Coffeehouse Thread

33 posts

WPF tools - wait for Orcas?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Is it just me, or is it looking more likely that tools for WPF (like a designer that works) will be available with Orcas and not as an extension to 2005?

    I just read Tim Sneath's post about the latest Orcas CTP , in particular this quote.

    Tim Sneath wrote:
    "Orcas" has a ton of new features for WPF development over the releases that we shipped as extensions for Visual Studio 2005.


    Correct me if I am wrong, but Microsoft hasn't actually shipped RTM extensions for WPF development have they?

    And if the Orcas release is getting more love what are the chances that Cider will just stop being released?

    Maybe I am just being paranoid, or overly worried about being *forced* to upgrade to Orcas in order that my developers can use the tools (disclaimer: I write all my WPF in code, without XAML).

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Rossj wrote:
    Is it just me, or is it looking more likely that tools for WPF (like a designer that works) will be available with Orcas and not as an extension to 2005?


    I was under the impression that this had always been the case.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    Rossj wrote:
    Maybe I am just being paranoid, or overly worried about being *forced* to upgrade to Orcas in order that my developers can use the tools (disclaimer: I write all my WPF in code, without XAML).


    I agree with you and have similar fears... only I've been expecting it, afterall... why do you think they gave away so many free copies of VS2005 at launch?

    2005->Orcas is shaping up to be much like 2002-2003. You can get by with the old version... but miss out on a whole bunch.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Cider does have flaws.
    XAML is not completely useless on Cider, imho.

    Given the fact that WPF "runs" on XP, I'd bet Cider will be polished for XP, but never have all the power and features of Orcas.

    I understand Orcas is VS for Vista... plus there are problems with VS2005 on Vista, from what I seen posted online.

    I will feel better using a new VS for Vista versus a cobbled-up VS2005, forced or not.

  • User profile image
    raymond
  • User profile image
    Rossj

    JohnAskew wrote:
    I understand Orcas is VS for Vista... plus there are problems with VS2005 on Vista, from what I seen posted online.


    According to JKelley here, the latest Orcas CTP doesn't even install on Vista!
    WTH is going on at Microsoft? Is Vista a second-rate citizen inside Microsoft?

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Wish I were going too, Raymond. DFW is the regional hub...

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Rossj wrote:
    
    JohnAskew wrote: I understand Orcas is VS for Vista... plus there are problems with VS2005 on Vista, from what I seen posted online.


    According to JKelley here, the latest Orcas CTP doesn't even install on Vista!
    WTH is going on at Microsoft? Is Vista a second-rate citizen inside Microsoft?


    OMG.  /me shakes his head.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    Rossj wrote:
    
     Is Vista a second-rate citizen inside Microsoft?


    People need to get work done and new software released. If the core that you're running on has too many problems it makes sense to stick with something that's stable and works and for which there's lots of good support and documentation.

    There's no reason why that should be any different for people inside Microsoft as it is for people outside it.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    irascian wrote:
    If the core that you're running on has too many problems


    And this inspires confidence does it? Tongue Out

    I disagree with the rest, if not even Microsoft go the extra mile in ensuring new software releases run on Vista - why will anyone else?

    What sort of message does it send out (apart from the same message as when I heard that a lot of the Windows devs don't bother with the IDE) to developers who are being asked to look at Vista and consider WPF and other new tech when Microsoft *can't* ship on Vista?

    If you were in charge of that team would you be saying -

    a. Ship every month
    b. Let's make sure it runs on our new platform, even if we miss a CTP for a month or two

    After all it is slated for 2008 that's a fairly wide target Smiley

    Edit: Is stability really that important for a CTP? My understanding was that CTP is essentially an Alpha.

  • User profile image
    nightski

    It has been said for quite a while that the extensions to 2005 would never be released in RTM form.  They are purely for preview purposes and the future environment for developing WPF applications is Orcas.

    Given that however, to say that no real applications can be built without blend and orcas is just a fallacy.  There are *many* applications already out that are built on WPF and are simply stunning.  It is possible to build really advanced applications on WPF today.

    Check out Tim Sneath's blog for many examples of WPF apps.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    Rossj wrote:
    

    And this inspires confidence does it?

    I disagree with the rest, if not even Microsoft go the extra mile in ensuring new software releases run on Vista - why will anyone else?


    Exactly my point. Isn't this where I came in?

    By the way I was the guy who when Scott demonstrated "Orcas" at Reading a few weeks back pointedly asked why the morning demo's of VS2005 had been on Vista but the Orcas demo suddenly switched to XP (in fact it wasn't XP it was Win 2003 with an XP look and feel). I felt it gave out a very clear message, although Scott's explanation (that they had different builds and he'd just happened to grab the Win2003 one for Orcas) showed I am WAY too cynical. Put it down to over 10 years working with Microsoft technologies (still repeating Fox Mulder-like "I want to believe. I want to believe" every time I get one of those "passionate" marketing pitches).

    And yes, CTPs are like alpha's so you pays your money and takes your choice. Personally I'm more concerned with how "beta" pieces of functionality that should have been in the base product have become the norm (I think Google started the rot with all their "beta" nomenclature long after stuff had publicly launched) as an excuse to get something out the door by a certain date and get the revenue in.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    I have to agree. All you *need* to develop WPF apps is the .NET3 SDK. There's enough documentation in there to keep you going as well.

    As for WPF designers for Visual Studio, Cider (the Nov 2006 CTP is still current) does suck and it's a bit disappointing that MS have decided to focus all attention on Orcas, but it's understandable as far as WPF is concerned. It's not acceptable that Microsoft isn't getting VS2005 working on Vista, but that's a seperate issue that I think is confusing this argument a lot.

    If you think you need a visual designer for WPF you need to download the Expression Blend beta2 release now. I think this is an amazing piece of software. Of course as a programmer you want to be able to design inside VS in the long term, but one of the great strengths of WPF is that you only need to rough out the user interface - just to give the controls with code-behind events names - and then transfer the project into Visual Studio to do the coding, safe in the knowlege that you can hand the XAML over to a designer to play about with in Blend. Microsoft have been telling people that Blend is for designers so I think maybe some devs haven't checked it out yet. Really though this is *the* tool for WPF development and anyone that's checking out WPF should have it installed.

    As for all the malcontents pimping Apollo, from what I've seen it just looks like a cheap way for Adobe to leverage Flash, Acrobat and AJAX for making localised apps that run disconnected from the web. As such I don't see it as comparable with .NET3 at all. I know I don't want to code my apps in Actionscript and Expression Blend makes Flash look like hell.

  • User profile image
    JKelley

    Orcas isn't even in Beta yet, cut us a LITTLE slack on the CTP.  A lot of people put in a LOT of hard work to get the CTP out to you.  If you don't want to try it out then don't, it's not a finished product and noone is claiming that it is.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    JKelley, I am talking specifically about the CTP nature of the 2005 extensions (Cider) - although the fact that Orcas isn't on Vista is a shame it is only part of my problem with the strategy that seems to be being employed.

    I think we are getting crossed messages, I don't believe I ever said you couldn't build an app with WPF - I just have, I also don't want to lessen the effort that lots of guys have put in to the development of the CTP (although I may have done so - apologies) ... the point I want to make, and most are missing is ...

    Do you think it will help increase the uptake of WPF if, even though WPF itself is RTM, the *current* tools available are a tad flaky?

    This isn't a criticism of WPF, it has some very clever people working on it (Tom Mulcahy springs to mind) and I am very impressed, but rather of the strategic direction of whoever thought the tools were of little importance.  I doubt the absence of an RTM standard designer bothers many people here - but I bet a lot of less experienced/more demanding developers will be bothered by it.


    JKelley, in the interests of transparency, and bearing in mind it is only an Alpha - what was the reasoning behind the decision not to try and ensure it works on Vista from early on? Was there a specific reason?

  • User profile image
    JKelley

    RossJ, if I had the answer to that I'd certainly give it.  Smiley  Unfortunately I a) haven't been here very long and b) am not a part of the team that would make those decisions.  So I don't know the answer.

    I can imagine that it was a very hard decision to make though, if WPF had waited for Orcas it wouldn't have made it in the box for Vista, we all know how hard .NET had to fight to get acceptance shipping out of band the way it did, so I'm sure that was a high priority.  The SP's for VS were also a very high priority around here in DevDiv and I'm sure load balancing those tasks played a part too.

    Coordinating such huge releases is hard, and I don't envy the schedulers around here who try to balance all the various goals and influences to get stuff out the door.

    There's a saying that I hear thrown around here about not taking dependencies on things that don't exist, and trying to develop tools to work on a platform that isn't finished is not an easy task.  I'm sure that also played a part.

    Of course that's all speculation, I honestly don't know how things really happened.

  • User profile image
    raymond

    JKelley wrote:
    Orcas isn't even in Beta yet, cut us a LITTLE slack on the CTP.  A lot of people put in a LOT of hard work to get the CTP out to you.  If you don't want to try it out then don't, it's not a finished product and noone is claiming that it is.


    I think having CTPs and betas is an excellent idea for the Microsoft teams to get feedback from outside developers who have the time to try them out. 

    I do not have the time and wait for the final release of the product before playing with it.

    I appreciate all the effort that goes into both CTPs and betas but I for one cannot provide you any input.

    Cool 

  • User profile image
    d007

    Hi,
         can u plz send me the book of WPF. i m very much in need. u can send me the bookon dkale@ubicsindia.com

    Regards
    Dilip

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.