Silverlight, XAML, the CLR and Javascript

Years ago, before Mozilla took off and developed XUL, and XML was still new and began generating a lot of buzz, there was some question about the ultimate platform that we’d end up on, and XML was the foundation of it all. Everyone thought so at the time. I was involved in a project called XPL – XML Programming Language, the intention of which was to provide a base dialect for languages and a runtime – a Common Language Runtime. When the CLR was announce, and IL came out and I saw Visual Basic.NET and C# and JScript.Net I figured this would be what Microsoft would do -> Silverlight.

Not that I knew how they’d go about doing it, but I wrote an email to my cousin years ago saying Microsoft would dominate the browser again via XML as the interface language, instead of HTML, but by leveraging a dialect that they can create that merges the Windows Desktop with the Web. XAML.

There is little doubt in many people’s minds, I am sure, that Microsoft planned this long ago, but lest the Mozilla/Firefox/XUL guys come claiming to have thought of it first: you didn’t. You just did it first. Microsoft has been planning this since XML and the CLR were coined I think, and JScript.NET is the first case in point.

Interestingly JScript.NET – I mean, that’s what it is, this MS Ajax, after all, another chance at JScript.NET – and XAML together is exactly what Microsoft needs to dominate the web as they have the desktop. They have made a Javascript version of the CLR that with XAML allows them to build nicer applications than on any platform, and now it’s all .NET from the database to the server to the browser.