Even a chimp can write code

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Introducing the WPF Web Browser Application!

With the September CTP of WinFX, Express Applications are no more. Fear not, you can still build Windows Presentation Foundation applications that run in a web browser. Only now, they are called Web Browser Applications (or WBAs). The extension has changed from .xapp to .wba and the new MIME content type is application/x-ms-wba. If you've installed the new WinFX bits and the Visual Studio Extensions for WinFX, you'll see project templates this.

Why did we make this change? Well for starters, the names were always working names. Also it turns out xapp is trademarked (by SAP, I think). And we don't want to confuse Express apps with the Express SKUs (as in Visual Studio C# Express edition). In no way are Web Browser Applications lite versions of WPF applications. So that misapprehension had to be removed.

This new name isn't cool, so why choose it? That's because the coolness of the Windows Presentation Foundation can and will speak for itself. It does not need the name to be its crutch. Besides, this name is generic enough that it cannot be trademarked, yet very accurately describes what that flavor of WPF application does.

I've heard a few people on the team here at Microsoft refer to Web Browser Applications as webbahs and for the record, I severely dislike that term. I know we do it with XAML (pronounced zammel) but let's just stop there. Please.


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  • Oh, common ... would you rather call it exayemel?

    By Anonymous Joel "Jaykul" Bennett, at September 22, 2005 at 8:51 PM  

  • When I was working on Sash (a Scripting & Application FX) for IBM we liked to use the term Weblication to describe these types of rich client apps. We also called them muscle-clients, but that was just a reaction to the debate about thin vs. fat clients at the time (~2002).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 28, 2005 at 6:18 PM  

  • I didn't mean to publish as anonymous. Doh! Its weird seeing all this stuff come full circle. Alot of the functionality related to click-once and WBAs was available with Sash 2.0. Declarative security requirements, sandboxing, web based deployment / updating. It also had automatic D/L of dependencies if they weren't installed. Really good technology. Has anyone even heard of Sash outside of IBM?

    By Anonymous Lonnie McCullough, at September 28, 2005 at 6:28 PM  

  • What about xbap?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2006 at 7:46 AM  

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