Adam Kinney on Longhorn

Designing and Developing with WinFX

  • Taking a break from Longhornblogs.com

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    Because I am sick of the comment spam and I like to make my own stuff,  I'll now be spending all my time over at AdamKinney.com.

    And one of my favorite features of the new site is that it renders as xaml when requested.  For more details read here or if you have the Avalon CTP installed read the xaml version of the entry.

    Fun stuff.  So I'll still have my blog here, but I am not going to be receiving comment emails anymore, so if you want to contact me I'd suggest using the “contact” link. 

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  • Speaking at Heartland Dev Conf

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    I'll be giving a presentation on XAML at the Heartland Developer's Conference this week.  It should be fun and if you're going to be there, stop by and say "Hi."  Its always fun to talk about XAML in person.

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  • New Avalon available at the worst time (..for me)

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    What great timing!  For the next two weeks, I am going to be home with my test box for one day, and out comes a brand new release of Avalon.  Seriously I'm very excited to get it running and am happy for those involved in the release.  Now we'll all believe that "yes, Avalon will run on XP".

    These two weeks will be an exercise in patience and where I'll have to enjoy just reading about it.  Actually, this article prepared for the release gives a very intriging overview of the new features made available.

    One of the particular items that I found interesting was the concept of StoryBoards.  When you start using multiple animations and multiple timelines you need a way to manage them.  Flash does this by abstracting different Timelines into different Movie Clips, and now Avalon has an equivalent with StoryBoards.

    Its exciting to read about all of the enhancements geared towards Animation throughout WinFX.  Once I get the new Avalon running I plan to really dive into this area.

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  • Browser Technology track at XML Europe

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    This is a interesting development due to the recent surge of XML for UI talk.  A new topic has been added to the XMLEurope conference, entitled "Browser Technology".  In Edd Dumbill's words:

    The first of these new tracks is Browser Technology. The development of standards-based user interfaces is definitely very much alive and kicking. Mozilla's Firefox browser is starting to take chunks out of Microsoft Internet Explorer's dominance, and at the same time provides a rich client development platform. Opera's browser is innovating on mobile platforms, as is Apple's Safari browser on the Mac. Meanwhile, Microsoft's XAML provides a new avenue of competition and innovation.

    The rest of the article...
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  • What is XAML?

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    I've seen some talk about this recently and I've had it made it clear to me by Chris Sells and Chris Anderson.  This definition is actually straight from ChrisAn's mouth:

    XAML is a declarative markup language that defines an object model

    Its not Avalon.  It doesn't have doesn't have controls, shapes, animation or transforms.  The XAML is parsed and turned into an object tree in memory and from there its up to the engine to instantiate objects and whatever else is requested by the instructions.

    Any comments or suggestions?

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  • Longhornblogs.com spam

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    Wow, lots of comment spam this week on Longhornblogs.com.  I've dutifully deleted around 200 comments this week.  As I'm working on my new site, its really hard for me to think about adding comment functionality right now.  So far I'm just following Tim Bray's example where all you leave is a link to technorati that acts as a functional "trackback".

    Blargh.  I hate spam.  I don't need any casino poker chips, blood pressure medication or zithromax, whatever that is...

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  • Styling Longhorn OS components

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    At the Applied XML Dev Conference last week I was able to ask Chris Anderson about one of the ideas I have seen discussed on the Longhorn newsgroups and other areas.

    Will you able to change the theme of your OS just by changing Styles via Avalon?

    He answered by saying that the other team is building the OS while they are building Avalon, so don't count on much support for Styles in the initial release.  Which makes sense, just something to remember when dreaming about Longhorn.

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  • Google Desktop

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    Wow, this is amazing.  For those of you who were excited about WinFS and even if you weren't, you need to check out the Google Desktop.

    From the CNet article:

    To use Google's desktop application, people download the file, which is a thin 400K, or about half the size of its toolbar application. (Users must have 128MB of memory installed on their PC, but the application uses only about 8MB.) The software then scans the hard drive in the background to index the full text of Word, Outlook e-mail, Excel files, text files, AOL chat logs, and saved Web pages from Internet Explorer--a process that typically takes between five and six hours. Then as the application runs, it indexes new documents and visited Web pages in real time.

    Its amazing how Google.com has changed my web habits (no need for favorites and the capability to find anything on the web), and its exciting to think about how this is going to change desktops.

    I can now search for something like "XAML .doc" and easily find every Word document containing the word XAML.  This obviously was doable before with Windows Search, but it was normally quicker to browse through folders by hand.  Now I have a super fast way to do that and its free.  Awesome.


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  • XAML Presentation at the Fort Wayne .NET User Group

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    My first presentation on XAML will appropiately be in my home town at my old user group ("old" because I have recently passed on the leadership role).  I'll be presenting next Tuesday on the 12th.  For more details, check out the event page.


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  • Xamlon Product Demo Movie

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    In preperation for our October 4th version 1 release, we've put together a product demo movie that I'd like to share.

    The video includes demonstrations of multiple user interfaces with one code base, scaling user interfaces (along with a special surprise feature), and Visual Studio Integration.

    Click here to watch the video


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  • Longhorns are getting restless

    After reading Drew Marsh's latest post titled When's the next drop then...?, I think he may be on to something.  Maybe the longhorns are getting restless (or spreading FUD if you prefer...)  because there is no official ETA for the next Longhorn drop.  Obviously MS is going through changes with Longhorn, but they just can't move fast enough for us.

    When's the next Longhorn Beta?

    When's the Avalon for XP Beta?

    When's the next PDC?

    We want roadmaps, we want bits, argh, argh, argh, and all that pirate stuff...


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  • If Avalon were delayed...

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    An eWeek article by Darryl Taft, brings up the idea that Avalon may miss its release date in 2006.  So the question is would that be good or bad?

    DonXML gave a comment saying that would be a bad thing and developers would lose respect for Microsoft.  Sure respect would be loss; developers would moan and groan, but I don't think it would be a permanent affliction.

    Ok so let's step into hypothetical world here...

    In 2006, Microsoft releases a new operating system, it won't be called Longhorn, it needs a different name.  Something like Windows ME 2.  So this OS has all of the great Fundamentals of Longhorn, including security, power management, network awareness enhancements and .NET 2.0 comes preinstalled!!  Wouldn't that be great?

    Which leads me into Windows Forms 2.0.  Have you seen what you can do with it lately?  It looks like an impressive platform to work on and it seems a shame to overshadow it so quickly with Avalon talk.  ASP.NET is looking really good too.  So here we have two good-looking, rich platforms and now we are going to get one more thrown into the loop?  I think Avalon looks great and I'm excited to use it, but I don't see the need to rush it, especially not with Windows Forms 2.0 to hold me over.  If its going to be a grand, smooth-running, new platform, I'd rather have it decoupled from the OS release schedule and have its own time to mature properly.

    Now back to the hypothetical release schedule;  Microsoft and the hardware companies are happy.  They've released Windows ME 2, consumers bought new PCs, developers are now targeting .NET 2.0 happily knowing that the 2.0 Framework is installed on all new PCs.  Now Avalon and WinFS have until 2008 to be completed for the next OS release.  They could be released previously as an Update, but they'll be installed with the 2008 release, we'll call it Windows 2^8 just for fun.  After two years many consumers have bollixed up their computer enough that its time to buy a new one, they walk into Best Bu 2.0 and see a demo of Windows 2^8, and they are smitten.  The new graphical interface runs amazingly smooth on a new 3GHz double GPU video card.  They need to have it and they plop done their fingertip to charge the account.

    Well that was fun.  Now back to work.  I'm working in SQL Server today.  Man I can't wait for Yukon...:-)


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  • Get your DeskTop SideBar today

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    If you like the idea of the Longhorn Sidebar, you've got to check this out. You can get your own very configurable, very skinnable side bar for Windows today at DeskTopSideBar.com.


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  • More Longhorn 3D Desktop thoughts

    Don Park has an interesting post where he says he wants to lose the windows metaphor and work within in a 3D space.  Objects recognizable by shape and location, items left in the same room you placed them last.  Most of the comments left disapprove of the idea, mentioning its too much work moving around in 3D space to find something. 

    I'd love to have a 3D world to explore my desktop, though.  Mine will be less like a house or shopping mall and more like an Unreal Tournament level.  I'd fly around in my Manta (pictured above) moving from one area to the other.  Once I got to the music canyon, I'd hop out and walk around, selecting which tracks to add to my playlist.  The tracks would then glow to annotate that they were in the queue to play.  And then from there I'd head back to the coding hill to begin working again.  It'd be a great mental break as I flew through the landscape.  And of course instead of using IM I would just see another avatar walk/fly/come out of the ground and we'd start talking.  No emoticons, just gestures performed by the avatar.

    Instead of making a new XP "theme", I would much rather make a new Longhorn "world".


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  • Jim Allchin video dissected

    Steve Gillmor dissects the Jim Allchin video in this article.

    I still haven't watched the video, but now I feel like I've read the book.  This is an example of why some people actually get paid for what they write.  Nice article.


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