '10 at 22:44
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What does "dead" mean in a world where VB6 is still "supported" on Windows 7?

WPF will be around as an option for a very long time (in programming years, anyway) and it's still being actively developed as far as I can tell. However, being pragmatic, we should be doing the "right" thing anyway, which is to maintain a separation of concerns, and reduce and isolate dependencies. Therefore, keep your dependencies on WPF isolated.

If you keep your ViewModels clean (regular objects that implement INotifyPropertyChanged) then when the next magical must-have UI framework comes along, you should only have to re-design the Views, and switch over your View-to-ViewModel mapping logic. You'll only do that if there's a real incentive to change, too.

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Have you ever actually had to change out a technology like this? –  Robert Harvey Oct 31 '10 at 15:18
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Is WPF (WPF/e) the first set of .NET technologies to enable this UI 'swap out' scenario? Seems like you're betting that this approach will be supported in the next 'great' UI. For both our sake I hope you're right :) –  makerofthings7 Oct 31 '10 at 16:01
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+1 Absolutely - but as this is coming from the angle where I'm wondering what to focus some learning on rather than that I'm worrying about supporting some real project. For example, at work we have a significant amount of Linq2SQL - fortunately it is mostly isolated and if we had to we could replace it bit by bit without breaking everything. That does not mean however that I would recommend to someone that they learn Linq2SQL over, for example, Entity Framework. I'm cautious over WPF as a result of this experience. –  FinnNk Oct 31 '10 at 16:13
    
@FinnNk: Linq has a longer life expectancy than Linq2SQL. In the program I'm working on now, I'm using Linq directly to support he criteria pattern, but I'm hiding the ORM behind a UnitOfWork/Repository pattern. As long as that ORM supports Linq (Linq2NHibernate is what I'm using now), then I have a bit of safety. You could do the same with Linq2SQL. –  Scott Whitlock Oct 31 '10 at 16:36
    
@Rober Harvey @MakerOfThings7: If you do your ViewModel right, you're not dependent on WPF binding. You can replace your data templates and user controls with some generic Widget, and then write some kind of presenter class that performs the function of the data binding. But I think the point is that some magical framework of the future has to be at least as good as WPF, right? Wouldn't the designers want to provide an easy migration path? If they don't, they will end up with the same problem as VB6: a whole bunch of people not willing to incur the upgrade cost. –  Scott Whitlock Oct 31 '10 at 16:39
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From link provided above: "snip..All of those products were either built using XAML-based UI technology (WPF and Silverlight) or target XAML-based UI technology with their output....snip"

What more were you expecting to learn from WPF anyways? The learning you get will easily be applied to Silverlight if anything (XAML).

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