DragonSpark
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Investigating Noesis

25 Jan 2017, 13:25

Wow. :)

I recall checking out this project over a year ago, but I do not recall it being so impressive. There looks like there is better integration with Visual Studio, and that might have been the deal breaker for me at the time. I was also probably turned off by the fact that this is a licensed/pay-for product, and at the time I was more of a cheapskate. :)

So I want to ask a few questions here to make sure I understand what I am dealing with here. I am working on a product idea and putting the services tier in place. In about 6-9 months I will be working on the UI so that's where this will come in.

- Noesis is strictly a UI solution, correct? It sounds like it is a cross-platform Xaml-based UI solution, which is fantastic. Definitely worth paying for. :) However, if I have 3D elements (models) in my scene, I will still need to have a 3D engine for those, correct? Something like Unity or Monogame. It would be nice to know if Noesis can produce (or has plans to produce) some magic in this area. This would essentially make it a cross-platform WPF.
- Any plans to support WebAssembly? I suppose if you support Unity then you already work on the web via their flash installer (or WebAssembly by proxy if/when they support it).
- Finally, I watched your very impressive videos. I see that you are designed to support both desktops and devices. Is your UI API built around these scenarios? I know that UWP's API -- while leaving much to be desired -- does support some functionality on detecting form factor and operating as such.

In any case, I wanted to congratulate you on your efforts. Very impressive here.
-Michael
 
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jsantos
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Re: Investigating Noesis

25 Jan 2017, 21:17

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your time writing here and for the nice comments!
- Noesis is strictly a UI solution, correct? It sounds like it is a cross-platform Xaml-based UI solution, which is fantastic. Definitely worth paying for. :) However, if I have 3D elements (models) in my scene, I will still need to have a 3D engine for those, correct? Something like Unity or Monogame. It would be nice to know if Noesis can produce (or has plans to produce) some magic in this area. This would essentially make it a cross-platform WPF.
Yes, NoesisGUI is a strictly non-instrusive UI solution. You need to connect it to a 3D engine. Right now, we are compatible with lots of them. And we are working in more integrations for 1.3 - Unreal mainly.
- Any plans to support WebAssembly? I suppose if you support Unity then you already work on the web via their flash installer (or WebAssembly by proxy if/when they support it).
Not yet. But it is planned to have that soon or later. Originally we wanted to have something ready for v1.3 but we had to leave it out.
- Finally, I watched your very impressive videos. I see that you are designed to support both desktops and devices. Is your UI API built around these scenarios? I know that UWP's API -- while leaving much to be desired -- does support some functionality on detecting form factor and operating as such.
Exactly, we support both desktop and mobile platforms. All the architecture is optimized to be fast on mobiles. A lot of improvements are also coming in the new v1.3 about it.

Please, let us know if you have more doubts or if you want an evaluation license.
 
DragonSpark
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Re: Investigating Noesis

26 Jan 2017, 01:20

Wow, excellent, @jsantos! Thank you for the detailed reply. After some thinking about this, I recalled why I stopped looking into Noesis, and that is because back in Sept 2015 when I checked this out, Unity3D was the only viable 3D engine around it, and it was only supporting .NET 3.5. Since it supports 4.5 now, it is much more of a viable candidate. :)

I will be interested in an evaluation license for sure, but I think waiting until I actually start developing client code is a good time to do so.

I do have one final (hopefully!) question in regards to the Xaml engine you use. Are you by chance tying into Mono's System.Xaml port? Or are you custom rolling it? The reason I ask is that there has been an open sourced effort in Mono's port and it is now faster than System.Xaml:
https://github.com/cwensley/Portable.Xaml/

Thanks again for your assistance!
 
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jsantos
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Re: Investigating Noesis

28 Jan 2017, 00:11

I do have one final (hopefully!) question in regards to the Xaml engine you use. Are you by chance tying into Mono's System.Xaml port? Or are you custom rolling it? The reason I ask is that there has been an open sourced effort in Mono's port and it is now faster than System.Xaml:
https://github.com/cwensley/Portable.Xaml/
We have our own custom implementation in C++. Not sure what's the purpose of System.Xaml port if it is missing the most important part, the rendering code right? Or am I missing something here?

I should find time to benchmark our loading times vs them by the way.

Thanks!
 
DragonSpark
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Re: Investigating Noesis

28 Jan 2017, 02:04

Ah, this isn't rendering but serialization. As you are probably already painfully aware of, System.Xaml is a way of persisting (and loading) POCOs out of (and into) memory. Once it is in memory is when the rendering (or data manipulation, etc) occurs. Of course, it offers so much more than serialization, in the way of markup extensions and the like.

Since you are in C++ land, then chances are you are faster than them all. :) haha. Although now I will have to check the featureset to ensure you have parity with WPF, or at least what I am interested in (markup extensions being key, really).

So I am sort of talking my way into that evaluation license. Can you provide details for it? My concern is that if I get it now it will have expired in 6-9 months when I will be hammering it much more thoroughly.

In any case, I wanted to express my gratitude to you for creating a cool project extending the Xaml lifeline and for being diligent about it. As I am sure you're aware, Xaml has been sort of placed in purgatory (or worse). If you aren't aware, you can see the github issue that is asking to port it to .NET Core here:
https://github.com/dotnet/corefx/issues/5766
 
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ai_enabled
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Re: Investigating Noesis

28 Jan 2017, 15:26

Although now I will have to check the featureset to ensure you have parity with WPF, or at least what I am interested in (markup extensions being key, really).
I need to mention than in our two games we're using exactly the same XAML as in WPF, with many advanced XAML features (there are hundreds of controls, styles, templates, some attached properties, etc). I mean everything is compiles and works with WPF in the same way as with NoesisGUI. So we need nearly complete API match with WPF. I've reported perhaps 30 tickets to their issue tracker about the differences with WPF and they always fixed them in a timeable matter or provided a reasonable workaround. There still some unresolved issues - such as NoesisGUI using everywhere (including API) float instead of double (requirement for much better performance on mobile devices as their FPUs are very slow with double precision). That's not a big issue as we were able to fork NoesisGUI C# API and fixed all the API code to use double as in WPF (and updating to newer versions is very easy with usually automatic merge resolve).

Regards!
AtomicTorch Studio Pte. Ltd. http://atomictorch.com
 
DragonSpark
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Re: Investigating Noesis

28 Jan 2017, 22:00

Hey that's great to hear @ai_enabled! Thanks for letting me know. I guess my primary concern is using markup extensions first and foremost. That is what makes Xaml Xaml, IMO. Then there's WPF-centric functionality such as interaction behaviors and triggers, as well. That's what comes to mind in checking out if/when presented with the opportunity, in that order, haha. :)
 
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jsantos
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Re: Investigating Noesis

01 Feb 2017, 19:18

So I am sort of talking my way into that evaluation license. Can you provide details for it? My concern is that if I get it now it will have expired in 6-9 months when I will be hammering it much more thoroughly.
Don't worry about it, we can renew the trial as many times as you need. If you are not in a hurry I would wait for the final 1.3 version to be released. It is going to happen this month, just before the GDC.
In any case, I wanted to express my gratitude to you for creating a cool project extending the Xaml lifeline and for being diligent about it. As I am sure you're aware, Xaml has been sort of placed in purgatory (or worse). If you aren't aware, you can see the github issue that is asking to port it to .NET Core here:
https://github.com/dotnet/corefx/issues/5766
: ) Yes, we are aware. Right now our main dependency to Microsoft is the Blend editor. We would like to have our own version but being such as huge task we are not sure when that could happen.

Thanks!
 
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jsantos
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Re: Investigating Noesis

01 Feb 2017, 19:19

Hey that's great to hear @ai_enabled! Thanks for letting me know. I guess my primary concern is using markup extensions first and foremost. That is what makes Xaml Xaml, IMO. Then there's WPF-centric functionality such as interaction behaviors and triggers, as well. That's what comes to mind in checking out if/when presented with the opportunity, in that order, haha. :)
We support creating new markup extensions in C++ but right now this is not not possible in C#. This feature has been requested several times and it is in the roadmap.
 
DragonSpark
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Re: Investigating Noesis

02 Feb 2017, 11:26

Ah, OK @jsantos thank you for letting me know. That would for sure be something I would be interested in before getting my hands dirty here. Markup extensions are what make Xaml so powerful. :) I will keep an eye out!

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