Make Universal Windows Platform Open Source and Cross-Platform
With the advent of //build 2015, the vision and direction of Microsoft seems to be open source and cross platform. This appears to be the case for every new product from Microsoft except for the Universal Windows Platform.
It would be great, ideal, and wonderfully awesome to see this platform reach consistency with the rest of the organization and embrace the ideals, values, and benefits from being open source and cross platform like other areas of Microsoft now are (or are on their way to being).
Please provide consistency throughout the entire Microsoft development ecosystem!
UWP is not inherently tied to Windows and is actually very-well architected for cross-platform capability. Have you not seen all the interfaces that are used extensively throughout its API? Currently, these are all bound to the magnificent (and rather opaque) Curtain of COM, but it does allow for the design to be ported to other implementations.
But yes, I agree that this is not something that is trivial and will not happen overnight. I have resolved myself to waiting another 3-4 (at least) years before this can be considered a possibility. :) This vote is simply intended to start the awareness/conversation/direction. Thank you for your support and consideration!
Mihai Cosmin commented
The problem is, UWP is tied to the windows OS itself. Making it open source would be like making windows open source.
Exactly, Peter. The goal with this is exactly what you described: a direct, identical port of UWP to other platforms such as iOS and Droid (and others!). Xamarin.Forms is a fantastic technology in its own right, but it is middleware and it essentially caters to the target platform, ultimately rendering the application via the target platform's UI and controls, and corresponding UX. By contrast, the expectation here is that what you see on a Windows 10 device would look and work *exactly the same* on an iOS/Droid (or other!) device. The result essentially being a direct and perfectly identical port of UWP to other platforms.
By design, this implies that UWP is THE superior application paradigm when viewed against any competing options. Which it should be (and is???). This reasserts MSFT into its rightful place as an exceptional technology company, leading its developers into dominance and success, rather than following "standards" and leaving its developers in confusion and angst (ala Silverlight, and the inexcusable "just use HTML5" guidance/recommendation -- if you can call it that).
Peter Moore commented
I would be fine even if the source code were available for browsing and debugging purposes just as the entire .NET framework is. It doesn't have to be licensed open source per se.
Cross platform would be very nice though. Xamarin is great for putting C# on iOS but it is still usually not feasible to truly share code between Windows and iOS/Android projects because Xamarin's XAML "Xamarin Forms" framework is so different from Microsoft's and is very limited.
It would be wonderful if the full Windows Runtime APIs and XAML framework were ported completely to Xamarin iOS and we could write native apps with -identical- source code (C# and XAML) for both platforms. An entirely OpenGL-based implementation of Windows Runtime for Xamarion iOS would put the ugly and sluggish Cocoa Touch framework to shame.
Alexander Sidorenko commented
Killer feature. It will allow to develop really cross-platform GUI applications
Incidentally, by being open source and cross-platform, this idea would be possible to implement as well: