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Open Plea by Silverlight / WPF Devs for Full Windows 8 Support in Addition to HTML5

    Question

  • /* Please consider sounding off if this summarizes your concerns as well. See bottom for more notes … */

    An Open Plea by Silverlight and WPF Developers to Fully Support These Wonderful MS .NET Platforms in Windows 8 in Addition to the New HTML5 Platform

    WPF and Silverlight developers have valid reasons to be concerned that the Microsoft .NET UI platforms they have grown to love and support – because they’re the best in the world – are being demoted in Windows 8 in a way that could relegate them to a place of obscurity. This place of obscurity could even be a way of letting them ‘die on the vine,’ if indeed they were no longer put forth as platforms of the future, and supported as such. We would like to know: Do Silverlight and WPF have an integral, irreplaceable, and front-facing role to play in Windows 8 and in the future?

    The announcement of a “new platform, based on … HTML5 and JavaScript,” could prove to be an exciting opportunity, both for Microsoft and for developers. While opinions amongst .NET developers may vary on this, many of us appreciate the possibilities this could open up. But in less than 24 hours of these announcements, the resounding chorus of WPF/SL developers is that they are greatly concerned that this “new platform” is being put out in a manner and tone that demotes the role and importance of SL/WPF. One might reasonably wonder if this is an over-reaction. But the following points paint a sobering picture that seems to justify these concerns:

    • In all of the officially released statements concerning the upcoming Windows 8, there has not been one, not one, prepared statement that even mentions the future role of .NET, WPF, or Silverlight in Windows 8, contrary to all of the statements concerning the integral role the new HTML5 platform will play. Only after Windows President S. Sinofsky was asked what role Silverlight played in Windows 8, was it stated that it would continue to run in IE and on the desktop. Clearly then, our concern is not that these terrific platforms will be terminated, but that they might be left to ‘dry on the vine.’
    • In an officially released video dubbed “Building Windows 8” by Jensen Harris, Director of PM of Windows User Experience, Jensen clearly portrays a dichotomy of apps that will exist on Windows 8: 1) Apps that are repeatedly called “Windows 8 Apps,” which he speaks of as “Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript,” and 2) “Existing windows apps.” WPF / Silverlight apps seem to be precluded from the “Windows 8 Apps.” We do not want Silvelight and WPF apps to be relegated to a “classic” (if even a “legacy”) category, while we hope to see a paradigm of “Windows 8 HTML5 Apps” exist alongside of “Windows 8 WPF/Silverlight Apps,” both of which will constitute the front-facing, cool new look of Windows 8.
    • The MIX 2011 conference focused almost exclusively on HTML5 technologies, with little focus on Silverlight.
    • A new developer conference called BUILD has been announced in place of what would have been PDC for September (www.buildwindows.com). Again we see no mention whatsoever of WPF, SL, or .NET: “Go behind the scenes and learn all about the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript [that] have access to the power of the PC.” While the commitment is made there that .NET apps (“your existing apps”) will not of course be terminated, one is lead to believe that WPF/SL apps do not have a key role to play in the new Windows 8, front-facing model.
    • Perhaps of lesser significance, but the following raises questions: “When Scott Guthrie, former corporate vice president of the .NET Platform at Microsoft, left the Developer Division [even on the very day of the announcement of this “new” Windows 8 app “platform”] to head up a new Windows Azure business unit, I was more than concerned… ” (M. Desmond, The Sinofsky Shuffle, http://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2011/06/01/pcfra_guthrie.aspx).

    /* ======= */

    Three concrete steps or verbal commitments would assure us Silverlight and WPF developers that there is an integral, irreplaceable, and front-facing role to play in Windows 8 and into the future. That:

    1) WPF and Silverlight apps have equal integration with Windows 8 tiles, on equal parity with the capabilities being given to the HTML5 based apps.

    2) Silverlight, and perhaps also WPF apps, be fully integrated in what is thought to be a forthcoming Windows 8 app store, in a manner that is on par with the HTML5 apps.

    3) Concrete steps be made in future Windows developer conferences, starting with BUILD, to demonstrate that WPF and Silverlight have a significant role to play in the future of Windows 8, and that their active development will continue unabated.

    As the future marches on, we all understand the necessity to further integrate with the web, and to aggressively broaden the reach of the technologies we invest in. The new Windows 8 HTML5 based app platform will likely constitute a smart and exciting way to reach these goals. But it is unthinkable that the needs of businesses and users alike could be fully met without a strong and vibrant WPF, as it offers the solution of choice for developing the most powerful and deeply integrated line of business applications for Windows. Likewise, while the new HTML5 app platform will admittedly open up a vibrant new choice for many broad-reaching solutions, it is unthinkable that the extensive capabilites that Silverlight offers, as it builds on the extraordinary elegance and power of XAML, C# and the .NET framework, could be superceded.

    We believe the successful way forward lies within a dynamic commitement to all three technologies – a vibrantly supported WPF and Silverlight conjoined to this exciting new HTML5 technology. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Each of these three technologies offers things the others do not. One size rarely fits all. But when conjoined together, they offer the broadest base of solutions to the diversity of problems we face.

    We look forward to a bright and committed future for all of these technologies,

    Signatures of Silverlight / WPF / .NET developers,

    /* ============

    Please consider 'signing your name' to this open letter and share any suggestions or changes you would like. This seems to encapsulate a lot of what I've heard from the rest of you (to include myself!) in the last few days. I considered putting this on UserVoice so we could get official 'votes' and 'signatures,' though it greatly limits what can be said in terms of a full letter. You're suggestions are welcomed on where this might be put (some way to get real signatures or votes), but I hope a calm-headed letter like this could be a positive step forward. I am hopeful that our concerns our being heard, and that the future of all this could turn out pretty cool in the end. ~ Nick P

    ============*/

    Friday, June 03, 2011 9:59 PM

All replies

  • Nicholas,

    Thank you for taking the time to compose such an insightful and diplomatic summary of our concerns as Silverlight/WPF developers. Having worked years with rarely a day off to bring to market a significant productivity application suite based upon Silverlight, and having trusted Microsoft's consistently positive outlook regarding Silverlight, needless to say, I CONCUR!

    Best Regards,

    Phil Jacobsen

     

    Friday, June 03, 2011 10:39 PM
  • I agree. I had been loyal ms developer for 10 years. My company is gold ms partner and have big investments in .net and silverlight. Most of our silverlight projects make sense on tablet and we are continuing investments with the hope that all code will work on win8 tablets. Should we target iPad instead?

    Best regards,

    Eugene Akinshin, Ph. D.

    Co-Founder of Perpetuum Software LLC, Grapholite



    Friday, June 03, 2011 11:16 PM
  • Thanks for taking time writing the well-composed letter. This really speaks my mind. We want Silverlight and WPF apps to be as important as HTML5/JQuery apps in Windows 8. Please count me in!


    Friday, June 03, 2011 11:17 PM
  • Very well worded. Hopefully this letter is not needed and the picture you paint of a development story based on "three cords" is already their intention. Perhaps they will be revealing this at BUILD.

    Count me in.

    Friday, June 03, 2011 11:49 PM
  • Fully agreed

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 3:21 AM
  • I really can't imagine that, in an intensive business environment, we can use full screen apps with a touch UI efficiently. My clients often open 5 to 6 Windows for applications and webbrowsers in 3 screens. The Windows 7's task bar is too good to lose.

     

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 3:43 AM
  • I fully share your concern about the absurd, IMO, direction taken by MS's communication.

    I see a complete contradiction in the idea of considering HTML5/JS as the new plateform for building W8 applications:
    by definition those techs are supposed to offer the same software resources and runtime engine on any supported plateform:
    how can you use them to build W8 specific apps without providing the API extensions for that purpose, therefore ruining
    the 'write once run anywhere' dogma?

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 5:35 AM
  • Awesome responses so far, THANX, and I hope you all will KEEP 'EM COMING.

    Pete said that some at the highest levels of MS have been viewing these forums. I hope they view this open letter and your responses. So hopefully this open letter will represent one that gets our concerns across in a respectful way, and in a way that's reflective of the realities they undoubtedly are trying to confront. (Different purposes for different threads of course, like sometimes blowing off high-pressure steam!). Let's admit it, things have rapidly changed in the last couple years, unbelievably almost -- so if the future of Windows was to slope down rather than slope up and stay strong, obviously, that would really jeapordize our .NET capabilities. There is a lot we are competing with, like entirely Web-App running OSes (G. Chrome of course).

    I'm still soaking in what we've seen with Windows 8. It's dawning on me: Windows 8 is being positioning *to be* the Net. It's quite something. The Net comes to you by default, it's hardbacked right on your (now an antiquated term) rolling or roiling 'desktop'. The tiles (what a brilliant concept [and as usual for brilliance: simple]) are critical for facilitating this, you're not "opening programs" to connect to the Net, no, they update right there immediately. I don't have a WP7 yet, but I love it, personally.

    Anyways, the point here is : LET'S KEEP .NET IN THIS NEW WINDOWS 8 NET! So keep sounding off, short or long. The more responses here the better.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 6:52 AM
  • <<like entirely Web-App running OSes (G. Chrome of course).
    Except that ChromeOS seems to integrate a technology called (P)NaCl,
    which is a runtime environnement making possible to execute programs written in virtually any language in a safe way inside the ChromeOS browser, and that the Mono team has announced that a version of .Net would be hosted by (P)NaCl.

    (P)NaCl illustrates the fact that the goals pursued by HTML5/JS could be reached without implying to giveup .Net and downgrade to JS, or in otherwords that the coupling between the HTML5 and JS machineries is obsolete and absurd.

    Similarly to what Google is doing with PNaCl, .Net could be, or have been, the heart of MS's strategy for HTML5,
    in that it could have been the base for its JS implementation, without giving up the idea of embedding the other .Net languages as well...

    A .Net heart in IE would have given a sense to the idea of 'native' HTML5 support :-)!




     


    Saturday, June 04, 2011 8:02 AM
  • I agree.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 9:35 AM
  • Microsoft can give a major boost to Windows Phone by enabling WP developers to easily reuse their mobile apps on Windows 8. And I'm talking about Silverlight and XNA based .NET apps here - not some vague future technology that won't be available for ages (and this is what all Microsoft competitors do).

    This also has a potential to attract a lot of developers to the ecosystem right now - long before Windows 8 release.

    Too sensible?

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 11:38 AM
  • I work for a major medical device manufacturer. We cannot imagine building equipment for the surgery room that runs HTML5+JS. You wouldn't want that either if you were the one lying on the operating table.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 11:46 AM
  • It's absolutely insanity to think that Microsoft wouldn't have cross compatability between Windows Phone and Windows 8. It's also crazy to think they will alienate all of the current WP7 and  .Net developers who where led to believe that Silverlight/XNA would be the crossplatform development strategy for Desktop/Phone/Xbox.

    I think what's happening is that the focus is on IE 10 initially to get Windows 8 out to OEMs as quickly as possible therefore the first API available will be through HTML5 apps that are basicallly running in the IE engine. 

    So theorectically you could run a Silverlight or Flash application within this package since IE is capable of running these things.  The gotcha will be whether a Silverlight (or flash) plugin for ARM will be available by then.  So your Silverlight app would probably run on an x86 tablet but not an ARM tablet.   So  by pushing HTML5 Microsoft insures that these first apps will run on all hardware.

    But sorry I'm not spending 2-3K going to the BUILD event just to get lectured on HTML, CSS, and Javascript...  Especially after investing so much time in my Silverlight framework. 

    It's HTML5, I get it.  I also get that Microsoft is going to create some funky tags, etc. so that you can get HTML/CSS3 to work with special Windows 8 functions like the file system. gyroscope,  multi-touch, camera, etc....    Sounds nighmarish.

    This is no different than web widgets for windows mobile which didn't take long for people to figure out that HTML wasn't enough to create rich apps.

    I'll just wait until next year when the REAL Windows 8 development tools come out with Visual Studio 2012...

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 12:24 PM
  • Give us the full story about Silverlight and Windows 8 Microsoft, now!

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 12:25 PM
  • Having just done some Binging, it seems there's much unrest about SL/WPF/.Net being abandonded in W8. One would expect MS damage control response soon - it's hard to imagine they would abandon their business app audience in favor of being the prettiest tablet act.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 12:40 PM
  • This situation reminds me of Borland's decision under CEO Dave Fuller to go after the so-called "Enterprise Integration Market" while ignoring the existing Borland developer base. It took about 5 years for Fuller to essentially destroy Borland's value. Now Microsoft is immensely more wealthy and succesful that Borland ever was, neverheless pursuing the chimera of hordes of HTML/JS devlopers while ignoring current loyal developers could be just as disastrous.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 2:18 PM
  • The biggest problem is that the majority of HTML/JS developers HATE Microsoft with a passion, probably because trying to code to IE6 was a nightmare.  Even if some of them decide to come over to work on Win 8 stuff, they will leave the second there is something else interesting to work on.   And most people who are devoted to Microsoft technologies (i.e. .NET programmers) detest working in JavaScript.  So you are never going to have a large block of HTML/JS developers devoted to a Microsoft platform.  

    Including HTML5/Javascript as a platform option is great.  Doing so at the exclusion of other better technologies like .NET is insanity.

    Oh and the Borland analogy is a good one.  They used to OWN developer tools, and then they drove themselves right off of the cliff. 

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 2:31 PM
  • Thanks Nicholas for this letter. It's really not about that we don't like HTML5/JS, it's about how much we love Silverlight and we wanna be in the first row when W8 takes off. That's all!!!

    Thanks

    A Silverlight Lover

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 3:12 PM
  • Except that ChromeOS seems to integrate a technology called (P)NaCl, which is a runtime environnement making possible to execute programs written in virtually any language in a safe way inside the ChromeOS browser, and that the Mono team has announced that a version of .Net would be hosted by (P)NaCl.

    (P)NaCl illustrates the fact that the goals pursued by HTML5/JS could be reached without implying to giveup .Net and downgrade to JS, or in otherwords that the coupling between the HTML5 and JS machineries is obsolete and absurd. Similarly to what Google is doing with PNaCl, .Net could be, or have been, the heart of MS's strategy for HTML5, in that it could have been the base for its JS implementation, without giving up the idea of embedding the other .Net languages as well...

    A .Net heart in IE would have given a sense to the idea of 'native' HTML5 support :-)!

    There is a lot of very interesting stuff to digest there, but I can say this much: It is time to unshackle our capabilities from the limitations of JavaScript (not trying to insult, but it is so torturous in my experience) and a markup language that doesn't have an "A" for Applications in it like XAML does! (thanks to Jan Hannemann for pointing that out a few times here). Further, it is so enschakling to have to be tied down to a standard that is advanced by a United Nations type progress ... just not exactly the way to stay cutting edge. Someone else here said that if there was a problem with anything Microsoft has done, its that they were twenty years ahead of such things. Even a big wig JavaScript founder (forget his name) talked at this big conference in last year, and said emphatically that a lesson to learn is that you do not inovate through open standards. Inovate, and then maybe in 10 years they'll finally standarize it, maybe, never guaranteed... Oh, and he also stated very clearly that JS is the most hated language in the world, so us saying this is not just throwing pot-shots!

    Anyways, I personally love the thought of making JIT runtimes like .NET and Java first class citizens in the browser. That way, we could truly get past the point where HTML and JS alone reign supreme in the broadest sense. But alas, from my quick search on NaCl, it seems to not be materializing in Chrome's case? You can't have just one browser, like IE, do this, and make it successful, when broad reach of another non Html/JS technology is the point. Which, until such changes happen across at least two of the big competitors, we need to continue take HTML5/JS very seriously, AND INVEST AT LEAST AS STRONGLY in the much more intuitive, advanced, and powerful frameworks like WPF/SL. As some medical teams have posted here, it is quite absurd to think that hospitals could find the core reliability and etc in a Html-JS-Web app.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 4:26 PM
  • If you want to make a difference here , then take aim at Sinofsky, not "Microsoft". It is clearly Sinofsky and windows who are driving this decision: they have always hated .NET ever since Windows failed to use it properly in Vista (because the Windows team aren't very good at innovation, and tried to use it the wrong way).

    And yes, they are now chasing HTML5/JS miracles to save them from Steve Jobs, and they don't mind if they take down all of Microsoft's enterprise story along the way, as long as they get a few more apps for their appstore.

    So the argument is directly with Sinofsky: no one else at Microsoft can help, if his power is not eroded. Let's make it personal. The wrong decisions in this area can reduce the earning potential and productivity prospects of hundreds of thousands of enterprise devs and can drag programming back to the stoneage.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 5:43 PM
  • Mmh, I don't think anybody of us knows enough about the internal decision making process within MS to make it personal against a single person. I don't think either that it helps. The spirit of this open plea is much more important than a witch hunt.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 5:53 PM
  • Can we, some how, take these noises from the last few days and make it such that it'll appear on some mainstream media front page such msn.com or yahoo.com? That'll be awsome. Maybe some hack jobs.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 6:21 PM
  • <removed>

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 6:40 PM
  • The addition of first-class HTML/JS apps will prove a useful Windows feature. Nonetheless, I stand by Eclipsoft in voicing my concerns.
     
    Microsoft has a responsibility to customers and its loyal developer base to provide clear and consistent messaging. As a consultant I cannot tell you how many times I've heard, "Use Silverlight? Silverlight is dead. Microsoft is abandoning it."

    The executive leadership team at Microsoft must work harder to control messaging. Microsoft technologies, while attractive, should be seen as investments chosen by developers. If the future of a technology is uncertain developers will not make the investment.  No one doubts the future of the iOS platform. We, as Microsoft developers, should feel the same way about the future of Silverlight and WPF.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 12:46 AM
  • No one doubts the future of the iOS platform

    To be fair, the reason for this is because Apple tells you absolutely nothing until it is 100% baked. Your confidence is based on a complete lack of information.

    We try to be more open and share more, but it doesn't always work in our favor (or yours).

    Pete

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 2:32 AM
  • Microsoft -

    I just want to know if you have a strong story for .NET/Silverlight developers going forward. Are our investments in your .NET development platforms justified, or should we be shying away from them (just as you appear to be doing this year)? Why would I recommend to my business/my clients that we invest in .NET (which also extends to WP7 for obvious reasons) when you no longer recommend that we do so (which is the message that is coming across intended or not)?

    I don't understand why you can't answer these questions until September, why you would expect your partners to do so or why you'd expect your partners to stay loyal when you choose to keep them in the dark and not involve them in the conversation.

    It shouldn't take much for you to publicise that you continue to be absolutely committed to the Silverlight and .NET on your platforms as 1st class citizens alongside HTML5/JS. If this is not the case, be clear now so that we can make informed business decisions.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 6:19 AM
  • <<eclipsoft:
    Even a big wig JavaScript founder (forget his name) talked at this big conference in last year, and said emphatically that a lesson to learn is that you do not inovate through open standards.


    I don't see how W8 apps, thats is apps taking advantage of the specific resources of the OS, could be created with HTML5/JS without extending it: MS will be forced to 'advance' the standard to fit their 'native' needs, and partly ruin it :-).


    Since MS probably won't make .Net the heart of the JS part of the bright future they have envisioned for us, it would be funny to see appear a .Net (thanks to Mono) / PNaCl enabled version of the Chrome OS and web browser as an ironical answer to a certain form of arrogance…


    Sunday, June 05, 2011 7:38 AM
  • While we get silence only from Microsoft I contacted the next best source, Mary Jo Foley. An I got this answer: "Yes... I will have more on this Monday. Stay tuned ;)"

    So let's see whether we are smarter on Monday.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 12:55 PM
  • Beside being wiser on monday I would also like to be happier on monday.

    It's not christmas yet, but I put that already on my list.

    I only dwelled for ~ 1.5 years in the realms of Silverlight and enjoyed it so much.

    I'm back to refactoring a WinForms / ASP.NET spaghetti orgy.

    In my spare time I'm continuing to develop further a geology related WPF app (on military grade tablets: Armor X10gx and Xplore iX104) that started a year ago, but which I'm now coding *for free* for my customer just because WPF is so much fun compared to WinForms and standard web technologies. I just love to add features to it.

    I'm old enough to bring up the classic Video 2000 vs VHS comparison: please don't do that. Please don't twist the reality and kill innovative frameworks just for political, internal-wars and marketing reasons. You can so easily kill something beautiful just by injecting stupid rumors. Please evolve and don't go backwards. Whatever you think HTML/JS might offer currently is not sufficient unless all the .NET frameworks (this includes the open-source frameworks) are ported to JS. Maybe this will happen someday, but when? Until then you deminish the efficiency of developers. E.g. my current company develops apps for a city called Kiel here in Germany. We would have no chance if we would not be able to use many of the existing .NET open-source and commercial frameworks out there.

    Currently I'm trying not to imagine that MS would go this way, but i know that blindness and mediocrity is often in the hand of decision makers, so I stay worried.

    It would be really sad (in the sense of: where's the brain, mom?) if MS would not recognize that emphasizing HTML/JS will create a lot of trouble for companies when trying to sell any new project based on non-HTML/JS technology to customers. Unfortunately HTML/JS will create such an overhead (because we cannot use the open-source .NET frameworks out there) that many companies will not be able to compete; thus die. Thank you sir.

    I still wonder why I had never a customer or employer who was happy and thrilled that I could develop in WPF/SL. What did you intentionally do wrong here Mr. Windows devision MS executive?

    And yes, thanks to MS brainfarts I had to *convince* my customer that HTML was not the way to go for his geology and hardware-intensive field based application. I really thank you Mr. MS for having to fight to convince my customers that your innovative overseen side products, which are about to potantially get dropped, are more suited for the job than anything else. How should this all make sense to me?

    C'mon MS are you corrupt in that order of magnitude that it's possible to kill such a beautiful framework from without your own company? How silly is that? Does it mean you don't need any other competitors because you own company has grown big enough to happily kill your own innovations?

    The funny thing is: if this drama was really unnecessary and this HTML/JS thingy is just a political / marketing brainfart, and WPF/SL is going to grow, then: thank you Mr. MS executive for playing your dumb games with us. Please buy you a fluffy toy in that case and keep your games restricted to those toys in the future - thank you.

    Best regards & try not to screw it up MS,

    Kasimier Buchcik

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 6:32 PM
  • HTML/JS has to be an addition in attempt to attract a wider range of developers.  Several years ago I was only a diehard Asp.Net, HTML/Javascript developer.  After finally giving Silverlight/WPF a chance, there isn't a comparision.  At least with writing commercial LOB applications.

    I'm surprised that in a few days things have went in this direction so I can appreciate MS probably being caught off guard.  I'm sure they can't make guarantees on anything but please find a way to address these rumors.

    You've given us some great frameworks to do some amazing things and increase productivity.  If you have anybody internally trying to bury these frameworks and think that developers who have seen a better way are going to resort back hassles of js, then my guess will be you'll  be way off the mark.

    If we'll have at least the same IDE capabilites to develop as we have with XAML and JS is getting retooled let us have levels of separation in our code, then so be it.  But please don't even consider canning frameworks that are just getting to levels where developers are becoming extremely productive.

    If Windows 8 or any MS product going forward doesn't have the full support for .net, SL/WPF then I also would like to give the products a vote of no confidence at this time.

    Like no time before, you have more and more competition.  Please don't consider making any more that will cause you to lose the support of existing developers and have them considering cutting the chord from MS.

     

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 9:52 PM
  • @pmonteil

    Maybe the Mono team can take over and then make it open source, like Java. Hmm, another Java, not a bad idea ...

     

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 9:53 PM
  • The addition of first-class HTML/JS apps will prove a useful Windows feature. Nonetheless, I stand by Eclipsoft in voicing my concerns.
     
    Microsoft has a responsibility to customers and its loyal developer base to provide clear and consistent messaging. As a consultant I cannot tell you how many times I've heard, Use Silverlight? Silverlight is dead. Microsoft is abandoning it.

    The executive leadership team at Microsoft must work harder to control messaging. Microsoft technologies, while attractive, should be seen as investments chosen by developers. If the future of a technology is uncertain developers will not make the investment.  No one doubts the future of the iOS platform. We, as Microsoft developers, should feel the same way about the future of Silverlight and WPF."

    Agreed.

    With iOS/Apple, there's no feeling of internal competition/friction between camps, as we are getting from MS, as devs, for 3/4s of a year now.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 9:56 PM
  • Totally agree as well, as do all the devs where I work (Microsoft Gold Partner for financial industry).  HTML5, CSS and JS are brilliant technologies and we actively use them but Silverlight is amazing as well.  We develop applications quicker, that look nicer and are 10x better architect ed and easier to maintain.  

    For large LOB apps where reach is not an issue Silverlight is king, most people I see criticising it either have no experience using it, don't develop the sort of apps it's good for or are just anti MS/Standards junkies. I for one think our industry will be in a sorry state if we end up with just 1 technology for doing all client development.  Plugins provide vibrant competition which help to push standards forward.  I hope and think this is just a case of overreaction to a small demo that I thought was quite exciting, but that doesn't change the fact that this is yet another example of very poorly managed communication from MS which is criminal considering the amount of money they must spend on people whose job this is supposed to be.  I can now understand the Apple approach by keeping your mouths shut until everything is ready to go.

    Looking forward to Microsofts response which is inevitable considering the number of views these posts are getting.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 5:03 AM
  • @lixin123:
    The core Mono technology has always been open source:
    http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page

    The permanent members of Mono were recently fired by Novell/Attachmate and that si,ce then they created a company dedicated to the creation of multiplateform .Net tools
    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/May-16.html

    The different flavors of .Net offered by MS and Mono make possible to develop core business components for a unique combination of plateforms:
    - Windows 32/64
    - SL
    - WP7
    - iOS (MonoTouch)
    - Android (MonoDroid)
    - MacOSX (MonoMac)
    - Linux
    - MoonLight ...
    and to then integrate those core components in plateform specific UIS....




    Monday, June 06, 2011 5:04 AM
  • /signed

    Monday, June 06, 2011 6:45 AM
  • Another idea, is people bring up the points of going to the MS conferences and not hearing that much about Silverlight.  If everybody as we do attending these confernces have the same passion about Silverlight, attempt to highjack some of the conference by demanding to here a response regarding Silverlight.

     

     

    Monday, June 06, 2011 8:33 AM
  • I strongly agree and sign this letter.

    If MS wants to make WP7 successful, they need to provide a way to let users run WP7 based Silverlight/XNA apps
    on Windows 8 tablets or provide a way to port these apps to Windows 8.
    It makes no sense to ask developers to redevelop these apps using HTML5 & JavaScript for Windows 8.
    Otherwise, WP7 would be a dead platform. I don't see why developers want to continue to work on a "phone only" platform.
    With iOS and android, we can target phones and tablets!
    If developers have to develop in HTML5 & JavaScript, they could target any browser (Safari, Chrom, Firefox, mobile browsers, ...).
    Why they still care about Windows?

    Monday, June 06, 2011 9:01 AM
  • /signed

    Monday, June 06, 2011 9:10 AM
  • Mary-Jo Foley's article is the first sign of very good news in my estimate. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-needs-to-tell-windows-8-developers-now-about-jupiter-and-silverlight/9608?tag=content;feature-roto

    But first, her sources: {All of what I’ve said here is from sources who have asked not to be identified, not from Microsoft officials associated with Microsoft’s Windows or Developer Division….} Interpretation: her sources are not with Microsoft. But, they were in a position of some sort that made them not want to disclose their identity: significant point. Probably have close ties to MS people within.

    Now the news:

    {I’ve blogged before about the XAML layer that Microsoft is building for Windows 8 as part of its “Jupiter” initiative. Yes, it still exists, I hear from my contacts. And yes, this will enable support of native Silverlight applications.}

    {Jupiter is a user interface library for Windows and will allow developers to build immersive applications using a XAML-based approach with coming tools from Microsoft. Jupiter will allow users a choice of programming languages, namely, C#, Visual Basic and C++. (Hey, maybe this is why Microsoft is calling the next version of Visual C++ “WinC++“?)}

    A XAML layer for Windows 8. A XAML layer for building immersive "modern" apps. This is part of JUPITER, a UI Library for Windows 8. Obviously it is a .NET library for allowing all the Immersive integration stuff, usage of sensors, etc. System.Jupiter.? (System.Windows8.?; ...)

    THIS IS GREAT NEWS.

    {Microsoft is still going to support Silverlight with Windows 8, and not only as a browser plug-in, my sources say. At the 50,000-foot level [? does that mean 'top-down'? or: they really really want ?], Microsoft wants to find a way to reinvigorate the Windows-development ecosystem. ... Microsoft’s longer-term goal is to align its various developer stacks, giving it a story that’s comparable to Apple’s}

    Again, all of that is great news. We need such reinvigoration, and we all have been screaming for greater integration, such as WPF and Silverlight. We all desperately want to use our same XAML skills on mobile and desktop in one single sling shot, not two shots going at different trajectories.

    There's some confusion here, Mary never gets back to mentioning WPF, and talks about it as if Silverlight is the only XAML player in town (WPF is just as important in all this), and hopefully she knows that Silverlight is already available out of browser, but she may have meant that they will be strongly supporting the out of browswer route as well (which is clearly the case if we have thorough MoSH / Immersive integration). But with this very talk being about integration and XAML layers, I am more than happy with things. Hopefully this talk of integration means closer moving of WPF and Silverlight: XAML big sister and little sister.

    Now for that one nasty paragraph:

    {It definitely seems Microsoft’s ultimate goal is to wean developers off Silverlight and to convince them to use HTML5 and JavaScript to write new apps for Windows, going forward. But until there’s better tooling for HTML5 ... it seems the Softies are going to support .Net and Silverlight via new versions of Visual Studio, the .Net Framework and Expression. I believe Jupiter is key to enabling Microsoft to continue to insist that Silverlight’s not dead (as far as a development platform) — at least for now. But anything that’s not a new Windows 8 “immersive,” modern application, going forward, is now going to be considered “legacy,” from what I can tell.}

    Remember who her sources were? You can take this point to the bank: This was Mary-Jo's assessment, it has NOTHING to do with a MS employee's statement or hint in that direction. Now of course, we felt like we were abused and misused in the last week's statements that left .NET/WPF/SL in the shivering cold. And as it stands, this one statement leaves us still in the shivering, wet cold, but a nice big fluffy blanket has been thrown out to us. We're not in the buidling yet. But that is what Mary is speaking from, I am sure, in talking of this 'weaning off Silverlight' business; that's just her own assessment that we were mistreated, and trying to read into WHY. But do you REALLY think MS would be making a first class XAML Immersive interface for Windows 8 and just throw it to the sharks next? I don't think so.

    Rather, I would guess that MS, although royally messing its messaging up, was already going the three-cord route I talked about in the Open Plea. They're not stupid. You can't replace LOB and ISV type advanced applications with the new (but rather: old) kid on the block, HTML5/JS. Rather, they need to further integrate Silverlight and WPF, the XAML sisters, and keep on developing them at high rates, while opening up a new line that can bring in tons of HTML/JS devs (as Mary Jo talked about), and get that many more apps running in Windows 8.

    Lastly, Pete just noted that there is a new Silverlight beta site. I like the prominent paragraph they have there:

    Get Started with Silverlight

    Silverlight is a powerful development platform for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web, Desktop and mobile applications when online or offline

    I am hopeful MS's thinking goes this route: 1) we can't just convert the quazillions of HTML people out there, so let's include them by making the HTML/JS story first class, but 2) The XAML-.NET story is "a powerful development platform" for Web, Desktop, and mobile, it is irreplacable, and we will continue to develope it at fast rates.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 11:26 AM
  • This is not good news at all. According to her they still want to phase out Silverlight and .NET. From my point of view it also means that some people at MS occupy positions that they are not supposed to occupy.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 11:57 AM
  • I am fairly new to Silverlight development. So far I like it, specially I want to re-orient my skillset into mobile platforms and Silverlight is one of the two choices in Windows Phone app development.

    I was feeling mixed emotions about the last week announcement of this windows 8 preview. Sure I want to develop mostly for mobile, but I usually get contractual work on Windows-based and/or Web-based platforms. I took Silverlight classes for my last project at a client's and was hoping to be able to leverage the acquired knowledge in the future a little bit longer than was it seems to be.

    I know that we will be able to work with SL/WPF for at least 2 years, but I do have a concern that my skillset would be tagged as obsolete right away, because of the way this announcement is handled. How will my future clients understand this message? That they shouldn't invest in SL App? Hopefully not.

    I do approve what is said in your post. I think you grasped what some of us feel.

    Thank you

     

    Isabelle AM

    PS I quoted your post on my blog, in both English and French (french is my 1st language, hopefully my translation skills did carry the essence of what I quoted) : 

    English version is here http://iam-isabelle.blogspot.com/2011/06/recap-on-my-latest-training-week.html

    French version here: http://iam-isabelle.blogspot.com/2011/06/retour-sur-ma-derniere-semaine-de.html

    Monday, June 06, 2011 12:25 PM
  • Of course, that meant I sign the letter too.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 12:27 PM
  • I have read Mary-Jo Foley's article. That makes a lot of sense.
    If it is true, it means that developers could build "immersive" apps for WP7 and with little changes also target
    Windows 8 tablets. Then future version of WP could be based on Windows 8 core.
    MS needs to tell all its plans or say nothing.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 1:21 PM
  • how about the part about weaning the developers of Silverlight and .NET?

    Monday, June 06, 2011 1:27 PM
  • i agree wholeheartedly.

    microsoft is handing the press around this in the most terrible way imaginable..

    its hard to imagine how the person/team that developed the PR strategy for this can tie their shoes, let alone hold down a job

    Monday, June 06, 2011 2:20 PM
  • I totally agree and I'd like to suggest that people delay registering for BUILD until we know a LOT more. MIX11 turned out to be a total waste of time for a lot of people, myself included.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 2:44 PM
  • I totally agree and I'd like to suggest that people delay registering for BUILD until we know a LOT more. MIX11 turned out to be a total waste of time for a lot of people, myself included.

    And why in the world does BUILD only mention HTML/JS? Great indeed if all the other good plans go forward on WPF/SL front as Mary reported, but inexcusable to say NOTHING about .NET/WPF/SL on their site, or on any ads for it. Come on! Inexcusable.

    As for Mary's comment on 'weaning developers away from Silverlight,' like I said in the big post above covering her article, I am sure that was just her own personal statement, not one of her sources. And, before this whole fiasco, I would have said that there is no way major LOB apps can be made only via the HTML route, so it is unthinkable that MS would make that the only game in town, XAML sisters bye-bye. I just can't believe that. Rather, I would like to think that this encouraging news, that a XAML based Immerisive route (Jupiter apps) for Win8 (and for app store) is coming, means that MS understood all along that a new HTML app route is by no means the be all-do all way to write Windows apps. And, they are not blind. Even the competition has no such thing (Objective-C; Java; in addition to the HTML5 route). Are they that blind that they would kill their own coolest UI framework in place only of HTML? I just can't even imagine that. They've sent some seriously wrong signals, YES, but I am encouraged at the prospect that WPF/SL will be going strong, and are going to be very much committed to.

    But the bottom line is: if they've spilled HTML app beans, they are duty bound to spill some .NET SL/WPF beans, to let us know where they are going at BUILD and beyond.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 4:37 PM
  • As for Mary's comment on 'weaning developers away from Silverlight,' like I said in the big post above covering her article, I am sure that was just her own personal statement, not one of her sources.

    I am pretty sure she got this info from her sources. Otherwise she would have added something like "I believe".

    Monday, June 06, 2011 4:39 PM
  • PS I quoted your post on my blog

    I'm thrilled you cited it, thanks for doing so. I'm sure glad that the effort I put into writing this really paid off because you guys have read it and sounded off (of course on many other threads here and elsewhere), even Mary-Jo's ZNet article listed it, I'm humbled. I took quite a while thinking it over and rewriting parts, condensing the core concerns, wanting to actually influence the decision makers ultimately. It was possible it would never get read much, 100 people or something. Hopefully all of your and the rest of our investments in these technologies will have a bright future, despite this (I hope temporary) fiasco.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:00 AM
  • Something that bugs me about this whole HTML5 mess is that, isn't it really just boiling down to a layer that is fundamentally really similar to what SL and WPF have underneath? At some point, you have a system that can output composite graphics, text, animations, video, etc, with the application of transformations, clipping, blending, etc.

    Has anyone looked at how similar the capabilities are in CSS3 to WPF's stack? It's strikingly close.

    Knowing I'm omitting the input stack and other things, it still seems HTML5, SL, and WPF should all be separate languages/technologies joined together at a common core (like C#, F#, VB.NET, all joined at the CLI). Unfortunately, it seems HTML5 is tied to a custom stack written by the IE team, and WPF is bound to its custom stack as well.

    Microsoft, please merge these and make this whole HTML5/SL/WPF battle moot.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:49 AM
  • ...HTML5 mess is that, isn't it really just boiling down to [the HTML5 + CSS] layer ... is fundamentally really similar to what SL and WPF have underneath?

    Nope, not even remotely close, sorry! A million points could be listed, but just try this: look at lay out possibilities: The Grid, the WrapPanel, the StackPanel, the Canvas, etc. Html5 now has a Canvas. Well, WinForms was essentially a top-left oriented Canvas. So many of the possibilities of WPF/SL/XAML was about getting out the straight-jacket of absolute positioning -- with the Canvas! HTML has finally caught up with one underlying possibility. In 2027 they will have a few more.

    When you look at layout possibilities when learning the language, such things seem so boring and all, but really, they take very low level skill, they are the background on which all your foundations are laid (in terms of performance, capabilities, etc). So right there at the foundation, we see fundamental voids in HTML compared to XAML possibilities in WPF/SL. Also, you want to make your own WrapPanel? You can do it! Yes, it's low level, but I got deeply involved in such work before when trying to construct some virtualizing scenarios. Can you even imagine doing such work in HTML?! Extremely powerful controls get built upon such capabilities, things that would make you never ever want to go back to HTML straight jacket boundaries. Of course, let's emphasize that it is restrictive when trying to make HTML HTAML (Hyper Text Application Markup Language). For simpler text needs as it was designed for, no problem, I'm applying all this to it being used to build full fledged applications.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 2:07 AM
  • I hope that with all these comments, Microsoft would fully consider before taking a plunge backwards. We chose Silverlight and .NET not to see the day where we had to discard all that we've learnt and done, just to move on with "the current trend".

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 2:07 AM
  • If your like me and you like using WPF then start learning surface.  Just forget ever seeing anything like that on the windows 8 in the MoSH (Modern Shell) cuz you are wasting your time.  The whole IE9 /10 "runs native" storyline is essentially a canibalizing of .NET client technology in that it provides an alternative cross Microsoft platform runtime.  I dont blame them, compared to ASP.net there has been no real uptake on any client side technology no matter what MS has done.  Silverlight is great, but in reality it is technology for technology sake.  There is no value proposition for enterprises using it over server side solutions (particularly because we have not received a serious commitment from Microsoft and we have seen in the last ~10 years almost 8 different approaches to UI that have been chucked as fast as they came into being).  Why would ANY architect back a company that has a well established history of abandoning user interface technologies over and over and over again?  Backing HTML5 is a last ditch effort because at this point no person who wants to keep thier job is going to put it on the line for some other flash in the pan product they produce.  Backign HTML 5 means my investments are at least not lost when Microsoft falls in love with the next technology (ie gets frustrated with the mind bendingly slow HTML specification madness that is W3C)

    Lets see:

    ActiveX document - never got off the ground

    Winforms - no innovation being done on it (basically abandoned from the moment someone decided WPF is the future)

    .NET activeX controls - basically never used

    No touch deployment UI apps / smart client - i think chrome might be the only "real" app that uses this

    WPF - barely used (please dont quote me and give one off solutions, by "used" I mean "used so much that it we would not be having this discussion"  If devs were migrating in droves to WPF/XAML/Silverlight and not objective-C and Html5 we would not be where we are now"

    XBaps - went the way of the activeX document.  No one used it, no one wanted to use it, no innovations were made to solve some of the problems with it.  Even though there are more people with .NET client than Silverlight XPAB was ignored once silverlight emerged

    Silverlight - great tool but till date the text story makes it basically unusable for most LOB applications.  Text was not even elevated to a readable level until SL4 (so everything before that - when it was being assessed - was all based on SL3 which had essentially no professionally usable text story)

    Dont feel bad and complain, if I were a silverlight developer I would be buying an HTML 5 book and getting acclamated with the new world order.  These debates and arguing sounds like the rants that C++ developers were  firing off when they essentially got abandoned by Microsoft.  Ask yourself, does windows phone support C++? Can you build Silverlight applications with C++? Do C++ devs get first class support for all these advancements in fancy editors?  No.  They have been relegated to systems development and low level things like that while .NET devs have been basking in the limelight for 10 years.  Well to a C++ developer, C# is perhaps a notch above javascript.  C# is NOT compiled, it is interpreted just like javascript (the IL layer is essentially an optimization).  Advancements like Linq, pLinq, et all are not language features in a true sense, they are just syntactic sugar that work using CODE GENERATION not compilation, and they can be applied to any language using the same code gen patterns.  Great, C# has static typing and classes and blah blah blah, but guess what, with the right tooling and proper optimization of javascript (perhaps even allowing pre-compilation into an IL that IE10 understands) it too can achieve the performance level of C#, it too can have static type checking through compiler settings.  This is why waiting till BUILD is essential because we do not have enough information to form any kind of opinion.  You only *think* you want to use Silverlight.  The real truth is the we all want to use a development environment that is stable, allows us to create, organize, and manage enterprise class code; and an environment that maintains the IDE goodness we have come to depend on. 

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 3:28 AM
  • I have been watching the recent Windows 8 videos, and listening to the flame-wars going on about the seeming lack of support for Silverlight because all Windows 8 apps will have to be written in HTML5 and Javascript.

    I can't help thinking that if Microsoft could build a Metro (new UI for Windows Phone 7 using Tiles as demonstrated on Windows 8 'Jupiter' UI) User Interface framework for WinForms, that this would be of major benefit to all .Net WinForms developers out there who would be able to build native Windows 8 apps using the tablet interface whilst gaining the benefit of almost total reuse of all non-UI related .Net code, something we clearly will not if we have to learn HTML5 and re-write all our business logic either as server side or worse, in Javascript on the client.

    Think about it? I can use Visual Studio 2012, with the Metro.Jupiter tools and drag/drop, draw and test my UI. I have full .Net support with full access to the Windows 8 API through the .Net Framework. I have full access to WCF, ReST and other web services. I have full automation of existing Office applications. but more important than all of that, is I do NOT have to write or maintain any HTML5 or Javascript, or dumb down my best practices and think like a script-kiddie.

    As a professional software developer with almost 30 year experience in developing and architecting enterprise software solutions, the lack of information from Microsoft and their apparent lack of recent interest in .Net, WinForms, WPF and Silverlight in favour of the next 'emperors clothes' in HTML5/Javascript, I do think that the 3rd party tools ecosystem could fill in the gaps here.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:31 AM
  • @trisys

    I have been watching the recent Windows 8 videos, and listening to the flame-wars going on about the seeming lack of support for Silverlight because all Windows 8 apps will have to be written in HTML5 and Javascript.

    I can't help thinking that if Microsoft could build a Metro (new UI for Windows Phone 7 using Tiles as demonstrated on Windows 8 'Jupiter' UI) User Interface framework for WinForms, that this would be of major benefit to all .Net WinForms developers out there who would be able to build native Windows 8 apps using the tablet interface whilst gaining the benefit of almost total reuse of all non-UI related .Net code, something we clearly will not if we have to learn HTML5 and re-write all our business logic either as server side or worse, in Javascript on the client.

    Think about it? I can use Visual Studio 2012, with the Metro.Jupiter tools and drag/drop, draw and test my UI. I have full .Net support with full access to the Windows 8 API through the .Net Framework. I have full access to WCF, ReST and other web services. I have full automation of existing Office applications. but more important than all of that, is I do NOT have to write or maintain any HTML5 or Javascript, or dumb down my best practices and think like a script-kiddie.

    As a professional software developer with almost 30 year experience in developing and architecting enterprise software solutions, the lack of information from Microsoft and their apparent lack of recent interest in .Net, WinForms, WPF and Silverlight in favour of the next 'emperors clothes' in HTML5/Javascript, I do think that the 3rd party tools ecosystem could fill in the gaps here.

     

    dude you are living in the past even beyond this conversation.  WinForms has not been innovated for years so you should have seen the writing on the wall on that one.  No-one but no-one does drag and drop UI development anymore (.NET or otherwise).  Most XAML coders actually prefer to type out the XAML than even use the designer.  The world is poised for markup based UI building, and remember we are talking about *UI* here.  All this argument is about *UI*, a layer that HTML has kicked everyone's butt in. A layer that Microsoft has created more than 8 different technologies in this young millenium.  I am an enterprise architect for a major financial company, also for the past 10 years I have been a senior leader in large companies accross the country and I just have never been anywhere where I or any of my peers felt confident enough with MS UI technologies to build the enterprise based on it.  So we stick to ASP.NET which for the UI means HTML + javascript.  This is what the industry is now.  If you are doing different things it is because you are talented enough to pick and choose, or lucky enough to have ended up doing cool stuff.  If you are doing WinForms you have completely lost context and need to IMMEDIATELY start learning about server side technologies because that is the de-facto meaning of a C# developer these days. 

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 9:44 AM
  • Thanks dude!

    I think you are one of the 'emperors clothes' brigade. Unfortunately there are also too many people at Microsoft who think like you do. A properly architected WinForms app is faster at both development, test, maintenance, and crucially at run-time. WinForms apps are not sandboxed. They have full access to the local resources and internet services. Any native app has huge usability advantages over a browser based app - why did MS try to allow SL to access the desktop?

    >No-one does drag/drop development - rubbish! You are in cloud-cuckoo land.

    >..actually prefer to type out the XAML - are you serious! This is like saying that you would rather write Postscript or RTF instead of using Word. Looks like your tools are the problem here.

    >..for the UI means HTML + javascript.  This is what the industry is now - you are far too web browser centric. The most used software in the business world is Windows and Office. Both are native apps. It is what users want.

    >...start learning about server side technologies - I have used these for over a decade. We now use Amazon, MS Azure and Google web services. You need to start learning about how to build compelling rich user interfaces which are easy to build, maintain and use.

    >we stick to ASP.NET - I did that 10 years ago and wrote commercial apps. Development and maintenance takes far too long and the user experience is very poor compared to a fat-client well designed internet app.

     

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:03 AM
  • Thanks dude!

    I think you are one of the 'emperors clothes' brigade. Unfortunately there are also too many people at Microsoft who think like you do. A properly architected WinForms app is faster at both development, test, maintenance, and crucially at run-time. WinForms apps are not sandboxed. They have full access to the local resources and internet services. Any native app has huge usability advantages over a browser based app - why did MS try to allow SL to access the desktop?

    >No-one does drag/drop development - rubbish! You are in cloud-cuckoo land.

    >..actually prefer to type out the XAML - are you serious! This is like saying that you would rather write Postscript or RTF instead of using Word. Looks like your tools are the problem here.

    >..for the UI means HTML + javascript.  This is what the industry is now - you are far too web browser centric. The most used software in the business world is Windows and Office. Both are native apps. It is what users want.

    >...start learning about server side technologies - I have used these for over a decade. We now use Amazon, MS Azure and Google web services. You need to start learning about how to build compelling rich user interfaces which are easy to build, maintain and use.

    >we stick to ASP.NET - I did that 10 years ago and wrote commercial apps. Development and maintenance takes far too long and the user experience is very poor compared to a fat-client well designed internet app.

     

     

    trisys, this is not a debate about which techology is *better* and that is the point you are missing.  You sound like an  auto mechanic telling customers "The TX-13 is better because it helps differentials when tuning your car for racing" (or something technical and irrelevant to everyday pedestrian usage).  This is about where we are.  You are speaking conjecture, whatever it is *like* and however dumb you might think it is, most people in this day and age build the UI in the markup window by typing it in (whether it be HTML or XAML).  That is the world you are just choosing not to accept because it does not make sense to you.  I am merely explaining to you that despite what you think, you are no longer in the mean of the dev community.  We must all embrace the realities of the world that has evolved around us, and that world is a sever side based one where the UI is driven by HTML + Javascript.  That's what all the fuss about JQuery, JSON, REST and POX is all about.  Javascript.  Believe me I dont like it any more than you do, but having ridiculous conversations about what is better than what is just pointless.  *Any* technology can be made into a rocketship if enough resources are put into doing so, even javascript. 

    You are fixated on this Vulcan world where the most logical outcome is the accepted one, sorry but on planet earth sometimes children die, assholes become president, and little scripting languages designed for simple animation become so popular and ubiquitous that they end up running the world.  As one relic to another, take my advise and learn HTML+ Javascript (or get your MBA and become a manager).  The world is moving on.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:51 AM
  • Edward, I have enjoyed our little debate but still think that you are wrong on many counts.

    >The world is moving on. - I think this sums it up - the non-Microsoft world is playing catch-up to MS' technology stack and instead of capitalising on its lead, instead it has capitulated and in its attempt to attract non-productive inexperienced script kiddies, has alienated the army of .Net developers who have bought its vision over the last decade.

    >get your MBA and become a manager - I have run a profitable enterprise software company for 20 years and do not waste time and money on inneficient and poorly architected software which I'm afraid is what you have described.

    Goodbye.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 11:09 AM
  • With summer approaching, we are again suffering another Microsoft information blackout. This is the period where Microsoft ceases to inform developers about important new directions. We know the reasons; they don't want to talk about what might not be delivered, they want to withhold information from enemies (competitors, lawyers, unfriendly governments), they want to ratchet up the excitement and explode it on stage. Unfortunately, not knowing future plans has a deleterious effect on many. Some of us are headed full speed ahead in an obsolete or sub-optimal direction. Considerable resources will be expended before corrective action can be taken thanks to the blackout.

    Both my consulting clients and I need to know, right now, what changes are in store. We do not wish to wait three months until PDC. There are important decisions that need to be made today. We do not have access to privileged information. We need to know today if we are spilling our resources. Thus I spent a day on gathering all the details that are publicly available and trying my best to build a picture of coming changes. I've given the following report to my clients calling it an educated guess.

    What do I expect to hear at PDC 2011? There are two relevant core technological changes that I'm expecting. First, Microsoft will promote a new rendering engine, possibly called MoSH (Modern Shell) that will form the basis for a new UI. MoSH is implemented using HTML5 and thus constrained by HTML5 capabilities. WPF and Silverlight are still completely supported but they're future is cut off at the legs by their successor (MoSH). MoSH can be used with XAML but, significantly, will only support a subset of WPF's and Silverlight's XAML. Again, the constraining factor is HTML5 capabilities and Microsoft's abstractions of them. I expect both MoSH and WPF/Silverlight to support new device interfaces such as location, multi-touch, gyros, etc. I'm not sure if the support will come in the form of .Net 5, be built into MoSH, or as a separate cross-platform library. I believe MoSH is designated to be cross-platform (Mozilla, Chrome, Safari) in the form of a browser plugin. Marc Andreesen has predicted “The browser will become the OS”. I believe more correctly the renderer will become the OS. MoSH will become the heart of IE, Windows 8 and Windows devices (Windows TV anyone?)

    The second technological change is what Microsoft might be calling Native Code. Native Code is a set of technologies that enable software (applications and gadgets) and hardware (graphics) to perform at near native speed inside a container (browser). Most notably, Microsoft will supply tooling to build browser applications, principally with MoSH, without today's performance penalties. Currently browser based applications are limited by API availability (DOM), programming speed (Javascript), and slow rendering. This will all change. Internet Explorer 11(?) (IE) will expose a much richer API, possibly .Net 5.0, Visual Studio will enable Native Code development, and IE's renderer (probably same as MoSH) will directly use hardware graphics.

    Some issues I'm unclear on:

    • Will Microsoft port MoSH and Native Code to iOS and Android? I'm guessing that they intend to do so directly or through partnerships.

    • Will a single dll, possibly named .DLLX, run across all devices? If so, when is the code JITed?

    • Will Native Code force any syntax changes to .Net languages? I'm guessing Microsoft is working hard to limit the changes to attributes.

    • Is Native Code implemented using .Net sandboxing or with the aid of hardware as with Google's Native Client (NaCl)? This would make the difference as to whether C was supported or not.

    • Do CPU processors need changes to optimally support Native Code? Do all existing processors and graphics chips support Native Code and MoSH? I'm particularly curious about the suitability of legacy ARM support.

    What does Microsoft hope to gain by these changes?

    • Expose APIs to features of rich devices (touch, location, Kinect, voice commands)

    • Implement a single Windows API across devices to ease programming

    • Create a single development platform for desktop, cloud and mobile devices

    • Embrace new mobile processor architectures (ARM)

    • Capture developers attention with powerful tools

    • Expand sandboxing to new scenarios

    • Offer sandboxing security to native code apps

    • Expand base for MS applications (Office) to more devices

    • Make Visual Studio the leading development tool for all HTML5 platforms

    What Dangers does Microsoft face?

    • missed schedules

    • legal threats

    • threaten existing relationships (Intel)

    • technical blocks

    • internal intransigence

    • standards failure (HTML5 delays, limitations)

    What does Microsoft need to change to implement MoSH and Native Code?

    • Visual Studio – implement MoSH UI development

    • Visual Studio – provide framework for WPF/Silverlight to MoSH conversion

    • Visual Studio – implement Native Code throughout tool chain (major task)

    • Visual Studio – enable MoSH and Native Code debugging (major task)

    • Visual Studio – create templates for MoSH and Native Code projects

    • WPF – reduce in stature, Windows classic only

    • Silverlight – reduce in stature, Windows classic only

    • .Net languages – transparent changes to backend

    • Azure – more device support

    • App Store – retool for cross-device, possibly iOS and Android support via plugins

    • Internet Explorer – native MoSH support (no plugin required), virtual app support, new design patterns

    Why isn't Microsoft telling us more?

    • They want to withhold information from enemies (competitors, lawyers, unfriendly governments). They don't mind telling YOU. They just don't want a competitor to do a crazy Ivan at a vulnerable moment.

    • They want to ratcheted up the excitement and explode it on stage.

    • They don't want to talk about what might not be delivered.

    How will Google react?

    • Google is very slowly implementing their own Native Code technology called Native Client (NaCl). It supports C. Google recently announced that they will retool Chrome to go Native. When Google comprehended Native Client concept, it took maybe two blinks to see how Microsoft could run with it. We will all greatly benefit from Native but Microsoft will be a bigger winner than Google. Google's Native Client just doesn't have the market weight or resources to trump Microsoft's Native Code vision. A MoSH plugin must be part of the grand strategy but a Native Client implementation is low priority.

    • Mono – Obsoleted

    • Mozilla – They'll support MoSH via plugin. It's in Microsoft's best interests. I don't think they'll implement it using XUL.

    • Apple – Not threatened.

    • Android – Focused on developing their own Native tools. Development is dangerously slow.

    • Chrome – Technically able to support Microsoft's Native Code but low priority.

    What is the Timeline for the software release? Here's my crazy guesses:

    • August 2010 - Proof of concept of marrying MoSH, IE and Native Code, first benchmarks

    • June 2011 – Windows 8 early experience including MoSH but not Native Code anything

    • September 2011 – Betas of Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Native Code, .Net 5.0, IE 11

    • December 2011 – First release candidate

    • March 2012 – Windows 8 release

    • May 2012 – Office 2012 released with MoSH and Native Code support


    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 12:46 PM
  • Can you imagine <code>&lt;script src="util.dll" type="dotNETAssembly/Application">&lt;/script></code>? Take a look at
    <a href="http://www.cnblogs.com/pootow/archive/2011/06/08/2074741.html" target="_blank">WPF is dead, Will HTML5+JS be the future of Desktop? What about .NET? Web browser War II?</a>

    Can you imagine <script src="util.dll" type="dotNETAssembly/Application"></script></code>? Take a look at

    <a href="http://www.cnblogs.com/pootow/archive/2011/06/08/2074741.html" target="_blank">WPF is dead, Will HTML5+JS be the future of Desktop? What about .NET? Web browser War II?</a>

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:06 PM
  • It's ok, i left this response on Steve Sinofsky's Facebook page today. I'm confident of a prompt response




    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:12 PM
  • With summer approaching, we are again suffering another Microsoft information blackout. This is the period where Microsoft ceases to inform developers about important new directions. We know the reasons; they don't want to talk about what might not be delivered, they want to withhold information from enemies (competitors, lawyers, unfriendly governments), they want to ratchet up the excitement and explode it on stage. Unfortunately, not knowing future plans has a deleterious effect on many. Some of us are headed full speed ahead in an obsolete or sub-optimal direction. Considerable resources will be expended before corrective action can be taken thanks to the blackout.

    Both my consulting clients and I need to know, right now, what changes are in store. We do not wish to wait three months until PDC. There are important decisions that need to be made today. We do not have access to privileged information. We need to know today if we are spilling our resources. Thus I spent a day on gathering all the details that are publicly available and trying my best to build a picture of coming changes. I've given the following report to my clients calling it an educated guess.

    What do I expect to hear at PDC 2011? There are two relevant core technological changes that I'm expecting. First, Microsoft will promote a new rendering engine, possibly called MoSH (Modern Shell) that will form the basis for a new UI. MoSH is implemented using HTML5 and thus constrained by HTML5 capabilities. WPF and Silverlight are still completely supported but they're future is cut off at the legs by their successor (MoSH). MoSH can be used with XAML but, significantly, will only support a subset of WPF's and Silverlight's XAML. Again, the constraining factor is HTML5 capabilities and Microsoft's abstractions of them. I expect both MoSH and WPF/Silverlight to support new device interfaces such as location, multi-touch, gyros, etc. I'm not sure if the support will come in the form of .Net 5, be built into MoSH, or as a separate cross-platform library. I believe MoSH is designated to be cross-platform (Mozilla, Chrome, Safari) in the form of a browser plugin. Marc Andreesen has predicted “The browser will become the OS”. I believe more correctly the renderer will become the OS. MoSH will become the heart of IE, Windows 8 and Windows devices (Windows TV anyone?)

    The second technological change is what Microsoft might be calling Native Code. Native Code is a set of technologies that enable software (applications and gadgets) and hardware (graphics) to perform at near native speed inside a container (browser). Most notably, Microsoft will supply tooling to build browser applications, principally with MoSH, without today's performance penalties. Currently browser based applications are limited by API availability (DOM), programming speed (Javascript), and slow rendering. This will all change. Internet Explorer 11(?) (IE) will expose a much richer API, possibly .Net 5.0, Visual Studio will enable Native Code development, and IE's renderer (probably same as MoSH) will directly use hardware graphics.

    Some issues I'm unclear on:

    • Will Microsoft port MoSH and Native Code to iOS and Android? I'm guessing that they intend to do so directly or through partnerships.

    • Will a single dll, possibly named .DLLX, run across all devices? If so, when is the code JITed?

    • Will Native Code force any syntax changes to .Net languages? I'm guessing Microsoft is working hard to limit the changes to attributes.

    • Is Native Code implemented using .Net sandboxing or with the aid of hardware as with Google's Native Client (NaCl)? This would make the difference as to whether C was supported or not.

    • Do CPU processors need changes to optimally support Native Code? Do all existing processors and graphics chips support Native Code and MoSH? I'm particularly curious about the suitability of legacy ARM support.

    What does Microsoft hope to gain by these changes?

    • Expose APIs to features of rich devices (touch, location, Kinect, voice commands)

    • Implement a single Windows API across devices to ease programming

    • Create a single development platform for desktop, cloud and mobile devices

    • Embrace new mobile processor architectures (ARM)

    • Capture developers attention with powerful tools

    • Expand sandboxing to new scenarios

    • Offer sandboxing security to native code apps

    • Expand base for MS applications (Office) to more devices

    • Make Visual Studio the leading development tool for all HTML5 platforms

    What Dangers does Microsoft face?

    • missed schedules

    • legal threats

    • threaten existing relationships (Intel)

    • technical blocks

    • internal intransigence

    • standards failure (HTML5 delays, limitations)

    What does Microsoft need to change to implement MoSH and Native Code?

    • Visual Studio – implement MoSH UI development

    • Visual Studio – provide framework for WPF/Silverlight to MoSH conversion

    • Visual Studio – implement Native Code throughout tool chain (major task)

    • Visual Studio – enable MoSH and Native Code debugging (major task)

    • Visual Studio – create templates for MoSH and Native Code projects

    • WPF – reduce in stature, Windows classic only

    • Silverlight – reduce in stature, Windows classic only

    • .Net languages – transparent changes to backend

    • Azure – more device support

    • App Store – retool for cross-device, possibly iOS and Android support via plugins

    • Internet Explorer – native MoSH support (no plugin required), virtual app support, new design patterns

    Why isn't Microsoft telling us more?

    • They want to withhold information from enemies (competitors, lawyers, unfriendly governments). They don't mind telling YOU. They just don't want a competitor to do a crazy Ivan at a vulnerable moment.

    • They want to ratcheted up the excitement and explode it on stage.

    • They don't want to talk about what might not be delivered.

    How will Google react?

    • Google is very slowly implementing their own Native Code technology called Native Client (NaCl). It supports C. Google recently announced that they will retool Chrome to go Native. When Google comprehended Native Client concept, it took maybe two blinks to see how Microsoft could run with it. We will all greatly benefit from Native but Microsoft will be a bigger winner than Google. Google's Native Client just doesn't have the market weight or resources to trump Microsoft's Native Code vision. A MoSH plugin must be part of the grand strategy but a Native Client implementation is low priority.

    • Mono – Obsoleted

    • Mozilla – They'll support MoSH via plugin. It's in Microsoft's best interests. I don't think they'll implement it using XUL.

    • Apple – Not threatened.

    • Android – Focused on developing their own Native tools. Development is dangerously slow.

    • Chrome – Technically able to support Microsoft's Native Code but low priority.

    What is the Timeline for the software release? Here's my crazy guesses:

    • August 2010 - Proof of concept of marrying MoSH, IE and Native Code, first benchmarks

    • June 2011 – Windows 8 early experience including MoSH but not Native Code anything

    • September 2011 – Betas of Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Native Code, .Net 5.0, IE 11

    • December 2011 – First release candidate

    • March 2012 – Windows 8 release

    • May 2012 – Office 2012 released with MoSH and Native Code support


     

    no PDC this year.  Just Build.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:47 PM
  • Can you imagine <code>&lt;script src="util.dll" type="dotNETAssembly/Application">&lt;/script></code>? Take a look at
    <a href="http://www.cnblogs.com/pootow/archive/2011/06/08/2074741.html" target="_blank">WPF is dead, Will HTML5+JS be the future of Desktop? What about .NET? Web browser War II?</a>

    Can you imagine <script src="util.dll" type="dotNETAssembly/Application"></script></code>? Take a look at

    <a href="http://www.cnblogs.com/pootow/archive/2011/06/08/2074741.html" target="_blank">WPF is dead, Will HTML5+JS be the future of Desktop? What about .NET? Web browser War II?</a>

    The funny thing is that this has already been done.  See .NET as activeX controls.  They used a syntax similar to what you have above.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:48 PM
  • Just read this article: Full circle at Microsoft: from the early days of .NET to the new Chakra JavaScript engine

    >Right now, these are dark days for .NET, because Microsoft now seems to be positioning HTML and JavaScript as the new universal runtime.

    Well, this is very interesting don't you think?

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 8:25 AM
  • I think this is a work for mr John Papa... John can make the nessesary research to clarify this issue.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 8:33 AM
  • I agree.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 9:04 AM
  • Absolutely agree.  Very well worded.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 9:48 AM
  • Just read this article: Full circle at Microsoft: from the early days of .NET to the new Chakra JavaScript engine

    I disagree with a lot of these assessments, and certainly I think the author misinterprets some things here. There is no full-circle, with .NET being replaced. If anything, one possibility that comes out is the strong possibility that the new HTML/JS MS future will be driven by ability to write in .NET and compile or transalte that to JS. Now, what the author had to share on that was really quite fascinating, particularly regarding Script#. http://projects.nikhilk.net/ScriptSharp/Conceptual-What. A key there is that it says it uses (a [large?/small?/full?] part of) XAML/Silverlight UI, translating back to HTML/JS (including SVG).

    If something like that were coming, it would have its foundation in .NET and XAML.

    But to stay focused: FULL WPF CAPABILITIES MUST BE FULLY RETAINED AND ADVANCED AS STONGLY AS EVER TO MAKE POWERFUL, UNLEASHED CLIENT SIDE APPS. Also, I have a hard time believing that, even with the very interesting Script#, that it could do everything that Silverlight in browser could do as well. Stepping BACK in capabilities, and in Rapid App Dev, is NOT the direction any of us developers want to go, no, no, never!

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011 11:47 AM
  • Well formulated.

    While the initial reaction was "WTF" the HTML/JS look promising as it allows a broader developer community, but don't forget silverlight and .NET which suite a large part of your current development cumunity (and more complex applications). 

    This focus on HTML combined with the silence about .NET and Silverlight is not good for us developers or Microsoft as a company. We had a larger application planned using Silverlight (probably with MSSQL) as  it did provide the best developer and end-user experience. Right now we just hope that management don't decide switch back to oracle and their java ee frameworks (which was their initial suggestion) just because it does generate HTML/JS.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 5:12 AM
  • I totally agree.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 5:33 AM
  • Good comment.

    If Silverlight is off the menu, &/or MS do not provide industrial strength tools to generate HTML &/or some sort of client side UI logic which is fully integrated with server side code, I will look elsewhere for these tools. One such option is Visual Web GUI which I have used before to build web applications in VS2010 using a desktop metaphor. The new version when released will generate HTML5 and be suitable for all devices. Note, I am a customer of VWG, not an employee, but their architecture is better than what I have seen from Microsoft so far.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 5:36 AM
  • Hear, hear!  As with so many others, we've invested significantly in Silverlight (and WPF), and are not impressed with Microsoft's at best half-hearted support.  At the least, it seems as though they are deliberately prodding to see how much of a firestorm is stirred up.  Burn on :-)

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 2:15 PM
  • Well said. The fact that Microsoft won't make a statement of support for Silverlight, or WPF for that matter, speaks volumes. By not communicating their intentions directly they are, indirectly, making a clear statement. I, for one, would rather eat sand that develop applications with HTML/Javascript/CSS and, in fact, I won't.  I simply WILL NOT regress to using inferior, least common denominator technologies. Give me a technology that is better than the current .Net/Silverlight stack and I will happily learn and adapt. Trying to force feed me the dogfood that is HTML/Javascript/CSS, irrespective of it might be prettied-up, will not make me eat it. If the direction will truly be HTML then I will completely abandon client-side development. There's plent of services that need to be written and databases that need to be built. 

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 3:29 PM
  • I'm a WPF developer, and fully agree with you

    Friday, June 10, 2011 2:18 AM
  • Can anyone please remind me why Silverlight is better than Winforms for building native Windows 8 apps/applications?

    Whoever at Microsoft decided that all windows developers wanted to build cross platform apps, was just plain wrong and I hope he has retired. Winforms is not sandboxed, has full access to the windows API through .Net, has a massive user base, much more third party libraries than WPF/Silverlight, performs well when properly architected, fully supports ADO.Net and all web services, has smart client deployment and is more stable and performant than SL/WPF. We only use a single tool - Visual Studio. We do not have to use Expression Blend, or HTML, or CSS, or Javascript, or XAML, or IIS etc.. Our apps are easier to design, develop, test, install and maintain.

    Apple iOS and Android have been hugely successful with native apps of late. Has Microsoft lost focus and forgotten that their most successful business application suite, Office 2003/2007/2010 is a native windows app and that its Apple Mac version of office is a different code base built as a native app for a non-Microsoft operating system? Most people accept that the best possible User Experience for end-users is achieved through native apps fully utilising the native UI controls and API of that specific OS.

    Are MS intending to rewrite Office in HTML5/JS, or Silverlight, or WPF? Of course not: So please return winforms to 1st class citizen status for building native Windows 8 apps in VS2012. We do not want our windows apps to run anywhere else. We will write them natively for each platform, like you and millions of other app developers do.

    If MS are going to promote HTML5/JS/CSS to first class citizen status alongside SL and WPF, then please, please, please do not forget Winforms.

     

    Friday, June 10, 2011 4:35 AM
  • Agreed.

    Friday, June 10, 2011 8:03 AM
  • Indeed.  I was developing for WP7 / Silverlight with a view to Windows Tablet.

    Looks like that was misguided.

    Friday, June 10, 2011 11:06 AM
  • To be fair, the reason for this is because Apple tells you absolutely nothing until it is 100% baked. Your confidence is based on a complete lack of information.

    To be fair no one worries about Apple dropping Objective-C or Cocoa because they have shown an almost stubborn dedication to the language and runtime. iOS development was natural to anyone who had done OSX development for the previous 10 years, even the brand new UI framework was not that different.

    On top of that Apple actually dogfoods thier own runtime and has committed to it company wide, Safari, iWork, much of the OS itself is Objective-C and Cocoa.

    It would be nice if MS were this consistent with thier development message, instead the precedent MS has set from past abandonded technologies, is the famous "Shiny Object Syndrome". ActiveX,COM+,.Net,Winform,WPF, Silverlight, all where the future of MS platform development in thier time.

    I would feel alot more confident in .Net and WPF or Silverlight if the Windows shell, IE, and Office where written in it. All of MS's major revenue products are native code, that right there is the strongest message on how confident MS is in .Net.

    This just seems like another MS cycle for those of us that have been through it before.


    Friday, June 10, 2011 3:29 PM
  • Totally agree with the Open Plea from eclipsoft.

    Finnur Hrafn Jonsson

    Friday, June 10, 2011 11:12 PM
  • trisys

    You are close to the point.  Microsoft has tried to do "write once run anywhere" for some time now.  The battle for the desktop though is now more intense as Apple and Google have war chests and Microsoft is on their radar screens.

    It could be that the average end-user will accept a green-screen (history repeats itself !) relatively clumbsy app in return for "run anywhere" AND the potential $ savings from cloud-based deployment.

    Just think, IBM had the vision 50 years ago of a few mainframes spread around the country serving dumb terminals.  Just like the stock market, most investors wouldn't lose money if they could  get the timing right. For software developers, it is equally hard to time  the market :)

     

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 12:54 AM
  • I admit that, like others, I've been a bit stressed by a few comments in the last six months from Micosoft (MS) managers.  But I forget about the very smart folks who work there and the big-picture issues that they deal with on daily basis.  Here are a few articles I've recently read regarding this whole what-is-the-MS-development-into-the-future-? issue: 

    http://www.umpcportal.com/2011/06/windows-8-could-seed-hdr-computing/

    http://www.umpcportal.com/2011/04/high-dynamic-range-computing/

    http://www.winrumors.com/silverlight-isnt-dead-its-the-heart-of-windows-phone-windows-8-and-xbox/

    All three articles are quite positive about Microsoft's plans for addressing development across all the current and future platforms. 

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 2:29 AM
  • Here's an MSDN blog article in French (hint: Google Translate is your friend) running some tests on rendering in Silverlight vs several browsers Silverlight generally came first.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2011/06/06/fr-html-5-vs-silverlight-5.aspx

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:30 AM
  • One of the points of this Open Plea was to prove to everyone that we have valid concerns about what is going on with Microsoft and WPF/Silverlight. That we are not just overreacting, reading into rumors, etc.

    The following article is great in that it also gives a solid overview of the problem.

    Microsoft’s Silence is Infuriating .NET Developers

    Posted by Jonathan Allen on Jun 11, 2011

    Among other things, he says:

    {Then the Windows 8 announcement came. Thinking this was once again just another PR mishap, developers and journalists leaned on their contacts for another statement clarifying the role of WPF and Silverlight. This time it isn’t just an academic exercise, knowing which, if either, of these technologies will be usable for the new Windows 8 Start screen could affect their decision on what to invest in for the short term as well.

    In an apparent attempt to boost excitement for Microsoft’s new conference, Build, no one [with MS] is willing to publically speak about the future of .NET development. Between now and September all we have is rumors and small snippets of information such as Mary Jo Foley’s article on the Jupiter UI. http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/06/Win8-Doubt}

    When high placed developers and journalists "lean on their contacts" (those who have inside contacts), and get a firm refusal to commit to anything WPF/SL related, and then coupled with other info in that article, along with a BUILD conference that ONLY talks about HTML, despite being confronted on it (won't even throw out a dog bone of a mention of WPF/SL anywhere on their site), that is just bad news.

    I believe, even if things turn out good in the end (like with Jupiter stuff), that this was an injust dealing with us developers, and that they have destroyed a great deal of the trust relationship. Trust is golden.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 3:41 PM
  • Here's an MSDN blog article in French (hint: Google Translate is your friend) running some tests on rendering in Silverlight vs several browsers Silverlight generally came first.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2011/06/06/fr-html-5-vs-silverlight-5.aspx

    Thanks for the link to this nice comparison. Problem is, she invariably let things lean over to a tie, when everything she said had Silverlight beating the heck out of HTML (actually, more like HTML not even showing up for the fight). Also, on one of the demos, she had Silverlight ag HTML tied at like 60 frames per second (faster better), when what my page (in IE9) showed was HTML: 22fps, Silverlight: 61. So that cast great doubt on the other perf demos which couldn't be tested by us.

    But even with this, the score was:

    HTML: 2 rounds. (1) Portability to iOS and Android; 2) Language Performance?!?!)

    Silverlight: 13 rounds.

    Match: (in most cases Silverlight really won, often by very wide margins): 11 rounds. 

    Lastly, on HTML5 (no, really JavaScript) beating on language performance? I STRONGLY doubt this. C# is blazing fast, something was wrong, inadequate, or something other with the simple test. Also, we all know that the only thing that got JS going faster was radical optimizations in the browser JS engines. Well well well, we too need the same investments to get the underlying SL engine continually more optimized.

    BTW, it's great that HTML5 is getting better, but the real score here, which speaks volumes, should be something like:

    Silverlight: 21, Tied: 4, HTML: 1

    Lastly, often a given comparison is worth far more than 1 point. Like ability to make UserControls in XAML, we're talking about two very different worlds. And to be fair, that ONE point that HTML wins on, cross-platform/browser, is worth greatly more than 1. But otherwise, it's comparing Jupiter against Pluto.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 4:01 PM
  • Can anyone please remind me why Silverlight is better than Winforms for building native Windows 8 apps/applications?

    Animations. Trivial transparency. Data binding. Slick layout controls. Templates. Triggers. Themes. Styles.

    Our apps are easier to design, develop, test, install and maintain.

    I've done both, and WPF beats Winforms hands down on all counts.

    Are MS intending to rewrite Office in HTML5/JS, or Silverlight, or WPF?

    It should already be 100% managed code, and the UI should already be WPF.

    So please return winforms to 1st class citizen status for building native Windows 8 apps in VS2012.

    I'm sure some would prefer a triumphant return of MFC. We'll just have to disagree on which should win.

    We do not want our windows apps to run anywhere else.

    No harm in it, but I wouldn't sacrifice first class support on Windows to cater to some "to cool for you" Linux loving Microsoft hater.

    We will write them natively for each platform, like you and millions of other app developers do

    This ends up happening anyway. Only clowns in marketing who have never programmed in their lives believe otherwise.

    please, please do not forget Winforms.

    I think that train has already left the station. 

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 5:09 PM
  • No one doubts the future of the iOS platform

    To be fair, the reason for this is because Apple tells you absolutely nothing until it is 100% baked. Your confidence is based on a complete lack of information.

    We try to be more open and share more, but it doesn't always work in our favor (or yours).

    Pete

     

    @Pete, well, if it doesn't work in your favor, then you need to find out what you guys are doing wrong. Going by the feedback that you are getting from your development community, this should not be too difficult to figure out. They want to feel confident about their investments in evidently the best technologies out there - Silverlight and .NET.

    To talk about Javascript and mention nothing about .NET or Silverlight is cause for real worry and concern whether you and few others at Microsoft who directly talk to developer community see it that way or not. And why is Microsoft quiet? What are you guys thinking? This is not a top defense secret. Microsoft MUST feel obligated to communicate to its passionate developer community and clarify openly that Silverlight and .NET will continue to evolve (not just be supported and slowly phased out) and be the first class citizens for all Microsoft products such as Windows, IE, Windows Phone and XBox. Why do you guys have lack of confidence in saying that?

    Now, regarding your call on Apple (or Google) - well they don't drop worrisome news on their developers that Objective C or Java is going to be moved back in favor of HTML and Javascript. Stick to your strengths and products or get ready to be irrelevant.

     

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 11:15 PM
  • Animations. Trivial transparency. Data binding. Slick layout controls. Templates. Triggers. Themes. Styles
    Jack, I cannot take this reply seriously from a games developer. At the end of the day, your WPF code translates through layers into the Win32 API. There are more software layers in WPF than WinForms which ends up as Win32 calls anyway, hence your assertion that WPF is 'slick' is not based on raw speed, rather a lack of innovation in winforms. We can still do this stuff in Win32 API. Winforms apps written in C# or VB.Net are much quicker than WPF and Silverlight. And also, no one writing heavy duty data intensive business applications would touch data binding with a bargepole.

    It [Office] should already be 100% managed code, and the UI should already be WPF.
    Office is not WPF or Silverlight for exactly the reasons I mentioned in my previous reply.

    I'm sure some would prefer a triumphant return of MFC.
    Hardly! Drag and drop design visual design trumps lower level code frameworks. We just don't need markup or additional layers just to address the browser. We want drag/drop visual development environments which target the native operating system. I don't care how the OS implements my visual design, I'm concerned with building apps, not system utilities (or games!).

    I think that train [Winforms] has already left the station.
    Actually no - winforms is baked into the .Net framework and is not going to be deprecated (MS engineers have confirmed this), however you are right that bad decisions have been taken at MS to stop innovation on Winforms. The Winforms community are not happy about this. Thankfully, the 3rd party ecosystem allows us to develop our apps in Winforms, so we do not actually need to learn WPF or Silverlight. If however MS do not allow Winforms developers to develop for the Metro/Jupiter UI in Windows 8, then we will probably port our apps to other platforms, and also our MS server tools. If MS gave up on us, they will no doubt do the same for WPF/SL also - unless of course they have already?

     

    Sunday, June 12, 2011 7:47 AM
  • At the end of the day, your WPF code translates through layers into the Win32 API.

    Trisys, well everything is at the the end translated into Win32 API. Even DirectX, which end's in some DeviceIOControl calls.
    But I think it's too simple to reduce the frameworks to that level, otherwise we would all develop in Win32 directly.
    WPF/Silverlight is a retained mode rendering system, while Winforms are still based on GDI+ (immediate mode rendering).
    Don't know about HTML5, but I think it's currently a mix out of both (?). Please correct me (anybody) about that if my view is wrong: I would classify CSS as retained mode rendering and HTML5 canvas as immediate mode rendering.

    I don't care how the OS implements my visual design

    Perhaps you should have a deep look at WPF/Silverlight and Blend (forget about Visual Studio designer) and the advantages of  retained mode rendering. Regarding animations there's a huge benefit of retained mode rendering over immediate mode rendering, since the rendering system has all the information to execute the animation by itself and on the GPU directly. Same applies to zoom/translate operations.

    I think both types of rendering systems need different programming styles and a deep understanding about the differences between both. Otherwise, if one would handle the retained mode rendering engine like an immediate one, it would consume too much resources and therefore would have a bad performance.

    Perhaps this is one of the reasons, why WPF/Silverlight isn't used that much (compared to MFC/Winforms) on Windows. The other reasons are/have been: No native support (C++), different look and feel (initially in the first versions of WPF due to different font rendering), not used by Microsoft for their applications (has changed now).

    I admit that WPF/Silverlight needs much more resources than MFC/Winforms. But I think that's due to the implementation and not related to the different rendering systems. With virtualization panels this can be addressed somewhat. 

    To make a long story short: I think the retained mode rendering system has huge benefits and additionally, if a developer got comfortable with the benefits of MVVM and databinding then going back from WPF/Silverlight to MFC/Winforms makes one feel like changing from Winforms to Win32 API programming. I first hadn't this impression about WPF, since I only played around a bit with WPF and used it like WinForms - I had a bad impression - till I took some time to learn about MVVM and databinding and then came the "wow" effect/impression and my initial impression changed the other way round.  

     

     

     

    Monday, June 13, 2011 12:42 AM
  • Consider me a signatory as well. 

    Monday, June 13, 2011 1:42 AM
  • Of course they are very different, my point is that the functionality around HTML/CSS/JS and WPF/SL are actually structured similarly enough that a generalized graphics/layout stack could be derived from both. You can't tell me that FlowDocuments and HTML don't share some striking similarities, and that they somehow boil down to fundamentally different ways of getting translated to pixels on the screen. Or that somehow a Control's border, margin, brush, etc, are somehow fundamentally different from CSS.

    I think the underlying graphics and layout stack for WPF, SL, and HTML5 can be unified into a discrete layer. Hard? Of course, but worth doing, especially if MS ever wants .NET and HTML5 to have parity with each other.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 2:43 AM
  • I personally think WinForms is pretty great at whipping up decent, standard UI's, and is even capable of some significant sophistication. However, I think we're all misguided in asking Microsoft to support the new UI system using WPF/SL or WinForms. I think it's more important to allow us to develop through .NET rather than specific technologies in .NET. If there happens to be a new markup model, let's learn it, gosh darn it. I want a clean .NET API to the new UI system rather than bolted-on adapters for other UI frameworks.


    Monday, June 13, 2011 2:52 AM
  • C# is NOT compiled, it is interpreted just like javascript (the IL layer is essentially an optimization).  Advancements like Linq, pLinq, et all are not language features in a true sense, they are just syntactic sugar that work using CODE GENERATION not compilation, and they can be applied to any language using the same code gen patterns.  Great, C# has static typing and classes and blah blah blah, but guess what, with the right tooling and proper optimization of javascript (perhaps even allowing pre-compilation into an IL that IE10 understands) it too can achieve the performance level of C#, it too can have static type checking through compiler settings.  This is why waiting till BUILD is essential because we do not have enough information to form any kind of opinion.  You only *think* you want to use Silverlight.  The real truth is the we all want to use a development environment that is stable, allows us to create, organize, and manage enterprise class code; and an environment that maintains the IDE goodness we have come to depend on. 

    C# is compiled. The IL layer is not just an optimization.

    That doesn't make it fundamentally different from Javascript execution, however. The main difference is that modern JS undergoes a full compilation that requires optimization on the fly. IL goes to native code faster and can contain static optimizations up front. They both end up as native code, but JS takes longer to get there. Whether that delay is meaningful in various types of applications is a different debate.

    Also, in assessing the future of programming, I think you're overstating the importance of javascript and understating the contributions of other languages. Javascript is not a hammer for all nails. There will be a big push to make it such a hammer, and that will fail. There is so much evolution coming, I would not peg Javascript as some kind of end all be all.



    Monday, June 13, 2011 3:13 AM
  • /* Please consider sounding off if this summarizes your concerns as well. See bottom for more notes … */

    An Open Plea by Silverlight and WPF Developers to Fully Support These Wonderful MS .NET Platforms in Windows 8 in Addition to the New HTML5 Platform

    Count me in, I agree completely.

    And on the "sounding off" front: I've seen some .NET developers taking heart at the increasing attention being given to WinC++. While I don't want to be a glass half empty person, I honestly think that's the sound of the other shoe dropping. As some influential people at Microsoft clearly see it: "Real Programmers use C++, and the rest of you can play with JavaScript. Coding against COM objects."

    Monday, June 13, 2011 3:45 AM
  •   I've been a dev team-lead for two WPF projects, one for a Fortune 500 company and another for a smaller healthcare company.  I've invested a lot into learning WPF and WCF (which I'm certified in).  I've been working with C# for about 8 years.  The future of .net is very important to me.

      Please openly and irrefutably squash any rumors that your best of breed .net technologies will not be at the forefront of Win8+ application development.  My gut feeling is that this issue is over hyped, but I must admit I am a little concerned.

    I will change professions before leaving the .net platform for HTML5/JS.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 4:28 AM
  • However, I think we're all misguided in asking Microsoft to support the new UI system using WPF/SL or WinForms. I think it's more important to allow us to develop through .NET rather than specific technologies in .NET. If there happens to be a new markup model, let's learn it, gosh darn it. I want a clean .NET API to the new UI system rather than bolted-on adapters for other UI frameworks.

    I guess that means you're not signing on to this letter! Nope, we're talking about full support for XAML, the rockin' XAML we now have and IS the future of application markup, not the next JAML (JavaScript Markup Language, etc). And no, there won't be a new markup model, that is insane. Anyone who knows this technology knows that there is little you could replace or do better in the spec. Now, TONS that SHOULD be being done to make it's rendering more performant, just like was done for HTML in IE9. This is precisely the point: SHOWS US THE LOVE TOO. On that, see this very insightful article that shows what was done for IE9 rendering. The same love needs to be shown for WPF to become super performant. http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/html5-centric-windows-8-leaves-microsoft-developers-horrified.ars. But there is nothing to fundamentally change in the spec for some other markup language, sheesh, that's crazy.

    You can't tell me that FlowDocuments and HTML don't share some striking similarities...

    I'm heavily invested in FlowDocument, so I'm familiar with many of its innards. (I've been routing for Silverlight to finally get a FlowDocument, that would be a huge coming of age issue for SL). Yes, FlowDoc and HTML (HyperTEXTMarkupLang) are strikingly similar. Even down to certain details like: You can't have a Paragraph (Block element) within another Paragraph. I was surprised that HTML isn't designed for that either (try it out in an editor, in VS). Of course HTML implementations will ultimately allow it, the browsers, but that's just bec of its inherant looseness (only breaks if really has no other choice). But here's exactly the point, XAML has thousands of things. ONE of them is this very important FlowDocument, which is basically equivalent to HTML. So don't kill XAML for what is essentially someone else's FlowDocument! To be fair, things have changed now that SVG can be backed right into HTML5 page. XAML already IS everything that SVG is and much much more, all in one ML, and one document tree, not many pasted together -- that's largely where it's power is, it's all things in one. You can make a fixed text representation in XAML just as well (XPS). That's amazing for one markup language, which also shows why they didn't just keep HTML markup element names for text, they needed a new system that fit the whole new model, which is much smarter, unified, all names match Object names, is truly extensible unlike HTML, text (FlowDoc) can directly control any other XAML non-text elements (like a treeview if you wanted!), and so on.

     

    Monday, June 13, 2011 9:38 AM
  • Long time .NET developer.  Count me in.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 2:18 PM
  • I'll sign this, wholeheartedly.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 4:09 PM
  • I am a .Net developer and have single-handedly convinced my company (of about 150 developers & QA) to switch five teams from Java over to .Net. We've seen some amazing productivity increases and have been able to leverage many of the unique features of Windows. It's possible that some small subset of our applications could be re-written in HTML5/Javascript but many of our apps have lots of business logic, tight hardware integration and tight system integration. We have a very large code base and we've benefitted hugely from the BI features in WPF/Silverlight, the MVVM pattern, MEF, and the ease of creating skinnable, localizable apps as well as solid installs.

    If Windows 8 did not provide the same level of support for WPF/Silverlight and forced us to rewrite in HTML5, I would lose the battle with my managers and the rewrite would end up being in Java on some flavor of Linux.

    Please continue to support WPF and Silverlight on Windows 8. Don't leave us high and dry! I know some native applications may not run on the ARM architecture, but the Silverlight and purely managed .Net applications, including WPF, should.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 4:27 PM
  • I totally agree. This issue may be overhyped and, if it is, MS would really do us a favor if they could squash the rumors. I would also probably change professions before switching from the .net platform to HTML5/JavaScript. HTML has its place, but enterprise application development isn't it.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 4:31 PM
  • Windows 8: Analysts on UI, HTML 5 Controversy, x86 vs. ARM, More, By Kurt Mackie, 06/13/2011; http://redmondmag.com/articles/2011/06/13/windows-8-analysts.aspx.  Mackie says: “Windows 8 will run Windows 7-based apps … while also being capable of running Windows 8-based apps, which ***can*** be built based on HTML 5 and JavaScript.”

    Mackie doesn’t represent anyone at Microsoft, but his use of that little word “can” stuck out from the way all the announcments had it; e.g.: “Web-connected and web-powered apps ***built using HTML5 and JavaScript***,” not ‘that can be built using.’ That still wouldn’t be cool, but honestly, one extra word, CAN, would have made things noticably less bad.

    The BUILD site: “…learn all about the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript...”  As I said in the letter, that paints a pretty clear dichotomy between OLD (“existing”) apps and NEW and MODERN “Windows 8 apps” “built using HTML5 and JavaScript,” not: “that can be built using HTML5 and JavaScript.”

    The author asked Michael Silver, “research vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner”: “Why did Microsoft emphasize JavaScript and HTML 5, and fail to mention .NET for app development when it showed off Windows 8?” Silver replied: “I’m not sure, but it definitely sent the wrong message to developers if Microsoft still sees it as strategic.”

    If you missed this above, check out this excellent piece (watch out though, you may get hurt from laughing so hard from the front picture): http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/html5-centric-windows-8-leaves-microsoft-developers-horrified.ars.

    Says a lot about how WPF/SL were in the same kind of need as IE8 was in providing break out performance on the rendering level; we need that love too, which shows that we SHOULD be concerned if these best platforms were not going to be shown any of that same level of goodness in what’s coming.

    But despite that the message hasn’t been corrected, there are a lot of very interesting leads popping up that seem to indicate we have not been forgetten or left in second place, which is all we were ever asking not happen. http://davidburela.wordpress.com/ Hmmm, IF so, I think there are reasons to be thrilled about what is coming… keeps me pretty optimistic that C# and XAML have a central role to play.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 10:10 PM
  • Actually, I'm very much in favor of having .NET being a first class way to develop against the new UI. The only nuance is that I don't think WPF and SL themselves are necessarily the best technology to bootstrap a new API on. This doesn't mean XAML itself isn't valid, however. But XAML isn't tied to WPF and SL - it's the other way around. If they based a new API on XAML, I'd be quite delighted with that.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:49 AM
  • Would it really kill one of the product managers to respond customer concerns?  Even just a brief statement to say there's no need to worry.

    The lack of offical feedback reflects very poorly on the entire division.  Can't they see that ignoring customers is simply fueling the fire and making the situation much, much worse.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:03 AM
  • .NET Developper, i think WPF and Silverlight can't be replaced by HTML5.

     

    Count me !

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:22 AM
  • No! No! No!

    IE6, because of JScript, because of its poor compliance to standards, was a real pain that slowed down the development of web technologies. And that was all Microsoft's fault (and the lack of concurrency, to be fair).

    Right now, things are finally changing for the best. Soon, web apps, smartphones apps, and OS apps will be made with HTML5. Microsoft - for once - understood that.

    So please stop whimpering. Silverlight is slow, bloated, has a steep learning curve, and like all proprietary web technologies, it will be dead soon. The future is server side technologies + HTML5. Just deal with it.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:57 AM
  • I already dealt with it.  I already made HTML/Javascript/SVG apps.  It was a kludge compared to Silverlight. That is why I use Silverlight and NOT HTML.  So just say NO to HTML5.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:10 AM
  • @caywen

    If we are going to have a philosophical conversation (,and that is what this is since no one knows exactly what Microsoft is planning,) then we must agree to address the message of a persons post and not take on specific points in a completely out of context manner.  Who cares which is faster or the performance tweeks of one versus the other, the point is ANY technology can be made ubber fast and given good tools if the right minds are put to it.  Back in 2000 C++ guys were saying the same things about C# that you are saying about javascript.  Guess what, compared to C#, C++ is a rocket ship.  No one from the C++ world thought that some silly interpreted language would ever get anywhere especially compared to the power, flexibility, speed of COM.  Especially after Microsoft had invested 10 years and countless resources into making COM the defacto MS technology and comvincing everyone to invest in.. you guessed it COM.  Guess what 3 years later it was all but abandoned.  These days people actually are professional Microsoft developers and they dont know what IUnknown is.  10 years ago that would not be possible.  My point is technology changes.  Period.  Sometimes youa re on the winning end, sometimes on the loosing end.  MS could have jsut as easily retooled COM and made it simpler etc,  no they decided to capitalize on the Java craze and build a langaue that worked in a similar fashion with superior tooling.  I think the same will happen come September.  We will see some cool new JS IDE that blows everyones mind away and all the people on this thread will become bloggers and trainers overnight.  I've see this all already.  It is precisely what happend in 1999/2000.  The long list of track changing from MS finally caught up to them with Silverlight (and will continue moving forward). Enterprises looked at it, liked it, but ulitmately were too afraid of Microsoft abandoning it (especially after that HTML 5 slipup last year) to make a commitment to it.  It is either being used internally as DogFood, or by people who are using it like some Opiate to delay the fact that they need to learn client side cross platform web technology (ie HTML ).

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 7:52 AM
  • Signed.

    .Net is the king!!! XAML is the king!!! WPF is the king!!!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:07 AM
  • I was happy to see COM die since I thought it was overly complex.  The thing about .Net and Silverlight is these are GOOD technologies.  And, up til now anyway, HTML/Javascript/SVG was NOT a good technology.

    So, as for me, I will stop using Silverlight when they "pry it from my cold, dead hands".  It is the better technology.  I have ALWAYS tried to use the better technology. 

    The ONLY things that are Silverlight's Achilles heel are download speed/performance (which can always be tweaked) and cross-platform reach.  Cross-platform could be done, just like Adobe has done with Flash.

    So, for me, Microsoft will have to have some sort of HUGELY good tool to make just as good a technology as Silverlight.  My preference would be that the target platform could be chosen for a Silverlight app and that the .Net language could be translated out as Javascript and the XAML could be output as HTML/Canvas/SVG.

    But it is hard for me to believe that they are going to come out with a just-html tool that overcome the piecemeal approach of html/javascript.

    Not to even mention all the OTHER good things in Silverlight.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:20 AM
  • I'm not looking forward to testing HTML 5 applications on Safari, Firefox, Chrome and IE 7,8,9,10.

    I didn't enjoy the browser wars the first time. I certainly don't enjoy debugging Javascript. I flat out hate debugging HTML layout and visual glitches.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 9:51 AM
  • @edwardmoemeka

      I must say I appreciate your good attitude at the situation, but I vehemently disagree with your assessment.  In all the cases you mentioned the technologies involved evolved for the better, not the worse.

    I have done a significant amount of work in both ASP.NET/JS/CSS and WPF, which I now only do and have for years.  WPF has no equal (not even close) and HTML/JS WILL NEVER be its equal.  Ever!

     

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:46 AM
  • I know that all technologies evolve over time and that they all have a pragmatic shelf life.  However, we are just finishing up an 18 month, multi-million dollar port of our product to Silverlight from Shockwave.  This is after having extensively evaluated Silverlight vs. Flash, and convincing executives that Silverlight was indeed the correct choice, despite market acceptance of Flash.  If Microsoft abandons the very technologies that they've been evangelizing for the past couple years, I won't be alone in being wary of drinking the Microsoft Kool-aid in the future.  I'm also not alone in being furious if Microsoft makes our move to Silverlight a multi-million dollar mistake.  There are lots of small- to mid-size companies that can't afford multi-million dollar mistakes.  Once burned, we will look elsewhere.  The Borland analogy is painfully familiar for this very reason.

    We have built-in to our processes the need to refresh every 5 years or so.  Unfortunately, HTML5 is not as full featured as it needs to be yet.  Even Silverlight was missing critical features for us to make the switch until Silverlight 4.

    Thus I add my plea to Nick P's: please don't make Silverlight/WPF second class citizens too soon!  Let them run their course--at least until a successor is on par with these great technologies.  ~Ben L.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:53 PM
  • >Stepping BACK in capabilities, and in Rapid App Dev, is NOT the direction any of us developers want to go, no, no, never

    Hear hear! 

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:51 PM
  • To add to this discussion, a technical comparison of Silverlight & HTML5:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2011/06/13/html-5-vs-silverlight-5.aspx

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:02 AM
  • To add to this discussion, a technical comparison of Silverlight & HTML5:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2011/06/13/html-5-vs-silverlight-5.aspx

    I commented on this article above, http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/t/230744.aspx#565819.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:15 AM
  • Signed and agreed.

    I would also like to echo the earlier statement that the Dot Net languages and runtime are the most important part of this question for many of us, even outweighing XAML. The power and separation of concerns that XAML provides are important and I would hate to lose those, but being forced to use Javascript exclusively would be even worse than losing XAML. Even in web applications, Javascript is generally confined to client-side layout and GUI logic tasks while the brains on the server are implemented in more productive, powerful, scalable platforms like Dot Net or Java. But here we would be marooned in a Javascript-only Hell? Surely not. Building large-scale applications with significant business logic in Javascript is an absolute non-starter, as those of us who have suffered through the pain of doing so in the past can attest.

    For those of us who need to justify our technology choices to executive leadership and customers, this has been a very rocky year and a half for Dot Net and Windows advocacy. On the Dot Net side, we have found more vision and leadership from the Mono project than we have from Microsoft itself. We've invested in and advocated for the platform that Microsoft created and marketted and sold to us, so we want Microsoft to be our champion and partner - not our adversary - in the ongoing success and growth of the platform.

    And even if all ends well and this turns out to have simply been unwarranted worry, the damage of this kind of announcement followed by silence - yet again, in the case of Silverlight - has already been done (and is ongoing as the silence continues). For any technology or platform, uncertainty stifles adoption and new project launches based on that technology. So it is hard to understand what this silence is meant to accomplish. Whatever the goal, the actual effect is increased reluctance to build upon Dot Net and Windows since the future is uncertain and the potential for wasted investment is high until that uncertainty is removed. Waiting for September doesn't build healthy anticipation. It builds cynicism and kick starts contigency plans based on Java and other platforms.


    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:38 AM
  • To add to this discussion, a technical comparison of Silverlight & HTML5:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2011/06/13/html-5-vs-silverlight-5.aspx

    Silverlight won in every performance test against HTML5, except those in which the author subjectively interpreted the results to be "a draw" --- even though the results were clearly Silverlight wins based upon numeric test results.

    Despite the final results table showing all wins for SL - or draws, the author gives HTML5 and SL equal final marks (how funny).  However, at least he suggests they're both valid development options.  

    Further, when you actually run these tests, you get varied results from various browsers - not good at all. Plus, in a real world scenario where your loading the browser with lots of business logic written in JS, Silverlight would run right past HTML5.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:07 PM
  • I talk in a general manner.

    Of course for a business apps started today, I will choose Silverligt. EXCEPT if the target is Ipad for example.

    That's why I said no real winner. In a lot of cases, SL wins (And believe me I love SL). But not always.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:28 PM
  • In reading through the multitude of posts on this subject, this one I connect with the most.  I have spent the last ten years doing as much as possible to advance my .NET skills, learn the internals of C# and learn OOP and design patterns and so forth to really produce well-written and well-architected LOB applications.  All the while, I did everything I could to avoid coding primarily in HTML and JS, albeit they were necessary evils.

    Being a 1/0 type binary person, I like STRUCTURE.  HTML and JS is just cluttered, unstructured garbage.  Let me get this straight...the world screams for fat client, sharp looking apps way back when, and there are a plethora of C++ and VB4/5/6 applications written.  Then, the world says wait, now we don't just want web sites to show stuff we want them to do stuff, and the thin client craze explodes.  Everyone and their brother's sister starts coding mark-up and "stuffing" functionality in and around all this markup with Javascript...and things go haywire due to the untyped, unstructured, everything-is-an-object, hack-like, non OO nature of Javascript.  Go to just about any HTML/JS heavy site, turn on script debugging and wait no more than 5 seconds for a script error window prompting you to debug.  Dozens of posts ago, someone mentioned that HTML/JS programmers HATE Microsoft, well that is because by nature they are artists not engineers, and engineers like structure, the structure of .NET and structured, compiled, typed code.  Not just making things look pretty with tags and divs.

    ASP.Net has gone a long way towards getting the engineer away from the HTML front end, but when XAML/Silverlight/WPF came along, I was in heaven.  Now it seemed that the world was beginning to make sense again, and web programming really WAS going to be as powerful and exciting as Windows programming used to be, or so we were told.  The pure elegance that a well structured XAML/RIA Services/Silverlight application can display is LIGHT YEARS ahead of something coded with tags and script.  And yet I now have to listen to these rumors of Silverlight/WPF/XAML/and even .NET going away?!  It's mind boggling to think that all of the development advances on the Microsoft platform over the last 12+ years would be just thrown away for something like HTML5/Javascript.

    I can't even begin to express my frustration at having pushed a major client (a large, nationwide banking institution) in the direction of Silverlight/RIA applications because of the elgance of the architecture, and how amazingly well suited it was for a solid design pattern such as MVVM, and now may have to try and explain how in the world something I pushed for (as an experience, well-respected consultant no less) might be at end of life?!  Absolutely ridiculous.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:45 AM
  • Couldn't help but think of the episode of The Apprentice last night where Lord Alan Sugar said something like 'he's never known an engineer become a successful businessman.' Maybe the 'engineers' are too rigid and set in their ways and that the more 'creative' amongst us will always win the day. I'm an engineer by the way ;-)

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 4:48 AM
  • This post clearly summarizes my concerns as well.  I urge you to please take the 3 steps requested.  

    Additionally, please dedicate significant resources to improving your messaging.  Uncoordinated messaging and poor marketing are significantly hampering your success.








    Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:50 AM
  • I agree

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:38 PM
  • please keep .NET alive

    Friday, June 17, 2011 8:11 AM
  • I joined this forum just so I could add my signature to this list - Silverlight needs to be there in Windows 8.


    Friday, June 17, 2011 8:43 AM
  • I agree

    Friday, June 17, 2011 9:07 AM
  • Friday, June 17, 2011 11:12 AM
  • As a C programmer developing C# Windows Phone Apps I believe .NET needs to be supported as a first class citizen on Windows 8.  Having a common Metro design language across Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows 8 won't be as effective without a common programming language (.NET framework) across the three platforms!!!!

    Friday, June 17, 2011 1:53 PM
  • Lucky it is then.

    Friday, June 17, 2011 3:24 PM
  • It is a new framework which could be a subset of WPF and it will unify coding across 3 screens. Also I guess the new apps developed in .NET can run in both immersive mode and classic mode.

    Also classic Silverlight and WPF applications will still work in classic mode.

     

     

     

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 1:16 AM
  • Silverlight is way much easier to code than HTML/JS, keep it alive.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 1:39 AM
  • Agreed.

    I realize there is a benefit to funneling announcements of technologies at the right time, however I believe it to be a mistake to announce the HTML5/JavaScript support for Immersive apps without even a small blurb about other technologies. Many loyal Microsoft developers who have thousands of hours vested in WPF/SL get nervous when it is seemingly suggested their investments will falter in value.

    Insisting not to respond to the thousands of already upset developers and stating we will all have to wait until September seems a bit insidious.  There are ways to not reveal too much without scaring the heck out of your developers.

    +1 for signatures

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 3:04 PM
  • Stay tuned for a possible update from Mary Jo Foley on the issues Monday Smile

    (following: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-needs-to-tell-windows-8-developers-now-about-jupiter-and-silverlight/9608).

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 8:50 PM
  • The following quote is from Charles Torre over at Channel 9 as written in the comments about a recent video he posted.

    "For all the folks who asked about specific VC vNext implementations, please try to make it to BUILD as there will be a significant C++ presence at the developer affair in Anaheim (Sept 13-16, 2011)."

    That automatically means that it will not be an HTML/JS only conference. AND this is an official statement from a Microsoft employee.

    Herb Sutter (the interviewee) also makes this same statement AND says the following. "If your interested in C++ technologies, come to BUILD because we'll be talking a lot about C++ as well as Managed stuff." That is a direct quote.

    I wish I we didn't have to dig through videos to finds these rays of sunshine. I wish Microsoft would realize that they really can loose their market position by saying nothing at all. But alas, this is the world we live in. And at least we now have confirmation that HTML/JS is not the only topic at BUILD. I call this news an epic relief.

    This is the video with the comments: http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Going+Deep/Herb-Sutter-C-Questions-and-Answers
    See timestamp 44:30 for Sutter's comment about managed content at BUILD.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011 9:31 PM
  • because we'll be talking a lot about C++ as well as Managed stuff."

    Great. Weeks later ...

    ... weeks later, one person 40 minutes into a non-transcribed interview blurts out "managed stuff" will be "talked" about at BUILD in addition to C++ [a quick blurt out buried under C++ talk only (no prob with that! just to highlight the real non-time, non-emphasis given to this)],

    ... well isn't that pathetic. It's downright inexcusable to have what they have on the BUILD page, PERIOD. They haven't even MENTIONED keywords like ".NET", "XAML," "C#", "WPF", "Silverlight".

    I'm thrilled to see some of this buzz from things that seem to be coming out as some have posted on this forum, (like what Mary Foley reported as well), absolutely its more than awesome news if Windows is thoroughly integrating XAML into the OS itself with this Jupiter/appx thing, like wow, it means long live XAML, the best of our dreams in large part. But I'm just thoroughly disgusted at this behavior up to this very moment. Thoroughly disgusted.

    From the letter: A new developer conference called BUILD has been announced in place of what would have been PDC for September (www.buildwindows.com). Again we see no mention whatsoever of WPF, SL, or .NET: “Go behind the scenes and learn all about the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript [that] have access to the power of the PC.”

    Nothing has changed on the BUILD site, they still only talk about HTML/JS. They could mention these key words without spilling any real beans (can't tell me they're not skilled enough to accomplish carefully worded statements as needed), so someone is playing with us, it's pretty disloyal and alarming. Their actions in the end (which right now are looking really good, no thanks at all though to them) will speak far louder than these (purposeful?) mistatements, but it's still disgusting behavior, certainly breaks the golden mean: 'Do to your fellow developer as you'd have them do to you.'

    Sunday, June 19, 2011 10:49 PM
  • why do we need that "Managed stuff" at all. Why even C++. Why not switch to the Assembly. Perhaps MS decided to follow Rousseau's philosophy - back to mother nature.// sarc off.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011 11:09 PM
  • Under the Windows 8 hood: Questions and answers from the trenches

    By Mary Jo Foley

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/under-the-windows-8-hood-questions-and-answers-from-the-trenches/9738

    Monday, June 20, 2011 10:51 AM
  • It would be an unbelievably epic failure of foresight on Microsoft's part if they decided to not put Silverlight as the forefront of development for Windows 8. Integrated and well structured technologies like .NET and Silverlight undoubtedly represent the future of software, whether Web or Desktop, despite this current "buzz" around HTML5 which I predict will not last past a year or two. Silverlight is simply a more advanced techonology than HTML5, 6, or 20 - comparing development for the .NET platform and development for HTML + JS is like comparing a Plasma TV to a Radio. HTML is obsolete, and Microsoft can finalize the deal by making Silverlight its main development environment for Windows 8, and making sure it comes prepackaged in all windows machines. 

    Microsoft, please don't fail your developers. You need us as much as we need you. 

    /signed

    Monday, June 20, 2011 12:49 PM

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:51 AM
  • Making .NET/WPF/Silverlight as Obsolete/Classic or Legacy in Windows 8 is Kamikaze! Both for me and possibly for microsoft!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:52 AM
  • Many companies have done lot of investments in Silverlight/WPF and it will be a big mistake to let go such a great platform. 

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 2:55 AM
  • Excellent post!

    I just cannot understand why Microsoft would develop an awesome technology such as .Net/WPF/SL and then just hang it out to dry. Oh wait, I do understand! It's all about money; it always has and always will be. HTML5 is the new buzzword for ignorant decision makers, and Microsoft is pouncing. We developers are left to pick up the pieces.

    Silverlight is still a relatively young technology. I am sure that lots of developers, including myself, are putting in tremendous amount of effort to try and help promote this technology while it matures. For Microsoft to shoot us all in the back by jumping on the next big buzzword like this is something that I believe really angers a lot of developers. Personally I am very angry.

    Shame on you Microsoft, how can we trust you ever again? Have you no integrity at all?


    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 6:40 AM
  • Some people just won't listen.

     

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:37 AM
  • Paul Thurrott:

    "Windows 8 will also include a new app model codenamed Jupiter that will target a new Windows Marketplace app store. The app store will provide access to new, Silverlight based “immersive” applications that are deployed as AppX packages (.appx). The Windows and Office teams are betting very heavily on this new app type, according to my source, and development has already begun using a beta version of Visual Studio 2012. These apps can be written in C#, Visual Basic, and even C++"

     

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:44 AM
  • Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis

    Q: What if instead of considering Silverlight/WPF "versus" HTML5 Microsoft is implementing  Silverlight/WPF "ON TOP" HTML5 (replacing DirectX by the HTML5 Rendering Engine)?

    A: MS could easily port their/our Silverlight/WPF applications to all platforms that support HTML5.

    See

    * Make a Silverlight app render to HTML5 / SVG / CSS / JS

    http://dotnet.uservoice.com/forums/4325-silverlight-feature-suggestions/suggestions/1029473-make-a-silverlight-app-render-to-html5-svg-css

    * JSII

    H.Dolder

    http://www.hdolder.com/CutBSK6fN.htm

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 10:11 AM
  • Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis

    Q: What if instead of considering Silverlight/WPF "versus" HTML5 Microsoft is implementing  Silverlight/WPF "ON TOP" HTML5 (replacing DirectX by the HTML5 Rendering Engine)?

    A: MS could easily port their/our Silverlight/WPF applications to all platforms that support HTML5.

    See * Make a Silverlight app render to HTML5 / SVG / CSS / JS

    See presentation on Script# here: http://channel9.msdn.com/events/MIX/MIX11/HTM16. Not far into the video, Kothari makes it clear that this should *not* be seen as a means of writing .NET apps (obv C# + .NET + XAML) and then converting them to work in the HTML5/JS world (emphases all mine):

    What is Script#?

    > C# to JavaScript compiler
     . Improve productivity and manageability ***of script development*** using VS and .NET tools
     . Especially useful in large script apps.
    > Focus is on scipt authoring, ***not porting .NET apps***
     . Leverage existing script frameworks
     . Produce script that feels hand-written

    Watch the video and you should begin to understand that. This would be a great way to introduce .NET people into the world of Jquery and other JS wonderland stuff, allowing the beauty of C# object oriented structure. But it seems clear that the direction this is going is not at all what some here are hoping, it is NOT 'write in Silverlight, output HTML/JS'. 

    "Script# doesn't introduce some new and odd abstractions [to HTML/JS programming]. You're still very much authoring script against the DOM and standard APIs, and existing knowledge of web development carries forward."

    Furthermore, go ahead and give it for a spin. I did this, tried to port over one program that did a bunch of low-level text conversions, but all contained in a appx 1000 line single .cs. You quickly learn the major limitations that are in place. Things like even Byte.MaxValue throw errors, they have only Byte, etc. Array.IndexOf? Nope, I think Array class had only two static functions. Lambda functions? Nope. That quickly threw my code into disarray. No LinqXml of course. Did you notice we haven't even got to XAML conversion limitations? which I guess would be even far worse.

    So this is terrific tool, but Kothari still calls it "very much authoring script against the DOM", and so on. That is a very limited C#, an even more limited, EXTREMELY limited .NET framework. Ultimately, seeing these huge limitations on even base C# types, and core, every other line functionality we have in .NET, so much of which IS possible in Silverlight, I think you get the picture. So rock on Script#, I'm excited about that tool, but it is probably a pipe dream thinking even a semi-intermediate level of .NET/XAML/C# power could translate over to that JS world, and the quotes above show that Kothari is making that very clear up front.

    "> Focus is on scipt authoring, ***not porting .NET apps***"

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:51 AM
  • Hey everyone,

    Just saw this article by Peter Bright on Ars and it sounds like he managed to shake loose a few details about Microsoft's developer story for Win8.

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/windows-8-for-software-developers-the-longhorn-dream-reborn.ars

    tl;dr. Basically, Microsoft is doing what they promised in Vista, unifying the .NET and Win32 API's, with the UX unifying on XAML. C# guys will have it, C++ guys will have it, HTML guys will have it. It's an attempt to converge and eventually deprecate the Win32 API, and let's be honest, that by itself is a godsend. And this time it might work...

    I think this is excellent news. I think Microsoft is handling this incredibly poorly, and so does Bright. Dear Microsoft, when NOT ONE PERSON agrees with you ... You're Doing It Wrong™. You want us to go to BUILD? Tell us WHY we should go. You want us to develop for Windows 8? Tell us WHY we should develop for Windows 8 and not another provably successful platform, like, oh I don't know, iOS...

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 12:48 PM
  • Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis

    A: MS could easily port their/our Silverlight/WPF applications to all platforms that support HTML5.


    If it's that easy Google would have come up with a much more robust, powerful and user friendly free Google Docs to take chunks of market share away from the expensive MSFT Office. ChromeOS would be a affordable and yet powerful alternative to Windows that all PC/LAPTOP OEMs would embrace.


    That neither is happening is enough of an evidence HTML5 is all talking w/o walking hype.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 1:39 PM
  • I fully agree!

    David Roh

     

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:30 PM
  • First of all, I am very very upset that their has been no word on the future of silverlight. I am not against html 5

    Frankly what I would like to see from microsoft a full and honest statement on the future of silverlight!! Frankly they owe us a huge statement on where this technology going. Is silveright the premier web based data platform? What happens to Prism??

    .the prism team is using asp.net mvc html 5 on codeplex   

    They should be pushing developers to use sl5 wiith tutorials and everthing else...nothing is being done...and I am a guy who loves silverlight mvvm and prism looks so promising. SL 5 is almost enterprise level.... It takes so many years for companies to trust software....     

    Microsoft seems to have forgotten their true developers. I heard about microsoft skype and silverlight being dropped

    for html 5...I am so discouraged right know. THe microsoft developer divisions owe us a deep explanation.....

    no one should sign up for  the build conference.---until microsoft tells us what is going on  ...I am not happy...and I love silverlight.... Perhaps I need to go back to asp.net mvc, it just seems like a step backwards....here is the html 5 site   http://html5labs.interoperabilitybridges.com/ 

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 10:46 PM
  • After months of trying to convince my MD that Silverlight was the way forward for app development, that it offered a panacea for the html/css/javascript mess and the development and support nightmares it causes, we're just on the cusp of starting major developments using Silverlight and Whoosh, that's the sound of a rug being pulled from under me feet.

    You want me to stick with HTML(5), Javascript, and CSS(3)?  No way.

    Just to underline why not, you release IE9 and break floating divs, causing me more support headaches - all the "proper" CSS based layouts I have delivered suddenly look a mess. You want me to stay with this crap?

    There is NO WAY IN HELL that I will be going down the HTML5/CSS3/Javascript route. Honestly, no way. Not happening.

    Without a full and unequivocal commitment from Microsoft about Silverlight I have two options; find another O/S and development environment and dump Windows entirely, or retire.

    Just in case you haven't understood, I write APPLICATIONS, not apps. I need proper tools to do so.

     

    Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:08 AM
  • Guys and gals, I've given up on Silverlight for web and mobile apps. That said, for practical reasons, I've not invested time in WP7 apps and have moved to a different platform for web and mobile development.

    I will always embrace WPF for desktop applications but Microsoft's lack of spirt regarding Silverlight has left me no choice but to move to Flash/Flex.  I am currently under the process of downgrading my WCF services to ASMX to accommodate Flashbuilder 4.x limitations.

    Over the years, starting with Visual Basic 3.0 I've made over a million dollars by leveraging Microsoft's tooling. Today's landscape is not what is once was. Microsoft is simply not making the world believe in it's technology as it once did.

    I could start with Windows update not installing Silverlight. Horrible decision but I understand possible legal concerns.

    I could state the simple fact that although Microsoft encourages developers to localize applications, yet the "Get Silverlight" page itself is only available in English.

    I also must state that the Bing API tools are hands down the best in the world (far exceeding Google) but like Silverlight, are not supported as they should be.

    It seems that Microsoft wants some of it's technology to fail. I'm not going to be an actor in that scene.  I own many share of MSFT but am deeply disappointed and concerned with the future.


    Sunday, June 26, 2011 2:13 AM
  • Hi guys you really need to read this before making further outcries,

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/windows-8-for-software-developers-the-longhorn-dream-reborn.ars

    My conclusion on all information already revealed is,

    1. WindowsRT is the programming API although I think Win32 will still work.

    2. New DirectUI is XAML based and working for both managed codes (.NET) and unmanaged codes (C++)

    3. .NET Framework 4.5

    4. Kind of a new version of Silverlight (Silverlight 6?) unifying managed code development (and even unmanged code inclusive, I guess, similar to Silverlight for Embedded) across PC, tablet, XBox and mobile phone.

    5. HTML5 and Javascript written apps are actually locally installed (which will be totally different to those on the web) and running applications, with access to most critical system resources. Currently you can't develop a .exe by using Javascript. But on Windows 8, you may be able to develop a .appx by using Javascript and HTML5, same as what you can do with C# and XAML.

     

     

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 9:48 PM
  • 4. Kind of a new version of Silverlight (Silverlight 6?) unifying managed code development (and even unmanged code inclusive, I guess, similar to Silverlight for Embedded) across PC, tablet, XBox and mobile phone.

    But thats exactly the point. You list of supported platforms (no OSX) doesn't need a SL as plugin anymore. If the plugin SL ends then SL ends. Maybe we get a nice XML based platform for W8 and it would be very welcome, but if I don't have a lean 4mb plugin anymore that allows me to run my apps on OSX, XP, Vista, W7,...  then SL is dead to me. Maybe the future SL plugin just gets improvements for the media site.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 11:11 PM
  • Hi Jan,

    I have no idea about the future of Silvelight on Mac but I have  a personal conclusion on the recent development of Microsoft programming platforms. 

    I think Microsoft has learnt a lesson from the mobile phone and tablet market that their competitors don't actually want to allow plugins to threaten their dictation on software development on the platforms. Android might be an exception with its browser supporting Flash but I haven't seen many people using much Flash applications on it.

    So, with Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7, since Microsoft is already able to compete on tablet and mobile phone market again with their own products, they have chosen back to strengthen the Windows-only product line and hence concentrate on Windows ecosystem.

    One of the evidence is the HTML5 and Javascript prgramming model on Windows 8. It is by no means "cross platform" because it requires the new Windows Runtime. Therefore this programming model has nothing to do with "Open Web".

    My conclusion on such development is that Microsoft is now focusing on "cross device" instead of "cross platform".

    Lixin

     

    Monday, June 27, 2011 12:26 AM
  • I agree full 100 support for SL/WPF on all windows 8 platforms.

    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:16 AM
  • Hi guys you really need to read this before making further outcries,

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/windows-8-for-software-developers-the-longhorn-dream-reborn.ars

    My conclusion on all information already revealed is,

    1. WindowsRT is the programming API although I think Win32 will still work.

    2. New DirectUI is XAML based and working for both managed codes (.NET) and unmanaged codes (C++)

    3. .NET Framework 4.5

    4. Kind of a new version of Silverlight (Silverlight 6?) unifying managed code development (and even unmanged code inclusive, I guess, similar to Silverlight for Embedded) across PC, tablet, XBox and mobile phone.

    5. HTML5 and Javascript written apps are actually locally installed (which will be totally different to those on the web) and running applications, with access to most critical system resources. Currently you can't develop a .exe by using Javascript. But on Windows 8, you may be able to develop a .appx by using Javascript and HTML5, same as what you can do with C# and XAML.

    I woud like to believe much of that were true (especially since I attended PDC 2003 and am very familiar with that dream - I also didn't miss the significance of the WinFX name being dropped), but what is ultimately merely the opinion of someone looking at the same evidence as the rest of us does not constitute evidence.

    Ironically, I have been getting the feeling lately that Build will in fact represent the final formal renunciation of the Longhorn dream. I truly do hope I'm wrong.

    PS. To date Microsoft have utterly failed to give developers who are uninterested in becoming JavaScript scripters any reason whatsoever to be interested in Build. Perhaps they assume we will slavishly follow wherever they lead, no questions asked.

    PPS. Dear forum admins - would it really be so hard to fix "sepertate"?

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:39 PM
  • PS. To date Microsoft have utterly failed to give developers who are uninterested in becoming JavaScript scripters any reason whatsoever to be interested in Build. Perhaps they assume we will slavishly follow wherever they lead, no questions asked.

    My thoughts exactly.    I've been to many Microsoft conferences, but I refuse to waste my time and money going to a conference to be lectured on Javascript/HTML with a few windows 8 extensions.   I'm sure many other developers and architects feel the same way.

    I would have signed up right away if Microsoft (not some leakers on the internet) gave some clear indiication that they were supporting the technologies I've been using and promoting for years, but they're not...

    I was glad when Microsoft became a much more "open" company.  People like Scott Guthrie became beloved because of how much time he spent engaging the community, getting feedback, anouncing updates, answering questions, etc.   It really gave developers positive insight into the direction that Microsoft was headed.  Which allowed developers and architects to feel much more confident when it came to speaking to management, sales execs, or company stakeholders.

    It felt good.

    Now things have suddenly changed.   Ever since the release of Windows Phone it seems as if Microsoft has become more and more like Apple.... closed.   With far less engagement with the community.

    It doesn't feel good anymore.  It feels patronizing, like it no longer matters what the development community thinks of the final product.  It's no longer an open conversation.

    I don't know if there are internal politics involved or what, but it saddens me to see Microsoft potentially making a big mistake like this.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:29 AM
  • I just wanted to say: excellent comments, all of them oolong. Starting with the absurdity of BUILD advertising only one thing, ONLY ONE STINKING THING, that being HTML + JS + IE. Sounds like Mix 2011 Part 2. Now given the name, and given the leaks, I'm sure it will be more than that, but my goodness, it's like they've lost their heads or something. What pray tell are you doing Microsoft? BTW: they've quite interestingly done away with the 'News' part of that site, it is totally deprecated now. Pry because the constant comments-feedback was reiterating these very points: What about .NET and WPF and Silverlight and XAML story????!!!! Person after person asked: why should I come if no commit is made to those things.

    Second: Spot on comments on openess. But let me make this loud and clear: OPENESS is great, but it is not necessary so long as a platform's future is secure. Apple hasn't killed Objective C in all that time ... so their developers probably are not having to worry about that. However, SENDING FALSE MESSAGES (Win8 apps "are built with" [not: can be built in addition with]) is a game killer.

    My thoughts exactly.    I've been to many Microsoft conferences, but I refuse to waste my time and money going to a conference to be lectured on Javascript/HTML with a few windows 8 extensions.   I'm sure many other developers and architects feel the same way.

    I would have signed up right away if Microsoft (not some leakers on the internet) gave some clear indiication that they were supporting the technologies I've been using and promoting for years, but they're not...

    I was glad when Microsoft became a much more "open" company.  People like Scott Guthrie became beloved because of how much time he spent engaging the community, getting feedback, anouncing updates, answering questions, etc.   It really gave developers positive insight into the direction that Microsoft was headed.  Which allowed developers and architects to feel much more confident when it came to speaking to management, sales execs, or company stakeholders.

    It felt good.

    Now things have suddenly changed.   Ever since the release of Windows Phone it seems as if Microsoft has become more and more like Apple.... closed.   With far less engagement with the community.

    It doesn't feel good anymore.  It feels patronizing, like it no longer matters what the development community thinks of the final product.  It's no longer an open conversation.

    I don't know if there are internal politics involved or what, but it saddens me to see Microsoft potentially making a big mistake like this.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 1:50 AM
  • Deja vu, so much. I remember all the gnashing of teeth when MS decided VB6 would end. The petitions, the blogs, the wails of anguish. How ridiculous does that look now? Go take a look at http://classicvb.org/petition/ if you're too young to remember. Try not to laugh too loud at the people who signed the petition: if you wrote "me too" anywhere on this forum, you're the same as them.

    Seriously? Who cares? Are you so tied to SL and .Net that your skills don't mean anything in any other environment? Are you so hooked on the MS kool aid that nothing else would do?

    I made the shift from being a MS developer to being a developer quite a while ago. Actually, it was probably at the time VB6 ended that I decided not to hook myself to any MS technology exclusively. I'd seen others make that mistake and I saw how their careers floundered afterwards (take a look at the names of the VB6 MVPs who signed the petition).

    At the moment I'm doing work with Ruby, JS, SL, C#, Java and PHP using WCF, restful services, RPC, etc. etc. If I need to use MS, I do. If there's something better, I'll use that. My real value to a company/my employer lies in the fact that whatever the requirement is and whatever the constraints are, I'm able to deliver a product that is well designed and exceeds their expectations. Do they care that I'm a SL/JS/PHP/Ruby/etc. expert? Do they really care whether you're using IIS or Apache? Linux or Windows? HTML5 or SL? No, they only care about the end result. If your answer to every question is SL and you're only able to deliver using SL, you're not a developer. Fundamental software design principles and patterns do not change when you move from one language to another or from one platform to another.

    If you're so tied to the SL and .Net platform that their demise would mean the end of your career, you perhaps need to look at what your actual skillset is composed of. Get ready for it, maybe not today, maybe not in a few months, but eventually there will be no more .Net and no more SL. When that day comes (like it did for VB6), make sure you're not tied to MS's technology and haven't invested in "real" skills because you chose to believe a company that will always put profit before developers.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:25 AM
  • It's the cross platform developer cliche...  Jack of all trades master of none.

    I was a VB6 developer.  At the time I knew only VB6.  I spent quite a while creating complex VB6 systems.   However did I care that VB6 was going away?  No...   Never crossed my mind for a second.

    I embraced .Net early ever since beta and never looked back because it was clearly better technology than what was available.  From the language support, deployment, dll hell issues, remoting,  reflection, threading,  etc. the list goes on and on.    Microsoft set a direction that was good for the entire development community.

    Silverlight/WPF/Xaml is basically HTML should be if you were to rewrite it from the ground up for building applications rather than displaying content.   Same with MXML in the Java/Flex world.  It's an industry shift that allows a cleaner separation between presentation, presentation controls, business logic, etc.  and allows larger teams to work together easier.

    If you think that Javascript/html is on the same level as .Net or Java technologies and it's just a simple matter of swapping out one thing for another.  Then I go back to:  Jack of all trades, master of none....

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:29 AM
  • I remember all the gnashing of teeth when MS decided VB6 would end.

    You can't compare this cases: VB6 was old and outdated and it was replaced with modern .Net Framework. But Silverlight is very new and and we just start using it (almost all serious silverlight apps only at beta stage now!) and js\html is stone age technology.

    Seriously? Who cares? Are you so tied to SL and .Net that your skills don't mean anything in any other environment? Are you so hooked on the MS kool aid that nothing else would do?

    I was Borland fan when they stop to develop Delphi\C++ Builder. Yes, I found many ways to apply my skills but who remember about Borland now? So I'm not sure that MS will profit from this.

     

     

     

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:02 AM
  • If you think that Javascript/html is on the same level as .Net or Java technologies and it's just a simple matter of swapping out one thing for another.  Then I go back to:  Jack of all trades, master of none...

    Nope, never said that. I agree that in some respects SL is superior to JS/HTML, just as JS/HTML is superior to SL in some ways. They are not interchangeable or equivalent and serve very different purposes. My point, however, is that you shouldn't tie yourself into a technology like SL exclusively and define yourself as a developer according to the technologies MS makes available. Technologies come and go, but proper software development skills are permanent. Being well versed in a technology or a platform is great, but software development is much more than either a technology or a platform.

    If you're able to design a great system in SL, you should be able to design a great one in JS/HTML, Java/Flex, Rails, etc. etc. The same principles of good software design apply to all languages and platforms. When interviewing developers I don't really care which language or platform they've worked on previously. A good Java developer can switch to C# pretty easily and vice versa, and I'd much rather have a good developer that needs a few months to learn a platform than a mediocre developer that knows a specific platform inside out. In a year's time the good developer will be adding more value than the mediocre developer ever would. I'm pretty sure that, given the choice, you'd make the same one.

    Microsoft set a direction that was good for the entire development community.

    Microsoft set a direction that was going to make them the most money. Whether it was good for the community or not is irrelevant. They will continue to go in the direction that they think they can make the most money from. If that means pissing off 100 SL developers and gaining 110 developers that were previously using non-MS technology, that's what they'll do. If you think MS cares about developers you're mistaken: they care about how much money they can get from developers. I'm not saying this is a negative thing. Any company that cares more about individuals than the bottom line wouldn't last very long. If MS actually does something that benefits the dev community as a whole, it's more a happy coincidence than an intended goal.

    Realistically speaking, though, we all know MS won't can SL. It would be a stupid move on their part and I think all the anguish expressed here is misplaced, or at least very premature. 

    Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:01 AM
  • My point, however, is that you shouldn't tie yourself into a technology like SL exclusively and define yourself as a developer according to the technologies MS makes available.

    That's really just your assumpion.   Do you think SL developers suddenly emerged in the last few years developing exclusively with SL and no background in anything else?  No, many gravitated to SL from other technologies (Microsoft and otherwise) and saw SL as a way of solving specific problems in an elegant way.

    Many recommended this technology, sold the idea to management/stakeholders.  They may be in the middle of a development cycle spanning  months or years creating a product or solution.   It's one thing if you're building one off websites or apps that are done in a few weeks.  In that case it may be easy to just "suck it up" and go to another technology, but keep in mind many companies are not in that situation.

    A good Java developer can switch to C# pretty easily and vice versa, and I'd much rather have a good developer that needs a few months to learn a platform than a mediocre developer that knows a specific platform inside out. In a year's time the good developer will be adding more value than the mediocre developer ever would. I'm pretty sure that, given the choice, you'd make the same one.

    I might make that decision if I couldn't find another talented person with the exact skills, and the person was genuinely interested in learning a different technology (not just blowing smoke), and I could afford to waste $$$ during their learning period, and I wasn't on a deadline needing to deliver something in 2 months ;-)

    If you think MS cares about developers you're mistaken: they care about how much money they can get from developers.

    Exactly which is why it is in their best interest to support a large devoted developer base as much as they can.  Just like they've supported C++ all these years.  Going away from .Net would be an stupid mistake.  Why invest in Visual Studio for Javascript and HTML when there are so many other tools on the market?   If I'm developing in Flash/Flex/Grails/etc.  Why would I choose Azure over AWS/EC2?

    One of Microsoft's biggest selling points is an integrated experience across all service layers.  Fragmenting their own technology and dropping SL developers that may just move to other platforms and development tools would be like shooting themsevels in the foot.

    Realistically speaking, though, we all know MS won't can SL. It would be a stupid move on their part and I think all the anguish expressed here is misplaced, or at least very premature. 

    Yes when you look at it logically it doesn't make sense.  Although at the same time if SL were a stock MS just sent the price plummeting with their silience.  If developers don't have confidence in your technology they will start to move elsewhere and look at other options.

    Any developer/architect that was on the fence between SL and something else,  just choose something else....

    Thursday, June 30, 2011 11:13 AM
  • Can't believe I will have to learn tons of other GUI SDK..and tons of other languages

    Some... maybe not a lot but some hihi.. programmers still have a life... outside working..

    can't microsoft respect that?


    The next languages/UI sdk I learn will be the last and preferably cross platform ;)

    and it will never be html5/css/js ever...

    maybe Scala and javaFx 2.0 ++

    maybe F# and Jupiter UI..(where's the cross platform in that?? :) )


    I would prefer F# and Jupiter UI but we never know.. depends on how fast Microsoft release it

    I hope it will be similar to Silverlight in it's usage.. but tweaked at the core...


    For now i'll stick to Silverlight and code in C# and learn some F#.. but i might have a change of heart very soon and fast ;)

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011 3:59 AM
  • Well well, "Microsoft to release a Windows 8 preview build at WPC 2011 next week?"

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/235059/rumor_windows_8_preview_build_may_arrive_next_week.html

    http://www.winrumors.com/microsoft-to-release-a-windows-8-preview-build-at-wpc-2011-next-week/

    From the second of those:

    {Whatever Microsoft has planned for WPC 2011 next week, WinRumors understands that the company will be talking Windows 8. Two company insiders, wishing to remain anonymous, have indicated that Microsoft will detail Windows 8 “substantially”. The company is also likely to share a second “building Windows 8″ video. Microsoft first introduced Windows 8 at the D9 conference in early June. The company made an initial “Building Windows 8 video #1″ available as part of a series of videos that will be released as the BUILD conference draws closer.}

    So here is the question: Are we going to hear more bad news, or something *officially* good, ... finally?

    I sure hope it is the latter. What're your guys' thoughts?

    Hoping for the best; July is a LOT better than September to get the story straight.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011 4:25 PM
  • Even if Ribbons are nice for learning options of an app and easy to use for beginners.

    I personnaly hate to cripple my desktop space with tons buttons that will rarelly be clicked anyway... Instead of Ribbons they should have focused on giving a slick 2D yet clean customizable interface that doesn't take to much space but is still very easy to use for beginner and yet made for power users...

    Like if I will click on a 100x100 pixel button named rename to rename a file when i can press F2 or click-hold on the filename..

    You better make your desktop fully customizable because i'm loosing patience with MS UI design. If you don't know how to design UI then give the power to designers to fully customize the desktop and tools

    In 3 months, you will have 100-200 UI 100x better than you ever tought.

    It's my opinion tho, maybe not everybody agree's with me :)

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:08 PM
  • Great text! Cannot imagine 1 day without Silverlight. Since SL4, I spend close to all my available energy an time coding with this fantastic technology. When the future of Silverlight is secured, I'm planning to financially invest heavily in it, realizing unique and big idea's. All the intellectual effort that has been done by Microsoft to establish this platform AND the thousands of developers loving to use it is worth too much and will extremely back fire when they even thinking about ditching this.

    I will be in the frontline fighting for it! 

    I also like to refer to Charles Arthur who perfectly addresses our concerns at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/14/microsoft-windows-8-developers


    Friday, July 15, 2011 3:38 PM
  • I agree with most of the points in this letter.

    Thursday, August 04, 2011 12:13 PM
  • Will silverlight ,. dead or alive,. straight forward i can say ,. NO.,. its strategy to get attention of thier product. Well I can say i am waiting for BUILD.,. which would surprise things about Silverlight and give relax to .net devs., 

    Friday, August 26, 2011 11:55 AM
  • Silverlight and WPF are cool, but dropping C# for C++ & Javascript would be crazy stupid.  I understand that Windows & Office are the money makers, but ditching the best dev platform available for 1999 technology would make Sun's handling of Java look brilliant.  If this turns out to be true, I'm selling my MS stock Tuesday.

    Friday, September 09, 2011 1:52 AM
  • More on ...

    Can one theory explain all things MS is saying/doing ?

    I propose the following "Standard Model":

    MS is ...

    * Creating an ALTERNATIVE NET "H5JS" Framework in which they are implementing some VERY LOW-LEVEL CHANGES ...

    * Replacing DirectX with the HTML5 RENDERING ENGINE.

    * Replacing MSIL with Javascript (Javascript AS AN "IL" ONLY NOT AS A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE). C#/VB/.. COMPILERS "EMITING" JSIL.

    * Implementing Silverlight/WPF/XNA in a layer on top of HTML5 (not side-by-side with HTML5), DRAWING IN A HTML5 CANVAS. See: http://jsil.org/ and also search "WP7 UIElementRenderer".

    * Viewing the HTML5 Browsers as "Plugins" (JSVMs) for the different Operating Systems and adding also Out-of-Browser (OOB) functionality for each OS. HTML5 Browsers AS "TROJAN HORSES".

    Can you imagine the impact on portability ?

    Can you imagine the impact on Java based systems ?

    H.Dolder

    http://www.hdolder.com/CutBSK6fN.htm

    v6

    Friday, September 09, 2011 6:03 AM
  • That's a good postulation and as //BUILD/ approaches next week, perhaps there are more clues now than when this debate began at the preview of Windows 8.

    I personally love the idea that we could write and debug solid C#/VB.Net code and have it emit Javascript which could run inside an 'HTML 5 Client App' i.e. a browser or an out of browser app running on iOS, Linux etc...

    Latest news I have picked up is that Microsoft are NOT killing .Net, WPF or Silverlight, in fact all of the popular .Net toolsets will survive intact on Windows 8, but there will be additional options as you detailed above. 

    Friday, September 09, 2011 8:56 AM
  • So... any news?

    EDIT: whoops, never mind...

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 11:13 AM
  • Silverlight and WPF applications are now called "XAML Applications".  :-)

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:40 PM
  • They always where "XAML Applications" with similar but different runtimes. Now MS has just introduced a third similar but different runtime called WinRT. Remember XAML is just a markup language for instantiating objects, doesn't really matter if those objects are from completely different GUI frameworks, or even GUI frameworks at all in the case of Workflow XAML.

    The difference between Silverlight and WinRT looks to be about the same as the difference between Silverlight and WPF. So if you have experience porting from the full .Net framework to Silverlight you know what your in for going to this new third runtime. There will be many annoying and painful little details and code reuse will difficult, not even sure if you can share assemblies, WPF and Silverlight can't really without a bunch of source code file tricks.

    Their demo showed porting a Silverlight app to WinRT, which bascially consisted of a bunch of "#if Metro" complier directives since the network stack and namespaces are different, oh joy.

    I bet component vendors are just thrilled now they have to decide whether to maintain 3 similar but separate code bases, many are already maintaining 2 with Silveright and WPF, some already a 3rd with Winforms still around.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:14 PM
  • fully agree with you

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:44 AM
  • It's a shame we can not have a Silverlight plug-in free competing with the Adobe Flash plug-in free for HTML5.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 4:21 PM
  • Maybe it is time to consider seriously to switch to Java.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:28 PM
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