Just watched the video of the BBC Silverlight app we created being presented at the day 2 keynote for MIX 07. There’s been a lot of traffic in the last couple of days with regards to Flash/Silverlight etc, and I’m not going to get into any of that here. The feature-sets and SDKs/players for the two products are out there for you to decide yourself as a professional whether it suits your needs. I just enjoy working at a place that throws so many new challenges my way, keeps things exciting!

However it was interesting to jump into a very different technology, of course it is a challenge to stop and think about how I would attack a problem in the apps I’m used to such as Flash, and whether that was a good technique to bring to the table, or whether it would take a different approach to accomplish what I needed (in reality, a mixture of both). It was also interesting to jump back into JavaScript, it has been a few years now since I partook but it came flooding back, in particular OO and inheritance which I really solidified when I learnt AS1 (I still think this is one of the best articles ever written for ECMAScript coders full stop).

Check out the video of the app here

(video requires Windows Media Player or VLC for us Mac folk, gotta love VLC)

  • Russ

    Posted: May 2, 2007


    Very cool app. I think it is great you can jump into the new technology and create something that cool. I have a hard enough time keeping up with Flash, so I will probably never use Silverlight. I am curious to hear from someone that has used the technology on both "sides", why Silverlight? I didn't see anything in your app that couldn't be done with Flash, but it is obvious that Silverlight won't have any problem keeping up with Flash. Am I safe in my assumption that the choice between Flash and Silverlight is going to be a matter of personal developer preference? Or is there really something about Silverlight that is going to be a "Flash killer". People said AJAX was going to be the "Flash Killer", maybe Silverlight is the weapon it needs...


  • Rich

    Posted: May 3, 2007


    Thanks Russ, I think there's a lot of factors that will account for what people choose to use, if they are already familiar with a particular scripting/programming language that might play a part, but also penetration statistics need to be justified, and finally can it do X,Y,Z, which again depends on what sort of work you do.

    I don't understand why people are using the term "Flash Killer" either other than for personal reasons, the Flash Player has been out 9 years longer and as a result has a vastly larger feature set in terms of graphics and technical abilities that encompasses all current features of the 1.1 Silverlight player, so of course that gives you more options, but I was quite suprised to see how quick 1.1 was released after 1.0 and how much more was packed in so I'm definitely not going to lay down any long term predictions. IMHO Silverlight is very good for the Flash Player for several reasons, I've seen many people who typically hate Flash start to think they hey, it's actually pretty good, there's a moment of realisation occured when MSFT put in a lot of time and money into this that very rich RIAs and sites are here to stay and AJAX isn't the solution, the same thing happened when YouTube adopted FLV as there is still a mentality by a lot of folk that XHTML is the only way and that everything else is just a silly little animation (not just those Slashdotters!)... secondly it will help spur on more of those real innovations that have occurred in the Flash Player over the years, some huge features that made Flash Player the most popular plugin in the world even though there are countless others. I can't even imagine what sort of tricks the two companies will be employing to grab people's attention, it should be very cool to play around!


  • Russ

    Posted: May 3, 2007


    Richard thanks for your input. It will be nice when all the hype(and hysteria) goes away and we start seeing some more examples of what Silverlight is capable of. You are right about Silverlight being good for Flash. Adobe seems to be on the right track for their Flex development and Flash, and a little competition will force them to improve the feature set. Short of MS buying out Adobe, I don't see Flash going away anytime soon, and the future of RIA development is super bright.


  • Emmanuel Okyere

    Posted: May 8, 2007


    get flip for mac http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv_update_main.htm

    :)


  • Rich

    Posted: May 8, 2007


    I prefer VLC still :)