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Mono Coders Hack Linux Silverlight in 21 Days

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the break-out-the-red-bull-and-go-go-go dept.

409

Etrigoth writes "After the recent announcement of Silverlight by Microsoft at their Mix event in Vegas, Miguel de Icaza galvanised his team of developers in the Mono group at Novell to create a Linux implementation, a so-called 'Moonlight'. Remarkably, they achieved this in 21 Days. Although they were first introduced to Silverlight at the Las Vegas Mix, de Icaza was invited by a representative of Microsoft France for a 10 minute demonstration at the Paris Re-Mix 07 keynote conference, should they have anything to show.
Joshua, a blogger for Microsoft has confirmed that the Mono team did not know anything about Silverlight 1.1 before its launch. Other members of this team have blogged about this incredible achievement, Moonlight hack-a-thon. It's worth noting from a developer perspective that Moonlight is not Mono and doesn't require Mono to work"

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409 comments

Wonderful (4, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636817)

Is Silverlight a public API or closed? Either way this is great news, as some sites might start utilizing it. Personally I think Adobe beat them to the market by a decade. Flash is already soaked in the mainstream, so it'll be tough for MS to uproot Adobe from that position.

Regardless though, having a native solution is always good.

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636929)

it'll be tough for MS to uproot Adobe from that position.

All they have to do is yank iexplore32 and flash dies overnight. Java will be crippled too, though I suspect that yanking 32 bit browsers out from under them will be the fire they need to finish getting their 64bit java applet runtime done, since they've had 64 bit java for a decade now it shouldn't be THAT hard.

Re:Wonderful (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636977)

All they have to do is yank iexplore32 and flash dies overnight.
At which point every federal prosecutor and his brother will be jumping at the chance to head up the anti-trust suit -- never mind how quickly MS would be bitch-slapped in Europe.

Re:Wonderful (1)

Ornedan (1093745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637093)

MS isn't obligated to maintain ie32, afaik. And seeing as there are other browsers for 32-bit Windows, I doubt there would be any cause for legal action.

Re:Wonderful (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637305)

That depends, if it were demonstrated to have been yanked to stifle the competition, then yes it could be an antitrust problem. If they yanked it because it was a huge security nightmare, and they were going to release a new more secure browser, then probably not.

But that being said, Apple hasn't been bitchslapped or even investigated for the charges I read about from time to time, about early on how Jobs manufactured an iPod shortage to enrich Apple's margins. That kind of amazes me, because I'll read about that from time to time in articles that praise Jobs performance since he got back. I suspect that if that and the mandatory minimum pricing on the iPods isn't considered to be fodder for antitrust suits, I doubt that MS should be smacked for removing an insecure browser from the market. Even if it does harm the competition or consumer.

Re:Wonderful (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637377)

Well, using their dominant market share in the browser space to kill off a competitor's product in a different space? They'd get hammered in a new anti-trust suit, regardless of what they are currently being held to as part of previous anti-trust decisions.

All this assuming, of course, that anti-trust laws in the US are still valid (which is debatable, due to selective and half-hearted enforcement).

Re:Wonderful (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636983)

Personally, I'm the last guy to want MS dominate anything, but I hope they fucking smear adobe.

As far as web software, adobe is the epitome of crap. MS takes 2nd place.

The name (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637139)

Woderful. now if they could think of a better name. What's wrong with moonlight? well other that not sounding right to me it's going to be hard to search for it on the web.

Of course my favortite suggestion has the same problem: MONOchrome.

Suggestions:
"monochrome" instead of silverlight. (ie. whitelight versus single frequency). Of course those opposed to it might call it silverblight.

Other possibilities:

flash-light
silver-lux
silver-tux
silvix
sliver

Re:The name (1)

Phong (38038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637869)

I like the merging of two ideas in your flashlight suggestion, but Adobe might take issue with it.

Another off-the-cuff idea:

mithrilight -- named for an even higher quality (albeit fictional) silver: mithril.

Re:Wonderful (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637181)

I believe MS is going to release Silverlight for Linux and Mac, so I'm not sure it really matters.

Re:Wonderful (3, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637199)

Go to http://silverlight.net/ [silverlight.net] and click the "Silverlight in action" link on the right hand side. Then tell me that Flash still has them beat ;)

-Rick

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637371)

ok, so i downloaded de ide blend 2 right??, it's not competition to the ide flash offers, the truth is that it is crap, unresponsive, is no match to flash, test it yourself. and for the VIDEO you linked, well i don't trust in videos, show me a DEMO. ( i already installed the latest silverlight )

Re:Wonderful (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637373)

i'm looking at it now. i dont see anything flash couldnt do (though i've never developed a flash app myself). it's just a well designed interface and a video player. am i wrong, or couldnt this same thing be done in flash? anyone with flash experience want to take a look?

Re:Wonderful (5, Insightful)

roscivs (923777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637779)

Go to http://silverlight.net/ [silverlight.net] and click the "Silverlight in action" link on the right hand side. Then tell me that Flash still has them beat ;)

I just watched the video. I saw nothing that Flash couldn't do, much less anything that Shockwave couldn't do.

The reason why Flash is popular isn't because you can create complicated applications with it. (You can, but nobody uses them.) The reason why it's popular is because it's small, fast, and has a very large, cross-platform installed base. Silverlight isn't any of those three.

Re:Wonderful (0)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637895)

I disagree. The real reason that Flash is popular is because that is the standard that YouTube decided on. If it hadn't been for YouTube, Flash would still be just another annoying bloat ware addon for IE.

-Rick

Re:Wonderful (2, Informative)

codepunk (167897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637821)

It did not run on firefox on my ubuntu linux box....so no it cannot hold a candle to flash, which
just so happens to work on my machine.

Re:Wonderful (3, Funny)

A Clint (1117281) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637933)

This was the most interesting part of the video to me, from the narrator's commentary:

"... I'm doing this on Windows Vista and Internet Explorer, but you can just as easily do this on Windows XP, Firefox, or even a Mac in - [audio suddenly cuts off] ... Now I'm going to..."

I suppose he was going to say Safari? In any case it was sloppy editing.

He must not have edited this with Silverlight, because Silverlight makes precision editing so easy.

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637287)

It won't be that tough. Flash is pretty crappy as a development framework. Originally Flash was just an animation tool and it still stinks of that. It's a pretty bad environment for developing modern applications.

On the other hand, all these new products like Silverlight, JavaFX, etc. are a lot more modern in their approach and look a lot easier to develop for.

That that said I think all approaches to date pretty much still suck. JavaFX is based on the big fat Java runtime, Silverlight is based on Microsoft's big fat presentation layer, Moonlight is based on Mono which is always lagging many steps behind .NET in terms of functionality and it's also big and fat due to supporting the big fat .NET functionality (I seriously doubt you can load a typical Silverlight application into Moonlight anyway). Basically everything is big, fat, and slow. Modern hardware tries to hide a lot of that but it's just so wrong because applications could offers a lot more functionality if they weren't bumping into performance issues all the time.

Wonderful theft of IP; wonderful hypocrisy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637437)

Is it any wonder F/OSS has a bad reputation with stunts like this?

Create your own standards if you don't like commercial ones, and stick to those.

The MS teams (1)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636823)

must be pissed. How do they look when a bunch of coders implement in three weeks what they worked on for months? Surely the quality is not the same and the Mono guys still have a lot to do but damn, this is fast!

Re:The MS teams (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636919)

"Implement" is kind of a strong word here. Sure, they've gotten through the first rounds of coding, and have a product that others can test with. But they're still a lot further from "ready-to-ship" than Microsoft.

Regardless, this is absolutely freaking impressive. Microsoft has been pimping Silverlight pretty hard around our shop, and to be honest the only reason I ever saw for Microsoft to create .net is good old fashioned "vendor lock-in". I saw Silverlight as more of the same, and I am just impressed as hell that Miguel's team cranked out a competitor so quickly.

Re:The MS teams (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637169)

Ready to ship? More debugging? Certainly this is the point where MS would ship it...

Re:The MS teams (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637769)

Ready to ship? More debugging? Certainly this is the point where MS would ship it...

While that's funny 'round these parts, Microsoft is really pushing hard for quality code on the inside. They're implementing processes on top of processes to create new processes to improve the quality of their software (or so they think.) And they're succeeding in a lot of ways -- the code they ship now as "1.0" is far better than any of their previous 1.0 offerings.

Internally they're killing off the cowboy coders that got them to where they are today. They've shifted the focus from brilliant coders to creative marketers and competent managers, and hire code monkeys to grind out exactly what the specs require. The cowboys who used to make giant leaps (like Miguel's leap here) are being neutered by best practices and architecture boards.

Yes, it's the way of the industry. What it really means is that the innovative spirits are likely to continue jumping ship for effective positions in small companies, and that Microsoft will remain a "competent" choice, but never a "great" choice. But that's what the rest of industry wants, anyway.

The copy cat team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637383)

"Regardless, this is absolutely freaking impressive. Microsoft has been pimping Silverlight pretty hard around our shop, and to be honest the only reason I ever saw for Microsoft to create .net is good old fashioned "vendor lock-in". I saw Silverlight as more of the same, and I am just impressed as hell that Miguel's team cranked out a competitor so quickly."

It just shows that it's easier to copy, than to create.

Re:The MS teams (4, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637009)

Silverlight 1.1 is a stripped down version of the .Net framework 3.0. They took the 25+meg 3.0 library and started trimming out namespaces until they got down to a 4 meg library that could be run as a browser plug-in. So while their work is commendable, the hard part (the .Net libraries) was already done as part of the existing Mono project. I imagine the most time consuming part was determining exactly which namespaces Microsoft left in.

-Rick

No Mono in Moonlight (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637189)

Moonlight does not use Mono or .Net or C# or anything like that. It's written in C++ and can be used as a Firefox plugin directly. Read all the links at the top of the Slashdot story.

Re:No Mono in Moonlight (3, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637281)

Moonlight does not use Mono or .Net or C# or anything like that. It's written in C++ and can be used as a Firefox plugin directly. Read all the links at the top of the Slashdot story.

Correct, it does not need or use Mono because it IS Mono. It is a stripped down version of Mono. Mono is coded in C++, thus Moonlight is coded in C++.

-Rick

Re:The MS teams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637645)

well to be fair to the microsoft team, they did have like 11 project managers and 1 developer :p

And the novelty is... ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636843)

Oooh, Linux developers copied a Microsoft product in two weeks! How novel, how path-breaking!

Re:And the novelty is... ? (1, Redundant)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636909)

LOL

I was going to paste essentially the same thing, but realized it would be redundant.

"Linux developers copy Microsoft product in record time! The future is Linux!" ??

Re:And the novelty is... ? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637065)

I was going to paste essentially the same thing, but realized it would be redundant.
And somehow commenting on the redundancy of a redundant post is not itself redundant?

FAIL

Re:And the novelty is... ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636915)

What's new, they hate MS yet they're all MS wannabe's anyway.

Re:And the novelty is... ? (5, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636943)

It's often said that ideas are a dime a dozen, but implementations are few and far between.

If it had been done on a normal time scale, the novelty here would be the fact that the implementation exists. But considering it was done in three weeks, instead of six months, shows the sheer speed and effectiveness that Miguel's teams demonstrate.

Re:And the novelty is... ? (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637487)

I wonder if teams like this were actually formed for a certain purpose, exactly what type of software can be cracked or copied, regardless of their origin.

Pretty interesting, nonetheless.

And the handicap is... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637495)

"If it had been done on a normal time scale, the novelty here would be the fact that the implementation exists. But considering it was done in three weeks, instead of six months, shows the sheer speed and effectiveness that Miguel's teams demonstrate."

In the face of using C/C++, yes it does.

Re:And the novelty is... ? (5, Insightful)

Kimos (859729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637073)

Oooh, Linux developers copied a Microsoft product in two weeks! How novel, how path-breaking!
What this is actually saying is:
"Linux developers implement in two weeks the compatibility and usability features that Microsoft intentionally left out."

Re:And the novelty is... ? (1)

Bazer (760541) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637227)

It seems to me it's as path-breaking as Silverlight will ever be (judging by how easy it was to copy it).

Re:And the novelty is... ? (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637375)

Oooh, Linux developers copied a Microsoft product in two weeks!

Strictly speaking, Linux developers copied Microsoft's copy of a product acquired by Adobe from FutureSplash via Macromedia.

Re:And the novelty is... ? (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637667)

Strictly speaking, Linux developers copied Microsoft's copy of a product acquired by Adobe from FutureSplash via Macromedia.

That's not strict at all.

Microsoft used their copy of Java (.NET) to create a copy of FutureSplash which Adobe acquired via Macromedia, and Linux developers used their copy of Microsoft's copy of Java (.NET) to create a copy of the copy of FutureSplash.

Why?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636865)

This will give MS more of a foothold in the market. They wanted this to happen! Now flash isn't the only cross platform game in town so now the marketing guys will be able to say YES IT WILL WORK ON LINUX so you dont just need to use flash!

Re:Why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636901)

Yeah, I have to wonder why there wasn't a big push to get a decent open source version of flash working, considering how many sites use it and how many architectures linux runs on that macromedia doesn't provide a binary for..

Re:Why?! (1, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637085)

Same problems with a lot of open source problems, no one thinks it's all that important. Many people love trumpet the virtues of open source like it can do absolutely anything and that all solutions are just around the corner. Reality is that it depends on who is interested, and how organized the project is - that means that many projects flounder in barely workable solutions that never seem to pan out. Not to say that OS software doesn't have it's merits, but it's not the magic pixy dust for all problems.

swf is an open format so THAT obviously isn't the problem...

Re:Why?! (5, Insightful)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637391)

swf is an open format so THAT obviously isn't the problem...

From http://www.adobe.com/licensing/developer/ [adobe.com]
"This license does not permit the usage of the specification to create software which supports SWF file playback."

It's a bit like having a research library that permits you access to any book you want, as long as your paper doesn't cite one as a reference.

MOD PARENT UP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637525)

...and help the grandparent get a place on the clue train (or maybe the roflcopter).

Re:Why?! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637405)

Yes but...
So we are trading a closed plugin from Adobe with an FOSS plug in based on a standard from Microsoft.
Flash is just plan nasty and Adobe doesn't support 64-bit Linux. This is FOSS so it can Support Linux, BSD, and run on CPUs beside the X86.

IF Adobe would make the flash player FOSS then Microsoft wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
So yes you are right but I have to ask what is the problem with killing Flash?

Yea I want my SVG and Theora tags to replace Flash and Silverlight but I just don't see that happening.

Re:Why?! (3, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637441)

This will give MS more of a foothold in the market. They wanted this to happen! Now flash isn't the only cross platform game in town so now the marketing guys will be able to say YES IT WILL WORK ON LINUX so you dont just need to use flash!
Previously I was worried that any OSS support for Silverlight would just be giving MS an edge. But now I see it quite differently. One problem with Flash (in my opinion) is that there is no full open-source implementation. Some people may say "who cares?" since there are free (but not Free) flash players for every major OS (including Linux). But to me, those closed-sourced players are not so great, and I wish an open-source player (and development environment) existed.

But the problem with creating a FOSS version of Flash is that it's a matter of catch-up. With Silverlight, this team of coders is showing that they can keep up. Thus, instead of being behind in their implementation, they are showing that they can always deliver a feature-complete alternate (and FOSS) implementation.

Frankly I hope this displaces flash to some extent. Even if it gives MS's platform more exposure, it won't matter as long as there is also a feature-complete FOSS implementation. Creating marketplace competition is always good... and in this case we have competition to MS's Silverlight, and competition to Flash. This is good. I highly doubt that Microsoft expected or wanted this to happen. In fact, nothing could be worse for their longterm goals than for a FOSS equivalent to be as good (or maybe better?) than their implementation. Having a competing implementation, used by many people, will mean that they cannot "embrace and extend" and cannot lock people into their products. After all, if they try to change the Silverlight standard, who is to say whether the MS implementation or the FOSS implementation will become the defacto standard?

Re:Why?! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637607)

"Some people may say "who cares?" since there are free (but not Free) flash players for every major OS (including Linux). "
Frankly I am one of those people. If Adobe provided a good Linux flash player I would be fine with that. However Adobe doesn't support 64 bit Linux.
They have finely put enough effort into Linux to provide a the latest and greatest version to Linux users but no 64 bit version.
Also no version for Linux on the ARM.

This might actually be a good thing. Not great but good.

Re:Why?! (1)

abes (82351) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637489)

The sharehold by Linux users is so incredibly small compared to the number of Windows boxes, that I don't think it will really change anything. Look at the number of web pages that are made for IE only. Most companies don't really care about that small of a segment they might be losing. Even Apple users are mostly neglected. And I say this as both a Linux and Max user.

If anything, it at least keeps Linux as a viable desktop alternative. It's difficult for any desktop to keep mainstream if it can't do the basic functionalities that people expect. If you get someone to try out Linux, he/she won't care so much the reason why they can't access something on some web page. Telling him/her that it's because of market share won't really make a difference.

It remains to be seen if Silverlight will overcome Flash. I don't have a great love of flash -- I have a heavy dislike of Javascript. On the other hand, I have no plans of using Windows if I can avoid it, and I can't see myself switching any time soon so I can have more annoying ads block the text I'm trying to read. I don't see M$ going to implement this on the Mac, so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Apple does.

Re:Why?! (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637513)

Moonlight, unlike Flash, will probably be GPLed.

Re:Why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637767)

Silverlight, like flash, will not be GPLed.
Moonlight, like gnash, will probably be GPLed.

Re:Why?! (3, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637567)

Please get over yourself. Flash is at best a semi-open standard with severely lacking open source implementations. If an open standard with a complete open source implementation replaces Flash then there is little reason to care who created the standard in the first place apart from blind zealotry.

Re:Why?! (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637807)

This will give MS more of a foothold in the market. They wanted this to happen! Now flash isn't the only cross platform game in town so now the marketing guys will be able to say YES IT WILL WORK ON LINUX so you dont just need to use flash!

They would've ported it to Linux anyway. Now they just don't have to. Maybe saved Microsoft some bucks, that's all there is.

But the implementation is open source. You wouldn't think Miguel would port the entirety of .NET but not port Silverlight (a proper subset of .NET) now, did you?

Honestly if all that it takes to make Silverlight better than Flash was a Linux version, Flash would be in a serious trouble. Flash however has a lot more going on.

May I be the first... (2, Insightful)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636895)

... to congratulate Miguel and his team for this remarkable achievement!

Gives an insight into what Open Source is capable of.

Y

Re:May I be the first... (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637101)

What Open Source is capable of?

Would Miguel's team not have been able to code this under a closed license? Was there significant public involvement that was critical to the project?

Also, what was accomplished? A 100% direct rip-off of a product already created and demonstrated by a closed-source development house? Impressive. Wow.

Re:May I be the first... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637471)

Would Miguel's team not have been able to code this under a closed license? Was there significant public involvement that was critical to the project?

No, and no. What's your point? GP said it showed what OS was capable of, not what closed-source wasn't.

Re:May I be the first... (1, Insightful)

RidiculousPie (774439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637737)

Was there significant public involvement that was critical to the project?
Well, for one they are using ffmpeg, and cairo, so I would say that there is significant involvement.

Also, what was accomplished? A 100% direct rip-off of a product already created and demonstrated by a closed-source development house? Impressive. Wow.
At the moment moonlight may not have any significant functionality over silverlight, but one example given of the value of the mono work is that in time you will be able to ship mono libraries with your silverlight/moonlight app, extending it's functionality without having to implement yourself from the ground up.

Re:May I be the first... (1)

pkphilip (6861) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637833)

Miguel - congratulations! you are one of the few people who can pull off something like this in such a short time!!

That's great! (0, Redundant)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636899)


Wonderful news!

So what the heck is "Silverlight"?

Re:That's great! (4, Informative)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637003)

"Microsoft® Silverlight(TM) is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows."

Remember, Google is our friend! :-)

Translation from Marketerese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637315)

"Microsoft® Silverlight(TM) is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows."

What does that *mean*? From that website, the closest I could come to an understanding of this is that, it looks to me like this is basically Microsoft's competitor for Flash? Do we need another Flash?

Re:That's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637537)

Hooray for marketing-speak! I repeat: So what the heck is "Silverlight"? :-)

Re:That's great! (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637539)

programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby

Is it just me or did Perl just go away? I love Perl and use it on a daily bases. But it seems like of lot of things are going the route of Python and Ruby. When did this happen?

Time to pick up a Ruby on Rails and Python book.

Re:That's great! (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637225)

Do you want the real answer (not likely), or some snark? It's Monday, so what you want is immaterial -- snark is all i'm capable of.

Silverlight [silverlightsource.com], a Wiccan coven in North Carolina.
Terry Silverlight [drummerworld.com], a drummer/composer/producer/arranger/educator.
Silverlight [carlsguides.com], a weapon in the Runescape MMORPG.

Want more? I'm sure I could drag up plenty from the depths of search engine hell. Hell, I could even do a tag search on flickr, I'm sure that would be amusing.

At any rate, you've all the resources at your fingertips to know what Silverlight is in TFA's context -- even more so if you read TFA.

Re:That's great! (2, Informative)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637299)

So what the heck is "Silverlight"?

Silverlight can be thought of as "Microsoft" Flash - except it's designed from the ground up for programmers instead of artists. It's got real code behind it, real error checking and exceptions.

From an artist standpoint Silverlight is kind of blah new and not that many tools for it. At least from the people I know who've tried using it to draw pictures. Macromedia could cut them off at the knees if they had a pluggable programming framework instead of using ECMAScript backend.

Flash is great for smaller projects, but it's so sloppy that maintaining large project starts to get harder as the codebase increases. If you make a typo you never know it, you just blindly call a non-existant function or property and you won't know it until things don't work right. Silverlight can avoid all this headache.

ha! (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 6 years ago | (#19636907)

fast! you call this FAST? most MS-software is developed in a view minutes!!!11!1ONE

(at least it runs like as if... *SCNR*)

Isn't it just a demo alpha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636935)

Moonlight

The developers of Mono Framework, a free and open source equivalent of .NET Framework, are developing an equivalent open source implementation, with Linux support, under the temporary name Moonlight.[29] It is reported as expecting to offer a feasibility "alpha" demo in mid-June 2007, with support for Firefox on Linux by the end of the year.[30] A public demo was shown at Microsoft ReMIX conference in Paris, France on June 21, 2007.[31]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Silverlight [wikipedia.org]

Maybe this is just a shot across Microsoft's bow. Play nice because we are easily capable of duplicating your platform.

Stop Copying MS -- Copy APPL -- BUY APPL today !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636957)



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.

Re:Stop Copying MS -- Copy APPL -- BUY APPL today (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637177)

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Hello and welcome to Last Week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19636965)

that is some old news... I cant say I read this at Slashdot before but I wouldnt be surprised.

ah, the free linux version of silverlight (2, Informative)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637013)

Right, so MS had promised from the start that Silverlight would have a Linux version.
I just didn't realize they had been planning on achieving that goal by getting a bunch of OSS coders to do all their work for them for free.
Oh well, probably better this way, since it might remain capital-F Free. What's the Moonlight license, anyway?
If this _is_ a "FREE" implementation of Silverlight it really will start to look like a nicer alternative to the poorly-supported, closed-source Flash for Linux.

Re:ah, the free linux version of silverlight (3, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637111)

That said.. it occurred to me that, just like any other "standard" supported by a company, one has to be careful in employing it and depending on it. MS could easily make incompatible changes at any time in the future to the Windows implementation, creating a non-stop game of tag for the Moonlight developers. Remember what MS did to HTML? It will be even easier to "embrace and extend" for MS on their _own_ standard. It would be much better if there were an open standard for this sort of media. SVG comes close, but I have yet to see a fast, dependable, and standardized implementation, and Flash, unlike SVG, supports much more than just vector graphics.

Re:ah, the free linux version of silverlight (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637647)

I just didn't realize they had been planning on achieving that goal by getting a bunch of OSS coders to do all their work for them for free.


I see that I got modded troll for this comment. Is that not what they did?
It's merely a statement of fact, I didn't make any judgment call here.. in fact, in the sentence following it I discussed how actually that may be the best way they could have approached the situation anyways. Silly mods.

Re:ah, the free linux version of silverlight (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637939)

The Mono C# compiler and tools are GPL; the runtime, LGPL; the headers, MIT X11. I guess that would put the Moonlight stuff as LGPL.

excellent (0, Flamebait)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637039)

this is great news, since i know all of us are using silverlight apps on a day-to-day basis with windows, and we really need to get them onto linux.

except, not.

Go Miguel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637051)

First he tries to plant a patent time-bomb under the linux desktop and then he clones software designed to destroy the web.

Is there no stopping the guy?

Re:Go Miguel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637493)

ok, i'll bite. what's "patent time-bomb" alluding to? gnome? ximian? mono? novell?

Cool, but ultimately pointless (2, Insightful)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637131)

Ok, they might develop thousand times faster than Microsoft. Unfortunately it is and always will be Microsoft leading the way, Mono & Co lagging behind. Nothing will change that.

Re:Cool, but ultimately pointless (4, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637271)

Considering that mono and friends is a project at delivering an open-source, Linux-compatible implementation of .NET, I completely fail to see how they could get ahead. Unless they have a time machine hidden somewhere... It's like complaining that German translation of books written in English are always released after the English versions.

Re:Cool, but ultimately pointless (1)

alext (29323) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637601)

A deduction of impeccable, if not overly taxing, logic.

However, Mono's claim was never that it would be ahead of Dotnet, but always that it was equivalent:

Mono is an open source implementation of .NET (circa 2005)
Mono is built on open standards etc.

of course it never was, is not, and never will be - that is the objection.

Microsoft would always be in the driving seat and other implementations also-rans that would never be certified by software makers.

But this is all academic now that the patent threats which many of us predicted four years ago have materialized.

Re:Cool, but ultimately pointless (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637309)

Yeah, but if they're only 3 weeks behind and a lot more stable, does it really MATTER that MS is 'leading'?

These guys are just doing to MS what MS has typically done in the past: Latch onto something successful and take the ride. It's amazingly hard to get something truly innovative into common usage. It's a lot easier to latch onto a rising star, then follow it to the top and do it just a little better.

What's 'better' in this case? How about fewer bugs and vulnerabilities, as well as working on more browsers and operating systems.

Re:Cool, but ultimately pointless (0)

rumith (983060) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637433)

I can't shake off the feeling that something is going on awfully wrong here. I fear that Microsoft will pull a dirty stunt soon that will turn this small victory against us. Their arsenal is quite abundant with such tricks.

They have earned the right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637153)

to be called a 'crack' team of developers

to wear appropriate outfits:
gloves (bare-fingers type)
vests
headsets (think Tank from the movie, not bluetooth)
camo vests, matching pants
spiky hair
face jewelry/piercings
tribal/blackjack/"21" tattoos

to have names like
Rejo
dez or deKaz

I was going to suggest a promo video, but that would be too boy band-ish.

Way to go, guys!

What is Silverlight? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637389)

What the heck is Silverlight?

Okay, Silverlight is a Microsoft product [microsoft.com], and is some kind of plug-in related to "media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web", according to the above page. Not finding that especially enlightening, I clicked on the FAQ [microsoft.com], where the first question is "What is Silverlight?" [microsoft.com]. Great! Unfortunately it yielded a "We're sorry, the page you requested could not be found" error. Maybe I need Javascript turned on or something? Ah. There we go. [Shrug] Huh? Same terse verbiage-filled useless description as before. Thanks for nothing. Other information on the FAQ page imply streaming of content using "Windows Streaming is another major goal of the product, complete with fancy DRM [weak Golf clapping].

So, I'm still not 100% sure, but I think it's trying to emulate the typical user experience with Flash, including the ungraceful handling of missing/disabled browser features :-)

Oh. I did find out that the Microsoft definition of "cross-platform" is Windows (versions unspecified) and Mac OS X 10.4.8+ (Intel and PPC), but they say they are considering wider support.

Favorite buzzword phrase: "free cloud-based hosting and streaming solution".

Cloud-based? I haven't heard that one before.

Re:What is Silverlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637653)

So, I'm still not 100% sure, but I think it's trying to emulate the typical user experience with Flash, including the ungraceful handling of missing/disabled browser features :-)

Exactly. It's Microsoft trying to hobble yet another market and make it their own. It is their version of Flash, but it's got some relation to .NET proprietary cruft so all the .NET fanboys will be lapping this shit up. Yes, it only works on Windows and OSX.

Favorite buzzword phrase: "free cloud-based hosting and streaming solution". Cloud-based? I haven't heard that one before.

Nor have I, expect it's an in-joke at MS: 'Ballmer's got his head in a cloud thinking we can push Adobe out of a saturated market where they dominate. He needs a solution for streaming frosty piss!'

Re:What is Silverlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637759)

"it only works on Windows and OSX"

and it doesn't even really support Mac OS X

Re:What is Silverlight? (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637915)

I know you're trying to be snarky, but most .Net applications are in house affairs. That means they control the browser and the O/S that will be used. This is another tool for .Net developers to use to create "rich" interfaces to their programs without having to recreate all their code or write interface layers to use Flash.

I'd imagine that very few of the applications that leverage this will see the public Internet.

Good for them... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637407)

but I think Linux will be better off if Miguel and his ilk would just go away.

What goes around comes around (4, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637417)

Now that Moonlight is finished Miguel and his team should, having listened to customer demand (I believe that's the excuse Microsoft always uses), build some Free extensions on to Microsoft's work. Meaning the best experience can only be had by people running Moonlight under GNU/Linux and that some functionality will be unavailable to other platforms.

Gosh, does that mean people will be locked-in to using GNU/Linux? Well Microsoft could use the GPL'ed code if they want to! We'll call it 'Freedom lockin'. :)

You Have to Put Silverlight in a Dominant Position (2, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637555)

It's a good hacking achievement, but let's just consider the usefulness of this.

Creating Moonlight assumes that there is going to be lots of web content made for Silverlight, and this assumes that Silverlight will be put in a fairly dominant position on the web in the not too distant future as a result. Silverlight is not a open web standard, nor is XAML, and its future development is always controlled by Microsoft.

I just don't think people think through what the ultimate aims, goals and endgames are for things like this regarding open source software.

Congratulations (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637585)

Great achievement, and I say good job!

But just preemptively want to explain why is the development timeframe difference between MS and Linux (because I see stupid uninformed posts coming, it's Slashdot after all).

What these guys did, is take Mono (for Linux), and make a standalone subset of it, Silverlight (for Linux). So there aren't huge surprises here.

On the Microsoft side of the story, it's different: they had to first sit down and figure out what the subset will be. Then they had to count the bytes (literally) of every feature they include, since for proper mainstream deployment, the plugin should be as small as possible (I won't be surprised if Moonlight is not something like twice the size of Silverlight or more).

Then they had to make it work on Mac, where they didn't have a port of .NET before, or port of Avalon or anything at all.

MSAPI's on Lnx ok for rvrs-ngnrng, not for rg usrs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19637813)

I mean to say that Microsoft API's on Linux is ok for reverse-engineering, but I wouldn't recommend it for regular users. It facilitates running MS-based viruses on Linux boxes.

Any work to facilitate Microsoft product to run under Linux might demonstrate programmer prowess, and is great for Microsoft to tout their stuff works on Linux, but the fact remains Microsoft technology is proprietary technology.

Any work simplying running Microsoft technology on Linux only adds more importance to the Microsoft Brand. In my opinion, the Linux brand should be given more emphasis. By that I mean to ignore any api's coming out of Microsoft and to simply work on Linux api's. Everyone knows that the Microsoft API's are always littered with undocumented API's to give the Microsoft camp an advantage.

At this point in time, Microsoft may be hiring the seemingly "best of breed" coders but the number they have does not compensate for the synergetic number of open-source sympathizing coders scattered everywhere else on the rest of the planet.

Linux Source doesn't need to imitate Microsoft. The Linux Desktop is easy enough for regular users. All this new XML AJAX stuff coming out of Microsoft is noise and a waste of time.

Good job Miguel! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#19637881)

I was wondering how hard it would be to port silverlight to macosx and other unixies?

If we want silverlight to suceed it must be multiplatform.
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