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Jerry Nixon

Jerry Nixon jerry_nixon Jerry Nixon

Niner since 2011

Jerry is a Microsoft Developer Evangelist in Colorado. 

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Coffeehouse Windows 8 Apps: Xaml vs. HTML5 31
  • The Future of WPF

    What a great video Jerry, very informative, Unni and Ari where excellent.

    <snip />

    WPF will be here when you’re ready to grow up.

    Hey, that video was fun to make and there will be more coming. First, thanks for wording it like I still have some growing up to do. I like to agree. And we're also in agreement with the future viability of WPF.

    That being said, the level of investment around WinRT-XAML is nothing to be ignored. Because it is important to Windows itself, WinRT-XAML will continue to evolve into a powerful successor of WPF over time. That is to say, Windows has traditionally employed several UI technologies but is now consolidating on XAML - not for apps but for the OS.

    This makes WinRT-XAML the beneficiary of performance tuning and other capabilities that will eventually make it an equal or maybe better option for the WPF line of business developer. Windowing, Win32 access, cross -architecture, cross-platform, inking, touch, NUI, and more. As the modality of computers evolves, WinRT-XAML will be compelling. To cutting edge apps, this is already true. To others, it may take time for this transition. For some, it may never happen.

    I'm certainly not disagreeing with your premise. It sounds like we are both WPF fans. But I do think there's a freight train around WinRT-XAML coming that shouldn't be ignored by developers. Thanks for your comments. Thanks for using the platform. Thanks for your contribution.

  • The Future of WPF

    , Charles​Duchemin wrote

    Does it make sense to develop a Desktop Application bind to the Windows OS or do you write your product as a HTML5 application?

    Charles, I love this question - choosing between .Net and HTML. Of course, I realize you really mean JavaScript, not HTML. XAML is the nearest corollary to HTML. But when you are building a solution, you're really weighing JavaScript and .Net (probably C#).

    This discussion is far too elaborate to give it any real justice here in the comments (like that will stop me), but when we try to replace C# with JavaScript, we are trying put an interpreted, scripting language into the shoes of a compiled, managed language. I don't think it's fair.

    The clincher to me is, when I picture a 100,000 line application written in C# - I don't even think twice. We have the tooling to manage that type of code. But 100,000 lines of JavaScript? Kill me now! And 100,000 lines is NOTHING in a line-of-business application. 1,000,000 lines is common - especially when we introduce the joy of code generation and unit tests.

    Think about things like Code Analyses, Memory Profiling, live XAML Tree, Code Coverage, Timeline and Power profiling, rock-solid third party controls, trusted enterprise design patterns with .Net - there's so much to love. So many reasons to lean toward it.

    But web applications can blur the lines. You can have .Net on the server and JavaScript on the client. That certainly works. Thousands of web sites have proven it. But what's best for your company? Hmm. Do you want the integrated security and fidelity of a native application on the desktops of your enterprise? Or do you want what is ultimately a compromise to what HTML/JS can do in whatever browser your IT department allows installed?

    It's not an simple answer. Sometimes a web-based application is quicker to write and easier to deploy. But most line-of-business applications are not quick and easy. They take a team of developers months or years to write. They are secure, transactional, scalable, and significant. If I were writing the checks, I would commission many web-based apps. But the one that runs my business, the one where I bet the farm? I'd likely prefer solid, proven technologies like .Net - where thousands of Fortune 5,000 companies have led before me with proven success.

    Just like you can use Notepad instead of Visual Studio, I believe you could make a JavaScript solution work. I really do. But when it comes to cost, scale, and maintenance - I don't think the argument for large-scale JS is valid. And insofar as user experience from the fidelity on the client, there's no comparison. Enterprise, line-of-business developers love WPF for a reason - it delivers an elegant solution without compromise. 

    But, in the end, only you know your company and its variables.

  • The Future of WPF

    So in other words, no real improvement to WPF. No new controls, you get to pay for third party ones. No real new activity. Wow, they fixed up Blend a little. All the resources are going to the Win 8 train wreck of a UI I guess.

    Nope, I think you missed it. You can cynically gloss-over the hard work going in to enhance WPF. You can pessimistically disregard how in the scope of past WPF updates this one is one of the more significant. You can do a lot, @Jon, but you would be very inaccurate.

    This is the next version of WPF, the response to user voice/connect requests, significant performance improvements, instrumentation of the framework, and the introduction of new tooling that developers have been requesting for years. You may not see whatever you were looking for in this list, but your conclusion that there's nothing to it doesn't reflect reality.

  • The Future of WPF

    "a line of business, desktop application"

    1. MS doesn't want that new application to be a Universal App? Even under Windows 10? Why not? Is it cut off from using the hardware, or is it just the need for legacy Win 7 and old device support?

    2. How many LOB, desktop apps is MS imagining there will be in the future? Specialty things like CAD, Photoshop, etc. But already a huge number of LOB applications are browser based. Is there some guidance about the future of such applications?

    @zerk: the WPF app is the "universal app" (so to speak) when we talk about spanning versions of Windows. Only a line-of-business app written in Windows Presentation Foundation can be enjoyed by both Windows 10 users, Windows 8 users, and Windows 7 users. (To be fair, native, WinForms, and Web can also deliver this value).

    Typically, enterprises can't handle or afford upgrading every user on the network. That makes WPF a great choice for large enterprises trying to understand what they can do to keep their business going while they roll their upgrades over a few years.

    But are they compromising with WPF? Not at all, because Windows Presentation Foundation is still the godfather of XAML - with the most features and most coverage of what Windows can deliver for users.

    But even if your enterprise was 100% Windows 10 already (nobody is, by the way, it's still in preview) WPF still has a million great reasons to choose it - not just developer skills, either; sometimes you need to talk directly to the system, directly to the drivers, directly to the services, directly to the database - whatever your reason, whatever your specific business model, WPF lands as the choice again and again.

    As we see the evolution and expansion of WinRT-XAML we'll start to see those choices go either way. But, in today's world, where Windows 7 is still a common OS in the enterprise, WPF is the "universal app" for line-of-business solutions that spans all the versions of Windows. Eventually, developers will want to choose WinRT-XAML because it will be the super-set of all XAML and they can reliably know every desktop in their enterprise is Windows 8+. Until then, WPF.

    Your second question about how many line of business apps there are. If you think CAD or Photoshop are line-of-business apps, then you aren't really in this conversation. Every large enterprise has one to several custom line-of-business applications written specifically for their business, specifically to given them some type of marketplace advantage or some type of industry differentiation.

    Sometimes these apps are there for regulatory reasons or efficiency reasons or even business intelligence visibility. Lots of reasons - and today there are thousands and thousands which are responsible for billions and billions of dollars and millions and millions of widgets.

    Line-of-business applications are typically internal, secret, and proprietary. You may not see many, you may not think they are many, but there are tons of them - and they are mission critical; in some cases they are the intellectual property that valuates a company. So, when we talk about how important WPF is - in a way, we're talking on a global, economic scale.

    I hope that makes sense. Good questions.

  • The Future of WPF

    @Max: There are no plans to further invest in Silverlight. This is far less of a technical decision as it is an economic one. Many things have already been said officially about Silverlight from Microsoft, including our commitment to support it through our normal support policy.

    That being said, nobody is talking about Silverlight because the overall strategy of our whole industry is moving away from browser add-ins. Starting a Silverlight project today would not be fool-hearty, but it would certainly not be future-focused. The same could be said about creating a Adobe Flash-based application for your enterprise. That may never have been a great idea, but today it would be a silly one. Microsoft line-of-business technology is WPF. WPF is getting the investment. If you want to develop for mobile, then develop on XAML for Windows Runtime.

    The problem with replying to your comment, is that I can't reply with what you clearly WANT me to say. I wish the messaging had been more clear because you are not alone in your confusion or missing the messaging altogether. But Microsoft's XAML investment is WPF and WinRT. Is that the right decision? Is that the best decision? Does everything make sense? It doesn't matter. It is what it is.

    I hope that gives you at least a little of what you wanted - and may have already known.

  • The Future of WPF

    And I quote, "If you are going to start an application today and it's going to be a line of business, desktop application, it's going to be native and you want that fidelity, our premium UI framework is WPF." That's right.

  • Building a UI: What Does it Cost?

    This is absolutely the most educational session at build.

    Reveals how trite it is to ask "which is better?"

    There isn't one tool to rule them all. Come on already!

    Though XAML's pretty close. Smiley

  • (Episode 15) Windows 8: The App Development Opportunity

    That Chris Caldwell really knows how to put 'em together.

  • Microsoft DevRadio: Using the GeoLocation API for Your Windows 8 Apps

    @George: Yeah. The API is clever enough to look for every available avenue. It's a heuristic that measures battery cost, bandwidth cost, and accuracy. Should a SIM be in the device, as I understand it, it does not matter.

  • Microsoft DevRadio: Using OData in Your Windows 8 application

    @aljodAv: http://aka.ms/w8odata is what you need for RTM. Don't waste your time on RP anymore. And, by the way, the Netflix catalog is totally public. Try just hitting it with a browser and you will see. Anyway, get the RTM bits to use Odata now.