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Joel on Software

Why is XAML better?

Not a troll, but an honest question. What advantage does XAML have over Winforms? I've read over the introduction documents and really don't see anything that would justify a new paradigm. What does XAML let me do faster/easier/better?

Curious
Monday, July 05, 2004

You're not asking the right question.  XAML will be the new way to create winforms; what you're asking is to akin to asking why HTML is better than web forms.

As a web developer, I've grown naturally distrustful of GUI designers.  So, XAML seems like a wonderful natural progression in my direction, since I can use my HTML-layout mindset to create my WinForms app layouts as well.  In addition, you get the added goodness of separating GUI "code" from logic/eventing code - something else I really like from the ASP.Net world.

By the time real Longhorn development will need to begin, Visual Studio Orcas (2007, I'm guessing) will be in beta, complete with GUI XAML designer, so the point will be more or less moot.  For now, stick with "traditional" WinForms.

Greg Hurlman
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

XAML looks pretty portable too, so in theory you could use the same definitions to create a Windows form or an ASP.NET page, or ....

Steve Jones (UK)
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Extending that... XAML is in fact just another .NET language (alongside C# or VB.NET) that gets compiled to IL classes. Rather than being procedural, it's a markup language for defining classes. It just so happens that its main use will be defining classes that control form layout - but it won't be limited to that.

On the whole, most people will use the GUI designer in the the next, next version of VS.NET to define their XAML form layouts -- looking at the XAML behind it will be akin to opening a VB6 *.FRM file in notepad.

Duncan Smart
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

As noted by another poster, what you should be asking is, "why is Avalon better", since XAML is just a language used to write Avalon UIs (though not limited to that).

Two reasons I see why Avalon is better than the traditional Win32 way of rendering.

First reason is resolution independence. This has been widely discussed on many blogs and articles (see http://www.interact-sw.co.uk/iangblog/2004/07/01/dpi
and also
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnavalon/html/avalon03262004.asp )

Secondly is the fact that the current Windows UI rendering system rarely touches the VPU and struggles to draw everything using the CPU. Today's video cards can render over 500 million triangles a second, yet Windows has difficulty drawing a flat scrollbar.

Judah Gabriel
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

You'll use it, because Bill tells you too!

Sarcastic, but true!
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

More like because Monster.com will tell me to, but that's neither here nor there...

Greg Hurlman
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

xaml will be hearing from my lawyers, you hacking little theives.

Satan
Monday, August 02, 2004

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