WPF vNext

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rudigrobler

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Feb 22, 2011, 3:45:11 AM2/22/11
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hi,

Recently wrote a blog post about going to the MVP summit and what is
next with WPF, Silverlight & WP7... Anything that needs to be added?

http://www.rudigrobler.net/blog/vnext

Who else if going to the summit?

Jeremy Alles

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Feb 22, 2011, 3:54:49 AM2/22/11
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Hi Rudy,

I'll be at the summit too. It'll be the first time there and the first time in the US for me, looking forward to it !

About WPF and Silverlight vNext, I'm curious to see the information that we'll have during the summit. I'm seeing a lot of concerns right now from customers about the future of WPF as the UX platform pushed by Microsoft. Recent initiatives (for example the www.fixwpf.org website) sow confusion in people's minds. I'm hoping to have details about Microsoft's strategy on that.

See you there !
Jeremy

rudigrobler

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Feb 22, 2011, 4:25:19 AM2/22/11
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Hi Jeremy,

I totally agree... The strategy for the future is very vague... I
daily get questions about should I use WPF or Silverlight? Is WPF
dead? Is Silverlight dead? etc...

Hopefully microsoft have a very clear strategy and lets us into it a
little!

I think the summit is going to be loads of fun... hope to meat you
their :)

On Feb 22, 10:54 am, Jeremy Alles <jeremy.al...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Rudy,
>
> I'll be at the summit too. It'll be the first time there and the first time
> in the US for me, looking forward to it !
>
> About WPF and Silverlight vNext, I'm curious to see the information that
> we'll have during the summit. I'm seeing a lot of concerns right now from
> customers about the future of WPF as the UX platform pushed by Microsoft.
> Recent initiatives (for example thewww.fixwpf.org<http://www.fixwpf.org%29>website) sow confusion in
> people's minds. I'm hoping to have details about
> Microsoft's strategy on that.
>
> See you there !
> Jeremy
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM, rudigrobler <rudi.grob...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > hi,
>
> > Recently wrote a blog post about going to the MVP summit and what is
> > next with WPF, Silverlight & WP7... Anything that needs to be added?
>
> >http://www.rudigrobler.net/blog/vnext
>
> > Who else if going to the summit?- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

rudigrobler

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Feb 22, 2011, 4:27:04 AM2/22/11
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I also updated the list with Scott Barnes www.fixwpf.com and some
request by xda users for WP7 stuff...

Karl Shifflett

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Feb 22, 2011, 8:24:51 AM2/22/11
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At patterns & practices we get the same questions from customers. 

 

Sunday, I'm meeting with a HUGE company about implementing WPF in their new customer facing product they will start developing soon.

 

These scenarios are from Pete Brown:

·         Cross browser, cross-platform, cross-device: HTML, JavaScript, etc.

·         Rich media, forms-over-data business apps: Silverlight

·         Deeper desktop integration and ISV apps: WPF

·         Complete control and best performance: C++

 

Additionally, when I work with customers, I tell them about using WPF with ClickOnce if they are looking to minimize the impact of deployment.

 

I was at the TechReady Ask the Experts last week.  I sat with Rob Relyea at the WPF table.  The above guidance is what we told people who asked this same question.

 

Karl

Brian Noyes

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:12:12 AM2/22/11
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I do the same kinds of recommendations, but I find that the hard part to draw the line on in a general guidance way is what constitutes “deeper desktop integration”. Also I don’t think “ISV” is a sufficient qualifier. I’ve worked on a number of ISV Silverlight apps that were perfectly targeted for Silverlight.

Josh Smith

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:21:09 AM2/22/11
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I still don't know what ISV actually means, and I have asked numerous
people. What exactly does Independent Software Vendor mean, as a
category of software applications? Independent from whom?

Josh

Karl Shifflett

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:23:20 AM2/22/11
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I should have also included this.

 

Start with (Don’t speak about technology until the below is defined.  Technology can normally flow out of the below responses):

·         What are the requirements of the application?

·         What are the deployment requirements?

·         What operating systems does the application need to run on?

·         What devices does the application need to run on?

 

Karl

Brian Noyes

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:27:04 AM2/22/11
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Now we are in lock step.

Brian Noyes

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:28:48 AM2/22/11
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I agree it is a fuzzy term at best. But I think of it as a company that
develops software for sale to other organizations for LOB scenarios.
Typical examples are financial, insurance, medical apps.

Would be nice to hear the official Microsoft definition of that though...

Jeremy Alles

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:34:36 AM2/22/11
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com, Brian Noyes
I agree with Josh: I don't understand what ISV exactly means...

Josh Smith

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:35:27 AM2/22/11
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Thanks Brian. I wonder what Dependent Software Vendor applications are like. :)

Peter O'Hanlon

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:45:53 AM2/22/11
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They Mainline XAML From: Josh Smith
Sent: 22 February 2011 14:35

CBl...@eki-consulting.com

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:58:46 AM2/22/11
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I think someone asked Pete for a definition of ISV, if I remember correctly it was basically shrinkwrapped software. If you are going to buy an application at Best Buy then that application would be written in WPF, not Silverlight.

Colin Blair


Josh Smith <flappl...@gmail.com>
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Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

Brian Noyes

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Feb 22, 2011, 10:24:48 AM2/22/11
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There is a difference between shrink-wrapped, and built for sale to others. Many ISV’s I have worked with have to go in and do the install themselves and configure a bunch of things, but it is still software built for sale to others.

Charles Petzold

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Feb 22, 2011, 10:27:44 AM2/22/11
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I always understood Microsoft’s use of the term “ISV” to mean “Anyone who creates and markets commercial software who is not Microsoft.”
 
Charles
>> now from customers about the future of WPF as the UX platform pushed by Microsoft.> Recent initiatives (for example > thewww.fixwpf.org<http://www.fixwpf.org%29/>website) sow confusion in
>> people's minds. I'm hoping to have details about Microsoft's strategy on that.> > See you there !
>> Jeremy> > > > On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM, rudigrobler <rudi.grob...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > hi,> > > Recently wrote a blog post about going to the MVP summit and what is > > next with WPF, Silverlight & WP7... Anything that needs to be added?
>> > >http://www.rudigrobler.net/blog/vnext
>> > > Who else if going to the summit?- Hide quoted text -> > - Show quoted text-
>
=

Peter O'Hanlon

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Feb 22, 2011, 10:52:39 AM2/22/11
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Ah. It's the codename for the enemy.

From: Charles Petzold
Sent: 22 February 2011 15:37

Pete Brown

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Feb 22, 2011, 11:29:26 AM2/22/11
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Sure. The term is fuzzy, but it’s about as good as you can get.

 

Why? Because the targeting of our products is itself fuzzy. We’re not going to say “Only X can use Y” when it comes to most developer products. Software development tools rarely have sharp lines delineating usage scenarios. We’ve all bent dev tools to our will, and when enough people do it, it becomes the new norm. That’s why we often say “in general” or are otherwise fuzzy in our answers: we don’t want to shut you out of avenues that may make sense in your own projects. The “in general” is where we primarily focus our own efforts, but it’s not the sum total of the capability or direction of the platform.

 

In general, though <g>, it’s companies like AutoDesk and similar who are big ISVs who tend to need the most out of the client platform. We take their feedback very seriously, just as we did with the community and non-ISV feedback in UserVoice. Requests from ISVs (and internal teams like Visual Studio), as well as large segments of the community, all help impact where we take the product.

 

As to information at the MVP Summit: Please ask us the hard questions. Please ask our execs the hard questions that will help you make the decisions you need to make. For the most part, our answers will be along these same lines. However, don’t let that stop you from asking for new opinions, or offering new scenarios. J

 

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the summit next week. Stop by and introduce yourself if we haven’t met in-person.

 

Pete

 

Pete Brown - Developer Division Community Program Manager - Windows Client

twitter: @pete_brown |blog/site: http://10rem.net

Silverlight 4 in Action – Now available!

Description: Silverlight4InAction

 

Jeremiah Morrill

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Feb 22, 2011, 12:41:27 PM2/22/11
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Hey guys,

I have been lucky enough to be a part of the back-channel conversation on fixwpf.org with Scott and a small handful of others.  Though some details I cannot share, I will say it has been enlightening and reassuring in the fact that I am not a lone chronic complainer about issues with Microsofts UX.  I will try to be as objective, though with the pain my clients and myself have felt because of Microsoft's decisions I admit that is impossible...

WPF Dead?  Silverlight Dead?

Dead is an over dramatic and vague term.  BUT it does make one lend an ear. The better questions to ask IMO, are "Is WPF winding down for maintenance mode?" or "What is Silverlight's place on the web with Microsoft's HTML5 push and where is it's place on the desktop given it's not designed as a full featured desktop technology?"

You can look at WPF's new features and enhancements from 3.0 - 4.0 and come up with a huge list of goodies.  Beyond just new controls and bugfixes, we need to look at changes to the runtime because those changes ultimately move the bar higher in the context of what is possible with WPF in the context of making a competitive (as in iPad) UX.  Animation perf fixes, text rendering, hardware accelerated shaders and cached composition are some of the most notable.  I hope with my last blog post, I have at least given some form of technical evidence that some of these implementations (have not profiled text) are shoddy at best and do not aim to fix the real problems WPF has.

Microsoft has known of WPF's performance problems since the first time they wrote a line of code for it.  You will be hard pressed to find a customer that hasn't complained about perf issues.  And you will not have gone to a PDC in the last few years and not hear folks bring this up to the WPF team.  This is 3rd party info by now, but I've been told the issues I have noted have been brought up internally, only to be disregarded.  Why?  It's only my guess when I say "time and resources."  But where have all the development resources gone?

Silverlight has pretty much taken over Microsoft's spotlight in terms of UX platform.  If you look at they history, they actually started on WPF/E even before WPF was RTM.  They started on Silverlight before they even FIXED WPF!  They jumped on their own bandwagon, maybe with aims of taking over the rich web from folks like Adobe.  Now with HTML5, I don't even think Microsoft really knows what it's going to do with Silverlight.  

I know that bringing up HTML5 can be perceived as "troll" like.  I would like to remind people that HTML5 is less about HTML markup and is more about javascript and Canvas.  Ballmer recently described in his Swiss keynote that "HTML5 is a [graphics] surface, much like the lower level graphics libraries that exist in windows [like d3d, d2d, gdi]".  With a graphics surface, one can make their own UI framework outside the DOM (eg, Flash->Canvas compiler).  We can only imagine that once WebGL is agreed upon, an XNA->Canvas compiler would be possible.  HTML5 is also important to note because it will have more reach than Silverlight and given that performance is the new battle ground, it will perform better than Silverlight also.  All we are waiting for these platforms to surface, but I assure you Microsoft will debut one this year.

In addition to other points, Scott [paraphrased] believes (and I'm subscribing) that if Microsoft would have just focused on making WPF better, instead of chasing web competition that really doesn't exist we wouldn't be in the mess of: A) A slow inefficient Windows UX platform with lots of users, wide install base.  B) A web plugin thats even slower and inefficient with a lot of developers, and uncertain future.  C) Confused developers who don't know where Microsoft is going because they don't know where they are going either.

Now that all my clients have iPads they want to know why all of Microsoft's solutions are so terrible.  They don't care about developer productivity as much as they do being able to compete with a 1ghz Apple device.  Windows now has a black eye and WP7 has a black eye.  WP7, we cannot great fluid UX because of Silverlight...ironically.  Like I joked on twitter "Buy my app.  It has good enough UX and 'ok' performance".  We need to remember that even designers ARE spending the time to learn obj-c and Cocoa and making great, fluid UX on Apples solutions. 

I tweeted this yesterday, but the conversation was once, "WPF and Silverlight convergence".  Now it's "WPF and Silverlight and WP7 Silverlight convergence.  Silverlight has been forked.  Wait until Mix and see if you start to see signs of parity...Microsoft missed the boat years ago on having a single runtime/api for all when they chose to chase shiny new thing instead of fixing WPF.

If you read Scotts fixwpf.org manifesto, do realize he knows WPF will not be fixed.  It's about making Microsoft and it's customers ask difficult and very embarrassing questions.  WPF is the root of all Microsoft UX woes.  People like Scott, myself and others just don't want to ever see this behavior from an esteemed company like Microsoft again.  People's businesses, jobs and lives shouldn't be threatened by what Microsoft sells to us as their future bet but sees itself as a "science project".

"The greatest trick Microsoft ever played was to convince developers it cared about UX" - (Don't want to embarrass the person that said that to me).   

By their actions, I would say they care about making quick LOB solutions and video streaming...



--
Microsoft MVP - Client Application Development
HJT, Inc Software Developer

Jeremiah Morrill

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Feb 22, 2011, 12:59:16 PM2/22/11
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Besides 1000 grammar mistakes, I also meant to say:

 A) A slow inefficient Windows UX platform with a relatively small amount of users, wide install base.

CBl...@eki-consulting.com

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Feb 22, 2011, 1:14:56 PM2/22/11
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Here is the hard question I will be asking: Why are memory leaks in Silverlight 4 such a low priority for Microsoft? I cringe every time somebody comes on the WCF RIA Services forum waving an ANTS report trying to figure out where their memory is going.


Pete Brown <Pete....@microsoft.com>
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02/22/2011 04:29 PM GMT


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RE: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext


Sure. The term is fuzzy, but it’s about as good as you can get.

 

Why? Because the targeting of our products is itself fuzzy. We’re not going to say “Only X can use Y” when it comes to most developer products. Software development tools rarely have sharp lines delineating usage scenarios. We’ve all bent dev tools to our will, and when enough people do it, it becomes the new norm. That’s why we often say “in general” or are otherwise fuzzy in our answers: we don’t want to shut you out of avenues that may make sense in your own projects. The “in general” is where we primarily focus our own efforts, but it’s not the sum total of the capability or direction of the platform.

 

In general, though <g>, it’s companies like AutoDesk and similar who are big ISVs who tend to need the most out of the client platform. We take their feedback very seriously, just as we did with the community and non-ISV feedback in UserVoice. Requests from ISVs (and internal teams like Visual Studio), as well as large segments of the community, all help impact where we take the product.

 

As to information at the MVP Summit: Please ask us the hard questions. Please ask our execs the hard questions that will help you make the decisions you need to make. For the most part, our answers will be along these same lines. However, don’t let that stop you from asking for new opinions, or offering new scenarios. J

 

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the summit next week. Stop by and introduce yourself if we haven’t met in-person.

 

Pete

 

Pete Brown - Developer Division Community Program Manager - Windows Client

twitter: @pete_brown |blog/site: http://10rem.net

Silverlight 4 in Action – Now available!

Description: Silverlight4InAction


 

 

From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [mailto:wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Brian Noyes
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:25 AM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

 

There is a difference between shrink-wrapped, and built for sale to others. Many ISV’s I have worked with have to go in and do the install themselves and configure a bunch of things, but it is still software built for sale to others.

 

From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [mailto:wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of CBl...@EKI-CONSULTING.COM
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9:59 AM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

 

I think someone asked Pete for a definition of ISV, if I remember correctly it was basically shrinkwrapped software. If you are going to buy an application at Best Buy then that application would be written in WPF, not Silverlight.

Colin Blair

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Josh Smith <flappl...@gmail.com>
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02/22/2011 06:21 AM PST


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Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext
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>> now from customers about the future of WPF as the UX platform pushed by Microsoft.> Recent initiatives (for example > thewww.fixwpf.org<http://www.fixwpf.org%29>website) sow confusion in

image001.png

Eric Burke

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Feb 22, 2011, 9:25:54 PM2/22/11
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+1

(Similarly) When I worked at SGI, "ISV" meant "someone who writes software for our hardware platform that isn't us".


From: Charles Petzold <c...@charlespetzold.com>
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:27 AM

Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext
I always understood Microsoft’s use of the term “ISV” to mean “Anyone who creates and markets commercial software who is not Microsoft.”
 
Charles
 
 
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext
 
I think someone asked Pete for a definition of ISV, if I remember correctly it was basically shrinkwrapped software. If you are going to buy an application at Best Buy then that application would be written in WPF, not Silverlight.
Colin Blair

Josh Smith <flappl...@gmail.com>
Sent by: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
02/22/2011 06:21 AM PST

Please respond to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

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Subject 

Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

>> now from customers about the future of WPF as the UX platform pushed by Microsoft.> Recent initiatives (for example > thewww.fixwpf.org<http://www.fixwpf.org%29/>website) sow confusion in
>> people's minds. I'm hoping to have details about Microsoft's strategy on that.> > See you there !
>> Jeremy> > > > On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM, rudigrobler <rudi.grob...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > hi,> > > Recently wrote a blog post about going to the MVP summit and what is > > next with WPF, Silverlight & WP7... Anything that needs to be added?
>> > >http://www.rudigrobler.net/blog/vnext
>> > > Who else if going to the summit?- Hide quoted text -> > - Show quoted text-
>
=


Jaime Rodriguez

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Feb 23, 2011, 2:07:59 AM2/23/11
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ISV is a legacy term. 

Long-time ago, it used to mean shrink-wrapped software.    (Roxio, Sonic, AutoDesk, SAS, etc.)

A few years ago, as shrink wrapped decreased, it evolved to include large scale software manufacturers (same as before but including Fidelity, Thomson Reuters, etc.  )

So usually ISV ==  mid to large scale software vendor; it is for pro-developers who build software for a living and selling it in ‘traditional models’.  We differentiate from enterprise which means writing software mostly for in-house projects (not selling it).
I think when it comes to WPF guidance, we use the term  ISV to highlight two things:  we see that most adoption today was ISVs; we still see WPF having strengths that are appealing to them. In other words, they need features other platforms might not have today.

 

The guidance below is representative of current state of affairs with our client technologies:

1)      There are large scale ISVs who adopted WPF. Their investments are safe, Microsoft (among them) has bet heavily in WPF for Visual Studio, Windows Server, and many other internal products.  It is a great technology (still my favorite UX framework and architecture). Eventhough WPF and .NET has gotten great penetration, the technology is not cross-platform; this limits long-term strategic value (which is proportional to investments).

2)      Silverlight is a great subset (and in a few areas) superset of WPF.  Leverages the best design principles (e.g. XAML, property system,  styles, templates, etc. ).
The cross platform aspect (with phone, xbox, etc.) has strong/strategic value. If you are starting a new project and Silverlight has the features you want/need, you should use that; it is a safer set mostly because we have doubled down on the investments there due to reuse on other platforms (and by that I don’t mean just Mac, phone and the other platforms are more important).

3)      All that said, with both WPF and Silverlight we do see areas where ubermost performance or deep integration with OS is needed; in the end Windows is still written in C++ and therefore all platforms should have a way to integrate C++ to bring in the deepest Windows integration.  This is an advanced  need, not for every app, but a good escape valve when needed. At same time you can see in the industry that C++ is coming back.   iphone and Mac developers are writing complex algorithms in C++ (they might write UI in cocoa, but when they get to lower-level intellectual property, it tends to be C++) so again the technology is at play as a cross-platform reuse strategy.

4)      HTML5 is the new kid on the block.  This is simply what customers are asking for. Last year, we had the incident where an executive said “our strategy on cross-platform changed” .. I think this was misstated as “our customer’s strategies have evolved. We used to think Silverlight (on Mac, Windows, and phone) would be enough. We of course now hear that iOS, Android, and similar OSes do matter to customers, so we leverage the common denominator: HTML5”. Yes, a growing standard, but with time, it will play a role.


None of the above should be news to you.  This is just current state of affairs.  The key at Microsoft is we love developers and must embrace and provide great choice.  If embracing HTML is it, we will provide that as yet another choice. The other technologies will continue to evolve and there will be new ones that hopefully improve on what we have today.   Also, note that these are just options (not mutually exclusive choices). We will continue to have multiple options because our customer’s needs are so broad.

 

I think with regards to guidance, the answer is simple:
If starting a new project, you should use the technology that helps your current and long-term needs aligned with the long-term investments expected.

1)      HTML -- if you can do it with the technology and you believe it is far enough along with regards to standards/stability.  IE9 is a great step there.

2)      Silverlight   -- when HTML can’t do, SL is next. Assuming the platforms you want/need are served by them.

3)      WPF  is still a superset of Silverlight; a few scenarios will only be met by it.  It this is the best/only choice, it is OK.

With any of the above, you can use C++ as your escape valve to get performance and integration –when needed--.

 

If you already have a project, then you should continue your investment if it is meeting your needs.  Understand the roadmap and figure out whether migration will ever be at play; if it does not, no worries, we are committed to all of the above; just have realistic expectations on how quickly and how far these evolve.


Please know the above is just me pointing out the obvious and it is just my personal opinion.  I am sure Microsoft will share their road-map when they are ready. 
Microsoft is not hiding anything or being vague about it on purpose, data is still being gathered for us to create better guidance and roadmap.

1)      We have the challenge of predicting when technologies fully converge (WPF and SL). This is in the works, and this will dictate roadmap more than anything else. We can’t leave people hanging with no cover.

2)      We are listening to customers; our ISVs and customers are incredibly important.  We have to listen to what they want and balance that to what is realistic.  Again, realistic is critical here.

 

Again, huge emphasis on personal,  that is how I see it.  Apologies if all I pointed is obvious and it disappoints on it being a crisp roadmap. I will be at the summit this week if you need to chat (but honestly there is not much else to share than that)

 

 

From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [mailto:wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Eric Burke
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:26 PM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

 

+1

 

(Similarly) When I worked at SGI, "ISV" meant "someone who writes software for our hardware platform that isn't us".

 


From: Charles Petzold <c...@charlespetzold.com>
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext


I always understood Microsoft’s use of the term “ISV” to mean “Anyone who creates and markets commercial software who is not Microsoft.”

 

Charles

 

 

Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9:58 AM

Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

 

I think someone asked Pete for a definition of ISV, if I remember correctly it was basically shrinkwrapped software. If you are going to buy an application at Best Buy then that application would be written in WPF, not Silverlight.

Colin Blair

02/22/2011 06:21 AM PST


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Re: [WPF Disciples] WPF vNext

Sacha Barber

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Feb 23, 2011, 3:34:53 AM2/23/11
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Nice email Jaime
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Jeremiah Morrill

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Feb 23, 2011, 12:47:55 PM2/23/11
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Thanks for the reply Jaime.  There's a lot of good information, but I, and a lot of my clients and your customers just don't see the current state of affairs as very good and many have lost confidence in Microsoft's UX strategy all together.  Pete has already been very kind in lending an ear when I sent him a lengthy email with scenarios in which ISVs are becoming increasingly displeased.  Some of the largest companies and biggest developers of WPF are building internal tech, hoping to drop it.  This is after years of their complaints falling on seemingly deaf ears and the only alternative solution Microsoft has produced is a runtime that less of what they want than WPF is.

1.)  I realize that their investments are "safe".   Microsoft supports their solutions for years and years.  Nobody is afraid their WPF application is going to stop working anytime soon.  They are afraid it will only be what it is now (not counting a few nick-knacks and bug fixes).  This is why I feel the term "dead" is not productive in communicating of the problems.  Lets also remember that products like Visual Studio have only taken on a dependency with WPF.  A large bulk of the UI is still the same old Win32 controls and WPF HwndHosts.  It is also not a reflection of the type of applications my clients are building.

2.)  Silverlight's strategy USED to be about cross-platform, get-the-runtime-on-every-device-out-there, but it's obvious that is not the strategy any more.  What happened to Silverlight on set-top-boxes?  Android?  I read an article that some people saw it on XBox, but nobody has talked about it since.  Cross-platform with OSX has become symbolic at best.  Remember the "AppleScript" chatter to compliment OSX to extend into the OS like COM interop on Windows?  I was going to be added to SL4 if you "have time".  Now we are talking about SL5, no AppleScript in sight.  Now there is going to be P/Invoke on Windows, but none on OSX.  This is not an engineering feat as p/invoke is already part of the SL runtimes, just not exposed.  Not adding these to OSX is a business decision. 

3.)  This is not about C++.  I used C++ in almost every WPF application I help ISVs build and no amount of C++ will help WPF.  This is about the efficiency of Microsofts runtimes, which are far from competitive.  What you have are mostly happy LOB developers or shops that have never ran anything other that MS technology so they have nothing to compare.  Thats fine.  They are happy.  Let them be.  But Microsoft has done nothing to allow consumer UX that comes close to what other platforms are doing.

4.)  I do not think Muglia said anything he did not mean.  Silverlight has sweet spots for LOB and multimedia.  If HTML5 is capable of 90% of what new tooling/html5 canvas can do, why not just use HTML5?  If Silverlight is made to take over where web technology lacks, does that mean Silverlight is just a stop-gap technology?  The truth is, Silverlights "islands of richness" is going to get a lot smaller...much smaller.  Leaving us with only "sweet spots" for Silverlight.  Maybe you guys are working on a Silverlight->Canvas compiler, like Adobe is using for Flash...

I will wear a tiara and a pink tutu if Windows 8 UX strategy is WPF.  It's no secret you guys are building a new UX framework for Win8 to fix the problems I've stated and more, while you waste resources on a plugin that may not have a future on the web and makes WP7 look like a 3rd rate platform...Meanwhile Microsoft could have just fixed WPF and avoided this all together.

Please listen to your customers and act on their needs.  They might not know how to properly portray their "performance" problems within the runtime, but Microsoft is very aware of what they are.  Please fix them or risk more loss of confidence when you try to sell these huge corporations your next big thing.

-Jer

Jaime Rodriguez

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Feb 23, 2011, 2:12:03 PM2/23/11
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Hey Jer, 

 

I am not trying to spin your words, so correct me if I am misinterpreting that we are in agreement in principle (even if our wording is sounding like we are not).  

 

1)      We agree that the term “dead” is useless and it means too little.   We also agree that no technology at Microsoft dies quickly and that is not a concern.  WPF is not dead, everyone is safe.

2)      We agree that cross-platform today has a different meaning than it did 4 years ago when we began Silverlight.  As we started, Mac OSX and Windows was a reasonable goal.

Today,   there is iOS,  Android, webOS,etc.    I don’t think the owners of these OSes will let us ship our run-times in their platform – we can have an academic discussion around Android –but that won’t get us iOS, BlackBerry, webOs, and everything that comes later.   Again, Bob did mean what he said, but in my opinion what he did was word it wrong, he said “we shifted” and the meta point to me was “our customers are asking us to shift”.  We have to listen to customers, else we go out of business.   Another meta-point with Bob is his message sounded like an “or” decision, and it was an “and”. We continue to invest into Silverlight, and we are adding HTML.   Nobody in the Silverlight team has moved to IE team; we doubled down on both.  BTW, SL and WPF is same team now-a-days (so when you hear me say SL, that is both).

3)      You are asking us to listen to our customers.   We agree there and that is exactly what we are doing. Please keep in mind, you are not the only customer – even if you are my favorite one J-.

 

I think we agree on all of the above, right?

 

I do see a disconnect on expectations, and I think it is mostly based on context.  The below is a hypothetical argument for you Jer.  The estimates that I am sharing are not real, I am not in engineering, but they are not far from reality.

You are telling us to improve perf in WPF. We hear this loudly and we are trying to figure how to solve it. Unfortunately, there are a few pieces to consider:

1)      First of all,  a lot of our customers are telling us to invest more into Silverlight.  Let’s say (again made up) that demand is  4-to 1. How do we justify a revamp of the graphics architecture in WPF.  This is not trivial work; the expertise in this space is limited, we can’t clone our folks to 5x to meet everyone’s needs.   

2)      Let’s assume we did take on the work.  My guess (again, I am not engineering) is that it would take two years to implement and thorougly test a release.  At the stage that WPF is at, a rearchitecture or huge changes on the graphics stack would be 80% about testing and 20% about the dev work.    It is not a trivial amount of work.   Would we get the performance you want across myriad of devices? We don’t know. WPF bet on hardware, and there is new devices out  there that are trading hardware for battery, weight, or simply for cost.  it would suck to do that much work, make you wait a long time, and then not get there. Let’s get real on the asks; you say “improve perf” but you are asking us to do a “significant re-write”; these two asks are different.  

3)      By the time we get there, what will be a more powerful framework?  Silverlight, WPF, C++, or SuperNew.Next ??  we don’t know today.  We go back to #1 and look at demand We are in agreement that “customers” is the driving principle.

 

The WPF has looked at the trade-offs, and risk many times.  We are also looking at what customers need. Jer, to you it is all about graphics.  To many others, it is about data.  So, how do we serve all customers??

The strategy is exactly what you have seen/heard: 

1)      WPF 4.5 is going to have some significant data binding performance improvements.   

2)      We are not redoing the graphics framework, but we are doing a lot of work to let you interoperate with lower level graphics so that if you need more graphics perf you can get it, and still keep the RAD of the rest of the framework.  

If you ask me, this is the better compromise they could have made.  {there are other improvements, I am just pointing out the ones that I think you care about}

Your last statement refers to a plugin, I assume you refer to Silverlight.   Today, Silverlight is much more than a plugin. It is the run-time on phones.   It runs out of browser on Windows. It has a place in other platforms; unfortunately I don’t think it will be on all platforms (and that part is beyond Microsoft’s control, not that I am saying we would do it on all platforms, we can’t target everything), that is why HTML.

 

If you are coming to summit, or you want to meet while at MIX – let’s chat then.  It is not that I want to quiet the thread; it is simply that we can argue forever and still not reach agreement because we are looking at different sets of data and demands.  If you have a silverbullet that solves our problems, we would want to hear it. In the mean-time, please keep in mind all of the above (and many other factors that are often missed).

 

Anyone with concerns, you are always welcome to email me directly.  [I am guilty of not reading this alias as often as I could, this week I am on it cause of the dinner Karl mentioned], but never hesitate to go direct or call.

We are always eager to listen to you (and rest assured that others, in particular Rob, who owns WPF are crawling through the internet for the feedback, this gets discussed a lot internally).

 

Hope it helps; apologies if it does not, and again, wait for Rob Relyea or someone else to make it official.  That is just my 2c as a person who bet heavily on WPF but has seen the data that drives the trade-offs the team has to make.

Jeremiah Morrill

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Feb 23, 2011, 3:14:56 PM2/23/11
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com, Jaime Rodriguez
Jaime, I really appreciate you engaging in this conversation.  And I can come into agreement that we could go back and forth into eternity! I should be at the summit and available for a chat, but that is contingent on some unexpected challenges with my fiances pregnancy.

I would like to say I hold some resentment on this comment:

>>Please keep in mind, you are not the only customer

The reason I am so bent it because I am inheriting my clients frustrations, which are Microsoft's customers too.  These clients, some are small, some medium, some very large with applications visible to hundreds of thousands of users.  I figure if I have to listen to their issues, I want Microsoft to hear it too.

Thanks again,

-Jer

Peter O'Hanlon

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Feb 23, 2011, 6:33:14 PM2/23/11