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wpf...does it just fade away...?

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  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    with all this emphasis on silverlight is all the innovation on WPF over? 

    What is the scenario here, how can we justify haveing two major UI frameworks with minor differences in the api and intricate differences in the core implementation. 

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Not quite.

     

    Take your wayback-machine back to 2005 when WPF was announced: there was WPF and WPF/E, which was a cut-down version of WPF which was renamed Silverlight in 2006. Fact is WPF and Silverlight share a lot of code, it's more the front-end stuff that's different (WPF uses D3D, Silverlight is 2D) but the rest is verrrry similar.

     

    ...unless you're talking about the Silverlight runtime environment, which is kind of a compact-compact-framework.

     

    So yes, there's overlap, but less than you'd think.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    This topic was covered in depth with the last big SL announcement when everyone was decrying the death of WPF. The two may move towards convergence, but WPF isn't dead and is still under active development within Microsoft. You wouldn't use SL to create an application like Visual Studio 2010, so there's still a strong need for WPF.

  • User profile image
    Pete O'Hanlon

    How could you justify having WinForms and ASP.NET? Silverlight and WPF tackle two very different problem domains, and their internals reflect this. You can't have a framework as large as WPF downloaded as part of the SL runtime, so SL cherry picked its behaviour from WPF. You wouldn't want to write a full-trust desktop application in Silverlight, and you wouldn't want to write a browser based application in WPF.

     

    Part of the problem stems from peoples insistence on using browser based applications for systems that they clearly aren't suited to. These applications tend to be characterised by the developers having to jump through hoops to cope with issues and workround limitations of browser applications.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    I have just about completed a WPF application that could not really work as a Silverlight application because I need to communicate with windows and COM components.

     

    The emphasis is on Silverlight because the web works best for a lot of applications, but there is still a requirement for desktop applications and thanks to Silverlight, WPF has gotten a lot of controls that would otherwise have been left to third parties. Look at the WPF ribbon for example, that has taken over a year, and it still has not been completed. If it'd been a silverlight control it would have been completed several months ago.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Personally, I think MS needs to stop "innovating" with WPF and wait for developers to catch up. Does anyone feel overwhelmed by all of the new frameworks being thrown out of Redmond? WPF, WF, MVC, EF, LINQ, SL, ... It seems like I've barely gotten comfortable with one when there are two replacements for it.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    spivonious said:

    Personally, I think MS needs to stop "innovating" with WPF and wait for developers to catch up. Does anyone feel overwhelmed by all of the new frameworks being thrown out of Redmond? WPF, WF, MVC, EF, LINQ, SL, ... It seems like I've barely gotten comfortable with one when there are two replacements for it.

    some days i feel that way ... other days not so much....

    thing is that some of the things MS has created do turn out to not be so great but in other cases they get a winner and run with it.

    for example LINQ to Objects and Generics are huge.

    WCF has many things that ASMX does not.

    and while DLINQ may not get much love i can see that EF is taking a lot of what DLINQ does and kicking it up to the next level.

     

    I would rather have them keep working on stuff and doing a new bersion of Silverlight every year then have them get like IE6 was....

    Tech is like a race where if you rest for a year you are going to lose.

    look at how much they have to do now wit the new phone to catch up with the iPhone and the rest of the pack.

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    spivonious said:

    Personally, I think MS needs to stop "innovating" with WPF and wait for developers to catch up. Does anyone feel overwhelmed by all of the new frameworks being thrown out of Redmond? WPF, WF, MVC, EF, LINQ, SL, ... It seems like I've barely gotten comfortable with one when there are two replacements for it.

    Nonsense. These are not replacements, these are complementary. But yes, it's overwhelming at times.

    At least it doesn't make any sense to stop progress because we can't keep up with everything.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    exoteric said:
    spivonious said:
    *snip*

    Nonsense. These are not replacements, these are complementary. But yes, it's overwhelming at times.

    At least it doesn't make any sense to stop progress because we can't keep up with everything.

    Thank you for all your posts, your comments are insightful. 

    It is totally overwhelming!

    Today I was watching the ie9 talk. So now you have HTML + JavaScript and ASP .net mvc as options to write UIs thrown into the mix.

    And all of these technologies are evolving rapidly.

    Given that writing good UIs is still a great challenge all these different UI technologies and frameworks make it hard for developers to focus on the "real" problem of designing and building good UIs; instead time and effort is spent on learning all these frameworks. These are not just different in terms of ideas like XAML vs HTML for mark up they also differ in strategies for managing state(Client vs. server). If we were going to be investing in HTML5; why could we not have invested in it more, so we would not need XAML? We could have built WPF engine on top of the HTML5 DSL for UIs.

    And while we are discussing this, let us think of also of the complexity of many implementations of MVC, MVVM (Too many implementations to list out; corrected based on comments from wkempf).

    Is this not getting way too complex?

    Of course we should not stop progress in anyway; but perhaps we can do better?

    Am I missing something? Please help me understand I really appreciate it.

     

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    DevJunkie111 said:
    exoteric said:
    *snip*

    Thank you for all your posts, your comments are insightful. 

    It is totally overwhelming!

    Today I was watching the ie9 talk. So now you have HTML + JavaScript and ASP .net mvc as options to write UIs thrown into the mix.

    And all of these technologies are evolving rapidly.

    Given that writing good UIs is still a great challenge all these different UI technologies and frameworks make it hard for developers to focus on the "real" problem of designing and building good UIs; instead time and effort is spent on learning all these frameworks. These are not just different in terms of ideas like XAML vs HTML for mark up they also differ in strategies for managing state(Client vs. server). If we were going to be investing in HTML5; why could we not have invested in it more, so we would not need XAML? We could have built WPF engine on top of the HTML5 DSL for UIs.

    And while we are discussing this, let us think of also of the complexity of many implementations of MVC, MVVM (Too many implementations to list out; corrected based on comments from wkempf).

    Is this not getting way too complex?

    Of course we should not stop progress in anyway; but perhaps we can do better?

    Am I missing something? Please help me understand I really appreciate it.

     

    MVC isn't a library. ASP.NET MVC is, so I'd be picking nits, except you also list MVVM which isn't a library and Microsoft doesn't provide an MVVM framework. These two are patterns, not libraries. And if a pattern is too complex to understand, you've got a much bigger problem than technology advancing on you.

     

    Ignoring this, all of the actual libraries that you find too complex are really just complex because you're new to them. Honestly, they all VASTLY reduce the complexity that exists if you try to do the same things without these libraries. There's a steep learning curve, but once you're over that, you should be more productive. You can't ask for any more than that, I think.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    DevJunkie111 said:
    exoteric said:
    *snip*

    Thank you for all your posts, your comments are insightful. 

    It is totally overwhelming!

    Today I was watching the ie9 talk. So now you have HTML + JavaScript and ASP .net mvc as options to write UIs thrown into the mix.

    And all of these technologies are evolving rapidly.

    Given that writing good UIs is still a great challenge all these different UI technologies and frameworks make it hard for developers to focus on the "real" problem of designing and building good UIs; instead time and effort is spent on learning all these frameworks. These are not just different in terms of ideas like XAML vs HTML for mark up they also differ in strategies for managing state(Client vs. server). If we were going to be investing in HTML5; why could we not have invested in it more, so we would not need XAML? We could have built WPF engine on top of the HTML5 DSL for UIs.

    And while we are discussing this, let us think of also of the complexity of many implementations of MVC, MVVM (Too many implementations to list out; corrected based on comments from wkempf).

    Is this not getting way too complex?

    Of course we should not stop progress in anyway; but perhaps we can do better?

    Am I missing something? Please help me understand I really appreciate it.

     

    The difference is HTML5 is an open standard with wide industry adoption. Silverlight is a properitary Microsoft technology.

     

    From Microsoft's perspective they would rather you use Silverlight. They have more control over that, and their whole business model basically revolves around platform control. HTML5 doesn't really fit into that well.

     

    I suspect HTML5 support was not Microsoft's idea. "HTML5 support was my idea." Smiley

     

    Many (most) web designers seem to be firmly supportive of an open web, and Microsoft is not able to ignore them anymore.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    Bass said:
    DevJunkie111 said:
    *snip*

    The difference is HTML5 is an open standard with wide industry adoption. Silverlight is a properitary Microsoft technology.

     

    From Microsoft's perspective they would rather you use Silverlight. They have more control over that, and their whole business model basically revolves around platform control. HTML5 doesn't really fit into that well.

     

    I suspect HTML5 support was not Microsoft's idea. "HTML5 support was my idea." Smiley

     

    Many (most) web designers seem to be firmly supportive of an open web, and Microsoft is not able to ignore them anymore.

     

    Bass that is a good point; i remember having this discussion about wether we needed to "invent" xaml and why we could not just evolve HTML instead. Looks like we are there now! Thanks to all the developers who pushed for it. What a waste of time and resources with all the investment in silverlight and xaml, if it is going to die eventually! At that time; there was all this emphasis on GPU support and rich graphics that was only available via WPF and eventually silverlight. Looks like that is not the case any more.

    Funny I though that this Mix conf was about hightlighting silverlight4; now it looks like the silverlight funeral with all the announcements on HTML5 support; i see no sense in silverlight!! I was just getting ready to invest time in silverlight4 and maybe seems much more sensible to invest in HTML5 + Javascript. Can we get some more intelligent comments to help clarify? 

    I will start a new thread to discuss Silverlight v.s. HTML/Javascript.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    DevJunkie111 said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

     

    Bass that is a good point; i remember having this discussion about wether we needed to "invent" xaml and why we could not just evolve HTML instead. Looks like we are there now! Thanks to all the developers who pushed for it. What a waste of time and resources with all the investment in silverlight and xaml, if it is going to die eventually! At that time; there was all this emphasis on GPU support and rich graphics that was only available via WPF and eventually silverlight. Looks like that is not the case any more.

    Funny I though that this Mix conf was about hightlighting silverlight4; now it looks like the silverlight funeral with all the announcements on HTML5 support; i see no sense in silverlight!! I was just getting ready to invest time in silverlight4 and maybe seems much more sensible to invest in HTML5 + Javascript. Can we get some more intelligent comments to help clarify? 

    I will start a new thread to discuss Silverlight v.s. HTML/Javascript.

    XAML is really a more powerful, flexible development platform. XAML and HTML5 will not be equivalent by any means.  Compare how easy it would be to make a circular listbox (as an example) in XAML vs in HTML5. However that doesn't mean XAML should one day replace HTML either, imo. The thing about XAML is that with its flexibility is a lot more complexity and is only friendly to use if you're an experienced developer. It also depends on a very specifically designed object framework, whereas the DOM is a lot simpler.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    brian.shapiro said:
    DevJunkie111 said:
    *snip*

    XAML is really a more powerful, flexible development platform. XAML and HTML5 will not be equivalent by any means.  Compare how easy it would be to make a circular listbox (as an example) in XAML vs in HTML5. However that doesn't mean XAML should one day replace HTML either, imo. The thing about XAML is that with its flexibility is a lot more complexity and is only friendly to use if you're an experienced developer. It also depends on a very specifically designed object framework, whereas the DOM is a lot simpler.

    thanks for the comment brian, if you noticed I started a new thread to discuss this further. 

    Please contribute. Do we really need these two approaches to build browser based Ui's?

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    DevJunkie111 said:
    brian.shapiro said:
    *snip*

    thanks for the comment brian, if you noticed I started a new thread to discuss this further. 

    Please contribute. Do we really need these two approaches to build browser based Ui's?

    Also another thing, an HTML5 document is basically a FlowDocument from a XAML perspective, and in order to build an App interface you have to work around this arbitrary FlowDocument model, while in XAML you do it natively.

     

    I think where you'll see XAML used is in apps that could also function as stand-alone apps. The idea of an offline HTML app is stupid, imo. Apps that will be done in AJAX / HTML5 will be primarily designed for web use and conform to the FlowDocument model.

  • User profile image
    turrican

    I have been pondering the same thing myself. I think Silverlight is great for most of the "regular" user apps, no more chasing users with updates etc so it's nice. But WPF still is needed, for example in business and enterprise where you need to have local access to the PC without the sandboxing of Silverlight.

     

    I got a pretty huge app in winforms which I ponder to rewrite soon, I still haven't decided to go WPF or Silverlight but I'm very much leaning towards Silverlight since it now how rightclick contex menus for example.

     

    Good thing about XAML is that if I go Silverlight and get stuck on something, I can pretty much convert that app to WPF without too much headache.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    turrican said:

    I have been pondering the same thing myself. I think Silverlight is great for most of the "regular" user apps, no more chasing users with updates etc so it's nice. But WPF still is needed, for example in business and enterprise where you need to have local access to the PC without the sandboxing of Silverlight.

     

    I got a pretty huge app in winforms which I ponder to rewrite soon, I still haven't decided to go WPF or Silverlight but I'm very much leaning towards Silverlight since it now how rightclick contex menus for example.

     

    Good thing about XAML is that if I go Silverlight and get stuck on something, I can pretty much convert that app to WPF without too much headache.

    great comments turrican! I was in the same boat, with the winforms situation and large applications and client base. I was waiting for wpf to mature, get more performant and controls to become available from the vendors etc. But in the mean time FLEX and HTML5/javascript arrived and so did Silverlight. So we have to reevaluate. It is good that we are discussing this. WPF right now is presented as THE option for RICH windows only standalone applications. But if we could get RICH browser based apps would we take it? I think that the quality of the browser based app is not good enough, and the programming model is not great but that is changing as we speak? And looks like people would like to combine RICH and REACH apps if they can get it!

    How much innovation is happening in WPF? how many talks at MIX on WPF? Where does that leave us?

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