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Create a Ubiquitous .NET Client Application Development Model

This vote is for developers who wish to see the idea of a ubiquitous .NET client application development model created by Microsoft and the Visual Studio team.

A ubiquitous .NET client application development model is a model that is defined in .NET-based technologies and is able to run in a multitude of runtime environments -- both native-compiled (store-hosted) and web-hosted.

A *very* rough image of the vision can be found here:
http://i0.wp.com/blog.developers.win/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Vision.png

The goal is to enable *one* .NET Client Application Project to build deliverables for the following platforms:
1) Windows 10
2) Legacy Windows
3) *nix (Unix/Linux)
4) Droid
5) iOS
6) Macintosh
7) HTML5
8) ??? (Extendible to different, future platforms)

In order to achieve the above, a ubiquitous .NET client application development model should strive to possess the following qualities:
1) Native Cross-Platform Capable - For native-compiled/store-hosted scenarios (iOS/Droid/Windows Store)
2) HTML5-Compliant - For web-hosted scenarios, via .NET-to-JavaScript transpilation
3) Consistent User Experience - For brand recognition, reinforcement, and optimal usability across all known scenarios
4) Cross-Boundary Accessibility - For shared code/assemblies between server and client boundaries
5) Xaml-Powered - Harnessing one of the greatest inventions in Microsoft's great history
6) Object Serialization Congruence - Markup used to describe serialized objects is what is created in memory
7) Holistic Development Consistency - The same guidelines and conventions are used in both client and server scenarios

For more information around this idea and the qualities above, a series of articles has been created to discuss the notion of a ubiquitous .NET client application development model at length. You can view that series here:
http://blog.developers.win/series/bridge-to-dotnet-ubiquity/

Finally, this is intended to be a starting point for discussion, and not a final solution. THAT is meant for the experts there at Microsoft. :) Thank you for any support, dialogue, and feedback around this idea!

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    Developers Win! shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    479 comments

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      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OK I did a little digging and I think the Xamarin is a misstatement there. It's a React Native application that still uses UWP APIs via the dreaded WinJS API covariant. What's been ditched is the XAML API which is what a great majority of UWP resources (and brand) has been dedicated to since Silverlight was sunset in 2011. Do recall that XAML is the format that allows efficient tooling to streamline workflow processes, particularly between designer and developer. There have been countless hours, developers, and additional resources around this UWP Xaml and it has now been resoundly given a vote of no confidence by another group within MSFT. Other groups will surely follow.

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Indeed Michael (hey, nice name!), it still uses "UWP" for application hosting on the Windows Store, but the "guts" of the application is no longer the traditional Xaml/APIs of the UWP offering.

        The same happens when you use Avalonia (as an example) for your Windows Store deployment. Technically, it's still "UWP" as UWP is the only compatible API that can technically deploy to the Windows Store.

      • Michael DePouw commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Interesting comments on that article...

        "This article is misleading. This is more about the abandonment of XAML (and Xamarin), not UWP.
        The Skype version using react-native has been in development for quite some time and it is a UWP app. " Joe Wood

      • Marc Roussel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anoonee I think some people working at Microsoft are anonymously writing here. Maybe there's nothing they can do. It's about hierarchy

        Some people are taking decisions which affect the future of the developers as we know it.

      • Anoonee commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wood head Microsoft, a big chance to change the world, but wasted (till now).
        Single code base with cross platform application development can overthrow the whole software development world, MS has the power and resource to do this, but they don't.

        I was told that people in Microsoft are very smart guys, but their performance shames me.

      • shimmy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The problem with the idea is that it doesn't say that it should render everywhere the same. Xamarin.Forms does this, but you need to touch up each platform separately. Additionally, you would need a custom render for each platform for every control you'd want to create, and there are some essential ones missing, for example RadioButton and CheckBox.

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @birbilis I am not sure if you were asking me specifically, but in my world *any* non-.NET language is the threat here, not just JavaScript. That is the power and elegance of .NET, with its initial vision that of supporting numerous languages and (in theory) being able to add more in the future to continue staying relevant and competitive. In doing so, companies and individuals are able to leverage previous and existing investments and continue forward onto new projects with these same investments to reduce costs incurred otherwise by developing or incorporating in an all new, incompatible language altogether.

        That's how it is supposed to work, at least. And, actually, does work exactly as envisioned everywhere except for this little problem of the UI tier. :P

      • birbilis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        why do you assume the Javascript path means just Javascript? Unless they use node.js, they have Java or .NET, or PHP, Python etc. on the server. With WebForms you didn't have to mess with the Javascript, you'd see it as blackbox controls that could also do stuff client-side when AJAX enabled.

        So could have say WebForms (personally like it better than MVC for focusing on your business logic) + Blazor for example and allow one to build webcomponents (which is trending in recent years) in C# or choose to use readymade customizable componens from MS and third-parties. And I'd really like to see PME (Property-Method-Event) for customization, apart from CSS styling

        in fact Blazor could be a renderer for some higher XAML layer that could also have other renderers for targets where you don't have html engine or don't want to carry the HTML baggage (e.g. could be embedded stuff, games, TV stuff, high-perf desktop apps, holographic stuff etc.)

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wow @Marc... that IS a good video. All until the end when it talks about async, though. What a stain on our language:
        https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio-ide/suggestions/9126493-improve-asynchronous-programming-model

        Adding a System.IAsyncDisposable -- not to be confused with IDisposableAsync ;) -- is a perfect example. It is basically creating two different sets of APIs throughout our entire framework. The async zombie virus spreads! DON'T FORGET TO DOUBLE TAP!!!

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hehe... @Marc thanks Brogrammer... I appreciate that! You got me as I was fixing a major edit/flaw in the previous post, DOH. Do know that I have been pawing at this problem for many years now, and I have not been able to articulate it as well until very recently, I would say in the past year or so. IMO the Silverlight 6 vote didn't survive because it wasn't a very business-oriented case, IMO:
        https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3556619-silverlight-6

        This vote is that EXACT same vote but with a more business-oriented objective and angle. In the end, MSFT is a business (I always use its stock ticker in place of its name for this very reason), and so it is most effective to frame complaints and issues is as a BUSINESS problem and highlight where VALUE is taken and where it can be restored.

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1 to Marc's sentiment, but do I have to actually state that at this point? LOL... @Marc I think it's better to state that this as a business problem rather than comparing technologies. When you introduce JavaScript (or ANY language that isn't .NET/IL-compatible), then you have simply doubled the amount of code required to build your solution. Smart businesses will realize (and already have) that they can dump .NET altogether and simply use JavaScript as it can be used everywhere while also enjoying the ability to share code between all known boundaries (as you suggest with .NET). This is an INCREDIBLE amount of cost savings as not only you can easily leverage existing development but bugs fixed in one area are automatically fixed in another and vice versa. With JavaScript paired with .NET you are constantly chasing bugs in both frameworks -- not to mention constantly learning quirks in both frameworks -- leading to a lot of time and money lost due to such endeavors.

      • Mike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Collin, what do you base the statement that Xamarin has this covered and works quite well? It is the second most dreaded framework in stackoverflow's most recent poll:
        https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-frameworks-libraries-and-tools

        I also pair this with the comments of this thread, over 450 of them to date, LOL. Xamarin.Forms is not very praised that I have seen.

        Additionally you seem to be missing the point about JavaScript, as Blazor is meant to replace all the expensive, friction-prone script that you use in a typical web-hosted application and use .NET instead, thereby reducing the total cost of development for a .NET solution.

        Also, in regards to desktop/mobile designs. The vision/ask/idea here is to provide a more WPF-esque model where you can easily apply a theme and it would match up with the platform that is serving as the host. Given such a paradigm, you could imagine using it to apply a theme to run on an iOS host that provides the Droid UX and vice versa. The point being that great UX is great UX and is not meant to be bound by, well, boundaries. :) Also consider that what you consider as an "iOS" experience and a "Droid" experience is approaching a decade in age and could use a refresh. Also ALSO consider that no one really complains about how web UX operates and it is growing more sophisticated (native-like) by the year.

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