Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Mar 2013 18:26 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Canonical has today publicly confirmed that they are working on a new cross-platform displayer server for Ubuntu. Called 'Mir', the X Window Server replacement is tasked with 'enabling development of the next generation Unity'. Which, in yet another about-turn, is to be rebuilt in Qt/QML." It'll be used for all Ubuntu variants (phone, tablet, desktop), and the first version will be released come May.
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RE[2]: Finally
by Nelson on Mon 4th Mar 2013 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Finally"
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

There's something seriously wrong if you can't evolve and modify your direction in light of new industry trends and realities.

Remaining steadfast in the face of a sea of change is what made Microsoft miss the boat on mobile.

Microsoft's client side evolution (from a managed POV, native has always been a mess until Win8) has always been about XAML and a GPU accelerated framework.

WPF -> WPF
-> WPF 3, 3.5, 4, and 4.5
-> Silverlight
-> Silverlight 2,3,4,5
-> Silverlight for Embedded
-> SL 2.0 for Symbian
-> Moonlight
-> Silverlight for WP
-> Silverlight for XBox

So we had two divergent technology branches based on the same core technology for the last half a decade. WPF was the result of a botched Vista dev cycle and showed it. Silverlight was slimmed down, almost beautiful in how simple it was, but ultimately a science project (albeit one that got too successful for WinDiv to stomach)

However, despite the differences in API surface, a lot of the architectural design decisions remained persistent:

XAML
Dependency Properties
Storyboard time based and keyframe animation
GPU acceleration
Databinding

Sharing code between SL and WPF was easy, share code from WPF to SL was hard (since WPF is a superset, put simply)

From there we got the convergence of native and all the managed stacks into the Windows Runtime.

This unified not only WPF and Silverlight by bringing SL into the client, but it unified .NET and COM in a much more natural way.

Prior to WinRT, Microsoft released great COM based APIs for Windows (Win7 Taskbar APIs for example) but .NET wrappers came months, sometimes years later.

With WinRT the projections are automatically generated and the ABI is uniform so calling into native code from .NET is much more natural and faster (for coarse grained ops)

I think over the past 7 or so years Microsoft's vision has remained consistent, but the means to get there has changed slightly. Silverlight went from an RIA plugin , to an OOB solution, to being reborn as the XAML platform in WinRT (gross simplification).

Thankfully, WinRT has restored sanity to native code. I can write super fast native code, interop with my C# app, and not have to see a single IUnknown or AddRef (save for DirectX). Its great.

Going forward I expect almost every new API out of MS to use WinRT.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Finally
by WorknMan on Tue 5th Mar 2013 01:36 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Going forward I expect almost every new API out of MS to use WinRT.


Doesn't look like WinRT/Metro is really taking off on the desktop quite the way they hoped it would. So you reckon they'll toss that to the side and 'bet the company' on something else for Windows 9? If not, when are we getting fully-functional winRT versions of MS Office and Visual Studio? THAT is when I'll know that they're really serious.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Finally
by Nelson on Tue 5th Mar 2013 02:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Doesn't look like WinRT/Metro is really taking off on the desktop quite the way they hoped it would. So you reckon they'll toss that to the side and 'bet the company' on something else for Windows 9?


Well, I disagree with the notion that Windows 8 (which I assume you meant) isn't taking off. Its likely selling modestly at best, and at worst being held back by a couple of OEM conditions:

- Shortage of touch screen components and high costs
- Lack of a complete product range. The Windows lineup had holes in it. This was badly fumbled.
- Global economic conditions
- Elongated upgrade cycles for PCs.

The good news is that assuming OEMs can get their act together and put together some sub $1000 touch screen devices, then they'll have winners on their hands.

Windows 8 shines best with a touch screen and a lot of the models sold were decidedly non-touchscreen.


If not, when are we getting fully-functional winRT versions of MS Office and Visual Studio? THAT is when I'll know that they're really serious.


WinRT isn't there yet in a few places, but I agree with you they should port both apps. Especially Visual Studio.

Last time they did this, they ported large parts of VS to WPF. It greatly moved the ball forward towards them addressing architectural deficiencies in the platform while they were dogfooding WPF on such a massive scale.

But I think its important to separate WinRT, the technology, from what you perceive the reception of Windows 8 to be. Its like saying the DWM was going to be removed in Windows 7 because of people claiming Vista wasn't selling. That's not really how things work.

Prime example being WPF, it was never terribly successful, but the innovations in WPF eventually led to WinRT. These are game changing events.

WinRT has far reaching implications. Beyond Windows 8, beyond Metro, and changes the game for Windows.

It now has a first class, native, ABI safe, object oriented API. That's incredibly powerful.

They can describe APIs as Async operations with continuations and using stuff like generics and exceptions. Compare that to the mess that was classic COM.

Reply Parent Score: 3