Friday, 6 April 2007

A designer's overview of Expression and the Windows Presentation Foundation


There doesn't seem to be a simple, non-technical explanation for this yet, so
I'll stick my neck out and try to explain what I think it is. Hopefully somebody
'more cleverer' than me will add some comments and 'fine-tune' this description.

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)

This is Microsoft's new presentation format. From an audio-visual perspective
it can do most things that Flash can do but is based on a mark-up language,
whilst Flash is a binary file. It is very much in it's infancy however, and
working with the mark-up, (XAML), can be a crude experience as the tools,
(Expression Blend & Design), are very much 'unreleased'. Programmers are excited
about the fact that WPF gives them access to .NET features, which enables you to
harness the full power of the desktop on Vista developments.


This is a mark-up language based on XML. Don't be afraid, it really isn't
much more sophisticated than HTML, and like hyper text it relies on 'proper'
code like javascript, (Online apps), and .NET, (Desktop apps), to actually do
anything clever.


This is a browser plug-in, the name will change to something more user
friendly, and the install process will become 'smart'. The plug-in means that
anything created in XAML can be run through any browser, regardless of operating
system, hence the 'e' for 'everywhere'.




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