Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Apr 2010 22:35 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Microsoft "While Adobe has been getting most of the press recently for their Flash 10.1 RC, Microsoft has quietly announced their plans to release the final version of Silverlight 4.0 as early as next week. This major update will provide more fundamental changes than prior iterations, including Google Chrome support, better performance (up to 200% over Silverlight 3), improved security with digital signing and sandboxing, and greater control for developers."
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Very solid
by arbour42 on Fri 9th Apr 2010 03:16 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been watching the videos from Mix, and doing the new tutorials focusing on LOB apps, and Silverlight has made a huge jump in this release.

The easy way you can tie data entry apps to the backend using WCF RIA services is impressive, along with making one-to-many-to-many data-entry apps.

And if you look at the data controls that are now coming out from .NET 3rd party developers, Silverlight is far ahead of Flash and the JS frameworks. They are putting the whole company behind it now.

One last point: one of the Mix videos was about making large-scale data apps with Silverlight. They were asked why not use Ajax? They said Ajax and Javascript would have blown out their budget. Too much testing time because of browser issues, and much more development time. SL isn't perfect, but they came in under budget and got good results.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Very solid
by google_ninja on Fri 9th Apr 2010 12:41 in reply to "Very solid"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

So the thing to remember about MS conferences nowadays is they are mostly commercials for ms products. As long as you keep that in mind, you can still find great sessions, but you have to keep that in mind. I find MIX especially has deteriorated the last few years. The comment about javascript being too hard to work with is very typical of the microsoft community, and explains why there are very few public facing sites using the microsoft stack.

The down sides to SL is that moonlight lags at least a major revision behind and the mac version blows, so realistically it is only single platform, the performance of it (and all WPF) is absolutely terrible, the design of XAML and its APIs still leaves a great deal to be desired, and finally, its got a single platform development environment that requires really beefy tools (you need a pretty powerful machine to run VS properly), combined with its newness which makes it difficult to find people with experience in it.

It is good for rich controls in existing ASP.net intranet apps written by good teams of .net developers who aren't scared of learning something new, but thats about it. If you are doing a full app in silverlight, there is no reason not to just do it in WPF with XBAP. If you are doing client facing controls, there is no reason not to use flash.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Very solid
by Nelson on Fri 9th Apr 2010 15:12 in reply to "RE: Very solid"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

So the thing to remember about MS conferences nowadays is they are mostly commercials for ms products. As long as you keep that in mind, you can still find great sessions, but you have to keep that in mind. I find MIX especially has deteriorated the last few years. The comment about javascript being too hard to work with is very typical of the microsoft community, and explains why there are very few public facing sites using the microsoft stack.


But I mean it's true, Javascript is an abomination of a language. With C# you get VS2010 which has world class debugging and profiling support (even concurrency profiling).


The down sides to SL is that moonlight lags at least a major revision behind and the mac version blows


Moonlight is compatible with most of SL2 (SL3 is just sprinkles ontop of SL2) and even supports some SL4 stuff.

The only real reason is that Silverlight had a lot of catching up to do to reach parity with WPF in any meaningful manner.

Things should settle down soon.

I've been (real recently) doing full trust OOB development on Windows and OSX and have run into no such performance problems. However I just started testing OSX during SL4's development phase.


the performance of it (and all WPF) is absolutely terrible


I strongly disagree here. WPF and SL are one of those things that if proper care is taken, run much faster than the competition. Especially WPF.


the design of XAML and its APIs still leaves a great deal to be desired


Like what?


and finally, its got a single platform development environment that requires really beefy tools (you need a pretty powerful machine to run VS properly), combined with its newness which makes it difficult to find people with experience in it.


VS2010 was shown running just fine on a netbook. Incidentally, a great portion of VS2010 is written in WPF and managed code.

Additionally, VS2010 is only half of the equation. Any good WPF/SL developer will either know how to use the Expression Suite, or have a designer who knows how to use it.

Sure, I can pump out XAML by hand or use VS2010's designer (which is very good), but Blend just blows my mind with how productive you can be.

Watch some of the MIX Panels using Blend 4 and you'll see what I'm talking about.


It is good for rich controls in existing ASP.net intranet apps written by good teams of .net developers who aren't scared of learning something new, but thats about it. If you are doing a full app in silverlight, there is no reason not to just do it in WPF with XBAP.


Whoa no. Red flag. XBAPs are terrible and need to die off. My experience with XBAPs have been terrible, deployment really blows on anything other than IE, and it requires the machine to have the full blown .NET Framework installed (Which is now ~35MB but at the time was over 300MB). SL by comparison is 5-7MB.

They also cannot be run full trust like Silverlight can, well at least not easily. Which ties into the whole deployment mess.

Silverlight has largely eliminated the need for XBAPs and thank god for that.

If you are doing client facing controls, there is no reason not to use flash.


Flash really holds no water to Silverlight. There is no area where Flash excels and Silverlight does not.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Very solid
by arbour42 on Fri 9th Apr 2010 17:36 in reply to "RE: Very solid"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to disagree with much of what you said. I've been a very hard critic of MS over the years, but what they're doing now is quite good. And the guys doing Mix weren't hesitant to point out flaws. It wasn't some rah-rah session.

I've used most of the Javascript frameworks, and it has mostly been disappointing. The dynamic typing of JS is a huge problem, especially as code bases get large. That's why Google wrote GWT in Java, and 280 Slides is written in Cappuccino, in strongly-typed Objective-J. Creating Linq queries which are strongly-typed is a HUGE plus.

As for performance, on my 4 year old Vaio with 1gb ram, VS 2010 runs fine, and that's a WPF app itself. Large SL apps with a lot of animations sometimes lag a little, but less-graphic ones do just fine, as does video.

XAML and the API are not a weakness. The new Flex component system looks eerily similar to WPF/SL - I wonder why Adobe ditched the old component model, and now mimics WPF?

At this point, to build large web programs, I only see SL, GWT (but with add-ons like Ext-GWT), and Cappuccino.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Very solid
by nt_jerkface on Sun 11th Apr 2010 17:27 in reply to "RE: Very solid"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

If you are doing client facing controls, there is no reason not to use flash.


Heh? If you're doing controls for an intranet app you don't have the install base problem and if your team is familiar with .net using Flash would be a total waste of time.

Reply Parent Score: 2