Sunday, April 08, 2007

Is XML the Future of UI Development?

Or is it JavaScript? A common trend in the new crop of desktop UI frameworks is that they are XML based with some sort of support for JavaScript. We take a brief look at AJAX, WPF/XAML, Flex/MXML, and Firefox's Gran Paradiso.

The first up is AJAX, the poster child of the Web 2.0 craze. Being essentially a new technique to leverage existing HTML and JavaScript technologies, there is little reason not to use HTML. While not currently suitable for desktop application development, it did set the stage for what was to come.

Microsoft is betting heavily on a new XML based language called Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). For traditional Windows developers, this is leveraged through Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). WPF looks a lot like ASP.NET in that one language, XAML, is used for presentation while another, C# or VB, is used for event handling in a code-behind file.



Mohammad Nour said...

Actually, XML became a basic factor in the new Microsoft products and essentially in the presentation layer. You will find XML in the new office files formats - formally, Open XML - which will be a standard soon. You will find XML in the WPF. You will find it in Sharepoint customization. XML will be definitely a main factor in the next generation of Microsoft Products.

About the Javascript, the trend here is to make it somehow more like the traditional server languages like C#. Currenlty, there is a project called Script# which will be a new way of writing client side scripts.

Guy said...


I would like to introduce you to a new technology called visual webgui which provides a unique way to create AJAX applications by providing full WinForms like development including design time support.