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 ...."
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_standards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web_Consortium#Standards

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash#Open_Screen_Project

That would be Flash, not SilverLight.

Reply Parent Score: 16

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by capricorn_tm on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:13 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
capricorn_tm Member since:
2005-12-31

Perfect, I could not have said better.

In fact I can see the confused idea that was behind the silverlight choice.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's use the latest and spiffier and blinkier technology we have!"

The curios fact is that that kind of reasonement would never be even considered if applied at other fields.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's do all the presentation in a place were everyone is standing up so that they are forced to dance all time long, no sitting allowed!"

See what I mean?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by siimo on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:18 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

I think it also has something to do with what the development team is comfortable with. I have no idea what this site Obama uses is but if its written in asp.net then those same developers would find it easier to write SilverLight than Flash.

Don't think that justifies using it over Flash for a big site but just putting it out there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by AAArno on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:26 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
AAArno Member since:
2008-08-05

Yes, that would be ideal but a closed standard makes more money for the company that owns the product. :/

And I seriously doubt the Obama campaign chose Silverlight because it was 'fresh' or it was something 'the development team is comfortable with'; Microsoft just had their big foot in the door. Especially because, I recollect, the company was a big contributor to the Obama campaign.

Reply Parent Score: 4