End of Vista Preview

I’m becoming anxious to buy a new computer. I dont’ feel like trying to maintain a new desktop computer and still continue to run experiments on Vista on another computer. So as of this post my Vista Preview is over.
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t do much in this time. I did write a short essay that’s half about Aero and half about the .NET Presentation Foundation. Other than that essay, I haven’t done as much experimentation as I wanted due to work and playing many video games in this time. I did say that I was going to create a gadget for the Vista Sidebar, and doing so would be easy, but I couldn’t think of anything useful and I found the Sidebar itself annoying.
I had intended to write several other essays. However, I’m a poor writer, and there are many other people with blogs that have equal or greater experience with Vista than I do and have greater mastery of the English language than I.
The essay is short, poorly written, and lacks detail. If you don’t want to read it simply skip the rest of this post. If you do read it I hope you can find it useful or at least mildly entertaining for the next minute.
 

Aero And .NET 3.0 Presentation Foundation: The death of GDI

Everyone knows what GDI graphics look like. It’s what was in use since Windows 95 up to Windows XP. Before XP everything was rectangular and had thin lines.  Images could be used in some places. In Windows XP, the themes engine actively replaced the rectangular user controls with images that made the user interface smother and rounded, but those images would look stretched when scaled across large controls.
GDI controls had little hierarchial design. Pannels and tabs had the ability to contain other controls, but this was basically only by honor. Each individual control had absolute control of what was to be rendered in it’s own little rectangle of the window. This ment there was little opportunity for special effects unless the programer was willing to code the entire window paint procedure on his or her own.
What I see as being Microsoft’s flagship for shipping Vista to home users is Vista’s desktop compositor, Aero, and the new GUI modal, the .NET 3.0 Presentation Foundation. The combination of these two can alow programers to make more interesting user interfaces with more impressive effects and more intuitive user flow metaphors.
The interface of Vista itself provides several improvements over its predecessors. The start menu has a built in interactive search bar. Windows Explorer has improvements that make navigating and searching through folders easier. As a developer, I see this as a potential benefit as if an illiterate end user finds the interface of the OS easy to use the user would be more willing to become literate and more literate users means more users that may make use of a developers applications.
From a developer point of view I see that Vista has a few methods that can be used to produce vector graphics that can be used in application GUIs. The full benefit of the use of vector graphics can not yet be seen today. However, the range of hardware available to residential customers is becoming wider. Having vector graphics rendering built into the GUI provided by the operating system will ease the process of developing software for widely varying display devices.
I can state no downside of Aero and Presentation Foundation. It’s use is intuitive. New users will find it easy to use. Experienced users will need to learn little more. It is an improvement over older versions of Windows. This is to be expected.
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~ by lunaticexperimentalist on December 3, 2006.

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