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   Forms for a Rich GUI

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I am working on a project which is currently in the planning stages of a
rewrite. Already the project has some killer XML technology built-in and
leveraging this has only provided benefits along the way. The plan for
the product interface currently is a rich client built on WinForms in
C#. It is my understanding that this technology will be obsoleted with
the newer tools out of Redmond (i.e. XAML). Additionally this is not
very extensible. So we decided to consider alternatives (i.e.,
leveraging more XML technologies). Unfortunately the tangled morass of
competing projects and products has left us wondering which is best (for
our situation). This is our list, in no particular order:

    (A) Stick with WinForms, rewrite that part later if necessary
    (B) Use an SVG interface with SVG components
    (C) Use XForms
    (D) Use SVG and combine it with XForms
    (E) Use XUL (Mozilla/chrome)
    (F) Use XAML

It is also possible that we either need to print or transport documents
and this would likely mean that we would target one of the following for
that piece (1) XHTML (2) SVG (3) XSL:FO. For this piece I would venture
to guess that XSL:FO would be the "right" technology but we already have
a lot of SVG work embedded, and painting to a printer canvas is easy
enough. I wouldn't want to use XHTML because of the poor support for
pagination... but I could be convinced otherwise.

Some of our requirements include:

    (A) High speed
    (B) Data from/to an XML document in memory
    (C) User customization/ extensibility
    (D) Rich gui controls
    (E) Strong event model

So are there any suggestions out there? I have used most of these
technologies already but never for side by side comparison. Answers like
"leave us alone, go hire a consultant" are helpful... but then I would
ask what skill set that consultant should have :)

Thanks in advance,
Jeff Rafter


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