Thursday, May 03, 2007
Silverlight will be pervasive.

I was going to end the blog entry right there.

First, Silverlight will be built into Internet Explorer in the future. Second, I assume it will somehow not frighten people when the browser asks if it can download it. I suppose if the average person sees this request a few times when trying to access some video on a web page, especially on some big media site like CBSNews.com, even their initial caution will be worn down when they see the same request on several reputable web sites.

Rule number seven about Microsoft (you know rule number one is wait until the third version) is that any graphical program they make will be simple, inflexible, and somehow an uphill battle to get what you envision onto the computer screen. Adobe owns the graphics market.

I blogged earlier about Expression Web as a solid product. I used to use Adobe Dreamweaver, and Expression Web has all the nice layout features of that product. My favorite feature of Expression Web is that if you select some text or image on a page you're building, you'll see faint grid lines indicating the margins and padding (CSS settings) for that individual item, and you can adjust these settings just by dragging the grid lines up or down, left or right. (I'm several versions behind the latest version of Dreamweaver, so it may also have this.)

This feature will be part of the next version of Visual Studio for laying out ASP.NET pages.

But the real reason I think Silverlight will be a complete success is that for interactive Web applications where Flash has been king, it will offer all the power and ease of development of WPF. Again, I'm several steps behind the latest version, but I dabbled in Flash in the past. I created a Checkers game (you can try it out: swipe through the player one or player two default names and type your own name).

At the time, adding the functionality was done through a JavaScript-compatible language (they called ActionScript) and the IDE offered very primitive debugging and no IntelliSense. I haven't followed the latest offerings from Adobe, but I thought I heard that their new Web programming uses Eclipse as an IDE. Eclipse seemed to have a modern feel to it when I tried it out a few years ago. It even had built-in refactoring before Visual Studio did.

But all the elegance of the .NET framework, and all the power of the tools to create it, will make Silverlight nearly effortless to add video, audio, and animation to a web page. It may also be simpler for retrieving, displaying or manipulating data, but just to be able to add those big three media will make Silverlight IMO an almost instant success.

I don't know whether major web sites will use this new Microsoft technology to deliver video. Flash video is pretty well entrenched, but there might be some advantages to going with Silverlight.

Whenever I visit a page with video, I look for a control on the player that allows it to be viewed full-screen. Lacking that, I double-click on the rectangular video area.

[sometimes it's one square inch]

The ability to resize the player without degrading the video quality and make full-screen video easier to provide could be crucial advantages to Microsoft. And if the video quality is better and file size is smaller, all bets are off.

The jury is still out, but I guess it's time to revisit rule number seven.
Comments: Post a Comment
Words about people and things and ideas that you might find useful, interesting and enjoyable.

December 2003 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / March 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / February 2009 / March 2009 / May 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / December 2010 / September 2011 /


Paste this into in your newsreader URL and choose "Subscribe":

Powered by Blogger