Spent a whole evening achieving virtually nothing. I'm writing a little program for the plasma display in our new, spiffy, meeting area in the middle of the department (if you think that this means I'm a lot better at starting projects than finishing them- Icon Invaders, Moosaic etc etc then you are probably right - but this one needs to be done pronto and I'll get round to the others later).
Little know fact: Pronto was Tonto's younger, and much more punctual, brother.
Anyhoo, I'm using WinFX which is very nice. Got the latest versions of .NET 3.0 and all the trimmings and I can make swooshy windows now. I even managed to figure out how to read the RSS feed that is going to provide the data source for the display, and unpick the data from it that I want.
Then I try to put messages in the WinFX containers that hold my text. Now I'm using my usual learning technique here, which is to use Intellisense and MSDN and not read any books. Bad move. Simply couldn't figure out how to get text onto the control. Unlike old style windows components, which have a Text property, WinFX is much more complicated. It has FlowDocument and Paragraph and Block and all kinds of paraphernalia. But no Text property. After a lot of messing about I found that there is an InLines property which does pretty much what I want and lets me add strings of text to the display. Hurrah.
But the really good news (which probably makes the 90 minutes of cursing and swearing worthwhile) is that it will do all the formatting for me using Xaml cues in the string to lay out the text.
Which means that whilst it has taken me ages to do the easy bit, the hard bit should be really easy. If you see what I mean.
I'll post the program in source form once I've got it working.