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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Much ado about nothing ...
by JeffS on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:00 UTC
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So what if Microsoft paid/influenced it's way to having the PIC site use Silverlight? There are about 12 billion other places to stream the inauguration, using other protocols/runtimes.

Also, it's commendable that the MS engineers helped the Moonlight guys to get it working on Linux.

All that said, Silverlight is pretty irrelevant to me. For RIA, Flash/Flex, plus Ajax with common media codecs, have already won. Now it's up to Silverlight and JavaFX to duke it out for the table scraps, with Silverlight having the big head start and more marketing dollars, but JavaFX having much greater cross platform capability.

Also, it's no small task for a third party, no matter how big, to target Linux as a platform, because, well, it's not a true platform. With all the separate distros and all their separately maintained repositories, Linux is actually several different appliances or silos, even within different versions of the same distro.

Adobe had a hell of a time to get Flash to fully compile on all the major distros. Up until Flash 9, the Linux version of Flash was always 6 months to a year behind the Windows and Mac versions. And Adobe was making a sincere effort to target Linux. It's just that there were so many different versions of gcc, glibc, various libraries, file structures, and so on, it made it very difficult to come out with a version of Flash (and an installer) that would run properly on as many distros (and all of their sub versions) as possible.

I love Linux, and use it regularily, but this is what pains me about it.

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