Microsoft is ahead on developer workflow

In reading my 1,331 RSS items (as reported by Google Reader) today I found one by Scott Barnes where he noted that Ryan Stewart, who covers the rich Internet application space better than most anyone, noted that Microsoft was ahead in terms of developer workflow.

Absolutely.

You only need to watch the Sparkle video I did in September 2005 to see why (that was the code name for the product that became Expression Blend).

Yesterday, listening to the Adobe team, I was in a state of deja vu. Yeah, part of it was I was really tired, but the other part is that they were trying to articulate the workflow changes that are coming as clearly as  Manuel Clement and John Gossman did in that video.

Adobe came close, but didn’t match it.

The problem is it doesn’t matter. If you care about cross-platform (and if you are a Web developer, you do) you’ll put up with a workflow that isn’t quite as nice.

And if you’re a developer for a Windows only shop, you’ll be praising Microsoft for making your life easier.

Personally, I’m glad I’m not at Microsoft anymore trying to get Web developers to try out Expression. Why? Just come and visit 10 startups with me, and you’ll see why.

Macintoshes are showing up everywhere. WPF/E and Expression and the fun workflow that Manuel and John show off won’t matter one bit if you develop Web sites on a Mac.

Comments

  1. Mike: very few of the developers who I’ve seen are using anything but OSX. And, even the ones who are doing multiple OS’s are running Windows or Linux inside Parallels. Most of the developers I’ve seen running BootCamp (and rebooting into Windows) are working at Microsoft.

    Also, even as good as Parallels is, it makes working in Visual Studio and Expression slower than if you run it natively.

    I think you’re not seeing just how many Web developers are switching to OSX. You really should come on one of my tours of development shops sometime to see what’s happening on the street.

  2. Mike: very few of the developers who I’ve seen are using anything but OSX. And, even the ones who are doing multiple OS’s are running Windows or Linux inside Parallels. Most of the developers I’ve seen running BootCamp (and rebooting into Windows) are working at Microsoft.

    Also, even as good as Parallels is, it makes working in Visual Studio and Expression slower than if you run it natively.

    I think you’re not seeing just how many Web developers are switching to OSX. You really should come on one of my tours of development shops sometime to see what’s happening on the street.

  3. Hi Robert,

    I’m curious..

    What tools do you generally see them using on OSX ?

    Is it:

    MAMP – (MacOSX + Apache + MySQL + Php)
    ObjectiveC
    Java/JSP/JSF – Netbeans/Eclipse

    I’ve been a C++/Delphi/Java/.NET developer now for 20years and yes the new VS2005+WCF+WPF+ look nice.

    But the requirements for deployment/lock-in/$$$$ make me wonder if there is a better way these days.

    The web appears to be all the rage, very few make any money on the desktop apps..

    ASP.NET 2.0+AJaX vs the world ??

    Hmmmm….

  4. Hi Robert,

    I’m curious..

    What tools do you generally see them using on OSX ?

    Is it:

    MAMP – (MacOSX + Apache + MySQL + Php)
    ObjectiveC
    Java/JSP/JSF – Netbeans/Eclipse

    I’ve been a C++/Delphi/Java/.NET developer now for 20years and yes the new VS2005+WCF+WPF+ look nice.

    But the requirements for deployment/lock-in/$$$$ make me wonder if there is a better way these days.

    The web appears to be all the rage, very few make any money on the desktop apps..

    ASP.NET 2.0+AJaX vs the world ??

    Hmmmm….

  5. I think we’re all praying that Microsoft will make WPF in its entirety truly cross-platform. The technology is clearly superior – please just give us a justification to use it!! I’d hate to be using AJAX or Apollo 3-years from now just because WPF is still Windows-centric. (And don’t say WPF/E is sufficient)

  6. I think we’re all praying that Microsoft will make WPF in its entirety truly cross-platform. The technology is clearly superior – please just give us a justification to use it!! I’d hate to be using AJAX or Apollo 3-years from now just because WPF is still Windows-centric. (And don’t say WPF/E is sufficient)

  7. It seems split into camps.

    There’s the Rails camp.
    There’s the Java camp.
    But mostly devs just say “we’re a LAMP shop.” But they work mostly in OSX on front end, the Linux part is on the servers.

    Yeah, most people believe the money is in the Web. Or in some combination of Web and Rich Internet Applications.

  8. It seems split into camps.

    There’s the Rails camp.
    There’s the Java camp.
    But mostly devs just say “we’re a LAMP shop.” But they work mostly in OSX on front end, the Linux part is on the servers.

    Yeah, most people believe the money is in the Web. Or in some combination of Web and Rich Internet Applications.

  9. Arjun: based on my talks with the team I seriously doubt you’ll see WPF on the Mac. It needs the full .NET runtime and access to the Windows API and Microsoft just ain’t gonna do that unless forced to. Even then it’ll take them four years to do it and I don’t think they’ve even started.

    WPF/E will always be a subset of WPF. That’s my theory, at least. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’ve learned to listen to shipping code rather than PowerPoint (or in this case blog comment) promises.

  10. Arjun: based on my talks with the team I seriously doubt you’ll see WPF on the Mac. It needs the full .NET runtime and access to the Windows API and Microsoft just ain’t gonna do that unless forced to. Even then it’ll take them four years to do it and I don’t think they’ve even started.

    WPF/E will always be a subset of WPF. That’s my theory, at least. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’ve learned to listen to shipping code rather than PowerPoint (or in this case blog comment) promises.

  11. I should also admit that there are some .NET shops too. http://www.plentyoffish.com/ and http://www.myspace.com are two of the most interesting. Plenty of Fish is a single guy. Just one guy, who has millions of visits per day (he claims).

    MySpace turned from Linux toward Microsoft stuff because of a business relationship (I hear their developers didn’t want to make the switch and it has been quite painful). I know Microsoft had at least one evangelist at MySpace’s headquarters working with them for quite a while. Microsoft likes having examples like this to turn to when the press starts noticing that most everyone else is going LAMP.

    If I were smart I’d start taking notes about the tools and putting that on a wiki. If I were smart…

  12. I should also admit that there are some .NET shops too. http://www.plentyoffish.com/ and http://www.myspace.com are two of the most interesting. Plenty of Fish is a single guy. Just one guy, who has millions of visits per day (he claims).

    MySpace turned from Linux toward Microsoft stuff because of a business relationship (I hear their developers didn’t want to make the switch and it has been quite painful). I know Microsoft had at least one evangelist at MySpace’s headquarters working with them for quite a while. Microsoft likes having examples like this to turn to when the press starts noticing that most everyone else is going LAMP.

    If I were smart I’d start taking notes about the tools and putting that on a wiki. If I were smart…

  13. Yeah, I expect that. I just don’t understand how they intend to gain broad adoption in the “RIA”-space without this.

    We’re all going to be using Apollo because Adobe is already making it cross-platform. And, Adobe will probably hit the 90-95% penetration rate much before WPF or even WPF/E. Why? Because they already have at least one killer app that’ll prompt everyone to upgrade – the free, online, Photoshop.

    sigh.

  14. Yeah, I expect that. I just don’t understand how they intend to gain broad adoption in the “RIA”-space without this.

    We’re all going to be using Apollo because Adobe is already making it cross-platform. And, Adobe will probably hit the 90-95% penetration rate much before WPF or even WPF/E. Why? Because they already have at least one killer app that’ll prompt everyone to upgrade – the free, online, Photoshop.

    sigh.

  15. Yes, you do see less and less of Microsoft products being used in places you go these days.

    But couldn’t it be simply because you are targetting a totally different group now? when you were at MSFT you would have attended the MGBs, MIXs and PDCs. May be the group that you visit nowadays *always* were non microsoft product users. for instance, The dot com boomers were never microsoft customers.

    It’d be interesting to know what these guys were using 2-3 years back .

    A few years back i worked in a product development startup of around 30 people that used Windows and other MSFT products only when they absolutely had to(just 3 visual studio licenses at that time). A few days back a former colleague told me the company had changed its business and started doing services for bigger companies. They are around 200 now and use Microsoft products from end-to-end.

  16. Yes, you do see less and less of Microsoft products being used in places you go these days.

    But couldn’t it be simply because you are targetting a totally different group now? when you were at MSFT you would have attended the MGBs, MIXs and PDCs. May be the group that you visit nowadays *always* were non microsoft product users. for instance, The dot com boomers were never microsoft customers.

    It’d be interesting to know what these guys were using 2-3 years back .

    A few years back i worked in a product development startup of around 30 people that used Windows and other MSFT products only when they absolutely had to(just 3 visual studio licenses at that time). A few days back a former colleague told me the company had changed its business and started doing services for bigger companies. They are around 200 now and use Microsoft products from end-to-end.

  17. Seshadri: Oh, yes. That needs to be considered. Certainly Microsoft is the most Microsoft-centric company I’ve ever seen. Heheh.

    The problem is that Microsoft owns almost all computer users. Especially inside businesses. So, the trends I’m noticing are most likely to show up in growth. Microsoft is an awesome business. No doubt about that. Everyone wants to be in Microsoft’s seat. But I am seeing some troubling trends here. For all my readers I find it interesting that very few people are saying I’m off base (and almost all of those are either Microsoft employees or people closely aligned with the company).

  18. Seshadri: Oh, yes. That needs to be considered. Certainly Microsoft is the most Microsoft-centric company I’ve ever seen. Heheh.

    The problem is that Microsoft owns almost all computer users. Especially inside businesses. So, the trends I’m noticing are most likely to show up in growth. Microsoft is an awesome business. No doubt about that. Everyone wants to be in Microsoft’s seat. But I am seeing some troubling trends here. For all my readers I find it interesting that very few people are saying I’m off base (and almost all of those are either Microsoft employees or people closely aligned with the company).

  19. Whether or not there is an actual problem – there is this huge problem of perception. And half the battle is the perception alone.(Not to mention that perception *is* stock price. But it is interesting that MSFT is performing better than GOOG since last quarter financials and specifically since the last tuesday’s market crash.)

    Microsoft, clearly, is not making the right noises. However i think the post-Vista period will enable MSFT to do more of these things right. We can only wait and watch.

    I still stand firm at the view that a very high percentage of blog readers(not just this. *Any* blog) are hostile towards Microsoft and the minority few are too tired from standing up for Microsoft in the web.

  20. Whether or not there is an actual problem – there is this huge problem of perception. And half the battle is the perception alone.(Not to mention that perception *is* stock price. But it is interesting that MSFT is performing better than GOOG since last quarter financials and specifically since the last tuesday’s market crash.)

    Microsoft, clearly, is not making the right noises. However i think the post-Vista period will enable MSFT to do more of these things right. We can only wait and watch.

    I still stand firm at the view that a very high percentage of blog readers(not just this. *Any* blog) are hostile towards Microsoft and the minority few are too tired from standing up for Microsoft in the web.

  21. Robert said: Joe: the world isn’t, but 9,000 every day do (switch to Mac’s).

    First, I can’t quite connect the idea that people are fleeing PC’s to do development on Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool. I suppose you could argue that VS marketshare is dropping quickly but how fast and long would that need to happen for Mac to overtake PC as the primary dev platform? I know there are LOTS of people using Dreamweaver for Web page design and smaller numbers using lots of other tools for design and development but for real coding VS is dominant and looks to stay that way…right?

    Also, a personal comment on Mac. I’m not a developer or designer but I bought an iMac last May because I had a little Mac envy and wanted the nice form factor for a small “butler’s pantry” next to my kitchen. I’m not a total Mac newbie. I owned three in the past including an SE (4 MB RAM!), an FX and a Quadra 650 (rember that one?). My wife and I used the iMac as our every day home machine since then.

    My overall impressions were pretty mixed. We love the hardware design…one wire…very refreshing. We found the system performance with 1 GB RAM to be mediocre. I found the usability of Safari crappy to the point I stopped using it altogether and switched to Firefox. I found the built in apps ok but not great. iPhoto in particular was frustrating. I LOVE the photo organizing and tagging capabilities. Very easy to use. But doing simple edits to photos is/was a pain. Spotlight is just ok, especially compared to the search in Vista. I could go on but you get the idea.

    The bottom line is that I just sold the iMac this week (http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/sys/283138818.html)and replaced it with a new PC running Windows Vista and couldn’t be happier. The Vista machine is fast, was reasonably priced, looks good (the Sony all-in-one) and is easy to use.

    Note: I was VERY happy with the good resale value of the Mac! $800 cash for a 9 month old machine. Nice.

  22. Robert said: Joe: the world isn’t, but 9,000 every day do (switch to Mac’s).

    First, I can’t quite connect the idea that people are fleeing PC’s to do development on Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool. I suppose you could argue that VS marketshare is dropping quickly but how fast and long would that need to happen for Mac to overtake PC as the primary dev platform? I know there are LOTS of people using Dreamweaver for Web page design and smaller numbers using lots of other tools for design and development but for real coding VS is dominant and looks to stay that way…right?

    Also, a personal comment on Mac. I’m not a developer or designer but I bought an iMac last May because I had a little Mac envy and wanted the nice form factor for a small “butler’s pantry” next to my kitchen. I’m not a total Mac newbie. I owned three in the past including an SE (4 MB RAM!), an FX and a Quadra 650 (rember that one?). My wife and I used the iMac as our every day home machine since then.

    My overall impressions were pretty mixed. We love the hardware design…one wire…very refreshing. We found the system performance with 1 GB RAM to be mediocre. I found the usability of Safari crappy to the point I stopped using it altogether and switched to Firefox. I found the built in apps ok but not great. iPhoto in particular was frustrating. I LOVE the photo organizing and tagging capabilities. Very easy to use. But doing simple edits to photos is/was a pain. Spotlight is just ok, especially compared to the search in Vista. I could go on but you get the idea.

    The bottom line is that I just sold the iMac this week (http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/sys/283138818.html)and replaced it with a new PC running Windows Vista and couldn’t be happier. The Vista machine is fast, was reasonably priced, looks good (the Sony all-in-one) and is easy to use.

    Note: I was VERY happy with the good resale value of the Mac! $800 cash for a 9 month old machine. Nice.

  23. Notaprguy: Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool.

    Certainly may be the case, but not for web apps. Unless you’re writing ASPa pps. In other cases, PHP, Rails, etc. developers tend to use other tools. TextMate on Macs. Eclipse for Java, etc.

  24. Notaprguy: Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool.

    Certainly may be the case, but not for web apps. Unless you’re writing ASPa pps. In other cases, PHP, Rails, etc. developers tend to use other tools. TextMate on Macs. Eclipse for Java, etc.

  25. @ notaprguy, are you really sure that Visual Studio is the mostly used dev tool… Maybe in the .Net world, but for most other languages… My take is that Eclipse would be a contender, and it runs on almost any platform.

    My guess is that they probably are close contenders. But as is with most of these discussions, it all depends where you’re coming from, if you’re in an all Microsoft environment you’ll never see Eclipse. But a lot of companies are betting on Eclipse…..

    Robert has a point though. Most people that leave school nowadays have had programming in Java, Haskell or even PHP. I’ve interviewed a lot of students in the Netherlands and hardly any had any experience with .Net until they started to work. (Actually if you can program Java, you can do .Net was the mantra) But those that start new businesses will go for the tools and the languages they know or which are deemed hot and in the internet space .Net isn’t deemed very hot.

    In the enterprise space Microsoft still has a lot of impact thanks to an enormous amount of developers feeling comfortably @ home doing it the MS way.

    I can’t foresee yet who will be the winner in this space, as Sun, Oracle and IBM are heavily relying on Java, SAP is in the middle supporting both and MS is on the opposite. But a big shift towards the web will hurt MS.

  26. @ notaprguy, are you really sure that Visual Studio is the mostly used dev tool… Maybe in the .Net world, but for most other languages… My take is that Eclipse would be a contender, and it runs on almost any platform.

    My guess is that they probably are close contenders. But as is with most of these discussions, it all depends where you’re coming from, if you’re in an all Microsoft environment you’ll never see Eclipse. But a lot of companies are betting on Eclipse…..

    Robert has a point though. Most people that leave school nowadays have had programming in Java, Haskell or even PHP. I’ve interviewed a lot of students in the Netherlands and hardly any had any experience with .Net until they started to work. (Actually if you can program Java, you can do .Net was the mantra) But those that start new businesses will go for the tools and the languages they know or which are deemed hot and in the internet space .Net isn’t deemed very hot.

    In the enterprise space Microsoft still has a lot of impact thanks to an enormous amount of developers feeling comfortably @ home doing it the MS way.

    I can’t foresee yet who will be the winner in this space, as Sun, Oracle and IBM are heavily relying on Java, SAP is in the middle supporting both and MS is on the opposite. But a big shift towards the web will hurt MS.

  27. Yes, developers (and designers) must have great tools but really developers live in a world made up of frameworks and APIs. Microsoft is trying to adapt and extend their desktop presentation APIs out onto the web. Adobe is pushing Web-like APIs onto the desktop. The activation barrier for most developers to get into WPF is too high. Adobe only has to be competitive while MS is still working on WPF/E – they don’t have to be perfect.
    You mention in another post how intrusive Joost is. I had the same reaction when I saw what was involved in trying out blend. MS has cleaned this up a bit, but they really don’t understand how to lower barriers to entry for Web developers.

  28. Yes, developers (and designers) must have great tools but really developers live in a world made up of frameworks and APIs. Microsoft is trying to adapt and extend their desktop presentation APIs out onto the web. Adobe is pushing Web-like APIs onto the desktop. The activation barrier for most developers to get into WPF is too high. Adobe only has to be competitive while MS is still working on WPF/E – they don’t have to be perfect.
    You mention in another post how intrusive Joost is. I had the same reaction when I saw what was involved in trying out blend. MS has cleaned this up a bit, but they really don’t understand how to lower barriers to entry for Web developers.

  29. Here’s my rant :)

    - Mirosoft have been head down bum up building Windows Vista for the past 5 years, in that time one could argue that the innovation factor for Operating System was pretty much quiet from Microsofts end. It should of been Apples time, its time in the spotlight and they did ramp OSX up in this timeframe. Yet they still haven’t got the numbers they need to tip the balance? Question is why – why aren’t they ahead given that their biggest competitor was in slumberland for 5 years? (this isn’t a statement its a question)

    - Microsoft have been somewhat focused in other areas of development and not as much in Web. It’s in this space now and looking to grow it out further and so with this in mind, it will come back to workflow as the foundation – especially if the output is pretty similiar from all camps that play in this space.

    When Steve Ballmer did that “Developers, Developers, Developers” dance – it kind of freaks folks out yes, but at the same time he’s on the money as all ideas start at grass root level and if someone can’t piece the bits together in a rapid fashion – then they become boutique much like the Car industry (effeciency is defining element).

    - The annoying part about RIA/AJAX etc is that most of the time its about the technology and not so much about the solution. I keep thinking about my customers customer when I used to build applications in that what are they looking for and how quickly can I get to them.

    I may get high fives for making my ACME application X-Platform but if 2% of my consumer base have macs, what problem am I really solving here and am I being relevant to them.

    X-platform and Apple OSX arguments always seem to project this “its where our heads should be” but its potential and not reality. I can appreciate public facing solutions being X-Platform but even these only to a certain point (eBay yes I get it, but My LOB General Ledger Application – no) that sort of thing.

    The whole universal application nirvana thing reminds me of the days when i’d watch developers fight over which Design Pattern rocks or which is the correct way to assemble an application.

    They’d argue for 115 lines of code to write “Hello World” as on the offchance the font changed, or the words were needed to be encryped etc.. or they could of just written “Hello World” in 1 line and deal with Virtual Problems when they turn into real ones.

    That’s what I feel the X-Platform argument is heading towards in terms of virtual problems being solved for virtual reasons.

    - AJAX is popular because it means most developers don’t need to re-learn some new language. WPF/E (aka Jolt) also compliments that skillset at the moment so it comes down to developers, developers, developers as AJAX is proof that it comes back to them, if they aren’t on board technologies like for example Adobe Flex are being adopted by thousands instead of millions.

  30. Here’s my rant :)

    - Mirosoft have been head down bum up building Windows Vista for the past 5 years, in that time one could argue that the innovation factor for Operating System was pretty much quiet from Microsofts end. It should of been Apples time, its time in the spotlight and they did ramp OSX up in this timeframe. Yet they still haven’t got the numbers they need to tip the balance? Question is why – why aren’t they ahead given that their biggest competitor was in slumberland for 5 years? (this isn’t a statement its a question)

    - Microsoft have been somewhat focused in other areas of development and not as much in Web. It’s in this space now and looking to grow it out further and so with this in mind, it will come back to workflow as the foundation – especially if the output is pretty similiar from all camps that play in this space.

    When Steve Ballmer did that “Developers, Developers, Developers” dance – it kind of freaks folks out yes, but at the same time he’s on the money as all ideas start at grass root level and if someone can’t piece the bits together in a rapid fashion – then they become boutique much like the Car industry (effeciency is defining element).

    - The annoying part about RIA/AJAX etc is that most of the time its about the technology and not so much about the solution. I keep thinking about my customers customer when I used to build applications in that what are they looking for and how quickly can I get to them.

    I may get high fives for making my ACME application X-Platform but if 2% of my consumer base have macs, what problem am I really solving here and am I being relevant to them.

    X-platform and Apple OSX arguments always seem to project this “its where our heads should be” but its potential and not reality. I can appreciate public facing solutions being X-Platform but even these only to a certain point (eBay yes I get it, but My LOB General Ledger Application – no) that sort of thing.

    The whole universal application nirvana thing reminds me of the days when i’d watch developers fight over which Design Pattern rocks or which is the correct way to assemble an application.

    They’d argue for 115 lines of code to write “Hello World” as on the offchance the font changed, or the words were needed to be encryped etc.. or they could of just written “Hello World” in 1 line and deal with Virtual Problems when they turn into real ones.

    That’s what I feel the X-Platform argument is heading towards in terms of virtual problems being solved for virtual reasons.

    - AJAX is popular because it means most developers don’t need to re-learn some new language. WPF/E (aka Jolt) also compliments that skillset at the moment so it comes down to developers, developers, developers as AJAX is proof that it comes back to them, if they aren’t on board technologies like for example Adobe Flex are being adopted by thousands instead of millions.

  31. Jeff: yes, it does, but it’s only a subset of what .NET 3.0 is. From what developers tell me it’s quite frustrating because real .NET apps use all sorts of Windows-specific stuff that doesn’t translate to WPF/E.

  32. Jeff: yes, it does, but it’s only a subset of what .NET 3.0 is. From what developers tell me it’s quite frustrating because real .NET apps use all sorts of Windows-specific stuff that doesn’t translate to WPF/E.

  33. For the record, WPF/E is not a subset of .NET 3.0 by any stretch of the imagination. WPF/E is not even a subset of WPF. For that to happen, WPF/E codebase should be an extraction of WPF codebase, therefore there would be no need of any development since WPF has shipped. There are more elements that debunks that myth : for instance WPF/E does not use DirectX (but I suspect that it will in the long run to make the Windows run-time “best viewed with …” if that reminds something to you).

  34. For the record, WPF/E is not a subset of .NET 3.0 by any stretch of the imagination. WPF/E is not even a subset of WPF. For that to happen, WPF/E codebase should be an extraction of WPF codebase, therefore there would be no need of any development since WPF has shipped. There are more elements that debunks that myth : for instance WPF/E does not use DirectX (but I suspect that it will in the long run to make the Windows run-time “best viewed with …” if that reminds something to you).

  35. Stephane: so are you saying that there isn’t ANY WPF/E code that’ll run on both WPF/E, say, on the Mac, as well as WPF on Windows?

    When they explained it to me it sure sounded like it was a subset of WPF. A small one, maybe, but one nonetheless.

  36. Stephane: so are you saying that there isn’t ANY WPF/E code that’ll run on both WPF/E, say, on the Mac, as well as WPF on Windows?

    When they explained it to me it sure sounded like it was a subset of WPF. A small one, maybe, but one nonetheless.

  37. No.

    What I mean is, if some SDK is a subset of another SDK, then all you have to do as a developer is extract piece of the big SDK, create a build off that, and you are done.

    That does not define WPF/E as a subset of WPF because WPF/E is under development, real development. WPF has shipped, therefore somebody could start Reflector (Lutz Roeder’s tool), grab pieces, and put it in a .NET assembly read to ship. That could be called a subset of WPF.

    Instead, WPF/E is not even written with .NET. It does not use .NET, therefore something has to give.

    Spoiler : what WPF/E is try to reproduce some of the important vector graphics concepts, such as a canvas, a button, etc. Unfortunately, this creates a lot of problems for developers in the end since if you run XAML/E code, it won’t use DirectX neither any of the actual WPF implementation. There are a ton of behavioral differences even for concepts that should have been the same (just take a look at WPF/E’s forum over at MSDN).

    I don’t know what Microsoft’s motives are, but this is already an old story. Many years back, Internet Explorer 4 ship with a Direct Animation run-time that did exactly what WPF/E tries to do, just with some COM library, not XAML/E.

    And, as you said, XAML and XAML/E editing tools only run on Windows. That’s a huge opportunity for ISVs to create such tools on other platforms. This of course assumes ISVs have a financial incentive to do so in the first place, whereas apparently equivalent tools on the Mac absolutely rock (just that they don’t process XAML).

  38. No.

    What I mean is, if some SDK is a subset of another SDK, then all you have to do as a developer is extract piece of the big SDK, create a build off that, and you are done.

    That does not define WPF/E as a subset of WPF because WPF/E is under development, real development. WPF has shipped, therefore somebody could start Reflector (Lutz Roeder’s tool), grab pieces, and put it in a .NET assembly read to ship. That could be called a subset of WPF.

    Instead, WPF/E is not even written with .NET. It does not use .NET, therefore something has to give.

    Spoiler : what WPF/E is try to reproduce some of the important vector graphics concepts, such as a canvas, a button, etc. Unfortunately, this creates a lot of problems for developers in the end since if you run XAML/E code, it won’t use DirectX neither any of the actual WPF implementation. There are a ton of behavioral differences even for concepts that should have been the same (just take a look at WPF/E’s forum over at MSDN).

    I don’t know what Microsoft’s motives are, but this is already an old story. Many years back, Internet Explorer 4 ship with a Direct Animation run-time that did exactly what WPF/E tries to do, just with some COM library, not XAML/E.

    And, as you said, XAML and XAML/E editing tools only run on Windows. That’s a huge opportunity for ISVs to create such tools on other platforms. This of course assumes ISVs have a financial incentive to do so in the first place, whereas apparently equivalent tools on the Mac absolutely rock (just that they don’t process XAML).

  39. WPF/E will always be a subset of WPF. That’s my theory, at least. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’ve learned to listen to shipping code rather than PowerPoint (or in this case blog comment) promises.

    HE LEARNED!! WOOHOO!

    First, I can’t quite connect the idea that people are fleeing PC’s to do development on Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool.

    Open source dev tools for free say “Um, no, no it’s not”.

    You have verifiable numbers on that claim?

    I may get high fives for making my ACME application X-Platform but if 2% of my consumer base have macs, what problem am I really solving here and am I being relevant to them.

    One could say that perhaps you need to look at your marketing. Making real, grown-up money is simpler in the Mac space, because Microsoft is not trying to dominate every single segment there, nor is Apple. Hell, in the IT tools sector, there’s a PILE of money on the table. Lithium NMS is going to make a metric assload of it.

    Jeff: yes, it does, but it’s only a subset of what .NET 3.0 is. From what developers tell me it’s quite frustrating because real .NET apps use all sorts of Windows-specific stuff that doesn’t translate to WPF/E.

    As well, Microsoft is trying like hell to make it so you have to use Windows to create WPF/E code. This is the same mistake they are making with .NET.

    If you want the tech to spread, then WHO CARES what they develop on? .NET is not inherently platform – bound, neither is WPF/E, but Microsoft is tryingto make the dev tools platform bound, because they want that income stream from the tools. Stupid.

  40. WPF/E will always be a subset of WPF. That’s my theory, at least. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’ve learned to listen to shipping code rather than PowerPoint (or in this case blog comment) promises.

    HE LEARNED!! WOOHOO!

    First, I can’t quite connect the idea that people are fleeing PC’s to do development on Mac’s when Visual Studio (PC only) is by far the most commonly used development tool.

    Open source dev tools for free say “Um, no, no it’s not”.

    You have verifiable numbers on that claim?

    I may get high fives for making my ACME application X-Platform but if 2% of my consumer base have macs, what problem am I really solving here and am I being relevant to them.

    One could say that perhaps you need to look at your marketing. Making real, grown-up money is simpler in the Mac space, because Microsoft is not trying to dominate every single segment there, nor is Apple. Hell, in the IT tools sector, there’s a PILE of money on the table. Lithium NMS is going to make a metric assload of it.

    Jeff: yes, it does, but it’s only a subset of what .NET 3.0 is. From what developers tell me it’s quite frustrating because real .NET apps use all sorts of Windows-specific stuff that doesn’t translate to WPF/E.

    As well, Microsoft is trying like hell to make it so you have to use Windows to create WPF/E code. This is the same mistake they are making with .NET.

    If you want the tech to spread, then WHO CARES what they develop on? .NET is not inherently platform – bound, neither is WPF/E, but Microsoft is tryingto make the dev tools platform bound, because they want that income stream from the tools. Stupid.

  41. Jd,

    In fact Chrome was canned before it shipped. (the whole story is in the book Renegades Of The Empire, which unfortunately is out of print). What was really shipped (and is still part of Internet Explorer) was the family of Direct xxx run-times right within Internet Explorer : Direct Transform, Direct Animation and Direct Show. Only the latter worked on top of DirectX. I was told by an old DirectX developer from MS that Direct Transform and Direct Animation were actually bought from a third-party.

    With this stuff, you can play videos mapped onto floating 3D objects with just a few lines of markup.

  42. Jd,

    In fact Chrome was canned before it shipped. (the whole story is in the book Renegades Of The Empire, which unfortunately is out of print). What was really shipped (and is still part of Internet Explorer) was the family of Direct xxx run-times right within Internet Explorer : Direct Transform, Direct Animation and Direct Show. Only the latter worked on top of DirectX. I was told by an old DirectX developer from MS that Direct Transform and Direct Animation were actually bought from a third-party.

    With this stuff, you can play videos mapped onto floating 3D objects with just a few lines of markup.

  43. Agreed. But, you’ve to wait: WPF and Co. were released on the Windows timeframe, while the real “Wow!” tools are goanna be released in the VS timeframe. And, I really can’t believe my eyes when I see the new features in VS Orcas. LINQ will make anyone who uses it WOW, and I guess people may actually switch to Vista just for the sake of LINQ.

    In other news, there’s a statbot on Matt Cutts: http://blog.yuvisense.net/2007/03/02/statbot-analysing-matt-cutts/

    Interesting stuff? He gets almost double the amount of comments you do! ;)

  44. Agreed. But, you’ve to wait: WPF and Co. were released on the Windows timeframe, while the real “Wow!” tools are goanna be released in the VS timeframe. And, I really can’t believe my eyes when I see the new features in VS Orcas. LINQ will make anyone who uses it WOW, and I guess people may actually switch to Vista just for the sake of LINQ.

    In other news, there’s a statbot on Matt Cutts: http://blog.yuvisense.net/2007/03/02/statbot-analysing-matt-cutts/

    Interesting stuff? He gets almost double the amount of comments you do! ;)

  45. I love how it absolutely pains Robert to praise Microsoft in any way, shape, or form. Even when he links to something positive (which must really stick in his craw), he follows up by trashing them.

    Well, I don’t really *love* it. In fact, I find it disgusting that someone would work for a company, become famous by working for said company, then leave the company and try to extend his fame by constantly trashing the company with which he became famous in the first place.

    Robert, you have no clue about Microsoft tech that is in Orcas, like LINQ, a tech that no one else has an answer for.

  46. I love how it absolutely pains Robert to praise Microsoft in any way, shape, or form. Even when he links to something positive (which must really stick in his craw), he follows up by trashing them.

    Well, I don’t really *love* it. In fact, I find it disgusting that someone would work for a company, become famous by working for said company, then leave the company and try to extend his fame by constantly trashing the company with which he became famous in the first place.

    Robert, you have no clue about Microsoft tech that is in Orcas, like LINQ, a tech that no one else has an answer for.

  47. John: I can come up with plenty of .NET examples too (Plentyoffish.com is another, for instance).

    But, the overwhelming number of Web 2 startups are going with LAMP.

    Karen: funny, in another post today I’m getting attacked for drinking the Microsoft Koolaid. Can’t win, I guess.

    I have no clue? Interesting. I’ve filmed several videos about LINQ. Not sure what it has to do with this…

  48. John: I can come up with plenty of .NET examples too (Plentyoffish.com is another, for instance).

    But, the overwhelming number of Web 2 startups are going with LAMP.

    Karen: funny, in another post today I’m getting attacked for drinking the Microsoft Koolaid. Can’t win, I guess.

    I have no clue? Interesting. I’ve filmed several videos about LINQ. Not sure what it has to do with this…

  49. The development world is huge and no one tool developer will ever hold majority the way a company does as an OS or media store. Developers are too fickle, every new generation wants to try something different and we *always* think we can improve on what used to be. So perhaps Rails or Apollo or Flex will become the next hot thing but something will just as quickly come up fast behind it.

    What I find funny in this is being suprised that startups are going with LAMP. I’ve been a developer for 15 years and in that whole time LAMP has always been the #1 choice of small and startup companies. I do corporate work by day on .NET and consulting at night on LAMP setups and almost every single startup/small business is going the LAMP route.

    Of course for some of the sites I end up switching them over to .NET, simply because I can bang out a small, password-protected, localized, editable site in nothing flat yet others are perfect canidates for something like Ruby on Rails. Point being that of all the languages I’ve used, all the IDE’s I’ve slogged through, every framework I’ve learned, none of them are perfect enough to ever steal and hold a large share of the development community for long.

    The larger point being, the development world isn’t the consumer world, and no one tech will ever kick another’s butt so hard that it really fails and even things that should have died a long time ago, like Java (which I also like to call the Worst Common Denominator), find ways to still lumber along.

  50. The development world is huge and no one tool developer will ever hold majority the way a company does as an OS or media store. Developers are too fickle, every new generation wants to try something different and we *always* think we can improve on what used to be. So perhaps Rails or Apollo or Flex will become the next hot thing but something will just as quickly come up fast behind it.

    What I find funny in this is being suprised that startups are going with LAMP. I’ve been a developer for 15 years and in that whole time LAMP has always been the #1 choice of small and startup companies. I do corporate work by day on .NET and consulting at night on LAMP setups and almost every single startup/small business is going the LAMP route.

    Of course for some of the sites I end up switching them over to .NET, simply because I can bang out a small, password-protected, localized, editable site in nothing flat yet others are perfect canidates for something like Ruby on Rails. Point being that of all the languages I’ve used, all the IDE’s I’ve slogged through, every framework I’ve learned, none of them are perfect enough to ever steal and hold a large share of the development community for long.

    The larger point being, the development world isn’t the consumer world, and no one tech will ever kick another’s butt so hard that it really fails and even things that should have died a long time ago, like Java (which I also like to call the Worst Common Denominator), find ways to still lumber along.

  51. Don’t you mean on “Microsoft Developer Workflow”? I read the Expression site and it states that it’s only for Windows. Most creative types I know do not use Windows so how is it going to help them?

    From the site: “Expression Blend is the professional design tool to create engaging web-connected experiences for Windows.”

  52. Don’t you mean on “Microsoft Developer Workflow”? I read the Expression site and it states that it’s only for Windows. Most creative types I know do not use Windows so how is it going to help them?

    From the site: “Expression Blend is the professional design tool to create engaging web-connected experiences for Windows.”

  53. #30: Thanks, Stephane… looks like I’ll have to find that book. ;-) Might that “third party” you mention have been Karl Jakob and DimensionX, who came out of the Java applet world? Did Alex St. John bring any code into that prior Microsoft “we’ll be glitzy cross-browser” attempt?

    #37: Spot-on. Robert hit on this too. I’m sort of amazed at the current MS des/dev workflow story… “Everything will be much easier for you developers, once you convince your pesky designers to completely revamp their current habits and skills and use only our stuff.”

    jd/adobe

  54. #30: Thanks, Stephane… looks like I’ll have to find that book. ;-) Might that “third party” you mention have been Karl Jakob and DimensionX, who came out of the Java applet world? Did Alex St. John bring any code into that prior Microsoft “we’ll be glitzy cross-browser” attempt?

    #37: Spot-on. Robert hit on this too. I’m sort of amazed at the current MS des/dev workflow story… “Everything will be much easier for you developers, once you convince your pesky designers to completely revamp their current habits and skills and use only our stuff.”

    jd/adobe

  55. I don't know about you but I always prefer Apple instead of Microsoft and I think that they made a really big mistake when releasing Vista cause it turned out not to be as good as they thought. I opened a funny t shirts and I'm only using Apple systems there.

  56. I don't know about you but I always prefer Apple instead of Microsoft and I think that they made a really big mistake when releasing Vista cause it turned out not to be as good as they thought. I opened a funny t shirts and I'm only using Apple systems there.