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Author Topic: Windows 8 from a Developer's Perspective Post-BUILD  (Read 5706 times)
wraith808
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« on: October 10, 2011, 12:31:18 PM »

Here are a few articles that help understand what it will be like developing for Windows 8. In June Microsoft announced that the preferred way for developing for Windows 8 would be HTML/Javascript/CSS which really upset a lot of .NET developers. In the BUILD conference in September MS did a better job of commuicating out what developing in Windows 8 is really about. And not to worry .NET is still alive and kicking but its restricted and some namespaces have been retired.

Silverlight in IE is dead, altough it lives on for the desktop.  Visual Basic is not dead, and they are removing a lot of the differences between VB and C# development.  Chances are a lot of applications will have to be rewritten to fit into Metro, especially those that use the System.IO namespace.  However, one of the articles has an interesting throw-away sentence about the chaos of the windows desktop is just a click away.

XAML is defnitely the way to go for UI however it lives in a different namespace now.

http://www.theregister.co...rogramming_for_windows_8/

http://www.theregister.co...ual_basic_c_sharp_future/

http://blogs.microsoft.co...and-net-in-windows-8.aspx

http://dougseven.files.wo...n8-platform-and-tools.jpg

So quite a few changes, I guess developers will be busy when Windows 8 comes around.
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 12:58:06 PM »

However, one of the articles has an interesting throw-away sentence about the chaos of the windows desktop is just a click away.

Nice to know that the Microsoft walled garden named 'Metro' is also just a mouse click away.



WELCOME TO WINDOWS 8 and METRO

Developers are 'invited' to enjoy the new "freedom from choice" such a locked-down environment will bring them, to say nothing of how neatly it will remove from them the burden of introducing innovation or radical change. Microsoft will take care of all of that for you. Even if they have never been an overly innovative company.


Which is encouraging. Especially since what few "innovations" Microsoft has attempted to introduce (i.e. Bob, Zune - or the tablet PC which has been blocked for 10 years inside Microsoft because the Office Dev team allegedly didn't like it!) have either failed spectacularly (Bob), or are underwritten through patent trolling (Zune, WinPhone) rather than allowed to compete on their own merits.

Yes indeed. This is the start of a new Golden Age for Microsoft. One that promises great things for software developers everywhere. And all for a distribution cost of only a measly 30% of their total sales revenue for the privilege and convenience (i.e tariff) they'll be charged in order to sell ALL their Metro apps through a 'company store.'

This is the dawn of Digital Colonialism. Cry

I can't hardly wait. tongue Thmbsup

-----------------------

Addendum - proposed box art for Windows 8 leaked:



 Wink Cool

« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 01:55:41 PM by 40hz » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 01:21:32 PM »

 huh

...
* wraith808 shrugs

Hey, I'm just trying to make a buck.  Grin
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 01:46:24 PM »

huh

...
* wraith808 shrugs

Hey, I'm just trying to make a buck.  Grin

I don't have a problem with that. That's all any of us are trying to do.

But I do have a big problem with only receiving 70¢ for each buck I do make. Grin

(Assuming you still need to buy the development tools like you did when .NET and Visual Studio ruled the roost. If the dev platform is offered for free, that would be a different story.)

 Cool

« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 01:53:22 PM by 40hz » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 02:08:08 PM »

But I do have a big problem with only receiving 70¢ for each buck I do make.

The government already takes about that much...  ohmy
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 02:14:51 PM »

Not being a developer (and not really understanding all of the issues) does this mean that the desktop apps are also going to be affected by these changes or is it just the Metro crap that I have intention of using?

Will a compatibility layer be included (so that all the old libraries are still there) or is it going to be a clean break?

If it affects the whole of Windows I can't see it getting adopted at all as a desktop OS. There are a lot of people still using software from years ago (Win XP is still ubiquitous, and I even still see Windows 2000 and 98 machines out there, even on Windows 7 Office 2003 is still common) and I can't see many people being willing to restock their entire application library. Smaller developers will have little incentive to build/redevelop two versions of software to stay with windows 7 users and earlier and take on windows 8 too. Business is going to be particularly reluctant to move - especially if they have any bespoke software. Many are sticking to XP now because of the perceived difficulties of moving to 7 (however unreasonable those perceptions might be).

But I do have a big problem with only receiving 70¢ for each buck I do make.

The government already takes about that much...  ohmy

They still will - so that means you will lost 50% of your income. It's all Jobs' fault.
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f0dder
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 02:34:08 PM »

Addendum - proposed box art for Windows 8 leaked:
 (see attachment in previous post)
 Wink Cool
Hehehehe, nice one smiley

It seems that once Apple opened the box below, there's no way to close it again...



But I do have a big problem with only receiving 70¢ for each buck I do make. Grin

(Assuming you still need to buy the development tools like you did when .NET and Visual Studio ruled the roost. If the dev platform is offered for free, that would be a different story.)
No, that would be assuming the development tools are free - Microsoft is going to take the 30% Apple cut of everything sold on the windows market.

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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 02:38:28 PM »

I've no problem with MS taking a 30% cut through their marketplace. I do however have a big problem with the marketplace being the only way to install Metro applications. I really hope that some consumer body or competition regulator steps in. Of course I wish they'd do that for Apple too.

Carol- I've played with the Win 8 preview, the Win 7 style desktop is still there and fully open, only Metro style apps are getting locked down. In fact, all in all I like the feel of Windows 8.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 03:07:09 PM »

Sorry I didn't really mean that - will the Win8 desktop be reliant on the new WinRT api or is the desktop OS just going to be a win 7 upgrade. From what I read it looked like Win 8 was going to be based on WinRT in which case it will break most if not all current applications. Or have I got that totally wrong?

I was under the impression that the current Win8 preview only really previews the Metro bit and that the desktop environment hasn't really been modified to reflect cplans YET?
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 03:26:33 PM »

I was under the impression that the current Win8 preview only really previews the Metro bit and that the desktop environment hasn't really been modified to reflect cplans YET?

Hard to tell at this point. A lot of chaff is mixed in with what wheat there is.

As it stands so  far however, it looks like there will be two entirely different user spaces on Win 8. And AFAICT there doesn't seem to be any way to communicate or share between them without going to the cloud or some other intermediary networked staging space.  The problem is that most sysadmins, power users, and devs realize this isn't a situation that can be allowed to continue indefinitely. So once something has to be let go, which will it be: Metro or desktop?

Most people are betting it's the desktop that Microsoft ultimately plans on kicking to the curb.  Add on the potential for locking down hardware to a specific computing platform and it gets even more alarming. It will be Apple all over - except this time it will affect a far large user base than Apple's little game preserve.

And I wouldn't count on government intervention or oversight to prevent or even moderate this trend in desktop computing.

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 04:00:20 PM »

If PC hardware gets locked to MS products there will be massive protests and regulatory intervention - particularly in Europe. If that happens I wouldn't be surprised if the EU competition commission didn't mandate that EU governments are not allowed to use Windows and force the use of open source OS and applications on government systems, a bit like some US states are already trying to do. Anti-competitive won't be the word used by then it will be pure monopolistic behaviour and if the hardware manufacturers collude it will breed huge class actions against an open and notorious cartel.
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 04:24:55 PM »

^I fervently hope so.  I just wonder if governments can resist the siren song of all the opportunities this new vision offers for control and survelliance of the general population. Especially now that so many legislators are beginning to wonder if this technology is a little too powerful to continue to be allowed into the hands of it's citizens without some overarching technology in place to monitor and, if necessary, intervene.   Cool
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 04:33:38 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 05:47:17 PM »

There was an article I read today about the German government/law enforcement deliberately infecting computers in Germany to monitor what they were up to!

See

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk...fo-stealing-trojan-german
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 07:10:52 PM »

^ Ummm... what does this have to do with the thread?  I was hoping to keep this separate from the other more general Windows 8 thread, and get more to what it means from a developer's perspective...?
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 01:17:50 AM »

^ Ummm... what does this have to do with the thread?  I was hoping to keep this separate from the other more general Windows 8 thread, and get more to what it means from a developer's perspective...?

I don't think it's possible (or advisable) to completely divorce any technology - especially computing technology - from the social context it will be working in. I say that because most technologies we're using (or developing for) are not being driven by technical merit or engineering considerations, but rather by politics and legal maneuvering. And this is a harsh reality that won't go away any time soon.

Windows is NOT just an operating system. It's a factor in human society that dictates much of how things get done. And to a certain extent, much like like Tron's Master Control Program it also defines the scope of what it is possible to do.

That's why as significant a change as Metro (and the way Microsoft intends to license and control it) has to be taken into consideration in any technical discussion. As does the actions of governments in response to these technologies.

Think of it like firearms. If you're a manufacturer, a seller, or an owner of guns, you'll soon discover that your involvement with  something as simple (from an engineering perspective) as a gun has ramifications which go far beyond what is necessary for a device that shoots bullets. These ramifications can take the form of regulations (i.e. registration or licensing requirements; restrictions on sales, ownership, or concealment; etc.) or actual physical modifications (i.e. mandatory inclusion of trigger guards and safeties; maximum magazine capacity; minimum barrel length, etc.) of the product itself.

Nor is this a farfetched analogy. There are categories of software that have been classified as munitions and restricted for export under US law.

So while I agree that we shouldn't get overly bogged down in all the the "social" stuff and nonsense surrounding Windows 8, I still don't think we should completely ignore it or gloss it over.

Especially since we are discussion this from a developer's perspective. Wink

« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 01:25:03 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 02:06:59 AM »

From what I can tell, it's business as usual for desktop development, and it's only Metro development where you get hit with stuff like no System.IO and a 30% tax on sales.

I'm I wrong? (I've just looked into it quickly.)

If that's true, then why would I want to develop Metro software? Like WTF? I'll only get buried in the long tail in any app store, so why should I care about Metro?

Can't we just fake Metro in the normal, free, desktop world?

As for XAML, I never got into it much. I tried it out and it just seemed slow and convoluted with no real practical upshot for development. e.g. It can scale. Oh yay.

Dunno... Maybe I need to look at it again. It just seems like everything in XAML takes much longer than in WinForms.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 02:47:38 AM »

Sorry - it is what comes of having a butterfly mind ...

I'll shut up now and let you get back to discussing on-topic!
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wraith808
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2011, 06:03:58 AM »

I don't think it's possible (or advisable) to completely divorce any technology - especially computing technology - from the social context it will be working in. I say that because most technologies we're using (or developing for) are not being driven by technical merit or engineering considerations, but rather by politics and legal maneuvering. And this is a harsh reality that won't go away any time soon.

I don't disagree... but there's a thread for that discussion.  Grin

Dunno... Maybe I need to look at it again. It just seems like everything in XAML takes much longer than in WinForms.

I've been forced into the WPF world.  But now I'm not looking back.  XAML does take a while to get your mind around, and it is a different way of looking at things.  And that ramp up time is significant.  But you can do *so* much more *so* easier in XAML.  It's not the silver bullet- I hear people professing that "I don't have any code- it's all XAML!".  But XAML *is* code.  And it is compiled to code.  But the things that you can do with UI in XAML are pretty amazing, especially considering how much work you'd have to do in order to do it otherwise.  And in many cases it can be more efficient also- there was an article on databinding that I read recently- it compared three ways of doing it.  Dependency Objects (XAML-based, though you can do it in code too), INotifyPropertyChanged (code) and Lambdas (code).  It was actually to quantify how much extra time MVVM using Lambda expressions takes to execute, but what also struck me was the difference in INotifyPropertyChanged was from Dependency Objects.

XAML is definitely a great tool that I'm glad to have in my toolset.

As far as the Metro stuff, I think that you hit it on the head, though.  I think how much *we* have to deal with it is going to be based on how much *the consumer* takes to it.  If Windows tablets with Metro take off as much as the iPad and Android tablets have, and if Joe Normal is willing to put up with it, then we'll be saddled with it.  Otherwise, it will go the way of the BOB.

(I did also note that SL in IE is pretty much gone...  glad I didn't get into *that* much.)
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2011, 07:19:55 AM »

So they're killing the message loop and crippling Win32...And giving (force feeding?) us XAML. Grreaaatt...

Wonder if this is what the Mayans were on about? I'll vote for 40hz's box art, tis a nice fit indeed.
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2011, 07:41:18 AM »

XAML is good for generic stuff but i don't know how JS and XAML is going to work with memory sucking apps.
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