XAML and DX Interop

1670 views
Skip to first unread message

John Gossman

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 3:35:15 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Jeremiah Morrill

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 4:36:05 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Thanks for the link John!

This feature is really going to make XAML (and DX) applications shine.

-Jer




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

Jeremy Alles

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 4:38:20 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Yes this is a nice feature. 
It looks like the team working on WinRT has learned a lot from WPF ;-)

Jeremy

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 4:47:49 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Now if only this could make it into the desktop experience. I'm sorry Microsoft, but I can't help thinking that you're leaving those of us on the desktop side out as third class citizens here. You see, things like this excite me (not enough for me to go all scary stalker, but enough to give me shivers) and then we find out that it's going to be denied to those of us who have to write and support desktop applications.
How can something be such an epic success and such an epic fail simultaneously.
--
Peter O'Hanlon

Colin Blair

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 6:09:17 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Have you seen the video of the guy trying to use Windows 8 for the first time? Not sure if the video proves that the desktop mode should be improved or just done away with.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4boTbv9_nU

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 6:15:47 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Rightly or wrongly, the message that's now out with the tech writers is that Metro is a disaster on the big screen, and that MS is chasing after the wrong hare here. Honestly, if contracts made it into the desktop, I would be happy. If desktop could be a first class citizen, I would be delighted. As it stands, several of my clients have flat out stated that they will not upgrade - they have too much investment in desktop based multi-screen systems, and Metro gets in the way.
 
Sadly, I can't argue with them. This is the first time I haven't been excited by the prospect of a Windows release. It's a very sad day for me.

--
Peter O'Hanlon

Colin Eberhardt

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 6:43:16 PM3/15/12
to Peter O'Hanlon, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I totally understand your perspective, I can't see win 8 making a big impact in the financial domain either for those self same reasons. Which is a shame, because I do think win 8 will make a fantastic tablet OS, in the same way that WP7 is a great phone OS.

The problem is, how to create a completely new experience, whilst maintaining the old. I totally understand why they split win 8 down the middle.

So, Pete, are you just disappointed that win 8 desktop does not really add anything to win 7? Or do you think a unification could have been possible with more thought / work?

From: Peter O'Hanlon
Sent: 15/03/2012 22:15

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 7:06:21 PM3/15/12
to Colin Eberhardt, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

I see nothing that we can class as a desktop improvement. Metro actually gets in the way of the desktop, rather than enhances it.

If we were to have a unification of features such as WinRT, XAML as a first class citizen, the feature posted here, charms, etc, then MS would have a surefire hit in the corporate world. I have just had a client ring me to tell me not to offer them a Windows 8 update to our software because they will not upgrade. Now, these people throw money around on just about any software upgrade because they do this to protect their budget. For them to say no to this is unprecedented. Heck, they even upgraded to Vista when that first came out.

I don't know how clear we can make this, but there are lots of companies out there who have applications that cannot be offered in a Metro way, so not offering access to the same features and not listening to people who really do need to treat the desktop as their primary system is just alienating us. I have tried to love Metro, but I just can't. Embracing it would be financial suicide for us. The single screen app does not work for our clients, this being one of the reasons we never went the ipad route.

Jeremiah Morrill

unread,
Mar 15, 2012, 7:37:37 PM3/15/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
There is some value add to Windows 8 for desktop UI applications (DirectComposition comes to mind, D2D additions/optimizations), but for me, the most compelling technologies are Metro-only.  WinJS and Win8 XAML seem to be the first Microsoft UI technologies that don't need a 12 core nuclear reactor and the first time ever MS had C++ as a first class citizen for rich UI.

I don't mind as much that these technologies are Metro-only, but the restrictions in API usage they bring.  This is a big plus for consumer, but I was hoping for an enterprise option that would allow free-reign over many of no-no API calls.  Things like access to custom hw/drivers, IPC and using a wealth of code that depends on non-safe metro APIs are pain points for custom enterprise software (software that is already "trusted" within a company) that want to move to a Metro API.  Until something like this happens, or these technologies get official presence on the desktop...It would be safe to call the traditional desktop moving towards obsolescence. 

Even though I have my complaints, I'm pretty excited for this new technology and starting to see a lot them learn from a lot of mistakes of the past.  I agree with Colin that it will make a fantastic tablet OS...not sure about comparing it to WP7, which I hold in pretty low regard. :)

I've seen the video of the old guy running windows 8...But I'm sure there was a lot of similar reactions to Windows 95 from Win 3.1 users.

-Jer

Laurent Bugnion

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 8:28:39 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com, Colin Eberhardt

The error that many people do is to consider Metro applications as an *upgrade path* from classic desktop apps. This is not that at all. Just like a phone application is not an upgrade to a desktop app.

 

In fact Metro apps are companions to full blown desktop apps, with less features and touch oriented. The firms who don’t get that are doing it wrong. Metro apps should be developed *in addition* to standard applications.

 

There is no doubt that in some cases we will see Metro-only apps (just like we have some phone-only apps), but if the client has a running application on the desktop already, proposing an upgrade to Metro doesn’t make sense.

 

All this IMHO of course.

Laurent

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 8:42:37 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Which begs the question, why does metro get in the way of the desktop? What I keep getting asked is why can I not have the desktop as my primary interface?

From: Laurent Bugnion
Sent: 16/03/2012 12:29
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com; Colin Eberhardt

Colin Eberhardt

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 8:47:54 AM3/16/12
to Laurent Bugnion, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I totally agree, there are a great many business apps for which metro is not a viable upgrade path. Which is the reason why I strongly disagree with the statement Jeremiah made ...


"It would be safe to call the traditional desktop moving towards obsolescence."

I couldn't disagree more ;-)

Colin E.

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 8:54:28 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Indeed. The sad thing is, if the extra metro features made it onto the desktop, this would be an unstoppable OS. Why can't desktop apps take advantage of contracts? That would simplify some of my applications no end.

Oh well

From: Colin Eberhardt
Sent: 16/03/2012 12:47
To: Laurent Bugnion; wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Karl Shifflett

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 10:27:41 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Laurent,

Strongly agree with your comments.

To demonstrate I'm trying to finish the latest version of BBQ Shack. All of the backend code will be WPF.  The cash register will be WinRT Metro with the nice touch experience.

As far as running Win8 on my desktop, I'm not there yet, but I have not really given it a proper chance either. I happen to love Windows 7 (except for the Outlook and Visual Studio 10 crashes I get).

BTW:  I've got Mole running on VS 11.  Bummer, that WinRT aps do not support Visualizers.  We are efforting to get our licensing and activation changed to an in-house application.  Once this is done, I'll put out a beta for VS 11 of Mole.

Cheers,

Karl

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 10:41:06 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Sadly I am in Peters camp.

I have nothing against Metro itself,  and like the idea of simpler touch apps, I just think metro should be like a fancy task manager is all which can be launched using windows key, I have not watched enough videos to even confirm if it may already do that.

WinRT everywhere should be the thing Microsoft worked on, that would have been the big win in my opinion.



--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 10:54:52 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I think the big question is, if you use Windows on a PC, what is the incentive to upgrade? What does Windows bring to the desktop user?

I know Microsoft has been seduced by the tablet boom, but the simple fact is that desktop PCs far outnumber tablet devices. So why offer a standard form factor for both platforms that disadvantages the majority of your users? What am I missing? That is what I want the answer to?

From: Sacha Barber
Sent: 16/03/2012 14:41

Colin Eberhardt

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 11:18:49 AM3/16/12
to Peter O'Hanlon, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Pete,

Yes desktops far outnumber tablets, but what about in five years time? I don't see the desktop being eliminated, it is a more suitable form factor for daily office work, but I do see its overall share being eroded considerably. Microsoft can hardly ignore this.

Colin E.

From: Peter O'Hanlon
Sent: 16/03/2012 14:54
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 11:31:35 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I didn't say ignore it. I said don't treat the desktop as a second class citizen. Microsoft had the chance to sew up both markets but they have dropped the ball here. There's no innovation for the desktop in there so there's no reason for companies to upgrade.

Had some of the Metro innovation made it in, they could have sold desktop as well as tablet upgrades. The big problem they have is that Windows 7 is so good that companies are perfectly happy to stick with it, those companies that have upgraded from XP. So I ask again. Why should companies invest in something that does not offer what they need on the desktop? I really want someone at MS to explain just what I am missing. What the killer feature is that will make me fork out money.

From: Colin Eberhardt
Sent: 16/03/2012 15:18
To: Peter O'Hanlon; wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 11:36:36 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com, Peter O'Hanlon
Yeah but they are kind of ignoring desktop devs by doing this too, you must all see that surely
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Brennon Williams

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 11:44:00 AM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Not sure if my comments will conflict or agree – probably some of both. No offence intended. A lot of this are “my thoughts” – the are based on strategic decision making and how I logically see it playing out from a commercial point of view. Commercial scenarios control the technology choices we have in front of us, not technical features. That is the way it has always been.

 

 

 

Metro is for both desktop and tablet form factors. You must demonstrate that your WinRT based solution can run on both for marketplace submission. Thinking that it is for one over the other is naïve – I am not saying that it is the right way to go of course.

 

The start screen is just that – a start screen, an extension of the existing start menu. It is not the place where WinRT application run. It is a snapshot of applications that have access to the start screen (menu) properties such as tiles and common contracts.

 

Metro is a touch first UI technology, but beyond that (and no chrome) they are what we traditionally think of as desktop applications. WinRT is everywhere in Windows 8 and I think what we will see is that you will have the choice of building a chromeless Metro style application for “consumer” experiences, or a traditional Windowed application with no constraints on design language implementations for “enterprise” experiences – both in WinRT with the features and benefits of WinRT. We already know that in order to target ARM – you will need to provide two different install packages, and it is not inconceivable that you will also be able to specify “metro” or “desktop” either. The reason why is that companies like Banks need to be able to privately distribute and install solutions without public stores. I don’t think that will be there for GA – maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

 

The downside to that with LOB is that the entire framework is not there yet – nor do I believe it will be for GA timeframes. We honestly don’t even have parity with Silverlight 4 at this point (both in tooling and framework), but that is not to say that it isn’t coming. When you throw the phone into the mix – getting framework consistency has to be a higher priority, because it has been pure crap up to this point being restricted in one platform to the other, building multiple code bases to support similar features of the same solution on a phone compared to a desktop. This is not about creating the same application on all platforms but creating companion solutions because the use cases are different from device to device.

 

In terms of users – yes there are many more desktop’s, but that simply won’t be the case moving forward. The stats and buying trends backs that up – but again we are talking mostly around consumer use.

 

There is nothing stopping you from creating your traditional Silverlight or WPF applications and ensuring that they will run under compatibility for Win8. So where is the issue?

 

Developers in general maybe angry at the direction of MSFT – but pause for thought – The existing frameworks were heavily limited to what could be achieved with them moving forward in terms of hardware requirements. The entire architecture of the under-lying OS needed to be modified to move towards the performance requirements of solutions and hardware moving forward. This is a reason why we see HTML based “Applications” performing faster in rendering terms as compared to C#-C++ solutions. The platform is optimised for rendering and performance – as opposed to execution speed of the code that is powering the solution within the framework.

 

 

 

In the end – I hope that they remove backward compatibility altogether. They have needed to do it for years and it keeps getting pulled. I am sick of the frameworks, performance and functionality of cross platform delivery being constrained by it.

 

If users of older solutions want to use those solutions and are happy and efficient doing that – they have 10 years to get used to another scenario. As a developer, if you want to keep targeting that market, again, there is nothing stopping you from continuing to develop for it in those technologies – WPF and SL.

 

There are a whole heap of other reasons why MSFT would head this way – commercially with revenue in content distribution, eco-system ownership (people owning all MSFT devices as opposed to Apple), improvements in management scenarios, and lastly the disastrous cloud. The cloud will get better and the terms under which we build for it are about to change as well – it has to in order to make the entire proposition viable. MSFT know this. Let’s see if they can actually execute it without all the BA’s and other people that have never written a line of code getting in the way.

 

 

Either embrace the change and try to understand how to make solutions for it that benefit users, or master the tech that you are currently happy with. In the end, the users (both consumer and enterprise) will decide what works and what doesn’t. It’s our job to be able to build for that expectation and that is why (love or hate Windows 8) you should all be learning how to build for it.

Jeremiah Morrill

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 5:31:08 PM3/16/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I remember the first time I quoted someone out of context ;)

"Until something like this happens, or these technologies get official presence on the desktop...It would be safe to call the traditional desktop moving towards obsolescence."

Imagine 5, maybe 10 years from now...you are developing a new WPF or SL5 application, and MS has not brought metro to the desktop (or improved upon other existing techs).  You would be the equivalent of a DOS programmer today.

It's easy right now to say, "The desktop is still viable. I can't make certain apps that fit Metro restrictions." because Metro isn't even done, or will it be really "done" by GA of Win8.  I'm talking vectors Microsoft technology is headed with the info we have now.  Having no programmable desktop on ARM might be a great hint of how they will kill backwards compatibility...or maybe not if you think x86 will be as popular in the future as it is now.

-Jer

Colin Eberhardt

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 6:07:59 PM3/16/12
to Jeremiah Morrill, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Hi Jer,

Sorry, see your point, have been following this on my phone whilst looking after the kids. Its a WP7, lovely device ;-) but the school run is not the best time for following discussion. The best I can do is skim read and pick up on the controversial points.

I really am not upset about Win8 or MS technology right now. Quite the contrary, I don't think things have been so exciting for a long time. As long as you are happy to broaden your horizons and learn new things, which is basically what I get out of bed for.

Colin E.

From: Jeremiah Morrill
Sent: 16/03/2012 21:31

Jeremiah Morrill

unread,
Mar 16, 2012, 6:16:07 PM3/16/12
to Colin Eberhardt, wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
No apology needed!  This is the internet :)

I agree about being excited with Win8 tech!  The APIs available to devs, even in a sandbox are top notch.  There's a few areas I can complain about, but isn't there always :)

-Jer

Michael Brown

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 1:20:12 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

The XAML DX interop I saw a mile away...they need it if they're going to support running WP7 apps on Win8. With regard to the rest...it may be burnout talking but I'm pretty much feeling m'eh about the whole technology carousel. I'll let the next group figure out how all this stuff works. Not sure why they took the start button away from the consumer preview. If having it bring up the Start Screen was too confusing, not having it at all is probably worse. Like I said right now, I'm really not as hyped about Win8 as I should be. It might pass, it might not. It's just another cycle of learning followed by a few years of waiting for the market to follow. Judging from the adoption of WPF, we have about 4-6 years before we start seeing any true demand for it.

 

Then again, I could be totally off base and it takes off like gangbusters. There are a lot of issues holding it back from being the default new project template for the business world. But the consumer space may take a liking to it. We'll see.

 

--Mike


From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Jeremiah Morrill [jeremiah...@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 6:16 PM

To: Colin Eberhardt
Cc: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 1:23:39 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
It may be burnout talking but I'm pretty much feeling m'eh about the whole technology carousel. I'll let the next group figure out how all this stuff works 

ROFL that seriously cracked me up, and I kind of feel like this too.
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Brian Noyes

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 1:33:02 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
+1 Keep trying to get myself psyched up for it, but always end in a "meh" kind of mindset
--
-----------------------------------------
Brian Noyes
Chief Architect, IDesign Inc
Microsoft Regional Director / MVP
http://www.idesign.net
+1 703-447-3712
-----------------------------------------

Sachs Barber

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 3:07:56 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Shame really, just not that cool. Law dictates odd windows versions rule, win 9 os will be the one

Sent from my iPhone

Colin Eberhardt

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 3:28:56 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I'm definitely in the 'meh' camp with you guys. Love the metro look, but not feeling inspired by the development environment.

From: Sachs Barber
Sent: 20/03/2012 19:08

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:19:01 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Me too. I *want* to be OCD-level obsessed with WinRT/Win8/etc but I just don't care much at all. It's another almost-beta from MSFT of something that I am not even sure will work out in the end. I almost feel like investing in WinRT anything more than casual interest is risky, considering all of the other hot technologies worth learning these days.

josh

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:23:07 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
What's interesting is that opinions have varied from one week to the next from "I must learn this" to "I hate this" to "I have nothing but complete apathy for this". Maybe I'll be more interested when I see practical demos of Dynamics running inside Metro (a few of my clients use Dynamics, so that might interest them - although saying that, we just demoed a product using Dynamics running on an iPad).
--
Peter O'Hanlon

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:31:30 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Pete, 

I think most .NET client devs are feeling ambivalence towards WinRT. I know I am. It's not that I "hate" it or "love" it. Really, it's just annoying that there's yet another platform, with its own bugs and quirks, that MSFT is releasing that we all "should" learn. First there was WinForms, then WPF, then Silverlight, now WinRT. Sure, professional programmers should not opposed to learning new things, but at this point I feel that learning the latest Microsoft stack is an exercise in futility. They keep pulling the rug out from under us.

I can already hear the rebuttals of "But if you know WPF or SL, you practically already know WinRT!" To that I say, so what? The delta between WinRT and WPF/SL seem significant enough to require non-trivial time investments. And therein lies the rub...

Josh

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:39:06 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Well, I'm currently dividing my time between CodeStash and HTML 5 running in Chrome - as IE won't support WebGL, we are having to discount it for some of the rendering work we are doing. We are getting some pretty impressive results with LIDAR imagery in Chrome, and as we improve our backend server functionality with decent realtime filters, we are starting to get some real traction from there. The thing is, none of this needs to be on the Microsoft stack - we have spent the last six months rewriting the server core in C++ and it is portable - it's a pure number and data crunching server.
 
At some point, we'll try it out on Metro, but I don't feel the need to push it right now - we can roll out our application onto Android with not that much effort, and we have got some positive feedback about offering it to our clients via iPad, and I never thought I would hear myself say that.

--
Peter O'Hanlon

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:50:56 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I truly believe that the new iPad is the start of an era. That whole "post-PC" thing that Apple went on about seems pretty real to me. Sure, desktops and laptops aren't going anywhere any time soon, but they won't be the center of most people's computing lives.

No longer can a tablet be a serious contender, in my mind, unless it offers the amazing clarity of the Retina display. That all but obsoletes any first-gen tablets that are running Win8 (unless they decide to include Retina-like quality screens, which I haven't even heard any rumors about). I suppose there might be a lot of people out there who care more about having Windows on a tablet than having a beautiful, popular tablet device with a great track record.

That's another reason why I don't care much about learning WinRT. Apple is crushing right now. If that sentence bothers you, I suggest you reassess your priorities.

Josh

Brian Noyes

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:53:33 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I think the biggest mental challenge for me is not concern over the differences or any resistance to learning them from a technical perspective. It is more lack of confidence that investing in the platform will result in any business benefit to me. I primarily do consulting with enterprise customers. I think the market for usage of WinRT in the enterprise is very small and don't have much confidence it will grow significantly in the coming years. For tablet form factors where it makes the most sense, there are already a small number of business apps that actually make sense, and of those, it comes down to whether it is worth doing based on the adoption of the platform, which is yet to be seen if they can play a great catch up game in that market.

Brian Noyes

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:54:28 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
We are totally on the same page Josh.

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:56:26 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Why would it bother me? Ultimately I will offer what my customers want to buy - right now, being able to demo something working on an iPad gets me through the door and into the boardroom. Risk assessment reports and P11D reports? Sure, no problem, and we'll give you them with floor plans that you can animate your emergency response plans on, in 3D. That's what they are after, so that site inspectors can wander round, filling in assessments on site, with the data being transferred back in real time.
 
I tell you what, this almost gets me priapic.

--
Peter O'Hanlon

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:56:44 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Great point, Brian. The market value of WinRT skills is highly questionable for LOB developers.

Josh

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 5:59:01 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
LOL! I had to google "priapic" but it was worth the search. :)

When I wrote "you should reassess your priorities" I wasn't directing that at you, Pete. I meant it in the general sense. 

Josh

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 6:08:47 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I know you weren't Josh, I just get excited about the work that the lads are doing right now. It's opening all sorts of doors that were previously closed to us. Now we have the complete set of products, and can target the entire spectrum of our client base. We always had gaps before that we couldn't quite fill - this has helped us to bridge that gap. In one sense, I have to thank Microsoft; their months of revealing sod all meant that we had to reassess our faith in them as a platform provider, which meant that we have taken a huge step to free ourself from this dependency.
 
If they had been more open and forthcoming, we probably wouldn't have been as nervous. I did try to say this last year; companies such as mine can't wait 2 or 3 years for a clear strategic vision before we can start developing against that, we have to be a lot more agile and a lot less dependent on uncertain features. In one respect, this is a shame because we have invested a lot of time and effort to tool ourself up and to be productive; this change has meant that we effectively have had to start again. On the other hand, I now have a team who are more comfortable talking and thinking about other platforms and technology stacks.

--
Peter O'Hanlon

Colin Blair

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 6:13:21 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

I just find it interesting how much of Microsoft is trying as hard as it can to figure out a plausible reason to get itself moved into the Windows Azure group.

Michael Brown

unread,
Mar 20, 2012, 8:50:52 PM3/20/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Sorry for tossing a live grenade into the group and running off. Sounds like everyone was thinking the same thing but were ignoring the big elephant in the corner. Me I’m the kid that has nothing to lose and will call out the fact that the emperor is running around with his balls dangling. My point is I don’t feel the urgency to be on the bleeding edge this cycle. Remember how fun it was to learn WPF without the tooling, documentation, or awesome books to help us along? We’re right there again with WinRT. I tried to make an App using the developer preview. After file new project, it took me about two hours to figure out how to change the default data-source. And that was using the damn tutorial.

 

Truth be told, I’m leaning toward HTML5 for UI work. And not necessarily the Metro JS stuff. Sorry I don’t feel like being tied into a single platform anymore. Looking at products like PhoneGap has a lot of appeal to me now. I’ll stick with what I know (.NET and Azure) for the backend, but proprietary UI frameworks are as awesome as anesthetic free circumcision. The MVVM friendly JS libraries (Knockout and Kendo) are all the butter I need for my baked potato.

Colin E.

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 2:35:33 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Yes Michael, it's all your fault - troublemaker :-P

Looks like I am treading the same path as yourself.

I really enjoyed learning WPF, it was the first UI framework that I
have worked with that I felt was really elegant, MVVM, visual tree,
templating ... I guess you all know what i mean ;-)

There are a few reasons why I find myself uninterested in WinRT, the
first is that I work in the financial domain, where I struggle to see
the relevance. I am willing to wager that the company I work for will
not develop a single Metro app this year, or next. However, just
because I cannot see a relevance to a technology hasn't stopped me
playing with it in the past.

For me, the main issue with WinRT is that it is sufficiently similar
to WPF / Silverlight not to feel like something new or challenging,
yet it is sufficiently different to be frustrating to use. Some of
these differences feel deliberately obstructive, especially when you
consider that there will be quite a number of apps that live both in
the Metro and Desktop, creating these will be very very painful. More
painful that cross-platform Silverlight / WPF apps.

So, like Michael, I have been leaning towards HTML5. To my mind this
is a great opportunity, an emerging technology, full of new things to
learn - yet massively mis-understood. Microsoft's attempt to embrace
HTML5 in Win8 baffles me. WinJS is Win8 specific, in my opinion the
only reason you would want to write code in JavaScript is because it
is ubiquitous and portable. Creating a non portable JavaScript
application is just madness, especially when you have C# as an
alternative! (OK, node.js is a counter-argument, but I am sure there
will come a point where they wish they hadn't gone for JavaScript)

I am currently enjoying PhoneGap, Knockout and teaching people how to
use JavaScript properly! I just started a big new client project where
we are moving a LOB desktop app to the web. The technology I
recommended for this is GWT and we are finding it to be eminently
suitable, and despite the fact that it is Java, enjoyable also!

Colin E.

On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM, Michael Brown <mbr...@kharasoft.com> wrote:
> Sorry for tossing a live grenade into the group and running off. Sounds like
> everyone was thinking the same thing but were ignoring the big elephant in
> the corner. Me I’m the kid that has nothing to lose and will call out the
> fact that the emperor is running around with his balls dangling. My point is
> I don’t feel the urgency to be on the bleeding edge this cycle. Remember how
> fun it was to learn WPF without the tooling, documentation, or awesome books
> to help us along? We’re right there again with WinRT. I tried to make an App
> using the developer preview. After file new project, it took me about two
> hours to figure out how to change the default data-source. And that was
> using the damn tutorial.
>

--
Regards,
Colin E.

Laurent Bugnion

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 4:50:42 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Hey,

I observe a lot of excitement amongst our Windows 8 clients. However one
thing is true: they are not the typical clients that we are dealing with for
WPF and Silverlight. The clients we are dealing now for Windows 8
applications are the ones we also dealt with for XBOX apps, Windows Phone
apps etc. This is a clear sign that the excitement for this new platform is
more for consumer-oriented apps.

Personally I am excited to see one more platform supporting XAML and
supporting it well. In the past 2 years we have developed XAML based
applications on a large number of platform, like Silverlight embedded, XBOX,
Windows Phone, Windows desktop (SL OOB / WPF), Kinect (WPF and C++), Surface
and more. Interestingly enough, this is more platforms than I ever covered
before (and I was a part of the Java community in the end of the 90s!!). Of
course this is not a truly cross platform development, since we have to
adapt each application to its environment, but based on previous experiences
with Java and then HTML/JS/CSS (which was my main professional activity for
quite a few years), I truly think that this is the right way to do it. I am
following the developments in HTML5 with a lot of interest, but what I am
observing for the moment is a rehash of what we did back then (with a few
cool additions, granted) and this is not enough to bring me back to the
platform.

Again, I think that the goal of having the same application running on
desktop and Metro is not a good choice, at least not on Windows 8. Who knows
what will come on Windows 9 (10...) but right now the Metro apps are clearly
an addition to a client's portfolio, not a replacement.

For me personally, I am excited about the new opportunities (dealing with
different clients, bringing our UX to the living room, etc). From a
technical point of view, I am waiting to see the WOA devices because I think
this is where the real potential of Metro will lie. I am especially
impatient to see the new form factors that OEMs are going to bring to the
market. I am also excited by the convergence of ultra mobile (phones) and
mobile (slates), and I think that in a very short time, we won't really make
the difference anymore.

Finally, let me tell an anecdote: My 10 years old came back from school a
few weeks back with a friend, and brought her to my home office because she
wanted to show her what I was working on (this was a Kinect app back then).
She said "I wanted to show her what you do because it is so cool". With the
trend to develop on mobile platforms, or with Kinect, or Surface, there is
definitely a "cool factor" that is quite exciting. It is really nice to get
asked what I do for a living, and to see sparks in non technical people's
eyes when I talk about the new devices, the new UX and the new
opportunities. I am a bit surprised at all the "meh" around here, when in
fact we are probably living in the most exciting time ever to be a client
app developer (on every platform) :)

Cheers,
Laurent

-----Original Message-----
From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [mailto:wpf-di...@googlegroups.com]
On Behalf Of Colin E.
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:36 AM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] XAML and DX Interop

Michael Brown

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 6:16:46 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Well there's the rub...you work for one of the cool companies that get to do all that stuff. Me I'm in the land of Medical Device Desktop UI (not gonna see kinect, metro, or Windows Phone in that world for the forseeable future). Others are doing financials, and others just regular LOB apps.

I guess the m'eh for me is that I won't be seeing that kind of action anytime soon. And although I was able to sell WPF/Silverlight to a lot of clients, selling Metro isn't possible for the world I'm working in now. Until a feasible solution is made for Metro-desktop integration (among other things) that's how it's going to be.

--Mike

________________________________________
From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Laurent Bugnion [lau...@galasoft.ch]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 4:50 AM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [WPF Disciples] XAML and DX Interop

Laurent Bugnion

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 6:26:24 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
You guys don't plan on going mobile? Medical is one of the areas where
slates are very promising though (and already a lot of development happening
there from what I hear). Maybe it's just too early, but I think the
excitement is there anyway ;)

Michael Brown

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 8:36:01 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
No I don't mean software for doctors, I mean software for controlling/interacting with medical devices like insulin pumps/readers, blood/specimen sample machines and stuff like that. I think the idea of a slate-based doctor's clipboard is a phenomenal idea. It's not the world I'm involved with right now though :(

________________________________________
From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Laurent Bugnion [lau...@galasoft.ch]

Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:26 AM

k-dawg

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 10:59:49 AM3/21/12
to XAML Disciples
XAML Disciples,

Now that I’m back in enterprise development my priorities are WPF 4,
Prism, Sql Server, Visual Studio 2010, and Windows 7. Win8 and WinRT
are way off in the distance. Let me explain.

Back in 2007 after getting through my cancer treatment I caught wind
of something new called WPF (.NET 3.0). Yes, working with WPF in
Visual Studio 2005 was down-right painful, but fun. The capabilities
of this new platform were awesome. Like many others, I stayed up late
at night, gave up my weekends learning, writing blog posts and Code
Project articles. For me, 2007 – 2008 was a time of technical growth
and an endless supply of fun and enjoyment at work and home; WPF was
king and by the way, still is.

Jump to 2012. We get WinRT, which is a step backwards in the XAML
feature set. This is exhibited by demonstrations of taking a
Silverlight 2 project and making it into a WinRT project. These are
very weak demonstrations of a new platform. This does not excite me or
draw me into wanting to spend my nights and weekends getting
frustrated with a new neutered XAML platform; being forced to learn
hacks and workarounds.

But let’s be fair with the assessment. Version one (Win8) of WinRT was
never intended to mimic WPF or Silverlight. WinRT seems to be what I
thought .NET was supposed to be. You see, I come from the VAX world.
VMS (like OSX) has one set of libraries that all languages target. I
draw the similarity because WinRT supports XAML and HTML projects
along with C++, C#, VB.NET, JavaScript, etc. One set of libraries that
all languages can use, this is a very good direction.

It is my hope that version 2 or 3 of WinRT will support 85% - 90% of
what WPF or Silverlight has. Given that WinRT performance is supposed
to be very good, I would embrace a new platform like this and move my
enterprise applications to it. Until then Windows 7, Office 2010,
Visual Studio 2010, and .NET 4 meets all the needs of my company now
and into the foreseeable future.

I’m not sure why I would put Win8 on my current desktop PC. I have not
found it intuitive or enjoyable to use. Additionally, Metro does not
appeal to me.

I’m not fond of Visual Studio 11 Beta. Just looks awful. Not
interested in spending 8-10 hours of my day using it. The explanations
I’ve read for the black icons are weak at best; this baloney that,
“black icons allow you to focus on your work” is ridiculous; Visual
Studio is a coding tool. How do colored icons distract me?

Microsoft, why bet on software that has such a strong love-hate appeal
to those that will purchase the tool; while stability and performance
are the core issues that need addressing?

For now, I’ll stay with WPF because it is the very best enterprise
application development platform available; it is fully supported by
Microsoft, fun, enjoyable, and productive. Um, come to think of it,
I’ve been using it for 5 years now, and see myself using it for
another 5-10 years.

Some armchair generals think because Microsoft has turned most of its
attention to WinRT that WPF is dead. Nothing could be further from the
truth. Why are so many enterprises adopting WPF then? Could it be that
developers like a fully-featured, stable platform that won’t be
reinvented? You bet we do.

Cheers,

Karl

Brian Noyes

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 11:05:02 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Karl,
I think you nailed it with this phrase: " new neutered XAML platform; being forced to learn
hacks and workarounds " - this is the crux of my "meh" reaction so far.
Brian

Peter O'Hanlon

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 11:18:35 AM3/21/12
to XAML Disciples
Bloody well said sir. The motto seems to be "we came. We tried. We said
not yet.".
From: k-dawg
Sent: 21/03/2012 14:59
To: XAML Disciples
Subject: [WPF Disciples] Re: XAML and DX Interop

Josh Smith

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 11:24:51 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com, XAML Disciples
Bravo, K! I totally agree.

Sent from my iPhone

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 11:32:42 AM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
It is funny how you ALL (Except Laurent, who seems to be towing the company line, Sorry mate but you do appear to be) have come around to Pete and my way of thinking.

WinRT right now, Yawn.
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Bill Kempf

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 1:48:42 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I haven't chimed in, but I'm in a minority here.
 
Not saying I'm turning cartwheels and cheering "rah rah". In fact, I'm almost in the "meh" land with the rest of you. But my reasoning is very different. I'm in the middle of burnout. There has been so much to learn in the past few years, WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WCF, MEF, etc. I'm just not ready for another round right now. I'm sure that will change in 6 months, but right now, I'm tired.
 
However, I am excited by Win 8 and Metro even if I'm not ready to dig in and learn it just yet. Much like the Phone, I'm excited by the new market possibilities. I'm also excited by the bold moves Microsoft is making to stay relevant. It's also exciting to see the beginnings of what we've been promised for so many years... a convergence into a single API accessible from all languages. I'm excited that this API is modern and accessible. I'm excited that it's based on the WPF I love, but can take a clean start and remove some of the features I've never liked. I'm excited by the combination of rich desktop experiences (something you will never get from web apps, BTW, sorry to those who believe otherwise) with cloud based services. I'm excited as a consumer about the mobile devices I expect to see within a year: portable without compromise. Ignoring my dislike for Apple, and my unwillingness to pay ourtageous prices for "bling", I knew I'd never own an iPad the minute Jobs made the statement that if you used a stylus "you failed". He was right that touch should be the dominant way to interact with a device, but touch is lousy for most data input. I'm not going to take notes using touch, sorry. And me, I want a lot more out of a portable device than a way to surf the net and watch videos. I want to take notes, I want to draw complex diagrams, I want to create art, etc.
 
Microsoft is taking a very risky stance here, and it's disheartening to hear this group in particular to be so negative about it. I strongly believe they are making the right decisions, but it's looking more and more like whether it's the right decision or not, it may be the decision that leads to the (long, slow) death of the platform I've worked on for most of my life. I'm not scared by this... I won't have any problems moving on if I have to. I just really don't want to. Especially when I see Microsoft moving in such a bold and smart direction.
--
 Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.
- Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Bugs are features.

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 2:10:20 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Bill 

I dont think any of disputes WinRT is a good thing. I think its great, I just wish it was available everywhere. Less layers must surely be respected, and the move they did to get there would have been hard.

My only criticism (and its a big one), is that the API should be richer and it should be available across the board. When they do that, I am so in.

I just don't want to downgrade even if said API is faster.
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com

Laurent Bugnion

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 2:27:17 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
I never quite understood the stylus comment. In fact it is one rare occasions where Jobs was plain wrong. You can see that easily, by the sheer numbers of iPad users who do use a stylus anyway. Unfortunately, because of that comment, the iPad does not come with a proper digitizer and most styli I tried either suck for anything else than simple tapping (rubber tip? Really?), or are quite expensive and require active support from the app.

Cheers,
Laurent

Sent from my Windows Phone

From: Sacha Barber
Sent: 21.03.2012 19:11
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] Re: XAML and DX Interop

Michael Brown

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 3:27:38 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com

Hey Steve, how are we going to explain to people that our tablet doesn't have a stylus. Every other tablet does.

 

Hmmm, putting a digitizer into the iPad will eat into our profit margins. Let's use the emperor's new clothes strategy.

 

"Stylus, who needs a stylus, none of the cool kids use a stylus"

 

That's about how it went.


Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:27 PM
To: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [WPF Disciples] Re: XAML and DX Interop

Bill Kempf

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 3:35:57 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
Sacha, the only place you're not going to have WinRT seems to be the desktop. I believe you'll have WinRT on WP8, for instance. Not having it on the desktop is odd, but I don't see it as that big of a deal. If you're using WinRT you're building a touch friendly UI and there's no reason to run it on the desktop. I do wonder if "touch friendly" means it's an "app" instead of an "application" at times, but there's no reason that needs to be true. Touch friendly also doesn't mean touch only, so I can certainly see building LOB apps in Metro. Is there a compelling reason to? That depends. I can see some benefits in several LOB apps I've worked on in the past (it's been a while since I worked in that space). For instance, I can see it being a benefit in call centers, in POS systems, in inventory tracking systems... heck, in a lot of scenarios I see it as a very big benefit. Now, simple "heads down data entry" apps have no need for touch interfaces, obviously, but they don't suffer from being touch _friendly_. So, why not develop these in Metro? Why tie yourself to the desktop?
 
Laurent, yes, I always thought that was the dumbest thing Jobs ever said/did. I know he was trying to make a point about touch, and that is a valid point, but the comment went well beyond making that point. Ignoring/excluding a good stylus with hand recognition and ink input is as stupid as requiring a stylus and ignoring touch. Heck, I wish WP7 supported it. I use Onenote a lot on my phone, and I'd use it a lot more if I could use a stylus and hand writing recognition! I'm drooling over obtaining a Win8 tablet, while I've never had a desire to own an iPad or an Android tablet. Just can't justify the price in order to watch videos on a small screen, which is about all I'd do with an iPad/Android tablet. I'd pay double the price, though, for a good Win8 tablet with a docking station. I'd use it in my home office, in the board room, on my couch, on trips, and even in bed. ;)

Bill Kempf

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 3:37:53 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
LOL. Love that synopsis. Doesn't make it any less stupid of a comment, but I'm sure some people see some genius in the strategy.

Sacha Barber

unread,
Mar 21, 2012, 4:03:42 PM3/21/12
to wpf-di...@googlegroups.com
All

I am more into the "WinRT" concept due to the current story of

Win32 -> User32 -> GDI -> DirectX -> XAML

Vs 

Well from what I gather new story to look like

XAML

That is why I want WinRT to be available "EVERYWHERE". I don't give a fig about the touch side of things, its more about the layers of abstractions that are cut out, and the supposed speed performance increases due to this, that I want.
--
Sacha Barber
sacha....@gmail.com