The Open

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2005-12-12 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


-Source World"> Whats your view on the open-source world taking this stuff on?

I think its great! The more people we have thinking about hard problems, and maybe coming up with solutions, to me is strictly good.

So you dont care about any IP [intellectual property] issues that might arise?

There are people that care about the IP issues, and as a shareholder of Microsoft, I hope the right things happen. But just as a general technical guy, which is really the only way I know how to operate, I think its great that people are thinking about solving hard problems. I hope people are innovating and not doing other things.

Well, how much work is yet to be done?

Indigos going to ship. Its going to be next year. But we have so much work to do. I look at the WWF stuff, and that opens up so many things and makes me say, "If we knew then what we know now." ... Theres a lot of value left to add.

So whats the next interesting thing beyond that?

I think there are a lot of seeds of interesting stuff in WWF. So if you want to ask me what would be an interesting area to mine for directions, ideas, differentiators or new innovations, I think WWF is just a cauldron of interesting goop that both the community at large and [we] will figure out as we go along.

The reason I find it interesting—just to be clear—is that we know at the heart of that system is the separation between code and declarative metadata.

If all we did was LINQ and said all were going to do is ship LINQ and were not going to do anything else for five years, wed still be kicking ass. Its that good.

I think theres a lot of fodder for innovation in the basic premise of WWF. The separation of opaque code from the transparent description, configuration, model or whatever you want to call it—that to me is the most interesting thing on the planet today.

Thats a theme. Were doing it on the communications pillar side. But the presentation guys are using the exact same premise. We focus on the roles of the programmer and the business analysts. They look at the programmer and the designer. Its the exact same premise and almost the same technology stack.

Are you saying WWF also supports model-driven development?

Thats a fancy name for it. I just look at it as a pure programmer. What theyve done is embraced and celebrated the difference between the programmer and the person who uses the artifacts of the programmer. So writing those XAML [Extensible Application Markup Language] files that tie together the activities, and having the tooling support, is a really interesting story. Theyre going to have a great V1 [Version 1]; their V1 is really good. They own their own tooling, and its great. Its fantastic; it makes me tear up. The Indigo guys say, "How can we get one of those?"

They have a general-purpose engine for taking XAML and code and wiring it up together and making it run. So we thought about what it would look like if we made some of that code Indigo code. I think the combination of the two is greater than either one alone.

So, how does this make things easier for developers?

One of the things we hear from people who want to use Indigo is: "I wish I had a model (and I dont mean the highfalutin model) where I could have parts of the service that I could change without having to bring in a high-priced developer. Id like to let the IT pro have a say and maybe be able to write declarative policy using the rules facility of WWF to do the authorization choices." Or, "Id like to be able to make routing decisions based on business conditions." WWF gives us a really nice palette to build out that kind of solution.

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