Microsoft Previews 'Sparkle' and 'Acrylic'
Microsoft has released Community Technology Previews (CTP) of two tools it
is readying to help Web page and Windows applications designers more easily
perform those tasks.
This is the first public CTP for Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer,
formerly code-named “Sparkle.” This is the second public preview
of Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer, which was previously code-named “Acrylic.”
The company announced the Expression family of products at its Professional
Developers Conference 2005 in Los Angeles last September. Microsoft acquired
developer Creature House and its Expression 3 graphic design and illustration
package in 2003.
Expression Interactive Designer provides tools to enable a designer to create
and manage the visual presentation and behavior of controls and user interface
layout, 2D and 3D animation, a wide variety of media elements include 2D vectors,
bitmaps, 3D geometry, media and rich text, according to a blog post by S. "Soma"
Somasegar, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Developer Division.
The Expression Graphic Designer adds expanded XAML export capabilities, allowing
graphic designs to be saved as XAML code for inclusion in other design and development
tools, such as Visual Studio and Expression Interactive Designer.
Extensible Application Markup Language, or XAML, is the XML dialect that is
used to describe application user interface elements and rich content for Windows
Presentation Foundation (WPF), coming in Vista later in the year. (See “Microsoft
Ships New WinFX Preview -- Issues 'Go Live' Licenses")
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.