Blogging Across Boundaries

By on September 9, 2004

A little while ago, I made a short post on Miguel de Icaza’s comments on Avalon, Longhorn’s new UI API (which obsoletes WinForms, which obsoletes the unmanaged API’s). Miguel, one of the driving forces behind mono and Gnome, pointed out what he considered to be problems with Avalon. Well, Chris Anderson, one of Microsoft’s Avalon designers (and a guy that doesn’t check his CSS against FireFox), responded to Miguel’s critique.

Interestingly enough, we never “ignored” standards. We spent a huge amount of time understanding and evaluating the existing standards. SVG and CSS both were passed on because they weren’t adaquate to meet our needs. WinFX is a platform for the next decade or longer – we can’t start with a base that doesn’t meet our needs.

Miguel then replied with further explanation on his view of the technology.

I read with interest the various justifications for not following the standards just when Avalon was coming out, I wont argue about the merits of the CSS one, but the case for not using SVG is particularly poor: ‘not using pascal casing’, ‘not using full english words’?

It can only make sense in a world of only-Microsoft technologies, but even there, you are shooting yourself in the foot: collaboration with others might be initially difficult, but it has always paid off in nature.

In the course of this back and forth, we hear a lot of good reasoning on the design of OO systems and get to peek into a decision-making process that we’ll all be on the receiving end of in a few years. This is one of the big ways that blogging has changed the world. In the past, you would have to go to a conference to hear from either of these two guys. They probably wouldn’t even have this type of discussion, since they’re working on different technologies most of the time. Now, we all get to see a great, substantial debate between two people who are shaping the future of desktop computing.