Best WPF Open Source projects

Over the years, open source development using Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and/or Silverlight has become increasingly popular. While some start off as personal hobby projects, others are created with a primary intent to benefit the community. Codeplex.com, Microsoft’s free open source project hosting site, is the most popular home for Microsoft based open source projects. A Windows Live ID is all you need to register yourself with the site. Later, you can create a CodePlex account and link it to your Windows Live ID.

A few of the popular WPF projects hosted on Codeplex are described here.

Caliburn

This project was designed as an application framework to aid in the development of WPF and Silverlight applications and implements many UI patterns for solving real-world problems. The brainchild of Rob Eisenberg, it received tremendous positive feedback from the community as well as companies.

The last release of Caliburn was 2.0 RC, released in Feb 2011.

For new development, Caliburn.Micro is recommended. There will be no further investment in new versions for Caliburn.

Caliburn Micro

Caliburn.Micro is a small, yet powerful framework, designed for building applications across all XAML Platforms. It even includes support for WinRT/Metro style development. The framework has strong support for MVVM and other proven UI patterns. Along with Rob Eisenberg who is still the key person behind this project, there are now a few more developers and editors involved.

Prism

Prism is aimed at software developers who are building WPF, Silverlight or WP7 applications that typically feature several screens, rich user interaction and data visualization, and that embody significant presentation and business logic.

Prism uses design patterns representing important architectural design principles, such as separation of concerns and loose coupling and enables developers to design and build applications using loosely coupled components.

Prism includes reference implementations, QuickStarts, reusable library code (the Prism Library), and extensive documentation.

The last release was Prism 4 in November 2010.

MVVM Light Toolkit

The MVVM Light Toolkit is a set of components helping people to get started in the Model – View – ViewModel pattern in Silverlight and WPF. It is a light and pragmatic framework that contains only the essential components needed. MVVM Light version 4 is fully geared to support Windows 8 development.

Extended WPF Toolkit

The Extended WPF Toolkit started with just three controls and a vision. Conceived by Brian Lagunas, this project is a collection of WPF controls, components and utilities made available outside the normal WPF Toolkit. It has now grown into a feature packed control suite with over 30 controls. With over 65K downloads and over 1.1 million page views in under 2 years, the Extended WPF Toolkit has grown into an essential tool for any developer to have in their toolbox. The latest release of the project was on March 30, 2012.  Brian Lagunas recently transferred the ownership of this project to Xceed.

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