march 2005 avalon ctp

Microsoft recently made a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Avalon available to MSDN subscribers. (Avalon being the display engine that will be a part of the upcoming Windows Longhorn). There’s an interesting MSDN article here titled Introducing the March 2005 CTP: What’s New in “Avalon”. The XAMLPad tool sounds kinda cool, allowing developers to edit XAML, the markup used to represent the application’s UI, and see the results in realtime.

As well, designerslove.net is a fairly new blog from a member of the Avalon team focusing on Avalon from a designer’s point of view. Looking at the Flippin’ CD button entry (I had to dig for that permalink so it may not hold up) I can’t help but wonder if Avalon will be in danger of going through growing pains similar to the early “skip intro” Flash days. Folks were so caught up in the razzle-dazzle, look what I can do type of libertation that Flash provided they lost sight of the user experience. As both a developer and a user I find the phrase with great power comes great responsibility would fit well here. There’s still alot more to be played out with Avalon so perhaps my concerns are unfounded at this point. We shall see.

Speaking of concerns, I came across this bit of confusion in the Longhorn Developer FAQ:

Will my existing Win32 and .NET apps continue to run under Longhorn without modification?

The goal is that apps written against the documented Win32 APIs and the .NET Framework will absolutely run well without any modifications under Longhorn when it ships.

Isn’t one of the main beefs about WinAPI it’s shortage of documentation? What the hell does “absolutely run well” mean? Again, perhaps me being overly skeptical however it could do with a little clarification. Besides that particular item was written 18 months ago and the Win32 question is probably a little clearer now, right?

Got that designerslove.net link from Robert Scoble.

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