Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 19th Dec 2006 05:03 UTC, submitted by PlatformAgnostic
.NET (dotGNU too) Thanks to the efforts of Kurt Berglund, a new hire on the Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly "Avalon") team, there is now a library that allows standard WPF controls (like buttons, text boxes, lists) to be used interactively on 3D objects. This is not a native feature of the 1.0 version of the framework--such items could be displayed, but were non-interactive. See this channel9 video or this blog post for details on how this (dare I say) clever hack works. Source code is also available.
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Cool
by leos on Tue 19th Dec 2006 07:01 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

That's pretty neat, but I'm still waiting for a useful example of the things that WPF can do. And no, flipping through your music collection on a spindle of discs or throwing around your photos in 3D is not useful, it's a gimmick. I want to see something that really makes the UI more intuitive and usable on a day to day basis.

It's not just WPF, it's the same issue with Project Looking Glass (if they're even still around). These things are just cool toys so far.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Cool
by Rayz on Tue 19th Dec 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "Cool"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Well first, I want to see if anyone used WPF at all!

MS had one app (the photo blogging thing) that looked really good, but then they canned it.

If Microsoft isn't doing anything with it, then I don't see other developers picking it up any time soon.

That would be a shame because even though I find that Mac apps are usually a lot less functional than Windows applications, they generally look a damn sight better ...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Cool
by n4cer on Tue 19th Dec 2006 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Well first, I want to see if anyone used WPF at all!
MS had one app (the photo blogging thing) that looked really good, but then they canned it.
If Microsoft isn't doing anything with it, then I don't see other developers picking it up any time soon.


Microsoft Max was a technology demo. Examples of real applications built from scratch with WPF include Expression Blend, previously known as Expression Interactive Designer:

http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/Expression-Blend/de...

New York Times Reader:
http://firstlook.nytimes.com/index.php?cat=4

The Scripps Research Institute’s Collaborative Molecular Environment(mixes WPF and Windows Forms):
http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=213957

3rd-party demos:
http://www.thirteen23.com/labs.html
http://www.thirteen23.com/work.html

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cool
by vimh on Tue 19th Dec 2006 18:14 UTC in reply to "Cool"
vimh Member since:
2006-02-04

Actually I can think of a lot of useful ways to use WPF. Interactive 3D presentation of information does not have to be a gimmick. Though usefulness is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

Perhaps we are all just a bit to cynical in our thinking when it comes to 3D UI. There is absolutely no reason it can't be useful. To suggest otherwise shows a severe lack of imagination. It just might take our imaginations a little while to come up with something useful.

Reply Score: 1

WPF and UI design
by stooovie on Tue 19th Dec 2006 11:43 UTC
stooovie
Member since:
2006-01-25

With great power comes great responsibility. I think we can expect a slew of incredibly badly designed UIs written for WPF. Win32 controls are designed to be simple and easy, but with WPF, coders' bad taste will fully unleash.

Reply Score: 1

RE: WPF and UI design
by segedunum on Tue 19th Dec 2006 12:04 UTC in reply to "WPF and UI design"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

With great power comes great responsibility. I think we can expect a slew of incredibly badly designed UIs written for WPF.

Indeed. It seems that Microsoft is angling WPF not only as a way to create client Windows applications, but also client web applications as a replacement for HTML or Flash (note XAML), for reasons that are best known to them.

Microsoft doesn't seem to have learned any lessons from the web world about fancy web sites and advertisements(!), all designed in lovely Flash, bags of Javascript, or to a lesser extent, Java. If fancy 3D interfaces and cool effects were the answer to everything then people would be writing all their web content with Flash. They're not.

All this paves the way for is an anarchy of web and desktop applets that are nothing more than gigantic billboards, and a further avenue for adware. Yuck.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: WPF and UI design
by stooovie on Tue 19th Dec 2006 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE: WPF and UI design"
stooovie Member since:
2006-01-25

I am all for WPF, as it seems to provide great possibilities with minimal effort. But this power must be harnessed in a right way, which will IMHO take some time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: WPF and UI design
by gonzo on Tue 19th Dec 2006 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: WPF and UI design"
gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

It seems that Microsoft is angling WPF not only as a way to create client Windows applications, but also client web applications as a replacement for HTML or Flash (note XAML), for reasons that are best known to them.

Actually, reasons are well known: today, to do typical good-looking client-server (web) application you have to use 2-3 client side technologies (HTML+CSS, JavaScript, Flash) and at least one server-side technology (PHP, Java, .NET, etc). And then you mix them all.

This mixture greatly increases the time to develop, test and debug the product. The way the web works today is very ugly from developer perspective. Plus, add the time to master all these different technologies.

WPF tries to address this problem.

Note that WPF/E (WPF Everywhere) will be available as a plugin for not only IE, but also Firefox (and possibly Safari and Opera).

Edited 2006-12-19 14:31

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: WPF and UI design
by n4cer on Tue 19th Dec 2006 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: WPF and UI design"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Note that WPF/E (WPF Everywhere) will be available as a plugin for not only IE, but also Firefox (and possibly Safari and Opera).

Opera support is indeed planned. Safari is supported in the current CTP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: WPF and UI design
by segedunum on Tue 19th Dec 2006 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: WPF and UI design"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, reasons are well known: today, to do typical good-looking client-server (web) application you have to use 2-3 client side technologies (HTML+CSS, JavaScript, Flash) and at least one server-side technology (PHP, Java, .NET, etc).

Rubbish. I fail to see how throwing standards out and throwing your lot in with a technology that isn't open, isn't a standard and is controlled by one company is going to help. But then, that's the point, isn't it?

Standards such as HTML and CSS are used because people do not want to create awful web billboards. They want content. For everything else, people have Flash, or even Java if they wish.

Let's just cut to the chase. You and I both know what Microsoft are trying for here, in the same way that Microsoft tried to push the disaster that was ActiveX for web programming, and why Internet Explorer even now has such poor and shoddy support for CSS.

The way the web works today is very ugly from developer perspective.

Much of it caused by Internet Explorer ;-).

Note that WPF/E (WPF Everywhere) will be available as a plugin for not only IE, but also Firefox (and possibly Safari and Opera).

Oh right. So people should just dump the standards they're using because Microsoft has created a closed technology, created by them, that they've oh so generously made available for Firefox, Safari and Opera because they need to get it off the deck?

Edited 2006-12-19 21:46

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: WPF and UI design
by gonzo on Tue 19th Dec 2006 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: WPF and UI design"
gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

Rubbish. I fail to see how throwing standards out and throwing your lot in with a technology that isn't open, isn't a standard and is controlled by one company is going to help. But then, that's the point, isn't it?
Well, not exactly. You can still use HTML/JavaScript,etc.

There are a lot of clients that simply don't care about open standards. For example, where I work all workstations are running Windows XP, so why wouldn't we use WPF/.NET 3.0 for intranet apps? We will. Just the way we use .NET 2.0. That way development gets cheaper, yet quality gets higher.

It may not work for you, but then, it's not like you have to use it.

Much of it caused by Internet Explorer ;-).

I don't see it is much better when you target Firefox only, for example. You still have to use mixture of client and server side technologies.

Oh right. So people should just dump the standards they're using because Microsoft has created a closed technology, created by them, that they've oh so generously made available for Firefox, Safari and Opera because they need to get it off the deck?

Nobody is forcing you to use or dump anything. You can install WPF/E plugin the same way you install Flash player. And if you don't want to.. you don't have to. Just like you don't have to use ActionScript and Flash.

Edited 2006-12-19 23:28

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: WPF and UI design
by segedunum on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: WPF and UI design"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

There are a lot of clients that simply don't care about open standards.

It's called the internet ;-). It started with standards and it relies on it.

Just the way we use .NET 2.0. That way development gets cheaper, yet quality gets higher.

Right.

Nobody is forcing you to use or dump anything. You can install WPF/E plugin the same way you install Flash player.

Again, the difference between it and Flash is the monopolies Microsoft can use to push it on people. People do genuinely get a choice with Flash at the moment because Macromedia and Adobe don't control a dominant browser.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: WPF and UI design
by raynevandunem on Wed 20th Dec 2006 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: WPF and UI design"
raynevandunem Member since:
2006-11-24

It's called the internet ;-). It started with standards and it relies on it.

Adobe Flash? That's a standard for vector animation. Yet, there's no open source player that can legally play Flash without having to reverse-engineer the format in a clean-room environment. Funny that Gnash will accommodate/validate this closed format, while Microsoft will challenge it on their home turf (oops! I mean "Monopoly". What was I thinking?!).

MP3s are a standard, and have been since the days of Napster and Winamp. Yet, you can't legally distribute a codec (FOSS or no) for playing MP3 without first paying for a license from Fraunhofer (until 2010, I believe).

Standards shouldn't be created without agreement between competitors and an open, free basis for basic access by non-competitors. Yet, they are.

As they say, "standards schmandards."

Reply Score: 1

v Tim Holwerdi
by Tim Holwerdi on Tue 19th Dec 2006 12:08 UTC
Off-topic comment
by poohgee on Tue 19th Dec 2006 15:58 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

Person "Tom Holverdi" 's comments score decline must be interesting from a psycho-analytical standpoint .

The longer he/she is on this site ,the (I guess) more aggressive her/his posts get -> the lower the comment score - finally now ending at -5 .

Actually could be an interesting discussion : Jealousy created by the seeming importance & status that is artifically mostly created by having a large readership to a site or blog one is involved in or has .

Reply Score: 1

XAML is the real power behind WPF
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 19th Dec 2006 18:51 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

The reason WPF will be awesome given 2 or 3 years of development time is that XAML allows people with design skills to create actually functional UIs, rather than relying on programmers to code up their design and push pixels around to make it look good. I think the software houses that can afford to hire good designers will soon start producing amazingly better stuff than they did before once WPF becomes widespread.

On the other hand, I don't personally use any software on my machine besides Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, Firefox, and IE and I don't forsee that changing in the near future. I can imagine WPF being good for flashy Point of Sale applications and better-looking custom business apps, but only the former will get good treatment from designers. The NYTimes reader is okay, but I'm pretty indifferent between using that and using nytimes.com.

Reply Score: 2

raynevandunem Member since:
2006-11-24

I'm impressed by WPF and WPF/E, and I'm even more amazed that the components which are involved in its creation have equivalents in the FOSS world.

.NET Framework = Java (soon to be FOSS)
XAML = XUL
Expression vector format = SVG
WMV and other video = Ogg Theora, OGM, and MKV

Seriously, if Java, XUL, SVG and Ogg were to be combined, we'd have a competitor to both WPF and Flash.

How do I think this?

Batik: a pure-Java library for rendering SVG.

http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/batik/

Cortado: a Java applet for playing Ogg Theora video streams in-browser.

http://www.flumotion.net/cortado/

So why not?

Reply Score: 1

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

That stuff would probably take on WPF/E just fine, but I doubt it'll be able to attack WPF itself. WPF gets most of its abilities by being a totally integrated platform with a single renderer in the background that handles compositing video with vector graphics and 3D. SVG can do some of the 2D graphics, but I don't think you can use an SVG renderer to put video into a transformed shape (I may be mistaken).

If FOSS is going to compete, it needs to take the technologies you mentioned and produce a single stack that does all of the final rendering in one place, so that there are few limitations on what one can mix.

Reply Score: 2

does Qt do this
by superstoned on Wed 20th Dec 2006 14:38 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

isn't this supported in Qt 4 as well, or is that different?

Reply Score: 2