and, I’m not talking about the type that plugs into an IDE and lets somebody play at being a prolific programmer by generating thousands of lines of code… I’m talking about the living, breathing, ARTISTIC types… the guys who talk about colors and margins and padding and know what it means to the people looking at your app.
I’ve recently had the joy of working with Mr. Gilbert here at my current job, and he’s helped me to create an incredibly rich and beautiful experience with WPF on my client app… a piece of brilliance in its simplicity and visually pleasing environment. For the first time in a VERY long time I’ve caught myself just sitting and staring at what I’ve produced.
I’d also like to state how wonderfully useful Blend is for this sort of work. I can sit with him and talk about changes, move things around quickly and easily WITHOUT BREAKING MY APPLICATION! For instance, today we decided that a certain visual element should move up when a tab strip isn’t visible… with WPF and Blend, this was a matter of reordering a few element in a container so they docked in a different order. Done. Testable. No business logic interrupted in any way. No coding required. No styles broken. EASY.
A month or two ago I attended a demo given by Chris Bernard (blog), the MS User Experience Evangelist in my area, and he really turned me on to the possibilities of WPF and helped me to see HOW Blend is meant to be used. It’s NOT a C#/WPF development IDE, it’s a designer tool. It really is! I put on my Gimp! hat, and suddenly it makes sense (sorry, can’t afford Photoshop). Life becomes easy!
Microsoft, Thank you! THIS is what I’ve wanted… and I bet the next release even fixes the biggest bugs that bother me with Blend