While some of this talk may be alarmist or just rumour, for which people are talking solace in posts like this, and tweets like this. Anyone who has worked in the technology industry for any period of time will have to admit to this immutable truth: Everything changes. All the time.
Today's WPF was yesterday’s WinForms, today’s ASP.NET MVC was yesterday’s WebForms, and so on. There have been dozens of UI technologies developed over the years for the Windows platform, both managed and unmanaged alike, but here’s the fundamental point: technology does not die, it’s abandoned, it cannot be killed (just look at IE6 and I can still download Visual Basic 3.0 from MSDN today!)—what this means is that actually YOU have a choice, YOU decide when a technology is dead to YOU; not the Windows team, not anyone else, but simply YOU. The decision is all yours.
Here’s just a few UI technologies that I’ve worked with over the last 15+ years:
- Access (v1.0 and v2.0)
- Excel (v4.0 macros and v5.0 VBA)
- Word (v2.0 Macros and v5.0 VBA)
- Visual Basic (3, 4, 5 and 6)
- IDC and HTX Web Templates
- Classic ASP (from V1 until it was replaced with Managed Code and ASP.NET in 2002)
- ASP.NET (1.0, 2.0 and 4.0)
- ASP.NET MVC (1.0 and now 2.0)
- Silverlight (1, 2 and now 4)
- Windows Forms (all versions)
- WPF (All versions)
Interestingly, you can use just about any one of these technologies, in one form or another, still today to build your applications for the Windows platform.
I think of it this way: Even if Microsoft announced that WPF will not be actively developed from today—this very day, even though there are a reported 200+ developers working on Silverlight and WPF at this very moment—we’ll still have five years of patches and maintenance. Five years of you being able to choose to use it in a production environment, even then the technology won’t be “dead”. You may simply choose to abandon it long before then, but that does not mean it’s dead, far from it.
Think deeply, code well. If you have any comments or opinions that you’d like to share on this topic or any other, I’d love to hear from your. [-PJ]