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#1 Alex_C  Icon User is offline

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Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:47 AM

Hi all,

i don't work as a programmer, I just continue to learn by myself and enjoy doing it in my free time.

Until this point I've been programming winforms c# applications.

I would like to learn more and i heard about Xamarin. The idea of being able to program to iOS, Android and Windows Phone using C# seems very attractive. However i know i have to learn more (like XAML, for instance).

What learning path and resources (books, tutorials, videos, courses, etc), and do you guys recommend for a guy like me who have been only programming winforms applications and that would like to give that "jump?".

For instance: "you can start by learning this, from this book/lessons/etc and then learning this..."

Thanks in advance!

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Replies To: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:54 AM

Check the tutorials section of WPF. There is specifically a tutorial for wpf from winforms.
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#3 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:01 AM

Hit the Xamarin site since that's what you're interested in. They have a ton of free resources.
You can also download Charles Petzol's book for free.
When you're ready to make the jump from d1cking around with it at home in your spare time to making a living with it I HIGHLY encourage you to spend the money on their Xamarin University. Its something like $2400 for a year (ouch) but that's still cheaper than many colleges and is unlimited courses ranging from beginner C# and F# to advanced memory management, XAML, cross-platform development etc. Like anything its only a good value if you make use of it. But being a flat-rate if you dedicate yourself you could consume all of their library of videos plus all the live courses easily in 12 months.

I migrated from WPF to Xamarin for a project at work about 10 months ago and am thrilled with it.
I'm not saying its perfect but then no system is. Like any other programming eco-system you'll find yourself whinging about one thing or another at some point. But why not be in a place where your efforts (and your complaints) are good on 3 systems and countless devices instead of just one?
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#4 Alex_C  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:41 AM

Thanks a lot for the suggestions!

View Postastonecipher, on 03 September 2016 - 09:54 AM, said:

Check the tutorials section of WPF. There is specifically a tutorial for wpf from winforms.


@astonecipher
Are you talking about this thread? The only thing i found there is a link to a software called "Windows Forms to Windows Presentation Foundation Converter" :/


View PosttlhIn`toq, on 03 September 2016 - 11:01 AM, said:

Hit the Xamarin site since that's what you're interested in. They have a ton of free resources.
You can also download Charles Petzol's book for free.
When you're ready to make the jump from d1cking around with it at home in your spare time to making a living with it I HIGHLY encourage you to spend the money on their Xamarin University. Its something like $2400 for a year (ouch) but that's still cheaper than many colleges and is unlimited courses ranging from beginner C# and F# to advanced memory management, XAML, cross-platform development etc. Like anything its only a good value if you make use of it. But being a flat-rate if you dedicate yourself you could consume all of their library of videos plus all the live courses easily in 12 months.

I migrated from WPF to Xamarin for a project at work about 10 months ago and am thrilled with it.
I'm not saying its perfect but then no system is. Like any other programming eco-system you'll find yourself whinging about one thing or another at some point. But why not be in a place where your efforts (and your complaints) are good on 3 systems and countless devices instead of just one?


@tlhIn`toq
Considering that i worked only with c# winforms applications before, is it necessary or advisable to try to learn about WPF (or about something else) before hitting, in particular, Charles Petzol's book and, in general, the other free resources you mentioned?

Thanks!
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#5 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 12:22 PM

This actually, by our resident expert. But, this for wpf, a step below yep applications.
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#6 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 12:28 PM

There is a Tutorials button at the top of this page (and at several other locations). Scroll through the list and you'll find WPF (and Silverlight) Tutorials.

But I don't think there is any purpose to starting with WPF. Go straight to Xamarin. They are very similar, but you have no reason to start with WPF.

tlhIn`toq is the best person to confirm this, though.

Of course, you can always fire up Google and search "xamarin tutorial".
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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 03:36 PM

One basic thing to grasp about WPF and Xamarin is: They are the same only different.
They are two different implementations of the same concepts and same languages: XAML markup language for making the UI... C# for the code behind... the .NET framework... and MVVM for the design pattern 95% of the time.

WPF has a control called "StackPanel"
Xamarin calls the same thing a "StackLayout"
Same only different. Avoids confusion both for the developer and the IDE; so it doesn't trying to grab a WPF.StackLayout instead of a Xamarin.StackLayout if they were the same.

So don't think of it as "Learn WPF first then Xamarin second". You want to learn the concept of separating your UI from your data... binding UI to ViewModels in a loose coupling... Not micromanaging the UI from your code. If you do that with WPF or with Xamarin its all the same foundation concepts. The only difference is the name of elements. WPF has a "TextBox", Xamarin has an "Entry". Different words for a control that is used by the user to enter a string.

What sets Xamarin apart is the eco-system under the XAML/C#. Xamarin took the mono port of .NET and hitched it up to their Xamarin.Forms XAML implementation on all the popular platforms: Android, iOS, Windows UWP. So when you make an "Entry" in your shared code the mono runtime on iOS will make an iOS native textbox, and on android it will make an Android native textbox; regardless of what those platforms might call them. It maps from a common set of controls to the native controls on each platform - so you don't have to learn all three. Thus your program will always be native running code on any device.

Personally I would say learn Xamarin since you know you want that cross-platform capability. So you might as well be learning to separate platform-specific needs at the same time you're learning to separate UI from data. *BUT* don't rule out the WPF tutorials. Everything they have to teach you about data binding, layout, MVVM etc. applies to Xamarin and in actuality is the basis of Xamarin, because XAML, C# and .NET are the foundations that Xamarin and mono are built on.
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#8 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:50 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 03 September 2016 - 10:36 PM, said:

*BUT* don't rule out the WPF tutorials. Everything they have to teach you about data binding, layout, MVVM etc. applies to Xamarin and in actuality is the basis of Xamarin, because XAML, C# and .NET are the foundations that Xamarin and mono are built on.

It's probably worth emphasising this point. Once you get beyond the foundations of Xamarin then, because WPF has been around a lot longer, there will be certain subjects that have good WPF-version tutorials that you'll want to try and take advantage of.
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#9 Alex_C  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 04 September 2016 - 03:41 PM

Thank you all for your very valuable help, and in particular to @tlhIn`toq for the detailed and comprehensive explanation! I'll try to learn more about WPF. Thanks a lot, once again.
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#10 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Where to head for? (Xamarin)

Posted 04 September 2016 - 03:45 PM

tlhIn`toq IS our resident expert, so if anyone knows he will.
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