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Microsoft

Microsoft Linking Silverlight, Ruby on Rails 232

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the trying-too-hard dept.
CWmike writes "Friday Microsoft will demonstrate integration between its new Silverlight browser plug-in and Ruby on Rails. Microsoft's John Lam, a program manager in the dynamic language runtime team, said in a recent blog item: 'Running Rails shows that we are serious when we say that we are going to create a Ruby that runs real Ruby programs. And there isn't a more real Ruby program than Rails.' Also at the event, Microsoft officials will demonstrate IronRuby, a version of the Ruby programming language for Microsoft's .Net platform, running a Ruby on Rails application."
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Microsoft Linking Silverlight, Ruby on Rails

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  • "Version of xxx" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday June 02, 2008 @05:50PM (#23631965)
    Embrace, extend,.... now wait for it.
    • by mark72005 (1233572) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:10PM (#23632145)
      ...exaggerate?
    • by jnadke (907188) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:26PM (#23632321)
      Microsoft:
      1. "We love Silverlight!"
      2. "We love Ruby!"
      3. "We love Ruby so much, we're making Ruby.NET***!"
      4. "Hey look, Silverlight and Ruby.NET play together!"
      5. "Hey everyone, develop for Silverlight and Ruby.NET!"
      **Everyone embraces Silverlight and Ruby.NET**
      6. "We're discontinuing Ruby.NET, please refer to Silverlight."

      ***Not compatible with normal Ruby

      P.S. Oddly enough, my CAPTCHA today is "strategy". Intelligence perhaps?
      • by AnyoneEB (574727) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:14PM (#23632743)

        P.S. Oddly enough, my CAPTCHA today is "strategy". Intelligence perhaps?

        Yes, actually Slashdot has a learning algorithm where it uses the topic and thread to determine which word to use for the CAPTCHA and checks the post for references to the CAPTCHA to see if it guessed correctly. Eventually this will evolve into autotagging and the ability of Slashdot to respond to comments on its own followed shortly thereafter by the Slashdot webserver achieving sentience.

      • We're going off the Rails on a crazy train?
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:28PM (#23632339)
      Boss: were have a problem. how do we get a persistence API for our silverlight environment?

      Young turk: I know! we could tie the rail and silverlight APIs

      Crusty the Unix programmer: yes you could, but then you'd have two problems.
    • So, they'll do the open source world a favor and extinguish RoR?

      I'll by six copies of Vista for that.
  • by Lumenary7204 (706407) on Monday June 02, 2008 @05:50PM (#23631967)
    From the article:

    "The IronRuby project in general has featured processes that make it easier for Microsoft to develop open-source projects, said Lam.

    "What we learn from building IronRuby will be applied in other product groups to help us become more open and transparent than we have been in the past," Lam said."

    How does an company like Microsoft "learn" to become more "transparent"?
    • by Gnavpot (708731) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:09PM (#23632135)

      How does an company like Microsoft "learn" to become more "transparent"?

      And why do they need to be more transparent? These guys gave us windows. What can be more transparent than that?
      • by Hankapobe (1290722) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:20PM (#23632259)

        How does an company like Microsoft "learn" to become more "transparent"?
        And why do they need to be more transparent? These guys gave us windows. What can be more transparent than that?

        Baddabump - tchsh.

        That was the comic stylings of Gnavpot. He'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress.

        Up next, Steve Balmer and his chair act.

      • I dunno, a wet tee-shirt?

        Just not on Balmer. OH GOD MY EYES!!!
      • They make an impossibly expensive OS (900+ for vista ult), that needs an incredible ammount of resources to accomplish, precisely, the hypernecessary and indispensable transparency effect on a menu.

        The Microsoft Way. You gotta love the guys.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      How does an company like Microsoft "learn" to become more "transparent"?

      Same way you make your own life transparent when guests come over: By hiding everything you don't want anyone to see in your bedroom closet, sweeping all the dust under the rug, and pretending like your largely empty but tidy living room where the guests are allowed is always that way.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by davidsyes (765062)
        Reminds me of when years ago i worked in a pizza restaurant. I was cleaning the food prep counters and beneath the insert. I went to reinsert an insert, but the railing to support it had vanished. I hailed out, "One of my rails is missing!".

        The supervisor replied "Are we talking... DRUGS... here?"

        Naively, i couldn't respond. Later, someone told me "rails" referred to needles, i guess as in shooting up.

        So, ever since Ruby on Rails came out, i've always recalled the "rails" context. Now, msoft with silverligh
    • It's quite simple: You start attaching the word "transparent" to all of your proprietary, trade-secretive, obscure-as-hell protocols. Look for Microsoft Transparent Office XML coming to a standards body near you!
    • It's really simple. Anything new that Microsoft does is bound to be more transparent. Since they can't be any less, or equally, transparent. They have already achieved maximum non-transparency. Ergo, they can never be as non-transparent as they once were. So, once again, M$ has given us a "You are in a helicopter" statement - correct but useless.
  • Since Silverlight isn't cross platform, why bother?

    • by Lumenary7204 (706407) on Monday June 02, 2008 @05:54PM (#23632009)
      Um... Actually it is:

      http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight [mono-project.com]

      Microsoft is assisting in Moonlight's development:

      http://lwn.net/Articles/248198/ [lwn.net]

      • by Lumenary7204 (706407) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:01PM (#23632085)
        The upshot is that you should also be able to run IronRuby on the Mono Common Language Runtime, presuming that Microsoft's implementation adheres to it's own ECMA-"approved" CLR standards...
        • by cbrocious (764766) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:27PM (#23632329) Homepage
          Not only that, the DLR and IronRuby are both released under the MS-PL, which is OSI-approved. If anything depends on proprietary libraries, it can be swapped out with a free alternative.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by segedunum (883035)

          The upshot is that you should also be able to run IronRuby on the Mono Common Language Runtime, presuming that Microsoft's implementation continues to adhere to it's own ECMA-"approved" CLR standards...
          Fixed that for you.
      • by ranjix (892606) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:15PM (#23632209)
        quote from the mono project FAQ (http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_General): "The Mono API today is somewhere in between .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0, see our Roadmap for details about what is implemented."

        while looking at the MS website it seems that the latest .Net framework is 3.5.

        frankly at this point I would seriously doubt that MS (or Novell, for that matter) has any serious intention of implementing .NET on anything else than Windows. Let's get real and see that the Mono or Moonlight projects are just PR... thanks.

        anybody needs my tinfoil hat?
        • by Kalriath (849904) * on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:23PM (#23632289)
          .NET Framework 3.5 is merely .NET Framework 2.0 with an enhanced class library (includes WCF, WPF, and so on). If Mono supports custom .NET classes, it technically is .NET 3.5
        • by spec8472 (241410) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:36PM (#23632427) Homepage
          There's two main versions of the .NET CLR (Runtime): 1.1, and 2.0. .NET 1.1 runs on .NET CLR 1.1 .NET 2.0 through to .NET 3.5 runs on .NET CLR 2.0

          Effectively, .NET 3.0 and 3.5 were language extensions on top of 2.0. They still execute ontop of the same CLR.

          If memory serves, Mono has recently announced full feature compliance against .NET 1.1, and they're now targetting full feature compliance against .NET 2.0.

          That doesn't mean .NET 3.5 apps won't run. It just means certain bits (such as LINQ, WPF, WCF, Anonymous Types, etc) are either not present or not completely implemented yet.

          In either case, Silverlight/Moonlight are seperate from the .NET / Mono codebases. Yes, they have shared code, however since Silverlight 2.0 is a vastly cut down version of the .NET Framework.

          This makes full feature compliance of Silverlight 2.0 by the Moonlight crowd that much easier, since the majority of the functionality that is used in Silverlight is already implemented in Mono.

          As for Moonlight/Mono being just MS PR, I think Miguel De Icaza might have something quite strong to say about that.

          - Novell is actually using Mono to implement apps on their Linux desktop.

          - Second Life, amongst other reasonably big apps, is using Mono to provide (or improve) pluggable/scriptable functionality in their apps.

          • by Westley (99238) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @03:12AM (#23635409) Homepage
            Parent is a somewhat confused post - it contains various facts, but also some misused terminology. I tend to be a bit pedantic when it comes to the terminology around runtime features vs language features vs libraries, as it's a source of frequent miscommunication.

            There's two main versions of the .NET CLR (Runtime): 1.1, and 2.0. .NET 1.1 runs on .NET CLR 1.1 .NET 2.0 through to .NET 3.5 runs on .NET CLR 2.0

            So far, so good.

            Effectively, .NET 3.0 and 3.5 were language extensions on top of 2.0. They still execute ontop of the same CLR.

            They weren't "language extensions". .NET 3.0 contains solely library extensions: WPF, WCF, Cardspace, Workflow Foundation, on top of .NET 2.0. .NET 3.5 contains library extensions, primarily LINQ (in its various guises) and additions to the BCL (e.g. System.TimeZoneInfo). I believe there are ASP.NET and ADO.NET enhancements too, but I haven't looked into them. .NET 3.5 also contains the compilers for C#3 and VB9. More on them in a minute.

            It's also worth mentioning .NET 2.0SP1, which includes some changes and enhancements to the BCL, such as System.DateTimeOffset.

            If memory serves, Mono has recently announced full feature compliance against .NET 1.1, and they're now targetting full feature compliance against .NET 2.0.

            That doesn't mean .NET 3.5 apps won't run. It just means certain bits (such as LINQ, WPF, WCF, Anonymous Types, etc) are either not present or not completely implemented yet.

            Anonymous types are a purely language feature. They don't need any support from the runtime or the libraries. In other words, you can compile a C# 3 app which uses anonymous types, and it will work on Mono (assuming there's nothing else missing, of course). Most C# 3 features fall into this category - they don't need library or runtime support.

            WPF and WCF are libraries. No language changes are needed, although tooling to support XAML is useful, of course.

            LINQ is a mixture of many elements. To use "out of process" queries you need an implementation of expression trees (and compiler support). To use LINQ to Objects you need an implementation of that, but it can be completely separate to the rest of the main platform libraries (see http://www.albahari.com/nutshell/linqbridge.html [albahari.com] for example). You can use C# 3 query expressions with no runtime/library support, so long as you've got a C# 3 compiler and a type with suitable methods (or properties).

            Last time I looked, mcs support for C# 3 features was somewhat lacking (which surprises me, as Mono had a released version of mcs with C# 2 feature support before .NET 2.0 was fully released, IIRC). However, you can build an app with the MS C# 3 compiler and run it against the Mono platform so long as you don't use any library functionality which isn't supported there. Asking VS2008 to target .NET 2.0 is a good starting point on that front. (It actually targets .NET 2.0SP1, so be careful...)

            See http://csharpindepth.com/Articles/Chapter1/Versions.aspx [csharpindepth.com] for more details on the MS versions available, although that doesn't cover Mono.

            In either case, Silverlight/Moonlight are seperate from the .NET / Mono codebases. Yes, they have shared code, however since Silverlight 2.0 is a vastly cut down version of the .NET Framework.

            This makes full feature compliance of Silverlight 2.0 by the Moonlight crowd that much easier, since the majority of the functionality that is used in Silverlight is already implemented in Mono

      • by segedunum (883035) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:17PM (#23632223)
        Ummm, actually it isn't, because Silverlight encompasses a lot more then just a subset of WPF and XAML. There are related technologies, particularly related to multimedia, around Silverlight, Windows Media in particular, that are very much a part of creating Silverlight content as we see it now on Microsoft platforms. Everyone else is going to have to replicate that, and even worse, keep up with the moving target of successive implementations. It's another classic example of Microsoft keeping their implementation ahead, and first to market, and it's a well worked routine now.

        I'd love to be able to say otherwise, but these 'olive branches' that we're seeing are all designed to get the usage of Microsoft technology on the web to some sort of critical mass. Nothing more. If that is ever achieved, your guess is as good as mine as to whether those branches will stay strong and whether Microsoft will ever have a continued, vested interest in Moonlight or Ruby or Rails. I just find what people say around these stories fascinating. There's all sorts of articles and blog entries written by various people about how Microsoft is changing or asking "Is Microsoft changing?", "Is Microsoft Open Sourcing....." etc. etc. It's ridiculous.

        At the moment, I'm trying to get over to a female acquaintance why it's a bad idea to get back together with exes. She persists in believing that it's better the second, third or fourth time around and that things will change. Nothing ever does change though. Any apparent change you think you see is short-lived, a leopard doesn't change it's spots and if it ever was going to happen, well, it would have happened by now. You can't get past someone's history, their history is their problem not yours and you only end up getting used.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Lumenary7204 (706407)
          I disagree...

          The object of Moonlight is to essentially be a "feature-complete" implementation of Silverlight, minus those pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs.

          The question is, then: "Does your Silverlight-based business application really need to use these pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs?"

          Which, in the vast majority of cases, is "probably not." Much of this kind of functionality can be had via calls to external (and FOSS) libraries.
          • by segedunum (883035) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:13PM (#23632737)

            The object of Moonlight is to essentially be a "feature-complete" implementation of Silverlight, minus those pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs.
            Then it's essentially useless because the reference implementation that is first to market is Microsoft's Silverlight, and you can bet your bottom dollar Microsoft's tools will be creating Silverlight content with Windows Media and other components right, left and centre. What comes down in practice is what you have to support.

            The question is, then: "Does your Silverlight-based business application really need to use these pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs?"
            If history has taught us anything, it's that people are just not going to ask themselves pointless questions like that.

            Which, in the vast majority of cases, is "probably not." Much of this kind of functionality can be had via calls to external (and FOSS) libraries.
            You don't get a choice. You have to deal with whatever comes down, and what comes down will have pretty much all been created on Windows systems. The key thing to remember hear is that people are not writing content for Moonlight. They are writing it for Silverlight. If it stops working on Moonlight they're simply not going to care when it boils down to it.

            Really? These are well worked standard tactics from the past twenty-five years. Do they really need to keep being explained?
            • Then it's essentially useless because the reference implementation that is first to market is Microsoft's Silverlight, and you can bet your bottom dollar Microsoft's tools will be creating Silverlight content with Windows Media and other components right, left and centre. What comes down in practice is what you have to support.

              There's already a huge number of tools that can make Silverlight-compatible media content. Some of these are on Mac, including Telestream's Episode and Flip4Mac. Main Concept is selling a Mac/Win/Linux SDK for encoding WMV content. For audio only applications, Silverlight has native MP3 support.

              You don't get a choice. You have to deal with whatever comes down, and what comes down will have pretty much all been created on Windows systems. The key thing to remember hear is that people are not writing content for Moonlight. They are writing it for Silverlight. If it stops working on Moonlight they're simply not going to care when it boils down to it.

              One of the things we're cooperating with Novell on with Moonlight is providing them test and validation suites that are used to test Silverlight internally. So, yes, we're absolutely doing work to make sure it's in

          • The object of Moonlight is to essentially be a "feature-complete" implementation of Silverlight, minus those pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs.

            The question is, then: "Does your Silverlight-based business application really need to use these pesky, patented, DRM-laced multimedia codecs?"

            Which, in the vast majority of cases, is "probably not." Much of this kind of functionality can be had via calls to external (and FOSS) libraries

            A library can be FOSS, but that doesn't mean that there aren't patents involved.

            Really, the sheer breadth and number of patents around video and audio codecs are pretty staggering. It's hard to imagine a competitive codec that was truly patent free; there certainly aren't any that exist. The current leading standardized codecs (with patent pools) outperform the best "patent free" codecs by at least a factor of 2. For video, we're talking about, what, H.263 and Theora, and Vorbis for audio? Those are mid-90

        • by hahn (101816)

          At the moment, I'm trying to get over to a female acquaintance why it's a bad idea to get back together with exes. She persists in believing that it's better the second, third or fourth time around and that things will change. Nothing ever does change though. Any apparent change you think you see is short-lived, a leopard doesn't change it's spots and if it ever was going to happen, well, it would have happened by now. You can't get past someone's history, their history is their problem not yours and you only end up getting used.

          It sounds like you're blaming the ex. But if you actually got back together a second, third, or fourth time, then she's not the only one who believed that things would be better. And so if you're bitter and cynical now, it's not entirely her fault. Now what were we saying about Microsoft again...? :)

          In all seriousness, best wishes in getting over the ex.

          • by segedunum (883035)

            It sounds like you're blaming the ex.

            Not really. Some people just have a hard time believing that things don't change and people just don't undergo magical life changing transformations ;-).

            But if you actually got back together a second, third, or fourth time, then she's not the only one who believed that things would be better. And so if you're bitter and cynical now, it's not entirely her fault. Now what were we saying about Microsoft again...? :)

            I'm not entirely sure you got the right end of the stick

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        If Moonlight == Silverlight does OO.Org == MS Office?
        • by tepples (727027)

          If Moonlight == Silverlight does OO.Org == MS Office?
          Once OOo and Microsoft Office update to ISO's version of ODF and to the latest OpenFormula proposal, yes.
      • I went to Silverlight's site:

        http://www.microsoft.com/Silverlight/ [microsoft.com]

        Allowed the site in no-script.

        Hit the "click to install" button.

        And it downloaded a file called "silverlight.exe"

        I clicked on it, and Firefox asked me to choose an application to open it.

        I opened a terminal, and here's the results.

        [mike@orion ~]$ l Silverlight.exe
        -rw-rw-r-- 1 mike mike 1427520 2008-06-02 18:23 Silverlight.exe
        [mike@orion ~]$ chmod 775 Silverlight.exe
        [mike@orion ~]$ ./Silverlight.exe
        bash: ./Silverlight.exe: cannot execute binar
        • Mac OS X:
          http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/development_tools/silverlight.html [apple.com]

          Well, that right there satisfies 'cross platform' as far as I'm concerned. I mean sure, it might not run on -every platform- but very few things that call themselves cross-platform run on my Amiga.

          Of course, this is slashdot, so by cross-platform you must mean does it run on linux... and apparenty the implementation that DOES is called Moonlight...

          Linux:
          http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight/ [go-mono.com]

          Does that count as cross platform support
        • by rts008 (812749)
          "So, what's MSFT's point again?"

          Swallow you whole into MS's Monoculture.
        • by tepples (727027)

          bash: ./Silverlight.exe: cannot execute binary file
          Apparently, you don't have PE files associated to Wine.
      • by slarrg (931336) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:42PM (#23633005)

        I still remember when most users were using Netscape browsers and Microsoft had a pitiful browser they wanted everyone to use instead. Many technical users pointed out that Netscape was cross-platform and a better choice for a browser. So, Microsoft created Internet Explorer for Macs, Unix and Windows to show that Microsoft understood the importance of a cross-platform browser and would continue to make the browser for all platforms for free. Once they propagated their browser to the bulk of the users, these cross-platform versions stopped being updated. Of course, it was all just a ploy to gain market dominance by confusing the marketplace.

        I wish people were smart enough to realize that this latest attempt to tie Ruby to Microsoft is simply the same tactic, used repeatedly by Microsoft, to confuse a marketplace while jamming more poorly conceived Microsoft software into businesses that are not clever enough to look further into the future than the current quarter. Sadly, past examples show that business managers will not learn that Microsoft does not have the best of intentions when they announce any new technology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jugalator (259273)
      It works on Safari on Mac OS, and might be useful to have when the Linux support [tirania.org] is done too. Heck, it's early even for use on Windows. Things only get moderately interesting for me once Silverlight 2 is done, and it isn't yet for any platform.
    • by turgid (580780) on Monday June 02, 2008 @05:55PM (#23632027) Journal

      Since Silverlight isn't cross platform, why bother?

      What are you talking about? It runs on all modern versions of Windows.

    • Two comments above you...

      http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=571487&cid=23631965 [slashdot.org]

      But I really don't see the last part of it comming, I think Ruby is a little to "Stable" unto itself for Microsoft to really be able to pull it off, Ruby will just continue on...
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by JoeCommodore (567479)

      Since Silverlight isn't cross platform, why bother?
      What part of Microsoft's "Windows Strategy" did you not hear about?

      It has been quoted by Balmer, MSs entry into open source is "to bring better value to OUR customers" (emphasis is mine). If they get RoR developers to make Silverlight front ends, it benefits mainly MS customers (euphemism for MS may make more $ sales) - goal met.
      • by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:26PM (#23632325)

        As opposed to, hm, Apple, which definitely does not want to benefit primarily Apple customers. Which is why iTunes has been released for Linux... ??

        Plus, open source people definitely want, primarily, to benefit people that don't use open source.

        Seriously. What business DOESN'T want to bring better value to their customers? If your object is to benefit people that aren't your customers, your company (or your investors) won't last long.

        If you're going to flame Microsoft, do it on good grounds.

  • I confess I don't know a lot about Ruby on Rails, but I've looked into it once or twice. I thought Rails was a Server-Side technology for creating dynamic websites? I thought SilverLight is a Flash-clone, for implementing client side interfaces and rich media playback? Is Microsoft talking about a SilverLight-based user-interface which connects to a Rails backend running on the server? Or actually Rails running in the browser? What benefits would Rails in the browser bring you?

    Also, slightly off-topic, but
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      In the great /. tradition, I didn't read the article, but the summary suggest that this is a proof of concept. Running Rails demonstrates that you can implement a full Ruby environment in Silverlight. Anyway, I agree with your point about the ever-extending capabilities of browsers -- I thought Emacs should already have served as a warning.
      • I thought Emacs should already have served as a warning.

        Ooooo, aaahh, dude.....um, yeah. Uh, some folks here are a bit sensitive about that....if you know what I mean....

    • by zappepcs (820751)
      This is the opposite of FUD, or rather something I'd call DUF(f) ... for the English, we understand that. Anyway, when MS is telling you that they are improving, embracing, extending, becomming transparent, supporting OSS, and using someone else's technology to do so... they are hyping up the buzzwords to draw you, get your distracted attention.

      It's of little concern that they are not inventing their own version of Ruby, they are only modifying to use it, then you won't have to have OSS as MS will have a .n
      • This should help us keep our name in the spaces that Ruby is now pretty much commanding the buzzword marketshare.
        They are targeting your mother's basement?

        Ruby is interesting and all, but I would hardly call its "buzzword" presence in the private sector "commanding". I don't think I'd even venture so far as to call it "significant".

        -Rick
    • by Trojan35 (910785)
      "Why can't a web browser just be a web browser?"

      Because there's a whole lot of idle CPU cycles out there, and it's a lot faster and cheaper for people to render things on their desktop rather than have your server crunch and send it back through the web.
      • Ajax/JavaScript (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JSBiff (87824)

        Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think that something like JavaScript, where the DOM can be manipulated dynamically to create more dynamic webpages, is necessarily a bad thing, or Ajax where data can be sent to the browser to render into the DOM. There could, potentially, be the chance for there to be some kind of buffer overflow in the browser that attackers could exploit - but that is potentially even a problem with straight html + images. I just have to trust the browser developer to do a decent j
        • by Joebert (946227)
          In my experience Microsoft stuff in the browser was quite powerfull, it was actually nice being able to work with all of the things you mentioned there & being able to do such things was something I missed as I started getting into doing cross-browser stuff & hearing about security.


          In conclusion, we should go back to beating our children.
        • Silverlight runs in a sandbox, and sits on top of a platform abstraction layer; it doesn't provide direcct access to any native code APIs that would cause a concern like you describe.

          For example, when in full screen mode there isn't full keyboard support, so there's no way to spoof a login dialog to grab a password.

          Also, it's not the full .NET framework. It's mainly a portable subset, although it has some features beyond .NET 3.5, like the Media Element.
        • by Allador (537449)
          As other's below have said, you dont have the full .NET framework in silverlight, only a subset.

          In addition, all .NET apps run in one of various security models (partial trust, full trust, etc). As an example, only certain types of apps can be run on a shared MS windows asp.net server, because you dont want to give them full control to the OS.

          Another one is 'click once deployments' where an entire .NET app gets deployed from a UNC or webserver, and runs in a low trust model, in a sandbox, with almost no pr
    • by Sancho (17056) *
      Because internet-enabled applications are the way of the future, but your average joe-on-the-street thinks that "Internet Explorer is the Internet."

      Seriously, for Web Applications which follow the standards, it's a write-once, run-everywhere situation (well, mostly, except for those places where IE mucks things up.) Want to support Windows? It works. Want to support Linux? It works. Want to support Mac? You get the picture. Any platform with a browser which adheres to the standards can "run" your web
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:35PM (#23632411)
      Question 1. I thought Rails was a Server-Side technology for creating dynamic websites?

      Yes, and it utilizes scriptaculous and prototype out of the box for client-side programming like DOM Manipulation and Ajax calls.

      Question 2. thought SilverLight is a Flash-clone, for implementing client side interfaces and rich media playback?

      Well, not really a clone, more like a competitor. It doesn't utilize ActionScript (which is essentially a JavaScript clone) but instead C# or other related MS .Net languages. You can write some rather nifty client side widgets with SilverLight.

      Question 3. Is Microsoft talking about a SilverLight-based user-interface which connects to a Rails backend running on the server?

      Yes. The same thing can be done with Flash, utilizing things like Ajax calls and JSON or XML parsers.

      Question4. Or actually Rails running in the browser?

      No, Rails is a server-side technology, a web application framework, similar to J2EE, POJOs + Hibernate/Spring, TurboGears, etc. etc.

      Question 5. What benefits would Rails in the browser bring you?

      None, because the question is invalid. Rails is a web application framework, and by nature is dealing with server side technology.

      Question 6. Also, slightly off-topic, but is anyone else concerned about the security implications of pushing more and more languages/capabilities/functionality into the web browser, which can be controlled by scripts/code loaded from remote, un-trusted, servers?

      Of course, but that's true for any application (i.e. Office Macro Viruses).

      Question 7. Why can't a web browser just be a web browser?

      Because things evolve and progress demands that web applications be much more interactive than simply static forms and web pages. The world is no longer simply hypertext links. Because rich web applications with interactive interfaces are the logical evolution of the web.
    • by Shados (741919) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:43PM (#23632503)
      I'm not amazingly knowledgeable about Flash' technicality. However, I can say the following about Silverlight: While Silverlight can (in the 2.0 version) be compiled as a kind of CLR-based BLOB that runs in the client, Silverlight can also (and exclusively so in its 1.0 variant) be used as a simple markup, generated from any source. ANY Source.

      That is, you can have a PHP page generate a bunch of ECHO statements that make up valid silverlight markup and you're good to go... So that you use PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, whatever... markup is markup. Instead of outputting the markup for an HTML form with HTML input, you output the market for a canvas with whatever controls Silverlight supports... its still just text interprated by the browser, with a little bit of Javascript to inject it in a placeholder (usually a DIV tag). It becomes part of the DOM to some extent, can be manipulated with normal javascript, etc. It is basically just a fancier more integrated DOM extension, than anything else.

      To make things short, there's basically no "linking" involved between the two. You just change the format of the string you output, nothing more, nothing less.
      • by jgc7 (910200)

        That is, you can have a PHP page generate a bunch of ECHO statements that make up valid silverlight markup and you're good to go...

        By that logic, you could have a PHP emit machine code and avoid a C compiler as well. Silverlight is not markup, it is byte code.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by benwaggoner (513209)
          A Silverlight app can be purely XAML (XML markup language) and JScript. That's all Silverlight 1.0 apps are. With Silverlight 2.0 you can use bytecode, but that's not required.
        • by Shados (741919)
          Someone stated this already, but Ill repeat it: I was quite specific that Silverlight 2.0 can be bytecode/CLR based, but Silverlight 1.0 is not. Its markup, like HTML, that can be made in notepad, and the browser take it -as is-. So it is quite common practice to take any server language thats good at handling templated text (PHP, ASP.NET, JSP, and I guess Rails) to generate it. Silverlight in its current release is ONLY markup, NOT bytecode, only the beta (or alpha, or whatever it is) of the NEXT version s
      • by nametaken (610866)
        Which brings up an interesting point. XAML makes things far more open than Flash does. I need no expensive, closed tools to generate it. I'm also more likely to be able to inspect others work. In my estimation, this is one of the greatest strengths of HTML and CSS. They're transparent.

        This is the one way in which it might take real market share from flash.
    • I confess I don't know a lot about Ruby on Rails, but I've looked into it once or twice. I thought Rails was a Server-Side technology for creating dynamic websites? I thought SilverLight is a Flash-clone, for implementing client side interfaces and rich media playback? Is Microsoft talking about a SilverLight-based user-interface which connects to a Rails backend running on the server?

      Yes, specifically, they are referring to a Silverlight-based UI which is presented by and connects back to a Rails backend r

      • by corbettw (214229)
        I think I'm missing something, because with a properly designed REST interface that any decent web app programmer can do in their sleep, it shouldn't matter what language or framework you use on the server. The client will pass information back and forth all day, and everyone's happy.

        Oh, wait, we're talking about both Microsoft developers AND RoR developers. Nothing decent there at all. Answered my own question, never mind.

        (Just kidding, of course.)
        • by Allador (537449)
          For what its worth, Silverlight against REST works great.

          You lose access to some of the tools that you can use with proper SOAP (xsd.exe to pre-generate strongly typed result sets, LINQ, etc) but it does work quite well. And all nicely asynchronous, with good support in the language.

          Mind you, you can tell from the tools that full SOAP is the preferred method, but REST is covered quite nicely.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Also, slightly off-topic, but is anyone else concerned about the security implications of pushing more and more languages/capabilities/ functionality into the web browser''

      Yes and no.

      In principle, no. As long as the web browser has a set of clearly identified things it can do (e.g. render graphics, perform HTTP requests) and can do nothing else, there can never be a problem. In that case, more languages, libraries, etc. to run in the web browser would make it better; perhaps we could even get some decent
  • Why pick Ruby unless they're just trying to look trendy.

    Marketing towards a group (trend whore web designers) of people that switch technologies more often than than undies won't help your technology take off. Certainly when these people usually have shit programming skills so their advocacy for these new technologies never go that far.
    • by Shados (741919) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:37PM (#23632443)
      The world is trendy, they're just going where the money is. If people say "we want Ruby", they'll deliver. .NET is a platform made to support multiple language, and aside when core mechanics are required (dynamic vs static language), making a new language on top of the CLR is actually not all that much work. So today its C#, Python and Ruby.... tomorrow it will be language XYZ.... a language is a fairly insignificant thing in this day and age: its all about the platform.

      They want it so that no matter which language you prefer, you can use their technology, for better or worse. It is quite a brilliant really. Why should the language be tied to the platform anyway? That I pick native compilation, the Java runtime, or the CLR.... I should still be able to use the language I want.

      (Side note: I despise Ruby. Doesn't mean I think it shouldn't be offered as an option...)
      • by Jack9 (11421)

        If people say "we want Ruby", they'll deliver.
        I barely hear "Ruby is good" much less a mass of developers saying "we want Ruby".
        • by Shados (741919)
          I hear it all the time. Mind you, its mostly coming from "Joe Developer I never heard of Model-View-Control and Object Relational Mapping until I heard of Rail", and only rarely (but it happens!) from good, professional, skilled web developer, but these people will use Ruby either way...may as well give em a few more choices.
    • Why pick Ruby unless they're just trying to look trendy.

      Probably to compete with Sun and JRuby (which isn't, per se, a Sun project, but it is a project Sun is participating in directly.) And dynamic languages (including, but not limited to, Ruby) aren't "trendy" for no reason -- they deliver real value. Sure, there's lots of hype around them, but there is something underneath the hype as well. Anything Java has, especially if it is something Sun is backing directly, Microsoft needs to show that .NET can ma

    • It's so disappointing that this is such an obvious troll; because it's so true.
    • by Allador (537449)
      They didnt 'just pick Ruby' (paraphrasing mine).

      Look on the right hand side of the page here [codeplex.com].

      IronPyton, IronRuby, IronLisp, IronScheme, Lua/Nua. There are other non-dynamic ones out there too, like F# [wikipedia.org].

      What MS did was NOT to pick one language to focus on. They built some really nice dynamic language support on top of the .net clr and runtime, that allows all these different non-strongly-typed-languages work well on top of .net.

      They DID hire some of the notables from the Ruby and Python camps to run these p
  • by Vexorian (959249) on Monday June 02, 2008 @06:36PM (#23632421)
    Help them recover it, use silverlight.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:33PM (#23632923) Homepage
      Having a large share of the browser market doesn't necessarily mean you control it -- not when the majority of Web companies are unwilling to give up the other segment of their potential audience. If you'd said that Microsoft controls the intranet, I could maybe believe that... but between PDF and Flash, you could argue that Adobe controls more of the Web than Microsoft does.
      • by Vexorian (959249)
        I do think flash gives adobe too much control of the web.

        However, PDF being an ISO standard (though that got easy to achieve recently) And getting multiple implementations that run in multiple platforms, does not look like that much of an issue, nevertheless I would prefer people just tried to keep good standard usage on their pages, the whole flash, silverlight stuff might be awesome for games, but you get to see some pages that were supposed to be informative yet are filled with flash. Silverlight is not

        • by Forbman (794277)
          I do think flash gives adobe too much control of the web.

          Why? Until the day comes when the only way to implement websites is through Flash, then yes. But since most of the web doesn't use it at all or as a secondary feature, well...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by h4nk (1236654)

      Help them recover it, use silverlight.

      hahaha. No. Flex/Flash is a much stronger implementation of this technology and it is already platform independent. With an Eclipse-based IDE, Open source media and remote data servers and AMF, why bother with silverlight? Frankly, as a web developer, I have enough headaches with Microsoft's loose implementations and platform lock-in. They did this to themselves and they've been left in the cold. I really don't care if they freeze their butts off.

      • by Allador (537449)
        I agree, though for a little bit different reason.

        Flex/Flash IS a much strong platform now, plus all of it except the Flash player is open-source (blazeds, amf, swf format, flex sdk, etc).

        However, give a few years, and Silverlight/DLR/XAML will be quite the hot thing, technically. You'll always be strapped to MS using it, but aside from that, the underlying technology design is superior, IMO. Silverlight and the DLR are just way too young at this point.

        But look at some of the comparisons:

        Silverlight: XAM
  • I notice we already have the embraceextendextinguish tag on the story, but is there really a story here? Looks to me more like a slashvertisement. Ooh, MS wants to merge some unnecessary proprietary* crap with a trendy-but-flakey web rad system. Why should I or anyone care? And if they want to get the word out, why don't they pay the normal advertising rates rates like anyone else? Why is this news for nerds?

    *Yes, I know about moonlight, but this clearly says silverlight, and the two have not yet been
    • by Allador (537449)

      Plus, both require a huge, ugly back end to be installed.
      No they dont. You can serve silverlight from a vanilla apache box, with no mono installed on the back end.

      The silverlight plugin is also quite small (a couple of megs).
  • by flacco (324089)
    Hey, Microsoft - look at us not caring!
  • Nice, I was looking all weekend for a way to run RoR in IIS, and this seems to be the best way.

    Specially after installing Ionic's Isapi Rewrite Filter crashed my server, so I had to remove it.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @05:35AM (#23635825)
    ... I won't trust anybody with Rich Client technologies further than I can throw them. Be it Adobe, Curl, Wild Tangent, or - heavens forbid - Microsoft. Take that from an experienced Flash Application Developer. For years and years now Adobe has been keeping Linux on a short leash. Allways coming up late, now, once again, limiting proposed hardware acceleration and certain functions to certain host OSes, ect.

    I like Flash and it's a remarkable asset. But I've never fully trusted these guys and my trust in them isn't growing.

    Yet it looks as though after 10 years Sun is finally getting serious at attempting move towards RIA territory. If JavaFX [javafx.com] is halfway decent, it could actually become the new king of all things RIA we've all been waiting for. If the core components of it are open source and the reference implementations aswell, then we're all set for a bright new future of RIAs.

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