2009-01-06

XAML in native C++

With the advent of WPF and XAML Microsoft has changed the way GUI Windows applications are developed, by introducing markup language into GUI development.

Unlike previous GUI APIs, the core of the WPF is written entirely in managed code, there is nothing for native C++ developers, there is not even support for C++/CLI (one can do some workarounds, but no support from the IDE and Blend)

Today I have found out that CodeJock has added support (see press release) for XAML scripts in their Xtreme ToolkitPro library. They do not support everything from WPF, they started adding markup properties for various GUI elements, in time the support will continue to grow.

The XAML section of their forums contains lots of information on the topic, which stuff is working, which is not. There I have found out sample applications, an early version of their MarkupPad (now an year old), which shows the capability of their XAML parser.

I have made a screenshot with MarkupPad and XAMLPad:



They both look the same, then I have had a look with Process Explorer and here is another picture with the results (see memory footprint):



I am aware that the comparison is not fair, CodeJock doesn't have a full XAML parser (no Timeline, no 3D, no...), but these are facts which can be seen at the moment.

Hats off for CodeJock for adding this functionality, I guess Microsoft could have done the same for MFC, but they don't care anymore about native GUI development, the latest new blood in MFC was bought from BCGSoftware, which doesn't have any support for XAML in their flagship products, namely BCGControlBar

It would be nice to have an open source, cross platform, native C++ XAML parser.
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