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Expression Blend

March 20, 2008 - .NET / C#

Hmm … this is potentially one of the nicest tools to come out of the Microsoft camp in living memory. Its got some seriously nice work flows inside it, a nice interface and a lot of power under the hood. But like any v1 Microsoft product I think its hit the market a tad early.

I’ve seen it doing some really odd things so far. Like controls in WPF assets I’m designing being rendered ABOVE the Blend interface! Even when there is apparently no ZIndex shenanigans going on in the XAML code.

I’m also convinced that Blend is using some kind of intermediate cache of the actual solution rather than working on the solution directly. It seems to operate drastically different to Visual Studio when it comes to the XAML elements of WPF. Some things that Visual Studio refuses to render in its XAML pane render without any hitches in the Blend interface. Combine that with the sheer difficulty of quickly debugging XAML and your into a whole world of pain.

Still Blend is a fantastic tool and make manipulating XAML a real pleasure most of the time and I know that Blend 2 is only going to make this an even more enjoyable process.

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