WPF/e and the .NET Compact Framework

I’d like to share some thoughts on integrating WPF/e, announced at the PDC, and the .NET Compact Framework.

WPF/e is a C++, cross platform implementation of a subset of WPF (Avalon). It will be able to execute XAML, in addition to exposing dual mode COM interfaces that make it programmable from COM and script languages.

This makes perfect sense for deployment in browsers, but less so for .NET developers on devices.

I’ve been struggling for a while trying to understand how to add a great, easy to author, graphics animation infrastructure to the .NET Compact Framework. We made good progress on enabling games with the DX object model in V2 (Whidbey), but there’s still considerable investment needed with this approach to build a game. I’m equally concerned about the “disjoint silos” between Windows Forms apps and full screen only DX apps.

The implementation of WPF on the PC was too large to port to devices.

I’m optimistic that WPF/e is the solution to this. The next step for the team is to investigate the feasibility of integrating this technology deeply into the .NET Compact Framework. Ideally, this would enable the hosting of a control built in WPF/e in a Windows Forms application, in addition to enabling full screen WPF/e applications. In both cases, the programming experience would be .NET.



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