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What I’ve been working on lately
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Usual disclaimer on technology posts: our readers who don't care about technology will probably want to skip this entry.

I've been too busy to post at QandO for a while, and my posting will continue to be slack through the summer as I finish up pending commitments. But for the technology-minded folks in our readership, I thought I'd call out an Internet TV show that was done a couple of weeks ago that highlights my current project.

It's an application using Microsoft's latest user interface (UI) technology, WPF, and we expect to move it to the web version, Silverlight, when that product becomes a bit more mature. The video shows the application in operation. I used Camtasia (a great product, by the way) to capture the video.

I've talked here about Silverlight before a bit over a year ago when it was first introduced. As the competition between Silverlight and Adobe's Flex/Flash combo heats up, I think we'll see a new generation of better user experience on the Internet. As I hope the video shows, it is possible to do much better UI than most apps exhibit today.

Now for the "throwing cold water" part. This stuff is hard to learn. That partly explains why the adoption rate for this new UI technology has been pretty modest. In addition to sheer conceptual complexity, the tools and resources for learning are not where they should be.

So, while the new user interfaces can offer some nice benefits if you use the new technologies effectively, I'm not advising anyone to rush out and start using this stuff on a tight-deadline project. If you want to learn it, pick something small and allocate extra time for the learning. The more extra time, the better.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Wow, the spam filter seems to have died on this post.

I like the Flash tech. My company has invested rather heavily in it and I am a decided amateur. Hopefully Silverlight will be cross-platform enough to get a good arms race going.
Written By: Chip
URL: http://
Not if it’s that hard to learn, though.
Written By: Bithead
That does look cool. Lot cooler then the VFP apps I’m doing right now (although part of that is trying to maintain consistency with an old design.)
Written By: Keith_Indy

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