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What is WPF/E?

September 14, 2005

When I first saw "Avalon" back in 2003, I was stunned (Vector Graphics, Hardware Acceleration, Rich layout and Controls, etc…). But Avalon is a very rich client and I’ve always been a web-based developer at heart, so once I saw the short demo of WPF/E yesterday I flipped out again.

WPF/E stands for Windows Presentation Foundation "Everywhere", and the concept demonstrated was a subset of WPF where some richness (i.e. 3D, hardware accelration, Adaptive Documents) is given up for reach. Reach out to small devices and other platforms.

During the session we saw a WPF/E application running in IE (7+ supported), Safari, and on a PocketPC. One of the highlights was when they were navigating through the WPF/E app in IE and came upon an external link. The link was clicked and they navigated around a bit and then hit the Back button. And to my sheer joy, the state was held in the WPF/E app displaying the last place you had navigated. Try doing that in Flash.

So what makes a WPF/E application? To run on Safari you can’t depend on the .NET Runtime, so it doesn’t. You use XAML and JScript to create the application which is then interpreted by the the Hosting Control, in IE’s case its an ActiveX Control, otherwise its Native to its environment.

That’s all the info I have for now. WPF/E is still in the early stages, but from what I’ve seen, I’m very excited to see it come to life.

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