Linked by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:13 UTC
In the News Those up top (the Presidential Inaugural Committee) chose to utilize Microsoft's Silverlight technology to stream the upcoming inaugural events for the new president of the United States. Though Microsoft certainly likes this idea, this leaves out thousands of people in the US and elsewhere who still cannot run Silverlight or an open source alternative on their systems from viewing the streamed video online. Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight. Migel De Icaza wrote: "Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight." Microsoft and the Moonlight team fixed this issue in one afternoon, so it might be a little rough.
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RE: Soooo ....
by lemur2 on Tue 20th Jan 2009 03:21 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
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If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can?

Things on the web shouldn't necessarily be open source ... but they should be open standards. Having open standard is vital for competition, because it means that any company can offer web content, any company can make tools to present web content, and any company can make viewers to display web content. None of it need necessarily be open source ... but it all must be open standards.

The open standards for the web are defined by W3C and other similar bodies, not by Microsoft or Adobe. Here they are listed:

The open standards that can do what SilverLight and Flash can do are called SVG and SMIL.

Having pointed out that, if you were to subsequently claim that SVG and SMIL are not widely adopted, and lack adequate tools, you would have a point. In that case, the next best thing is to choose an existing protocol, for which there are existing tools and content and widespread use, and which is fully specified and able to be implemented by anybody for no licensing fee.

That would be Flash, not SilverLight.

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