XAML vs. HTML5 – A Discussion

[Let me preface this post by stating that I am a very open minded person, and I truly believe that I have something to learn from everyone’s opinion.  This post is meant to generate discussion, so please share your opinion and participate!]

Last night, I saw a message on Twitter that I completely disagreed with.

I think the "Why XAML is better than JS/HTML5/CSS" posts should be more accurately named "I like XAML and don't know the other stuff”.

The first time I read this, I agreed with the author.  I’ve read plenty of articles that sing the praises of a technology, but offer no substantial argument for the other side, primarily because the author hasn’t used it, or just didn’t understand it.  The second time I read it, however, I got the vibe that he actually felt that the HTML5 “stack” was better than the XAML “stack.”  I even received another comment that piled on:

I disagree that XAML is better for layouts than html – HTML provides flexibility, XAML too rigid.

Let me set some ground rules for this discussion:

  1. I’m not arguing that XAML should be used in all instances.  Clearly, HTML/CSS/JS is more universally accessible to the broad public.
  2. With point #1 in mind, I AM arguing that XAML for layout and manipulation IS better than HTML, hands down, but only in those cases where XAML can be used.
  3. To make all things equal, let’s use Windows 8 as the platform we’re comparing these technologies.
  4. Finally, everything everyone shares here is an opinion.  Opinions can’t be wrong.  Including mine.  You just have a different opinion.

In Windows 8 development, you have several options for building your applications.  XAML is one.  HTML5 is one.  Platforms, distribution, and everything else being equal, I would pick XAML/C# every time over HTML/CSS/JS, and I’ve been a web developer for 14 years.

Here’s my problem:  I think everyone is going to disagree with me, and I completely respect that.  What I want from you, my dear reader, is an explanation.  Are you arguing for HTML because you haven’t used XAML?  Or do you truly have examples that make the case for me to consider HTML over XAML?

Like I said at the beginning of this post…I’m open minded.  I’m not here to sneer or judge anyone.  I am legitimately curious why someone would argue for using the HTML stack when XAML is a perfectly available alternative for the situation.

You can leave comments here, you can hit me on Twitter, or you can email me if you’d rather keep your opinion private.  It’s XAMLvsHTML@jeffblankenburg.com.  I’m looking forward to what you have to say.

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