The Avalon toolbox, which will replace the current graphics device interface (GDI), is expected to be a major productivity gain for ISVs and developers, sources said.
The Longhorn compilers, for instance, will use XML script files to create user-interface functions with a few lines of XML code that before would have required hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of C# coding. And the Longhorn software developer kit, which is also due out this fall, will come with prebuilt XML Application Markup Language (XAML) schemas for many UI functions, said sources briefed on Longhorn. [CRN]
At work, we constantly hit walls with WinForms. The worse part is we know that WinForms is done for if Longhorn includes the much demo'ed Desktop Compositing Engine (ala Avalon) and the Aero UI with its DirectX core API with a completely new managed CLR API and this XAML language. [David Morford]
"Win32 has like 76,000 APIs, and they're taking it down to 8,000 with Longhorn technology," said one source familiar with the plans.
Also in Longhorn, Microsoft plans to integrate a replacement for the Windows graphics device interface (GDI), code-named Avalon, that replaces the need to do manual coding with prebuilt, extensible XAML scripts. That means developers wouldn't have to access many APIs directly and instead can modify XAML scripts, sources said.
The Windows GDI currently interacts with device drivers on behalf of Windows applications. The next-generation XAML has new metatags and extensible schemas for user-interface structures and behaviors that are designed to simplify and increase the customization of the "jazzed up and 3-D oriented Longhorn GUI, code-named Aero," sources said.
"It's hard to use the shell now for an application," said another source familiar with the Longhorn plans. "Anything a shell can do, an application can do. So now a Windows application can inherit the behavior of the operating system with zero lines of code." [iAppliance]
The compositing engine suggested requirements are a DirectX 9 capable GPU with 128MB of VRAM. What longhorn looks like at the moment is basically XP with a new Theme and a few new UI elements. This is a long way from what the final product will look like, and I expect it to have significantly higher system requirements by the time it is released. [Tablet PC Buzz.com - forum]