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Visual WebGui Rides the XAML Wave

Visual WebGui (VWG) is giving a sneak peak at a new alternative to its current WinForm paradigm.  Microsoft rich application development is quickly shifting towards XAML, which is the markup for WPF, Silverlight, and Windows Phone 7.  Now VWG is making that shift too with new declarative programming facilities.  This change also removes the need for the Visual Studio IDE by supporting on-demand compilation and notepad-style ftp editing.

Visual WebGui is considered an extension to ASP.NET in Visual Studio (now with 2010 support) that uses the WinForms paradigm to develop desktop-grade web apps.  These definitions are now changing with VWG's decision to help web developers get acquainted with a new paradigm for VWG that uses only markup declarative paradigms.  The VWG Sites will help web developers that haven't seen the VB6-like WebForms paradigm transition into VWG:

"The first stage will be, providing a fully working SDK that can be completely designed using XAML. We are going to provide a new project template called Visual WebGui Sites which is the equivalent to ASP.NET web application vs. ASP.NET web site. The code in the new project template will be compiled on demand using the build provider mechanism ASP.NET has." --VWG

Here is a video demonstrating VWG Sites (VWG XAML implementation) markup in action:

Creating Visual WebGui Applications using Xaml from Guy Peled on Vimeo.

VWG was built on the basis of ASP.NET developers having to choose between rich Ajax responsiveness or OOP.  The developers for VWG say that Microsoft's current offering doesn't allow both, so they created Visual WebGui to essentially have their cake and eat it too.  VWG also claims they use 10% of the bandwidth and CPU that ASP.NET does.  They also take pride in their "military-grade" security.  

The developers of VWG quickly saw the growing wave of Silverlight development and other XAML technologies, and they decided to hop on.  They also said it was in response to developer requests.  "The development experience or rather paradigms were never the essence of VWG," said Guy Peled, the architect of VWG.  "The actual essence is the productivity and the fully event base programming in developing AJAX style applications which are provided with the responsiveness, richness and security of native server applications."  

Peled continues, "When I first came up with the concept of Visual WebGui, I was frustrated by the fragile and complex nature of developing web applications. The contrast in productivity between working in a fully OOP compiled environment vs. scripting, even today, with JQuery, Dojo and such, is still huge. Even today the greatest sponsor of JavaScript programming, Google, is offering a framework to avoid JavaScript using Java that compiles to JavaScript (GWT)."

XAML fits in as a replacement of the designer initialize component.  The first preview of the XAML programming alternative should be available next month.  The SDK will be gradually integrated with the development environment and the VWG core.  

You can find out more about the VWG posture toward Ajax in this deep-dive article: "Are Enterprise AJAX Applications Doomed…Or Are We?" Check out this live code sample of the new programming model.

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