“Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all. Everyone makes design decisions all the time without realizing it.“

Douglas Martin

This week I've been getting an introduction to a really interesting new technology called WPF/E.

You may already be familair with WPF as the XAML powered presentation layer for Vista which is used to great effect there and in apps like the new Expression tools. It moves away from the traditional design/layout constraints to a flowing vector based, non-rectangular, device independent format.

WPF/E is a subset of that that runs in the browser (cross platform, gotta love that) presenting a user interface is defined in XAML.

Because the UI isn't stored/managed in a closed binary format it’s been possible to expose the underlying model to Javascript running in the browser (just like the DOM) and you have total control.

Combined with Ajax type controls (for instance the new AJAX ASP.NET library – also cross platform) it’s a whole new world of shiny stuff and I think going to start pushing the envelope of how designers and developers work together to shape the web apps of the next generation. You don't have to believe me. See what Microsoft have to say on the introduction of WPF/E and then check out this really cool demo and dive into more detail.

Before you have a look at the samples you'll need to install the runtime. It's less than 1Mb and works a treat in WinXP, Vista and even on my Powerbook!

If you want to dive in and start building: