For the last year I’ve been talking about the need to make a set of themes and templates available for WPF developers. There are plenty of companies who want nice looking WPF applications (other than the default Windows XP/Vista look) but don’t know where to start. I’ve argued, to anyone who’ll listen, that we need a community site that showcases the power of WPF templates.
CSS Zen Garden
I suspect that many of you are familiar with the CSS Zen Garden.
The goal of the site is to showcase what is possible with CSS-based design. Style sheets contributed by graphic designers from around the world are used to change the visual presentation of a single HTML file, producing hundreds of different designs. Aside from reference to an external CSS file, the HTML markup itself never changes. All visual differences are the result of the CSS (and supporting imagery).
The magnitude of the changes you can make to a prototype website by swapping the CSS is staggering. CSS Zen Garden permits designers to show how creative they can be with CSS and allows other to use these CSS files as starting points for their own development.
Where is the WPF/Silverlight Zen Garden?
Both WPF and Silverlight support templated controls. Templates allow us to completely change the way a control looks, while keeping the same behavior. This is a powerful concept that allows developer to change a button from
My dream is to have a community site where designers can display their templates for WPF/Silverlight controls and others can peruse the catalog looking for design ideas and samples.
WPF Futures releases new control templates
Microsoft has made a few small steps in publishing control templates. A few months ago Microsoft released a set of control templates for Silverlight. Those templates have been modified to work with WPF controls and were released last week for your consumption.