WinFX and the State of Industry 

My current occupation leads me to spend as much time as possible in WinFX.

WinFX should stand for Windows Framework Extensions. What a Windows Framework is, I don't know. I know what .NET Framework is, but that's another drop in the ocean.

Having said that, there seems to be inconsistency between what is, will be or was inside WinFX (or WinFX Runtime Components, if you wish).

In 2003, WinFX (if you were at the majorrevealingconferenceoftheyear - PDC 2003), you would concur that WinFX will be:

  • Indigo (related to everything communication)
  • Avalon (related to everything presentation)
  • WinFS (related to everything storage, somehow)

In 2004 things changed.

WinFX mysteriously dropped WinFS and inherited something called Workflow - Windows Workflow Services (now called Windows Workflow Foundation).

At first, Windows Workflow Foundation was acronymed WWF, which makes sense - you've got WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation - Avalon), WCF (Windows Communication Foundation - Indigo) and WWF (Windows Workflow Foundation - WWF).

It is now 2006 and WWF is acronymed WF (just Windows Workflow) and it is still a part of WinFX. WinFS is still gone (scheduled to be released after Vista ships).

What worries me the most is that the current plan precludes that this technologies won't make it into the Vista ship vehicle. They just won't be deployed with the OS. If you make all the fuss around it, invest major tolars in education budget you still won't be sure that the client supports it.

Windows Installer 3.1 is a wonderful thing, but nonetheless, if anyone can deploy groundbreaking technology in no time it's Microsoft. Sure, there are 'small footprint security implications' guidelines driving Vista, but no one is saying this beast should be deployed in active state. Make it available and make it passive. Support it via Windows Update if showstoppers arise.

There is no need to be scared of another IIS 4 story. There are mechanisms for deploying technology and not using it by default.

Please, do not make WinFX fade.

Categories:  Windows Vista | .NET 3.0 - General | Work
Sunday, January 29, 2006 12:10:36 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


Monday, January 30, 2006 10:46:57 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
"It is now 2006 and WWF is acronymed WF (just Windows Workflow) and it is still a part of WinFX"

Hehe, WF=Windows Workflow?
Anyway, it might a good thing not to tie a technology to OS even only for deployment. I am not sure what exactly is required to deploy WinFX but it seems like just a bunch of assemblies (perhaps WPF is more complicated - not sure).
Anyway(2) even if Vista has this technologies deployed, how many clients will be running Vista in first place? Are you going to create a Vista-only application? I don't think so.
So, whether Vista includes WinFX or not, it doesn't matter in the short term. And in the long term there will be new technologies...
Saturday, February 4, 2006 9:31:32 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
I'm not sure, but perhaps you can help. I have VS 2005 Professional installed ( including the 2.0 .NET sdk & 2.0 Compact Framework ). Nothing fancy yet. Then I installed the January CTP WinFX runtime components. That install went just fine.

Then I tried to install the the WinFX January SDK ( I used the Virtual CD driver to mount the iso as a DVD drive ). Anyway, it started to install, and part part way through the install, I got an error while trying to install something for the Compact framework ( despite the fact that the "Mobile Tools" option was deselected < actually, you couldn't select nor deselect it > ). The install then exited. Any ideas ? I've uninstalled the January WinFX runtime, just fine, so before I try re-installing it, I'm hopeful I can find out some information about what could be going wrong with the installation process.

Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr.
Sunday, February 5, 2006 11:29:46 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
I remember the installer failing on mobile tools for me too. Had no impact on WinFX installation, though..
Monday, February 27, 2006 3:46:44 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
I think there's an additional concern that I've not seen brought up yet. The advent WinFX could mean a change in core interfaces and the possibility that .NET Framework interfaces might be bled into the core operating systems level functionality. From a unbiquity stand-point it could be great but then again it might lock-in features that might still need work in the long run.

I've talked more about this on my blog..
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