Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Aug 2007 13:16 UTC, submitted by steverez1
Internet & Networking "Microsoft has released a new showcase of its Silverlight web development frameworks, a graphical search engine called Tafiti. Tafiti, which means 'do research' in Swahili, is an experimental frontend to Microsoft's Live Search engine. It presents search options in three panes on the screen: the left pane is for entering search queries and switching between image, RSS, Web, and News, the middle pane contains the search results, and the right pane is used to 'dock' results using drag-and-drop for looking at later."
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people need to try it
by cchance on Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:25 UTC
cchance
Member since:
2006-02-24

ya its a work in progress but htis thing is beutiful, the search results display needs a bit of refining but it's a beautiful interface, also i wish they would have brought the live.com image resizing to the image search maybe in a future version

Reply Score: 2

v no
by k.g.stoyanov on Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:43 UTC
Just like everything else
by leos on Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:45 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

If you look around the field of data visualization, these kinds of interfaces are a dime a dozen. And ultimately (as the author of the article also realized) they're pretty much useless.
Yes it looks pretty, yes there's the odd feature that might be neat, but it is still far inferior to just plain text search that we already have. What I really want to see is a showcase that is actually BETTER than what can be currently done. Not just prettier with more animations, but something that people would actually use on a day to day basis. Producing something like that is much harder, and I don't think Silverlight offers anything that can't already be done with Flash or XUL or SVG.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just like everything else
by TBPrince on Fri 24th Aug 2007 16:50 UTC in reply to "Just like everything else"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes it looks pretty, yes there's the odd feature that might be neat, but it is still far inferior to just plain text search that we already have.
While I agree this is just a showcase, I won't underestimate these kind of "conceptual works". The fact we're used to some kind of things, it doesn't mean things might not change.

While Silverlight is not something original as its basic concepts were used long before by SVG and Flash, Silverlight plays nicer to search engines (according to what I think but I'm not 100% sure yet) than Flash and this is not secondary: if Flash could be good at being indexed, web would be very different than the one we see now.

These technologies can achieve very good results by enhancing interations with end users. While Tafiti doesn't provide anything revolutionary, it's a good basis to enhance and to provide new functionalities. I'm sure in a few time, we will change even the way we're searching the Web now.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just like everything else
by sappyvcv on Sat 25th Aug 2007 13:00 UTC in reply to "Just like everything else"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

and I don't think Silverlight offers anything that can't already be done with Flash or XUL or SVG.

Maybe you should do some research first then.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just like everything else
by segedunum on Sat 25th Aug 2007 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Just like everything else"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe you should do some research first then.

It looks like a Flash interface people have been producing for years, it acts like a Flash interface people have been producing for years and it sounds like a Flash interface people have been producing for years.

All in all, a duck, is a duck, is a duck.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Maybe you should do some research first then.


Well, what can Silverlight do that Flash, XUL and/or SVG cannot do - not to mention what can Flash, XUL and/or SVG do that Silverlight cannot do ;)

I mean, you must have made that research, right? ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Just like everything else
by sappyvcv on Sat 25th Aug 2007 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just like everything else"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

XUL is a graphical interface format, nothing more. SVG is limited in what it does and doesn't have true 3d AFAIK.

Here's a good start on Flash vs. Silverlight: http://weblogs.asp.net/jezell/archive/2007/05/03/silverlight-vs-fla...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just like everything else
by segedunum on Sat 25th Aug 2007 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just like everything else"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

XUL is a graphical interface format, nothing more. SVG is limited in what it does and doesn't have true 3d AFAIK.

What he's talking about are those things combined. What he didn't mention was Flex, which is much more interesting.

With Flex you can use the Flex SDK or the Eclipse Flex Builder IDE, output to SWF and have it run anywhere on a massive installed base and you can do server-side stuff in Java, PHP, .Net or Coldfusion. Microsoft would have been better of just outputting SWF from their tools.

Silverlight is geared towards developers, and Flash and Adobe's tools are geared more towards designers. Silverlight still has a long way to go there, and is still far behind the graphic quality of Flash. Silverlight has to attract designers, not developers, no matter how cool the format is. Microsoft are also not going to port their Expression tools to the Mac any time soon, which is where a lot of designers are.

Sorry, but I can't really see this as being anything other than ActiveX in IE. Rather pointless.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Just like everything else
by sappyvcv on Sun 26th Aug 2007 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just like everything else"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

What he's talking about are those things combined.

Really?

and I don't think Silverlight offers anything that can't already be done with Flash or XUL or SVG.

The point is, Silverlight does do things all those don't do. Flash does a few things silverlight doesn't do as well. It's a little thing called "advantages" and "disadvanages". Competition is a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Just like everything else
by segedunum on Sun 26th Aug 2007 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Just like everything else"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Really?

Yes.

The point is, Silverlight does do things all those don't do.

That's a fantastic piece of double dutch, saying Silverlight is different doesn't make it so.

Flash does a few things silverlight doesn't do as well.

Not really. Is more where the focus is for both of them in terms of programmers and designers, and the tools available.

It's a little thing called "advantages" and "disadvanages". Competition is a good thing.

I can't disagree with competition, and I think it will make SWF far better if anything. However, it's the same old NIH attitude with Microsoft and the notion that what they are doing is somehow new and more spectacular.

Edited 2007-08-26 12:29

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Just like everything else
by sappyvcv on Sun 26th Aug 2007 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Just like everything else"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Are you trying to say that Flash and Silverlight do the exact same things and have no distinctions?

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That article didn't do much. I'd prefer a thorough dissection of Silverlight and Flash by somebody neutral rather than an extremely biased blog-piece by a quite frankly embarrassing developer of Silverlight.

Personally I'm welcoming Silverlight - primarily due to the use of XAML. But it's not superior in any way. Just slightly different advantages and disadvantages.

Besides that: I wrote (XUL && Flash && SVG) || (XUL || Flash || SVG). You forget answering the first part - the combination of the technologies.

And I'm stilling missing an answer for what Silverlight can offer that Flash, XUL _OR_ SVG cannot offer. The article was mostly about different ways to implement the same thing - and not about offering different functionality. Same functionality - different implementation. With a lot of factual incorrect information, btw. - Jesse Ezell doesn't know nearly enough. Obviously.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Just like everything else
by sappyvcv on Sun 26th Aug 2007 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just like everything else"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

But it's not superior in any way. Just slightly different advantages and disadvantages.

I never said it was superior. That remains to be seen. But it does things all those things do.

Also, the article "bias" doesn't matter. Most of what is stated is fact of what each thing can and can not do.

Besides that: I wrote (XUL && Flash && SVG) || (XUL || Flash || SVG). You forget answering the first part - the combination of the technologies.

Uh? That's not fair at all. Trying to pit it up against 3 technologies combined. You can do that for almost anything.

Silverlight is not anything revolutionary or innovative. It's a different approach to things already being done by other technologies. It tries to solve things in a different way. One of those ways is by letting the developer use many many different languages.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Just like everything else
by MollyC on Tue 28th Aug 2007 03:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just like everything else"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"That article didn't do much. I'd prefer a thorough dissection of Silverlight and Flash by somebody neutral rather than an extremely biased blog-piece by a quite frankly embarrassing developer of Silverlight. "

"Embarrassing"? Is there something inate in being an OSS-advocate and/or MS-hater that every voiced disagreement must be accompanied by a personal insult? It seems to be the case.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

No, he is just factually incorrect on several points while praising his own product. Doesn't look good to me. You can find such persons in the FLOSS world, too - and even those that are worse.

Reply Score: 2

yes, it's truly revolutionary :->
by Maners on Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:49 UTC
Maners
Member since:
2005-07-26
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

cause of the deal with Novell, a FOSS implementation called Moonlight is currently in the works.

Reply Score: 4

And then there´s this...
by MrSidecar on Fri 24th Aug 2007 19:37 UTC in reply to "yes, it's truly revolutionary :->"
MrSidecar Member since:
2007-02-13
kmarius Member since:
2005-06-30

I tried to install Silverlight, and after 90% it failed. I was then sent to this page, with details about the user friendly workaround. It probably didn't like that I chose "Run" instead of "Save" when I clicked on the download link...

http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/help.aspx?errorID=2

Update: I followed the instructions and it still wouldn't install...

Update 2: Not only did I have to download the alpha version, but the instructions were incomplete. I had to type "install.exe" after step 9. I was not impressed by Tafiti. Most of the "Silverlight" features could be simplified using Javascript. There's no reason to add all that animation just to click the "news" button...

Edited 2007-08-24 20:57

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Most of the "Silverlight" features could be simplified using Javascript."

Tafiti runs on Silverlight 1.0, which uses javascript almost entirely. Hopefully that provides some insight.

Reply Score: 2

kmarius Member since:
2005-06-30

That's not what I meant, and I think you understood me :-)

I was talking about using a simplified web interface, without installing Silverlight.

Reply Score: 1

cg0def Member since:
2006-02-12

and silverlight doesn't use ajax? How do you suppose that all those pretty pictures show up your screen then?

I never thought I would say this but Silverlight is some of MS' better work and it's actually almost great. Well it would be if it was oss. It uses much less resources than flash and looks just as good. The site though sux. Seriously out of all the ideas that one can come up with MS decided to go with this one as a demo? Do they really think that people a desperately in need of pretty pictures when they are searching for a link to another site?

Reply Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Well, it's not just pretty pictures.
If you can, go to the FAQ section of the site and watch the demo video.

Reply Score: 2

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"and silverlight doesn't use ajax? How do you suppose that all those pretty pictures show up your screen then? "

Huh? Let me try to break this down for you transitive property style:

Silverlight uses Ajax. Ajax is Javascript. Therefore Silverlight 1.0 is Javascript based. I'm not following what the misunderstanding is here.

Reply Score: 2

uggh text isnt better
by cchance on Fri 24th Aug 2007 15:02 UTC
cchance
Member since:
2006-02-24

im so sick of text is better... if htats the case why dont you install a command line google search and then youll never have to see an image again.

maners: ya their working with the mono team to get a linux version of silverlight completed

yes i agree it needs more useful features besides the dock, but a bit of eye candy is nice from time to time im kinda sick of the blank white ages of google and the others.

The only reason visuals should be thought of as bad is if they slow down your work, i open tafiti, type a search and my results pop up... i go to google type the address and the results pop up on a new page....

hate to say it but tafiti is actually more efficient than google even, theirs no full page reload just a ajax call. and since their arent extra steps i cant see how its slower or less efficent, of course if you count into the time of playing with stuff to see whats possible ya then its less efficient.

Reply Score: 1

RE: uggh text isnt better
by Doc Pain on Sat 25th Aug 2007 02:06 UTC in reply to "uggh text isnt better"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"im so sick of text is better... if htats the case why dont you install a command line google search and then youll never have to see an image again."

In most cases, blind computer users will require text mode interfaces in order to operate programs and services. Even web pages can be used with lynx-like browsers these days... but due to HTML et al. abused... their number is decreasing.

"maners: ya their working with the mono team to get a linux version of silverlight completed"

I'm very interested to see a working implementation, just to be able to compare it to already working alternatives in Linux.

"yes i agree it needs more useful features besides the dock, but a bit of eye candy is nice from time to time im kinda sick of the blank white ages of google and the others."

Form does not replace content. :-)

But you're right. Because of most users judging a software's quality from visual impressions in first place, look and feel are one of the most important parts of software and UI design.

Reply Score: 2

supported platforms
by netpython on Fri 24th Aug 2007 15:20 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Appears linux isn't supported. So much for the Novell MS facade.

Reply Score: 4

RE: supported platforms
by slight on Fri 24th Aug 2007 15:42 UTC in reply to "supported platforms"
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

Ugh. Much as I dislike the deal between MS and Novell I would happily accept it if it meant everyone would just shut up their whingeing about it.

Especially when it's most likely unfounded as in this case. I daresay this will run on Moonlight when it's finished. Or maybe even now.

Reply Score: 3

Looks very promising
by CrazyDude0 on Fri 24th Aug 2007 16:43 UTC
CrazyDude0
Member since:
2005-07-10

Ok i was kind of apprehensive of trying it but still i gave it a shot. Really i am impressed.

The following features stood out for me:
1. Once my search results are displayed, i can filter the results and that too incremental filtering i.e as I type the filter the results are changed live. Neat and IMHO very useful.
2. The interface is very cool and it is pretty fast. I was expecting a slow interface but surprisingly it is very fast.
3. The ability to temporarily save the results on the page, that is pretty awesome.

Other than that, having icons for books etc isn't that useful but I would use it just for the 3 features i mentioned above. Good going Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

First Impression....
by Pseudo Cyborg on Fri 24th Aug 2007 17:09 UTC
Pseudo Cyborg
Member since:
2005-07-09

I have to say, at first glance this is definitely impressive. Sure there may be some kinks but nothing that can't be ironed out. I think I just might actually give this a shot as my only search engine for a month and see what I think then.

But yes, as many have already said here in different words, this does look very promising.

Reply Score: 1

Swahili?
by Michael on Fri 24th Aug 2007 17:32 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

"Tafiti, which means 'do research' in Swahili"

"Ndiyo, pronounced 'nn-dee-yo', is the Swahili word for "yes"."

Seems like, since Ubuntu came out, everyone's stealing words from african languages to use as product names. I think we should abandon branding and just assign everything a 32-digit hexadecimal number.

Reply Score: 5

v i dont see the advantage over normal web
by renhoek on Fri 24th Aug 2007 18:00 UTC
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

While this could be done with flash and AJAX, it would be a much bigger pain to write. This isn't a "pushing the technology to the limit" kind of thing, more just a practical application.

There are two things that are impressive with silverlight. The first is performance in user interfaces. While flash UIs are possible, I have yet to try one that is not sluggish and unresponsive. Secondly, you have access to the entire .net API, which isn't even comparable to something like actionscript.

Reply Score: 2

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Secondly, you have access to the entire .net API, which isn't even comparable to something like actionscript."

Just to clarify, you only have access to the .Net BCL from silverlight 1.1. 1.0 is based entirely off of javascript.

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Try the treeview. That can't be done with HTML and AJAX.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Try the treeview. That can't be done with HTML and AJAX.

Treeviews have been produced by AJAX and JavaScript for ages.

Reply Score: 3

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Dude. TRY TRE TREEVIEW.

Try it before you comment on it.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Try it before you comment on it.

Tre treeview eh?

I know what a treeview is. I've seen it. You do see that naked emperor, don't you?

Reply Score: 2

What about accesibility
by joelito_pr on Fri 24th Aug 2007 18:43 UTC
joelito_pr
Member since:
2005-07-07

Would screen readers be able to support this?

I read in an earlier post that search engines can index Silverlight. But I don't know if that means support for screen readers

Reply Score: 2

hmm
by poundsmack on Fri 24th Aug 2007 20:06 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

i am not as impressed as most. is it just me or does this look like things that you could do from a well coded flash app about3 years ago. While it is kinda neat its nothing mind blowing. i mean http://www.kartoo.com/ has been around for years and, while these are very different things, they are not all that different.

I really like the idea of silverlight so I hope microsoft can do a better job of impressing me.
maybe i am jsut to picky

Reply Score: 3

Camino
by Brmbolec on Fri 24th Aug 2007 20:14 UTC
Brmbolec
Member since:
2005-07-23

It didn't show any error messages when used Camino browser, it installed ok, it shows up in plug-ins ... but when I enter tafiti.com I can't even click any object on screen. Deleting since I can't stand Firefox ;)

Reply Score: 1

wow
by alucinor on Fri 24th Aug 2007 21:06 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

A screenshot of Silverlight in action from my Windows XP box.

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w264/jaminwicha/silverlight.jpg

It's amazing how much easier than Flash they were able to have this install. I can't way to be blown away by the stunning visual effects of a websearch!

Edited 2007-08-24 21:09

Reply Score: 2

RE: wow
by siimo on Sat 25th Aug 2007 06:53 UTC in reply to "wow"
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

Do you know what beta software is? This is not ready for prime time and obviously this wont be the way to install it once it is out officially.

Reply Score: 2

Dime a Dozen
by segedunum on Sat 25th Aug 2007 10:56 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

People have been producing web sites like that, with Flash, for years, and years, and years, and years, and years. There's nothing new going on here at all. I can't believe anyone thinks this sort of thing is new, but you know, emperor's new clothes and all that.

It's just too much, and there is a reason why everyone rebelled against Flash-like design in web sites in favour of raw HTML/JavaScript simplicity.

Reply Score: 3

hmmm
by Mellin on Sat 25th Aug 2007 15:39 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

don't like the idea that i have to download tons of plugins and other stuff just to search the net

Reply Score: 2