Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th Feb 2009 08:05 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Mono Project Novell's Miguel de Icaza has announced on his blog that Moonlight has hit the 1.0 milestone. Moonlight is the open source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight technology, a framework similar to Adobe's Flash. Silverlight has already been used during the Olympic Games and President Obama's inauguration for streaming those events across the internet.
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Who cares ?
by Lennie on Thu 12th Feb 2009 08:52 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Do we really need or even want Silverlight ? The whole proprietary browser extensions thing sucks, Microsoft should start implementing what other browser vendors have already implemented so they could get used and improved so we don't need these kind of things.

A simple example would be the HTML5 video-tag, a good implementation of that would make a lot of the video-content easily available.

Reply Score: 15

RE: Who cares ?
by dagw on Thu 12th Feb 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Not to defend silverlight, but it does a whole lot more than the what the <video> tag does.

Also it's really quite good technology. I haven't played a lot with it, but from what I've seen I'd certainly consider choosing it over flash, if it becomes more widespread across platforms.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Who cares ?
by Kroc on Thu 12th Feb 2009 11:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"Liking Silverlight for what it does, is like encouraging weeds to grow, because they have pretty flowers." - Kroc.

Reply Score: 11

RE[3]: Who cares ?
by notig on Sun 15th Feb 2009 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who cares ?"
notig Member since:
2006-10-07

A wise man once said there is no such thing as weeds.... only unwanted plants

Reply Score: 1

RE: Who cares ?
by smashIt on Thu 12th Feb 2009 11:47 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

A simple example would be the HTML5 video-tag, a good implementation of that would make a lot of the video-content easily available.


as good as noone well use the video-tag
how many sites do you know that let you download their videos?
the whole thing revolves around preventing the user from getting a local copy of the file

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Who cares ?
by Lennie on Thu 12th Feb 2009 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Which doesn't work with flash either.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who cares ?
by lemur2 on Thu 12th Feb 2009 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"A simple example would be the HTML5 video-tag, a good implementation of that would make a lot of the video-content easily available.


as good as noone well use the video-tag
how many sites do you know that let you download their videos?
"

http://www.gnu.org/fry/

the whole thing revolves around preventing the user from getting a local copy of the file


Say what?

http://www.videodownloader.fdrlab.com/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2390

Edited 2009-02-12 12:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Who cares ?
by google_ninja on Thu 12th Feb 2009 13:30 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

<video> uses theora, which is VP-3. Flash uses VP-7, Silverlight uses VC-3, which is the current standard in high def compression.

So while <video> will definately give you embedded video, using it will put you several generations behind the rest of the world when it comes to the quality/size ratio.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Who cares ?
by kaiwai on Thu 12th Feb 2009 17:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

uses theora, which is VP-3. Flash uses VP-7, Silverlight uses VC-3, which is the current standard in high def compression.

So while will definately give you embedded video, using it will put you several generations behind the rest of the world when it comes to the quality/size ratio.


Most websites I know that use Flash also use h264 as well. h264 is a nice CODEC, it is too bad that it is riddled from top to bottom with expensive patents.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Who cares ?
by Morin on Thu 12th Feb 2009 13:47 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Do we really need or even want Silverlight ?

You can answer this question for yourself, and possibly come to the conclusion that *you* don't need it. However, just as with Flash today, you may voluntarily lock out yourself from a lot of web content by doing so. Moonlight cannot answer that question for you, it just provides the ability to use Silverlight content with non-MS OSes.

However, I suppose that your question reaches even further and actually asks, "does the world need Silverlight?". Well, users will decide whether they want it. It is, however, close to being mad to think you could *prevent* Silverlight from becoming popular *if users want it*.

> A simple example would be the HTML5 video-tag, a good
> implementation of that would make a lot of the video-content
> easily available.

The video tag is late to the show. Flash has already secured its position for video-on-the-web, and even Silverlight has to offer a lot to supplant it. The video tag, in contrast, offers even less than Flash does. If the video tag had come with full features and full browser support before(*) Flash did, then it might have had a chance.

(*) In this sense, 'before' does not refer to the time when some super-nerds first showed the idea or a roughly working video tag, but rather the time when it actually worked in all major browsers.

Reply Score: 5

Already had my say on this topic.
by lemur2 on Thu 12th Feb 2009 09:10 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://www.osnews.com/thread?348325

One would have a dependency on Microsoft embedded into one's Linux system. Binary blobs from Microsoft. Of course {sarcasm} it is always a good idea to be dependent on a party who has avowed an aim to be rid of you. {/sarcasm}

OK, not only do Microsoft/Novell want to make your Linux system depend on binary blobs from them, they want also to dictate to you what machines, CPU architectures and builds of Linux you may use to view web content.

Bad, bad, bad. No platform independence.

Edited 2009-02-12 09:12 UTC

Reply Score: 7

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

You'll 'depend' on a binary blob from Microsoft in the same you today 'depend' on a binary blob from Adobe.

Neither is critical and given time some enterprising soul will probably reverse engineer the whole thing and come up with an open source alternative.

Reply Score: 7

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You'll 'depend' on a binary blob from Microsoft in the same you today 'depend' on a binary blob from Adobe.


There is absolutely no need to depend on binary blobs from Adobe.

http://www.openscreenproject.org/

Anyone is allowed to write their own implementation.

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/
http://swfdec.freedesktop.org/

... and they do.

Reply Score: 6

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

But you can’t write your own specification.

Windows users, using Adobe software, are creating binary Flash blobs that all the free software in the world has no control over. What Adobe says this byte means, you must do accordingly.

How is it freedom, if the web *depends* upon the success of Adobe? (or Microsoft).

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

But you can’t write your own specification.

Windows users, using Adobe software, are creating binary Flash blobs that all the free software in the world has no control over. What Adobe says this byte means, you must do accordingly.

How is it freedom, if the web *depends* upon the success of Adobe? (or Microsoft).


Excuse me? What is the difference in principle between the specification for .png which encodes binary blobs for still images and .flv which encodes binary blobs for video? You need some sort of defined specification ... as long as it is open and anyone may implement it where is the problem?

I think you are getting very confused about the "binary blobs" bit. The pieces one doesn't want as "binary blobs only" are the active code. The codecs. The very thing that Microsoft wants to control.

You actually want that as source code ... so that you know what your machine is doing, and so that you can replicate its behavior on your platform and your machine architecture of choice, and you can do so even if the original vendor goes bust.

Binary files for images/videos are not a problem at all. It is binary blobs for codecs that are the major issue. Having those as binary blobs prevents platform independence.

Edited 2009-02-12 13:12 UTC

Reply Score: 11

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> But you can’t write your own specification.

Of course you can't. What good would a specification be if anyone writes their own?

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You'll 'depend' on a binary blob from Microsoft in the same you today 'depend' on a binary blob from Adobe.

There is no binary blob from Microsoft. Having anything Silverlight compatible on a non-Windows system depends on how the Moonlight people are able to keep up and the general goodwill from Microsoft. Microsoft simply will have very little interest in being nice to non-Windows platforms if and when Silverlight reaches what they feel is a critical mass of users. That's not the case with Adobe.

Neither is critical and given time some enterprising soul will probably reverse engineer the whole thing and come up with an open source alternative.

This makes no difference at all because the reference version that most will be using will be the Microsoft, Windows-based one. You then have to keep reverse engineering that.

It changes the rules, being able to control your own platform.

Reply Score: 5

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There is no binary blob from Microsoft.


I'm sorry to say it, but yes, there is.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/silverlight_via_moonlight_comes_to_l...

Moonlight not only brings Silverlight content to Linux users, though, it also brings Microsoft's WMV (Windows Media Video), WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3 files to Linux via the Microsoft Media Pack. This is a Microsoft blessed set of Microsoft's proprietary media codecs.


Microsoft's Media Pack is a binary blob. It is a set of four proprietary media codecs, the VC1 codec for Silverlight video, and Microsoft's WMV (Windows Media Video), WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3 files codecs. Possibly all of them, but at least the first three, would support DRM restrictions.

Quote from the Mono project itself:
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Dec-02.html
(Search for the heading "Microsoft Media Pack".

Microsoft Media Pack

The Microsoft Media Pack is a binary component that contains the same code that Microsoft is using on their Silverlight product.

The Moonlight packages that we distribute do not actually have any media codecs built into them.

The first time that Moonlight hits a page that contains media, it will ask you whether you want to install the Microsoft Media Pack which contains the codecs for all of the formats listed before.


There are no binary bits shipped in the Mono distribution ... but you have to install binary blobs of codecs from Microsoft if you want to see anything ...

Edited 2009-02-12 13:29 UTC

Reply Score: 9

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

if you have w32codecs installed on your machine, you already have binary blobs from a bunch of people, including microsoft. I know quite a few people who use linux but install that package for playback compatibility. I know other people who don't, for legal or moral reasons.

This isn't exactly a "sky is falling" sort of thing, some people dont care about proprietary codecs, others do. Not a new issue either, it is one that has been in the linux world for a few years now.

Reply Score: 8

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

if you have w32codecs installed on your machine, you already have binary blobs from a bunch of people, including microsoft. I know quite a few people who use linux but install that package for playback compatibility. I know other people who don't, for legal or moral reasons.


An excellent reason (even if you are not a US resident) for not installing w32codecs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffmpeg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec

libavcodec is a free software/open source LGPL-licensed library of codecs for encoding and decoding video and audio data. It is part of the FFmpeg project.


There you go. Enjoy.

PS: Since free software has the source code to all of this, it cannot be disenfranchised and frozen out of the market to view web content, despite the best efforts of Microsoft. Did you notice the presence of a VC1 decoder?

Edited 2009-02-12 13:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I know about ffmpeg, I actually use it on windows and mac as well as linux. That doesn't change that alot of those post install scripts that are floating around (like automatix) and post install guides will direct you to use win32codecs, it will often get sucked in with an mplayer install. I don't spend a ton of time on linux any more so I can't say to if ffmpeg will cover everything you need, but I do have alot of friends who do, and still have that package on their system.

Reply Score: 1

ba1l Member since:
2007-09-08

win32codecs is next to useless these days. The only reason I ever used it was to be able to read WMV9 / VC-1 files. Since ffmpeg added a native decoder for those codecs, it's no longer needed.

It mostly adds support for really old codecs (like Intel's Indeo codec), which tend to be added into ffmpeg anyway eventually, and for newer obscure codecs like On2's VP-x codecs that nobody uses anyway.

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Not a new issue either, it is one that has been in the linux world for a few years now.

Yes it has, and this certainly doesn't make things any better.

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Depends what side of the fence you are sitting on. If you are a pragmatist and just care about things working, and working well, then it really doesn't have an effect on you. If you are a crusading freedom fighter, it is yet another windmill to tilt at.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm sorry to say it, but yes, there is.


Whoa! Why did that get modded down for pointing out the absolute truth, with a direct quote from Miguel de Icaza's web log.

It would appear that some people can't handle the truth!

Reply Score: 3

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

"There is no binary blob from Microsoft.


I'm sorry to say it, but yes, there is.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/silverlight_via_moonlight_comes_to_l...

Moonlight not only brings Silverlight content to Linux users, though, it also brings Microsoft's WMV (Windows Media Video), WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3 files to Linux via the Microsoft Media Pack. This is a Microsoft blessed set of Microsoft's proprietary media codecs.
"

It isn't necessary except to view videos encoded with Microsoft's codecs. This isn't anything different than what we dealt with before Flash video. At one time you really couldn't watch the majority of videos online unless you installed wincodecs with mplayer. At that time Microsoft wasn't blessing their distribution. So their current behaviour is a huge improvement.

In the future we will see theora encoded video being streamed with Moonlight. It isn't going to be necessary to use binary blobs with Moonlight if you are a content creator or consumer, but you will be able to use them if you wish.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sorry to say it, but yes, there is.

No there isn't otherwise Moonlight would not be needed. There might be some media blob packs dotted around that you can download when you have difficulty, but this isn't the same as comparing the whole thing to a blob available on a platform from Adobe, as the parent did.

Moonlight is not a binary blob from Microsoft. I didn't think I'd have to say that.

Beyond that, it just illustrates what an extremely rocky road Silverlight is. Not only do you have to write the base implementation yourself you also, in practice, need add-on packs for media which are only there if Microsoft feels like it.

Reply Score: 2

jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

Moonlight is a lot more than just a way to play videos on the web.

While Silverlight 1.0 is just a simple canvas for 2D graphics, Silverlight 2.0 introduces a bunch of controls (known as Widgets in the Linux world) for RIA development. Things like TextBoxes, Scrollbars, Comboboxes, Listboxes, etc combined with the ability to write web apps in any language that can compile to IL (of which there are many).

Since Microsoft has already provided the codecs, they can't just take them back - besides, even if they could, Moonlight could just add support for GStreamer (we'd like to do this anyway) and then users would be able to get legal codecs from Fluendo. Or, if you don't live in a country where patents are a problem, you can simply build Moonlight with FFMpeg support (which is already possible w/o any need for patches).

We used the Microsoft codecs that they offered because it was the easiest way for Moonlight users to get free legal video decoders. We couldn't legally ship Moonlight built against FFMpeg.

Reply Score: 4

Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

We used the Microsoft codecs that they offered because it was the easiest way for Moonlight users to get free legal video decoders. We couldn't legally ship Moonlight built against FFMpeg.


So, at no point, when the license for the binary plugs were given to Novell only, did you Hmm?

Reply Score: 4

jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

They weren't given to Novell only, they were given to all Linux users, no matter what distribution they run.

Reply Score: 2

miguel Member since:
2005-07-27

"We used the Microsoft codecs that they offered because it was the easiest way for Moonlight users to get free legal video decoders. We couldn't legally ship Moonlight built against FFMpeg.


So, at no point, when the license for the binary plugs were given to Novell only, did you Hmm?
"


The binary plugins actually come from Microsoft and can be used by any Linux distribution (and we go out of our way to test it on as many systems and distributions as we can).

Miguel.

Reply Score: 3

jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

You can use Moonlight without the Microsoft codecs. You can compile with FFmpeg if you want, or (since Moonlight is Free Software), you can patch it to use GStreamer instead (in fact, if you do, we'd love to get those GStreamer patches into Moonlight trunk so send 'em our way!).

Reply Score: 4

jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

Also, as far as platform independence, we are working on making Moonlight work on as many platforms as we can. x86 and x86_64 are just the first.

Again, since Moonlight is Free Software, feel free to contribute patches to make it work on your favorite platform!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by flanque
by flanque on Thu 12th Feb 2009 09:26 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

Politics aside, this is a great achievement.

Well done!

Reply Score: 4

Monkey see, monkey do
by Matzon on Thu 12th Feb 2009 10:01 UTC
Matzon
Member since:
2005-07-06

warning: rant
Microsoft has continued to help us all along in creating an open source implementation of Silverlight. They have open sourced [snip lots of stuff] ... Without this it would have taken years for us to catch up.
or in other words:
Moonlight is at the mercy of what Microsoft decides. It even uses binary codec supplied by a single vendor. yes, you can chose not to use that component, but then you wont be compatible - and you HAVE to be compatible to see that presidential stuff ;)

Being a windows user sometimes amazed of the linux zealots fighting against microsofts control, I am amazed that "they" have so fast adopted a microsoft "led" framework and integrated into a Desktop Environment (Gnome).

Now, I understand that they need not do that - but from where I am standing, it doesn't look like mono is doing much but copying microsofts stuff (apart from GTK#). Take CLR/IL and make it go somewhere *else* than microsoft dictates.

Edited 2009-02-12 10:03 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE: Monkey see, monkey do
by dagw on Thu 12th Feb 2009 11:14 UTC in reply to "Monkey see, monkey do"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I am amazed that "they" have so fast adopted a microsoft "led" framework and integrated into a Desktop Environment (Gnome).

It's not really integrated. You can have a perfectly fine GNOME desktop without mono. There are a couple of apps written in mono for Gnome, but they aren't necessary or integrated.

Take CLR/IL and make it go somewhere *else* than microsoft dictates.

But then you'd lose the whole interop thing, which is half the point. What's the point of being different just for the sake of being different? Microsoft's CLR is both a great idea and a great implementation. If the Open Source community can take that and build upon it then that's great. Open Source has long history of taking good ideas, re-implementing them, and making them better (see Linux, Firefox, apache, gcc etc. etc.)

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Monkey see, monkey do
by Matzon on Thu 12th Feb 2009 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Monkey see, monkey do"
Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not really integrated. You can have a perfectly fine GNOME desktop without mono. There are a couple of apps written in mono for Gnome, but they aren't necessary or integrated.

Yes, but my point is that it IS already integrated. As a Ubuntu-Gnome (default install) user I have to actively remove it.

What's the point of being different just for the sake of being different?

Isn't it the task of microsoft to make sure that mono is compatible with microsoft?

From my POV the mono developers are spending all of their time chasing a moving target, instead of creating something new. Make mono better than .net (do keep compatibility with clr/il) - don't just copy it.

Microsoft's CLR is both a great idea and a great implementation. If the Open Source community can take that and build upon it then that's great.

100% agree - so start building upon it! (boo stands out - but is independent of mono, afaik.).
btw, mono could not use the CLR implementation? - only the specification?

Open Source has long history of taking good ideas, re-implementing them, and making them better (see Linux, Firefox, apache, gcc etc. etc.)

All of these are self contained and follow no direction as pointed out by others (except some open standards (w3c, c-specs etc). I understand what nyou're trying to say - but I dont think these compare. Perhaps if apache was an implementation of IIS and they kept copying features from IIS, then I would see the similarity.

Edited 2009-02-12 12:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Monkey see, monkey do
by abraxas on Thu 12th Feb 2009 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monkey see, monkey do"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Yes, but my point is that it IS already integrated. As a Ubuntu-Gnome (default install) user I have to actively remove it.


Ubuntu isn't GNOME. Blame Ubuntu for the integration, not GNOME.

From my POV the mono developers are spending all of their time chasing a moving target, instead of creating something new. Make mono better than .net (do keep compatibility with clr/il) - don't just copy it.


It seems like you haven't been paying attention. Mono has been doing exactly that for years.

100% agree - so start building upon it! (boo stands out - but is independent of mono, afaik.).


Boo is a language just like C#. They both run use the CLR. Using boo doesn't change anything. C# and the CLR are standards. It's the Microsoft compatibility libraries that people are worried about but they are not necessary for Mono to exist. In fact the Linux applications you know that use Mono DO NOT use any of those libraries.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Monkey see, monkey do
by jstedfast on Thu 12th Feb 2009 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monkey see, monkey do"
jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

Mono already is innovating and better than Microsoft's .NET in a number of ways (in fact, they're copying our features now!)


Mono has cutting edge features like SIMD optimizations and an interactive C# shell (Microsoft has announced that they will be adding a C# interactive shell for .NET 5.0 which won't be out until 2012)

Mono also had Mono.Addins long before Microsoft released their Microsoft Extension Framework.

Reply Score: 5

Gnome
by aunzim on Thu 12th Feb 2009 10:06 UTC
aunzim
Member since:
2008-07-25

With Gnome being controlled by devs paid by Novell, its only normal that Gnome goes the microsoft way, with mono and moonlight... Kde is becoming more needed every day.

Reply Score: 3

Completely useless so far
by cmost on Thu 12th Feb 2009 11:44 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I installed the Moonlight plugin but found it totally useless on most sites that contained Silverlight content since Silverlight is at version 2.0 at the moment. Uninstalled it shortly after. Long live Adobe Flash!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Completely useless so far
by jstedfast on Thu 12th Feb 2009 14:21 UTC in reply to "Completely useless so far"
jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

We are hard at work making Moonlight work with 2.0 sites and we've gotten a lot of success so far on trunk.

If you are into trying out the cutting edge development branch, we'd love to get bug reports!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Completely useless so far
by Mellin on Fri 13th Feb 2009 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Completely useless so far"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

there's a nice bug in version 1.0

Reply Score: 2

Let's get real here
by abraxas on Thu 12th Feb 2009 14:13 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

What I don't understand is why so much noise is made about Mono and Moonlight but barely anyone makes a peep about the proprietary Flash, using Microsoft's corefonts, wincodecs for mplayer, wine, or even Samba which is another Microsoft protocol that has been reimplemented. Inevitabley when the word "Mono" is spoken in a technical forum we can expect ranting and raving by the peanut gallery.

We didn't hear this kind of nonsense when Adobe released their 64-bit alpha for Linux. You would have thought the tech world was going to throw a party and Flash is closed source. Meanwhile most of us Linux users are suffering from Flash's instability and insecurity while our hand's our tied to do anything about it. Moonlight would be an improvement for Linux but don't tell that to the people who hate anything even loosely associated with Microsoft, it doesn't fit their world view.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Let's get real here
by kaiwai on Thu 12th Feb 2009 17:22 UTC in reply to "Let's get real here"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

What I don't understand is why so much noise is made about Mono and Moonlight but barely anyone makes a peep about the proprietary Flash, using Microsoft's corefonts, wincodecs for mplayer, wine, or even Samba which is another Microsoft protocol that has been reimplemented. Inevitabley when the word "Mono" is spoken in a technical forum we can expect ranting and raving by the peanut gallery.

We didn't hear this kind of nonsense when Adobe released their 64-bit alpha for Linux. You would have thought the tech world was going to throw a party and Flash is closed source. Meanwhile most of us Linux users are suffering from Flash's instability and insecurity while our hand's our tied to do anything about it. Moonlight would be an improvement for Linux but don't tell that to the people who hate anything even loosely associated with Microsoft, it doesn't fit their world view.


The reason why there isn't anything (or barely anything) said is because it is of two positions taken by some here:

1) The enemy of my enemy is my friend - Flash is a competitor to Silerlight.

2) It feeds into the ABM (Anything But Microsoft) crowd.

Don't get my wrong, I'm no fan of Silverlight but to see what I see some people do here - to elevate Flash to a higher position by claiming it has some unwarranted moral high ground by virtue of it not being from Microsoft is ignoring the hatred Adobe has towards alternative platforms.

Oh how short people's memories are of how Adobe pulled Framemaker from being shipped on Linux; the years and years of refusing to provide specifications (not source code, just the specifications - and even now not everything is open and documented, only parts which Adobe feel 'comfortable with') for Flash, the years of resisting releasing a Flash plugin for alternative platforms then the dragging their feet (and continuing to do that today) regarding fixing Flash instability and memory leaking that exists on non-Windows platforms.

The only thing that would ever get me to be a 'flash fanboy' would be the day when Adobe submits Flash to some sort of standards body and makes the whole specification, from top to bottom, completely open and transparent. Until that day happens I'm going to be a keyboard thumping W3C fundamentalist because the alternatives put up to the W3C are too disgusting to contemplate (given the vendor lock in that results from it).

Reply Score: 4

RE: Let's get real here
by lemur2 on Thu 12th Feb 2009 22:31 UTC in reply to "Let's get real here"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What I don't understand is why so much noise is made about Mono and Moonlight but barely anyone makes a peep about the proprietary Flash, using Microsoft's corefonts, wincodecs for mplayer, wine, or even Samba which is another Microsoft protocol that has been reimplemented. Inevitabley when the word "Mono" is spoken in a technical forum we can expect ranting and raving by the peanut gallery. We didn't hear this kind of nonsense when Adobe released their 64-bit alpha for Linux. You would have thought the tech world was going to throw a party and Flash is closed source. Meanwhile most of us Linux users are suffering from Flash's instability and insecurity while our hand's our tied to do anything about it. Moonlight would be an improvement for Linux but don't tell that to the people who hate anything even loosely associated with Microsoft, it doesn't fit their world view.


As has already been pointed out at least twice on this thread before, Flash is not a closed proprietary protocol. The specifications are public, and anyone at all may implement code.

http://www.openscreenproject.org/

And people DO implement freedom software code for flash video. Just one example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash

Rather than lcok-in binary blobs, it uses this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec

Samba is an implementation of the SMB protocol, which is an IBM invention. Samba has reverse-engineered the Microsoft-obscured extensions to IBM's protocol by analysing "signals on the wire", but lately this has been less necessary because specifications are also now available to the Samba project via the PFIF.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1064
http://www.protocolfreedom.org/
http://news.samba.org/announcements/pfif/

Implementing freedom software versions of Flash and Samba are perfectly fine and above board. Freedom software means it comes with source code, and hence able to be compiled for ANY platform, even those competing with Microsoft (as viewers of web content, or as servers).

Microsoft codecs in Moonlight, OTOH, are nothing more than binary-blob lock-in mechanisms to facilitate Microsoft's attempts to control the delivery of web content and restrict the platforms which might be used to view said content.

My advice - have absolutely nothing to do with it. Silverlight presence on the web is miniscule compared to flash and javascript. Help to keep it that way, and utterly shun Silverlight and Moonlight.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Let's get real here
by abraxas on Thu 12th Feb 2009 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Let's get real here"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

As has already been pointed out at least twice on this thread before, Flash is not a closed proprietary protocol. The specifications are public, and anyone at all may implement code.


Show me one non-Adobe implementation that works just as well. I never said Flash was a closed format either. The player is closed though and no other player comes close to the support needed for general use. Moonlight on the otherhand is opensource and can be adapted to any platform like ARM. Moonlight already works much better compared to open source flash alternatives.

And people DO implement freedom software code for flash video. Just one example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash

Rather than lcok-in binary blobs, it uses this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec


That's all well and good but gnash and swfdec don't work with a lot of sites. What is the difference between what they are trying to accomplish and what moonlight is attempting to accomplish anyway? My point wasn't to bash Flash in particular but to use it as an example of people's ridiculous views concerning anything even associated with MS when the Flash plugin most people have installed (the Adobe one) is a much bigger problem than Moonlight.

Samba is an implementation of the SMB protocol, which is an IBM invention. Samba has reverse-engineered the Microsoft-obscured extensions to IBM's protocol by analysing "signals on the wire", but lately this has been less necessary because specifications are also now available to the Samba project via the PFIF.


Samba is more than just an implementation of the SMB protocol. It also supports CIFS which has nothing to do with IBM but was added by Microsoft after the initial SMB protocol support. As for Moonlight and Mono, the CLR and the C# language are standardized.

Microsoft codecs in Moonlight, OTOH, are nothing more than binary-blob lock-in mechanisms to facilitate Microsoft's attempts to control the delivery of web content and restrict the platforms which might be used to view said content.


You do know that Moonlight isn't limited to using Microsoft codecs right? It's just an option and Microsoft provided them for free. I doubt people implementing Moonlight enabled sites are going to use Microsoft's codecs but their inclusion will allow people to view sites made with Silverlight. The codecs don't lock you into anything, they just allow for LEGAL decoding of content in Microsoft's formats. If you don't want Microsoft's codecs then don't install them. Moonlight will live on happily without them.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Let's get real here
by lemur2 on Thu 12th Feb 2009 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Let's get real here"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"As has already been pointed out at least twice on this thread before, Flash is not a closed proprietary protocol. The specifications are public, and anyone at all may implement code.
Show me one non-Adobe implementation that works just as well. I never said Flash was a closed format either. The player is closed though and no other player comes close to the support needed for general use. "

It certainly could do with some love ... but it does work. You are not obliged to pay anyone money for jam for using it, either. It won't get you into court, it is perfectly leagl and sanctioned for use, there is absolutely no need for any type of "you can't do that ... we'll sue!" concept such as "indemnification".

Moonlight on the otherhand is opensource and can be adapted to any platform like ARM. Moonlight already works much better compared to open source flash alternatives.


Moonlight is part of and/or depends on Mono. Mono in turn implements (amongst other things) Windows.forms, ASP.NET and ADO.NET, all of which are Microsoft proprietary and specifically NOT licensed for running on any platform other than Windows. Here, concepts such as "imdemnification" become very real and present concerns.

And people DO implement freedom software code for flash video. Just one example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash Rather than lcok-in binary blobs, it uses this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec

That's all well and good but gnash and swfdec don't work with a lot of sites.


Flash video is flash video. Gnash plays flash video. There is trouble on some sites having weird means of sending that video data to your browser, and the browser correctly activating the player to display said data. Whenever I have encountered such a problem, I have as an experiment downloaded the video and tried to play it from the local filesystem. Played fine in every case. Hence it would seem that this isn't a problem with Gnash itself or the freedom software Flash codec in Linux.

But yes ... gnash integration into browser could indeed do with some love.

What is the difference between what they are trying to accomplish and what moonlight is attempting to accomplish anyway?


Because it has source code for all of its working parts, Gnash is platform-independent. One could put it on an Android platform, for example, on a mobile phone. Where is Mono (and codecs) for Android? (as just one example).

My point wasn't to bash Flash in particular but to use it as an example of people's ridiculous views concerning anything even associated with MS when the Flash plugin most people have installed (the Adobe one) is a much bigger problem than Moonlight.


Platform independence.
No sole-source suppliers.

http://www.openscreenproject.org/
The Open Screen Project is an industry-wide initiative, led by Adobe with the participation of industry leaders, with one clear vision: enable consumers to engage with rich Internet experiences seamlessly across any device, anywhere. Partners in the Open Screen Project are working together to provide a consistent runtime environment for open web browsing and standalone applications — taking advantage of Adobe® Flash® Player and, in the future, Adobe® AIR™. This consistent runtime environment will remove barriers to publishing content and applications across desktops, mobile phones, televisions, and other consumer electronics.


Platform independence.
No sole-source suppliers.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/04/30/adobes-open-screen-project-wri...

Platform independence.
No sole-source suppliers.

Am I getting through yet?

"Samba is an implementation of the SMB protocol, which is an IBM invention. Samba has reverse-engineered the Microsoft-obscured extensions to IBM's protocol by analysing "signals on the wire", but lately this has been less necessary because specifications are also now available to the Samba project via the PFIF.


Samba is more than just an implementation of the SMB protocol. It also supports CIFS which has nothing to do with IBM but was added by Microsoft after the initial SMB protocol support.
"

CIFS is just SMB re-named.

As for Moonlight and Mono, the CLR and the C# language are standardized.


... but other major parts of Mono and Moonlight are strictly proprietary to Microsoft.

No sole-source suppliers, remember? Sovreignity over one's own computing infrastructure.

"Microsoft codecs in Moonlight, OTOH, are nothing more than binary-blob lock-in mechanisms to facilitate Microsoft's attempts to control the delivery of web content and restrict the platforms which might be used to view said content.
You do know that Moonlight isn't limited to using Microsoft codecs right? It's just an option and Microsoft provided them for free. I doubt people implementing Moonlight enabled sites are going to use Microsoft's codecs but their inclusion will allow people to view sites made with Silverlight. The codecs don't lock you into anything, they just allow for LEGAL decoding of content in Microsoft's formats. If you don't want Microsoft's codecs then don't install them. Moonlight will live on happily without them. "

Enabling Silverlight on Linux, and getting Microsoft-proprietary hooks into Linux, is the entire reason for Moonlight. One just has to look at the press releases to see that.

Edited 2009-02-12 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Let's get real here
by abraxas on Fri 13th Feb 2009 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Let's get real here"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

It certainly could do with some love ... but it does work.


It doesn't work on Hulu.

but it does work. You are not obliged to pay anyone money for jam for using it, either. It won't get you into court, it is perfectly leagl and sanctioned for use


Just like Moonlight.

Moonlight is part of and/or depends on Mono. Mono in turn implements (amongst other things) Windows.forms, ASP.NET and ADO.NET, all of which are Microsoft proprietary and specifically NOT licensed for running on any platform other than Windows. Here, concepts such as "imdemnification" become very real and present concerns.


That's the root of your misunderstanding. Mono doesn't depend on Windows.Forms, ASP.NET, or ADO.NET. This is a common misconception for some reason.

Flash video is flash video. Gnash plays flash video. There is trouble on some sites having weird means of sending that video data to your browser, and the browser correctly activating the player to display said data. Whenever I have encountered such a problem, I have as an experiment downloaded the video and tried to play it from the local filesystem. Played fine in every case. Hence it would seem that this isn't a problem with Gnash itself or the freedom software Flash codec in Linux.


So? It still doesn't work and Moonlight doesn't require restricted codecs.

Because it has source code for all of its working parts, Gnash is platform-independent. One could put it on an Android platform, for example, on a mobile phone. Where is Mono (and codecs) for Android? (as just one example).


All the source code is available for Moonlight also. Anyone can put it on any device. You can't distribute the Microsoft codecs but you don't have to. Think of it in terms of a media player. They do not include licensed codecs legally but they all support free codecs out of the box.

Platform independence.
No sole-source suppliers.


Are you serious? We are talking about Moonlight which is another supplier and is platform independent and open source.

Am I getting through yet?


The only thing you are getting through to me is that you utterly fail to understand Mono or Moonlight.

CIFS is just SMB re-named.


No. CIFS is an extension of SMB which has progessed over decades. A lot of code is directly from Microsoft and has nothing to do with IBM. IBM has not control over CIFS code other than the common ancestry in SMB.

... but other major parts of Mono and Moonlight are strictly proprietary to Microsoft.

No sole-source suppliers, remember? Sovreignity over one's own computing infrastructure.


Unfortunately you are basing your views on the assumption that Mono is dependent on non-standard libraries when it is not.

Enabling Silverlight on Linux, and getting Microsoft-proprietary hooks into Linux, is the entire reason for Moonlight. One just has to look at the press releases to see that.


Take off the tin-foil hat. Moonlight has been developed for a long time before it was known that Microsoft was going to distribute codecs. They are great for compatibility but just like the libraries you mentioned earlier they are not necessary for development.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Let's get real here
by lemur2 on Sat 14th Feb 2009 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Let's get real here"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That's the root of your misunderstanding. Mono doesn't depend on Windows.Forms, ASP.NET, or ADO.NET. This is a common misconception for some reason.


It doesn't depend on them, but it does include the technologies

http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page
"Microsoft Compatible API
Run ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and Windows.Forms 2.0 applications without recompilation."


I'm afraid it is you who has the misconception. Mono does include re-implementations of Microsoft-proprietary technologies. The Mono home pages says so, right up front. As far as I can tell, the only people who have a promise not to be sued by Microsoft for running those components of Mono on Linux are Novell SLED customers.

According to Microsoft, their concept of "IP" seems to mean ... we will bury you with lawyers if you try to re-implement and hence compete with our technologies.

Despite your desperation to try to give contrary impressions, Moonlight does incorporate binary blob codecs from Microsoft to achieve its touted functionality.

Given Microsoft's avowed aim to get rid of Linux as a competitor, it would seem to me that to make Linux depend for basic functionality on components that can only be delivered by Microsoft, and make Linux include technologies that are specifically licensed to run on Windows only are both excellent first step towards that aim.

By far and away the best response to that from Linux users is to utterly shun use of Mono, Mono applications and Moonlight, and refrain from visiting Silverlight sites.

Given the dominance of flash in this role on the web, and the emerging excellence of the KDE 4 desktop, happily this will be extremely easy to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Let's get real here
by abraxas on Sat 14th Feb 2009 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Let's get real here"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm afraid it is you who has the misconception. Mono does include re-implementations of Microsoft-proprietary technologies.


I never said it didn't include them I just said it doesn't depend on them. In fact I made it clear that those libraries are included for compatibility but are not necessary to develop applications like Banshee and F-Spot.

According to Microsoft, their concept of "IP" seems to mean ... we will bury you with lawyers if you try to re-implement and hence compete with our technologies.


Show me an example of when they did this? You can't because Microsoft hasn't sued a Linux company for IP yet and it's been almost 20 years! It's all in your head.

Despite your desperation to try to give contrary impressions, Moonlight does incorporate binary blob codecs from Microsoft to achieve its touted functionality.


Maybe you should actually use it before claiming things you know nothing about. Moonlight comes with an ffmpeg backend which is open source. If a silverlight widget requires a MS codec when you attempt to view it it will ask you if you want to download the codecs from Microsoft. You don't have to install them.

Given Microsoft's avowed aim to get rid of Linux as a competitor, it would seem to me that to make Linux depend for basic functionality on components that can only be delivered by Microsoft, and make Linux include technologies that are specifically licensed to run on Windows only are both excellent first step towards that aim.


It's all in your head. There isn't any actual evidence of this.

By far and away the best response to that from Linux users is to utterly shun use of Mono, Mono applications and Moonlight, and refrain from visiting Silverlight sites.


According to you. I use Mono and I'm glad I do. I used to be worried like you but once I actually educated myself on the matter I realized all this conspiracy theory nonsense is just that...nonsense.

Given the dominance of flash in this role on the web, and the emerging excellence of the KDE 4 desktop, happily this will be extremely easy to do.


Way to shun an open source solution for a propietary one. Just how am I supposed to create flash with free software? How do I know what I create will work with gnash or swfdec. These are major problems with Flash in the free software world. Moonlight is an end-to-end solution where everything created with Moonlight can be consumed with the Mooonlight plugin.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Let's get real here
by segedunum on Thu 12th Feb 2009 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Let's get real here"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Show me one non-Adobe implementation that works just as well.

The standards and specifications don't prohibit someone making a pretty complete implementation, it's just that it is a lot of work when Adobe is providing just about adequate implementations of their own for many platforms. If it's a lot of work when you have documentation, just imagine how difficult keeping up with Silverlight will be.

Moonlight on the otherhand is opensource and can be adapted to any platform like ARM.

I'll use what you said: No other implementation other than Silverlight comes close to the support needed for general use.

Moonlight already works much better compared to open source flash alternatives.

Based on what, and more importantly, how do you know it will stay that way if it's true? Where's the Silverlight specifications and open media formats to leave the door open?

What is the difference between what they are trying to accomplish and what moonlight is attempting to accomplish anyway?

I have a feeling you'll never get this really because you think this is all some sort of personal Microsoft vendetta. The difference is that swfdec and Gnash are implementations of what used to be a completely proprietary format that now have a chance of keeping up, being good enough and coming pre-installed on many free platforms.

Put simply, Adobe is also a company that does not control its own platform as Microsoft does with Windows and will not have a vested interest in pulling support for even its own implementation amongst free platforms.

My point wasn't to bash Flash in particular but to use it as an example of people's ridiculous views concerning anything even associated with MS when the Flash plugin most people have installed (the Adobe one) is a much bigger problem than Moonlight.

I had a feeling you thought this was some sort of Microsoft vendetta, and it isn't. Read above. It is simply the reality of the situation with Silverlight and the platform it is designed and intended to be run on.

There is no problem with Adobe. Right now there isn't massive interest in free Flash implementations because Adobe provides versions of Flash for many platforms that are OK. Not great, but OK. If that changes then interest in free Flash implementations will increase, the specifications are there to allow it to happen, those writing the code will influence future direction far more and Adobe will still make money from it regardless.

See the difference?

As for Moonlight and Mono, the CLR and the C# language are standardized.

They are standardised according to the ECMA, which isn't much of a standard at all. What's in the ECMA gives you nothing of a pratical .Net implementation. The reality is that the weight of the installed base of .Net applications are running on Windows and it isn't as simple as many think to move away. There isn't much standardisation there, and Microsoft can also switch gears in a future version, drag developers along with them and leave other platforms in the cold.

You do know that Moonlight isn't limited to using Microsoft codecs right?

It really doesn't matter. The reference implementation is Silverlight, that's what developers will be writing for and Silverlight will use Microsoft's codecs. You will then be sucked along in having to support them, if you want to be relevant to your users.

Think about it. If you didn't have to use Microsoft's codes then why is there a need for Moonlight at all? Either you can't see this or you've had a major injection of denial.

I doubt people implementing Moonlight enabled sites are going to use Microsoft's codecs

How many Moonlight enabled sites are you going to see versus Silverlight enabled ones? Moonlight enabled sites..... That gave me a chuckle. It almost makes me think of you as a bit of a shill.

The codecs don't lock you into anything

Keep thinking that if it gives you comfort.

If you don't want Microsoft's codecs then don't install them. Moonlight will live on happily without them.

Alas, the content that users will want to view with Moonlight will not ;-).

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Let's get real here
by sbergman27 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Let's get real here"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Flash is horrible. But Flash has done more to make embedded web video "Work With Linux" than any other single thing I can think of. It wasn't Xine or Mplayer or Ogg Theora, with or without plugins. Special note should go to the VLC project for giving it the old college try. But still no (OK, marginal) dice on embedded video. Proprietary Flash was our savior. Now that the format has been opened up more, I guess we should get behind it. Can you feel my excitement? ;-)

Edited 2009-02-13 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Let's get real here
by lemur2 on Fri 13th Feb 2009 00:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Let's get real here"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

But still no (OK, marginal) dice on embedded video.


Embedding video is more in the domain of browser-to-payer integration than it is the domain of the players and the codecs themselves. Blame rather the horrible state of plugin support (as opposed to add-on support) in firefox and other browsers on Linux for this state of affairs, not flash or theora or dirac.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Let's get real here
by abraxas on Fri 13th Feb 2009 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Let's get real here"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I also remember when Adobe didn't release the Linux version at the same time and when they decided not to release version 8 for Linux at all. In fact I think version 10 was the only version that shipped all versions simultaneously. Trusting Adobe to release the latest version is not a trap we want to fall into. Moonlight avoids this by implementing the entire framework for creating and viewing content. It makes it much easier for someone to create content with open source for universal consumption. We don't have to worry about what Microsoft does if we concentrate on Moonlight development instead of Silverlight development. The only way for Flash to compete on the same ground is if someone comes along and creates a completely open source Flash creator along with a compatible plugin. That way we can be sure the content we create is compatible with the plugins people have available. I have yet to find an open source flash creation program that isn't alpha software. If a decent one exists I would love to check it out because without out one we shouldn't even discussing the merits of Flash vs Moonlight in an open source context.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Let's get real here
by jstedfast on Fri 13th Feb 2009 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Let's get real here"
jstedfast Member since:
2007-06-21

"You do know that Moonlight isn't limited to using Microsoft codecs right?

It really doesn't matter. The reference implementation is Silverlight, that's what developers will be writing for and Silverlight will use Microsoft's codecs. You will then be sucked along in having to support them, if you want to be relevant to your users.

Think about it. If you didn't have to use Microsoft's codes then why is there a need for Moonlight at all? Either you can't see this or you've had a major injection of denial.
"

You seem to be extremely confused.

Silverlight content authors do not target a codec implementation, they write Silverlight applications that may or may not use encoded audio/video (which would be in wmv, mp3, etc).

Moonlight is needed because Silverlight isn't a video player plugin, it's an RIA framework which just happens to include audio and video playback.

Just because a Silverlight application uses wmv doesn't mean you, as a Moonlight user, are limited to having to use the Microsoft codec blob - in fact, we Moonlight developers used the FFmpeg codec implementation throughout most of the development effort for Moonlight 1.0.

"If you don't want Microsoft's codecs then don't install them. Moonlight will live on happily without them.

Alas, the content that users will want to view with Moonlight will not ;-).
"

If you want to view the content, you have to use Moonlight or reboot to Windows and watch it using Silverlight.

Your choice.

If Moonlight didn't exist, you wouldn't have a choice at all.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Let's get real here
by segedunum on Fri 13th Feb 2009 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Let's get real here"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You seem to be extremely confused.

You're either exceptionally confused about the reality of the situation or you really, really, really want to sweep this under the carpet.

Silverlight content authors do not target a codec implementation, they write Silverlight applications that may or may not use encoded audio/video (which would be in wmv, mp3, etc).

That's a not-so-very-clever way of saying absolutely nothing, and it's neither here nor there that Silverlight applications 'may or may not' use encoded audio or video. Silverlight is a multimedia plugin, and as such, you're going to encounter lots of multimedia content. It's really great and all if we 'don't have to use Windows Media', but it's not so great when no audio or video comes out as expected. The difference between working and not working is very fine.

It really doesn't matter if only a proportion of Silverlight applications use Windows Media. The reality is that the relevance of Moonlight is dependant on you being able to take whatever a Silverlight application might throw at you - now and in the future. The reality of that is that within Silverlight development tools Windows Media is the path of least resistance, and it really doesn't matter how many other formats such as MP3 that you throw in there to make it sound less of a dependency.

Moonlight is needed because Silverlight isn't a video player plugin, it's an RIA framework which just happens to include audio and video playback.

So what? Silverlight is a plugin intended for multimedia and it doesn't change the reality of the situation or what Moonlight will have to deal with to stay relevant.

Just because a Silverlight application uses wmv doesn't mean you, as a Moonlight user, are limited to having to use the Microsoft codec blob - in fact, we Moonlight developers used the FFmpeg codec implementation.......

How long can that last? How are free software platform users and developers going to keep up? You are always a second class citizen in that scenario. Yes, the reality is that people have to jump through hoops today to deal with many media formats on free platforms, but we certainly do not want to perpetuate the situation and make it worse. Some of the arguments around Moonlight effectively say "We have to deal with these codecs today so it's no different", which is laughable.

If you want to view the content, you have to use Moonlight or reboot to Windows and watch it using Silverlight.

I'm afraid the reality is that we will increasingly need to reboot into Windows as Microsoft starts dragging its heels.

Your choice.

Not much of a choice really, is it?

If Moonlight didn't exist, you wouldn't have a choice at all.

Well yes we would, because we wouldn't have to discuss Moonlight helping Microsoft build market share for a plugin in search of a problem, and them then cutting our choices and air supply off over time as they have done so often over the years. This time they are attempting to do it to the web - yet again.

Seriously, you guys worry me. Do you not think about whether always following another company is the right thing to do, do you not think about other alternatives available to you and do you not think about the wellbeing of the free software platforms you say that you are helping? You speak about Silverlight, which currently has little real usage, as some kind of inevitability.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Let's get real here
by abraxas on Fri 13th Feb 2009 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Let's get real here"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

The standards and specifications don't prohibit someone making a pretty complete implementation, it's just that it is a lot of work when Adobe is providing just about adequate implementations of their own for many platforms. If it's a lot of work when you have documentation, just imagine how difficult keeping up with Silverlight will be.


Actually keeping up with Silverlight will be easier than keeping up with flash. Microsoft is actually helping the Mono team with Moonlight. MS has made specifications and APIs available to the Moonlight team also.

Based on what, and more importantly, how do you know it will stay that way if it's true? Where's the Silverlight specifications and open media formats to leave the door open?


To be honest I don't care that much about Silverlight compatibiliity although it is nice. I'm interested in the ability to create and view interactive content with Moonlight. It's the same thing with Mono. I don't care about .NET but I care about Mono. Without .NET Banshee would still play music and F-Spot would still let me organize my photos. Mono doesn't depend on .NET development and Moonlight won't depend on Silverlight development.

I'll use what you said: No other implementation other than Silverlight comes close to the support needed for general use.


First of all Silverlight is rarely used on any site at this point but it works perfectly on Silverlight 1.0 sites. 2.0 isn't there yet but it will be soon. Moonlight will follow Mono's lead and implement their own technologies to create an even better platform. People will have the ability to create Moonlight projects instead of Silverlight projects. This isn't the case with gnash or swfdec. Is there even an open source content creator for flash?

Put simply, Adobe is also a company that does not control its own platform as Microsoft does with Windows and will not have a vested interest in pulling support for even its own implementation amongst free platforms.


Adobe controls Flash creation. Other software is available for creating flash animations but there is nothing as full featured. There is no software package that I know of that is specifically designed to create content for open source players. Moonlight is the whole kit. Plus as I said before Microsoft did release specifications and APIs.

There is no problem with Adobe. Right now there isn't massive interest in free Flash implementations because Adobe provides versions of Flash for many platforms that are OK. Not great, but OK. If that changes then interest in free Flash implementations will increase, the specifications are there to allow it to happen, those writing the code will influence future direction far more and Adobe will still make money from it regardless.


It's funny that you say that because there is a much bigger demand for free Flash alternative than there is Silverlight alternatives yet the free Moonlight is much further along. Gnash has been around for a very long time yet it is still very basic.

They are standardised according to the ECMA, which isn't much of a standard at all. What's in the ECMA gives you nothing of a pratical .Net implementation. The reality is that the weight of the installed base of .Net applications are running on Windows and it isn't as simple as many think to move away. There isn't much standardisation there, and Microsoft can also switch gears in a future version, drag developers along with them and leave other platforms in the cold.


That sucks for Flash too since the scripting engine is an ECMA standard. Mono isn't attempting to be just another .NET implementation and Moonlight isn't going to be just anothr Silverlight implementation either. Compatibility is good but the real intent is to create its own environment like Mono.

It really doesn't matter. The reference implementation is Silverlight, that's what developers will be writing for and Silverlight will use Microsoft's codecs. You will then be sucked along in having to support them, if you want to be relevant to your users.


That's the same thing people said about Mono for years but I am still happily using applications built with Mono for Mono. I might believe your point of view if this wasn't the case but in all the years I have been using Mono never once was I or any of the applications I used held hostage by Microsoft. The .NET implementation changes have absolutely no effect on Mono application development.

Think about it. If you didn't have to use Microsoft's codes then why is there a need for Moonlight at all? Either you can't see this or you've had a major injection of denial.


This statement makes me think you don't realize what Moonlight is. It's not just a video player. The codecs were offered by Microsoft free of charge, with an agreement not to sue so that Moonlight users can consume Silverlight content that used these codecs. Moonlight doesn't depend on them. You seem to think that Moonlight is just a vehicle for Microsofot codecs when Moonlight has been developed for quite some time before Microsoft even offered their codecs.

How many Moonlight enabled sites are you going to see versus Silverlight enabled ones? Moonlight enabled sites..... That gave me a chuckle. It almost makes me think of you as a bit of a shill.


Me a shill? Ha. Look in the mirror. How many sites do you visit that have free software created Flash? Personally I see thousands of sites created with Flash but very few created with Silverlight. Moonlight just hit 1.0, that's what this article is about so obviously there are no Moonlight sites yet. People said the same thing about Mono too yet there are Mono created applications all over the place now, even on Windows!

To reiterate... I am not a Microsoft shill. I have been using Linux for years. I haven't had a Windows install since 2002. I have no particular love for Silverlight but Moonlight is exciting. If Moonlight is managed like Mono has been then soon we will have a great platform to create and view completely open source animations, videos, and other interactive content. If an open source Flash implementation even wants to compete they are going to have to create an entire framework for creating and displaying content, not just releasing a half-baked plugin.

The very best thing about Mono and its subprojects like Moonlight is that they are not just trying to copy and reimplement the standard-bearer like all free Flash implementations do. They have created their own tools, their own libraries, and their own features, sometimes outpacing even Microsoft. It seems that people underestimate the importance of this fact. Mono stands by itself, with or without Microsoft and the same stands true for Mooonlight.

Reply Score: 4

one big problem
by Mellin on Thu 12th Feb 2009 22:06 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

it doesn't work with silverlight 2.0 and soon there will be silverlight 3.0

Reply Score: 4

Dudes, it's not all about Linux
by 3rdalbum on Fri 13th Feb 2009 10:24 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

There are reasons why Silverlight shouldn't be used, and guess what... it's not all about Linux.

Silverlight's full capabilities can only be used in Windows. Mac OS X for Intel has an official version of Silverlight, which does not support DRM.

There is no OS X PowerPC version of Silverlight, there is no Linux/Unix version, and there is no embedded versiom. Not even for Windows Mobile, which powers most of the smartphones out there! People cannot use the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3 browsers to view Silverlight content (whereas they can with Flash, although Adobe is still working on up-to-date Flash for embedded).

Silverlight 2.0 is not even available in 64-bit on Windows! From what I hear, it would take a *porting effort* to get Silverlight to be native 64-bit. I scorn any company that doesn't provide 64-bit binaries as 64-bit support is necessary NOW.

Moonlight solves some of these problems, but I get the impression that it's still a bit of a hack and will not reach feature-parity with the official Silverlight 2, at least not until Silverlight 3 comes out. It will never support the DRM that is in the official Silverlight 2, and I'd be surprised if it supported embedded platforms.

And frankly, do we really want Moonlight if we've determined that we shouldn't even have Silverlight?

I'd also like to correct something said earlier, about Gnome using Mono. There are no core Gnome components that depend on Mono, and the Gnome developers have very strongly said that no contributions to the Gnome core can be written with a Mono dependency.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dudes, it's not all about Linux
by abraxas on Sat 14th Feb 2009 14:44 UTC in reply to "Dudes, it's not all about Linux"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Moonlight solves some of these problems, but I get the impression that it's still a bit of a hack and will not reach feature-parity with the official Silverlight 2, at least not until Silverlight 3 comes out. It will never support the DRM that is in the official Silverlight 2, and I'd be surprised if it supported embedded platforms.


I haven't seen any announcement about Silverlight 3.0 but Moonlight 2.0 is due for release in September. Mono hasn't had many difficulties keeping up with .NET and even surpassing .NET in some areas.

And frankly, do we really want Moonlight if we've determined that we shouldn't even have Silverlight?


I think the big misconception here is that without .NET Mono would cease to exist and without Silverlight Moonlight would cease to exist. This simply isn't the case. Mono is not dependent in any way on Microsoft. They have their own libraries and their own way of doing things. Compatibility is just a bonus. I think we help Linux's cause more by pushing Mono/Moonlight over .NET/Silverlight than we do by sitting idle as Microsoft delivers the only tools capable of creating and consuming content for the .NET platform. Whether you like it or not Microsoft still owns the desktop market and anything they do on their platform has to be relevant to us as Linux desktop users. Flash/Silverlight type widgets and applications are cropping up everywhere and if Linux users don't have the ability to create and view that content we will be left out in the cold. You could make a case for creating an entirely new framework but why do that when we have existing tools to implement something like Moonlight in a much faster time frame. I don't see anyone volunteering to do that work and I don't see anyone creating a first class Flash animation IDE for Linux either. From the prespective of an open source content creator Moonlight wins hands down againt Flash. There just aren't enough free tools to work with Flash on an open source desktop.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by silix
by silix on Fri 13th Feb 2009 14:16 UTC
silix
Member since:
2006-03-01

once upon a time, operating system-, and generally SW- related technology were reported and debated for the sake of the technology itself, i.e. mostly from a technical point of view that would benefit both IT users, IT professionals AND enthusiasts - and all was good, since SW always is, for all intents and purposes, just a tool to perform a certain job and achieve a certain goal, and the way something is made should only concern those who make it, rather than those who use it

now, the only merit people would identify and praise in a software technology, would be that of "not being in any way related to microsoft (nor to anything coming from microsoft)", or "supportinig the foss community" - and if the above does not hold true, any efforts gone in the development of a sw project is worth nothing (neither if the project is an open source one , and not a commercial "product"), features are worth nothing, elegance and consistency in the design is worth nothing, and the project is endlessly bashed just because it exists

i was curious about what Silverlight features moonlight 1.0 implements (ie if it's on feature parity), to what extents it's different from, say, flash, what libraries and/or frameworks it depends on (apart from mono), whether HW acceleration can be fully exploited or the thing only runs with SW based decoding and rendering, and so on ...
no post clarifying this could be found or if it could, it was buried in an endless flame, OSNews has sure become the wrong place to look for technically inclined news and comments on, as of late...

Edited 2009-02-13 14:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1