Coffeehouse Thread

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"None of us at Microsoft can say anything until //build/ in September."

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    (Quote from an MS Employee*)

    All I can say is Wow, lets hope there are plenty of people still around in September who still want to listen?

    Sorry to say it but this looks like "Microsoft doing an Apple". 




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    Dr Herbie

    Oh, come on Softies, it's only your career!  What's that compared to being remembered forever as the one who broke the news?  Devil



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    @Dr Herbie:LOL,

    Jupiter, I heard that you guys are making more money from Apps than you are from MS so what's to lose? Devil Devil

    MS have warned about the dangers of listening to third party speculation but MJF has an interesting post related to this issue:

    and there is another interesting post here:

    and here:

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    Blue Ink

    Considering the knee-jerk reaction they got with partial demos and statements, it doesn't surprise me much. They are seriously risking a marketing issue of Vista proportions here, so it makes sense to try and get the whole story out, all in one piece.

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    @Blue Ink: If they wanted to get the whole story out in one piece they should have told nothing until //BUILD/ about development.

    Now lets quit blowing it out of proportion, get back to our daily routine and let the CoffeeHouse be very very quite like it was before the Windows8 news! Haha Tongue Out

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    They at least need to expand on the HTML5/JS thing to keep all of us .NET developers from worrying that our skills will soon be obsolete.

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    any press is good press? 

    Perhaps (hopefully) MS are just adopting consumer device apple tactics.  When I boil it down, I'd still develop Silverlight today if they were going HTML5 as extremely as everyone says.  The user experience is better.

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    oh boy, I think MS needs some damage control with the current uproar from SL devs. I personally is not worried about HTML Vista Gadgets, but, MS needs to think about other SL devs' reactions.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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    I think that BUILD will actually be about the new compiler technology that Bartok and Pheonix research has led to, and not just about Windows 8.  I believe that Microsoft doesn't really have much intention to make tools to directly manipulate HTML/JS, but will extend existing tools, in particular Blend and VS to compile down to HTML/JS - and run on a JS based .NET Framework. 

    To facilitate that effort, I think that they will be announcing IL to Javascript compilation, XAML (Silverlight and/or WPF) to HTML/CSS/JS compilation, and a new way of looking at .NET as a whole.  The CLR will still produce IL, but that will be fed into Bartok/Pheonix and allow compilation to JS (as a new, or more properly, a secondary IL), with a JS version of the .NET Framework.  Microsoft is probably sick of trying to get the CLR on every device and will thus have the rest of the market build CLRs for them - via JS interpretors.  This strategy will truly make JS the IL of the web and anything that runs Javascript, will become a CLR. 

    I also think we'll be able to target either CLR=>IL=>JS or CLR=>Bartok/Pheonix=>Native.  I think that there will also be a way to compile parts of an application from CLR=>IL=>JS and parts to native.  As the Windows 8 leaks have demonstrated, the Windows 8 sample applications have HTML/JS UIs, that interop with the Windows Runtime dlls by marshalling JSON through MSHelpUI.dll to other dlls, which appear to be compiled from C# into native dlls.  It also appears that the UI can either be targeted to be output as HTML/JS or XAML/IL, or native Win32.  

    In summary, I think a lot of the ideas of Pheonix, Volta, Bartok etc..., have made it into the Windows 8 stack and rather than moving backwards and abandoning .NET, which is kind of what the HTML/JS push seems like, this is actually a move to make the dream of a true CLR come true.  Microsoft has thus realized that there are only two real CLRs in the world today - native and Javascript, and are going to make sure that the .NET strategy shifts towards having a compiler framework that allows production of code for those CLRs, instead of trying to make the world adopt their CLR.  All the effort that goes into producing various versions of the CLR (and DLR) is better spent making backends for the Pheonix pipeline to target the native or JS based runtimes which other people are building already.

    Of course, I have absolutely no idea if any of this is correct.

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    Yeah, I really doubt there will be any magical IL to JS compiler. The problem with that is it's hard to make it efficient because it's an abstraction inversion, i.e. translating from something lower-level to something higher-level, and that just doesn't work very well. The native, managed and platform integration story will be "call DLLs through the Windows Runtime", where WinRT is basically a new version of COM/ActiveX designed to allow more idiomatic JS APIs, more secure sandboxing, etc. The reason they're being so secretive about it is they're trying to work out how to explain/spin this to the non-Microsoft-oriented web developers they're trying to court without them hearing "ActiveX" (which is what it basically is), and running for the hills Smiley

    The cool thing though is that WinRT object methods seem to accept JavaScript functions/closures as parameters, and there are a bunch of XXXAsync methods that use the JS callback idiom. It'd be neat if there were some new interop magic in .net 4.5 that would let you "await" on these.

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    Well Google wrote a Java to JavaScript compiler that works pretty well.

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    I don't understand why people think support for HTML5/JS as first-class apps precludes support for .NET and other platforms.

    Win7/IE9 already supports HTML5 apps by way of pinning to taskbar.  I'd just expect more of the same going forward?

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    "Our approach means no compromises—you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of modern hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world." - BUILD

    They are also touting this as the biggest thing since Windows 95.  That's a hard sell.  There has to be a reason, and it's not HTML5/JS.

    @ContextFree: Microsoft already has implemented an IL to JS compiler in Volta.  I tried to find a link, but guess what, all the Volta videos are no longer available.  Strange??  Not really.   However, I'll concede that maybe it's C# to JS ... which Script# already does, but not as deeply.  Also see ; there's nothing stopping compilation from one Turing complete runtime to another but imagination, and blood, sweat and tears (and buckets of cash). 

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    Let me also quote from

    "We pick the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) as our universal computation model. We prefer, of course, to use the already available CLR implementation on each respective tier: SQLCLR on the data-tier; regular CLR on the middle-tier; and Silverlight for Web-clients, or the regular CLR for desktop clients.  When no CLR is on hand, we use the materials already available in the room. On the data-tier we compile MSIL to SQL. This is the approach currently taken by LINQ-to-SQL and LINQ-to-Entities. On the client-tier we compile MSIL to JavaScript or Flash. This is the approach taken by Volta. The upshot is that we uniformly provide (the illusion of) the .NET platform on each tier, in effect stretching it to cover the Cloud. Application programmers only need to care that they can run MSIL everywhere, not about how this is technically accomplished under the hood."

    I'll point out as well, again, so that those who haven't seen this will see that nearly 5 years has passed and these experimental ideas are ripe for production, IMO.

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    "They are also touting this as the biggest thing since Windows 95.  That's a hard sell.  Therehas to be a reason, and it's not HTML5/JS."

    er, new touch shell, new touch UI, new app distribution/deployment and sandboxing model, new cloud integration stuff, support for a new processor architecture, new C++ APIs, new COM replacement/revamp? And new HTML/JS integration as well. Seems to already meet that standard, just from what we already know.

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    @contextfree`:  Point taken, but while the whole package out of the box may be a big deal, all of these things have been possible before and while it's good that things will be easier, what's new enough about all of this to be as big a difference as Windows 3.1 vs. Windows '95?  New APIs that make what was possible before, slightly easier, isn't that big a deal.  Support for ARM, was announced a while ago, and demoed at Mix'11.  Touch isn't new. 

    Why switch the conference from "PDC" to "BUILD"?  There's something going on deeper than what has been announced, otherwise MS devs wouldn't be saying, "None of us at Microsoft can say anything until //build/ in September"; everything you mentioned has already been officially announced (except the new version of COM, AFAIK).  One thing is for sure, I'm going to do my best to make the conference this year.  I'll be sorely dissappointed if things don't pan out along the lines I've predicted.  I've been wrong in the past, however, so I won't be too surprised, either way.

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    I guess I wasn't a developer at the time so I'm not sure what all the differences between Win3.1 and Win95 were from that perspective. From an end-user POV the main difference was the new shell. "The biggest change since ..." isn't exactly something objective that can be rigorously defined, so there will always be different ideas of what does or doesn't justify it, but it's at least a plausible claim based only on what we know.

    The name change is because they want to attract a wider audience, and the secrecy again is because they're trying to figure out how to woo a new audience that is very suspicious of them, and they're trying to be very careful about how they do it.

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    , Richard.Hein wrote

    @contextfree`:  Point taken, but while the whole package out of the box may be a big deal, all of these things have been possible before and while it's good that things will be easier, what's new enough about all of this to be as big a difference as Windows 3.1 vs. Windows '95? 

    Well "The biggest thing since Windows '95" has oft been rolled out as a way of hyping up something which has largely turned out to be nothing of the sort. I think the marketing guys just liked the way the whole Windows '95 thing is remembered by folks (who've long since forgotten stories of BIOS incompatabilities and other issues that have long since been buried by nostalgia). Course that might just be because I'm wearing my cynical hat this morning.

    Why switch the conference from "PDC" to "BUILD"? 

    If I were to put on my cynical hat again, running one BUILD conference will be cheaper than running PDC, WinHEC and MIX.

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