Over the years I have designed my fair share of user interfaces. Sometimes they have been decent, other times they have sucked. I’ve taken a few courses on design and have picked up many tricks along the way. For the last few months I have been primarily working on web applications, though I have created a number of Windows applications in the past. The most important thing I have learned?
Markup is awesome.
You can’t appreciate this completely until you have designed both a website using something like ASP.NET and a Windows application using something like Windows Forms. The website job wins every time. That’s why the new Expression Studio from Microsoft is so important:
So, could Flash ever be “force fit” to be the UI of Windows? Not according to the engineers who’ve studied the problem.
They needed a system that could be used to design real pieces of Windows, if not the entire UI, and handed off to a developer, or team of developers, without having to have the developers touch the UI at all.
The rest of Scoble’s post is quite good – he explains exactly the problem that Expression and XAML attempt to solve. I’ve seen some demos of Expression Designer, and I came away truly impressed. Finally the ability to create Windows interfaces using markup. I can’t even describe how excited I am!
Markup has lots of advantages. It is XML-based, and therefore it’s human readable. Being XML-based also means we can validate, transform, and extend it. Markup is extremely easy to write and to parse. For interfaces, markup allows us to separate the interface from the underlying logic. There are a lot of reasons to like markup.
XAML brings the power of markup to Windows, and Expression Studio will make it easy to work with. Everything else (like cross-platform support, targeting Flash, etc.) is secondary.
Read: Robert Scoble