Posts Tagged ‘ HTML5 ’

HTML5/Javascript as Assembly Language

This is the continuation of this post on the future of Microsoft development.

Scott Hanselman had an interesting post about how HTML5 and Javascript are assembly language for the web.  I won’t repeat his post (you should read it yourself), but basically it’s Turing Complete so you can write any program in it, it will be runnable by any browser soon, and we don’t necessarily need to read it.  There are already options to program in higher-level languages and compile to Javascript.

Okay, so in my last post I commented on the whole Microsoft-HTML5-Silverlight debate.  Here’s my subversive idea:

We’re already seeing systems where the build target is variable.  For example, Microsoft’s recent release of Visual Studio Lightswitch can build your business apps for the desktop or the web.  And they’ve stated there’s no reason it couldn’t compile to HTML5.

Microsoft should implement the CLR in Javascript.  Let me repeat that.  Microsoft should implement the CLR in Javascript.  And the Silverlight framework.

Imagine if you had a choice of deployments!  If speed is an absolute necessity, run your application in the Silverlight plugin.  If portability is the desire, just reference a javascript file that implements the Silverlight framework.

Think about it:

  • XAML is much more productive than HTML.  C# is much more productive than Javascript.  You could use the right tools to build your site or app, and the right tools to deploy your site or app.
  • Universal Silverlight.  It would run on an iPad, or an Android phone, or any future device that implements HTML5. (Which will be all of them.)  No need to make deals with the other platforms.  Silverlight would be able to run anywhere.
  • No more need for the plugin.  Some corporate environments don’t allow it.  Some folks at home don’t want to install it.  But it wouldn’t be necessary anymore.
Microsoft has always focused on developers and made tools for professionals.  This would be an amazing way to make professional development possible in any environment.  Can it be done?  It would certainly be a task to reimplement the CLR.  But the Mono team has done it.  It’s not impossible.  And it would make a huge number of Microsoft .NET-based systems (even existing ones) instantly web-enabled and portable across all mobile devices.  Microsoft:  Go for it!  C# is for coding.  Javascript is for execution.  Shake the world up.

HTML5 and Silverlight (It’s been a long summer)

Ever since Microsoft unveiled an early build of Windows 8 in a video back in June, there has been rampant speculation on what the emphasis on HTML5 and Javascript means for the future of software development in the Microsoft world.  Specifically, what happens to Silverlight?  What happens to .NET?

There has been commentary from just about every corner:  from toolset makers such as Telerik, to ex-Microsofties, such as Scott Barnes.

And of course Microsoft has been pretty silent on all this.  The BUILD conference is coming up in about 2 weeks, but we’ve been waiting all summer, and it’s quite fun to practice Kremlinology anyway, right?

There seem to be several main theories on Microsoft’s plans:

  • .NET and Silverlight are going to wither on the vine.  The future is HTML5, Javascript, and C/C++.  The Windows division has taken over and they never appreciated .NET.
  • .NET and Silverlight will continue to exist, but they are going to be lesser stars in the MS galaxy.
  • .NET and XAML are at the heart of Windows 8 and something called Project Jupiter.  They’ll get to play on an even field with C++ at last.
Since the evidence is so scarce, we should focus on what Microsoft has actually said.
  • The future of the web is HTML5
  • SharePoint is big, and it’s going to the cloud with Office 365
  • Office 15 is on the way and SharePoint is the nerve center of Office
Okay, no point in belaboring it.  HTML5 is going to be a big focus.  SharePoint is a HUGE business for Microsoft, and it’s founded on .NET.  Throw in Dynamics and a bunch of other MS products.  .NET is not going away.
I’m excited to see what Microsoft unveils at the BUILD keynote on the 13th.
Next post:  What I HOPE Microsoft is thinking about.
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