Appplications = Code + Markup
I've been reading Charles' book, Appplications = Code + Markup, and spotted the flame posted by Jeff Atwood - How Not To Write a Technical Book (which I think was a bit thin all-round as a posting) where he compares Charles' book to Adam Nathan's Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed. Charles Petzold's book may lack a little color and design - but he's a skilled software developer and a very thoughtful author. Every code example comes with a matching source and .sln file (there are over 150 short and helpful code projects). Charles also thought carefully about the division of the book into two halves - code and then markup - and I find it helps enormously to focus on code first - which in turn gave me a deeper understanding of what was going on in the XAML markup that followed. On Charles' own site he says openly that he wishes the design had included more screen shots - but his book is already a 976 page tour de force and frankly I'm glad it was kept as lean and clean as it is. That said when ever I've really wanted to get a solid understanding of any topic I've usually read more than just one book - and so seeing two great books out there in two different styles can only be a good thing.