Microsoft is developing a "view engine" for its ASP.Net Web development platform, optimized around HTML generation via a code-focused templating approach, a Microsoft official said in a blog post.
A public beta release of the view engine, which is codenamed "Razor," will ship shortly, said Scott Guthrie, vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a late-Friday evening blog post. View engines, he said, are pluggable modules that implement different template syntax options. Other view engines used with ASP.Net have included Spark and NHaml.
[ InfoWorld's Paul Krill reported last week that Microsoft also is adding embedded database capabilities to ASP.Net ]
"We think 'Razor' provides a great new view-engine option that is streamlined for code-focused templating. It [features] a coding workflow that is fast, expressive and fun. Its syntax is compact and reduces typing -- while at the same time improving the overall readability of your markup and code. It will be shipping as a built-in view engine with the next release of ASP.Net MVC (Model View Controller)," Guthrie said.
Design goals for Razor including compactness, expressiveness, and fluidity, in which Razor minimizes the number of characters and keystrokes in a file and enables a fast, fluid coding workflow.
Microsoft intends for Razor to be easy to learn and to work with any text editor. Microsoft also is pondering how Razor could enable development of re-usable HTML helpers using a more declarative approach. Razor is designed to provide a rich code editing experience within the Visual Studio IDE.
But Razor will not feature a new imperative language.
"Instead we wanted to enable developers to use their existing C#/VB (or other) language skills with Razor, and deliver a template markup syntax that enables an awesome HTML construction workflow with your language of choice," Guthrie said.
In other application development news, Microsoft announced on Tuesday general availability of its Silverlight rich Internet plug-in technology for the Symbian mobile phone platform.
"We are very pleased to announce the general availability of Silverlight for Symbian. This brings the Silverlight experience to the 20+ million users of Nokia S60 5th edition Nokia 5800 XPressMusic and Nokia N97 devices," the company said in a blog post.
Silverlight for Symbian features hardware-assisted playback of H.264 content, IIS (Internet Information Services) smooth streaming and rich UI capabilities.
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