Chris Anderson, Chris Guzak, Jerry Dunietz, Kamen Moutafov, Martyn Lovell, Elliot H Omiya, lead developers working on various WinRT components, have taken questions during the BUILD 2012 panel The Windows Runtime Q&A, answering some of the developers’ ardent questions on Windows 8 applications, especially WinRT ones. Following is a digest of the answers to main topics discussed.
In a session titled Diving deep into C++ /CX and WinRT, Marian Luparu talks about exception handling and performance for C++ applications that target Windows 8. The most important thing for developers to understand is how the boundary between WinRT and normal C++ code effect exception handling and performance.
Porting Existing C++ libraries to Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 mostly involves replacing many, but not all, of the existing Win32 and COM API calls with their WinRT equivalents. The UI itself will most likely not be portable, as GDI is being replaced with XAML, HTML5, and/or DirectX.
Essential Studio for WinRT recently released by Syncfusion includes 20 enterprise class controls for building Windows Store applications. The controls are optimized for touch and includes several features.
With .NET 4.5 the way you work with the Task class has changed in a subtle but important way.
Leaked information suggests that Microsoft is working on unifying the Windows ecosystem, while Windows Phone 8 will be based on WinRT rather than Windows CE.
Furthering their commitment to ubiquitous access, Windows 8 plans on offering universal password management. Windows 8 credential storage is intended to tie all other usernames names and password into a single account that will travel with the user. And this feature will be usable from all applications.
Microsoft had a great vision for Silverlight, a framework and a set of tools that would dominate the web development landscape, but it fell short of that. There are rumors there won’t be any Silverlight 6. If that happens, how easy is for the Silverlight developer to transition to WinRT? Some numbers show that it is pretty easy.
In anticipation of the upcoming Mono 2.12 public beta, Miguel de Icaza has released the planned feature set including many of the .NET 4.5 APIs and C# 5’s Async support. There is also an improved garbage collector, support for the full table of Unicode surrogate characters, and a new backend for the C# compiler.
.NET 4.5 adds two new collection interfaces, IReadOnlyList and IReadOnlyDictionary. While these interfaces are quite humble on the surface, they expose the rather complex story of backwards compatibility, interoperability, and the role of covariance.