Under the Hood of the Desktop Window Manager

I’ve made a grand total of one post in about the last 21 months.  What have I been doing during this time?  Why, working on the new Desktop Window Manager for Windows Vista, of course!  The Desktop Window Manager (DWM) is one of the more visible features and changes to Windows coming out with the…

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Update: Changeables have become Freezables

Way back in December of 2003, I posted on Changeables in Avalon — why they exist, what they’re about, etc.  Since that time, we received a good deal of both internal and external feedback (some of which was in response to that post — thanks for the comments!).  The general experience that people had was…

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Simulating “Weak Delegates” in the CLR

Introduction What follows may seem like a fairly obscure topic relating to lifetime management in the CLR, but for those who have hit upon this scenario (and they may not even know they have), this is a very helpful pattern to know about. In some of the development of Avalon, we hit upon a pattern for…

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Introducing 3D in Avalon and 2D/3D Integration

At the beginning of May, we gave a number of presentations on Avalon at WinHEC.  One thing that we also did, without making much fanfare about it, was make the first public showing of 3D in Avalon.  I’m really excited about 3D in Avalon because of some of the opportunities for innovation it provides (and because…

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Talking Avalon at WinHEC

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present the overview of Avalon at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC).  The conference attendees are typically independent hardware vendors, designers, and folks writing software at the software/hardware interface level.  As such, there’s less interest in the higher level aspects of Avalon, but there was a lot…

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My Avalon talk at PDC 2003 – Better Late Than Never

I gave a talk at PDC 2003 back in October, and haven’t managed to mention it here since then.  Here’s the abstract: Avalon Graphics and Media (Part 2): Using Graphics, Animation and Composition in Your ApplicationsAll Windows “Longhorn” application developers that make use of graphics to create exciting applications and controls will benefit from this session’s…


What are these "Changeable" things Avalon has, and why does it need them?

Frank Hileman wonders about the Changeable class in a comment on a usability post to Steven Clarke’s blog.  Here is his comment: The Changeable class. This one really has me stumped. I can’t figure out why the concept is there at all. Why simulate mutability on immutable objects? Why not just make them mutable, if…

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"Length" in Avalon

Frank Hileman wonders about the Length type in a comment on a usability post to Steven Clarke’s blog.  Here is his comment: “…, like Length to represent a scalar. It is a scalar, why not use a double? This is what users want.“ Length is more than just the scalar value.  It also represents the…

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Introduction

I just set up this spanking new blog on weblogs.asp.net.  My name’s Greg Schechter and I’m an architect at Microsoft on the Avalon team, focused on graphics, media, animation, and other aspects of Avalon.  For those of you not familiar with Avalon, it’s the presentation, graphics, UI, and document system for the upcoming “Longhorn” operating…