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First Impressions of Atlas

Wow, the future sure looks bright for rich web application development. I like the approach they’ve taken to get client side data, using JSON, from Web Service method calls. They’ve also built a rich client side framework of utility classes. The server side story is also very good in that they have a suite of rich Atlas-specific controls/components which spare you having to do a lot of “glue”ing of UI elements to JavaScript if you want to avoid it.

My one complaint is that there are a lot of paralells in architecture between the Atlas and WPF and you can even see a lot of similarity in the APIs of the two, but the execution is completely different. For example the way templating works is close, but Atlas doesn’t have DataTemplates (as far as I’ve seen) and they use an inverse approach of WPF’s ItemsControl and Panel.IsItemsHost. I’m hoping that, once I get a deeper understanding of Atlas, I can provide some constructive feedback that might help nudge Atlas’ approach to be in line with WPF’s approach to solving the same problms. It would be great if there could be an even larger knowledge transfer/simpler transition when working between the two technologies.

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