There are Types, and then There are Types
The Language of the User Agent
On the Client?
If you are not building applications inside a web browser, then likely you will need some other framework to provide commonly required client infrastructure.
The fact that Node is single-threaded and uses and event-driven model is ideal for client UI development. Like Gregory Young mentioned in a recent talk, it's like VB3 all over again!
HTML vs. XAML
As a developer who spent lots of time building forms over data and line of business applications, I've never been a fan of HTML/CSS for UI layout. Every time I tried to do something slightly complex, it was painful. I always found XAML-based UIs much easier to do the types of layout I wanted to do. However, from what I've seen and heard, Flexbox is the piece that has been missing.
I still think XAML has certain advantages over HTML, but Microsoft has made so many missteps with its handling of XAML UI implementations over the last eight years that I'm not sure it will ever recover. It's a shame that now Microsoft has finally realized the value of XAML for its universal app solutions, but it requires you to upgrade all your Windows devices to Windows 10. It's great that Microsoft is finally heading in what I think is the right direction, but it will take another five years to fix the mess it has made.
Having said this, another post by Eric discussing JSX points out that React components can emit any kind of XML style markup. One has to wonder if there potential for a JS/XAML partnership in there somewhere. And let’s not forget that Xamarin is still a strong supporter of XAML in the cross-platform mobile space.
A Perfect Storm of Tech
We are approaching a point where there is a critical mass of people and tools that are ready for the next generation of native applications that will be just as much a part of the web as the browser is today.
Are you building a client that runs in the browser or in Node.js on the server side? Try Runscope free for live API debugging and traffic inspection. For more of my insights on Microsoft, hypermedia and APIs, visit my blog.