The power to build HTML Applications (HTAs) brings Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 to the fore as a viable Microsoft Windows® development platform. HTAs are full-fledged applications. These applications are trusted and display only the menus, icons, toolbars, and title information that the Web developer creates. In short, HTAs pack all the power of Internet Explorer—its object model, performance, rendering power, protocol support, and channel-download technology—without enforcing the strict security model and user interface of the browser.
www-Sharp introduces compiled HTA. This makes it possible to store all html pages, images, style-sheets, scripts, movies, sounds and other content in one file. Ability to use .Net code makes www-Sharp one of the most visual and powerfull programming environment for Microsoft Windows® platform.
Why Use HTAs
Historically, programming languages like C++ and Microsoft Visual Basic® have provided the object models and access to system resources that developers demand. With HTA it is now time to add Dynamic HTML (DHTML) with script to that list. HTAs not only support everything a Web page does—namely HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), scripting languages, and behaviors—but also HTA-specific functionality. This added functionality provides control over user interface design and access to the client system. Moreover, run as trusted applications, HTAs are not subject to the same security constraints as Web pages. As with any executable file, the user is asked once, before the HTA is downloaded, whether to save or run the application; if saved to the client machine, it simply runs on demand thereafter. The end result is that HTAs runs like any executable (.exe) written in C++ or Visual Basic.
HTAs are suited to many uses, whether you are prototyping, making wizards, or building full-scale applications. Whatever DHTML and script deliver now—forms, multimedia, Web applications, HTML editors, and browsers—so can HTAs... and then some.
Why www-Sharp application is introduced?
One major reason is to bridge the gap between developing an application for Win32 platform, developing an application for .Net platform and developing an application for the Web platform.
Today when you write a Win32 or .Net application, you can take advantage of Windows features. Windows applications can take advantage of the hardware capabilities of the client computer and use many components provided by this operating system.
Traditional Windows applications have a number of drawbacks. Windows applications don't run in the browser. Therefore, familiar Web UI paradigms such as page-oriented applications, navigation directly from one page to another, page history, and more aren't available to your application unless you create them from scratch. Windows applications also don't support text very well, especially when you try to mix text and graphics on the same page. Creating a Windows application that automatically flows text around graphics and that responds to user-initiated changes in the window size and user preferences for fonts and readability is a huge amount of work.
HTML applications (HTA), introduced with Internet Explorer 5, on another hand, provide an ability to create applications with attractive interface and, even more, to design interface instead of program it. Compiled HTML applications that support for .Net framework introduced with www-Sharp are great alternative to Windows applications.
Creating user inrterface for a Web application is also quite easy. You declare your intentions using markup. For example, suppose you want a table in a specific position. I want an image to follow the table. You want some text to flow around the image. Mixing text, graphics, sound and video in a Web application is straightforward.
The www-Sharp application takes the best features of Web applications and the best features of .Net applications and combines them in a single unified programming model .
Another major reason for using www-Sharp application is to provide a single programming model that can create the wide variety of "applications" in use today. Look at one of your favorite Web sites, such as CNN or MSNBC. Is the Web site a traditional application? Is it a document? Is it a multimedia presentation? In many cases, the answer is yes to all three questions.
When a Web site includes UI elements such as list boxes, edit controls, and radio buttons, it looks like an application presenting a UI. However, when it displays images and text flowing around the images, the Web site is similar to a document. When it presents Flash content, graphics, audio, video, and animation, the Web site seems to be a multimedia presentation.
www-Sharp provides a unified architecture that supports these three tiers—documents, applications, and media. Do you want to create your UI declaratively using markup? Go for it. Do you want to mix text, graphics, and video in a document with intelligent layout and presentation according to the user's preferences and optimized for best viewing and reading on the client system? Guess what? You get that too.
The www-Sharp application makes it possible to write an application using a single programming model that supports application-style UI functionality, document-style presentation of text and graphics, and integration of various media. Y ou can create the UI using markup like a Web application. Your application can run as a stand-alone application or hosted in a Web browser by simply recompiling one source code base.