Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Four Free XAML Editors Reviewed

I like to type XAML.

It’s an extremely flexible and expressive way to work when sketching out the logical structure of a new piece of UI.

A graphical design tool like Blend is best for some things, like creating a non-trivial gradient brush, but at some point it all comes down to the code.

To satisfy my need for speed and create a sense of flow I need a fast editor that can provide instant feedback.

XAML editors exist on a continuum from the fast and lightweight to the more powerful but cumbersome. The professional tools (Visual Studio and Blend) occupy the heavyweight end, but there are also a number of free tools that provide a more basic but responsive experience.

In this post, I’ll look in detail at four free XAML editors all of which are quick to start up and responsive as you type.