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Silverlight Developers Rally Against Windows 8

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-not-gonna-take-it dept.

Microsoft 580

aesoteric writes "A legion of Silverlight developers have threatened revolt after Microsoft made no mention of Silverlight or .Net in the vendor's brief video preview for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Developers expressed fears Microsoft might let their investment in skills 'die on the vine' as Redmond finally embraces open standards. Microsoft, for their part, have told developers they can't say more until September."

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580 comments

Evil overlord's minions demand more evil. (5, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384104)

A much better headline.

Re:Evil overlord's minions demand more evil. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384576)

That is the PERFECT headline!

in other news... (5, Funny)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384114)

...there's a legion of silverlight developers.

Re:in other news... (4, Insightful)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384164)

Must be a new policy against slashvertisements or something. Why can't we just replace the phrase "A legion of Silverlight developers" with the name "Netflix"?

Re:in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384332)

erm, only mac and pc use silverlight (a friend of mine did some consulting for them, insists the MS paid them off significantly). None of their other clients (iPhone, android, apple TV, wii, ps3, etc etc) use silverlight.

Re:in other news... (1)

troon (724114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384512)

My PCs don't use Silverlight, but that's because they're running Linux. PC != Windows.

Re:in other news... (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384566)

if you wanna get freaky you can install http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight [mono-project.com] it's pretty crappy but it is better than flash on linux

Re:in other news... (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384184)

Yeah, those 23 guys are gonna be pissed!

Re:in other news... (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384242)

I suspect many of them are former VB developers who really liked being screwed over the first time. Now they get to go a second round.

Re:in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384312)

...there's a legion of silverlight developers.

On they bright side they were able to carpool to the show in a Miata.

Re:in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384478)

"Legion" as in legionella?

I am a Silverlight Developer (4, Interesting)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384120)

I know Silverlight is a running joke on /., and everyone here hates it, but I work at a .NET shop and we used Silverlight to create a product. Now, you may think that's insane, but what we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform. Furthermore, clients would install the plug-in after purchasing, so it's not like proliferation of the plug-in mattered. As well, the decision on technology was made over 2 years ago, and back then HTML5 was but a whisper, and Flash was still the big thing TM for interactive "web applications."

As I said, since we're a .NET shop, Silverlight was a really great alternative to Flash. Furthermore, if you haven't worked with Silverlight or WPF, you're really missing out on an amazing development experience.

Now, I completely agree with the mentality that plug-ins are stupid. We only did it this way because we sell a product; we don't put our stuff online to try and shove the plug-in down everyone's throat. And at the end of the day, the message from Microsoft was that Silverlight will be everywhere "in the future," so we hoped we could hit all platforms with a rich product without doing any porting.

And now this, the latest in a long steady stream of screw-overs. They have seriously broken their promise to the developer community. While I'm happy they embraced HTML5 so strongly, they should just admit that they fucked up with Silverlight and hung the devoted developer community that exists out to dry. This was a low move from a company that previously has a great track record with developers, and I'm very unhappy with how they handled this.

And yes, I fully expected to be modded down for just using Silverlight to make anything.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (4, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384144)

This was a low move from a company that previously has a great track record with developers

You are on the wrong track. Ask VB or web developers about their track records with MS.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384166)

@iONiUM
Surely you didnt believe siverlight would be everywhere??? Thats your mistake, believing a corrupt company. You deserve what you got. Now go use a more open vendor neutral development product.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384168)

if you haven't worked with Silverlight or WPF, you're really missing out on an amazing development experience.

As an average web user who doesn't care what development experience developers have, I can tell you YOU are losing potential users of your application by the boatload because many, many people have better things to do than install yet another plugin that'll slow down / crash the browser even more.

they should just admit that they fucked up with Silverlight and hung the devoted developer community that exists out to dry

A great development experience indeed...

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384286)

many people have better things to do than install yet another plugin that'll slow down / crash the browser even more

Hardly anyone outside of the Slashdot anti-MS crowd cares. Most users will just install Silverlight and be done with it.

As for slow down/crashing, well, Silverlight hasn't slowed either of my browsers (Opera and Chromium FYI) or caused a single crash. If you're having issues, then it's most likely a problem isolated to your specific PC.

Not a matter of caring (-1, Redundant)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384498)

Hardly anyone outside of the Slashdot anti-MS crowd cares. Most users will just install Silverlight and be done with it.

No, Slashdot users are a large majority of the people who would be ABLE to install the plugin.

Most users will find it doesn't work and do something else.

Re:Not a matter of caring (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384528)

Hardly anyone outside of the Slashdot anti-MS crowd cares. Most users will just install Silverlight and be done with it.

No, Slashdot users are a large majority of the people who would be ABLE to install the plugin.

Most users will find it doesn't work and do something else.

No, most users just follow the instructions and it works just fine.

Re:Not a matter of caring (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384612)

Uhhh...dude? Installing SL is "clicky clicky, next next next". hell you don't even need to know how to fricking read as long as you know which button is next, hell my grandma could install SL.

That said if you need further proof that Ballmer needs a good firing just look at the killing of VB and the flailing between .NET/ SL and HTML V5. MSFT went from "developers developers developers" to just blindly flinging poo at the wall and praying something sticks. VB was a Godsend for the SMBs and SOHOs, as it gave them an easy to use tool for VERY simple jobs like making a GUI frontend to a DB, and for that it was bloody brilliant. What would take a single line in VB know takes three in .NET and know it looks like they'll bone .NET and SL in favor of whatever is the flavor of the day.

Add onto this the serious case of the "me too!" that MSFT has had since Ballmer took over (I mean seriously have you SEEN Windows 8? They took the wonderful GUI of Win 7 and replaced it with a fricking WinPhone! WTF? Do they think they are Apple?) and you see a once mighty company that was great for business, developers, and consumers, and have become this big drunken flailing elephant desperately trying to be "hip". Kinda sad really. You can see why Apple and Google are kicking their asses now, as they at least stick to their core strengths and build upon them (consumer goods and the web respectively) whereas MSFT is burning their long term gains for short term attempts at being fresh again. Stupid, lame, pointless, a waste.

I have a feeling just like I did with Vista when Win 8 comes out I'll be booked solid for a good year and a half doing nothing but wiping Win 8 to "upgrade" the machines to Win 7. Sigh. I had hopes that once, JUST once, that MSFT would actually put out two good OSes in a row. I guess that is just a pipe dream as long as Steve "We can be as cool as Apple!" Ballmer is still in the big chair.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384492)

I find it funny that companies actually think that using flash, silverlight, java applets, or even javascript where it is not an added feature which can't be done any other way are providing customers an advantage. The company which I unfortunately went with for my start-up business offered a appealingly great deal on phone service. In practice I saw right through it and just didn't have the money to go elsewhere. Long story short the company is grasshopper. They offer toll-free numbers starting at $10 a month. For a business that may take a long time to start pulling in money for a kid out of college it was all I could afford. I couldn't even afford it really. Now I'm spending $60 a month. In about a month I was paying $50-60+ all because anything over 100 minutes is expensive unless you upgrade to the next available plan with 2000 minutes. What did I end up having to do? Upgrade. By that point we were bringing in some money at least. Although that did take a BIG BIG BIG part of the budget. It still does. Then with the $50 plan we got a second number. We actually have a need for it too. BUT guess what. That results in lock-in too. If we go to a competitor we would be paying more. The service sucks and we can't afford to go elsewhere still. Not to mention the time it takes to transition. Maybe we should have done that before the company fucked up royally and took down all its systems or moved to a completely flash interface which I can't access on my phone (even if it did support flash it would run too slow). To sum it up... we will probably be switching sooner rather than later! So if you think going with flash, java applets, javascript, or microsoft's latest tech is a smart move think again. Keep it simple stupid.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384192)

Bah. Windows and Silverlight are in completely different orgs. The Windows org doesn't make decisions about Silverlight and the Silverlight org doesn't make decisions about Windows. The decisions to make announcements are probably separated too. Silverlight, despite being made by Microsoft to run on Windows, is not a part of Windows. I am not surprised that they don't talk about when they are talking about Windows. It doesn't mean it is being abandoned.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (3, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384194)

Do you honestly believe they're going to even wink and nod at Silverlight? It failed because everyone already knew Flash, and Flash didn't require you to know a real programming language.

Silverlight wasn't that attractive for me as a web developer. I had a hard enough time convincing our outsourced call centers to use Firefox 3 or 4, getting them to install Flash or any other plugin was going to be a giant fucking hassle. In your case though, it sounds like you didn't have that problem.

(I was sad too, Silverlight's Firefox plugin, unlike the Flash plugin, never pegged my CPU to shit ads at me. Netflix also used less CPU to render similar content that I could stream off of Youtube... and this is on the -mac-, so it's not even like they're biased against me.)

What strikes me as strange is that silverlight integration wasn't something they were talking about day one with Windows 8. if everything's an HTML document supported by JavaScript and styled with CSS, then why not have silverlight integration for more complex tasks?

Microsoft is even starting to fail at Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. Usually technologies like silverlight(or activex in the past), would be the shiv up their sleeves to extinguish the flames. Instead, they're playing catchup to the likes of Apple, Google and HP(their own partner for Windows computers!).

Feh.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384594)

Do you honestly believe they're going to even wink and nod at Silverlight? It failed because everyone already knew Flash, and Flash didn't require you to know a real programming language.

True, I hear that Netflix is doing rather poorly these days. It's also the backbone of their general-use apps on their phone platform.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384198)

Look at the bright side, you have a great future ahead of you as a Windows Phone developer (which is based on Silverlight technology). You'll do great.

the message from Microsoft was that Silverlight will be everywhere "in the future," so we hoped we could hit all platforms with a rich product without doing any porting.

Did you really believe that? Really? On the other hand, Microsoft already has an ARM port of Silverlight, at least major components, so maybe you'll luck out and they'll have Silverlight in Windows 8.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384228)

Silverlight could have been a success if only it had been cross platform. No sane person who screwed up with ActiveX and IE6 would touch Silverlight with a ten foot pole once it was clear it was a Windows only plugin without any support on anything but a PC. Granted there was a Mac plugin but nobody took it seriously. Had they released Linux support it would atleast have appered to be platform agnostic.

Silverlight was never cross platform. Two platforms do not make something cross platform. Unofficial support from a third party does not make the original cross platform. Thats like calling Windows applications cross platform because of Wine.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384466)

No body cared, or still cares about linux support. It's cross platform because it runs on 99% of all desktops.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384504)

"Had they released Linux support it would atleast have appered to be platform agnostic."

It was my understanding that they do support linux (to a degree). There's a silverlight plug-in for linux called moonlight (http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight) which was born out of a collaboration between Novell and Microsoft. Okay, it doesn't appear to be as up to date as the mainline Windows plug-in, but it's a start is it not.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (5, Interesting)

Necroman (61604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384236)

I would upvote you but I have a story to share.

A few years back I worked for a hardware company that was looking to partner with MS for their storage software stack. We were doing some pretty crazy things to integrate their OS into our hardware and were working off promises of specific features and deadlines.

After being 8 months+ into the project, MS starts missing software drops and stops communicating release status with us. We eventually discover they didn't like their product as was and was going back to the drawing board, which basically screwed our release.

I don't expect a lot out of MS when it comes top products that arent their main line revenue makers.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (5, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384256)

... we used Silverlight to create a product. Now, you may think that's insane, but what we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform.

Sorry, but I read that, and reread it several times to make sure I hadn't missed anything, but I still don't see any reason to stop thinking you are insane.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384268)

Now, you may think that's insane, but what we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform.

I'm sorry, what? In what world is Silverlight "cross platform"? Oh, right, it runs on all version of Windows! Adobe isn't the greatest with cross platform support for Flash, but at least they try, sometimes.

And at the end of the day, the message from Microsoft was that Silverlight will be everywhere "in the future," so we hoped we could hit all platforms with a rich product without doing any porting.

The tards in marketing debated for a long time whether they could sell more Visual Studio license with "This will be everywhere" or "We're going to kill this next year." "Everywhere" won the coin toss.

Microsoft has a well earned reputation for doing stuff like this, so it's really hard to feel sorry for you.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (3, Insightful)

Rophuine (946411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384272)

I know I'm just jumping on the band-wagon here, but I'm a .Net developer who's worked for a couple of shops over the last few years and has seen plenty of new web products started. I've been on at least three projects where we wrote off Silverlight as an option, citing reasons like unwillingness to use the plugin, lack of available developers, and general opinions that the platform was on a fast-track to being canned.

Then again, most products I've worked on with a focus on having a great user experience tend to undergo pretty massive UI overhauls every 18 months to three years, and it's pretty common to use different technologies at each iteration. Being forced into changing UI platforms shouldn't come as any sort of surprise to you.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384388)

It's also exactly the reason why you should choose a layered architecture, and preferably MVC/MVP or MVVM. They all make platform switching much easier as the frontend is a very think layer.

Silverlight in particular has a really nice MVVM framework called Caliburn (http://caliburn.codeplex.com/). If you've built your app using that, then it shouldn't be a huge amount of work to switch to html5/js for the frontend.

Hey, you might even be able to use a.net to js compiler to do the body of the work: http://jsc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2)

Rophuine (946411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384434)

Anyone who gets that UI overhauls/rewrites happen frequently, but DOESN'T use a layered architecture to keep the UI layer really thin, is an idiot.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384282)

As I said, since we're a .NET shop, Silverlight was a really great alternative to Flash.

It never was.

It sounded like a great alternative to .NET developers, because no effort for you. All the effort would be on Microsoft to make the cross-platform part work (which they failed to do, at least for Linux users; and commitment to the Mac was always going to be questionable), and on the user to install and trust.

I don't think doing what is easiest for the developer is any great way to run a business.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2)

dsum (1233394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384284)

I am a .NET developer and my company also uses Silverlight. I don't personally use Silverlight, but the team that code using Silverlight said that there are still many things that HTML 5 doesn't support, or at least not easily implemented compare with Silverlight. At the end, it really depends on the type of the web application you are developing and who are your target users. For enterprise users, as long as they decided to buy a solution that require Silverlight plug-in, they will install it. For consumer web app, it is definitely tougher to convince them to install Silverlight. Unlike Flash, which is well known and used, My guess is that the typical web users would have no problem install Flash since Flash is well known, while they would be hesitated to install Silverlight because they may not want to install another plugin for the sake of the current webpage that I am browsing. One thing I feel is that MS has invested a lot on .NET, and Silverlight in the past that most likely it won't stop supporting it. However, future development on Silverlight may no longer be the MS prime focus. We should still embrace HTML5, it isn't easy to get a standard for the web. Silverlight won't replace HTML5, but it has its importance on the web.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (2, Interesting)

Rophuine (946411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384342)

We've found entirely the reverse re: enterprise users, albeit with a different plugin. Enterprise users are the ones who force OUR hands. They generally tell us what browser versions and plugins are available in their SOE, and we have to support that or lose the sale. Our clients are exclusively larger enterprises, and our success rate at saying "you just need to install [x] on the machines you're going to use this from" has been zero so far. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn't run on IE7 with Flash installed and nothing else, you're gonna miss some enterprise clients. We've just spent 18 months fighting to get our last client to accept us dropping IE6 support: even though they didn't have any deployed IE6 machines left, they wanted it in the contracts anyway.

Agree completely with you about end users. Most people don't see "you can just install this plugin, restart your browser, and this will work". They see "this doesn't work".

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384292)

I know Silverlight is a running joke on /., and everyone here hates it...

And now this, the latest in a long steady stream of screw-overs. They have seriously broken their promise to the developer community.

So you're saying /. was right?

Most of your post just looks like you're making excuses for a bad decision. And as someone who has had to make stuff work with Internet Explorer 6 as well as write bat files and VB tools I am going to have to strongly disagree with that "great track record with developers" comment.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384370)

cross platform? you know that if ms supports non ms platforms at all, they're bastard child abortions, right?

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384394)

Don't forget to wipe your chin.

HTML 5 "was a whisper"???

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384416)

Now, you may think that's insane, but what we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform.

So, why on earth you chose Silverlight? Doesn't work on Linux at all, and Mac version is a joke, lagging behind 2 versions.

Silverlight is good tech, but Microsoft tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384420)

Dot Net and Silverlight are better than Java and Dot Net respectively, but they are technologies of Microsoft. Microsoft's 30+ year history has repeatedly shown that there are consequences to trusting Microsoft. So, Android and Flash are going to win out. Just like X11 beat out NeWS.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384446)

You are are .NET shop and that is your fault, but did you know about Java and RAP?
http://www.eclipse.org/rap/ [eclipse.org]
http://www.eclipse.org/rap/demos/ [eclipse.org]

It runs in all web browsers, 100% HTML, no plugins needed, and is very rich experience, it is like a real desktop application but in your browser.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384458)

... we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience ... rich product ...

Do you work for Microsoft?

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384472)

If it turns out that you work for HealthMedX I think you should be drawn and quatered.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384506)

Sorry but where do people think Silverlight is going? From what I have heard Microsoft is simply using HTML5 for the widgets and some UI elements in that thing they call a UI. If you have applications made in Silverlight they will still run, IE will still be there, Plugins will still be there.

It seems that these developers want Silverlight to be the core language for developing on the new Windows 8 platform. All the widgets, apps etc. Microsoft would be fools to do this, and if they have embraced standards more quickly you would not be in this situation now.

In short Windows 8 is still going to be bogged down with decades worth of crud this is no clean break. All the old API's will still be there, and all the shitty plugins will be there. They are just finally waking up and seeing that they do not need to control everything to be successful.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384508)

Modding you down for just using Silverlight in and of itself would just be petty.
Modding you down for expecting that your investment of time and energy in a companies proprietary offerings which they could have dicked around with at any time, was safe is really in your best interests. Hopefully it will show you the folly of your ways and instead encourage you to invest your time in more open platforms.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (5, Insightful)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384540)

Thanks for providing some perspective. It is good to hear observations and opinions that may not align with the views most commonly expressed here.

Still, there are a lot of things in your post that I don't really understand.

I know Silverlight is a running joke on /., and everyone here hates it

Is that so? I thought that Silverlight was just another technology, to be discussed and evaluated like any other. It has its merits, and I have seen several people speak favorably about it on Slashdot.

but I work at a .NET shop and we used Silverlight to create a product. Now, you may think that's insane, but what we wanted to deliver was a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform.

There are several things here that irk me. I don't think it's insane that a .NET shop would use Silverlight. I mean, if you're already committed to one, it's easy to use the other, right?

What bothers me, though, is the concept of a ".NET shop". So, there is this company that has decided that .NET is going to be their answer to every question they encounter. I know that there are many companies that make this choice, or the same choice, but for a different technology (e.g. Java). But what happened to using the best tool for the job? There is a lot of impressive technology in .NET, but is it really the best tool for every job, now and in the future? In my view, it isn't, and can't be. So I would have my developers learn several technologies, and chose the best one for each project. Any developer worth their salt should have no problem with that, IMO.

Next, the idea that Silverlight was a good choice to deliver a very rich user experience over the web that was cross platform. It may technically be possible (I haven't looked at Silverlight hard enough to know), but the idea that this would be cross-platform is simply wrong. If anyone had seriously looked at it, they would have realized that Silverlight only really works under Windows. Yes, I know about Moonlight, but simply reading the WikiPedia article about it [wikipedia.org] will tell you that what works under Silverlight will not necessarily also work under Moonlight. I am not going to speculate as to why people at your company may have thought Silverlight was cross-platform, but I am going to say that it was the wrong tool for the goal you stated, and someone should have realized this and spoken up. You may deride Slashdot's groupthink, but at least we do get dissenting posts, and they do get modded up, too.

As well, the decision on technology was made over 2 years ago, and back then HTML5 was but a whisper, and Flash was still the big thing TM for interactive "web applications."

I don't think HTML5 would have been a good choice, either, so I am glad to hear you didn't go that route. However, I wonder why you didn't go with Flash, given that, in your own words, it was the big thing TM for interactive "web applications" at the time. It also has a much better track record than Silverlight as far as support for multiple platforms is concerned. So why didn't you go with Flash? Also, since you mentioned HTML5, did you consider using DHTML (AKA AJAX)?

As I said, since we're a .NET shop, Silverlight was a really great alternative to Flash.

Well, opinions seem to differ about that. I think that if you had already decided on .NET, then Silverlight could have been a better choice than Flash (after all, you can write your code for Silverlight in a .NET language). However, if you had put the requirements first, instead of the technology choice, and your requirements included "cross-platform", then I question whether Silverlight would have been the better, or even a good choice.

Furthermore, if you haven't worked with Silverlight or WPF, you're really missing out on an amazing development experience.

I will take your word for it. Personally, from prior experience, I hope never to have anything to do with a Microsoft development environment again - but maybe I am the exception and most of the world loves their tools, or maybe WPF and Silverlight really are that much better than what Microsoft used to offer. As I said, you are the one who has experience with it, so I will take your word for it.

Now, I completely agree with the mentality that plug-ins are stupid.

Funny, I don't see it that way. I think plug-ins are a great idea: they allow you to ship a lean base product, and add anything the world might want by means of plug-ins.

And at the end of the day, the message from Microsoft was that Silverlight will be everywhere "in the future," so we hoped we could hit all platforms with a rich product without doing any porting.

Well, I am sorry if you ended up being disappointed. It sounds like you were mislead by the "Our product is a credible alternative to the competition, because we really are going to make it run everywhere, even on competitior's platforms. Please overlook the drawbacks of our product, because it really is better, and will take over the world soon! And although it is proprietary, do not let this worry you - we will develop and support it forever!" rhetoric. All I can say is: let this be a lesson. Don't bet the success of your project on a product that is just words from a propaganda machine. If there is no actual product that meets your requirements when you start your project, it may not be there once you complete your project - regardless of the promises and best intentions of the vendor.

Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384590)

Really, that was an exceptional troll. I'd like to nominate you for Troll Of The Year if there was such a thing. It was beautiful.

Too bad, so sad (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384152)

So these developers are crying because they invested in a technology that's becoming obsolete? What else is new?

I've got way more dead technologies under my belt than I have active ones. It's the price you pay for being in the computer industry -- some of the skills you pick up will never be used again. Hopefully you learn some techniques from working with those tools that will carry over to future projects, but as long as you got a functional project out the door and in the hands of the users, what difference does it make whether you get to use the tools again?

Then again, I enjoy learning new technologies. I don't expect to be doing the same-old, same-old for years, much less decades. And guess what? I've never learned a tool without learning some skills that did apply down the road.

Re:Too bad, so sad (4, Funny)

Myopic (18616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384258)

I've never learned a tool without learning some skills that did apply down the road.

Congratulations on avoiding VB.

Re:Too bad, so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384314)

Maybe he did use VB, and the lesson learned was "don't use VB"?

Re:Too bad, so sad (1)

Miamicoastguard (1117151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384542)

Brilliantly put. Sadly I learned to program in VB6 and eventually had to move into Java and C#/++ which is effectively learning to program all over again. Funny though that I've never looked back.

Re:Too bad, so sad (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384340)

Given the amount of rote programmers I met in my years, I could well see them being dead in the water now.

People learning programming today isn't what it used to be. They don't learn algorithm development, they learn copying and pasting. And in the short run, that's actually faster. They learn to use google to find a solution to their problems, they will google for their problem, find code that solves it and use that code. Not asking for side effects.

That such people have to relearn the whole process over and over every time a new technology hits the market is a given.

Re:Too bad, so sad (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384364)

I don't think in this case they are even legitimately being made obsolete.

Microsoft isn't going to write MSOffice in HTML5. They'll have their lightweight web version but Office Office is going to remain .NET

My understanding from the Windows 8 presentation was that the little gadgets and applets would be HTML5 but you could still release cross platform .NET applications.

We all know that those little gadgets are going to be rendered using IE10. If anyone thinks Silverlight isn't going to be a part of IE10 in some capacity they've lost their minds.

Re:Too bad, so sad (2)

caywen (942955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384464)

Silverlight developers aren't upset because Silverlight is dead. They are upset because they don't know if it's dead or not. They are in limbo, and that's the most uncomfortable position to be in.

Microsoft should just come out and say, "Silverlight is dead. Learn HTML5 and Javascript. Here's some tools and docs to help you port. Sorry." I think most SL developers will either abandon Microsoft entirely, or dive right into HTML5/JS - and then abandon MS entirely.

To me, the ironic part is that WPF - the one that most people are whispering about being dead - is actually the most likely to survive. There's still a healthy market for desktop apps, and WPF is the only modern game in town for that. Silverlight went outside the desktop house to play in Web land and is about to get eaten by the HTML5 Grue. WPF, safely playing checkers inside the house, is about to get some of its dev team back.

Re:Too bad, so sad (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384496)

Until not so long ago, Microsoft was a pretty safe bet. They put a technology on the market, and for better or for worse it will be used so it makes total sense to invest in such technology. On top of that almost all businesses use Microsoft products so if you want to sell to businesses you'd better use Microsoft's technology.

So this shop investing heavily in Silverlight is not that crazy. MS promising it to be present in Windows pre-installed means that soon enough "everyone" has it installed, and you would have even less to worry about plug-ins than with Flash.

It is also not really like MS to kill off products that barely have the chance of maturing, certainly not when they put so much effort in it themselves.

Well it goes on to show how much Microsoft is just a shadow of it's former self. They live on existing momentum, and have so much of it that they can survive for a very very long time. Lots of cash in the bank, still dominating the desktop computing platforms, they're not going anywhere soon. But they're also not a company that has any leadership left in the market, and currently are best not counted on for anything new. They don't have the future anymore.

Déjà vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384154)

People getting burned for choosing Microsoft? How can someone not see that coming after two decades of Microsoft history is beyond me.

Wow, a new change in MS strategy, not (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384158)

C'mon does everyone instantly forget how Microsoft operates each time something new comes out? They come out with something, it hangs around for a few years and poof it's gone, just like Bob. It's freakin' groundhog day, the only thing that changes is the name of the latest MS fad.

It wouldn't be the first time (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384172)

It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has left developers (and customers!) out in the cold. They have a reputation for backwards compatibility, but they only live up to that reputation when it gives them money.

Get off the CRACK. (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384174)

Oh please.

Seriously? Microsoft is blowing off Silverlight and .NET for Windows 8?

Is this some sort of Slashdot Fantasy?

The premise of this "story" is so outside the realms of reality, it's hard to take seriously, and I start to wonder about the motives of the submitter.

Again, seriously? Microsoft is blowing off Silverlight and .NET for Windows 8?

Get off the CRACK.

Windows Phone 7 (5, Interesting)

donutface (847957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384196)

My bet is that Silverlight isnt going anywhere anytime soon - Microsoft are still attempting to get a successful smartphone out the door. As long as they're focused on WP7, they'll continue to make investments in Silverlight to try and win developers for both platforms.

Re:Windows Phone 7 (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384334)

So... lemme get this straight, MS is not the market leader in either dynamic webpages OR cellphones, but it wants to win that market by trying to force people to go with their nonstandard tools that work on nothing but their own platform with a market share the size of OS/2?

Good luck...

Re:Windows Phone 7 (1)

donutface (847957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384530)

So... lemme get this straight, MS is not the market leader in either dynamic webpages OR cellphones, but it wants to win that market by trying to force people to go with their nonstandard tools that work on nothing but their own platform with a market share the size of OS/2?

Good luck...

Microsoft is a market leader as far as development tools go (Visual Studio, .net, etc). Don't underestimate what a couple of billion dollars and a few years worth of development and marketing can bring you.

They can use their skills in Linux... (0)

valerio (127670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384200)

...Moonlight [mono-project.com] and Mono [mono-project.com] , their open source right? :p

Microsoft will eat their own dog food... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384210)

Microsoft will soon announce that they will start do all inhouse development in HTML5 and Javascript. The next version of Microsoft Office will be written completely in HTML5 and Javascript! SQL Server and Exchange Server will also be ported to HTML5 and Javascript. Microsoft will embrace standards in a way that will shock you!

Re:Microsoft will eat their own dog food... (2)

Alternate Interior (725192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384336)

That was my first thought. .net has a much longer history than Silverlight (when considering it as a platform). And yet MS still treats .net as a stepchild. While it sounds ridiculous to say Office should be rewritten in .net, remember Windows Defender was originally .net and was re-written to remove those dependencies. If Microsoft is unwilling to commit to that platform, they're surely not going to commit to a platform with .net as a dependency.

IF (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384212)

Developers expressed fears Microsoft might let their investment in skills "die on the vine"

If your skill as a programmer is entirely based on what is actually a rather simple platform, you have bigger problems ahead of you than Silverlight dying.

Re:IF (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384274)

If your skill as a programmer is entirely based on what is actually a rather simple platform, you have bigger problems ahead of you than Silverlight dying.

The nuances and gotcha's of any existing GUI kit take a while to master. Just because the Hello World drag-and-drop examples are simple does not necessarily mean delivering a finished product is.

Re:IF (-1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384298)

I'm sorry programming is hard for you.

Re:IF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384318)

You think you are special shit, dontcha, testosterone boy.

Re:IF (-1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384356)

No, not at all. There are many people who can program better than me. It's just not that hard to program. That's my point: if you've bet your career on .net and find the prospect of learning a different technology challenging (so challenging that you'd rather join a revolt), then your main problem is that you are incompetent; it has nothing to do with .net. Really, you should be able to learn a new technology.

Re:IF (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384326)

Well, I can program in nearly all halfway sensible imperative languages, still, if I get to choose, C++ would be my language of choice. Forcing me into C# is not really going to make me happy. I could well see people who spent a lot of time learning the quirks and bits of Silverlight not wanting to switch to Flash where they don't have an edge over people who have been using it for years.

Re:IF (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384362)

If you're as good as you say you are at C++, then you'll have no problem with C#. The quirks in C# are like a subset of the quirks in C++.

Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384214)

I hope that silverlight will die a quick death. While flash is bad, silverlight is even worse and there no need to have two of them. The thing is, while Flash is supported by Adobe on MacOSX, Windows and Linux, Silverlight is only supported on Windows. Who would order a solution or a website which would only work on Windows on a PC in the year 2011 is beyond me. And let's not forget tablets and smarphones.

Re:Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384308)

Someone hand that man a cigar, he identified why Silverlight was a Dodo from the start.

I mean, imagine this: You're responsible for creating a webpage with some "flashy" content. Will you use Flash or Silverlight? One is supported on "all" platforms, the other one only on Windows. Development cost/time is roughly the same for both. Question for 100: Will you choose the technology that runs on all platforms or the one that runs only on Windows?

Re:Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384374)

Err, wrong on that mark - Silverlight runs on a Mac too, and on browsers other than IE. It's a fairly straightforward plugin to install.

Re:Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384452)

The reality of what happens for the web developer.

  1. Look at project.
  2. See if there is something you did in the past that is a 90% solution, if so use it. (Probably some old flash project that you just need to swap out the xml, images and text)
  3. If none of your past projects work, browse the jquery plugins, and see if there are some plugins you can quickly mock up a proof of concept with.
  4. If those fail, then write something new using whatever tech you want. This is where new tech starts being considered.
    1. Microsoft added jquery to visual studio as a result of the feedback from developers when they tried to test market silverlight, and it was clear that most developers viewed silverlight as flash without the existing body of work, and you probably wouldn't create new stuff in either of them if you had a choice.

Re:Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (3, Interesting)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384320)

I only use silverlight for netflix, but netflix is great. Flash on the other hand crashes and causes my 64bit computer to go crazy from time to time.

For me, there is no comparison in terms of which is better. But I'm just the end user.

Re:Silverlight is a windows/ie only thing (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384402)

I use Silverlight in Firefox on my Mac and it works just fine.

its built on .net and CLR people ! (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384216)

seriously...

the only reason why they can port office is because of .NET and the CLR

silverlight is kind of dead no matter how much noise people make because realistically you get a better reach if you either do things natively like C# or use javascipt and html
(ask yourself this how many mobile users are you turning away if you have a website that has to use silverlight... look around you... would it not be better to engage the users on their mobile devices...)

regards

John Jones

Re:its built on .net and CLR people ! (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384352)

> the only reason why they can port office is because of .NET and the CLR

I'm pretty sure that Office is still written in native code.

VB 6'd (0)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384234)

nuf sed

Re:VB 6'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384398)

VB6 lives; you can still expose your .NET dll's as COM components and use them in VB6 apps; delivering your vb6 apps through .NET as an msi.

No one has better treated their legacy developers than MS, which is one big reason the silence in the lack of Silverlight mention was so madly deafening.

Heres hoping it was just marketing.

what kind of moron studies silverlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384238)

Who didn't know that crap was gonna be a flop? I mean in the 2010s who the hell would waste their time on some trailing edge Microsoft crap...

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384260)

LOL @ fools who thought that a new product, albeit one from an industry giant like Microsoft, was automatically good and would be well supported.

Almost everything new Microsoft attempts flounders in the market. Why would you partner with them?

I'm sure it was just an omission (5, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384278)

.NET apps and Silverlight apps will run very well on ARM processors, unlike code compiled to x86 or x86-64. .NET is used on Xbox 360 also, and it's PowerPC.

And Microsoft will be thrilled to have every app they can which they can claim actually works on ARM Windows as well as x86 Windows.

I think these guys are making incorrect assumptions.

Re:I'm sure it was just an omission (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384622)

Or would they want to force developers back to their code in order to ensure that all Windows 8 apps are more "touch centric?" This would be achieved much easier if they dropped support of existing technologies, such as their current widget drawing library - WPF or something - and the old Win32 based one while they're at it.

Really, how many .NET and silverlight apps have been written with touch in mind?

Translation (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384288)

Whaaaaaa! I spent half a fortune on your audits and courses and went into dept, and now you tell me the Thetans are a scam and we should go worship Jeebus?

Well Duh! That was expected (1, Insightful)

Marc D.M. (630235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384290)

Silverlight came very late to the internet party. And it came here as an obvious attempt to usurp flash. However, Flash had already been upstaged, somewhat by Javascript and what people call AJAX (thanks jQuery, mochikit, scriptaculus, yui and others).

I'm not 100% sure on this but don't you have to use .NET to work with Silverlight. Anyone who writes HTML, CSS or Javascript code will have a bad taste for how .NET's WebControls generate code. Basically, the code is generated based on discovered browsers that Microsoft acknowledges.

To see for yourself, try to browse a .NET site with Galeon, or Epiphany? Basic things like links and buttons don't work. Debian had to put the words "like Firefox" in the User-Agent string for Iceweasel partly because of this stupid type of browser detection.

Then there's the fact that it always costs less to host on anything but Windows. It also costs less to develop for other platforms as well (e.g. Eclipse is cheaper than Visual Studio).

We already had javascript, actionscript, html and ways to communicate between them. Okay, so flash isn't perfect. Did you (the legion of Silverlight developers), really think that Microsoft could have done better at a cross-platform web-based interactivity player than Macromedia? Forget Adobe, they bought the DJ to get into the club.

I mean seriously, do you remember Microsoft Java from back in the days when applets were popular?

If you ask me, the only good things Microsoft makes (considering their wealth and influence) are keyboard, mouse and xbox.

Re:Well Duh! That was expected (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384476)

If you ask me, the only good things Microsoft makes (considering their wealth and influence) are keyboard, mouse and xbox.

Their headsets are pretty nice, even though they are not the most durable.

Maybe we should take them at their word (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384294)

Maybe just because they mentioned a new feature, the old stuff is not going away? I know, sounds crazy.

After all, they didn't mention NTFS in the demo, and ZOMG that means that Windows 8 will use FAT32, right?

Re:Maybe we should take them at their word (4, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384382)

The issue is that its obvious where Microsoft is heading, away from Silverlight and .Net. It gives the same effect as when Elop went out in public proclaiming loud and clear that Nokias Symbian was dead, people stop developing for it and customers stops buying it. As a Silverlight developer you know your days are numbered, you just dont know what that number is.

Re:Maybe we should take them at their word (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384624)

Wait, I missed that. I can see Silverlight being dead (it was dead on arrival), but .net? Where are they moving to? I have heard nothing of this and would like to know.

Hmmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384350)

Now I know how Lisp programmers feel.

.NET isn't going anywhere (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384484)

I don't know about Silverlight, but .NET is not going anywhere. They've built up an armada of C# developers on the Windows platform. Seeing as C# is pretty much tied to the CLR, there isn't a chance in hell they're going to just abandon it.

Silverlight never did catch on as well as it could have, so I do feel sorry for those developers who use it, if something should happen.

Silver Light is Far From Dead (1)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384486)

Or what did you think your netflix player was built on? Microsoft Smooth Streaming is the technology that backs Netflix, and is leaps and bounds ahead of a Adobe's Zeri (now called HTTP Dynamic Streaming) and Apples HLS are ages behind in both there ability to support video on demand and especially live content playback. Which is why its not suppressing it was also used to stream the olympics. This is in large part due to industry acceptance of Playready DRM as a means of content protection.

Also Silverlight has found broad implementation in Microsofts Windows Phone platforms. If people think Microsoft is going to pull support for Netflix they are insane.

The Video (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384500)

If you watched the same video I did of the Windows 8 preview it very clearly shows the the existing windows 7-ish interface is still there, and the the new fancy gui is actually just a full screen application that acts as a host container for these special windows 8 apps. Why does anyone think they would remove support for the huge code base of existing applications? They won't suddenly stop working, and you won't suddenly not be able to develop them any more.

Hanselman has blogged about this dilemma. (1)

SickLittleMonkey (135315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384550)

Here. [hanselman.com]

Lots of interesting comments there, and yet MS keeps fueling the fire.
HTML(5)/JS is still too much work compared with SL for LOB apps.

I don't see SL going away any time soon.

Strategy -- self destruct (0)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36384584)

As a former Windows Mobile developer, who refused to learn Silverlight and those "X-Box like" APIs for gaming to move to Windows Phone 7, I am unfazed by the silence on Silverlight in Windows 8. Such a logical progression would be inconsistent with their recent befuddling of their chief asset -- their independent developers. I suspect Microsoft has an executive with an agenda to implode the company. If so, then there is at least one person at Microsoft who is on plan.

The problem with "obsolete" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36384628)

I'm a Silverlight developer and have been on the UI side of things all my professional career. Text mode apps in DOS, MFC and VB Win apps, Javascript-heavy browser apps, Javascript-free browser apps, some Java applet stuff, Windows Forms apps - I done a lot of things.

In all these years when the time came for "X to be the new hip thing", it turned out that X had some kind of compelling advantage that justified throwing the old knowledge away and start learning new stuff.

In these times of "HTML5 and Javascript is the future, forget about Silverlight, it's obsolete" though, I'm having a very hard time seeing the positive side.

There's a reason why Silverlight developers are so passionate about this technology. It's not the flashy stuff you *could* do (which gets demoed over and over again). It's the very clean concepts behind the scene that get little credit outside the SL dev community. Even large parts of Microsoft don't realize what a beautiful technology they have created.

As as a Silverlight developer, moving to HTML + Javascript is a step backwards, period. I've done enough Javascript programming to respect it as a language and I've written lots of DHTML (as it was called back then) to know what's possible. But if I'm given the task to write a business app within a certain budget, Silverlight simply get the job done much better.

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