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Miguel Plans Silverlight on Mono & Linux by Years End 350

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how-does-miguel-get-to-be-a-vp dept.
El Lobo writes "The Mono open-source project will create a Linux version of Silverlight by the end of year, said Miguel de Icaza, a Novell vice president and head of Mono. Asked about plans for Linux, Microsoft executives have been non-committal, saying that it will depend on demand. But de Icaza, who is attending Mix, was able to commit without hesitating."
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Miguel Plans Silverlight on Mono & Linux by Years End

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  • by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @05:45PM (#18979945) Journal
    when you don't have any customers depending on it.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @05:54PM (#18980103) Homepage
    You've clearly got a lot of talent, so why are you wasting your time making Open Source versions of all of Microsoft's products? All you're effectively doing is giving Microsoft the foothold in Linux that they need.

    There are plenty of Linux apps out there that could do with your skills and that don't infringe on Microsoft's patents. Why not write a program that'll do something with that number that everyone's been talking about recently. I can't remember what it is, but I'll find it in a moment...
  • Re:ItsATrap! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @05:57PM (#18980139)
    I don't get it. That just means that if you want it, you just have to get it from Novell. Or Microsoft. I mean, if Novell has the license to distribute it, and they distribute it, then there should be no real issue. While I don't like Quicksilver (I trust MS less than Adobe, personally), I don't think Linux support will dramatically affect adoption, so this is at best a neutral move (possibly a positive one).
  • by overshoot (39700) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:05PM (#18980263)
    However, since I don't have your "special friend" relationship with Steve Ballmer and he has a much larger budget for lawyers, I'll pass.

    Call us again in a few years when the patents (whichever they are) have expired. Say, about 2026.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:23PM (#18980519)
    yes, my appeal at miguel would be to please not support microsoft in pushing one of their new standards, which are commonly designed or implemented to annoy and lock out the competition.
  • by cgranade (702534) <cgranadeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:43PM (#18980841) Homepage Journal
    Thank you, Miguel, for continuing to take a sane and rational stance with respect to .NET and its descendants. I have long appreciated how hard you work to build the Mono community, by helping newbies (such as myself on many occasions) on the mailing lists and IRC channel, by writing extensively about your thoughts and progress, and by supporting the community-building efforts of others. I am somewhat sad to see that many of our fellow Slashdotters have chosen the head-in-sand option, rather than recognizing the place that .NET and Silverlight will most likely play in the IT infrastructure of tomorrow. Whether I may like it or not, Microsoft is a major player, and can push new frameworks into prominence easily. If it weren't for people like you working so hard to make Linux a part of these frameworks, we would be missing out on the many wonderful technologies that have come out of CLR, from Nemerle to LINQ. So, once again, thanks, Miguel.
  • Re:Option D (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miguel (7116) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:50PM (#18980939) Homepage


    Invent something better and open source it rather than play catch up and gamble on the evil empire playing nice.

    Seriously, rather than copy them, try being creative for a change and invent something better.


    The problem is that some of us want to have access to content that will be produced with Silverlight, inventing a better system will not make the Silverlight content magically be transformed or accessible to us.

    Building a "player" for Silverlight is also orders of magnitude simpler than building the complete ecosystem: the engine, the development tools, the designer tools and the partnerships.

    Having a better technology does not mean that the better technology will have the reach that something from Macromedia and Microsoft will have.

    But my all means, if you want to design, architect and implement a better Silverlight and a better Flash, you should go ahead and do it. But the technology piece is only going to be a fraction of the problem to solve.

    Miguel.
  • Not buying it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:55PM (#18980997)
    The problem with your argument is that no one has even tried to make something better. You jump on the Microsoft bandwagon every single time. I miss the Miguel from the Gnome project. This new Miguel is just a Microsoft sellout. Silverlight hasnt even begun to take root, not by a long shot, and yet here you are already working hard to make sure it does.

    Microsoft is not unbeatable. They have failed at everything they've tried over the last 5 years, whether it's Vista, IE7 or Zune. Making the stupid assumption that Silverlight is the next greatest thing is why people have lost respect for you.
  • Re:Option D (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FooBarWidget (556006) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:55PM (#18981003)
    "Seriously, rather than copy them, try being creative for a change and invent something better."
    Oh, you mean this? [mono-project.com] GTK+ is a very good toolkit (the best one, as far as I'm concerned). And GTK is available on Mono. I used it, it's good - VERY good, very easy to use. As far as I'm concerned, this is much, much better than Windows.Forms.

    Look around you. There are tons of high-quality non-MS open source projects that run on Mono. You seem to be thinking that copying the Microsoft runtime library is all that Mono does. That's far from the truth.
    C# is a good language. I don't care whether MS made it or the Martians - it's good, there is an open source implementation, there are open source libraries, so I will use it.
  • by cgranade (702534) <cgranadeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:56PM (#18981019) Homepage Journal

    Linux is, and should be, so much more than a poor man's clone of either of these systems. The people who use Linux do so because they like it, not because it's free. If it were just about price any of us could have a "free" copy of windows too.

    ...
    PS We all hate gnome, too. If we wanted the worst of mac combined with the worst of windows we'd just run vista!
    Thing is, we don't all hate GNOME. GNOME has some very innovative features, such as Beagle and the new GNOME File Chooser dialog, which make it ideal for some kinds of users. I personally prefer KDE for its superior customizability, but GNOME is by no means worthless. In the same way, I think that Mono has some very innovative features that are unique to it: Mono.Addins [mono-project.com] comes quickly to mind. Even outside of Mono, the Nemerle language [nemerle.org] is another great open-source addition to the .NET framework. The Gtk# engine is one of the most easy to use and powerful GUI frameworks yet made, and is only possible due to Mono. In short, please don't claim to represent all of Linux userdom when you spout off your hatred of GNOME and Mono. You don't.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:57PM (#18981039)

    So we got a couple of strategies dealing with this:

    (a) the ostrich strategy also known as the "i-cant-hear-you" strategy: pretend that Silverlight does not exist and hope that by ignoring it, it will go away and vanish.

    (b) Hope that nobody adopts it. I seriously doubt that Silverlight will not be adopted, in particular the CLR version shows a lot of promise.

    (c) Be proactive and implement it ourselves: we got most of the hard bits of the technology already (a CLR, a JIT, the GC, the core class libraries, even up to some parts of LINQ).


    I think you left out:

    (d) come up with something better that can be made cross-platform from the get-go that gives people a compelling reason to use it instead of Silverlight, rather than permanently following along a few steps behind Microsoft.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:58PM (#18981071)
    Well, SVG gets you a part of the way, but to really build a flash competitor you'd need to go a bit further. Something like:

    A subset of SDL to handle pixel graphics, and sound and possibly input, possibly low level surface management.
    SVG rendering libs
    OGG decoders for streaming audio and video
    A script interpreter. LUA for fast and small, or python for a large developer base. Java script never made anyone happy.

    Then a file format that consists of scripts and media resources in a zip or similar so that development does not require a special, complicated IDE. Or at least simple comandline tools that can convert such a file into a binary blob.

      (Flash is based around such an IDE mostly to give adobe/macromedia something to sell.)
  • ffs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wwmedia (950346) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:01PM (#18981103)
    i dont care if loose karma for this

    firstly i wish to say "thank you" to the mono team! yee are doing a great job!

    secondly what the f*** is wrong with you ./'s ?! get a grip!

    while yee are arguing which distro has the longest .... microsoft came a long and actually made a really usefull piece of technology that ties alot of features together in one package, not only that but some people are sickened that it comes under an open license and are afraid that linux will become that bit more irrelevant on the desktop side of things

    keep reaching fot that rainbow! keep playing catchup to microsoft

    end rant.
  • by oGMo (379) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:03PM (#18981141)

    You've clearly got a lot of talent [...]

    Making poor imitations of crappy ideas isn't clear indication of talent; quite the opposite, in fact.

    Well, because I believe that Siverlight will become an important component in future applications. The majority of people will probably be happy to spice up their web applications with a little silverlight as it will run on Windows and MacOS.

    You forgot "want" before "believe", and we all know the result of introducing yet another nonstandard web extension is. I mean, it's worked so well for Microsoft in the past: proprietary JavaScript extensions, HTML extensions, ActiveX. It's just brought the web together into a nice, unified platform, so you never have to worry about how every different browser handles your website. Oh wait, no it hasn't: just the opposite.

    But if there is no Silverlight for Linux, we will be prevented from getting access to content and applications that will be available. So we got a couple of strategies dealing with this:

    How about: d) Proactively discourage its use; build, distribute, and support and alternative framework that is not under the control of a corporation known for breaking compatibility regularly to discourage competition. Get this into Firefox and build an IE plugin to support it.

    In fact, you can ignore Mono completely, nobody is forcing you to use it [...] I loved the Silverlight announcement, it is a way of bringing my favorite platform to the web (the CLR and now the DLR) and it seems like a natural fit and extension to what Mono does. [...] And why exactly would I care about your pet project?

    I think you just asked the question that so many others are asking about Mono.

  • Re:ItsATrap! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locutus (9039) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:04PM (#18981155)
    this only works if your product only has an expected lifespan of 3 or 5 years. Basically the life of the MSFT / Novell license. Not worth it IMO.

    LoB
  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:09PM (#18981221)
    Problem is, that there are solutions which are more worthwile to push into existence than playing catchup with microsoft with a uncertain future, there are alternatives to silverlight, Microsoft is very late to the game, projects worthwile would be:

    a) improve the svg situation now that Adobe has dropped the ball, on windows, after all silverlight is mainly a flash clone with .net added as backend tech

    b) try to give a helping hand to one of the projects why try to implement a really opensource flash tech or build on top of flash decent open rich ui frameworks

    Miguel again has chosen the hardest way, and helping microsoft to fortify their monopoly in areas which currently are very vivid in the long run just for the sake of trying to clone yet another Microsoft tech!

    Sorry to say that, but enough is enough!
    It is not like sticking the head in the sand, Microsoft can push such things, but you do not have to help them all the way long until they have enough marketshare so they can easily kill you off...
  • by Movi (1005625) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:09PM (#18981223)
    Miguel, please. I believe you have the sincerest intensions in making Microsofts technology run on Linux (.Net). Mono is a great piece of technology - Banshee would not be without it.

    However, i get the feeling like youre doing the devils work for Microsoft - youre spreading their technology when the market doesnt want it. What youre basically doing is helping the "bait and switch" strategy to work - and they get it for free (by making the community do it for them). Silverlight and the other runtime gizmo is not needed and not wanted in the Linux world. However oncw you do port it, some people will look at it, decide it's the fastes/first thing they found good-enough for thir project. Or even more possible, it gets a killer app. Now Microsoft kills your effort (or severs it badly thru legal-foo) and now the project is in shatters. Do you really want that?

    .Net got remote attention because of Mono (i didnt meet any windows aplication except crap stuff like the ATi Control Panel that required .net), and i view that as a mixed bag of things. This however should be left alone to either rot or prevail - then the discussion if we should implement should begin.
  • *sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:09PM (#18981231) Homepage
    What does this format bring to Linux, other than a patent minefield that renders it useless to all but Novell (and then only until MS extinguishes them)?
  • Legal options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:10PM (#18981237)

    The problem is that some of us want to have access to content that will be produced with Silverlight, inventing a better system will not make the Silverlight content magically be transformed or accessible to us.
    Well, guess what: US law gives a 20-year monopoly on access to that content to Microsoft. If you want access to that content, get a Microsoft system and have at it.
  • Re:ffs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markh100 (696858) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:16PM (#18981297)
    Agreed. The vitriolic tone of this thread is somewhat astonishing to me. I'm primarily a Windows/.NET developer that is slowly working towards migrating to a Linux platform, and the Mono project is one of the key technologies leading me in that direction. When Microsoft announced that Silverlight was going to be a cross-platform technology that only ran on Windows and Apple, I was extremely frustrated. I can understand why, strategically, Microsoft has chosen not to implement a Silverlight implementation on Linux, but I cannot understand why the majority of those commenting on this thread are arguing so vehemently against Miguel.

    Silverlight is not just a reimplementation of Flash. Coding in .NET is a pleasure, and a can gaurantee you that coding for the Silverlight platform is going to be infinitely more organized and structured than coding for Flash. Website developers are going to flock to this new technology. Without a Linux implementation of Silverlight, 20% of websites will be completely inaccessible to Linux users in 5 years.
  • by HRbnjR (12398) <chris@hubick.com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:30PM (#18981469) Homepage
    That's pretty much just what I thought when I heard the "Icaza, was able to commit without hesitating" thing.

    I mean, with Mono they at least tried to pretend like they understood the patent situation surrounding the technology. But with this Silverlight stuff just being announced, there is no way you could have done any type of audit to know what you are getting yourself into!
  • Get A Grip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:30PM (#18981475)
    Slamming Mono [wikipedia.org] for implementing Silverlight is about as irrational as slamming Opera or Mozilla for implementing JavaScript.
  • Re:ffs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... com minus physic> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:36PM (#18981545) Homepage Journal
    microsoft came a long and actually made a really usefull piece of technology that ties alot of features together in one package

    It's only a useful piece of technology if you want to abandon the UNIX programming environment and switch to one that's based on the Windows API and isolates you from all the rest of the UNIX tools you're used to.

    Just because something is free, that doesn't mean it's worth less than you paid for it. Microsoft apologists have been pointing this out for years, as if it was somehow news... well, the shoe's on the other foot now.
  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:42PM (#18981611) Journal
    With all due respect, there is a world of difference between "Can't do it because it's not allowed" and "Can't do it because it's not able to be done".

    Having a re-implementation means you can't run Silverlight on Linux in the same way that I can't burn you a free copy of Windows.

    The end result of all this re-implementing will be that countries that respect the concept of IP will become increasingly less competitive on the world stage than countries that do not until they are eventually marginalized by their legacy of stupidity.

    The US got started by doing this to the British.
  • Re:Get A Grip (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... com minus physic> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:43PM (#18981623) Homepage Journal
    But Javascript is actually a pretty nice scripting language. It's got a better object model than C++ or Java, better than Objective C, and in some ways it's even better than Smalltalk's. The libraries in the browser world is somewhat messed up, but that's due to the fact that it's had to build on and remain compatible a set of experimental and mutually antagonistic libraries... and it's survived that pretty damn well.

    Dot NET, on the other hand, is built on an OS specific design that's got a huge semantic gap with anything but Windows.

    Slamming Mono for implementing Silverlight

    Don't worry, we're not slamming Mono for implementing Silverlight. We're slamming Mono for implementing Dot NET. Silverlight is just another symptom of the same problem.
  • Re:Option D (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:44PM (#18981629)

    Building a "player" for Silverlight is also orders of magnitude simpler than building the complete ecosystem: the engine, the development tools, the designer tools and the partnerships.
    You are proposing to make Linux a second-class citizen on this future Web. Today, the Internet is created and operated, at least in part, on Linux systems. You are saying that we will be able to use Silverlight application on Linux, but we won't be able to create or serve those applications, and we certainly won't be able to modify them. That doesn't seem consistent with the ideals of software freedom.
  • I loved the Silverlight announcement, it is a way of bringing my favorite platform to the web (the CLR and now the DLR)

    We know you love the CLR... unfortunately, it's not an open system like the UNIX programming environment and so it's not really well liked in the open source world. We're not happy with the limitations of the Windows programming environment, and we find the large and complex APIs beloved of the Windows developers a throwback to the old pre-UNIX mainframe era, so we expect Silverlight to be the same kind of Windows wart on the side of UNIX. If we're mistaken, if Mono can be integrated well into the UNIX world, we'd love to see you prove us wrong by doing it.

    But you don't seem to like the UNIX environment, so I guess you won't be doing anything along those lines...

    Well, because I believe that Siverlight will become an important component in future applications. The majority of people will probably be happy to spice up their web applications with a little silverlight as it will run on Windows and MacOS.

    ActiveX has failed to make Dot-NET take off in the web application world. Why do you think that Silverlight will do any better?
  • by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:56PM (#18981781) Homepage
    FWIW, I like Gnome, or at least, I like GTK; for whatever reason, GTK-based apps just feel better and nicer and cleaner on average than Qt-based apps. I think Gnome/GTK has some really great solid technology and design behind it.

    OTOH, I don't really like many aspects of the Gnome project -- mainly their apparent discounting of any users except windows mouth-breather types when making UI decisions (I don't think it's asking too much, just the occasional nod to other audiences, the occasional configuration toggle box), and the (apparently) vast amounts of energy they waste reimplementing MS crap like .net.

    There are many free software projects I feel like I'd like to contribute to if I had the time, but Gnome is not really one of them, simply because they feel so insular. That seems like a shame....
  • Option E (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... com minus physic> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:16PM (#18981969) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that some of us want to have access to content that will be produced with Silverlight

    And some of us don't want there to be lots of content produced with Silverlight. It's bad enough that so much of the content on the web is tied up in little obfuscated applets in Java and Flash as it is. Seriously, there's pretty much only three things these are used for: advertising, low-quality DRM, and toys and games. Exceptions like the Java applets at Greg Egan's site are far and few between, and Google has shown us with Maps and Gmail that you don't *need* these plugins to produce rich content.

    Thank goodness Microsoft's first try failed, and we don't have ActiveX and its security problems on Mac and Linux.

    We don't need a better Silverlight or a better Flash. We need better tools inside the framework that we already have.
  • Re:ffs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oconnorcjo (242077) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:44PM (#18982275) Journal
    When Microsoft announced that Silverlight was going to be a cross-platform technology that only ran on Windows and Apple, I was extremely frustrated. I can understand why, strategically, Microsoft has chosen not to implement a Silverlight implementation on Linux, but I cannot understand why the majority of those commenting on this thread are arguing so vehemently against Miguel. Silverlight is not just a reimplementation of Flash. Coding in .NET is a pleasure, and a can gaurantee you that coding for the Silverlight platform is going to be infinitely more organized and structured than coding for Flash. Website developers are going to flock to this new technology. Without a Linux implementation of Silverlight, 20% of websites will be completely inaccessible to Linux users in 5 years.

    Miguel is trying to do great things but the problem is where the tech is going...

    The internet revolves around platform independant tech and Microsoft has always been about only windows (and maybe mac for kicks).

    encouraging a microsoft tech for the internet scares many (including myself) especially since they are the creators and have every right to control the vision of thier tech...

    Most would actively like/want to discourage any microsoft tech and formats from having any influence over the internet.

    As it is .doc, .wmp, .xls already are a frustrating reality of the IT infrastructure.

    Many in the community would prefer to see open implementations of freely available tech as the only standards on the internet and microsoft has a long history of trying to thwart those goals.

    Many see Miguel's efforts to implement MS tech as helping MS to embrace/extend/extinguish competitors. Specifically adobe and flash with this tech.

    Adobe tries to make thier stuff TRULY crossplatform and MS is gunning for them with a competing product that IS NOT crossplatform. Instead of miguel thinking/saying DANGER, he is helping microsoft in its goals.

    I think Miguel has a dream and that dream is tied to MS products and he does what he wants (and I respect that) but the reason for the [over]reaction of the /. comunity is that MS has done some scary stuff in the past to destroy competitors and tie users to windows that anyone who helps MS is seen to be helping MS to achieve those ends.

    So even though, I believe Miguel is truly just in love with the tech., its fustrating to some in the community to see MS pandered to.

  • by Augusto (12068) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:45PM (#18982285) Homepage
    MS doesn't like your project, why don't they work with you guys to say "the Mono team will help us bring Silverlight to the Linux platform". Instead, they ignore your project, and no sane corporation is going to base serious development efforts on mono when it will always be seen as the illegitimate ugly step child in the .net family.

    Really, can you admit that the only reason MS even tolerates your product, is just in case somebody brings up how they have no solutions in Linux they can just casually just say "well, there's that mono thing"? I'm sure your project is mentioned in some PowerPoint in Redmond that is brought up when convenient, but it's baffling how much they just ignore your project most of the time. It's not even a consideration.
  • by alexborges (313924) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:53PM (#18982351)
    Man. The guy in implementing a whole stack of a very big technology. Big as in really a whole lot of code that has the potential to bring windows apps to linux and viceversa.

    Some of you seem to be asking for the closing of Unix and our Unix-Like things without a single thought to what others are doing. No, we do not have the answer to everything. No, Linux does not do everything we need. No, Java is not the only way we should have to implement enterprise-ready client-server applications.

    We should have more. We should be able to bring expert C# developers and have them feel comfortable on Linux. We should be able to access everything that anyone puts on the web. Yes, Macromedia and Microsoft do stupid, evil things like leverage their market grips and lawyer departments to feed us this or that other tech that could be better implemented.

    But we work arround that. We worked arround DVD encryption. We worked arround HD-DVD encription and we WILL work arround BlueRay encription. We worked arround proprietary audio formats and we worked arround proprietary video formats and yet, you guys complain that miguel wants to work arround yet another tech (and in this case its a quite well architected one) that will lock us out of content.

    Why didnt you rant against the mplayer guys that allow you to see your pron. Ah, i see, silverlight is not pr0n worthy. Didnt we used to perceive the same kind of risk (patents and such) for the revenging that the samba team needed to do? Why didnt you rant then. Ah, I see, you probably did.

    I dont like the ms-novell deal more than any of you, but i dont think miguel has in mind having a closed source version of what he is proposing to do. If the other distros do not feel comfortable including it because of that deal, then they wont (like RH, that currently has no offer for mono). But the software itself is opensource and you will be able to download it and access your content.

    Isnt that what this is all about, really? That we can work arround the stupid walls MS and others try to put on us?

    Youve all turned into a bunch of whyning preppie girls. Hell, it wont even be you implementing it, if you dont want to. I say FSCK microsoft and let them come if they wanna sue all of us when we use our mono-based silverlight thingie on our ubuntu or fedora.

    They wont come against novell, but I dont hink novell would stop miguel from doing this in a good (as in MPL or GPL) free software license --and this I say because a non-FOSS implementation would force me to the other side... that is, with the wyining preppie girls.
  • Re:Not buying it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:08PM (#18982493)
    Ah yes. The "get on meds" retort. That's usually where people go when they lose the argument. You've obviously spent too much time on usenet. By all means though, I'm an easy target, just a nameless person on slashdot. It doesn't change what you're doing.

    Any respect I had for you as a software developer is gone. Good luck though, sounds like you will need it.
  • Re:ffs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by naden (206984) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:18PM (#18982575)
    Silverlight is not just a reimplementation of Flash. Coding in .NET is a pleasure, and a can gaurantee you that coding for the Silverlight platform is going to be infinitely more organized and structured than coding for Flash. Website developers are going to flock to this new technology. Without a Linux implementation of Silverlight, 20% of websites will be completely inaccessible to Linux users in 5 years.

    See this is classic 'geek' delusion. It assumes that just because something a technology is easy to program with that's its going to take over the world. Lets look at the facts:
    • From the perspective of content creators, Adobe is the most loved (Photoshop/Flash/Dreamweaver) and Microsoft is the most hated (FrontPage/IE).
    • Flash is on 97% of machines (500 million+ users), Silverlight is on 0% (5+ users) of machines.
    • Flash requires nothing to install or download, Silverlight requires a 4MB+ download and install. It still remains to be seen whether non-admin users have access to install IE/Firefox plugins under Vista.
    • A large percentage of content creators use Macs which Visual Studio/.Net is not available for.
    • Flash programmers are cheaper to hire than .Net ones.
    • Flash is proven on existing web sites (YouTube), Silverlight is unproven.
    • Flash is on version 9, Silverlight is on version 1. That's a lot of bugs/features that have already been addressed.
    • Flash is based on Javascript which is more common amongst web developers than C#.
    So as you can see MS is once again creating new, proprietary technologies that the world doesn't need.
  • by chazzzzy (238911) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:19PM (#18982585) Homepage
    All Mac users were UNABLE to watch any videos on MSNBC AT ALL for YEARS.. because Microsoft required you to "Upgrade to Internet Explorer ON WINDOWS ONLY". Even though other sites were able to show Windows Media files on Macs.. MSNBC DISABLED the ability for macs to try to get us to switch.

    Lately you can watch snippets of videos on MSNBC because they are "beta testing" FLASH to show their videos ONLY because of the success of YouTube. You still cannot watch live events on macs though.

    The point of all this is that Microsoft is not making Silverlight because they care about the community. They are making it so that they can stranglehold all of the non windows users at some point down the road Once we all get sucked in and a bunch of sites are made using Slverlight.. Microsoft will then come out with a new feature that will ONLY work on Windows.. and then we will all be sorry again.

    I am a web developer who has to make 4 different versions of each site because of all the "bugs" in IE.

    I would be an idiot to build a site using Silverlight.. because we all know exactly what's going to happen with that format down the road.
  • by mattr (78516) <mattr@@@telebody...com> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:00PM (#18983303) Homepage Journal
    Another piece of software to avoid. Miguel though I don't know you, you seem to be the kind of powerhouse who I wish wasn't working at Novell. Actually sitting in the seat that is responsible for Novell's side of the MS embrace and extend campaign. I even took the time to look a little at Silverlight - no I didn't install it. If it is as nice as you say maybe it would be nice, if all things were equal.

    But they aren't. And I don't know if I trust someone who is both indeminified against lawsuits from Microsoft and (as he blogs) gets drunk with senior Microsoft employees. The timing is bad, to say the least, who wants to use crippleware and anything smelling of MS/Novell?

    Other people have said but I will add: There is nothing earthshaking about Miguel's desire to extend Mono, his copy of .Net, by copying MS' extension of .Net. There is nothing inevitable about silverlight. In fact, someone of Miguel's talent (at least in project management, I don't know him personally) could do a great deal for open source if he wasn't always copying Microsoft.

    I believe his arguments are disingenuous. (Well, fake.) MS is NOT able to easily push new technologies into acceptance. They can spend a lot of money on advertising. The video of siverlight movie editing was cute but huh? It was using a faked Minority Report video, and an attempt to make a Minority Report interface (not as good as Kai's Power Tools about 10 years before this), and a laugh at anyone who really does video editing. This new Novell project is premature, serves to support MS embrace and extend, paints a nice target for threats and guess what if you build a successful company on it MS will own your ass.

    Whatever silverlight promises may be nice to have, and some snippets I saw in his blog about Ruby and 3D sounded enticing. But you know what? You don't need anything Microsoft to do cool things. Maybe this will be impetus for open source people who don't work at Novell and carouse with the MS senior execs to get moving on developing something more interesting. I'd rather not intentionally put manacles on my own arms and wait for the other shoe to drop, which is what it seems is required for using Miguel's software. Head in the sand indeed, let's wait until the world depends on silverlight I've got plenty of other things to do. Someone tell me why you want to help son of SCO? Getting drunk with the execs indeed! Fuck off!
  • Re:ffs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LarsWestergren (9033) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:15AM (#18984455) Homepage Journal
    Without a Linux implementation of Silverlight, 20% of websites will be completely inaccessible to Linux users in 5 years.

    BS. Most websites today work fine with Firefox and Linux, despite Microsoft attempts at locking like ActiveX. Most companies now realises the benefits of platform independence (I've heard things are different in South Korea for instance).

    But now you say that this just announced platform will start to break standards and compatibility (surprise!), and you say "WE MUST JUMP ON THIS BANDWAGON!!". Even if it was true that sites started forcing clients being dependent on Silverlight (a claim even fans of Silverlight like Miguel would probably dispute) I don't think that sounds like something we should hurry to adopt, it sounds like something that should be fought tooth and nail. If companies start locking you out, take your business elsewhere.
  • Wake up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by groomed (202061) on Friday May 04, 2007 @05:26AM (#18985447)
    Most of the commentary on this topic is shit, fueled by ignorance and unthinking dogmatism.

    Over the past half decade or so, Microsoft has been developing arguably the most comprehensive and coherent development platform ever on the planet, viz. .NET. Many people like to denounce .NET as "Java copied badly" or point out how poorly Windows Forms compares to what's available for GNOME and MacOS X.

    This kind of argument is completely besides the point. While some parts of .NET are not be as good as other offerings on the market, as a whole there is nothing which compares to it. .NET brings everything under one roof and eliminates entire classes of "glue" and "can't get there from here" problems.

    (Yes, we are all software developers and enthusiasts. We all know the joys of loosely coupled systems and the evils of integration. I'm realy not interested in a generic discussion on that. In practice all good things have costs and all bad things have benefits and .NET in most cases does The Right Thing. If you haven't worked with .NET yet, just try it and come with specifics. Don't come arguing on abstract principles please.)

    With .NET 3.0 and WPF, a brand new UI subsystem has been added to the mix, which in terms of raw capability rivals anything out there. ... Christ, that sounds like a commercial. But it's true. You've all seen the demos of movies projected onto flying 3D surfaces etcetera, and this might have left you with the impression that there is little substance to the technology apart from fizz and sparkle.

    That would be a very wrong impression. .NET and WPF form the foundation for the next generation of Windows applications and Silverlight brings parts of this technology to the web. Thus, while Silverlight may falter, as some of you have been suggesting, the underlying technology certainly will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

    Therefore to suggest that Miguel or "we" could or even should be developing an "alternative to Silverlight" is absolute nonsense and indicates an utter blindness for the bigger picture.

    The whole point of .NET is that it provides a clean and sane means of unifying traditionally separate realms of development. With .NET and Silverlight, it is slowly becoming possible to leverage the same skills and code on the Web (both server side and client side), the desktop, games consoles, set top boxes, PDAs and Mobile phones.

    Even if you develop something that's significantly better than .NET for some specific task/domain, it would have to be several orders of magnitudes better before the marginal benefit offsets the costs of not being able to ride the slipstream of the Microsoft/.NET juggernaut.

    Microsoft has been busy rewriting their entire crufty codebase to a modern, unified platform. We are still arguing over widget sets and the relative merits of the GNOME file selector dialog vs. the KDE one. Wake up people.
  • Re:Wake up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LarsWestergren (9033) on Friday May 04, 2007 @08:35AM (#18986601) Homepage Journal
    While some parts of .NET are not be as good as other offerings on the market, as a whole there is nothing which compares to it.

    Yes there is, the Java platform, which has a larger number of users, developers, and platforms it has been ported to.

    .NET brings everything under one roof

    We know. Microsofts roof. I don't want to be there.

    eliminates entire classes of "glue" and "can't get there from here" problems.

    I notice you don't give any concrete examples to refute... Is it possible that some of these "can't get there from here" problems you mention exist on other platforms because they were designed with more security in mind, or to be more platform independent for instance?

    You've all seen the demos of movies projected onto flying 3D surfaces etcetera

    Pfft. Like that is new. Come back when it works both for Linux, Solaris, Mac, or Windows, OpenGL accelerated [java.net].

    With .NET and Silverlight, it is slowly becoming possible to leverage the same skills and code on the Web (both server side and client side), the desktop, games consoles, set top boxes, PDAs and Mobile phones.

    Just like the Java platform then, only 5 years late and Windows only.

    Christ, that sounds like a commercial.

    Yes, you do sound very much like a commercial.
  • Re:ItsAFud (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nanosquid (1074949) on Friday May 04, 2007 @11:53AM (#18989497)
    May we learn your connection with Novell/MSFT/Mono or you are doing this for free without reason?

    My only connection with Mono is that I think it's technically the best platform right now and I develop open source software in it. I think it would be a big loss to the open source community if inaccurate FUD like yours destroyed Mono. If people like you succeed at FUDding Mono to death, Microsoft will win because there is nothing else that comes even close competing with Microsoft.

    Oh, I earn a living with Java and C++ programming on UNIX and run Debian at home, if you must know. I don't even own a Windows computer anymore, although I must admit to also owning a Mac.

    So, what's your problem? Do you work for Sun and are afraid of the competition from Mono? Or do you work for Microsoft and try to kill Mono through FUD, since you already know that there is no technical or legal way that you can kill Mono?

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