[Edu-sig] Reading ahead... (tech future, background)

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Wed Nov 2 03:06:35 CET 2005

At the risk of straying from matters Pythonic (IronPython would be the
implicit link), I thought I'd say a few words about where Microsoft is
going, and to some extent Mono i.e. .NET on Linux.

A core technology is an XML for coding a UI (user interface), that'll be
rendered using vector graphics ala SVG (scalable vector graphics), meaning
the size of your monitor won't matter, you can zoom in, fly through and so
on (more like in VRML and OpenGL games).  This core tech is known as XAML.  

In XAML, you specify widgets in terms of objects, and point these back to
code, possibly written in Python (most current examples use C#).  Developer
tools (like Visual Studio) will generate the XAML automatically, after the
widgets have been arranged on a canvas, properties defined through the IDE.

As with XUL (Mozilla's UI XML) the resulting application needn't look like
it's in a browser window.  You'll get things that look like regular thick
client apps.  The widgets will be native to the OS.  The code might be on
the local hard drive or on a server someplace, with a sandbox to keep things

Of course Microsoft is building a lot of tools designed to work only on
Windows (Vista comes out late 2006?), plus a new file system (WinFS) that'll
make it harder for tools like Samba to integrate (getting on to another
topic -- need to do more reading here).  

I salute Novell and Miguel in particular for wanting to keep this nextgen
technology more cross platform and open source.  Microsoft is filing any
number of patents, perhaps thinking to crush any open source initiative if
it feels it needs to.

C# 3.0 is in the works.


Related reading:

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