Intro to WebAssembly Using Blazor
Posted by bsstahl on 2018-09-26 and Filed Under: event
I will be speaking tonight, 9/26/2018 at the Northwest Valley .NET User Group and tomorrow, 9/27/2018 at the Southeast Valley .NET User Group. I will be speaking on the subject of WebAssembly. The talk will go into what WebAssembly programs look and act like, and how they run, then explore how we as .NET developers can write WebAssembly programs with Microsoft’s experimental platform, Blazor.
Want to run your .NET Standard code directly in the browser on the client-side without the need for transpilers or browser plug-ins? Well, now you can with WebAssembly and Blazor.
WebAssembly (WASM) is the W3C specification that will be used to provide the next generation of development tools for the web and beyond. Blazor is Microsoft's experiment that allows ASP.Net developers to create web pages that do much of the scripting work in C# using WASM.
Come join us as we explore the basics of WebAssembly and how WASM can be used to run existing C# code client side in the browser. You will walk away with an understanding of what WebAssembly and Blazor can do for you and how to immediately get started running your own .NET code in the browser.
The slide deck for these presentations can be found here IntroToWasmAndBlazor-201809.pdf.
Are you Ready for the Next Episode?
Posted by bsstahl on 2015-06-29 and Filed Under: development
While this was an interesting and somewhat novel approach, it turned out to have a few fairly significant drawbacks:
- Using this hybrid approach meant there were two runtimes that had to be initialized and operating during execution, a costly drain on system resources, especially for mobile devices.
- Applications built using this methodology would run well on Windows 8 and 8.1 machines, as well as Windows Phone devices, but not on the web, or on Android or iDevices.
So, it seems that it is time for me to move to a more standard front-end development stack. I need one that is cross-platform, ideally providing a good deployment story for web, PC, tablet & phone, and supporting all major platforms including Android, iDevices & Windows phones and tablets. It also needs to be standards-based, and work using popular frameworks so that my apps can be kept up-to-date with the latest technology.
I’ll keep you informed of my progress and let you know if this does indeed turn out to be the best way for me to build apps. Stay tuned.
Windows 8 Store Development for Enterprise Devs
Posted by bsstahl on 2013-02-28 and Filed Under: development
or, How I found my Passion for Windows 8 Store App Development
Update: My first Windows Store app was published on March 27, 2013.
I don't have any apps in the Windows 8 Store yet. For that matter, I don't have any apps in the Windows Phone store, or the Apple or Android stores either. I have many ideas for apps, and a number of them in the works for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but I have nothing real to show for it yet. Nothing to show for several years of attending sessions at conferences, user groups, and code camps on building these apps; for many hours of hacking on front-end interfaces and business logic. Don’t get me wrong, I've wanted to build these apps, but I didn't have that burning desire that I usually get when I am solving problems with software. You know that desire, the one that compels you to sit in front of a computer for hours at a time until you've completed a solution. I didn't have it.
This recently changed for me -- let me explain.
- Use portable libraries wherever possible, especially for business logic.
- Use dependency injection to make non-portable dependencies available to portable libraries. This will allow your business logic access to platform-specific functionality (such as network access) without sacrificing portability.
- Do as much of the work as possible in the underlying .NET libraries and keep the RT Component as thin a translation layer as possible. I will be exploring techniques for this in the near future. Possibilities here include making this layer either a View-Model or a Repository implementation.
I’m interested to hear if there are other enterprise developers with similar stories, whose comfort zones of HTML and C# or VB have kept them from building apps as they’d like. Please contact me on Twitter @bsstahl.
Microsoft Developers and HTML5
Posted by bsstahl on 2011-07-29 and Filed Under: development
Warning: Speculation Alert!
While attending the Pittsburgh GiveCamp, I had something of an epiphany about Microsoft’s HTML5 strategy. Looking back at it now it seems so obvious, but at the time it felt like a revelation, so I want to share that experience with you. You should be warned however that this is not based on any actual knowledge. I am not a Microsoft insider and I have no information that any other developer who uses Microsoft technologies doesn’t have access to. These thoughts are purely speculative, but they make sense to me so I felt the need to share them and I look forward to your comments.
I believe that Microsoft will make HTML5/CSS3/ECMAScript a 1st-class language within the .NET stack.
Right now, just about everything that can be done in HTML5, can be done in Silverlight and WPF. Because Microsoft has already spent the time and effort building those technologies into the .NET Framework, there is already the capability in the Microsoft Intermediate Language (IL), which all .NET code compiles down to, to support the actions that might be needed in an HTML5 application. Certainly, the standard HTML UI elements have an equivalent in the XAML-based world of WPF and Silverlight. In addition, there is already style support similar to CSS, and we know there is strong programmability support. So, when you get down to it, all of the framework pieces are in place to compile an HTML5 application into IL. Once compiled, most likely into an .exe file, this HTML5 application could be executed in exactly the same way as any Windows desktop application. I believe Microsoft will be announcing this capability as one of its key features of .NET 5 at their Build conference in September to take advantage of the marketing synergy between the .NET 5 and HTML5 brands.
Can you imagine a workflow where you use File –> New Project in Visual Studio to create an HTML5 project, build HTML5 pages along with your script, style and other resources, and then can publish the project as either a standard HTML website, or as a .NET executable file to be run on Windows 8, or even earlier versions of Windows if they have the .NET framework 5.0 installed? I can imagine it easily, and I like what I see when I do. This may be why Microsoft is billing the Build conference as for more than just Professional Developers. That is, web designers and hobbyists will now also have the ability to create Windows desktop applications simply by utilizing the web skills they already possess.
As for the future of WPF and Silverlight, I speculate that, if Microsoft takes the path that I have described, it practically ensures the survival of the XAML technologies. The HTML5 spec will be constantly evolving and Microsoft will need to continue to add features to the framework to support those new capabilities. Once in the framework, Silverlight and WPF can add those same or similar features for almost nothing, simply by adding the language support in XAML or C#/VB.Net. Microsoft will also have two platforms available in Silverlight and WPF to use to test features that are not yet in the HTML5 spec.
It is likely that there will be some consolidation in the future between the two XAML-based technologies, but that was anticipated long before there was any talk of HTML5 as a viable alternative and is not a result of any policy change due to the existence of HTML5. However, HTML5 is looking, for better or worse, like it will become a major player in cross-platform software development. I suspect that many developers who might otherwise have picked-up Silverlight will choose to learn HTML5 instead. In the long-term, if that becomes a significant trend, then eventually WPF and Silverlight will be phased-out. However, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. In facet, as I mentioned, I feel the synergy with HTML5 found in these technologies makes them stronger in the short and medium term and they will continue to be players in their various spaces for many years.