My 2 cents on WPF with VS2008 and Expression Blend

I have been working on a WPF project lately and finding I have both Blend and Visual Studio open a lot of the time.  There’s things each tool does better than the other and then there’s things I need to use both for to accomplish my task. Thought I’d put down my thoughts and see if anyone else has the same issues.

First for the things I’m liking:

In WPF in general, I’m loving the data binding. All I can say is very, very cool.

Now for the things that annoy me:

In Visual Studio:

  • finding my resources is a pain. I really just want to right click on the xmaml view and “goto definition”
  • I’ve also found that editing resources in xaml is dangerous. I get lots of designer crashes, especially when moving resource from a form or control to a resource dictionary. However it has been greatly improved after applying this hotfix”: http://blogs.msdn.com/wpfsdk/archive/2008/11/10/wpf-designer-hotfix-is-posted.aspx but still crash devenv 3-4 times a day.
  • Grouping / tidying resources – I’ve been puting regions and trying to create resource dictionaries that are somewhat logical but still find it quite messy to find things I want using Visual Studio.

 

In Expression Blend:

  • Data Triggers – for these I seem to have to workaround the fact i don’t want to code the xaml by hand and there doesn’t seem to be a way to make data triggers in Blend.  I’ve been using Blend to make a control property to generate the XAML for the effect that I want i.e. hide an element and then copy the xaml into the data trigger section. \
  • No intellisense in XAML
  • No collapsable XAML – makes it hard to look through.
  • No integration with Source Control