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   RE: [xml-dev] Inside Redhell: Microsoft XAML Blogger Round-Up

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Or we take a proactive positive approach and 
get to work on serious standards for rich client 
apps.  I welcome XAML because it is a known 
change, and because the infrastructure underneath 
it will be solid.

1.  We know that rich clients are coming.  We've 
known this since before HTML was a wet dream. We 
needed the plumbing.  That is in place now and the 
infrastructure of systems such as Indigo remove 
some of the complexity.

2.  HTML won't go away.  It is a model of a very 
useful application language that was overloaded 
by the ambitions of those who wished to make 
an operating system out of it and who used 
browser company politics to incite.  Nevertheless, 
the gencode approach always scales from dumb and 
dumber to smart and in need of speed.

3.  Standards are still valuable but we have to 
learn to listen and time their emergence.  Rich 
client experimentation has gone on since at least 
the early nineties using the same family of design 
approach as has been later used in XUL and XAML.
XUL and XAML validate that early work and among 
all of these, are confirmation of TimBL's principle 
of independent invention for it.  That means it is time 
to begin or renew serious and legitimate standards 
work but with the understanding that the software 
companies will not slow down their development 
efforts.  This is BrowserWarsRedux unless we 
are wise and patient and determined to do the 
right thing.  That doesn't mean burn down Redmond; 
it means work with them.  There isn't any other 
realistic choice.  If the XAML PMs resist this, 
Balmer needs to seriously consider putting them 
back to coding and out of the strategic decision 
chain because the desktop is such an important 
part of the market.  If they aren't noting that 
the animosity at every level of every customer 
and government is steadily increasing, they are 
doing precisely what Netscape did when it sluffed 
off XML.  They will sink much more quickly than 
they believe.  "Iceberg?"  If they want to do 
something smart, they will work with a standards 
group to see to it that XAML has air cover.

I watch the messages on this list and I lose my 
respect for the XULies and others because they
want to beat the hell out of MS (and why not, 
MS has the biggest pot of money) claiming 
foul play when in fact they use the same tactics 
of FUD and claims of originality that are so 
easy to disprove.  The MS XAML PMs probably 
knew about XUL but little else.  They can afford 
to ignore grassroots efforts but ignoring legitimate 
standards is more risky.  Like so many who start 
at HTML, they feel vindicated in ignoring the 
XULies because they've seen the XULies ignore 
others.  Spy Vs Spy.  As far as I am concerned, 
neither are more just than the other.

So if anyone out there still has a sober serious 
brain, they may want to work with a legitimate 
standards group to produce a rich client standard. 
The forces converging in broadband, cable, and 
satellite pipes will drive out standards for these 
clients and Microsoft cannot dominate that.  Even 
their power doesn't extend that far.  But when 
that gathering does happen, one bit is sure: 
only the serious players will be at that table. 

I suggest the professionals begin to understand that. 

Do your homework, do your analysis, and plan for a 
product line that includes both HTML-based browsing 
and rich client applications that work on any modern 
screen and any server.  Standards will emerge but 
they will not drive development.  The stakes are now 
too high and the awareness too ubiquitous to do 
the HTML and running code, we got sets in the barn 
thing again.


From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko@allette.com.au]

Gerald Bauer wrote:

>     First to show off Microsoft's duplicity let's bring
>on some "innocent" Microsoft employees wondering why
>the Free World is outraged about XAML:      

How threatening this all probably depends on your view on MS' long
term dominance of the Web.  At the moment, it looks like MS will
lose government and education markets to Open Source steadily;
I expect that MS may be squeezed out (by low margins, piracy,
different cultural expectations about the value of intangibles like 
their loss of credibility on security, and especially 
considerations)  of the East and South.

The combination of schools not using MS, Sony supplying a good
browser in PS3, and TVs and phones becoming smarter, may well reduce
MS' dominance in the home/student market as well.  Military applications
tend to have a very long life, so MS cannot expect much truck from
the military away from supporting W3C/ISO/IETF standards-based formats.

Which leaves business, SOHO and office use, and it doesn't look
like XAML offers that much for SOHO. There is an economic
theory called the "Sales effect", which says that after a market
is saturated, sellers have to progressively spend more on
stimulating demand by advertising, pushing margins lower,
and on bottom-lining (spending more time on licensing and
anti-copying measures which risks alienate non-business
users more.) Maybe MS will find itself at that point during
this decade in some markets.

It will be very interesting to see how it plays out. Ten years
ago the company next to mine used to prominantly display
an already-old magazine cover saying "Unix is dead"...

I think the most reasonable attitude is to welcome XAML,
because it will provide more richness (think XUL), swear to
never use it when HTML/REST can be used (think Flash),
and just boycott browsers that don't implement W3C standards.


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