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Silverlight 3 UK Launch: Interview with I2Q

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At the recent UK launch of Silverlight 3 in the UK we managed to catch up with Jason Rousell and Nick Harewood of the technology solutions provider I2Q to chat around their experiences with Silverlight and Expression.

Find the recordings from the day here on the MSDN UK site.

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  • hmmm, would have liked to have watched this video but I don't want to install Silverlight. Maybe you could host the video using adobe flash.

  • Mike Taultymtaulty Mike Taulty

    Yeah, erm, maybe not? Smiley

  • Even better, maybe you could provide the video in theora and h264 format using the html5 video tag?

    Then you could go home and think about why Silverlight is a really bad idea.

  • Mike Taultymtaulty Mike Taulty

    Hi,

     

    Silverlight does have some pretty stunning video playing capabilities. It plays H.264 and other formats and supports DRM on that content and works with IIS to do smooth, adaptive streaming of video content based on the performance characteristics of the client.

     

    It also treats video as part of an unified architecture in that anything I can do with a video I can also do with images, text and even controls - things like scale, rotate, skew, translate transforms. Things like 2.5D perspective transformations. Things like built-in and custom effects like blur, drop-shadow and the big libraries that are out there on the web. Things like animations. No harder to animate video than it is to animate anything else.

     

    Equally, this applies from a composition perspective. If I want to put arbitrary content on top/behind of video with transparency ( like subtitles e.g. ) then it's trivial to do that ( it even supports markers on the video to make that easier ). I can also use video to paint any areas of the screen using a VideoBrush.

     

    But, the thing is. Silverlight's not a video player. It's not a plug-in for playing video. It's a platform for building Rich Internet Applications. It has capabilities for video, sure but also audio, graphics and the most flexible lookless control system I've encountered which means designers can work magic with relative ease. It underpins all this with a common approach to data-binding, animation, styling and resource definition/lookup. Then it has capabilities for ineroperating with the surrounding browser, the local machine and web-services running beyond that machine.

     

    It's a pretty capable development platform for the client and it's shipped 3, supported versions in around 2 years for multiple browsers and platforms and version 4 is already on the horizon.

     

    From my perspective ( and the perspective of lots of .NET developers out there ) it also offers the advantage that I get to code in my language of choice against a familiar framework and using familiar development tools that, whilst I admit I am biased Smiley , I think are best of breed.

     

    So, personally, I understand HTML5 and what it brings ( when it is finished and maybe video support can be agreed? ) but I'd like to avoid any kind of "one versus the other" type of debate as I think they're for different things. Right now, I see a lot of new things I can do with Silverlight that I can't do in HTML so that interests me and it also clearly interests companies like the one in the video here.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Mike.

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