ETA on Using CSLA 4: Silverlight 4 and WPF

ETA on Using CSLA 4: Silverlight 4 and WPF

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MadGerbil posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Any rough estimates on when the ebook will be available?

RockfordLhotka replied on Thursday, June 30, 2011

I've been working on the WpfUI project, and expect to really dig into the ebook writing starting Tuesday.

Des Nolan replied on Friday, July 01, 2011


I'm speculating that a lot of what you've done with MVVM and setup so your framework is capable of supporting WPF and Silverlight should carry over to HTML5 when it comes out. Do you agree?

I have a CSLA application with over 500 Windows Forms that I did not rush to convert because while WPF and Silverlight may have had superior technology behind them, they never offered the ease of construction of Windows Forms, so I waited, and waited for Microsoft to make it easier to work with them. And I waited and waited to see whether WPF or Silverlight would become the 'popular' path. But years later, there's still a high learning curve to using them, and Microsoft itself has largely ignored those UIs for its own products. Now in Windows 8, it looks like the landscape will change again with HTML5 (and the new unified DirectUI), and its possible that this new technology might take off quicker that WPF or Silverlight ever did, because it has wider appeal across technology companyies.

Yet, as a form of insurance in the meantime, I've started enhancing an open source tool (  so I can convert my forms to WPF, which I can do relatively easily as I've never adopted third party controls, and worked to keep the number, type, and usage of the controls we do use to a very consistent and small surface set.

However, I'm also thinking it might be a good idea to make this tool capable of outputting HTML5 as well.

In preparation for moving to another UI, we've begun to examine what we've done in the past to see what code can be pushed down into the business classes or some view controller class. In the past, I never really subscribed to text book given benefits for using the view controller pattern, as I never really needed multiple views. But now I see a great benefit, as such a pattern would simplify swapping out one UI for another.

Rocky, keep up the great work on the framework, and the effort to educate us all with your wisdom. Some ideas make take longer to sink in, but eventually they all do.

Des Nolan

ajj3085 replied on Saturday, July 02, 2011

It seems like more newer MS apps are using Wpf, so I'm not sure why you think they're not using it.  I can understand not porting legacy WinForms apps for a while, there's probably not a benefit.  Can you provide a link about this html5 and directui direction?  Its new to me.

Traditionally though if you're targeting windows machines, html5 is a horrid choice to use.  Write once, test in every browser.  It just makes the UI more costly, for something that as you've seen changes frequently.  If you need to support the widest set of workstations, html5 is the way to go.  But you need to make sure its worth the extra cost.  Ideally I'd prefer Wpf, then Silverlight, then html5, only if you're targeting the internet at large.

Xaml might be harder to learn, but its way more powerful.  If you've kept your UI fairly basic, moving it to Wpf shouldn't be very difficult, assuming you've used Csla correctly.  That's the value in it for me; data access and UI technolgies change so fast you wouldn't want to invest a lot of time in them, they become mostl disposable.


RockfordLhotka replied on Saturday, July 02, 2011

There are a couple themes here.

First, HTML 5 (the broader concept - not the core HTML/CSS spec) is not unlike XAML in many ways.

But the HTML 5 programming language is only JavaScript. Today js only really works on the client (though there is the node.js project for server-side coding).

The architecture of CSLA is a mobile object architecture. This requires that the client and server be able to represent the business types identically on client and server. Although you might be able to write every class twice (once in js and once in C#), that doesn't seem like a great strategy.

So until there's either meaningful js on the server, or C# to program HTML 5, it is hard to envision how something like CSLA would translate - at least not with all the power and features it has today in .NET/SL/WP/mono.

Now whether WPF is the way to go is another question. This is murky, because I think "Windows 8" must be considered.

It is pretty clear that Win8 will run WPF apps in its desktop mode (legacy mode?). But it is far from clear that WPF itself will be the model for the new Win8 app platform.

Personally, based on rumors and innuendo, I expect the Win8 app model to be more similar to Silverlight than to WPF in terms of its overall feature set. But I rather expect (and even hope) that Win8 will be the point where Microsoft normalizes XAML to get rid of the quirky differences between WPF and SL. That may happen by creating something similar to both, but identical to neither.

I guess we'll know more in September.

Des Nolan replied on Saturday, July 02, 2011


Thanks for your response, I was basically niave about MS's HTML5/JS solution, I thought I'd still be able to use the BCs, and they would provide some binding that I could attach to HTML5/JS 'forms'.

So for now, you have me pursuaded to wait until September to see what is the real MS story. But as its likely to be a XAML based solution. I will likely carry on my readings in that area until then. (I just bought the eSeries CSLA 4.0 books last night, which is sitting on my 3.0 and 2008 stack to be read over the coming months.)



Des Nolan replied on Saturday, July 02, 2011


Excellent response, thanks for taking the time to write-it.

In regards to references, you asked about, I've been seaching the web for aticles to figure out my nex tmove. One itnteresting set was by Mike James, the one referenced below will get you to oen of them, and form there you can see others, plus others he references.





Des Nolan replied on Saturday, July 02, 2011


I did actually have an inquiry, I was aware that development tools VS/Expression and one non-development tool MS Media Center were re-writtern in WPF, but I'm not aware of many others, and its been around for a number of years. Do you know of more?


ajj3085 replied on Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Thanks for the link.  Interesting read.  I have a hard time beliving MS would be dumb enough to go Html5/Js, but they've done some pretty dumb stuff before...  JS is lame, and C# beats out Java.  It would suck to not have a platform I could be excited to build upon anymore :-(

The Zune software is also Wpf, some control panel things are I believe. 

Here's a list, which doesn't just include MS apps though:

Des Nolan replied on Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Amongst those articles was a suggestion that there will also be a new XAML flavored UI based on the Direct GUI that will be promoted over WPF and Silverlight for Windows 8. So if one is comfortable with XAML it should not be too much of a departure.

Based on your's and Rocky's comments on JS/Html5, I'm going to wait and see if the above turns out to be the case, and then change the output feed of my Windows Forms Converter to produce that new XAML UI.



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