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So Mix ’07 brought a bunch of interesting announcements, the most impressive of which is that the next version of WPF/E (I’ll leave the name ‘Silverlight’ to the artistic types out there) will actually be WPF Everywhere. Apparently based off the .Net Micro Framework, WPF/E 1.1 will bring the CLR to the web with just a 4 MB download for the plugin. This is a significant difference over WPF/E 1.0 which is little more than a XAML rendering engine with Javascript hooks. There were a number of developers dreading the idea of recreating the basic WPF controls (like buttons, textboxes, listboxes, and the like) in raw XAML and Javascript, and now they don’t have to worry about it.

While Javascript is still available for wiring up event handlers, my thought is that…actually let me fix that. I’m sure that there will still be an appeal to using Javascript for the web designers who want to use Silverlight to add a bit of … pardon me … flash to their websites. For those like me, who know just enough Javascript to be dangerous, knowing that WPF/E 1.1 supports .Net assemblies makes it more accessible.

Another interesting development is the announcement of the DLR or Dynamic Language Runtime. Basically what the DLR provides is another option for programming against Silverlight WPF/E by using a dynamic language, like Python, Ruby, or VBx (that’s Visual Basic 10 not the VBX that preceded OCX and ActiveX). Like Javascript, the Dynamic Languages do not have to be compiled, so changes to the logic of a WPF/E applet can be made without stopping and restarting your web application.

All of this tied together opens WPF/E development to a much larger range of potential designers and developers than the original version’s Javascript only model…or even if it had only supported .Net.

Forget Web 2.0, Microsoft has offically launched Web 3.0.


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