Why Syncfusion ?

Using Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation and Syncfusion WPF Libraries

Why Syncfusion ?

Postby PGilbert on Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:21 pm

I have relocated my thread to here that is about WPF. The continuation of this thread is more about Syncfusion.
Last edited by PGilbert on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Why WPF ?

Postby Dick Bowman on Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:38 pm

Can I divert this a little?

Let's reasonably assume that we all agree with your reasoning - what I'd like to know is how many people are actually using WPF from APL to build application GUIs.

We know the voluble posters here - but is there a silent majority?

Is everybody quiet but happy?

Are people prepared to say "I tried but quit because..." and/or "I haven't tried because..."?

I'm asking this because I have increasing misgivings about the useability of the Syncfusion libraries as supplied by Dyalog. WPF itself is fine, the Syncfusion code (which should add greatly to interface richness) mostly works - but their documentation is quite possibly the worst I have ever encountered.
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Re: Why WPF ?

Postby Dick Bowman on Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:46 pm

Further musing...

I'm a little perturbed by what feels like a frustrated/negative tone here (and in a related exchange with another well-recognised APLer). I fear that there is a possibility of deterring people.

So, another challenge.

I think we need to publish some Success Stories - to illustrate APL applications with innovative user interfaces, where success might be either a technical tour de force, or a commercial blockbuster, or drastically-reduced development/maintenance costs or whatever else you term a success.

And to reiterate as before - although it's in the nature of things that this forum will amplify the negative (asking "how do I?"), really it is very easy to build workaday user interfaces via WPF - and I might go so far as to say that it is an even easier task than building them with the native APL/W GUI controls.
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Re: Why WPF ?

Postby PGilbert on Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:23 am

Dick Bowman wrote:I'm asking this because I have increasing misgivings about the useability of the Syncfusion libraries as supplied by Dyalog. WPF itself is fine, the Syncfusion code (which should add greatly to interface richness) mostly works - but their documentation is quite possibly the worst I have ever encountered.


I would agree to say that the documentation of Syncfusion is their week point. But I think they are improving, already in their last release (2015 vol 1) there was some significant improvement. When you have their membership (currently $250 USD for Dyalog users) you can ask them as often as you want questions about their controls and they will answer usually within 24 to 48 hours with a Visual Studio example. You want to do something that is not described in their documentation - no problem - you ask them and they will reply with a Visual Studio example. So I think they understand that they have to keep their documentation updated otherwise they will loose their shirt answering the same questions a thousand times.

Personally I am not good with Visual Studio, but if I submit them an example in Xaml they will understand it and reply with a Visual Studio example where I will look only at the Xaml included in their example.

If I thing there is a bug in the behavior of a control and I can make a Xaml example I will submit it that way to Syncfusion, if it needs to be a Visual Studio example I will submit it to Dyalog and they will report it for me to Syncfusion (thanks Vince). Usually they will publish the fix for the bug you submitted with their next quaterly release.

The frustrating part is for the APLer that is not good with C# (like me), he or she can loose a lot of time trying to understand the code while for the APLer that knows C# it is a walk in the park. If somebody has a good C# primer for APLer and want to publish it on the Wiki that would be appreciated (don't need much, the basics like =! means ≠, etc).

Personally I looked at all the major provider of WPF controls and Syncfusion was the one I choosed because they had the controls that I was looking for to build our application. The added bonus was their licensing validation was compatible with an interpreted language, the other ones had to go through some Visual Studio steps. Syncfusion seems to be more 'business' oriented than the other ones which fit better, I think, for the Dyalog users.

I think what the APLer needs is a basic example for each controls to get him started and this is what you are doing here and we are all grateful for that.

Pierre Gilbert
Last edited by PGilbert on Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why WPF ?

Postby MikeHughes on Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:17 am

I have to agree with everything Pierre has said and more.

I personally believe that if we don't move into using WPF (desktop) and/or MiServer (others) then APL is going to remain struggling to maintain its market share let alone increase it. People expect "pretty" front ends of a certain standard - very few want anything else. No one is going to commission a new system in anything that doesn't support these as a basic front end offering. Most people assume that every language can support IOS and Android natively.

I looked at all the offerings available several years ago and I felt that Syncfusion had the best, both in coverage and ease wrt usage with APL.

I sometimes find the Syncfusion offering frustrating on one side but also very easy on the other. I have had the same experience with the Syncfusion help desk as Pierre, they are very responsive and helpful.

One very attractive point from my side is that they have a commitment to try and make all their controls work the same over all the platforms where this makes sense. So when we get a good foundation for WPF and MiServer in APL, followed by platform X - we should have the same family of controls available to us.

I like the Syncfusion controls, and I like dealing with Syncfusion. I don't like their documentation BUT as Pierre says the latest version is so much better. Their help desk is excellent both with how does this work, why doesn't this work but also with questions like...I want to do this ...how do I start...the latter being a question I wasn't expecting help with but they have always come back with a suggestion/example.
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Re: Why Syncfusion ?

Postby Dick Bowman on Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:25 pm

Am I imagining things or have the Syncfusion online help pages changed format in the past week or so?

I recall seeing pages which were somewhat similar to Microsoft's Class Reference pages (which would tell you namespace/assembly/dll) - but in the last week or so what I see is VB/etc language syntax at the top and namespace/assembly/dll somewhat buried (if indeed it's there at all).

Just when I'd got into a routine for digging out what I needed...
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Re: Why Syncfusion ?

Postby PGilbert on Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:37 pm

To get information about the assemblies of Syncfusion (or anybody else) we don't use their documentation. Instead we use JustDecompile from Telerik that is free. We used before Reflector when it was free of charge.
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