The WPF Challenge winners

March 22, 2007

The winners of The WPF Challenge have been determined.  It was difficult to pick three winners, because many of the submitted applications were very impressive.  Here’s the glory story:

First Place Quixotry by Johnny Turpin

Application: Quixotry is a beautifully designed game, similar to Scrabble.  The UI is elegantly simple and intuitive.  It provides smooth drag-drop effects for the letter tiles, which is a nice touch.  I feel that this application makes use of WPF in an elegant and simple way. The game also has an artificial opponent to play against.

Winner: Johnny Turpin is a multi-dimensional software engineer who has developed an interest and expertise in software design for the 10′ experience. He is currently working for Industry Next, a technology and design firm, where he is a Senior Engineer exploring the latest application frameworks and design patterns and how to apply them to create compelling interactive entertainment applications. He has held previous positions at Apple Computer where he worked in the Video Architecture Group and Minerva Networks where he championed the development of IP Television applications. He can be found around the New York area playing in the band Seems So Bright and enjoys the occasional competitive game of foosball and tennis.

Second PlaceWPF Physics (desktop version) by Chris Cavanagh

Application: Cavanagh’s WPF Physics desktop application is a very fun and dynamic UI, which uses a physics engine he wrote.  The animations are very slick and realistic.  This application demonstrates that WPF can really shine in unexpected ways.

Winner: I’m a .NET web application developer based in south eastern Minnesota.  I moved here (with my wife Nicola and three awesome kids) from England in 2004 with a background in C, C++, Delphi and .NET.  It’s been one heck of a ride since then!  I spend most of the week knee-deep in ASP.NET and (recently) Flex development.  I started following Avalon pretty early and was pumped when WPF was finally released (no more breaking updates – yay!).  I’m your typical geek who codes through the day, then codes the rest of the time too (probably in my sleep also; I’ve always got some crazy hobby project on the go).  My interest in integrating physics engines with WPF probably comes from my past obsession with 3D graphics coding and games that let me blow stuff up.  FYI I’ve got an all-C# physics engine almost ready to roll (based on the Bullet engine) and some funky stuff with BSP trees; hopefully you’ll see that on my blog sometime soon!

Third PlaceRSS Reader by Gavrilovici Corneliu

Application: RSS Reader really stands out visually.  It is a simple tool which has a great look and feel.  It has nice visual effects when changing the category of blogs to view.  This application seems to be something that one wouldn’t see in anything HWND based, so it definitely is a “WPF app” worth checking out.

Winner: My name is Corneliu Gavrilovici and I was born in Romania, Cluj Napoca, on the 2nd of July 1984. I’ve graduated a technical high school and afterwards I applied to the Computer Science University and I got accepted. I am now in my third year of study and I also work as a programmer in a well respected company.(this is their site ) I had an interest regarding computers and programs since I was a teenager and therefore I started programming with the will of fulfilling my needs and dreams. I thank you for contacting me and I hope this brief bio gives you an idea on how I am and do.

Notable Mentions
Three judges were involved with choosing the winners of The WPF Challenge.  We did not all agree on which apps were the best (I had to ultimately make that very difficult choice).  Here are the apps that were picked as potential winners, but did not make it into the final list.

Chart and Lens Panel by John Stewien

Sticky Spaces by Forrest Miller

You can view all of the submitted applications on this page

The Judges

Here are the fellows who helped decide which apps won the competition.

Jordan Nolan,
I’m a former Infragistics Windows Developer and software consultant in the Boston area.  I’ve been extolling the wonders and virtues of WPF for a couple of years now to anyone who will lend an ear.  When I’m not blissfully working with .Net I can usually be found indulging my passion for great wine, scotch and cognac.

Nick Thuesen
I’m currently a WPF developer for the New York Times.  I’ve spent the last year and a half building the Times Reader application.  Lately, I’ve been eating, sleeping and thinking WPF.  In my spare time I’m your typical sarcastic geek who writes code in his spare time.  (This is when I’m not in a heated philosophical discussion on why Batman could possibly take Superman in a battle royale.)  I have a blog where I write posts about subjects I pretend to know a lot about.  You can find it at

Josh Smith
I love four things: my girlfriend Denise, the music of J.S. Bach, fine liquors (particularly scotch), and WPF.  I’ve been playing classical piano since I was five years old, and programming since around nine or ten.  I’ve known Jordan for years now, and worked with him at two different companies.  I’ve gotten to know Nick for about one month so far while working with him at The New York Times on Times Reader.  Oh yea…I recently just discovered how ridiculously funny South Park is.  🙂


The winners of The WPF Challenge…

March 20, 2007

…will be announced soon.  The judges are still trying to decide which of the submitted apps are the grandest of them all.  I intend on publishing the long awaited List of Winners soon. 🙂

Until then, go about your daily life as if nothing extraordinary is brewing…

It is time to pick the winners

March 12, 2007

The final day for new submissions to The WPF Challenge has come and gone.  I’m happy to announce that the competition has 12 contestants, and 14 applications were submitted!  Most of the submissions are really cool, so it will be tough to pick three winners.  However, myself and two others will undertake that arduous task sometime in the next week or so.  Shortly thereafter I will be post an extensive blog entry which reviews the winning applications and their creators.

If you want to check out all of the submissions, they are listed here.

WPF goes green…another contestant grinds his axe

March 5, 2007

With only one week left for submissions to be entered into The WPF Challenge, a chap by the name of Dave Biggar has entered the ring.  He submitted an XBAP application which displays photos and information about trees in Ottawa, Canada.  You can view this neat creation here and the introduction here.

Keep in mind, ladies and gentleman, time is running out.  The final submission date is Monday March 12, 2007.  That Monday ends according to the GMT timezone, because that’s the timezone which my blog uses.  Late submissions are immediately disqualified.  So, if you’re gonna give it a shot, now’s the time to do it! 🙂

Another contestant enters The WPF Challenge

March 4, 2007

A fellow by the name of Forrest Miller has submitted a really nice “sticky note” WPF desktop application, called StickySpaces.  It seems like a really useful app, and he even made an MSI available, in case you want to easily install StickySpaces on your machine.  You can download the source code and installer here.  Nice work, Forrest!

You can’t all be winners

March 1, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, The WPF Challenge is officially bound to generate at least one loser now.  We now have four contestants, of which only three will win.  Oh wait…perhaps I should be P.C. and call them “non-winners” or “secondary champions”.  Perhaps not. ;P

Today John Stewien submitted an excellent XBAP into the competition, check it out here.

(Note: For some reason I cannot load the app on my home machine, so if you can’t load it, you’re not alone.)

As always, all submissions into The WPF Challenge are posted here, for your viewing pleasure.

Remember, the last day you can submit your WPF application into the contest is March 12th (the day ends when it’s midnight in the GMT time zone).  If you win, your name will be remembered for generations to come.  Our descendants will sing your name in taverns, around campfires, while marching into battle, etc.  They will build marble monuments in your honor.  Plus, you will get some awesome WPF software for free…

Yet another submission to The WPF Challenge

February 27, 2007

A fellow by the name of Bryan Livingston recently submitted an XBAP into The WPF Challenge. It is a vector graphics editor which has some cool functionality, especially the huge range of text rendering options.  You can check it out here and then click the “Logo Designer” link.

Feel free to peruse all of the submissions on the WPF Challenge Submissions page.

New submission to WPF Challenge

February 21, 2007

A fellow by the name of Chris Cavanagh submitted an XBAP application which demonstrates a simple physics engine, written in C#.  You can read more about it here:  Try it out on this page:

Note, to move the “vehicle” around, use the Left and Right arrow keys.  The Up and Down arrow keys have an effect, too.  Reset the whole thing by pressing F5. 

Keep in mind, since the WPF Challenge has been changed, you do not have to submit your app as an XBAP.  It is perfectly OK to do so, but feel free to submit the source code for a WPF desktop application, too.

 Nice work, Chris!

The WPF Challenge has been changed!

February 19, 2007

I have modified the rules of The WPF Challenge.  You no longer are required to submit a link to a live XBAP.  Instead, you can now post a link to a .ZIP file which contains your WPF application source code (XBAP or desktop).  Do not submit an EXE.  I am concerned that people will have a difficult time finding a Web host which supports XBAP files on their servers, and I don’t want people to not submit based on a mundane roadblock.

To recap, you can submit any kind of WPF application now.  It does not have to be an XBAP!

The floodgates have opened!  Let the mayhem begin…

Looking for a server to host XBAPs

February 19, 2007

Chad Campbell raised a good point about The WPF Challenge.  It’s not easy to find a web host which supports XBAPs yet.  It would be great if there was a common server on which XBAP submissions could be kept.

If you know of a Web host whose servers support XBAPs, please post a comment to this blog entry and provide us all with a link to it.  Ideally it would be free, but inexpensive ones are OK too. 

Thanks for any help!