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Flash, Meet Sparkle

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the anything-you-can-do dept.

Microsoft 493

Robert writes "Microsoft finally released more information about their Sparkle product on a Channel 9 MSDN video. Sparkle is vector based XAML system for doing applications that may have traditionaly been done in flash. Ars Technica's Josh Meier has a few things to say about it, too."

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I'm disrespectful to dirt! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572854)

Can you see I am serious!

Get out of my way, all of you!

This is no place for loafers.

Join me or die.

Can you do any less?

For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle.

A friend in need... (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572896)

Is a friend indeed. Will you be my friend?

This man in New Jersey is a shitface, and an enemy to us all. Call him as much as you'd like and let him know that we're onto his shit-status! (917) 502-4866

As far as I know, his name is Shitface McCockle. C'mon fellas, I'd do it for you.

Mod up parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572902)

Thank you, Mister ObSimpsons.

RE: I'm disrespectful to dirt! (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572963)

YOU LIKE MISTAH SPARKLE?

Re:I'm disrespectful to dirt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572986)

Banishes dirt to the land of wind and ghosts!

I must truly be not cultured enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573054)

Can someone please explain this parent post?

Re:I must truly be not cultured enough (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573096)

It's a reference to Homer Simpson doing a commercial in Japan for Mr. Sparkle detergent, or something or other.

Too lazy to look up the episode or whatever, if you're so interested in it do it yourself. So no, I'm not (+1, Informative) I'm (-1, Slack Ass Bastard)

Re:I'm disrespectful to dirt! (2, Funny)

lonasindi (914571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573072)

yay for culture. This was literally the first thing that popped into my head after reading this item and I though 'Oh-ho! I shall be clever and post an oblique reference to The Simpsons!'

Alas, I have been vanquished!

Oh, great. (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572859)

Now I'm gonna need SparkleBlock as well as FlashBlock. More browser plugin bloat.

Re:Oh, great. (2, Interesting)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572876)

Agreed. I'm Ok with flash when it's used for animation, but the advertising side "benefits" like shoskeles should cause some people's karma to reach out and strangle them.

Using a marginally beneficial technology for evil should mark you for death.

Re:Oh, great. (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572916)

It gets worse:
Designers tend to get a bit out of hand and design things that are next to impossible to implement with current development platforms. Sparkle allows a designer to design the actual application by giving them direct access to the same objects the developers work with. The designer has complete control of the appearance and behavior of the controls without writing a single piece of code.
Riiiight ... the same morons who make impractical designs in the first place and don't know shit about coding, design, etc., are going to have even more fun foisting their crap on us. Fuck, why doesn't someone just declare Microsoft a terrorist organisation and be done with it?

Often programmers know very little... (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573125)

... about designing a quality, usable GUI. That's most likely because, like programming, designing a good GUI takes a lot of skill, experience and effort. So this may actually be quite beneficial, as it lets everyone specialize. Programmers write the complex algorithms necessary to power these applications, while the GUI designers can manipulate and form the GUI without needing much effort on behalf of the programmers. Everyone is more efficient this way.

Re:Oh, great. (3, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572903)

But will browsers such as Firefox even support this technology? I mean, there's no need to block it if the browser itself just plain doesn't support it.

Re:Oh, great. (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572971)

As I point out in another post http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=162 408&cid=13572916 [slashdot.org] , its worse than that.

Sparkle is designed to appeal to the same idiots who think power-point presentations are the best tool for presenting an argument (they're also easily swayed by shiny bright objects, if you catch my drift).

"Look people, you too can program." Even though they can't. This will let them pretend. Of course, it also will provide Microsoft with another revenue streem, for MCSE - Microsoft Certified Sparkle Engineer.

So, how long before the first Sparkle virus, the first Sparkle trojan, and the first Sparkle worm? Lets just say it opens up new vistas.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572987)

Let them pretend they can program. Chances are what they're working on will have very little impact on the real world. They won't be designing optimizing FORTRAN compilers with this technology. So those of us who do actual programming have nothing to fear. Of course, maybe there's a smaller market for us if we choose to make shitty, embedded Web games. But then again, real developers such as ourselves shouldn't be interested in such shenaniganery.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573014)

We'll be affected because this same "shiny new thing" will be THE preferred vector for trojans for Vista. Even if you're not running Vista, you're going to be affected by the fallout (more zombie boxes pumping spam, for example).

Oh, well - time to invest in anti-spam and anti-virus software companies.

How can you vouche for the security of this? (3, Funny)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573039)

No offense, sir, but you seem quite convinced that this will become a major security flaw in Windows Vista.

Does your opinion have any technical merit? Have you inspected the source code to the implementation of this technology? Can you provide clear examples of malicious uses?

Or is your opinion based solely upon the past actions of Microsoft, with regards to similar technology?

Re:How can you vouche for the security of this? (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573082)

historical performance is a reasonable basis for prediction.

Re:How can you vouche for the security of this? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573110)

But historical performance is in no way equivalent to an actual technical analysis (which most likely has not been performed in this case). Like it or not, Microsoft has started to take security very seriously. Their new products are built far better than their previous ones, most likely due to high-quality open-source implementations. Such historical considerations may not be very valid these days.

Re:How can you vouche for the security of this? (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573130)

It's going to have to have access to the local filesystem (it's not just a web thing - its for scripting/describing the user interface) to read any local xaml files. It'll also have access to the registry to be able to do such things as save screen positions/layout, etc.

Now, do you really want anyone to be able to read and write to your fs through an x(a)ml file? So, if it can do that, and since it is designed to "script" the native UI, what is to keep someone from cloning critical parts of the Vista interface, and fooling you into entering, say, your user name and password into their app? Or tricking you into installing other malware? Or getting you to agree to deleting your root partition when you think you're clicking on "save"?

Like I said, it opens up new Vistas, literally.

Re:Oh, great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573026)

It's got nothing to do with being a threat to developers. The problem is with thousands of pseudo-programmers thrusting their crap upon the web in site intros, banner ads, and otherwise useless junk.

Anything that could expand the shitty embedded web games market is a disaster waiting to happen.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573056)

While advertisements might be an issue, I would hardly consider the use of this technology on personal pages a problem. Chances are there's very little that a technical user such as yourself (or myself) would find useful on the webpages of a developer using this technology as you describe. I never visit embedded Web games sites. So while Flash ads are annoying (and hence quickly blocked), I wouldn't say that other uses for Flash are necessarily all that intrusive. After all, truly technical users will rarely visit such sites.

Re:Oh, great. (2, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573033)

That's pretty appealing. If I get certified as a sparkle engineer, am I qualified to apply the glitter to Shakira's bare mid-rift before live performances?

Re:Oh, great. (5, Funny)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572933)

You know, I'm beginning to doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Re:Oh, great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572989)

28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds ... that is when Sparkle will be released.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

greenbishop (905443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573102)

"Macromedia told us to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into..."

Re:Oh, great. (2, Insightful)

jmv (93421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573001)

Nah, running Linux is the best way to avoid Sparkle. With a bit of luck, MS will prevent you from disabling it while (of course) not releasing it for Linux, so switching to Linux will be the only way to avoid some spam/malware!

Re:Oh, great. (2, Interesting)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573027)

Let's see...Vista's too powerful for our computers, so we'll flip to linux. Vista has Sparkle, so we'll flip to linux. Let's see...what's next...Vista steals our soul so we can't flip to linux?

Re:Oh, great. (0)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573085)


Oh great. Yet another browser plugin everyone on the network will insist on having installed, which means yet another way that the browser can crash spectacularly and another way to figure out how to actually deploy it to hundreds of PCs.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it /so/ much.

MS chasing another dead market (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572872)

First we hear about MS trying to turn the clock back to 1997 to compete with Adobe, now its time to go back to 2001 to compete with Flash. Google and Yahoo aren't losing much sleep these days....

What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (1, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572873)

.. will this expose Windows users to? Will it be as problematic as ActiveX has been, for instance?

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572894)

Do you have any idea how many Flash-exploits exist?

They are not widely published because the only way to prevent them are deinstalling/disabling the Flash-plugin, which is not what the forces in power want to do.

Yes, of course I know that you are only Microsoft, sorry, M$ bashing.

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572922)

No, I'm not sure how many Flash exploits exist. That's because I find that Flash has no practical use, and thus I never install it, and hence have never had any reason to investigate it further.

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (2, Insightful)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572932)

Do you install Firefox Plugins ? because they have just as bad a security model (ie. none) as ActiveX

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572942)

No, I use Konqueror, thank you.

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572996)

This (sparkle) isn't just for the browser. Its for all of Vista. It literally opens up new Vistas for viruses, trojans, and worms (bad pun, but its accurate).

This will make XP look like a hardened concrete bunker in terms of security (hey, hopefully they'll backport it, so XP users don't have to upgrade to share the pain).

Re:What sort of security vulnerabilities.. (2, Funny)

KillShill (877105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573081)

yes.

XAML? (4, Informative)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572875)

XAML [wikipedia.org] .

"the user interface markup language for Windows Vista, the next version of Microsoft Windows." ... "XAML is a declarative XML-based language optimized for describing graphically rich visual user interfaces, such as those created by Macromedia Flash" ... "This Microsoft Windows article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it."

Re:XAML? (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573040)

If it's based on XML, it had better specify a compression standard. Declarative prgramming a graphical object can make for some absolutely huge files.

On OS X, there was this program floating around on Versiontracker [versiontracker.com] that would convert any picture into an html document by converting each pixel into a table-cell that was styled 1px by 1px and colored. This prevened easy downloading of the image, but caused what might have been a 100k image to take up 4 megs in an html file.

Of course, XAML is vector-based, but knowing the kinds of schemas [microsoft.com] MS likes to promulgate, the possiblity of bandwidth-chewing "rich web content" is quite real.

Re:XAML? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573153)

On OS X, there was this program floating around on Versiontracker that would convert any picture into an html document by converting each pixel into a table-cell that was styled 1px by 1px and colored. This prevened easy downloading of the image, but caused what might have been a 100k image to take up 4 megs in an html file.

Morons. Haven't they ever heard of run-length encoding? Compress those images ... with colspan=!

Re:XAML? (4, Funny)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573146)

"XAML" Microsoft for "XUL".

Instead of taking an open spec like XUl and joining it, bettering it, and implementing it they chose to go their own way. Nothing to see here, runalong now and leave the evil people to their own devices.

Re:XAML? (3, Interesting)

A Dafa Disciple (876967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573162)

For those interested in seeing a demo of this impressive family of products click here [microsoft.com] . The link on the article seemed to be /.ed.

In any case, I don't think this is a "flash killer."

There will always be designers who prefer what they grew up on or somehow prefer what Macromedia has to offer. That doesn't mean, however, that this future product of M$ isn't pretty useful and a bit impressive.

Nevertheless, they had to go and do something similar to what they've done with Vista [slashdot.org] and hopefully won't do with Office: There are three different components to the entire software package: Expression - Graphics Designer, Interactive Designer, and Web Designer. They could have crammed it all into one package but Microsoft is quite wise (and quite annoying) with marketing strategies.

Flash competitor... (2, Interesting)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572879)


Does this mean that we are going to see a huge rise in crappy Sparkle menus and animations on every web site?

Or maybe some sweet pop-over Sparkle ads? Microsoft just created their next enemy. Will the IE popup blocker block Sparkle ads? Or will that be a selling point?

The best thing that can possibly come of this is new games. That's the one thing I still enjoy about Flash on occasion.

With THAT kind of attitude... (0, Redundant)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572947)

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

so basically.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572881)

Sparkle is a UI prototyping tool? Uh, okay. As long as I don't have yet another crappy insecure format to block at my HTTP proxy, that's cool, I guess.

I'm disrespectful to dirt! (5, Funny)

MiKM (752717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572882)

Mr. Sparkle: A joint venture of Matsumura Fishworks and Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern

Re:I'm disrespectful to dirt! (1)

jackDuhRipper (67743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572917)

You ask many questions, Mr. Sparkle.

Re:I'm disrespectful to dirt! (4, Informative)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572951)

Mr. Sparkle: [uwaterloo.ca] Can you see I am serious?

Firefox Users: If the WMV doesn't work, try going tools, options, downloads, and on the bottom right click plugins, uncheck wmv, and if you don't want pdfs opening in firefox (meaning download first THEN open, I prefer this method, always faster and more stable) then uncheck pdf and anything else you don't want opening in firefox

What is this sparkle crap? (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572885)

Isn't this known as WPF now? I was just on channel 9 earlier today and they bleeped out "sparkle" like it was a swear word.

Re:What is this sparkle crap? (2)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572953)

they bleeped out "sparkle" like it was a swear word.

Well now, I suppose there isn't any point in the bleeping, if you can tell what the word is... I mean, generally I imagine that they did bleep out a swearword.

This could be the inkblot test for the next generation!

Tape plays: "Hey, *beeeeeep*"

What did you hear behind the beep?

a) "biatch" - You need help.

b) "stop censoring me!" - Your sense of humor is overdeveloped, and you need help.

c) "I love my mum!" - You're fine.

Open source and alternative browser support? (3, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572887)

Are there any plans to include support for this technology into Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera, Safari, etc.?

Re:Open source and alternative browser support? (2, Insightful)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572899)

If it goes to the point that Flash has, intrusive advertising, I'd be quite happy if Microsoft kept it proprietary. Then the rest of us could safely ignore it, and there would be a further benefit to using Firefox.

But what if support is demanded? (0)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572956)

But what if support is demanded for it, in a product such as Firefox? I could see that becoming a real possibility. If Firefox wants to gain a large marketshare, then it must appeal to the masses. And, unfortunately, the masses include many people who want to watch Flash videos and play Flash games. Chances are they'll want to do the same with games and videos and such media implemented using this scheme from Microsoft. So a Firefox implementation may be necessary to continue the widespread growth and use of Firefox.

Re:Open source and alternative browser support? (1, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572938)

Oh please, SVG has taken the Open Source world ages to get rolling on, and it is still in very small support, now a competing standard from Microsoft comes along and the Open Source Community and Apple are supposed to just jump on the bandwagon? Please.

If anything, once SVG gets mainstreamed in Firefox, Safari and Opera (I'm pretty sure Konq already has it), it will completely undermine Windows developers from using XAML.

Re:Open source and alternative browser support? (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573055)

Firefox 1.4 (The Deer Park Beta) supports svg.

Although it seems that you can't use an outside svg document as an image source.

It also supports a direct drawing interface in the &ltcanvas> tag.

See my sig for a little demo I came up with. (If you have Deer Park.)

Re:Open source and alternative browser support? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573098)

As an expert on such matters, have you considered writing an SVG versus Sparkle comparison? I think it would be quite a handy reference to have. You know, show the benefits and problems associated with each. Give examples of how to perform common tasks. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Re:Open source and alternative browser support? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573179)

Yes, but the fact is that SVG code was mature enough for inclusion back at M13 or so. For some reason Netscape really did NOT want to include it in the official builds, and the Mozilla foundation kept that tradition up until the upcoming release. Why did it take so many years to get SVG support into the official builds?

Come on people... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572888)

...This is crap-ola, and you know it. The truth is only Roland can tell us for sure, and since Timmy got seriously FUCKED up the ASS by Taco, Roland's services haven't been needed by Timmy, thus no Roland stories...

Revolt (2, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572891)

When are the application makers going to start realizing that anything they develop on Microsoft's platform is eventually going to be copied and forced into the collective? Seriously, is there any piece of software running on Windows that Microsoft isn't in the process of making thier own version of?

Product Demonstration (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572908)

Product Demonstration here [actionfig.com]

Re:Product Demonstration (0, Offtopic)

Bravid98 (171307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572954)

Nice job mods.

3 Interesting

confused (0, Troll)

russellh (547685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572911)

So Sparkle is like a graphic designer's version of Interface Builder for OS X... but "vector based" which means... hmm, Windows users will now get Flash-like wackiness for interfaces?

Not flash killer. (5, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572920)

Yet, here it is, with a name that sounds exactly like it's directly competing with Flash. Along those lines, why Sparkle? Flash sounds cool, but Sparkle sounds...girly.

Otherwise, the concept actually sounds really cool, like the visual component of Visual Studio on steroids. Replacing the windowing interface with purely vector graphics sounds promising, though it also sounds a little too abuseable. Still, this might herald the beginning of an actually innovative M$, seeing that they now have Google and FOSS knocking on its doors.

I wonder if it'll make use of the GPU to do the rendering.

Re:Not flash killer. (1)

Catnapster (531547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572964)

On one side, we have Sparkle, which evokes images of giggling eight-year-old girls and My Little Pony.

On the other hand, we have Flash, which evokes images of creepy, overweight men in trenchcoats grinning lecherously at passing women before exposing himself to them. And a fast guy in a skintight red suit.

I don't know which is worse, girly or pervy.

Re:Not flash killer. (3, Funny)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573044)

>Sparkle sounds...girly.

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

Re:Not flash killer. (1)

desplesda (742182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573084)

Flash sounds cool

Flash! Ah! Saviour of the universe!

Flash! Ah! He'll save every one of us!

Re:Not flash killer. (0, Troll)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573095)

Dude MS is making a flash killer. It's gonna KILL flash. Macromedia is as good as dead now. So nobody better buy macromedia products or use flash or nothing. MS is going to kill flash. I know because Ballmer threw a chair across the room! MS is going to kill macromedia right after they kill borland, novell, google, oracle, SAP, Sony, Nintendo, and AOL.

Long Road (3, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572927)

If "Sparkle" isn't significantly more attractive as a creative tool than Flash, there really will not be any advantage for web developers and advertisers alike to use it. It just means another plug-in that people may or may not have, and advertisers and web developers can't aford this risk, given that IIS is not the dominant web server, and not everyone has IE. It's not going to be an easy road for MS.

Sparkle is not a flash killer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13572935)

A lot of people have tried to label Sparkle as a Flash killer but it is not. Sparkle is a new way to deal with winforms that allows custom UI design without coders running into the traditional limitations of development platforms. Think of it as a flash front-end to a full Win32 API and data-access. The fear I have is that Windows programs have always had a "consistant" look at feel. However, programs like Winamp back in the day changed the rules. These days more and more applications are starting to forego Microsoft UI guidelines for their own 3l33t designs which can be a pain to learn and a pain to script to. I hope it doesn't happen here but I would certainly, for example, expect a lot of Apple OSX-look knock off apps showing up once Sparkle gets out there.

Anyway, check out the picture gallery [ranaventures.com] if you can't RTFA.

Re:Sparkle is not a flash killer (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572974)

Indeed, the lack of a unified interface under Windows will surely be confusing to non-technical users. While such a situation already exists to some degree under Mac OS X and especially X11, it hasn't really been an issue until fairly recently under Windows.

But perhaps that's not necessarily a bad thing. If Windows users become used to the lack of a unified GUI look and feel, then it is quite possible that they'll be better able to adapt to Linux if they so choose to switch.

Re:Sparkle is not a flash killer (5, Insightful)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573035)

"programs like winamp"?

How about "programs like MS Office" which since God knows when has come with its own separate widgetset? You see, those UI guidelines, those are for *other* programmers to follow.

Re:Sparkle is not a flash killer (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573071)

At least the Word widgets look reasonably like the rest of windows (pre-office 12).

The Quicktime/Winamp/Office 12 UIs are entirely different. They (maybe except Office) don't even keep the window title bar!

Re:Sparkle is not a flash killer (1, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573063)

Think of it as a flash front-end to a full Win32 API and data-access
Sparkle says "Where did we send your data to today? Wouldn't you like to know? Bwhahaha!"

So, Sparkle is a Windows Vista virus/trojan toolkit for non-programmers. The PHBs should love it, as it will make outsourcing all those P3N15/V14GR4 ads to India *so* much more profitable.

Anyone against SVG? (2, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572937)

There seems to be a clamor for Flash-like functionality but without Macromedia's proprietary player and tools.

SVG is one alternative that a lot of people seem to like. Scalable Vector Graphics. Supposedly, Firefox/Mozilla will support it soon. Sounds like a great thing.

Then why doesn't Microsoft's Sparkle sound like a great thing too? The language is written in XML (this statement doesn't compute, but works), so it's not like you couldn't program your little game in something like vi or Notepad. Is it because it is Microsoft that everyone is down on it?

Re:Anyone against SVG? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572973)

It's in beta 1.5. and I think the main push is to extend a desktop technology onto the web scene. XAML is going to be used to develop UIs in Vista, which is really nice once you stop and think about it. Imagine vector-based windows which can be resized infinitely on your 1600x1200 LCD. I think this is just usual slashdot bias.

Re:Anyone against SVG? (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573086)

Makes sense. Thanks!

Re:Anyone against SVG? (5, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573106)

<sparkle value="AfdsdfT$#^fY$36RGRD^YT$YSdrg457jfcknvgdrkjt h4ete4j5e4ltudvg,mxcge84509345739 4354eit4e5098475ueougt398 45857e4otu45tu98et7eojt9d8gcxvgdrt34e6#$^$%Y&&45" />

  is still technically XML

Re:Anyone against SVG? (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573121)

SVG will be standard in Firefox 1.5 & you can already download either the 1.5 beta or special 1.0 builds with it built in.

I don't know anything about Sparkle. MS has previously demonstrated that XML != Open, though. Their Office XML format is locked up by patents & there is no need to store only human-readable text in XML. Unless I'm mistaken (wouldn't be the first time), the Office XML format does have tags which specify encoded content & vi & Notepad wouldn't help you with that.

If they do the same to Sparkle, that is bad. But if they won't, it could be a good product. I just don't know why they didn't find SVG to be good enough. Or, if they found it lacking, why they didn't propose extensions. MS has a BAD case of not invented here (or perhaps not acquired here).

Re:Anyone against SVG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573145)

SVG already exists, is an open format, and Mozilla/Firefox (and Opera) already support it natively (kinda). (Maybe others do too; I'm not sure.) Plus there's an Adobe plugin available that works better, in my experience.

I think the reaction is because though you might be able to edit your 'little' game in vi on your GNU/Unix PC, when you close it, what do run it in? How long until web sites use Sparkle and MS doesn't release a plugin for other browsers on other platforms? Same old story....

Though I will admit it does look very cool. I'd be interested to see what kind of competition (almost always a good thing) this will foster in the wide world of computing. :)

The question is: Is SVG dead? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573152)

Is SVG dead? [yafla.com]

On a related note... (GPL-Flash) (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572975)

Remember there's an open source Flash player, called GplFlash [sourceforge.net] ,. It appeared a few months ago in another slashdot article [slashdot.org] . However, it's only available via CVS (yet).

GPL-Flash v.1 (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573160)

Version 2 is only in CVS, but releases of version 1 can be downloaded [sourceforge.net]

stat (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572976)

obviously sparkle is destined to become the dominant multimedia advertising/animation/pop-over platform of this century, i suggest we abandon all current foss efforts regarding xul/svg and embrase my new project to clone this with mono/cairo for gnome called 'stat'

Microsoft Naming Department (2, Funny)

Nikkos (544004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13572979)

Flash, Sparkle, what's next, Twinkle? [twinkleglitter.com]

Sparkle (2, Funny)

psydad (12743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573003)

I remember in the late '80s / early '90s. I used to get my pr0n (600 baud - thank you)The executable would always say "waiting for sparkle". I do remember that the quality of the video (remember folks this was 286 territory) was very good. Actual video, not pixelated bitmaps.
I wonder...

Obligatory Donnie Darko quote.... (1)

Scaz7 (179078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573010)

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion....

Re:Obligatory Donnie Darko quote.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573122)

Suck a fuck you fuckass

A question... (1)

Cowboy_Jed (817150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573053)

If Sparkle is Flash's direct competitor, then will it be able to provide better access for both blind and hearing impaired people?

The reason why I am asking this question because I am hearing impaired person and I really hate most of flash movies because they do not provide any subtitle for me to understand what movie is about. Also, web site with flash is generally bad for blind people because they make it hard for them to know what they are accessing to their web site.

compatibility (1)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573062)

So, according to the video, Sparkle is an editor for Avalon's editor. So, when websites start using this, does that mean that only Vista machines will be able to see them?

Re:compatibility (1)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573077)

I meant avalon's language

Protect your eyes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573070)

There's flash, and now sparkles... I'm sure if I watch too much of these my eyes will get hurt...

...shit is where its at man.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573092)

... now listen hear boy, what we have here is some real shit.. i'm talking 'sparkle-n-shine' baby... .. i'm say'n MSFT gett'n diggy-with-it.. and show'n off its *bling* big time. .. look out man.. we are talking about some serious corporate pimp'n!

Geez, what a name. (0, Offtopic)

elgee (308600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573101)

Sparkle?? That is so Ghey!

Straight guys will only use it in the dead of night without anyone present.

*bling* *bling* (1)

Jettamann (25050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573107)

Sparkl* and Shin* baby; Spark!e and $hine

and then convert it back to Flash (4, Informative)

Jotham (89116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573144)

And then you can use this tool to convert the web based C#/XAML app back to Flash. http://www.xamlon.com/ [xamlon.com]

Hopefully Macrobe will take this as a challenge and drop in some 3d support and copy a few other features into their next version.

Main differences here is Flash is focused on the web - while you can output an .exe it has its limitations (disk access, etc -- which requires workarounds like embedding it inside another layer (ie. C# app) and passing messages back and forth).

Sparkle is for Desktop apps - and you can output for the web (but will limit your potential audience)

laugh and laugh and fall apart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13573154)

for any Phish fans out there....

WTFV (4, Insightful)

mr_gerbik (122036) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573159)

Watch the fscking video.

You kids all want to bash on a new Microsoft product without having any idea what it is, what it can do, who it is for, etc.

Sparkle != Flash

Completely built on top of .NET for Avalon, Sparkle is a (even more than a) UI development tool for creating vector based interfaces. The beautiful thing is, everything you create is just a .NET object that can be manipulated by the developer.

What does this mean?

It means an artist can use an artist's toolset to create a beautiful fully functional front end, then pass it off to the developer to do the backend. No more mockups that can't be translated into a real application front end.

Did anybody else notice.... (0, Flamebait)

mwilli (725214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573168)

In the demo video on the Microsoft Expressions webpage, they mention that the Expression Web Designer "Is a professional design tool to create sophistocated, standards based, websites." Does anybody else see the irony of this? Microsoft doesn't even follow web standards for Internet Explorer!

This is baaaaaad news. (4, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 8 years ago | (#13573178)

Seriously folks, let's hope the world's web developers steer clear of this. Flash is cross-platform and it's one of the key tools that make the non-Microsoft desktop useful. I know, I know, as a techie you probably hate all those "punch the monkey!" ads, but think of that Linux box you may have set up for your Mom or something. Would she be happy with it if she couldn't play all of those silly cartoons that your aunt emailed to her? These things seem trite to us, but normal users demand them.

XAML is a Windows-only technology, designed to make the Web one step more proprietary to Microsoft. Don't let them do it. Keep the web based on cross-platform tools. Steer cleer of XAML.
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