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

    265 comments

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      • LouisLouis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Mike-EEE, Nearly 2 years ago I started to learn TypeScript/JavaScript and I am impressed with the enormous power of the language. I was able to implement a lot of the APL vector-functions in it in a short time in TypeScript, functions that were very difficult to implement in VB.Net or C#. But the main thing I have learned is that there is an enormous software-world outside MSFT, that is working with this technology. I am also looking at Google Polymer and webcomponents as a replacement for XAML. A vibrant dynamic world of tools and components opened my eyes after 30 years running MSFT software only. And what strikes me now is the enthusiasm of the MSFT TypeScript and Edge teams etc. in developing their products. And they fit into this new standard. Well as they say: you are never too old to learn. That certainly affects this pensionado.
        Innovation will always disturb and disrupt an organization, but new opportunities will lead to new business.

      • Mike-EEEMike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Louis that is some pretty fantastic insight, thank you for sharing. It's good to see that you are validating a huge concern here with possibly jumping to NodeJS/JS for your backend, and why there is so much value in this vote. TypeScript might seem like a small step, but you are not just reusing existing knowledge, you are duplicating efforts/concerns between client/server code-reuse and breaking DRY/encapsulation, which ends up being very expensive, as I'm sure you know with your decades of rather significant experience. :) Some organizations might be OK with that, but they will not be as efficient/effective/dominant as those who aren't.

        It will be interesting to see if you end up going all-JS and dumping .NET altogether as other organizations/developers are edging/considering to do.

      • LouisLouis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Mike-EEE, I am from the old skool (I am over 68 years ). @ A year ago I became a pensionado, 20 years after starting and running my own software company with 15 people working for me. The software is still mainly .Net based, but I have lost my confidence in MSFT after changing from WinForms to WPF to Silverlight and UWP/XAML or what's next. We went through expensive conversions especially for our Digital Signage software package. We have added in a very short term a HTML5-based player able to play at any Web-browser including smart-tv's. We have found that productivity in HTML5/TypeScript is substantially higher than in XAM/VB.Net. And there is also more continuity in the HTML5/JavaScript direction. The server-side is still in .Net. But Nodejs has a strong potential in order to use one language for client and server-side programming.
        Luckily: from C# to TypeScript is a small step in reusing existing knowledge.

      • Mike-EEEMike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Louis I had to look up APL. Old skool huh. :) To be sure, technologies do come and go, but .NET is not exactly a one-hit-wonder technology. What will the next language be? This vote maintains that it should be the same as it has been: .NET (C#/VB.NET/F#) innovated for the web (and any platform). Well, that SHOULD happen, and that is the point of this vote. It's the only thing we can do and hope for the best, right?

        Otherwise, we will be going down the road as outlined in the referenced article. You either need a JavaScript backend to work nicely with your JavaScript frontend or you end up breaking DRY/encapsulation. This is an expensive approach and organizations that recognize this (and they are already starting to) will ditch .NET altogether. I am sure you can agree that this is hardly ideal, especially with developers/organizations with over a decade of investment/knowledge in MSFT/.NET.

      • LouisLouis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Mike-EEE, thanks for your enthusiastic and friendly push-back to .Net. But unfortunately technologies come and go, we are all "asked" to convert. That's the dynamic of the IT-world. From VB6 to VB.Net to TypeScript etc. What will the next language be?
        BTW I started programming in the most powerful and dynamic programming language APL. And it still exists :-)

      • Mike-EEEMike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well, if you are so convinced who am I to change your mind, Louis?. ;) ECMAScript/HTML5 is indeed a standard, but that doesn't mean it has to be incompatible with .NET. Mind you, the strategy that you are endorsing is incompatible with .NET, and therein lies the problem that we are attempting to solve here. Rather than following standards, the vision is to innovate with them while still preserving (and yes, strengthening) existing technologies.

        Have you read the rest of that series? You will see CSHTML5/JSIL/Duoco.de transpile .NET artifacts into 100% ECMAScript/HTML5-compliant code. That is the innovative approach that vision this is after.

        It can be done, Louis. Embrace your inner .NET addict and believe again. :)

      • LouisLouis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have read http://blog.developers.win/2015/10/the-broken-burned-bridge/ and I am convinced that MSFT alone is unable to set a programming standard as .Net anymore. The billions of future devices will only work based on standards and .Net is not a part of that standard. At the moment Javascript/ECMAScript2015 is such a standard, whether you like it or not. HTML5 is such a standard, and with Web Components comparable with XAML. I was a VB and .Net addict and I tell you that Javascript/Typescript is a strong alternative.

      • Mike-EEEMike-EEE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Louis, using TypeScript (or traditional JavaScript) within a .NET solution introduces the problem discussed at length here:

        http://blog.developers.win/2015/10/the-broken-burned-bridge/

        Conversely, what this solution aims for is a .NET (C#/VB.NET/F#/etc) transpiler to JavaScript artifacts.

        However, we're all about and open to the idea and prospect of XAML-to-HTML5 transpilation as well. :)

      • Terry MurrayTerry Murray commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is quite obviously the largest obstacle to .net adoption. C# is beautiful, and can quite easily be the most popular language in the world. If Microsoft wants usage growth, we need CLR ubiquity. Start picking platforms and making it happen. At the very least shell out the process and let the community do the work.

      • Developers Win!Developers Win! commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Good questions/points, David. There is no doubt progress being made (especially when compared to 5 years ago), but it is not as focused/clear as it could be. That is part of the vision/ask of this vote: to make a clear, innovative push that truly creates a powerful, authoritative .NET client application model for its developers.

        Roslyn is being used by Duoco.de for their transpiled solution. However, it doesn't account for PCLs (Portable Class Library) and other technical challenges. Mono does indeed support the platforms you mention, but not the web. For an idea of how this is important/significant, please see the following chart that demonstrates HTML5's ubiquity when compared against platforms (all figures guesstimated based on current Net Market Share data and MSFT's target goal of 1B Windows 10 installs by 2018):
        http://i0.wp.com/blog.developers.win/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/20150923021143.png

        Additionally (and more importantly from a business-perspective), MSFT is losing revenues to web developers as they are charging developers to access the Windows Store. Every web developer is another $19/$99 (developer/company) lost from a Windows Store perspective (not to mention fragmenting the .NET ecosystem even more between incompatible HTML5 and .NET client models).

        All the pieces are there for an innovative, powerful solution that preserves/strengthens .NET/MSFT brand and IP, all the while featuring a legitimate business to drive revenue for shareholders. It's just a matter of tying up all the pieces and making it work, while also generating some bucks for MSFT (as opposed to bleeding it via web developer attrition, as is the case now).

      • David TholeDavid Thole commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm a little unsure on this. When you look at the new .net rosyln project, doesn't that solve this issue, at least from a desktop standpoint? Also, mono has the ability to push code to android/ios. It's not perfectly seamless, but I think MS is going in the right direction on this.

      • Developers Win!Developers Win! commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Funny you should mention that, Koen. The original version of this vision/idea from over four years ago did account for BlackBerry: http://dotnetfuture.wufoo.com/forms/m1azjhyi1ozawho/

        In the current version/vision, that is denoted with the 8th and final item listing of "different, future platforms." Additionally, transpiled HTML5 client artifacts and packaging would satisfy this requirement as well.

      • Developers Win!Developers Win! commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks Eder! Together our two votes are over 1000 already. :)

        There is also another one in Windows Developers here: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/110705-dev-platform/suggestions/7989744-make-universal-windows-platform-open-source-and-cr

        And here: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/110705-dev-platform/suggestions/7897380-expand-enable-universal-windows-platform-to-transp

        Combined all of these votes are over 2,000 in total at the moment. Hopefully MSFT does take the time to consider and hear our voices at some point. Good luck with your vote as well!

      • EderEder commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I Just read your idea could not more than agree with it. at all.
        Congratulations. Hope Microsoft hear that a

      • Garry LowtherGarry Lowther commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having been left out in the cold after our investment in .Net when Microsoft released Windows RT - a version of windows which did not run .Net apps (or even win32 apps) at all, I seriously doubt that Microsoft would reverse their decisions. We, like many other ISV's, have been gradually re-architecting our .Net code base to target non-Microsoft platforms, so Microsoft should take note of this suggestion to try and stem the exodus.

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