[Mono-list] Cross-Platform GUI Tookit

Edward Ned Harvey (mono) edward.harvey.mono at clevertrove.com
Tue Nov 18 03:55:31 UTC 2014

> From: Daniel Hughes [mailto:trampster at gmail.com]
> It should be noted that Xamarin are moving away from using Xwt for
> Xamarin Studio Miguel De Icaza stated this in the dotnet foundation
> forums.
> http://forums.dotnetfoundation.org/t/will-the-windows-only-library-get-
> open-sourced-too/307/6
> Here is a direct quote:
> What we found with Xamarin Studio is that this works, but our users
> want native experiences. This means that even if our "Entry" was
> native, we could not really do or express everything that is possible
> on each platform with a particular entry (color, font, text attribute
> ranges, handling non-contiguous selections, accessibility and so on).
> We wanted to be able to leverage everything a native platform did.

Thanks for that.  Here's what I'm getting out of it:

First of all, I didn't know XS/MD was using Xwt.  And the conversation you linked to is only a few days old (actually, not even as old as this discussion thread.)  That conversation itself is highly relevant and a good read.

The fact that XS/MD is or was based on Xwt is a good sign, because it means there's a ton of stuff you CAN do, write-once and expect it to work cross-platform.  And it's certainly mature enough and stable enough for production.

Miguel said Xamarin.Forms was inspired by Xwt, and he also said XS is moving away from Xwt because they want to leverage everything in the native platform.  They are also a commercial entity that can afford the developers to develop on every platform.  I recently attended a Xamarin presentation on Xamarin.Forms, where they said something that's so great about Xamarin.Forms is the fact that you write some code that works everywhere, but they also expose native details if you want it.  (I didn't look into how they do that.)  Too bad the same is apparently not possible with Xwt.

To me, it sounds like, if Xwt does everything you want/need to, or you simply want to save development effort and don't mind sacrificing whatever details it doesn't implement, then Xwt should be a good way to go.

Side note:  Microsoft Office doesn't use WPF.  So like I said before, about being a commercial entity who can afford the developers to achieve more nifty effects...

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