Windows 10 Universal App Support

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nower
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Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by nower » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:33 pm

Do you have plans to support Windows 10 Universal Apps? If yes, when?

It would have the added benefit to cover Windows (10) Phone as well, which is on the roadmap with an uncertain delivery date.

Given that Windows 10 will run on hundreds of millions of devices, it looks like an essential LiveCode feature to me.

Thank you,
Werner

FourthWorld
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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by FourthWorld » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:14 pm

The viability of what is currently called "Windows 10 Universal" is an open question, which Microsoft has chosen to answer by not supporting it with one of their flagship apps, Skype:
http://www.i-programmer.info/news/177-w ... -only.html

Personally, given Microsoft's own decisions on this, their history of initiating and then abandoning architectures, and Intel's ability to provide both greater performance at lower wattage than ARM, I agree with that author that it may be prudent to wait on the sidelines for now until the dust settles a bit.
Richard Gaskin
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nower
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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by nower » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:33 am

Hi Richard,

I appreciate your response.
I'm not quite sure what point you tried to make with the link in your post. There were several comments from people which had very diverse viewpoints about what it means that MS is ditching one of their existing Skype versions.

From my point of view MS is putting a lot energy and resources behind their new direction, and I don't see any reason why they would abandon that direction anytime soon. Even their current offering with the Surface 3 Pro tablet and Windows applications for it is having a significant impact in professional business software, e.g. the financial services industry.

I believe if LiveCode wants to stay relevant it will have to support the new MS functionality.
And as this will provide Windows 10 Phone support at the same time - which is on the roadmap anyway - it makes even more sense.
And I find LC should support it rather sooner than later. If we have to wait for too long until LC supports the new functionality, it might drive people to other solutions, especially as MS itself is working on products that are supposed to make writing cross-platform apps much easier.

I'm a little intrigued that I haven't seen any statement or announcement about it from Runrev at all yet, so I am also curious what's their take on the issue. (Or does your post reflect Runrev's position? If that's the case I apologize because I am not completely clear about your role.)

Thank you,
Werner

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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by Simon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:07 am

Hi Werner,
Surface 3 Pro is an Intel processor so no problem with using liveCode with it.
Windows phone is a type of ARM processor. Will Win 10 change that? Or did I get the thread wrong again?

Simon
I used to be a newbie but then I learned how to spell teh correctly and now I'm a noob!

nower
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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by nower » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:13 pm

Hi Simon,

I can only assume that universal apps will run on multiple processors, both ARM and Intel, as they are supposed to be supported by existing hardware.

Thanks,
Werner

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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by FourthWorld » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:35 pm

nower wrote:I'm a little intrigued that I haven't seen any statement or announcement about it from Runrev at all yet, so I am also curious what's their take on the issue. (Or does your post reflect Runrev's position? If that's the case I apologize because I am not completely clear about your role.)
That's a good question, Werner. Thanks for asking it. It's a new role in our community so we're all figuring it out as we go, but here's my intention:

For an open source project like LiveCode, a community manager can be useful to coordinate activities between community contributors to the project and the core dev team, and also to serve as an advocate for communicating community concerns to the core dev team.

When I convey information here that I've received from my ongoing meetings with the core dev team, I generally do my best to note that as such. Everything else is just my own personal opinion.

Regarding Win 10 "Universal" support, my personal opinion is that its future is uncertain, an uncertainty exacerbated by Microsoft's decision to deploy Skype on for Win 10 base but not "Universal".

My understanding of "Universal" is that it refers to app that is deployed for both ARM and x86 instruction sets. LiveCode currently runs well on Windows/x86, even in the Windows 10 Preview Edition, and since the Windows desktop market share remains at about 90% I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future.

Tablets and phones are a different matter, complicated by two factors: an instruction set incompatible with the rest of the Windows world, and frankly a very low market share for those devices running Windows on ARM.

Like Ubuntu, Windows is pursuing a single-OS strategy across all device types, so that in the long term ideally apps can be designed like the OS itself, to be scalable and adaptable to all computing devices regardless of their size or dimensions. After all, the only significant difference between a tablet with a docking keyboard and a laptop with a removable touch screen is that the latter has a much more powerful CPU.

Historically, ARM has enjoyed an advantage over Intel in being able to deliver reasonable performance at much lower power consumption, and of course with portable devices battery life is a key benefit.

But since the mobile era kicked off much has changed. Intel was the first CPU manufacturer to ship product made with 14 nm lithography; it took Samsung many months to catch up with their licensed ARM designs, and most other manufacturers are still stuck at 22nm. This breakthrough allowed Intel to deliver better performance than ARM at equivalent TDP, beginning to reverse the tide that had previously considered ARM the only architecture worth pursuing for mobile devices.

More recently Intel has reported significant advances in shrinking their die further, to 10nm:
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1996 ... ad-on-10nm

No other manufacturer is expected to be able to touch that for at least a year after Intel is able to ship. And further, Intel has also announced early-stage R&D for a 7nm process, something that industry analysts have suggested may take two years or more for the ARM consortium of manufacturers to begin matching, though in all fairness at that size the whole thing approaches the boundaries of physics and it may make more sense to be pursuing completely different technologies beyond silicon.

Up to this point it was considered a given that x86 would be limited to laptops and desktop and ARM would be required for tablets and phones. But with Intel's recent advances, any claims of certainty about such things are specious.

On the software side, we have the Windows, Ubuntu, and Chrome/Android worlds all pursuing a unified-OS strategy, with Apple being the only major player still invested in a bifurcated OS strategy based on increasingly-subtle distinctions among form factors which continue to become only ever more diverse and overlapping.

Nadella has overturned Ballmer's older bifurcated OS strategy to pursue a vision of "One Windows". This is both exciting and confusing, because it doesn't mean a single version of Windows per se, while it does mean a single API and development tools - some welcome clarification is provided here:
http://www.zdnet.com/article/what-one-w ... nd-doesnt/

So what does all this mean for us LiveCoders?

Hard to say. Back when LiveCode ran their open source campaign on Kickstarter, support for "Windows Mobile" was a stretch goal, so clearly there's interest in pursuing this.

But since then the Windows world has radically changed, and along with it the relative importance of underlying chip architectures has also changed.

The only thing that hasn't changed is that the number of Windows phones remains very small, cited here as 4.2% relative to iOS and Android collectively enjoying 96.3%:
http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/19981 ... en-arrives

So today LiveCode runs well on Windows on laptop, desktops, and convertables, and will for the foreseeable future.

The remaining question is how, or whether, to pursue the Windows Phone market. And for that, in my own opinion, the team's current focus on refining support for the existing mix of OSes LiveCode supports seems a healthy priority, and I trust they'll keep an eye on market share and adjust priorities and things continue to unfold and become a bit more predictable.
Richard Gaskin
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LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

nower
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by nower » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:58 am

Richard,

thank you very much for the detailed and thoughtful response!
I can see the points you make.
I am also aware of the low market share of Windows Phone and understand the reluctance to divert resources for implementing support for the platform in LC. And yes, LC supports Windows x86 apps.
On the other hand I also see that touch interfaces are coming into the Windows world, and I honestly don't know how the classic Windows app created with LC run in a touch screen environment. And in my experience Windows tablets (such as the Surface 3) are more rapidly gaining market share in some industries than Windows phone in the general phone market.
My hope would be that the support for Windows Universal Apps would cover all of the different devices, so that different processor architectures are not a concern any more, as they would be managed by the OS.
But I can also see that the functionality necessary to support such universal apps might require changes to the way LC works, so that the work effort could be significant - I haven't studied the details, so I just don't know.

I believe MS will be successful with its new strategy (especially given its still strong position in the business world), but well, Runrev's priorities and focus may be different.
I'll let myself be surprised how things turn out.

Thanks again,
Werner

AxWald
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Re: Windows 10 Universal App Support

Post by AxWald » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:08 pm

Hi,

for sure, Win has rather tiny numbers in the mobile market today. But they're improving steadily.

Now with Win 10 slowly surfacing with all its features (Universal Apps, full touch support, maybe even Android App support) there is a good chance that this rise will accelerate.

After all, Android (for most vendors) disqualifies more and more due to security problems that will never get patched, and this makes it a no-go in the business world. Apple, with its "golden prison", its limited offer of hardware choices and its prices isn't an alternative there.

As it seems now, Win 10 on ARM (and on the new Intels) looks very promising. But we don't know what will happen, and how, and when. And such there's not much info available for RunRev.

So, trying to keep on getting LC working well on Win 10 would be a suitable advice, IMHO. After all, the vast majority of the stationary computers still runs a kind of Win, and no change is in sight.
And these stationary computers often are used in business, and this is where the money comes from - I'd need to sell many thousands of "apps" in an App store to get the same money I get for a customized program, from 1 customer.

And the business is looking for Win tablets. They want to control the devices via Active Directory, they want them to use Exchange, they want them embedded/ controlled in their IT environment.
Tablets now have been tested widely, especially for "clarks-in-the-field" and "outdoor-salesmen" they have shown their value. Only that neither Android nor Apple offer what the business wants. MS might be able to fill this gap - after all MS' core business ever was making software for business.

I'd appreciate if RunRev would continue its Win support, and maybe even try to improve it a bit? The Win installer often had hickups during the last years and did all but well, for instance ...

Have a good time!
Livecode programming until the cat hits the fan ...

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