Coffeehouse Thread

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Silverlight probably being retired

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  • AndyC

    , vesuvius wrote

    I am looking to develop a Win phone 7 application soon, but the underlying tech is (allegedly) losing support, that makes Win phone 7 insane to choose as a development platform, if this turns out to be true, Microsoft have effectively killed Windows Phone, I won't touch it with a bargepole.

    WinRT is, by and large, Silverlight with the fundamental dependency on the CLR stripped out, some tidying up of the application lifecycle model and a stripping out some of the synchronous behaviours in favour of pushing dev tools that can seemlessly make the asynchronous just as easy to use. The big deal of porting between the two on the PC is really having to redesign the UI to fit Metro, which is a non-issue on WP7 because it's been Metro since day one.

  • Bass

    I don't really agree with your characterization of JavaScript not having inheritance or polymorphism.

  • cbae

    , Bass wrote

    I don't really agree with your characterization of JavaScript not having inheritance or polymorphism.

    JavaScript has instance inheritance, but not type inheritance. The generic term "polymorphism" is usually associated with subtype polymorphism.

  • vesuvius

    @AndyC:Therein lies the problem. WP7.5 is brand new,and I don't have a road map from Microsoft about the product so I don't want to invest in something, only to have to invest some more in a year or so because the tectonic plates have shifted.

    Windows Phone needs to be a platform that people can build on for the next 5 years at least, but I know if I make the jump, the tectonic plates will be moved, it is just not acceptable, when I look at how much it costs to develop products at get them to a bug free stage.

    Depending on the application, porting code is just not an option, especially when we are dealing with calibrated software. There seems to still be vacillation in Microsoft with regard to their current and future UI platforms, that increases the risk of using any of their software, it is now riddled with risk and unproven

    I won't touch or even buy a windows phone, until the next version is announced.

  • AndyC

    @vesuvius:Steve Ballmer went on stage at BUILD and said very clearly that any app written for WP7 will continue to run on WP8 and 9 and future version of the phone OS. I'm not sure there can be a more solid commitment than that.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @AndyC:

    So will SL & WPF apps but their run under the legacy desktop. Balmer has a solid commitment to backwards compatibility but not necessarily providing the best experience.

  • AndyC

    @DeathByVisualStudio: It's a fair point, though given that phone 7 runs apps fullscreen and only while in the foreground it's kinda hard to see how some possible future version would break that experience. Doubly so given that the WinRT model that exists today is essentially restricted in the same way.

    It might not "light up" as well on future devices, but the same was true of iPhone apps when the iPad came out and that was from Apple, who have hardly a long history of worrying too much about breaking backcompat or annoying devs.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    It might not "light up" as well on future devices, but the same was true of iPhone apps when the iPad came out and that was from Apple, who have hardly a long history of worrying too much about breaking backcompat or annoying devs.

    @AndyC:

    So it's a good thing that Microsoft is acting more and more like Apple? Screw backward compat and the developers. That's great news Andy.

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

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*@AndyC:

    So it's a good thing that Microsoft is acting more and more like Apple? Screw backward compat and the developers. That's great news Andy.

    Well they haven't really. Moving a "Metro" Silverlight project to WinRT requires very little effort at all and can easily be absorbed into an upgrade release schedule - it's not like you have to do a major re-write or change the language or anything. And from an end-user perspective, it doesn't matter as long as everything still runs as it did before. Some apps won't make the best use of my phone, but heck that's true of some of the original WP7 apps that haven't been updated to enable Mango specific features too.

    In the grand scheme of things though, not caring so much about a breaking change here and now, when the userbase is relatively small, is a far more sensible decision than being lumbered carrying the burden of supporting software that you had the option to drop at an early stage with minimal impact (whether that be Silverlight, WinCE or whatever).

  • magicalclick

    I imagine the existing SL can have HW acceleration because of WinRT? You can have a much smaller SL plug-in running as an interop to WinRT. In this case, SL can link to WinRT and have automatic HW acceleration without having SL plug-in to talk to DX directly.

    This is a wild idea of course, I have no idea if this is possible.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • Maddus Mattus

    life is like a river,

    if you swim against the current,

    you will just stay in one place,

    so,

    I'm going to learn C++ and dev me some awesome apps in WinRT!

    And when they cancel that, I'll jump on the next bandwagon!

    I love my job Big Smile

  • vesuvius

    @Maddus Mattus: With Microsoft it is BASE jumping at present. all the developers that choose not to learn Silverlight or Windows Phone chose wisely. I don't this anyone in the Microsoft camp can repudiate this.

    Once you have an application of reasonable complexity, that you employed people offshore or the experts that wrote the application have moved on, you don't want to have to revisit that code to port it, it becomes very expensive.

    When I look at my other developers, Android, iOS, Blackberry and OSX, they make a worthwhile investment for developing products, which also comes with job security, and higher demand and money because you actually get to be an expert at something.

    As a development platform, Microsoft are not invest-able as they will jump ship at any point. If Win 8 lacks adoption like Vista - a distinct possibility - where do you end up as a developer, that invested in WPF, Silverlight, Win phone and WinRT?

    You end up staying in one place Maddus, one of failed runtimes and application frameworks.

  • Maddus Mattus

    @vesuvius: so, you'd rather fly a kite instead of base jumping?

    I'm going to put on my batsuit,..

    All kidding aside, this is the fastest changing industry in the world. It's either get on board, or get out. I find it very challenging and it keeps my job fun!

    I let the managers worry about the costs and the implications, it's not like .Net is going away anytime soon, so don't worry so much about it.

  • Dr Herbie

    Rocky Lhotka has a good, pragmatic blog entry about this.  (TL;DR; Don't panic, there's plenty of time to transition).

    Herbie

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    Well they haven't really. Moving a "Metro" Silverlight project to WinRT requires very little effort at all and can easily be absorbed into an upgrade release schedule - it's not like you have to do a major re-write or change the language or anything.

    Oversimplifying once again... If you're speaking of lightweight WP7 apps then you may be right but anything on the desktop isn't going to be like the magical port demos you've seen in the build sessions.

    @vesuvius:

    I couldn't agree with you more.

    With the W8 lock-in under WinRT if it fails (and specifically the WinRT/Metro side of the house) those that have written apps for it will be in the same spot as the WP7 guys. It won't matter how many copies of W8 are sold (for use of the desktop side or just because that's what ships on new machines) WinRT and it's fledgling apps will fail in their own right if Microsoft can't figure out how to get people demanding WinRT/Metro apps. The Zune, Kin, and now WP7 are great examples of what could happen to WinRT/Metro. It would stand a better chance if they'd back port it to W7 or had forged it as a SL strategy in the first place rather than building this phone OS runtime bolt-on into Windows.

    The other piece that's going to be an issue is that the talented developers I've worked with never want to work in "legacy" code. Now that WPF/SL is legacy it's going to be harder to get good devs who want to do the work. Even if WinRT/Metro is a fail there are other places these devs can go now as you've mentioned.

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

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    Oversimplifying once again... If you're speaking of lightweight WP7 apps then you may be right but anything on the desktop isn't going to be like the magical port demos you've seen in the build sessions.

    My comments were in the context of Silverlight development for WP7, desktop applications for the PC are obviously a whole different ballgame.

  • vesuvius

    @Dr Herbie: except Otherwise Microsoft has led a lot of people down a dead-end path, and that's a serious betrayal of trust.

    To date nobody at Microsoft has had the cojones to stand up and answer this truthfully. It is almost a case of if you keep telling yourself a lie, you will eventually start to believe it?

    I think I have said enough in this forum, and don't intend to keep sounding like a broken record, I feel I am the sort of guy that could make WinRT fly, but now view the company that I championed for so many years negatively, and in true form they don't really care.

    Anyway, I have said my piece.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    My comments were in the context of Silverlight development for WP7, desktop applications for the PC are obviously a whole different ballgame.

    Nice of you to leave that bit out. Andy you're the master of obscuring the truth to make your points seem valid. Now maybe you don't do it on purpose but you do. That's why it's pointless to have a dialog with you.

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