What is Silverlight?

Scripting language, or Java knock-off?

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9 Replies - 1772 Views - Last Post: 18 February 2009 - 11:30 AM

#1 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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What is Silverlight?

Post icon  Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:23 AM

I'm looking at this Silverlight, and it says it uses the .NET framework to create cross-platform solutions...blah...blah...blah

So...what is it exactly? A web scripting tool? A lightweight C# implementation? VBscript gone wrong? VBscript gone right?

Can somebody tell me what it's intention is and if I should bother? I mean, I got enough to learn already, with C, VB, Java, VBscript, Jscript, Cobol (maybe). Would this be worth looking into, really?

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#2 ayman_mastermind  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:57 AM

Quote

I'm looking at this Silverlight, and it says it uses the .NET framework to create cross-platform solutions...blah...blah...blah

So...what is it exactly? A web scripting tool? A lightweight C# implementation? VBscript gone wrong? VBscript gone right?

Can somebody tell me what it's intention is and if I should bother? I mean, I got enough to learn already, with C, VB, Java, VBscript, Jscript, Cobol (maybe). Would this be worth looking into, really?

Just ignore it, it i doesn't seem to be popular(at least for now), i just don't not what it is all about in specific but it seems to be a competitor against adobe's flash..., and it is a part of the .net framework...
http://news.cnet.com...erlight-really/

This post has been edited by ayman_mastermind: 14 February 2009 - 09:00 AM

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#3 Magto  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 09:56 AM

View Postayman_mastermind, on 14 Feb, 2009 - 07:57 AM, said:

Quote

I'm looking at this Silverlight, and it says it uses the .NET framework to create cross-platform solutions...blah...blah...blah

So...what is it exactly? A web scripting tool? A lightweight C# implementation? VBscript gone wrong? VBscript gone right?

Can somebody tell me what it's intention is and if I should bother? I mean, I got enough to learn already, with C, VB, Java, VBscript, Jscript, Cobol (maybe). Would this be worth looking into, really?

Just ignore it, it i doesn't seem to be popular(at least for now), i just don't not what it is all about in specific but it seems to be a competitor against adobe's flash..., and it is a part of the .net framework...
http://news.cnet.com...erlight-really/



Actually, that is not true. It can be used in a Flash-type way; however, it is more of a Flex/Air competitor. That article you posted was from 2007 which was Silverlight 1. Silverlight 2 was released last October and is leaps and bounds better than Silverlight 1. It can actually be backended by C# or VB.Net instead of just Javascript. That's not to say that Silverlight 1 was usable but Silverlight 2 is much better.

As far as not being popular, Netflix uses it to deliver their instant queue, NBC used it to deliver the Olympics, the White House used it to deliver the inaugrational speech, AOL has a version of AOL Mail that is complete Silverlight, Hard Rock Cafe uses it for their Memorabilia Collection and of course Microsoft uses it on several of their websites. That is just a sampling of high profile sites that use it. I am sure with a little research you could expand the list by leaps and bounds.

Just ignoring it is definitely the wrong answer. Telerik and DevXpress are already making custom controls for it so I am sure it is here to stay. A lot of the 'Flash' plugins that are seen on the web could easily be Silverlight. You cannot by any measure say its not popular or that you don't see a lot of it unless you right click on every 'Flash' piece you see. With all of that said, it is not as popular as Flash yet. It has only been out for 2 years and according to some websites, the browser penetration is only around 25-30%.

What is it exactly?

Silverlight is actually a subset of Microsoft's WPF technology. Silverlight has been deemed Microsoft's version of RIA (Rich Internet Applications). That is why I say is it the Flex/Air/JavaFX competitor. It is cross-platform (including Linux through the use of Moonlight which is a project by the folks over at Mono). I have been programming almost exclusively in Silverlight for the past 2 months and I am finally starting to see the power in it. Supposedly, in Silverlight 3, you will be able to leverage true 3D graphics as well as write applications for the web that will run on the desktop. That means that it becomes more Java-esque when it comes to the desktop.

A web scripting tool?

It is a full website development tool. My personal website has no HTML/CSS for layout or design. It is 100% Silverlight.

A lightweight C# implementation?

It is a lightweight WPF implementation for the Web allowing for Rich Internet Application (RIA) development.

VBscript gone wrong? VBscript gone right?

Not a scripting language at all. You can use C# or VB.Net in the code behind.

Can somebody tell me what it's intention is and if I should bother? I mean, I got enough to learn already, with C, VB, Java, VBscript, Jscript, Cobol (maybe). Would this be worth looking into, really?

I think I answered this somewhere in my ramblings ;). I think it is definitely worth looking into even if just for informational purposes. While you are learning VB/C# you will learn the basic syntax for the backend of Silverlight. You will just have to learn the XAML (The equivalent of the HTML).

Anyway, ignoring it is the wrong way to go about it because it will be around for a while I think and Microsoft definitely has the capital to support it. I have only written my personal website and business applications in it but I am about to break into animation and see how that goes. If you want to see some examples of what I am talking about Flash vs. Silverlight, you can go to www.shinedraw.com and he has tons of Flash vs Silverlight examples. I have seen many people say that Flash is for designers and Silverlight is for developers which maybe true but we will see how that turns out. One thing Silverlight definitely has going for it is there are throngs of .Net Developers out there that I am sure would rather use C# or VB to create RIA than learn ActionScript.

This post has been edited by Magto: 14 February 2009 - 10:09 AM

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#4 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:42 PM

Nice reply Magto, thanks a bunch! I may just look into it after I get comfortable with programming. I might even be able to sell my company on it eventually once I see how it works.
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#5 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:32 PM

Silverlight is Microsoft's version of Flash which we don't have to owrry about the language changing a ton for each new version (this is because it uses C# instead of a custom made language for it). C# is already fairly developed so it shouldn't have to change much to get things working. Silverlight just compiles it into a web based media.

At this point Silverlight isn't that known yet because Microsoft has made some bad decisions in the past and people don't totally trust them on their new ones. It is basically the same thing as flash that doesn't require a $600 program to make. It has its high and low points, but so does Flash, so it is all about what you prefer to use.

It isn't made to get rid of Java, or any other programming language, just add to your options for web based media and design opportunities.

Hope that clears some things up.
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#6 Magto  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:48 PM

View PostBetaWar, on 14 Feb, 2009 - 12:32 PM, said:

Silverlight is Microsoft's version of Flash which we don't have to owrry about the language changing a ton for each new version (this is because it uses C# instead of a custom made language for it). C# is already fairly developed so it shouldn't have to change much to get things working. Silverlight just compiles it into a web based media.

At this point Silverlight isn't that known yet because Microsoft has made some bad decisions in the past and people don't totally trust them on their new ones. It is basically the same thing as flash that doesn't require a $600 program to make. It has its high and low points, but so does Flash, so it is all about what you prefer to use.

It isn't made to get rid of Java, or any other programming language, just add to your options for web based media and design opportunities.

Hope that clears some things up.


tldr i guess? :P

This post has been edited by Magto: 14 February 2009 - 01:48 PM

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#7 ValPaliy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:50 PM

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Just ignore it, it i doesn't seem to be popular(at least for now), i just don't not what it is all about in specific but it seems to be a competitor against adobe's flash..., and it is a part of the .net framework...


Agree. The Open Source alternative for Linux is Moonlight, but I was able to install it on Firefox only. Epiphany doesn't work with it. Not yet.
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#8 Magto  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:23 AM

Add another to the list.... CBS Broadcasting March Madness in Silverlight

http://newteevee.com...ality-makeover/
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#9 Bellum  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:40 PM

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Silverlight 3, you will be able to leverage true 3D graphics as well as write applications for the web that will run on the desktop. That means that it becomes more Java-esque when it comes to the desktop.


Well that sounds dangerous.
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#10 Magto  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Silverlight?

Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:30 AM

View PostBellum, on 17 Feb, 2009 - 06:40 PM, said:

Quote

Silverlight 3, you will be able to leverage true 3D graphics as well as write applications for the web that will run on the desktop. That means that it becomes more Java-esque when it comes to the desktop.


Well that sounds dangerous.



Yeah, I'm not sure what their implementation there will be. I would hope that it wouldn't be able to directly access the file system (outside of the sandbox) or hardware. At least without some sort of caspol type implementations.
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