back to article Symbian sees (Silver) light at the end of the tunnel

A Symbian version of Microsoft's answer to Flash, Silverlight, has been spotted in the wild. It quickly disappeared but the hope is that it will emerge later this week. The download and associated documentation was spotted by Mary-Jo Foley, who managed to snag a copy before it disappeared and is expecting to see the product …

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Nice

Silverlight already runs on 2 computer platforms with the 3rd being somewhat compatible due to Moonlight, so running across Windows, Symbian and Android mobiles would definitively give it the edge it needs over its competitors, such as Flash.

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Anonymous Coward

Here, I fixed i for you

"[Sybmian Silverlight] quickly disappeared but the hope is that it will emerge later this week."

should read:

"[Sybmian Silverlight] quickly disappeared but the hope is that it will stay disappeared."

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FAIL

Silver waste of time

Silverlight runs on 1 computer platform (Windows), limps along on the Mac and fails miserably on Linux because Microsoft haven't developed it (its a ground up pseudo-open source version sponsored by Novel)

I dread to think how it will perform on the Nokia.

The web is about standards now guys, Silverlight is sooooo out of fashion its untrue.

LAME!

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limps along on the Mac?

don't tell my MBP that. I really enjoyed the Olympics (here in the US) and the experience was in no way worse than on my PC.

Can you find a site / implementation that's second rate on a Mac to back that comment up?

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Whats the point of Silverlight anyway?

Not installed it on my PC and don't plan to. Most sites with animation use flash and thats on a larger percentage of devices than Silverlight.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Me too

Recently turned down a very "tempting" offer from one of the educational software suppliers we use to "upgrade" to their new version (called "old program name and let's slap dot-net on the end for no particular reason").

It requires Silverlight to do the basic equivalent of VNC into one of their machines running an upgraded version of their old software (which we're not allowed to "own" any more by having it on the local PC, only rent it from them).

Didn't like to break it to them that not only would that crap (Silverlight / Windows-only technology / requiring a constant bandwidth-heavy online connection to work) not come near my network, but we were in the middle of a 50%-of-all-clients Linux upgrade. It didn't do anything that I wanted it to and would have required even more crap on the clients (Java, Flash, and .NET framework are more than enough to do anything they might sensibly need to do) which for the most part would have meant upgrading the PC's to get decent performance too.

They were quite baffled why I didn't want it even on the Windows machines.

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Flame

Silverlight != Flash replacement

The problem is people keep thinking of Silverlight as a Flash competitor, and its not!

Yes Silverlight can be used just to play videos and animations like 80% ish* of Flash content on the web, but its a lot more than that. I've actually worked with Silverlight and it is a truly excellent framework for developing web applications.**

* Off the top of my head guess, nothing to back this up with.

** I develop full time in a FOSS environment. I dearly wish I could use VS and ASP.net instead though.

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Silverlight

True, it's much more aimed at line-of-business so has ever-improving data access and so on. But of course why would people who've never used let the facts get in the way of a good anti-MS rant.

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Gold badge

Not multiplatform

"with the 3rd being somewhat compatible due to Moonlight"

No it's really not. Have you tried it? I mean it's technically "compatible", but even on a demo page that was supposed to show, like, a plain triangle, it failed. Micro^H^H^H^H^Novell INTENTIONALLY left out codecs, *OR* the capability of using the existing ffmpeg codecs that every system has. And so on. Everything but Windows is, at best, second-class with it, which was Microsoft's intention all along. I will be VERY interested to see how the Symbian port is.

"The problem is people keep thinking of Silverlight as a Flash competitor, and its not!"

That's how Microsoft has been trying to push it. And, they really did it specifically to try to push people onto Windows -- step 1, claim Silverlight is multiplatform to push flash users into using Silverlight and step 2, make sure it only REALLY works right on Windows.

"I've actually worked with Silverlight and it is a truly excellent framework for developing web applications.**"

Except it's not, because it is not a web application if it requires a single-platform plugin. Even flash is questionable but it's at least been ported to numerous platforms.

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Boffin

the truth about ffmpeg...

"the capability of using the existing ffmpeg codecs that every system has."

The ffmpeg codecs are not on every system. Linux vendors do get a little fast and loose with patants, but not everyone is, and with good reason. To quote the ffmpeg website (http://ffmpeg.org/legal.html):

"Q: Is it perfectly alright to incorporate the whole FFmpeg core into my own commercial product?

A: You might have a problem here. There have been cases where companies have used FFmpeg in their products. These companies found out that once you start trying to make money from patented technologies, the owners of the patents will come after their licensing fees. Notably, MPEG LA is vigilant and diligent about collecting for MPEG-related technologies. "

At the vary least Oracle(Sun) does not ship ffmpeg in any offical repository for opensolaris. (this is something that has come up on a few occations. (yes, that's US specific, but all the companies are US companies, so US laws are highly relevent (even if insane))

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Stop

Hurumble!

I'm sure this is what we've all been waiting for.. no, wait, it isn't. Sounds like the sort of thing that only Mary-Jo Foley could get excited about. Please don't let her record another dreary podcast about it- she has a great voice for print journalism.

I can't say I have ever used (or wanted to use) Silverlight, even on my Win7 box. The first time I encountered it (by proxy, natch) was noscript update notes explaining that it was blocking it now..

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Why mobiles now - Silverlight 4

The currently released versions of Silverlight require a network connection to the outside world. Silverlight 3.0 introduced some but limited ability to install an app locally but in a heavily protected sandbox. What good would that be on a rarely connected mobile phone. How would it interact with contacts? the accelerometer? etc.

Silverlight 4 includes the ability to install locally *and* has hooks which can be used to allow it to interact with the local device. I'm guessing this is the difference and the delay have been Silverlight gaining this capability.

If Andriod will be supported and Foley is correct and Silverlight for S60 is around the corner there another story reported after the ast Microsoft PDC (http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsoft-worked-with-Apple-for-Silverlight-on-iPhone-says-Goldfarb/1259185079) that Microsoft (with Silverlight) is getting into bed with the iPhone.

So with one development tool there will be the ability to develop for web app running on Windows (IE/FF) or Mac (Safari) and for the mobile platform (Nokia/WinMo/Android/iPhone)

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