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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
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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.