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Importing a Site in Expression Blend Beta RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm looking for the Import Site Wizard in the Expression Beta. In Expression 4 you would go to Site -> Import and select Import Site Wizard.  Where is this now in the Beta or perhaps it hasn't made it into the product yet?!?

    Thanks!

    Christine

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:52 PM

Answers

  • No, Metro style apps are very different from websites. Though they can be written using the same technologies, they are distinct in that they (a) run on the client, not a server, (b) run in a different sandbox (the app container), (c) have access to the WinRT APIs, (d) are expected to interoperate with system features like contracts, view states, and lifecycle management, (e) emphasize content over chrome, meaning that commands and navigation functions are generally provided through flyouts like the app bar instead of being on-canvas, and (e) are installed and updated through the Windows Store. In fact, the Windows Store certification requirements specifically disallow apps that are just imported web sites, because taking that approach just doesn't produce something that really works like an app should (e.g. web sites don't go into snap view very well).

    That said, you can certainly reuse many assets from a website, including markup, code, and styling, and many Metro style apps draw on web services through methods like XmlHttpRequest just like a web app does. But there are, again, many fundamental differences between the programming models, such as the fact that Metro style apps generally run with a single page context (like default.html) and load HTML pages/fragments into that , rather than navigate between pages with hyperlinks where you have to dump the script context and shuttle session state across page boundaries. We really encourage developers to "reimagine" their web apps in the Metro style environment to the same degree that Windows itself has been reimagined.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:34 PM

All replies

  • Are you talking about Expression Web or Expression Blend?
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 9:42 PM
  • For Windows 8, the tool that you get with the Win8 download is technical Expression Blend for Visual Studio, whose purpose is to help writing Metro style apps and not for working with websites. In other words, even though the tool works with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it's not Expression Web nor Expression Studio, so you won't find any web-related functions in it.

    .Kraig

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:54 PM
  • Hi Kraig.

    I understand that 1) it is Expression Blend (beta) for VS and 2) to be used for editing Metro Apps, which is what I'm using it for -- creating Metro apps and it makes alot of things so much easier. But here's my point in asking.  Aren't Metro apps written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript essentially desktop WEBSITES?!? Wouldnt it be nice to be able to use this website functionality for importing apps into a metro way? Wouldn't it be conceivable?  I think so, but maybe I'm thinking in the wrong direction. 

    Too bad that the functionality isn't there and doesn't seem to be on the radar of the team to put it there.

    Thanks!

    Christine

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:21 PM
  • No, Metro style apps are very different from websites. Though they can be written using the same technologies, they are distinct in that they (a) run on the client, not a server, (b) run in a different sandbox (the app container), (c) have access to the WinRT APIs, (d) are expected to interoperate with system features like contracts, view states, and lifecycle management, (e) emphasize content over chrome, meaning that commands and navigation functions are generally provided through flyouts like the app bar instead of being on-canvas, and (e) are installed and updated through the Windows Store. In fact, the Windows Store certification requirements specifically disallow apps that are just imported web sites, because taking that approach just doesn't produce something that really works like an app should (e.g. web sites don't go into snap view very well).

    That said, you can certainly reuse many assets from a website, including markup, code, and styling, and many Metro style apps draw on web services through methods like XmlHttpRequest just like a web app does. But there are, again, many fundamental differences between the programming models, such as the fact that Metro style apps generally run with a single page context (like default.html) and load HTML pages/fragments into that , rather than navigate between pages with hyperlinks where you have to dump the script context and shuttle session state across page boundaries. We really encourage developers to "reimagine" their web apps in the Metro style environment to the same degree that Windows itself has been reimagined.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:34 PM
  • Kraig.

    I agree with everything you said, from websites are different from Metro apps in the ways you mention to developers having to re-image their apps and how to do things. There are some advantages of being able to reuse elements of websites as you mention as well, which is what I was kind of getting at, but the biggest would be to be able to suck in a metro app much like a website can be now.  Sorry I wasn't able to put that as eloquent as you were. 

    Thanks again and I hope that if you are heading to TechEd NA in a couple of weeks, we can have a chat over coffee.

    Cheers!

    Christine

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:12 PM
  • It's easy enough to import files from another project, right-clicking on a project in VS and selecting Add->Existing Item. You can select multiple items in that dialog, so it's a quick way to copy things over. It doesn't make sense to import a whole website in toto, though, because server-side files like php and aspx wouldn't be supported, and the tools aren't set up to provide any other kind of translation.

    I won't be at TechEd myself, but I appreciate the invite--

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:11 PM