What to say to devs coming from WPF/Silverlight/WinForms?

12 posts, 0 answers
  1. Robert
    Robert avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Posted 07 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    I suggested to a client that they look at Kendo UI for development. They have a major LOB app on Windows (WPF/Silverlight/WinForms) and are looking to jump to a similarly rich UI platform. I suggested looking at Kendo UI and here is their response:

    "I looked at their site and widgets. Very primitive. For example, I don't see any events triggered on a cell in the grid widget. I also don't see any provision for different cell types in the grid. Combo, button, masked edit, etc."

    Any advice for developers coming from rich UI environments and looking to replace UI with similar richness?
  2. Alec
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    Posted 08 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    While I am a HUGE Kendo UI supporter, I would question the need for them to move from WPF / SL @ this time if it is not a customer facing app. Most LOB apps are internal and as such they can control their world to make sure it is used with the right browser. 

    What reason would you give them for moving @ this time? Is the application customer facing? Is it the fact that SL is going through it's final release?

    Just curious.

    Alec
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  4. Robert
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    Posted 09 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    Microsoft has kicked them out of a comfortable bed and told them to take their code and get out. They are vertical market developers so everything is written for end-users at customer locations. They have a ton of end user sites and likely, if you are located in the US, you do business at one of their app sites.

    Unless Microsoft supports cross-platform development with Visual Studio 2012, they're out the door looking for a more secure vendor.
  5. Alec
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    Posted 09 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    Which makes sense and was what I figured your rational was.

    Being a .NET guy since early alpha days, I have to say the transition is going to really depend on the devs. If they were pure asp.net guys, I would say good luck. Since they are WPF and SL people, the mountain will still seem steep, but I believe their skill sets make it a bit easier to get up it.

    What I am telling all my guys is to start digging into HTML5 and CSS3 now. Don't wait for the "standard" to be finalized, it will be some time. Try to point them to things that can help them make use of the HTML 5 features they want but will allow them to gracefully handle older browsers. For me, that was Web Sockets. So I've pointed them to Signalr and Pusher. 

    Encourage them to treat JavaScript as a first class language and to use it in an OO way. Burke Hollands Todo list demo app is a good starting place, as is watching the video (links for both @ bottom) from the launch day he did. He does a nice job explaining what he did with his JavaScript, especially closures and loose coupling. 

    Source Code:
    https://github.com/burkeholland/Kendo-UI-Todo-List

    Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/kendouiTV#p/u/0/I_MwJh5m0aQ

    Hope this helps.
  6. Robert
    Robert avatar
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    Posted 09 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    One major question from my clients is which web UI will provide the closest experience to WPF. They don't want to lose any UI features and the don't want to recode. Anything less is expensive.
  7. Alec
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    Posted 09 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    I don't think there is anything that is really close to matching everything WPF or SL offers as far as controls. IMHO I do not think your clients expectations with regards to losing UI features and recoding are realistic. 

    No matter what they choose, they are going to recode. Especially moving from WPF / SL to JS based applications. The biggest hurdle they will face is having to go back to using pure HTML / CSS. 

    With regards to UI features, what ones are they concerned about? They should really list them so that each one can be addressed individually.
  8. Alec
    Alec avatar
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    Posted 09 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    I don't think there is anything that is really close to matching everything WPF or SL offers as far as controls. IMHO I do not think your clients expectations with regards to losing UI features and recoding are realistic. 

    No matter what they choose, they are going to recode. Especially moving from WPF / SL to JS based applications. The biggest hurdle they will face is having to go back to using pure HTML / CSS. 

    With regards to UI features, what ones are they concerned about? They should really list them so that each one can be addressed individually.
  9. Robert
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    Posted 10 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    Check out the original post for some specific examples of their concerns.
  10. Robert
    Robert avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Posted 10 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    Check out the original post for some specific examples of their concerns.
  11. Alec
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    Posted 10 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    It's just HTML and JS. They should be able to create any of the events they need that are not already there. With regards to templated columns, I am pretty sure the grid can do that, but it is not something that would be drag and drop like .net. I would check the Grid forum for more examples. You can also email Telerik support or post up an example request. 

    The problem you are facing is the typical .NET developers love for Drag and Drop. That kind of sounds like what your client is wanting. "I want to be able to just drag a control on a canvas, set some properties and a datasource, then it just works". Its a huge hurdle for some people when they do not have this ability anymore. 

    Personally, I've never been a fan of ViewState, Drag and Drop controls, or the Drag and Drop databinding MS has pushed the last 7 years. it makes for lazy devs that end up forgetting how to code and forgetting about software craftsmanship. 

    Good luck with your battle, I'm not entirely sure you will be successful in this case as the expectations are not really realistic on the clients part. 
  12. Oscar
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    Posted 10 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    wow, what interesting discussion, thank you both Alec and Robert.
    I am also a LOB Apps Silverlight developers that
    I felt repercussions on my contracts due to the uncertainty Microsoft has created about the future of Silverlight.. Alec you are right on the target when you said that nothing comes close to the Frameworks Microsoft created for LOB with WPF or Silverlight, and also when you said that companies will keep LOB in-house and they control that environment.. Is like with Windows XP, there is still some hardware that will only work / have drivers for Windows XP, so if the company needs that hardware, they have to install Win XP on that machine..  the same will happen if Microsoft cuts Silverlight

    Silverlight has taken all LOB on most companies like a storm, especially on the last 9 months.. Just by simply going to a site like www.careerbuilder.com, just to find well-paid jobs on WPF, Prism , Silverlight and MVVM.. This fact has only increased after the MS BUILD conference and announcement of HTML5 and Metro XAML.

    But I also have companies asking for a HTML5 front end to their current Silverlight/WPF LOB Application… I wish would it be as easy as to get KendoUI and create the HTML5 pages with it and bind them to the MVVM classes, so there… I will have a super duper multiplatform LOB… because I am not abandoning EF4, Ria Services or MVVM…
    Do you think someday (in less than a year) KendoUI will be that strong?
  13. Alec
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    Jun 2009

    Posted 10 Dec 2011 Link to this post

    Robert, thanks for joining in the discussion. I agree with you that MS has really dropped the ball on informing the Devs what the future holds for SL. My internal contacts are telling me that the release yesterday will be the final one. Whether that holds true or not remains to be seen. 

    I have faith in Telerik and have no doubts that Kendo UI will become a truly exceptional product. I've been using their MVC controls for quite sometime and only use them in my projects. The fact they Telerik as a company has stepped out of their normal comfort zone is great. We are just now starting to see competitors creating products for MVC and I might add they are not even close in quality or ease of use. Kendo UI has a great team behind it, they truly understand HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript. They also seem very committed to helping others learn them as well.
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