The less-than-random ramblings of Scott Jackson, software architect.

No Such Comfort

Understanding View Models

Posted by scottj on April 10, 2012 in Custom Development with No Comments


A view model represents the state and behavior of a particular piece of UI—it is the non-framework-specific analogue of a control. Just as you can’t generally place the same control instance in two locations in a UI tree, you can’t also reuse the same view model instance.

If you could, we’d call it a ViewsModel 🙂
Bryan Watts

I remember spending time when learning MVVMlight debugging issues around the reuse of view models, and I thought such reuse was integral to MVVM.  In then end, and with much regret, I tore out all this reuse, replacing it with very simple code that created a new view model when views were instantiated.  I felt awful, scrapping the work that went into MVVMlight to do this.  And yet, after reading the above quote, I feel a little vindicated.  I’m sure there’s cases where you might want to keep a viewmodel instance around, but I’m still suspicious if this should be the default behavior.

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Capricious Whim

“Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.” —Fred Brooks