Microsoft Longhorn


.NET framework

A significant part of Longhorn is written in managed C#. Taskbar, sidebar, preview pane… it’s all .NET. I thought it would be interesting to know the mechanics behind this framework, so here we go: an article solely about .NET. Of course, first we need to write our program in a .NET language. When the time has come to test the application you’ll first need to compile it to an assembly we can execute.

Hacking Avalon – 1: Disable it

This is the first post in a series that I’ll be doing. Hacking Avalon will be all about interesting stuff in Avalon. Furthermore, I hope to provide some background on how early variants of Avalon work together with the shell in Longhorn. Keep in mind, this series will mainly discuss the earliest revisions of Avalon found in the 3xxx range of builds. The tricks may not always work on later builds.

Hacking Avalon – 2: Port it

Always wanted to experiment with Avalon on Windows XP? In this second part of the “Hacking Avalon” series we’re going to install not only Avalon but also some other Longhorn component. In this post I will take Windows XP as example, but the installer is also compatible with Server 2003. Below is a description of the included components and their use. avalon This will install the Longhorn Avalon runtime to your computer.

Hacking Avalon – 3: Compiling xaml

In this third part of the Hacking Avalon series we are taking a closer look at the process of making an Avalon application. To do this, we will be using a special tool only available in early Longhorn builds. This tool is called the Avalon Compiler or simply “ac'. This tool does what its name suggests; compile Avalon. But what is that precisely? just a quick note before we begin; this post is completely based on the Avalon version included with 3683.

Managed C++ and the Longhorn Shell

Reading up on Longhorn’s development process, and you’ll read a lot about how the shell or user interface was redeveloped using the .NET Framework, and many people infer that this meant using C#, including a number of Microsoft employees. This has then been blamed for the terrible performance of Longhorn and in particular, is often cited as the cause for its numerous memory leaks. Architecture Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider the shell improvements from a wider view.