Home > Microsoft > Microsoft Avalon and Indigo Beta1 RCMicrosoft Avalon and Indigo Beta1 RC Thom Holwerda 2005-07-25 Microsoft 20 CommentsThe Indigo and Avalon Beta1 “RC” enables developers to continue experimenting with early builds of these technologies, get acquainted with the development experience, and provide Microsoft with feedback.About The Author Thom HolwerdaFollow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 20 Comments 2005-07-25 5:25 pm roguelazerLet’s see… We’ll be getting XAML, which has the dual-benefit of making it easy to make GUIs, and making it easy to make IE-only websites. We’ll get Metro, which has all the disadvantages of PDF (large binary files that are difficult to edit) and none of the advantages (open format, open-source readers and editors/creators available). We’ll get Palladio, for ensuring that you use your computer in a proscribed manner… We’ll get Monad, which is like a generic UNIX shell, but different enough that you’ll need to relearn all your shell skills… We’ll get a new search/indexing engine similar to spotlight, although probably not as pervasive. Ah yes, and Indigo. The part of Longhorn/Vista that has the least definition. Looks like some kind of a strange new protocol that sends messages between .NET applications. I can’t really figure out what this one’s for (what kind of messages would this be for sending?), but it at least doesn’t look too dangerous. Unless they try using it to replace normal TCP/IP protocols, which would be bad. 2005-07-25 8:50 pm n4cerMetro is not a binary format. It is XML in a zip container. It is used for a number of purposes and isn’t just a new document format. It is a retained representation of Avalon graphics, it’s part of the new printing subsystem/print ticket format included in Windows Vista, and it is a printer description language. It is basically a modern replacement for GDI and WMF/EMF and goes further than PDF in a few areas.The reach document format will be licensed similar to the Office XML formats, meaning viewers/editors can be made even for open source projects.The only Pallidium (formally Next-Generation Secure Computing Base) technology that will be included in Windows Vista is secure startup which can protect your data frrom unauthorized users.Monad is only like a generic UNIX shell if you feel like handicapping its functionality and passing around text. Otherwise, with Monad, you gain the benefits using objects, one benefit being using standard formatters instead of parsing text. It also defines a standard syntax for consistancy and easy discoverability of cmdlet operations.You’ll get searching and indexing similar to an updated indexing engine as used in Windows since NT 4. After Windows Vista’s release, WinFS will be delivered in a service pack or R2 package, providing a universal data store surpassing anything Spotlight is targeting.Indigo is a messaging system (not limited to .NET applications). It is protocol inspecific and allows developers to build applications using web-services standards or their own custom protocol and dynamically use whatever transport is necessary for their environment without having to recode the app. Indigo will be a major part of local and remote application communication and also be the primary means of interoperability with other platforms. 2005-07-26 12:56 am pravdaAnd is Microsoft going to pay to license all these technologies? 2005-07-26 1:31 am n4cerPay what? MS isn’t licensing the tech from other companies, they developed it.Metro will be licensed to third parties under similar terms as the current and upcoming Office XML formats are, which in most cases will be free/only require the inclusion of the original MS license. 2005-07-26 5:39 am pravdaYou will be surprised. 2005-07-26 8:09 am n4cerI won’t be surprised. This stuff has been documented and available for months. Try researching an using it instead of just posting unsubstantiated claims about it. Unlike those types of posts, the technologies actually have value. 2005-07-26 12:03 pm sappyvcvDon’t expect that from pravda in any MS-related topic. He posts in every single MS article to talk bad about them, no matter what it’s about. The same old rhetoric. Our best bet is to just ignore him. 2005-07-26 2:17 pm pravda“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke 2005-07-26 10:17 pm sappyvcvWow, a quote. Color me defeated. 2005-07-26 10:15 am Microsoft never developed anything from scratch since its beginning.They always managed to fool others or oblige others to give them their technology.. the Microsoft VS DoJ case had tons of issues where any other Company would have been crushed down, but Bill Gates can’t be touched by any Judges , so it seems…Open source being the alternative to Microsoft monopoly and market domination ? No way. Open source like Linux was the main trojan-horse by Bill Gates to smash IBM and other competitors forever, and it worked thanks to the overall dumbness of people that think that “Linux is cool” , although it’s the worst politically-biased OS ever appeared and based on a Unix hack. If you want to use some serious free Unix implementations then you should use FreeBSD or pay for the expensive AIX licenses. 2005-07-26 7:19 pm I’ve never encountered anything, anywhere that supports you assertion WRT open source projects, nor has anyone said there would be no changes or additional restrictions in the license for metro/reach specifications compared to the office document formats. I’ve only heard it would be licensed on a “royalty free” basis. This does not mean it would be acceptable for all open source projects–most notably GPL–the existing license for the Office XML formats is already questionable there (attribution requirements, and the large number of rights reserved by Microsoft).I agree that Monad is impressive, but to infer that UNIX shells are “handicapped” in comparison is a bit of a stretch. UNIX-style command lines and scripting is still the king because it is both powerful AND established. The issue isn’t the superiority of one over the other, it is that Monad is a completely different philospohy (it really dives into the obect-oriented realm). To really take advantage of Monad’s power means throwing out all your legacy shell code. So in the case of migrations to the Windows platform it’ll be years before Monad can gain a lot of traction.There is nothing impressive about putting a little spit and polish on a decade-old technology when compared to Spotlight. I’m not an MS insider so I can’t say how impressive their plans are, but if I have to wait for Vista SP1 some time in 2007 (or later?) to get it what good is that to me now? By then, Spotlight will be mature technology and likely even more improved. WinFS better be damn impressive by then.To those who wonder what Indigo is, I’ll summarise it with 2 words: DCOM replacement. I like your description though–it has a nice sales-y flare to it. I’m not deriding indigo though–it is a good five years overdue in my opinion and I’m glad it’s finally here–and it SHOULD be far better prepared to handle a distributed, service-oriented architecture than DCOM (especially the historically bug-ridden implementation of NT/2K/XP). 2005-07-27 12:17 am n4cerWRT to Metro/Office XML, I mentioned the need to include the license from MS. AFA GPL, you basically can’t subvert MS’ license and try to distribute under GPL.I didn’t say UNIX shells were handicapped. I said you could use Monad by passing around text just like a UNIX shell (or DOS/Windows shells) but you are handicapping Monad by doing that. Using the object model is the only way to fully utilize what Monad gives you. It just makes things simpler. So, to be clear, you’re not taking full advantage of Monad if you’re just passing strings with it. You’re less productive. In that respect, you’re handicapping yourself and Monad. RE: shell code, if you mean UNIX shell code, theres a solution called Services for UNIX that’ll allow you to use that with Windows. If you mean Windows shell code, Monad can run it as well. If you just want to be sure, CMD will still be there.Again, WinFS is not about search. Vista includes that stuff now (improving on XP and previous NTs). Spotlight does not tackle the same scenarios as WinFS. Granted, one of the side-effects of WinFS will be new/improved search scenarios, but that’s not it’s primary target. The platform offered by NT’s indexing service and MSN’s desktop search is already comparable to Spotlight.How about DCOM, MSMQ, Remoting, Enterprise Services, and ASMX Web Services (may have missed one). My previous description still applies. It is THE messaging system for Windows. One API to rule them all :-). Allows you to interop w/ other systems via web services, can use faster protocols for local comms, and can dynamically switch if your deployment environment changes. 2005-07-26 3:08 am LumberghSorry, but “we” won’t be getting anything unless “we” want it. 2005-07-25 6:14 pm nivenhI know. I bet you can’t wait right? I’ve been a windows developer for over a decade now, and i’m really tired of MS reinventing the way i’m supposed to work every few years. While i’m not opposed to technological innovation in any way possible, most of what i see coming out of Microsoft lately (especially since XP) is tech after tech that suffers from the “not-invented-here” mentality. I feel as if they make things just because someone else has already and for no other reason.I would even go so far to say that since the invention of COM, things have become overly complicated in Windows development. I know they make it all as friendly as possible, but once you have to do something even remotely outside the norm, you practically have to become an expert on the given item. Not to say it can’t be done, but in most instances, its more work than i really wanted to do, and can envision 100 other ways to have accomplished the same goals easier without using their tools.I get the feeling that at Microsoft now, the driving force behind any given technology is for a developer or set of developers at MS to prove their technical prowess to their peers than to solve an actual real-world problem.I remember watching one of those channel-9 video clips not too long ago where someone was showing off MSBuild (analagous to a fancier ‘make’ and ‘nmake’ making using of all the latest buzz words), and he said something to the effect of “one of the coolest things is that you can write .net code to do your builds using special tags in your msbuild xml file”. Just what i’ve always wanted to do… (sigh) 2005-07-25 6:54 pm It’s becoming more and more difficult to justify wrapping ones entrails around the Microsoft technology stack when there are viable “open” technologies that will run on Windows, OS X, and Linux. 2005-07-25 7:53 pm n4cerThe Beta 1 RC has been out for a while. Expect the Beta 1 release in a few days (The 27th is the current target for RTW). 2005-07-25 8:33 pm XAML doesn’t run in a browser, unless you make the user download a full application, which will then be hosted in a browser.Metro is XML data in a standard zip file.Indigo is a class library to host and consume standard web services.Monad, yeah, well, every Unix shell passes objects down the pipeline, right?And Palladium is almost complete out, apart from hardware crypto acceleration, and secure boot. 2005-07-26 2:02 am The consumers is screwed again. The OS and office applications is like bread and butter. Simple and always needed. So why in eath pay for it. There is no reason to do that anymore. If you look at the market so is the cost and the office applications the only software that increases the cost. While the hardware is nearly ‘free’. This must end now. The big stupidity to pay for something that isn’t worth anything. 2005-07-26 10:27 am >The reach document (Metro) format will be licensed >similar to the Office XML formats, meaning >viewers/editors can be made even for open source >projectsMaybe. Btw, I’m not so sure that I would be satisfied with openess of Office XML formats, and I’m not so sure that EU is satisfied either. Schemas are still kinda proprietary.>The only Pallidium (formally Next-Generation Secure >Computing Base) technology that will be included in >Windows Vista is secure startup which can protect >your data frrom unauthorized usersMaybe. However, Intel is telling another story with their East Fork platform, due out in Q1 2006. Which is exactly the kind of marriage between MS DRM and hardware envisioned with Palladium. If that multimedia platform catches on, how the hell will Longhorn play that same protected content on home PC boxes if not through all bells and whistless of Palladium?>Monad is only like a generic UNIX shell if you feel >like handicapping its functionality and passing >around text. Otherwise, with Monad, you gain the >benefits using objects, one benefit being using >standard formatters instead of parsing text. It also >defines a standard syntax for consistancy and easy >discoverability of cmdlet operationsCould be nice. However, could be overkill. We won’t know so soon, because it was dropped from first longhorn wave.>After Windows Vista’s release, WinFS will be >delivered in a service pack or R2 package, providing >a universal data store surpassing anything Spotlight >is targeting.Maybe. Just to remind you, that WinFS was touted as one of the most important technologies for Longhorn, and not only Longhorn slipped for a year or two, WinFS is delayed even more. So how exactly can you be sure that we will get it in SP package? And how can you be so sure that Spotlight.NEXT is not targeting that mithical “universal data store” as well?Indigo, on the other hand, sounds really nice, but with MS track record of “messaging systems” and “interoperability with other platforms” and being yet another messaging framework built from scratch, I will wait a bit. Some of our Java guys tried playing with it here, and were somewhat unimpressed with it, I will try to see what was it. Maybe just their Java background speaking. 2005-07-26 11:46 pm n4cerThe schemas are available for download on MS’ website.NGSCB has nothing to do with DRM. They are different technologies. DRM technologies may be able to use some services (encryption) provided by NGSCB hardware just as any other application, but the technologies are seperate/solve different problems. Longhorn’s Protected Video Path/Protected Media Path does not use NGSCB. It does require signed drivers, and assurances made by certain hardware like the GPU. It’s basically an improved version of XP’s Secure Audio Path, but for audio and video. MS has many protection technologies that simply depend on software and use encryption over clear channels. Output can already be controlled and NGSCB (even in its originally planned implimentation) does nothing to allow playback of protected media. At best, the only services it could’ve offered was hardware encryption and secure a storage area. Most of PVP/PMP is implemented by providing APIs and enforcing driver signing so there’s some level of trust between hardware and Windows, then using that to allow CE industry standard interfaces like HDMI. The bottom line is that any platform not providing content protection will not be able to output most HD-DVD/Blue-Ray commercial content at full res. Just as SACD or DVD-A is currently restricted on PCs. But NGSCB isn’t required nor used.Checkhttp://www.activewin.com/winvista/thestateofvista.shtmlandhttp://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/stream/output_protect.mspxfor details.Monad was not dropped from Longhorn. The MJF eWeek article on this was misleading. Monad will have about 3 releases before it is considered complete. Because MJF pulled a quote off of an MS Presspass interview (i think it was with Bob Muglia, but don’t remember) that meantioned they had a 3-5 year plan before full realization of all the scenarios they planned for Monad, she interpreted that as meaning it wouldn’t ship with Longhorn. This is false. In fact, Monad will ship in future builds of WinFX for XP/Server 2003 as well — possibly as early as the build being released tomorrow (in Beta form of course if it makes it in tomorrow’s build). It will also ship in the next version of Exchange.MS has stated their plans for the availability of WinFS. It will enter Beta as Longhorn nears shipping, and be available as an update to Longhorn. The reason it will not be included in the initial release build of Longhorn is solely due to developer feedback from and following PDC 2003. There were features requested that MS didn’t initially intend to support in a first release. Their original plans called for a client release, then server release with an update to the client. Because devs wanted it all, especially the server features for corporate setups, rather than going ahead with the original plan, they decided that demand was great enough to just implement all of the features needed for requested scenarios, client and server, and release at one time instead of the original rolling release.RE: Indigo — As you mentioned, they were Java guys :-). Indigo is a platform built to use web services standards by default. The only thing another platform would need to do to interop is implement support for generating or consuming those standards. Depending on your scenarios, this would include the WS-* specs (really necessary for security/reliable messaging, etc.). MS has done interop demos at various events along with Sun and IBM to show that it works.Beta 1 of WinFX for XP and Avalon and Indigo will ship for XP/Server 2003 tomorrow. The build of Indigo included is said to be almost complete. Look for it on MS’ download page and maybe have the guys try it w/ J# ;-). The online SDK will be updated as well.