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   RE: [xml-dev] Why I Like Longhorn and XAML

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On Tue, 4 Nov 2003, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> mlk@klio.org (Mike Kozlowski) writes:

> >But, see, here's the thing:  The problem Microsoft was solving was
> >"What's the best way to allow users to specify the UI in their Windows
> >client applications?"  Right now, if you don't use an IDE, you have to
> >hand-write C# code (which is un-fun) , but with Longhorn, they
> >(sensibly) decided to use an XML-based UI language for declarative UI
> >purposes.
> I find their choice of problem hysterically ironic, and their reasons
> for solving it brutally self-interested.  Dress it up however you like,
> it's still them saying "forget cooperation.  It's our way or the
> highway, and we aren't supporting those shared things we used to do any
> more."

Except, they are.  They still have ASP.NET (which is their toolkit for
creating Web applications), and it's still under very active development.
XAML has no impact on ASP.NET, as far as I've read.

> >The alternative to XAML isn't XHTML, it's "#region Windows Form
> >Designer generated code".
> From their twisted perspective, perhaps.

That code generation is what they do right now for Windows-client UIs.
They're moving from that to XAML for Longhorn -- i.e., XAML is the
evolution of the programming model for Windows applications, and the
alternative to IDE-generated C#.

> >If it's a land grab, it's a grab of the Windows client interface, which
> >they've pretty much owned from the start.
> No, it's a promotion of the Windows client interface at the expense of
> the Web client interface.

To the extent that's true, it has less to do with XAML (which most
developers will probably never see, anyway, as they'll continue to use
Visual Studio to develop their UIs) and more to do with the Zero-Click
Deployment stuff.

And, moreover, it has little to do with them weakening their Web
development story (the improvements in ASP.NET will be very welcome) and
more to do with them strengthening their desktop development story.

Mike Kozlowski


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