Scaring the natives with angle brackets

Don Box has made an excellent point about XAML. A few years ago the PDC 03 attendees were keynoted with an introduction to XAML in one of the WinFX presentations.

At the time I didn’t quite get it. The dudes that did the whole UI thing with xslt and well formed xhtml weren’t going to get bogged down doing all that windows stuff in xml. And the dudes that I know could kick about in C# or whatever with all the Javascript crafting they could do.

So we come to Don’s point. He claims (in his usual style) that 100% of the users will be using a domain-specific editor. I.e. all the UI dudes will be staying away from XAML and doing it in the editor. Excellent, it makes sense now, but raises the question of why we got hit with the raw XAML experience so soon after breakfast.

I guess it must have been recognition of the audience at the PDC – loads of techies, loads of programmer and developer types. The people planning the programme content probably thought “We’ll get the specification out and get the developer types putting a nice editor on the front.”

Of course, I’ve now got a bit of catching up to do. This kicks a few questions into my mind, which I may answer in posts or I may leave hanging.

  1. Is this the only way of doing “windows” UI in longhorn, i.e. to build the pages associated with the application?
  2. Or do we have the .NET style of forms, build up by inheriting all those form object classes?
  3. Do we still have the same kind of code compilation going on in the background with the UI?

This just reflects my ignorance on Longhorn, and more specifically WinFX, but what the heck – I’ll try and catch up. I think I’ve missed the changes between the UI and the OS.