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Is XAML Dying?

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  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , Bas wrote

    I'd gouge my eyes out if XAML was based on JSON.

    JSON has its purpose. I'd rather export an object/object graph with JSON than with XML because the element names just get redundant and it ends up making it all less readable. When it comes to doing layout, I think XML wins - there's no simple equivalent to attributes in JSON, so you'd end up specifying it all as fields, which just looks ugly given the amount of attributes you an have in even the simplest layout.

     

    XAML does have its pain points, though. I really wish you could create converters in XAML b/c it's too silly having to create a class for the simplest and most common conversions (bool to visibility, e.g).

     

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , Sven Groot wrote

    XAML was designed for easy tooling. XML makes perfect sense for that. The bloat only matters if you want to write it by hand (and even then a good editor will take care of most of it).

    Of course, the only tooling most people use has been created by Microsoft.  Maybe it was a cool idea, but never really blossomed.  Part of the reason it probably never blossomed is that XAML isn't a simple conversion to IL.  The compile time and runtime descriptions of XAML are quite complex.

    And I do write most of my XAML by hand.  I understand those who don't, but like myself there are plenty of people who only use the designer view, not the editing capabilities.

    , Bas wrote

    I'd gouge my eyes out if XAML was based on JSON.

    I'm not advocating that.  QML has a syntax similar to JSON (but only in that they both use C-like block syntax).  It has specific advantages over JSON like not using quotes in attribute names.  (Note that I've never actually developed in QML... I just like it in theory because it reduces bloat.)

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @MasterPie: Hooray! Horses for courses! (a favourite saying of mine Big Smile )

    JSON is great for serialising behind the scenes stuff, but XML is better if humans ever have to read it.  Right tool for the right job.

    I actually prefer working in XAML and the VS designers to using Winforms; it's easier to get everything neatly lined up and resizeable. Unfortunately my day job is Winforms only.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Bass

    To answer this question would we have to accept that XAML was ever alive to begin with?

    There is a couple of high profile Microsoft products that use it via WPF, but it never really hit the mainstream - there's not many success stories out there that span past the random internal app or the various apps made for Microsoft's largely obscure mobile operating systems.

    With even all the talk and marketing Microsoft put behind convincing developers to use XAML, software using Android Layout XML and Mozilla's XUL (XML UI Language) is probably far more prevalent on people's computing devices in the real world. And all of course shadow in comparison to the web technologies used as a UI language for humans and machines alike.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    XML is better if humans ever have to read it.  Right tool for the right job.

    I love the quote attributed to Chris Maden:  "XML is like violence: if it doesn't solve your problem, you aren't using enough of it."

    I disagree about XML being the right tool for the job.  It is a decent hierarchical data description format.  It's not great at describing various hierarchical and non-hierarchical visualization aspects and runtime interactions.

    Microsoft somewhat recognized this fact while designing XAML.  That's why we have markup extension language.  Caliburn similarly introduced an action syntax to improve the deficiencies of XML format for this purpose.

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    If you believe that XAML has the potential to win more then a fraction of developer mindshare, vs HTML that is, then good luck to you. And pity your clients. A typical Microsoft Ghetto  technology, even the mono guys shun it.

    HTML, the only thing Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, Adobe etc agree on.

    He's joined Silverlight, Jim

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , fanbaby wrote

    If you believe that XAML has the potential to win more then a fraction of developer mindshare, vs HTML that is, then good luck to you. And pity your clients. A typical Microsoft Ghetto  technology, even the mono guys shun it.

    HTML, the only thing Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, Adobe etc agree on.

    He's joined Silverlight, Jim

    are you then saying that an application that run on a desktop machine should use HTML markup to draw the UI ?

    that is the item we have been talking about.

    just want to see if we are clear on that.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    As much as I'd like to see a replacement for XAML, I'd give a first priority to replacing HTML/JS.  It saddens me that HTML is being embraced even more today.  And the languages that have been built to replace JavaScript are really more about extending it, not about fixing its inherent flaws.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , bondsbw wrote

    As much as I'd like to see a replacement for XAML, I'd give a first priority to replacing HTML/JS.  It saddens me that HTML is being embraced even more today.  And the languages that have been built to replace JavaScript are really more about extending it, not about fixing its inherent flaws.

    well we seem to have this thing about wanting one way to do everything ... at least a bunch of folks do. it's a bad idea but it's a common one, I think at one time a lot of management in companies got on the idea of doing everything as a web page so that the corp. it staff and budget could be stream lined, they did not want to have to deploy apps and thought that web page apps were all the future.

    in some cases they are very good but the "one size fits all" should not be carried to the point of not seeing that some apps might be done better as "real" apps.

    html was created to serve up formatted documents with links to other documents.

    we have added on all manner of stuff on top of that and try to make it work as an application server.

    for the most part it works but it was never designed for this role and has areas where it shows.

    no matter the details we should use the right tools for the job, not try and make a hammer into a wrench or a screw driver into a pry bar.

    use html where it's a good fit, use other tools for other things.

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    @bondsbw: Yes exactly! I am also waiting for Anders Hejlsberg to work on a JavaScript replacement that would be MSIL based, but i heard Google is going to nip it in the bud. Do no evil my a**

     

     

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    are you then saying that an application that run on a desktop machine should use HTML markup to draw the UI ?

    I say do what you will, but choosing XAML over HTML/CSS is stupid. IE10+ shows clearly that HTML is more then a viable alternative to XAML.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , fanbaby wrote

    I am also waiting for Anders Hejlsberg to work on a JavaScript replacement that would be MSIL based

    Just so long as this is completely open and unconstrained from being cross-platform.  Otherwise, adoption rate will be extremely low.  At best, it already has to battle the giant that Javascript has become.

    Our best bet would be if Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, and Apple came together to form a standards coalition to replace Javascript.  If they all supported the end result in each of their browsers, the foundation would be there for actually moving to world to the new language and eventually reducing support for Javascript.

    I just hope that such a replacement is compatible with both HTML and its replacement, whenever that comes to fruition.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , fanbaby wrote

    *snip*

    I say do what you will, but choosing XAML over HTML/CSS is stupid. IE10+ shows clearly that HTML is more then a viable alternative to XAML.

    so forget about xaml for now and please explain why a desktop applications that has no need for a web server should be using a web browser to present the UI of the app.

    as far as I can see the real world benefits are very limited in that case.

    I am not saying that you can't do it or that html is bad.

    I am asking for facts on why having an application open a browser and depend on that html rendering engine to do the UI of the app is better than something else?

    for example if I create a UI with Windows Forms or WIn32  it will be a native UI with full access to the OS  and the native Windowing system. it will also not be dependent on what browser is installed on the pc and to what happens if the browser is not there etc...

    also let's talk about the issues of writing an application and how it will have to bridge to the browser runtime and exchange data with it. I can see a number of cases where the security of the data exchange may be an issue - for example in a medical facility with HIPPA compliance rules and so on ....

    please explain ?

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    so forget about xaml for now and please explain why a desktop applications that has no need for a web server should be using a web browser to present the UI of the app.

    as far as I can see the real world benefits are very limited in that case.

    I am not saying that you can't do it or that html is bad.

    I am asking for facts on why having an application open a browser and depend on that html rendering engine to do the UI of the app is better than something else?

    for example if I create a UI with Windows Forms or WIn32  it will be a native UI with full access to the OS  and the native Windowing system. it will also not be dependent on what browser is installed on the pc and to what happens if the browser is not there etc...

    also let's talk about the issues of writing an application and how it will have to bridge to the browser runtime and exchange data with it. I can see a number of cases where the security of the data exchange may be an issue - for example in a medical facility with HIPPA compliance rules and so on ....

    please explain ?

    False dichotomy. You have an HTML5 based app that can make native calls as long as it is not running in the browser's security context. People have been making mobile apps in this manner with frameworks like PhoneGap for years.

    Even Microsoft has been a huge proponent of this, and they have something called WinRT in the latest version of Windows that basically does that..

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , Bass wrote

    *snip*

    False dichotomy. You have an HTML5 based app that can make native calls as long as it is not running in the browser's security context. People have been making mobile apps in this manner with frameworks like PhoneGap for years.

    Even Microsoft has been a huge proponent of this, and they have something called WinRT in the latest version of Windows that basically does that..

    the question was and is about a desktop app, not a phone app, not a mobile app, not a tablet app.

    if I were looking at a mobile / phone / tablet app that would be a different thing.

     

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    the question was and is about a desktop app, not a phone app, not a mobile app, not a tablet app.

    if I were looking at a mobile / phone / tablet app that would be a different thing.

     

    I don't think Windows 8 is solely a tablet OS, also Chrome OS is obviously a desktop OS. Anyway the point is that you can in fact make desktop UIs with HTML5/CSS and without "a web server should be using a web browser to present the UI of the app".

  • User profile image
    Charles

    @Dirtbagg: No. XAML is not dying. It's evolving, which implies that it's alive and well...

    Silverlight != XAML......

    C

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , Charles wrote

    @Dirtbagg: No. XAML is not dying. It's evolving, which implies that it's alive and well...

    Silverlight != XAML......

    C

    Also true:

    Silverlight == dead

    I guess like the dinosaur it failed to survive evolution.  Scared

    Edit: Maybe eventually XAML will "evolve" into HTML. Seems like that's already happening to LightSwitch.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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