The new presentation subsystem in the next version of Windows, code-named “Longhorn,” offers powerful new capabilities to developers. This new subsystem, code-named “Avalon,” allows developers to take advantage of its capabilities through a language—Extensible Application Markup Language (code-named “XAML”), as well as through modern object-oriented programming languages such as C#. Because most applications written to Avalon will probably be a mix of XAML and programming code, this article discusses XAML tags used to control page layout along with the procedural code written to respond to events.
XAML: Create Real Apps Using New Code and Markup Model
2003-11-05 General Development 16 Comments
wow! i might go so far as to say that MS may have even innovated here… i know applications can be programmed in all sort sof languages… but for most run-of-the-mill applications you don’t need the full powerof C/C++ … common components and simple procedures are ideal for a simple XAML.
If you forget about the C# part for a moment, XAML sounds an awful lot like XUL…
If Microsoft manages to create a solution that is easier to use than XUL, I will be a very happy person. People are saying that XAML is nothing more than XUL, I can only hope that’s not truth.
XUL is a great concept, but it is not very developer-friendly IMHO. If the Mozilla guys improve XUL and make it easier to use, I believe it can be a powerful alternative to what Microsoft will be offering in Longhorn in terms of UI development.
Upon hearing about XAML last year, my first reaction was similar to those above: they stole from XUL.
I am currently developing a full-featured desktop application in XUL, using direct database connectivity, filesystem interaction, etc… IMHO it is a gem of a development platform.
My point is, XUL/Mozilla is mature and robust. It has been tested for years, the Mozilla browser GUI itself is written in XUL, there are XUL editors being developed in XUL. Do you think Microsoft will be brave enough to use XAML for IE and InterDev? Doubt it.
If anybody cares to see XAML in action check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episode.aspx?xml=episodes/en/20031… it is a good video of Don Box showing us XAML and Indego in action. Really cool stuff.
XAML does look an awful lot like XUL, take a look at some of the examples on http://www.xulplanet.com/tutorials/xultu/ and judge for yourself. I think the overall concept is a good idea and I’m glad to see major players going in this direction.
Personally I would stick with XUL for crossplatform sake. As long as Mozilla/Firebird is installed, XUL apps will run (I think).
That’s what I was thinking of when I first read about XAML, and I was initially a little confused. Seems that this project died though, and microsoft co-opted the name, and some of the ideas. A very good defensive move.
I must admit, after reading the article, I was quite impressed by how simple the code looked and how easy it seemed for anyone to start building applications. XAML syntax seems more user-friendly than XUL syntax, but perhaps XAML will spur developers to take a closer look at XUL too. The OEone Linux distribution uses Mozilla and XUL for most of its desktop interface, but XAML will have the advantage (or disadvantage depending on your viewpoint) of having deep hooks into the operating system.
The other possible benefit of XAML could be improved accessibility. If, for example, Screen Readers can easily access or extract the relevant text labels from the XAML code, this could help visually-impaired users navigate and access a wider range of software.
XUL is not user friendly (You mean developper ?)
Have you any argument here, or it is just the typical OSNews troll ?
I’ve read the excellent book from O’Reilly 
and it seemed to me to be quite straight forward.
There is also other excellent sources of information  
some good articles to discover   
and some impressive examples : 4 ou 5 guys made a first class web browser (Firebird) in a few months ; The Mozilla Amazon Browser  ; ROBIN (Remote Operating System Build in Netscape) (visualize a windows-95 like in your browser) ;
I’ve mailed Universalis to ask them to support Linux, and they said me that they will use the mozilla framework for the next release, so that Universalis run easily everywhere.
Honestly, XUL is very good and Microsoft could have taken it. But no, like always, they “embrace and extend” open standards and twist them into Microsoft owned technologies.
Sadly, I can guess who will win.
 Creating Applications with Mozilla http://books.mozdev.org
 An interesting article from the authors of the previous book : http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/mozilla/2003/06/27/mozilla.html
 XUL planet http://www.xulplanet.com/
 Remote Application Development with Mozilla http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/mozilla/2002/12/17/app_dev.html
 Reference XUL http://www.mozilla.org/xpfe/xulref/
 MAB Mozilla Amazon Browser http://www.cfmentor.com/~faser/mab/
 ROBIN http://robin.sourceforge.net/
Well isn’t this interesting. I remember the complaints about all the energy being wasted on things like XUL, instead of a basic browser being released. The price of being “revolutionary” I guess. Now here we are with one of the biggest software companies “borrowing” the idea. I guess XUL wasn’t as bad an idea as people thought. But then there’s a lot of people who still haven’t gotten the hang of XML yet.
XAML is from the idea of SVG and is somewhat compatible with SVG.
I will be very thankful to anybody who point me the right way on XUL.
So web developpers will feel at home
This app can help
Despite what Microsoft might claim, this is far from innovative. Mozilla have had XUL for many years, and XWT – http://www.xwt.org – is another with an entirely XML-based syntax that has been around for several years.
Other than the syntactical beauty of XML. This sort of simplicity for developing applicaitons has been around for more than ten years in other languages, ObjectiveC, Delphi and Smalltalk, come to mind.
Did anyone else notice the tight coupling between the presentation and the logic in the example code. It seems that this is a poor design choice. Pull the code out of the presentation.
And if one has a typesafe language, then why all of the typecasts in the example. I hope that this is not indicative of the hacks that need to be done to use Avalon.
I am not impressed. Newer technologies such as XUL, Relax NG, Phyton, even PHP, or older environments such as SmallTalk or Delphi seem to have solved many of the issues that MS is just now becoming aware of.