Friday, July 25th, 2008

An Adobe evangelist gives his opinion on Silverlight

I do NOT work for Adobe. I do NOT work for Microsoft. I do not work for Borland. I do not work for Oracle. I do not work for any competing manufacturer of any kind. I am Joe Developer. In the end, it’s folks like ME that will decide which technology survives and which dies – simply by our choices.

That was said by Joe Nismet on the Serge Jespers thread that discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly of Silverlight. Serge went on a Silverlight training course and compared his experience.

Moxie Zhang summarizes the post starting with the good:

  • “The first thing I really like is the concept of threading. Being able to spawn off complex tasks without choking the main thread is pretty cool. You could, for example, show a really smooth animation when you are loading a bunch of data in a separate thread.”
  • “A Silverlight application can directly communicate with the HTML document it is hosted on by simply setting a parameter.”
  • “Being able to code in either C# or VB.NET is also a great feature. Especially since these two languages are pretty familiar to people developing for the Windows platform. I’m not one of them, but I found that C# is similar to ActionScript. Next to those languages you also have XAML, which does more or less the same things as MXML.”

and then the rest:

  • Code in XAML and C# is really verbose.”
  • “Styling controls is an absolute nightmare! I honestly think that this is going to be Silverlight’s Achilles’ heel!”
  • “Another thing that I really couldn’t grasp is the lack of HTML tag support in text fields.”
  • “I know the Expression tools are still in beta, but it has to be said that all the tools (including Visual Studio, which is no longer in beta) felt extremely buggy and incomplete.”
  • “Over these three days, I got a strong feeling that Silverlight was created by people who don’t know anything about designers.”

It was bound to cause a bit of a fuzz as people read into things. Interesting to ready from the side lines.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:21 am

4 rating from 36 votes


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As i would say, U have to try out the product your self before u know if it matches your work flow or not. Same goes with SL and Flash / Flex.. They all have their up and downsides.. It just depends on the project what the smartest move would be…

Comment by V1 — July 25, 2008

V1 is right… a simple tour wont give the full experience..

but i do agree that XAML is verbose…

Having been working with Silverlight + C# for about 4-5 months now, i must say that its capable of extraordinary things – and the framework is really solid and feature rich.

XAML isn’t meant for hand-coding … Expression Blend is the tool for making an interface, otherwise it’ll take forever !

Comment by Montago — July 25, 2008

I was excited about Silverlight… It’s just not fully baked yet.

Maybe I’ll look again when it gets a drawing brush and tiling works.

I don’t want to “work around” the stuff to get it to work

Comment by Kris G. — July 25, 2008

I’ve been using Visual Studio for quite some time and I find it extremely solid. I’ve also used Eclipse and VB6 and I find it to be much more user friendly and stable than either of those environments.

Comment by Dujenwook — July 28, 2008

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