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:
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)
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)
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:
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!
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.
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
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.)
Wow @Marc... that IS a good video. All until the end when it talks about async, though. What a stain on our language:
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!!!
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:
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.
I laugh all the time...
@Mike-EEE You have the words to express exactly the need. Thank you and happy 10,032
@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:
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.
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.
We are .NET developers that just want a solid GUI call it BlazorEditor, Blend or whatever you want and all we do is coding C# OOP full from server to client which will run on the WEB.
Collin Sparks commented
By the way, the Web Assembly aspect of my previous comments on Xamarin.Forms is possibly not accurate for Microsoft. Specifically, it should rather be about developers not Microsoft implementing Web Assembly support for Xamarin.Forms/UWP, e.g. Ooui (https://github.com/praeclarum/Ooui) and Uno Platform (platform.uno).
@Oliver I am OK with Blazor. In fact it's really awesome that MSFT is stepping out and trying new things here. At the end of the day however they are WASM-centric and are not really designed for iOS/Droid/Windows. Additionally Razor has its own parser/engine and is not very Xaml-ish as you know.
My beef with WASM is that there is a huge download associated with it. If there is a way to streamline this there won't be much of a problem but I am pretty sure it's going to be a struggle for the first couple years for sure.
As such, I am still very much in favor of Ooui's approach and using a simple, lightweight HTML+CSS presentation tier. The trick here, however, is to adapt it so that you can easily Xamlfy it and make it more .NET-ish.
Oliver Shaw commented
Is there a reason you chaps don't mention Blazor more? It's .NET CLR in WASM. any thoughts?
...Meanwhile we develop in JavaCrap with tons of frameworks and we don't know for how long we will suffer.
HEY EVERYBODY... GUESS WHAT NOW HAS TWO+ YEARS IN SERVICE AND OVER TEN THOUSAND VOTES TO ITS NAME???
> I guess we do care about Microsoft.
LOL... yeah, I agree. More like I care about my soon-to-be-approaching 20-year investment into their technology. ;)
I can't find much fault in what you have to say. WebAssembly is certainly a viable route any tech can take so I see what you say there. I am just not impressed with what I have seen out of XF to really jump in. In addition to their bigger fundamental problems, the way they approach problems and write APIs (e.g. ALL THE STATIC METHODS) leaves much to be desired.
As such, I think the primary concern in XF and UWP is that neither of these technologies *inspire* developers. WPF and especially Silverlight were LOADED with really great, creative approaches that made developers think differently in how they created their solutions. What's more about Silverlight, is that it was 100% fully comprehensive. It wasn't "just" at the UI tier... it had RIA Services and a ton of supporting cast around the entire vision. In addition to vision, it had purpose, and this fed into developers' minds as they were not only implementing core solutions, but extending and making their own.
None of that exists in UWP or XF IMO. Now, I will say that I am getting that same creative energy from .NET Core's camp. To me, that is where the talent is at these days but NO UI... this is why I say dump UWP and have .NET Core absorb its mission.
THEN we can have another HOLISTIC shot at creating a UI-oriented solution. Right now, the UI space is so rickety and pieced together. Hodge podge. There simply is no inspiration in that, and the poor adoption reflects this.
I appreciate your efforts, sir. I will also make effort to involve in the other location you pointed to.
So, in response to your latest feedbacks. I do think Xamarin.Forms supporting WebAssembly is enough. Rendering to the same usual HTML, CSS & JS, the other obvious option, is not actually a plus, cos it forfeits the essence of the native approach in the first place, even though I support that Xamarin.Forms should support the Web. WebAssembly is just enough to make things complete. A perfect cross-platform solution will not be easy to achieve. OK, what if we had more than Android and iOS to deal with? Wouldn't there be more platforms to target? Of course, yes.
For UWP, I do think that with the current amount of investment that has gone into it, if Microsoft should try to start over again with something else, it might finally make people forget about Windows development for good. It would likely be a disastrous move for Microsoft. I bet Microsoft will not try that but to simply keep enhancing UWP to become better.
I have used WPF (few years after it was released and got more stable and accepted) and UWP. Being that I do appreciate UX and UI responsive design, the first thing I instantly noticed about WPF is the flexibility of XAML in achieving a great UI design. But then, I noticed the serious absence of responsive design capabilities. Then came UWP eventually to take care of those areas. Business logic didn't change much. UWP XAML, even though differently intentioned, is still better at doing modern UI design than WPF XAML.
Btw, making WPF to run on mobile devices was going to be harder than UWP. Because if Microsoft hadn't done something about a unified Windows development, people would have complained too.
What makes the Web better today is with the introduction of true responsive design and adaptive design capabilities. Much of the development in the Web arena have been about the UI in a long time and much less about JS until more recently.
UWP vs WPF is a tough one. UWP can only become problematic when things get really complex, and if examined carefully, bad application-wide design approach is mostly to be blamed. These days, there are various ways to implement application design in a more modern way and things don't have to be done in old ways.
One other issue I had with UWP was not being able to easily use SQL Server with it, and that has now been taken care of, even though SQL Server data could be accessed over APIs or over a network. But if examined critically, it wasn't a real problem if one could only think in a more modern way. SQLite was just OK for the client in the more connected world of today, unlike when computers were more independent like in the early days of WPF era. Most times, it's an app design/architecture issue.
I recommend that we should all help UWP to succeed. And ensure that we contribute towards Xamarin.Forms achieving WebAssembly capabilities.
I guess we do care about Microsoft.
BTW @Olumide I super appreciate your line of thinking in providing potential solutions. Please do not think that I do not find them valuable with my line of questioning. If you want to join the discussion there on that Disqus thread it is a better way of posting comments and I can upvote them, too. :)