2009 May 29
XAML Desktop on Windows 8? Long long time ago ( and yes, in the galaxy far away ) there was something called DisplayPostScript.
It was nothing more or less than workstation display solution, which used PostScript to describe everything on the screen. Exactly the same as it would do on a piece of paper. Only this time the output was a computer screen bitmap. A memory, in other words. It was running on a dedicated board called Next Dimension and was costing 3995 US dollars. The motherboard on this machine (Next Cube) was able to display only gray scale post script, as its desktop.
A stripped down UNIX (Mach) kernel was used as the operating system for the card. Due to the supporting (Intel i860) processor 32 bit color Display PostScript on the NeXTdimension was faster than 2 bit gray-scale Display PostScript on the NeXTcube.
Ok, so what? One can cut and paste all of this from Wikipedia.
Well, I have made this detour like introduction to make you aware that declarative display languages and technologies can be (very) nicely used as computer display (desktop) solutions. They provide much higher abstractions for developers to use and thus much more flexible, usable and customizable GUI. Users to which this matters most, would “kill” for this kind of displays, where the term WYSIWYG, has a real true meaning.
Ok, but why this lesson? Here is why : XAML.
Why not use XAML as a desktop/display programming language ? Imagine having the whole desktop and the whole GUI in XAML. With the XAML display the possibilities are truly endless. Advantages of XAML as a display language are well known. Even when compared to PostScript.
Ok, but, is this feasible at all (for MSFT ) ? My answer: MSFT has all the technologies needed. And not in some experimental shape and form.
Here is the center piece of the jigsaw: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/magazine/cc721609.aspx
XAML desktop? (Maybe) “Easy” :
Since this works on top of the Mac OSX, it should be easy to make the version to run on top of the MinWIN ?
And Legacy? Also “easy”: VirtualXP —> MinWIN. More or less how it is already done in Win7.