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Diary of a Code Trotter by Laurent Bugnion is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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Copyright (c) 2006 - 2011 GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion

Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Diary of a Code Trotter
I spent quite a lot of time with Expression Blend lately. I like that program more and more. It needs some getting use to it at first, but it's just great to be able to open the same project file and source files in Blend and in Visual Studio simultanously. You can design your UI in Blend, including bindings, etc..., you can even run it to check how it looks like "in real", and then you can switch to Studio to do the code behind, add data sources, etc. One thing I miss in Blend is Timeline-based animations (Blend only does frame based), but then again, writing animations in Studio is quite easy and with the Intellisense, it's nice.
One thing I like in Blend is that it's programmed in WPF. It gives me a good feeling, because it's really a powerful application, and it runs very smoothly (though sometimes a little slow) on my 3 years old XP Pro laptop. I keep thinking "If they can do it with Blend, we can do it with our application too" ;-)
Blend in MSDN
So of course I was very happy when Soma at Microsoft sent us an email to announce Microsoft's decision to finally include Expression Web and Blend in MSDN (MVPs got the news confidentially on Thursday morning, swiss time, more or less 10 hours before the official announcement).
I am happy about the news, not really because of the financial aspect (my firm pays for software, and I'll get a special edition of Expression Suite at MIX anyway). Rather, what makes me happy here is that Microsoft is acknowledging the existence of the devigners. Half-man half machines (err sorry, half developers half designers), these new beings are key resources for WPF development. In my opinion, Microsoft's decision opens a clear road to that kind of collaboration between designers and devs. (How do you abbreviate designers? Dess?)
Also, and that's worth noting, it's actually a change of decision due to the community. At first, the big bucks guys at Microsoft didn't want to include Expression in MSDN at all. The community reacted and Microsoft listened. I like that (new) attitude.
Expression Design, however, will not be included. It's probably a program I would use less, but still, keeping it out of the package seems kind of weird.
Blend trick: Showing the "main panel" in full
Here's a quick trick in Blend: If you have a small working surface, and want to display the content of the main panel as big as possible, press the "Tab" or "F4" key. All the other panels will collapse.
Blend, main panel maximized
Blend, main panel maximized
MIX sold out
In other news, MIX07 is sold out. Not bad. Can't wait to be there, now that I almost recovered from the Seattle jet-lag.
Let's Mix
New laptop
I got a new laptop for work: Fujitsu Siemens Celsius H240 with a huge display (1900x1200), Pentium Core Duo 2GHz. For the moment I have "only" 1GB RAM but that'll change next week (just ordered another GB). On the bad side, because of strict guidelines from our dear IT department, there's a lot of crap on it which I may not uninstall, and additionally I have to run XP Pro on it. It's almost painful to not run Vista on that machine, but I don't have a say unfortunately. Well, who knows, maybe it'll change if we shout loud enough.
Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2007 10:55 PM Technical stuff , .NET , WPF | Back to top

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