No matter what Microsoft says and half of it is either for marketing reasons or for not scaring away the weakhearted "so called developers" who really can't do much without a Visual Designer. No matter how good a Visual Designer they come up with for XAML/Avalon,
there are things that simply just can't be done without jumping into code.
So, anyone preparing for Avalon will need to get used to that fact - it's all hardcore coding here - at least when you want to make something really cool. If you want those same old UI, you can drag&drop.
I've said it before (like a million times!) and I'll say it again, it's just like DHTML - you can use FrontPage or Dreamweaver or Visual Studio, but when you want to push the envelope in your designs, you gotta code it by hand.
Another point to be noted: when it comes to actual business (or other) apps (unlike Flash based solutions), many people won't make super UI's with Avalon as not every project has a budget, expertise, time, or requirement for it.
So, outside of the hobbyist/non-profit sector, there won't be too many super UI's. And if there are: most will be nice enough. Who wants to pay for weird UI, right?
Regarding the user interaction, I hope the different marketing focused Flash websites aren't the example of what to come. As I understand the separation of underlying control code from the visual representation is there to help avoid that too. If MS has
very much of the basic Avalon controls with good interaction experience already built, others will just need to tweak that and creation of controls having similar function but different interaction experience may be avoided. At the least it would be nice if
MS provided a good set of the basic pot/slider controls, and perhaps some mouse gesture based controls, instead of everyone developing their own (as we have seen) with different feel to them (some very bad). Examples of these different feeling basic controls
are very common in certain professional applications as they all need the pots and sliders. That could be avoided by providing good enough control bases for starters and some ways to easily glue/inherit/override interaction related functions like mouse panning,
gesture recognition etc.
If you read the WinFX SDK documentation, there are basic button, selection, menu, scrollbars/slider, and text controls/components which can be easily modified/inherited. When it comes to inheriting and modifying such things XAML really abstracts the implementation.
It's similar to ASP.net.
If you've seen the Avalon episode of The .NET Show where Pablo Fernicola was interviewed, in the latter half Nathan Dunlap - the designer in the Avalon team - shows how easy it so mod components. I'm sure with Avalon, Microsoft will take inheritance to new
If Tony really is watching this feedback, what I would love to see in Orcas is a document-based windows form designer.
The current form model is absolutely (pixel) positioned - with a few 'tricks' like the (fairly limited) new flow control panel.
I've needed time and time again a true "web-like" document container for WinForms apps - similar to Lotus Notes or InfoPath but built into the framework.
I want to be able to create a WinForm, drop a special 'design time document' control onto it and add some text, controls, formatting, etc into it. Or maybe Avalon already does this? If that's the case I'd sure love a design-time editor
ShadowChaser, you'll be happy to know you won't have to wait for ORCAS for this feature. If you check ou Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta (http://labs.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/get/) or even the Express edition
of VB or C#, you will see a few new controls like the FlowPanelLayout which has improved in Beta 2, as well as the Table layout.
Also, if Whidbey still doesn't suit your needs, then you will get these features in a more web-like nature with Avalon. The Avalon documents and in fact, the entire Avalon/XAML programming model resembles ASP.net development. Check out the NavigationApplication
samples in the WinFX SDK. They show how you can have BACK/NEXT navigation as well as flow documents.
so, you don't HAVE to create your own super-hi-tech cool UI, but if you
WANT TO, there aren't the limits of Windows Forms and such anymore - it gives you free reign over your ideas and the road to materializing them.
PS. If anyone from the Avalon team is listening, WE NEED BLEND MODES! BLEND MODES! BLEND MODES! PLEASE! And in VECTOR - not just bitmaps! Thanks.
Avalon can help designer and developer to sepearte their work. In this demo, how developers integrate programming logic into the interface?
Well, I haven't seen the source code yet, but in general, this works somewhat like ASP.net code-behind. You assign ID's and Methods to be executed in the XAML file, while you write the actual code in VB.net or C# in the .vb or .cs file. You can find out more
in the INSIDE AVALON column by Chris Anderson at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/longhorn/avalon/ or if you want more in-depth code, you can check out my upcoming series of articles on Avalon at www.nukeation.net
Actually, how to integrate the program which grep the data from Amazon and the interface builded by Avalon? Any Example for this on the web?
Amazon has a publicly available Web Service. You can find it on their site. You can consume that web service and bind the data to the avalon objects. Since the "CD"s shown in the demo are ListBox objects, the data-binding is very easy.