By Wyatt Barnett

Silverlight Takes Shape & MS Gets Dynamic at MIX ’07

By Wyatt Barnett

In case you missed the hubbub, Microsoft’s marketing machine has gone into rich media overdrive. First, at NAB, they gave WPF/E a reasonably non-geeky name: Silverlight. Mix 07’s keynote was a series of very impressive demos—all available online at the Mix site—showing what the alpha bits of Silverlight can do. The really exciting part is the full CLR integration, allowing for some very heavy lifting in the client side .NET runtime. Integration that happens to run well, and is debuggable from, a Mac. If I were running the Flex team, I would start getting worried, very worried.

The other huge news is that Microsoft has created the Dynamic Language Runtime, a layer sitting on top of the CLR, to jump-start dynamic .NET language development. They are even creating some tools—such as Jasper, a RAD environment—that require one to use languages with late-binding support.

I think .NET development is going to get a lot more interesting in the coming year as these betas start going live. Dynamic languages should help make things more approachable on the low-end, and things like the Entity Framework and LINQ will create some very cool possibilities on the low-end.

In a sad twist of fate, I actually am Vegas bound tomorrow, but not to the “right” conference. I’ll be signing off for a few weeks, but should be back online later this month.

PS: I wrote this post using Expression web. I will say, for the moment, that Dreamweaver has little, if anything to worry about as a hand-coding tool. Flash, on the other hand, is not so safe. One would think Adobe would have got intellisense in there somehow.

  • Lets hope the best for Flash. Its existence for the last 9 years is the solid base
    for some more years of existance.

  • Anonymous

    Okay. Now somebody tell me how they are going to run this stuff on a Mac or Linux box.

  • mihd

    ah they are going to run this on mac (already does) and linux (soon enough)

  • Hmmm … going live with only four languages on the DLR … “Python, JavaScript (EcmaScript 3.0), Visual Basic and Ruby”. I wonder how long until the PHP on .NET experiment revives again. As far as I know there is still talk among the developers about which engine to use Zend, Parrot or the .NET CLR/DLR. Both the last two kick the Zend engine in terms of performance easily from the benchmark tests I’ve seen so far.

    One thing I dont understand on the Silverlight front, is how does something work on Mac but not on Linux? Aren’t the new Macs based on a FreeBSD core, so doesn’t that make them compatible more or less out of the box?

  • mihd

    Silverlight on Linux? We’re in, says Mono founder

    linux support as well soon, and opera and windows mobile…

  • Anonymous

    Lol as a client side technology, this is sub-flash from years ago. And flex with as3 is waaay more sophisticated unless you add in the .net bloatware.

  • Tizzo

    What you silly flash weenies don’t understand is that Silverlight 2.0 will bring *real* desktop developement languages to web development. I will be able to run ‘real’ C# in the client just as I would if I were developing a desktop application. Screw the complexity of AJAX or hideous Actionscript. Developers will get the .NET runtime. What some see a “bloatware” others see at priceless software libraries that eliminate 75% of the mundate tasks so that I can focus on solving the business problem rather that finding with friggin HTTP Response or RETARTED Javascript bugs that are impossible to debug.

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