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carlsonad wow that's #
I already had VS 2005 Team System installed and I have downloaded and installed the Windows MC SDK 5.0, Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for the .NET Framework 3.0 and Windows Vista SDK for .net 3.0.

I have been going through the Windows Media Center SDK doc and have been finding it very useful. It always amazes me the quality of the documentation MS provides with their products. I'm currently about 20% or 30% through the doc.

The doc tells me that I have 3 different technologies to choose from. Those choices are: Windows Media Center Presentation Layer Application (MCPL), 3.0 XAML Browser Applications (XBAP), and Hosted Html.

I'm not excited about Hosted Html and it looks like the only plus is that Hosted Html is compatible with Legacy Media Center versions where the other two are only compatible with Vista MC. I'm only going to be running Vista MC at home so Legacy compatibility is not a concern.

So for me the choice is between MCPL and XBAP. They both use an xml markup language to describe the UI and they both use .net 2.0 as the code behind. MCPL uses Media Center Markup Language (MCML) which seems to me to be similar to XAML. MCML is what Microsoft used to build Vista Media Center. XBAP of course uses XAML which is markup language introduced with .net 3.0 and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and will likely have a much bigger development community. This is interesting to me. I wonder why Media center wasn't built on WPF. I'm sure it's because WPF wasn't ready for prime time when they were building Vista MC. It also makes me wonder if WPF evolved from earlier versions of MC. I've heard that Windows Workflow Foundation will eventually replace BizTalk's Business Rules Engine. I wonder if Media Center will eventually go a similar route and be written entirely with WPF and MCML will become obsolete.

From what I’ve read so far the only drawbacks for using XBAP is that MC Extenders get a basic experience and that there is an additional layer between MC and your application where with MCPL MC Extenders get "full fidelity" and there is no additional layer.

I don't have Xbox 360 and don't plan on getting one any time soon. So for me this isn't a big deal. I'm not sure what the additional layer means yet. I think I’ll just play around with both and see which one seems more natural and easy to use. Right now I'm leaning towards XBAP mostly because I want to learn more about WPF, but I have a feeling that XMAL will be very similar to MCML and moving between the two will be fairly natural. Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 7:40 PM | Back to top

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