Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Mar 2012 22:21 UTC
Windows And thus, Microsoft bites itself in its behind with Metro. As you all surely know by now, the Metro environment in Windows 8, and its accompanying applications, need to follow a relatively strict set of rules and regulations, much like, say, applications on iOS. For one type of application, Metro has already proven to be too restrictive and limited: web browsers. Microsoft has had to define a separate application class [.docx] - aside from Metro and desktop applications - just to make third party web browsers possible for Windows 8.
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RE: I think
by Moochman on Sun 11th Mar 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "I think"
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

For example, what incentive do Firefox devs have now to use the WinRT's new asynchronous networking APIs to deliver optimal performance and reliability? Now they are not usage aware (Can't tell when the PC is on metered or data capped mobile broadband, as one example).

Does IE10 make any actual use of this usage-awareness?

You want to talk jarring? Downloading setup.exe from Firefox's website, being thrown to Desktop Mode, to install a Browser, make it the default, only to get it's Metro Style counter part. That's f--king jarring.

Well, if it turns out it's not allowed in the Windows Store and requires desktop switching you should blame Microsoft for that, not Mozilla....

Which is why I view this as a stop gap, and I am hopeful that Firefox devs will eventually transition to a more streamlined approach.

I fully expect them to, since as a browser they surely won't want to be barred from Windows on ARM. Whether Windows on ARM will be worth it to the likes of Adobe, Avid or Autodesk... I kind of doubt it.

Edited 2012-03-11 23:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I think
by Nelson on Mon 12th Mar 2012 00:03 in reply to "RE: I think"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Does IE10 make any actual use of this usage-awareness?


I'm unsure, but I honestly hope that they don't view the bar as simply matching IE10. In fact, I'm pretty confident they don't.


Well, you can blame Microsoft for their asinine Windows Store requirements


I don't really consider the majority of them asinine. I am sympathetic for the JIT related APIs missing (regarding memory mapping Win32 APIs for which there is no equivalent), but for 99% of the other things, it's not something which can be engineered around.


and for any desktop-mode-switching that may or may not be required.


Actually it's not even a question. It is indeed what will happen, according to Microsoft's document. It's obvious this is a suboptimal solution, and one which I think is detrimental to the experience. The ideal situation would be an alternative Firefox Browser in the Windows Store. Not some Frankenstein browser.

IE10 gets away with it, only because they're bundled, so the User doesn't have to jump through these aforementioned hoops.


You seem to forget that the majority of third-party Windows software still relies on Win32 and will for years to come, and it's not a trivial effort to port away from that. I expect that Firefox will hardly be alone in this point, even among Metro UI-ified apps.


They will actually, by definition, be mostly alone. Considering that this is the only supported configuration for deep, deep interop of Win32 and WinRT.

By comparison the subset of Win32 exposed to regular Metro Style apps isn't anywhere near this, so the amount of legacy code is considerably less.

I don't understand why take shortcuts at this point in the development though, they'll only create engineering pain points by not planning for Metro Style applications from the outset.

I just don't think this is a sustainable solution in the long term.


I fully expect them to, since as a browser they surely won't want to be barred from Windows on ARM. Whether Windows on ARM will be worth it to the likes of Adobe, Avid or Autodesk... I kind of doubt it.


It remains to be seen, but I think whoever is first able to counter bringing that kind of information density (where UI chrome is actually valuable) to a Metro Style application in a useable manner, will be onto something special.

If I were Adobe or even the MSFT Office guys, I'd be thinking of creative ways to work with the Metro Design Language to enable efficient workflows. I think it can be done, it's just not trivial or obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I think
by ba1l on Mon 12th Mar 2012 04:01 in reply to "RE[2]: I think"
ba1l Member since:
2007-09-08

I don't really consider the majority of them asinine. I am sympathetic for the JIT related APIs missing (regarding memory mapping Win32 APIs for which there is no equivalent), but for 99% of the other things, it's not something which can be engineered around.


Not being able to have a JIT (it's technically possible, but applications that do it would fail validation) is, by itself, enough to prevent any modern web browser from being a native Metro application.

That's not even considering everything else. It would require a massive effort to move everything over to WinRT. It wouldn't gain you anything. The new WinRT APIs are still accessible from a hybrid WinRT / Win32 application. The replacement APIs, like networking, don't actually offer any extra features over the existing Win32 APIs.

Besides, the architecture of Windows 8 requires that the Metro web browser be a hybrid application. That's just the way it works. The Metro web browser is determined by whatever the default desktop browser is. That's why, if you install Firefox on Windows 8 and set it as the default browser, the Metro version of IE 10 disappears.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: I think
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon 12th Mar 2012 01:15 in reply to "RE: I think"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Have you seen Adobe and Avid's work on their iPad apps?

Yes, they are there and they work great.

Reply Parent Score: 2