Sept 14-05

I was watching the live telecast of the Microsoft PDC last night where WPF/E was announced.  WPF which stands for Windows Presentation Framework and was formerly known as Avalon is the vector based graphical component of the new Windows operating system now known as Windows Vista.  The E part of the naming stands for everywhere.  So it’s Windows Presentation Framework Everywhere.  What does this mean? 

It means that WPF will run on Macintosh, FireFox, Opera etc and not only IE. WPF/E from all accounts ties in XAML and JavaScript and can used in other browsers and OS as a plug-in.  In short it means a pretty decisive move to an XML vector based approach to Web Development on Microsoft’s part. 

That’s something I wanted for a long time, so I am hardly opposed to this, rather I will be embracing it.  SVG held promise in this regard, but never really took off and when all said and done it probably never will now.  I would image Adobe and Macromedia will continue to push Flash, and MS pushing WPF/E, which would leave SVG in the cold. 

From what I understand WPF/E is a subset of the main WPF package. How it installs, who large is the install, how it all works, does it include the 3D stuff,  etc is still unclear, but we should know in the next few days as there are some talks scheduled for this.  

Apparently the PDC participants already have received a beta version of WPF/E and I imagine that there may be a public preview reasonably shortly.  If not it will slip out of the bag anyway and it shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on it.  Anyway we will see in the next few days when details emerge.

It’s an exciting time to be a developer and designer.  Ajax is becoming more prominent everyday and now it looks like we will have some cross browser and cross platform XML vector based functionality available that’s going to be pretty widespread pretty quickly, simply because its MS pushing it. 

The landscape is changing and yeah there will be plenty of resistance, particularly from CSS only evangelists, but that change is a coming and the coming is nearly here now. 

More as I hear more…