Windows Vista is on its way, and with it comes a brand-new mechanism for defining user interfaces. XAML is one of many new technologies appearing in Windows Vista and promises to be a pervasive part of core Windows programming across a variety of yet-to-be-introduced Windows frameworks. XAML completely removes the need for user-interface designers to understand code. Third-party visual layout applications can now generate valid XAML for use in building sophisticated Windows Vista applications.
The Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and therefore XAML, offer many sophisticated user-interface features that are not available in other declarative markup languages such as HTML or XUL. Scaling and rotation of both text and graphics, animation, and extensibility are all core parts of WPF and accessible to XAML developers. While HTML was developed primarily for displaying text and graphics on the Web, XAML's primary target is native Windows applications (although it can also target web-based deployments).
The close relationship between runtime objects and the elements in a XAML file make XAML an easy choice for user-interface design on the Windows platform. It offers the means to create rich, or "smart," clients that act more like a full-featured interface than a web-based application.
XAML can be used to design user interfaces without the need for code, or it can be used in conjunction with supported .NET languages such as C# and VB.NET. XAML is the preferred method of developing interfaces for applications on the Windows Vista platform because its powerful features allow developers to create interfaces that go above and beyond traditional interface design. XAML and the WPF open up endless possibilities for exciting new user interfaces, and this book will provide an understanding of the language and the framework upon which those interfaces are developed.