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WPF Won't Be Supported in Vista Sidebar v1.0

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    Understandable, given the time constraints and the dire need to ship something, but it still sucks.

  • User profile image

    This is a bit aside to the sidebar issue.

    I'm generally pretty supportive of Vista after this latest CTP.  It really looks like Microsoft is going to pull this out of the fire and deliver a pretty decent OS at the end of the year.

    But, there was one point raised in that thread which really, really irritates me.  Its this:  ""this release" refers to the version of Sidebar that will be included with Windows Vista. So no WPF gadget support for Windows Vista".

    Erm, HANG ON.  If these guys are loving WPF so much, and recognise the failings of their existing product, exactly why are they not saying:  "OK, this is how it will ship but we promise to release v2.0 in the first few months after Vista ships"?  From the quotes in that thread, its suggesting they are just saying "oh well, we know its crap, but wait for Vienna in 2010 or whenever".  That's a PATHETIC response.  Totally pathetic.

    It really annoys me that many Microsoft developers aren't learning any lessons from the 5 or so years Longhorn has taken and are just languishing in this "oh well, we can go to sleep until 2008 when we have to work hard again".  I know that is unlikely to be the case, but its certainly the perception.

    With the way things have changed and delivery by internet is so much more easier and reliable, I think it is not out of order to expect Microsoft to constantly update and make the components from Vista better, until they start to work on the next major OS.  Certainly, I think it is far less out of order than the current "oh look, Vista's in testing, now we can spend all our time in committee meetings changing the name of the project for our next OS from Blackcomb to Vienna for no discernable reason".

    ...rant over.

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    Sven Groot

    I have just uploaded an example on how to use a .Net UserControl inside a sidebar gadget. It's not exactly a nice solution (you have to register the assembly as an ActiveX control, which requires administrator rights, but it's the only way that works).

    Perhaps WPF apps could be embedded in a similar way? Although one of the limitations of this approach is that you can't use transparancy, so even if you could get WPF to work oddly shaped gadgets are out.

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    You could use Xamlon Web, if they synch to the release WPF schema, to author your XAML and then deploy to Gadgets as Flash.

    I think not releasing Sidebar/Gadgets with WPF support is a major letdown, but I also understand that there is only so much you can do in a given amount of time and I can certainly identify with those guys right now as I'm dealing with the same situation.

    There's a lot of stuff that I wish made it into Vista that I'm hoping makes its way into Vienna, but I figure maybe Microsoft's delay opens some market and product opportunities for some of us developers.

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    It's pathetic. Just pathetic.

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    I'm curious. What is the release date for the WinFX runtime? If the release date for WinFX is anywhere close to the release date for Vista, then why should any team be expected to be building and testing a product, or feature that relies on a technology that isn't "gold" yet? Would you have them rush WPF, or delay Vista?

    Adding WPF support to the sidebar (and doing it right) requires more than just slapping in the proper code (which might well be more than you imagine). Those sort of changes need to go through the full gamut of testing for performance and stability, as well as proper regression testing.

    Frankly, I don't see the issue.

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    This may actually work out for the best from a developer's point of view. One of the of the things that's been a bit overwhelming about Microsoft's gadgets architecture is that it's actually several different architectures under one umbrella: DHTML-based gadgets, WPF-based gadgets, and SideShow gadgets (which are written how?). By focusing on DHTML gadgets, hopefully development will be more approachable, which is important for the nascent platform. Transitioning between server- and client-side DHTML gadgets should ideally be straightforward.

    I certainly want to see WPF in future releases of the Sidebar and I hope we won't have to wait until the next release of Windows to see it. For the time being though, I think foregoing WPF may be the best decision in the short term.

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    Tom Servo

    Err, you know, the damn sidebar in the 4xxx was completely Avalon based and seemed to work quite well. But instead they first chose to scrap it and then revive it with a native code rewrite solely to be ablt to cram retarded JavaScript applets into it? gg nextjoke

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    kettch wrote:
    I'm curious. What is the release date for the WinFX runtime? If the release date for WinFX is anywhere close to the release date for Vista, then why should any team be expected to be building and testing a product, or feature that relies on a technology that isn't "gold" yet? Would you have them rush WPF, or delay Vista?

    As I said originally, what I was saying was somewhat of an "aside" to the main point.  Really, what I am talking about is the attitude, commitment and vision of some of these Devs at MSFT.

    One of the devs in that thread talked about how much he "loved" WPF, but to me, it seemed one of the most bizarre, insincere things I've ever read.  On one hand, he says how much he loves WPF, before going back to the party line of the excuse of why DHTML is great and wonderful.  It feels like an excuse so he can go home at the end of the day and justify himself.

    Then, there is no commitment to work on this 2.0, outside of the ridiculous timescale of the OS after Vista.  With that woeful commitment, all these pronouncements of love are nothing but lip service.  I want them to say:  these are the reasons the sidebar uses DHTML in the version in Vista, but we are going to work real hard to deliver on the promises of the sidebar and things like WPF in a realistic timescale (and I mean months, as opposed to years).

    And then, there is this vision problem.  Its clear from that thread that the devs have absolutely no vision, no strategy for the sidebar.  When I say that, I mean a better vision and strategy than "The sidebar is beautiful!  The gadgets are cool", for God's sake.  I am beating up on the Gadgets guys here, but they are not the only people.  Too many people.  I have little sympathy for their excuses of "we've had too little time" when you consider how long it has been between XP and Longhorn, how long they've had to firm up the vision, and I have even less sympathy when they expect people to take excuses like "wait another 5 years for the next OS" seriously.

    I wonder what would happen to the staff at Microsoft if they got someone of the Jack "Neutron Jack" Welch ilk at Microsoft.  Someone who wouldn't be scared to do something radical like put those with performance in the lowest 10% to the sword.  It seems they badly need it.

    I really feel its useful to compare and contrast with a team like the IE Team.  They have been upfront, interested in feedback, watching wikis, watching sites like Channel 9, blogging regularly, open to criticism, already talking about the version after the one they are developing, releasing their code in even pre-beta state, and certainly not talking about IE 8 as "for Vienna", recognising the failings in IE 7 and commiting to do something about it, and generally being a standout team to the way everyone in Microsoft should act

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