Mink Machine

Silverlight dominates at MIX07

The MIX conference is currently held in Las Vegas, just as last year. The reports are pouring in and they mostly contain the word “Silverlight” in one way or another.

Flash is the most popular choice for graphics-intense presentations on the web today. It’s great for non-technical bosses who judge success by counting moving objects in a precompiled movie, but developers doing fairly advanced stuff have to fight with Actionscript and debugging in a less than perfect environment.

Silverlight provides a way out for Microsoft-centric developers. Simply write code-behind calls in C# or another CLR language just as you already do with your ASP.NET stuff today. Among other things, this makes data access a lot easier than the dirty plumbing that Flash requires of developers. Ever been tearing your hair away while trying to debug Actionscript? By using Silverlight in Orcas we can debug code on the client as well as on the server.

In addition to all this we have the CoreCLR that powers the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha, as well as the new DLR with support for Ruby, Python and more. Silverlight is also bridging the gap between JavaScript and CLR code, which in other words enables the CLR code to manipulate the DOM. Confusing? Scott Hanselman has a nice schematic picture and there is also a developer reference chart. Silverlight will also be available on Linux.

I’ve heard interviews with people claiming “it’s world changing” and “The day Microsoft rebooted the Web”. As always, these kinds of statements are intended to create a marketing hype, but the fact remains: Now we have managed code in the browser. It will definitely affect the future for all ActionScripties and JavaScripties out there. Good or bad? You decide.

2 comments

  • avatar
    04 May, 2007

    Just when the Web where heading into a system independent, browser independant form, Microsoft comes and tries to shoot that trend down. No way that Silverlight will work as well on non-Windows/IE platforms as they will on Windows/IE. *sigh* They will behave very well for the first couple of years, since they have zero market share, but when they have gotten 60-70 per cent, things will … change.

  • avatar
    04 May, 2007

    There are lots of people who recommend building accessible, standards-compliant web sites, and I am one of them.
    Unfortunately, there are 100 times that number of people who shouts for advanced interactivity, flashing animations and desktop-like behaviour. Microsoft is simply giving people what they want, and developers tend to use new tools from Microsoft without giving any thought to the consequences of their actions.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

Exploring Chernobyl

"But unlike the movie Chernobyl Diaries, we didn’t find anybody there. Nature had reclaimed the area and the silence was deafening."

On the Trans-Siberian

"Since the toilets were locked during the seven hour stop, we had to bribe the provodnitsas to use the facilities. Then came the Mongols."

New Years Eve in Sydney

"Opera House is seen in front of the massive fireworks in the harbor area, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Harbour Bridge."

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."

Good morning Montenegro

"One would almost think that all this secrecy was made on purpose to keep the hordes of tourists away. Let them all perish in the crowds of Dubrovnik while the people of Montenegro can enjoy their beautiful country on their own. Or something like that."

Eating my way through Basque country

"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."