Forum  General Visual ...  Announce It! ( ...  Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand
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New Post 6/9/2010 10:56 PM
  Guy
2346 posts
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Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand 

I wanted to share with you guys some very exciting news regarding a new alternative development experience which we are developing as a request from many developers that really like the VWG pipeline but prefer the web development experience flavor, which means developing using markup languages and allowing on demand compilation and as a result “notepad” style ftp editing.

As the architect of VWG the development experience or rather paradigms was never the essence of VWG. The actual essence is the productivity and the fully event base programming developing AJAX style applications which are provided with the security of a pure server app. While ASP.NET provides an event base approach it is completely dismissed when working with AJAX and the richness of the server is lost and replaced with JavaScript programming and with that comes a very high security risk. Visual WebGui returns the power of the server to AJAX development and provides a statefull yet scalable, server centric architecture that provides the benefits and user productivity of AJAX with the security and developer productivity we had before AJAX stormed into our lives.

When I first came up with the concept of Visual WebGui, I was frustrated by the fragile and complex nature of developing web applications. The contrast in productivity between working in a fully OOP compiled environment vs scripting even today with JQuery, Dojo and such, is still huge. Even today the greatest sponsor of JavaScript programming, Google, is offering a framework to avoid JavaScript using Java that compiles to JavaScript (GWT).

So being frustrated from existing state of web development I decided to find a way to abstract the complexity or rather delegate the complex job to enable developers to concentrate on the “What” instead of the “How”. Choosing the form based approach was intuitive when I considered the greatest value to be for enterprise LOB apps… So I embraced the Form based approach for the developer experience and obviously it provides classic enterprise developers a familiar and productive environment they are used to get from their desktop developments.

While the traditional OOP development still rules the enterprise, the differences between web sites and web applications have blurred and as the differences between classic developers and web developers. So we see declarative languages in desktop / backend development environments (WPF / WF) and we see OOP gaining more and more power in web development (ASP.NET MVC / ASP.NET DOM). What has not changed is enterprise need for security, development ROI, reach, highly responsive and interactive UIs and scalability. The advantages declarative languages and on demand compiling provide over classic development is in my view mostly change flexibility and a more readable initialize component.

So what we are working on is kind of like a replacement of the designer initialize component with Xaml code that allows the developer to work with easily. The first stage will be providing a fully working SDK that can be completely designed using Xaml. We are going to provide a new project template called Visual WebGui Site which is the equivalent to ASP.NET web application vs. ASP.NET web site. The code in the new project template will be compiled on demand using the build provider mechanism ASP.NET has. This means that the performance hit is only on the first request and after that the performance is the same as a prebuilt solution. This will allow the flexibility of a dynamically updated sites and the power of fully blown enterprise applications over web. You can also use prebuilt features available in ASP.NET to enjoy both worlds in production.

The development will gradually be added to the SDK as it does not affect stability as it just a different language to work which the same core. We believe that the first workable preview version will be released in a few weeks 3-4, which will allow you guys to play with. As VWG version progresses it will be more and more integrated into the development environment and to the core. Features such as Form.SaveToXaml or Form.LoadFromXaml can be of great advantage even if using Xaml as a designing paradigm is not required.

VWG Xaml implementation will be the first truly compliable Xaml implementation as Microsoft implemented Silverlight and WPF as a runtime markup interpretation as opposed to the ASP.NET markup implementation which is compiled to CLR code once. We have chosen to implement the VWG Xaml parser as a different way to create CLR code which provides greater performance over the reflection alternative. VWG Xaml will also be the first server side Xaml side UI engine which while giving the power Xaml will not required any plug-ins or installations on the client side.

You can see here a short video demonstrating VWG Xaml markup in action.

We have also uploaded the "cloud IDE" sample here, so you can play with it.

I would be glad to hear your inputs on the new concept,


Cheers,
Guy

 
New Post 6/10/2010 8:02 AM
  rudicronje
93 posts
www.ofisys.co.za
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Re: Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand 
Modified By rudicronje  on 6/10/2010 11:28:08 AM)

 Hi Guy,

This looks like a very interesting approach and just to be 100% clear, in the last example on the sample video

the close event was registered in text and executed without compiling? did i miss something? nice

 

Regards,

Rudi

 
New Post 6/10/2010 8:25 AM
  Guy
2346 posts
1st Level Poster




Re: Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand 
Modified By Guy  on 6/10/2010 11:26:57 AM)

 Hi Rudi,

Yap... Didn't miss anything... That is exactly what happens... It is integrated with the BuildProvider mechanism of ASP.NET and that mechanism identifies changes and recompiles the specific part of the application into a new type. Users that had previously created types that where compiled that way will have the old version until they reload there application. This is an ASP.NET sites feature which is used to compile ASPX pages and code.

The only VWG "magic" here which is providing a Xaml interface for designing forms and usercontrols which is based on Microsoft's build provider API, which is well documented and very mature. It was introduced in .NET 2.0 and is how most ASP.NET applications work.

I my self am fascinated by the by product of it as you can change and refresh without compiling. Actually compiling is not necessary at all, although Microsoft has configurations and tools to pre-compile if required.

Cheers,
Guy

 
New Post 6/10/2010 8:31 AM
  Guy
2346 posts
1st Level Poster




Re: Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand 

 P.S.

By the way as I said we had implemented the Xaml parser in such a way which is also compiled to actual CLR type and not interpreted, the same way ASP.NET markup is handled so by changing the markup code in the lightweight "Cloud IDE" you are actually changing the code programmatic and viewing the recompiled form.

Cheers,
Guy

 
New Post 7/4/2010 3:35 PM
  ron.richins
15 posts
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Re: Announcing an upcoming alternative way to develop Visual WebGui apps using Xaml and compile ondemand 

Hey Guy,

Now you are talking (cudos).  Would you please clarify a couple of things for me?

By not having to download plugins (etc), does this mean that your VWG implementation of WPF/Silverlight, does not require a client Silverlight install, and therefore, is truly a server based implementation?

If it is truly server based, then it only requires the WPF version of the framework installed on the server?  Is this correct?

How is the translation between, WPF request and HTTP response handled?

Ron

 
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