Silverlight And Me

Silverlight is a new offering (it is still a CTP as of this writing of this) from Microsoft. You can find its home here. Silverlight is a cross-browser and cross-platform browser plugin for richer media/graphics on the web. Put more simply, think Flash. Many call it Microsoft's "Flash killer". We'll have to wait and see if that turns out to be true. Back in the early days of my tech life I was a Flash monkey, back in the Flash 5 and Flash MX era. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Then I started using Visual Studio. I was totally hooked, and have been since. At my job we started looking into porting our main application from a windows-based program to a Flash-based web application. I am sure I would have loved it in my pre-Visual Studio days, but going from the nice application design IDE of Visual Studio to the not very nice application design interface of Flash was painful. The Flash interface was excellent for making graphics, little games, and interactive tidbits, but trying to write a real application on that platform with Actionscript was not pleasant. I ended up moving on and to this day I am still very glad I didn't have to spend too much time doing app development in Flash.

My hope is that Silverlight will be able to fill that gap. I've already had some experience with Xaml working on Thrius, and I am quite impressed with Xaml. Maybe we'll soon see the full capabilities of Silverlight as more documentation comes out and we get closer to release. I'm still an ASP.NET junkie and Silverlight will not replace ASP.NET development for me, but it might just give me some capabilities that I didn't have before.

I'm sure Flash is better for app dev now than it used to be. I'm pretty sure Adobe is working on that. But if Silverlight turns out to be good, then I don't need to think hard about getting back into Flash. As of today I've spent about 8 hours messing around with it, so I can't know yet how good this is going to be.