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Microsoft Programming IT Technology

Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight 300

CWmike writes to tell us that with the impending release of their Silverlight 2.0 product, Microsoft is poised to enact the next phase of their plan, wooing developers and designers directly. Microsoft is funding a French open-source project designed to allow programmers to utilize the Eclipse framework to build Silverlight apps. "Microsoft is also releasing for free a set of programming templates called the Silverlight Control Pack under its Microsoft Permissive License, as well as the technical specification for Silverlight's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary via Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The latter, said Goldfarb, should make it easier for would-be Silverlight developers."
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Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight

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  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:21PM (#25360681)

    Keeping in mind I am speaking in a group where there are huge amount of open source zealots. However Flash has the advantage that it runs in Linux, Mac, Windows (And more if you are designing for older versions) while Silverlight is only Windows and Mac.
    Next Flash is usually installed by default on Mac and Windows systems. (And a simple plug in for Linux... But if you guys are so smart you can probably add a plugin yourself anyways or the distribution has it already installed) Vs. Having to install it on Windows and Macs too.

    If you don't need the extra graphics and AJAX method works good too. Plus you don't need to deal with the Closed Source Flash as well.

  • by eagee (1308589) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:23PM (#25360707)
    Like a booby trap. I dunno, M$ is kind of like the US Government for me. I don't trust 'em.
  • by TheNecromancer (179644) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:28PM (#25360803)

    I am so sick of reading these tech articles with an anti-MS bias to them.

    As a developer, isn't the point to write better/more robust code?? Silverlight is a tool that Microsoft is designing so that developers can take better advantage of the rich Internet experience. It steams me that the author of that article seems bent on pointing out that MS has this "ultimate plan" to kill Adobe.

    Why can't people get past the whole pro vs. anti-Microsoft thing? I may be ranting here (apologies in advance), but railing on MS for their past business practices (which I don't condone, BTW) is pointless. I tend to use the best tools available for the technologies that I code for, and Microsoft has some good ones! Sure, they are proprietary, but it could be any large corporation in MS's place, and people would rail on them for being the "big, bad corporation"! Open source has its' place in the industry, as does proprietary software!

    Let's get past the hate, and just stick to what we (developers) do best: write awesome code!! I get stoked when I hear of new technologies coming out (from MS or Sun, or whomever), since that means the online experience users want is getting better, and WE are the ones who give it to the masses!!

    W00t to new technologies!!

  • by StupidPeopleTrick (1006681) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:29PM (#25360811)
    silverlight 1.0 had not XAML controls for the simple datagrid control. OMG what a stuff up! You had to go to xceed to get one and pay for it. That little detail made me so mad that I have sworn off silverlight. The message was clear, if your a small development shop, you cannot afford silverlight. Oh by the way, where is the automated testing framework for writting automated UI tests against it? anyone?... anyone?... - StupidPeopleTrick
  • by RingDev (879105) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:30PM (#25360817) Homepage Journal []

    Yup, the Democratic National Convention site is Silverlight. The bandwidth isn't quite as impressive as it was while the event was going on. But flip through the site and check out the functionality.

    As someone who has developed a bit with the beta Silverlight tools, I have to say it is an amazing platform. And I'm quite excited about using it in the future.


  • by scorp1us (235526) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:37PM (#25360933) Journal

    Given that Adobe AIR is based on WebKit, and the OpenSource world has Webkit (Qt has Webkit integrated, but Qt is not required for my suggestion), why don't we just make a fully AIR/Silverlight clone using WebKit and Javascript?

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:39PM (#25360959)
    Honestly having used Flash on Windows it was by far the easiest programming I have ever done (other than messing around with Scratch but that doesn't count). Yes, if you aren't used to JavaScript it can be a pain, but honestly, if you are an artist Flash is going to make you decent programmer (unfortunately art isn't my strong point so my Flash ended up looking horrible)
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:42PM (#25361033) Homepage
    I agree, Applets aren't that bad but it may take awhile to get people to forget all those horrible java applets people used to put on their ugly sites. One of my favourites at the moment is Wordle. []
  • by corsec67 (627446) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:48PM (#25361149) Homepage Journal

    How is Silverlight going to make my "Internet Experience" better in FireFox on an Ubuntu AMD64 computer?

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:52PM (#25361189)
    Yes, its true that Flash does seem to use up an absurd amount of CPU, but upgrading (or downgrading) your Flash player usually remedies the problem. And the x86 requirement is something that a lot of proprietary software has, though if GNASH ever becomes usable it won't be a concern.
  • by gaspyy (514539) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:05PM (#25361385)

    Actually you can build flash apps without Flash.

    Flex SDK is free and allows you to compile Flash, Flex and AIR apps.

    FDT is not free but it's very very good (uses Flex). If you think it's not worth the money, you can write your own Eclipse plugin.

    There are a number of other options, like FlasDevelop or MTASC, which although not Eclipse-based, are free alternatives.

  • by gaspyy (514539) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:16PM (#25361527)

    Actionscript is similar to javascript, although in version 3, with strong typing, it starting to feel more like Java.

    Some people - me included - like its flexibility, while others loathe the same thing.

    The only thing I don't like about it is the new syntax for Vector data type (Flash 10)
    C#, Java: int list[] = new int[100];
    AS3: var list:Vector. = new Vector.(100);

  • Re:Sluts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:16PM (#25361529) Homepage Journal
    I didn't mean to imply that a license shouldn't be named after a project or foundation, but the Apache and Mozilla foundations were made from open source so their licenses have more cred than those Microsoft, which has been historically proprietary and anti open-source.
  • by corsec67 (627446) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:36PM (#25361725) Homepage Journal

    What happens when Silverlight is made incompatible with Moonlight? Moonlight seems to be in the "Embrace" phase, what about the extend and extinguish phases?

    If you say to make stuff work for Moonlight, what happens when executables made for Moonlight don't work in Sliverlight?

  • by houghi (78078) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:37PM (#25361737) []

    Did not work in Firefox, but worked in Konqueror

  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:19PM (#25362195) Journal
    I am not a web developper, but do we really need anything more than optimized javascript + SVG ?
  • Why don't you go to the microsoft silverlight site? OK, the presentation is a pretty awful case of marketeering, but what's interesting is that it makes a point of being cross platform and supporting a range of browsers, on windows, mac and linux. The presentation highlights mobile internet on phone, which makes me suspect that a silverlight implementation for mobile devices is just around the corner.

  • by Tweenk (1274968) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:36PM (#25362367)

    I installed Moonlight but the same message keeps appearing on the Democratic Convention site, and the Hard Rock Memorabilia site crashes FF. So much for Moonlight. It's a Microsoft perpetrated scam to fool people into thinking that Silverlight is portable to OSes not targeted by Microsoft.

  • by biovoid (785377) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:38PM (#25362399)

    Flex Builder [] from Adobe is based on Eclipse! You can install it as a plugin into an existing Eclipse install, or install the stand-alone version. The open-source Flex SDK and compiler are both free if you don't want to shell out for Flex Builder.

    There's FDT [], another Eclipse Plugin for Flash/Flex development.

    There are also completely open-source [] options for developing Flash/Flex content, in Eclipse, or the IDE of your choice. Windows, Mac or Linux.

    I haven't touched the Flash IDE for the last four years.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson