Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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Give us Feedback on my Windows Phone Book

July 9, 2011
Roscoe, N.Y.

Gosh, it seems like just last year I was working on my free ebook Programming Windows Phone 7, and now they tell me I have to revise the entire book because Windows Phone 7 is going to be superseded by Windows Phone 7.1.

We — and by "we" I mean me and my publisher, Microsoft Press — would like to know what you think about the first edition of Programming Windows Phone 7 so we can make the second edition even better. Microsoft Press has put together a little on-line anonymous survey for your opinions, which you can access by visiting the Microsoft Press blog.

Please take the time for this survey, because it will really influence what we do with the second edition, and that will result in a better book and make you a happier reader.

And if you're not familiar with the first edition, you can download it right now because it's free:

Programming Windows Phone 7


Programming Windows Phone 7 is a great work, We are expecting the similar book for Windows Phone 7.1.

— Chinnasamy, Sun, 10 Jul 2011 04:55:52 -0400

The only improvment I can think of is to give a more realistic example of mapping.

I understand why you used the resources you did but this isn't the way a real app would do it in general..

Also the pivot and panorama controls are more important and should be introduced earlier (but not too early :-)

Also see:

mike.james, Sun, 10 Jul 2011 05:40:10 -0400

Here's the thing: Before covering Pivot and Panorama I definitely need to cover ItemsControl and DataTemplate; and DateTemplate and ControlTemplate need to be covered fairly close to one another. But ControlTemplate requires the VisualStateManager, which requires animation, and it doesn't make sense to cover animation until after a lot of graphics coverage. That's why Pivot and Panorama come so late in the book.

I don't make these decisions arbitrarily, you know! — Charles

"I don't make these decisions arbitrarily, you know! — Charles"

I never thought you did... :-)

And now I see your problem.

However I stand by the observation because so many WP7 apps would be better off using the Pivot and Panorama control beginners need to be made aware of their existance early on. So perhaps not a complete explaination - and certainly there is no need to use the MVVM approach of the sample app. Just a very basic this is a layout control like the grid and ...

But yes I can see that logically they fit later.

Good luck with your decision :-)


mike.james, Sun, 10 Jul 2011 09:45:28 -0400

I think a revised version of the book should explore the consumption of web services a little further - it is a more complex process than with Windows Mobile and yet is a common app requirement.

MikeG, Mon, 11 Jul 2011 04:06:24 -0400

It would be nice if there were some chapters on development using Native language and internals.

— Nwisha, Mon, 11 Jul 2011 13:56:48 -0400

It would be nice if Windows Phone had an interface to the native API. — Charles

Hi Charles,

Respectfully, mike.james +1.

Perhaps earlier chapters can cover basic usage without going into the guts of how it works (which can be saved for later chapters)?

— ZS, Thu, 14 Jul 2011 01:54:26 -0400

There's too much "basic Silverlight" stuff in there. Get to the guts of what that all means to WP 7.5. Have some solutions for folks coming from Silverlight (web) and expecting the same functionality, e.g. pixel shaders/effects. Interationalization / globalization / localization chapter would also be good.

— The, Mon, 15 Aug 2011 13:51:35 -0400

you can start by advising your faithful readers to forget windows phone and wait for windows 8 cuz enough is enough.

— issam, Wed, 24 Aug 2011 06:15:56 -0400

I try to avoid advising readers. Developers need to make their own decisions about what platforms to target. If they want to target a platform I've written a book about, that's good. If not, there are plenty of other books around. — Charles

BTW, any time frame for the 2nd edition? When do you plan to publish it?

— Werner Ruotsalainen, Tue, 15 Nov 2011 04:47:19 -0500

I'm afraid there won't be a 2nd edition.

The funding that made a free 1st edition possible wasn't available for a 2nd edition. That left me two choices: (1) I could create a free 2nd edition anyway. But that would have caused me some severe financial hardship. (Like the rest of the 99%, I need income to pay my bills.) (2) The 2nd edition would not be free, and I would be paid conventionally through royalties. But this made me nervous, because people are often reluctant to pay for something that once was free.

Fortunately, many other people will be writing Windows Phone programming books, so it's not as if this information won't be readily available. — Charles

No (free) 2e indeed makes a lot of sense. But from another p.o.v, the "2nd edition", whoever will write it, should cover WP8 rather than WP7.5 instead. And according to the article "Windows Phone 7 Sunk by Silverlight" on (google for it), WP8 will be based on WinRT rather than silverlight, development on which will be stopped after v5.

What this means is that all the time invested in learing to program WP7/7.1 using silverlight will be (completely?) wasted.

So I'm not surprised at all to see Charles starting to write Win8 related articles on this blog (no more silverlight/wp7).

On a related note, I noticed that another well-known author adam nathan has published a book called "101 wp7 apps (vol 1)", which seems to be quite popular. However, i doubt there will ever be a vol 2. If adam does publish vol 2, it will be the same apps rewritten using WP8/Win8 instead, which would make him (and readers who wasted time reading vol 1) look like an idiot.

— bww, Mon, 30 Jan 2012 05:49:49 -0500

> no more silverlifght/wp7

Have you seen my MSDN Magazine articles recently? They're all about Windows Phone.

> all the time invested in learing to program WP7/7.1 using silverlight will be (completely?) wasted.

Considering how similar WinRT is to Silverlight, the idea of "wasted" time is ridiculous. — Charles

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