Tales from the Smart Client

John Gossman's observations on Avalon development

  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Avalon topics to watch

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    Avalon has made an enormous amount of progress in the nearly 3 years I have been working with it. I've had some little projects at work recently, and it is increasingly a pleasure to do them in Avalon...whereas in the past, the stability and incompleteness...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Sparkle Timeline Performance

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    I mentioned last week I was expecting a checkin that would transform the performance of Sparkle's timeline. The issue was simple: we create a row in the timeline for every element in the scene, then create more rows for each property that is animated...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Amazon client based on XUL

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    Devon Strawn points out a very interesting app built with XUL: http://www.secretrobot.com/blog/archives/2004/10/dear_god_where.html His explanation of the significance is good, so I'll leave the comments to him.
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    Enabled comments

    • 7 Comments
    Curious how long before I get comment spam.
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    What's in a name?

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    I recently got a new job title. I do exactly the same work, but the description has changed. But, I'm not saying job titles aren't important, at least not in a large organization. Job titles are important for initial contacts. Generally in a meeting of...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    The future of AntiVirus and AntiSpyware

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    Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal reviewed the beta AntiSpyware program from Microsoft. The summary is it isn't very good yet. But Mossberg makes an important point: Before getting into the details, let me say a word about Microsoft's role in protecting...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Where's the technical beef?

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    I started this blog to talk technical, and so far all I've done is fluffy human-interest stuff. Some of this was meant as background, but I am facing one difficulty: the Avalon bits out in the world are kinda old and crickety. Some of the cool stuff I...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Boxely

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    I really enjoyed reading Mr. Hewitt's notes on Boxely , the new UI toolkit being used for AIM. The thought process he went through designing Boxely is very reminiscent of parts of my history with Avalon/XAML development. Like me, Joe is in the anti-CSS...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    CSS considered dangerous

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    Another day, I'm going to comment on the design of the Avalon styling model, which was largely driven by problems we saw with CSS. Today however, I suggest looking at some of the best evidence that CSS actually is workable: http://www.csszengarden.com...
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    Pythalon Screen Shot

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    http://www.johngossman.net/PythalonSample.html
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    Changes in Test

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    Microsoft announced it was laying off 62 testers today . I don't know the details of this layoff, and I certainly don't want to trivialize the situation these people are in. But but there's actually an industry wide technology story behind this. For a...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    I knew Joe Beda, Joe Beda was a friend of mine...

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    ...but Joe Beda was not "the lead developer on Avalon". Note the key word: "the". The New York Post ran a story that said Google had hired Joe Beda, "the lead developer on Avalon." Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it? Some background to clarify. At MS,...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Shim Computer

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    I don't generally make posts that just point out cool things, but I do see a lot of design stuff in my job, and I really, really like this: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/2006/060112.Shim.computer.html
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    Good set of papers about Rich (Smart) Client Internet Applications

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    I know next to nothing about IdeaBlade or their products, but the white papers are right on target: Build Smart Client Internet Applications As a quibble, I do prefer the term Rich Client. I know why they refer to it as a Smart Client, but it can imply...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    "Yahoo" in Flash?

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    Another worth a second look: the Road Runner portal , all done on the Flash runtime.
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    IronPython architecture

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    Chris and I met with Jim Hugunin this morning and got an overview of the IronPython architecture. Which is basically, very simple and straightforward. Like you might expect, it consists of a tokenizer, a parser, a code generator and a library of built...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    WinFX Feb CTP is available

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    New Expression build will be available "soon". I've been working on the Feb CTP bits for awhile, and its a great build...faster, fewer bugs, much closer to the final deliverables. h ttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F51C4D96-9AEA...
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    DataTemplates

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    Ryan Dawson asks about the long-term viability of DataTemplate http://www.longhornblogs.com/rdawson/archive/2005/10/08/14825.aspx The best answer I can give is that the Sparkle UI is practically made of DataTemplates. The DataTemplate is one of the...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    CodeBehind and Python

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    Rather than push on embedding Python in XAML, which Chris has made fine progress on anyway, I changed tack and quickly got Python code behind working. Separating code and markup is considered best practice anyhow...and the implementation was trivial....
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Expression Interactive Designer CTP is available

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    The product I've been working on the past couple of years is available in CTP form . And, yes, this explains why my blog has been pretty quiet since shortly after PDC. Here's my take on the significance of the product. The Win32 UI platform at least...
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    XML templates

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    I'd forgotten this until someone pointed it out to me, but many moons and jobs ago, I was already thinking about representing UI objects in XML: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/199710/msg00100.html I'm sure some of this must have been bouncing...
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    Off topic?

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    My last post is not intended to be typical of this blog. I pride myself on technical knowledge and programming skill, not business acumen, but I have worked at a bunch of different companies and am interested in the industry. Recently I've been working...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Seductive Programming

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    On the topic of the previous post, we had long debates at Asymetrix about C++ versus OpenScript , and there were similar issues when AutoCAD switched from AutoLisp to C. I coined the term "Seductive Programming" to describe the way tools are marketed...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Acrylic Beta

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    We just posted a beta of Acrylic , a vector illustration product coming soon from Microsoft. Microsoft bought a product called Expression a couple of years ago from Creature House, and a small team led by the long-time architect/developer/artist/man-about...
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    Python Love from Dr. Anderson

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    Python in AvPad
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