Martyn Lovell: The Windows Runtime

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The Windows Runtime is Microsoft's new developer platform. It is designed from the ground up to give developers a wide range of choices, allowing apps to be authored in a broad range of languages—from  C++ to JavaScript, as well as Visual Basic and C#. The Runtime also includes standard ways to build hybrid apps, such as those that use a mixture of JavaScript and C++. It includes a broad range of operating system services for everything from user interfaces to networks. Apps based on the Windows Runtime are designed to be fast, fluid and responsive, so the platform includes standard required mechanisms for asynchronous programming.

In this talk I'll review the Windows Runtime architecture and foundations, its relationship to programming languages and how diverse languages and the operating system can unite to build compelling apps. I'll also talk about the technical challenges of integrating the Windows Runtime into a new language and describe the attributes of a great Windows Runtime language.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      tomkirbygre​en

      Curious choice of presentation to keynote with for this conference. It felt very much like a BUILD presentation rather than a presentation aimed at a wider, more or less platform agnostic, academic audience. 

    • User profile image
      LordKain

      I might be the exception but I'm much more interested in the Runtime itself than in the language projections.

      I suppose language projections are great for application and language developers but as a system guy I'm glad to have API and libraries that allow me to interact directly with the runtime.

      Let's hope we'll see more content related to the internals of the runtime (as we already have excellent technical books about Windows and COM).

      BTW, Windows Internals 6th edition Part1 is available since last week, no video this time? Smiley

    • User profile image
      exoteric

      , dot_tom wrote

      Curious choice of presentation to keynote with for this conference. It felt very much like a BUILD presentation rather than a presentation aimed at a wider, more or less platform agnostic, academic audience. 

      I felt it made perfect sense for this audience: BUILD is about application developers and Lang.next is about language developers, so what is more natural than present language developers with a little bit of Windows Runtime, so even more languages can potentially target the new Windows platform without even needing to go through .NET.

    • User profile image
      Charles

      The second half of the presentation was tailored precisely for the crowd on hand - language designers and implementers. Further, the call for more projections segment of this presentation represents net new information not shared at BUILD..

      Martyn made it clear that we not only want language designers and implementers to add WinRT to their list of target platforms for their language and toolchains, but we will help and advise. I'd recommend you watch the second part of this session again, dot_tom.

      Open arms on this side of the fence when it comes to targeting WinRT with as many programming languages as possible.

      Best,

      C

    • User profile image
      Charles

      @LordKain:  I sense a Going Deep with Windows engineers to dig into exactly this... Smiley

      C

    • User profile image
      Larry Osterman

      @LordKain: In all honesty, without the language projections, the windows runtime is not really that fun to use. There are so many aspect of winrt that are simplified by the language projection - as a simple example, try programming a winrt app without using await/promises/ppl.

       

      The strength of the language projections is that using the language projection takes what is nominally a fairly complicated set of constructs and simplifies them dramatically.

       

    • User profile image
      LordKain

      @Larry Osterman:With all due respect, I think quite the opposite. Interacting with the runtime in plain C or with some lightweight C++ library (WRL) is not only really fun but also the only way to start understanding how the runtime works. It is obviously a poor choice to write any real world applications (hence the C++ projection) but as I said I'm not an application developer and WinRT is at the top of my abstraction stack.

    • User profile image
      Luna

      @LordKain: "is not only really fun but also the only way to start understanding how the runtime works"

      The essence of this statement is beyond me. While I could agree on the "fun" part in general, since way back I used to dig into technical details just for fun, it is no where productivity, and really just for fun... But why would it be the only way of understanding how the runtime works?! Maybe you should practice other ways of learning stuff other than to write nasty low level code about it...

    • User profile image
      Luna

      Back to topic, this talk was again very inspiring. And there is not much left to say. This is great stuff! And as always I am a little afraid of how closely Microsofts new inventions and my personal thoughts converge... I stopped counting the events, in which Microsoft announced some technology a few months or even years after I had similar thoughts, a long time ago ;). At some point there might be a good opportunity to turn this gift into money...

    • User profile image
      LordKain

      @Luna: I would love if you could tell me some other ways to learn about the internals of the runtime without dealing with it at a low level. Thanks!

    • User profile image
      Luna

      @LordKain: There might be documentation actually (at least when it is finally released), tutorials, the "high level" API, projections...
      I meanwhat do you want to know? The real internals that are not visible to the outside? If so, I agree that hacking around might be the only way. But doing is really just for fun, since it is of no practical use. The internals may change at any time... If you want to know about the real internals I suggest you apply for a job there :D

    • User profile image
      LordKain

      @Luna: "I meanwhat do you want to know? The real internals that are not visible to the outside?"

      Precisely Smiley

    • User profile image
      nico159

      What about third party languages and the Windows Store?

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