What is Avalon?

By Praveen V. Nair on February 7, 2008

Avalon is the codename for WPF – Windows Presentation Foundation.

Is the graphical subsystem feature of the .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly called WinFX) and is directly related to XAML. It is pre-installed in Windows Vista, the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. WPF is also available for installation on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003. It provides a consistent programming model for building applications and provides a clear separation between the UI and the business logic. A WPF application can be deployed on the desktop or hosted in a web browser. It also enables rich control, design, and development of the visual aspects of Windows programs. It aims to unify a host of application services: user interface, 2D and 3D drawing, fixed and adaptive documents, advanced typography, vector graphics, raster graphics, animation, data binding, audio and video. Although WinForms will continue to be widely used, WPF is now the prefered choice for developing line of business applications, especially since the release of the .NET Framework 3.5, Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Blend.

Microsoft Silverlight is a web-based subset of WPF. During development it was named WPF/E, which stood for “Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere”. The Silverlight subset enables Flash-like web and mobile applications with the same code as Windows .NET applications. 3D features are not supported, but XPS and vector-based drawing are included.

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