The point of XAML??

Ok, I'm trying to be one of the implied 20% that DonXML refers to his “80% of Windows Developers Will Not Understand XAML” blog entry. Now, before I comment I want to state that I really respect Don (I don't always agree with him.. I can think of some stuff on the Dot Net Rocks show that still plague me... he makes me think which is something I think most of us need to do more of), and if he says something I'm definitely listening.  Don beats the drum for declarative program; he says that we programmers need to try to learn a different approach to our problems.  He mentions some stuff that many programmers are control freaks.  Yep, you got me (I use <xsl:loop /> more than I use <xsl:apply-templates /> because I the latter is a much deeper concept that I haven't totally gotten comfortable -- I have used it).

I guess I'm missing the point of XAML somewhere along the line.  I have played with Xamlon and have looked at a few of the XAML samples (I don't have Longhorn so I can't exactly play with XAML, yet).  Here's the couple conclusions I have come to with XAML and its use:

1) Skinning - Most of the examples I have seen are a simple form that hooks into a .Net DLL (I have seen samples that have the code in the XAML file, but none of those have worked for me with Xamlon).  It does appear that you could different graphic designers to create skins for your app and people could even easily write their own.
2) HTTP Deployment - It does appear to me that XAML could be used as a HTML web app killer.  Deploy a file on a web site and have it served up to clients (ultimately I think we'll need a better browser for this).
3) Easy Updates - It also appears to me that with the XAML over HTTP that you could have a no touch deployment app without some of the permissions issues (I know that “one click” is the true solution here).

I guess beyond this I don't see XAML as anything more.  It's fancy form layout with the ability to define code inline or in a DLL.  Am I missing something?  Help me not be clueless...  I want to be in the 20%.

Print | posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 2:20 PM


# re: The point of XAML??

left by at 7/11/2005 1:47 PM Gravatar

What most people don't seem to realize is that where HTML uses Javascript, XAML can use .NET languages such as C#, J#, VB.NET and even JScript.NET. That is, full access to the .NET API and the ability to have .NET call back code in the markup (something not really doable in HTML with Java for example.) XAML will essentially be a .NET language that you don't have to compile or package in advance, which may be deployed locally or remotely over HTTP. XAML compared to HTML/Javascript is like Java compared to BASIC. Now, for the shameless plug, check out for an open-source Java-based alternative to XAML.

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