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Scott Guthrie: Silverlight and the Cross-Platform CLR

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Silverlight was announced a few weeks ago as a cross-platform rich media runtime.  Today we announced that Silverlight is not only a great media platform; it is cross-platform .NET.  I sat down with Scott Guthrie, GM of the Silverlight team, to get the details.  We also posted a bunch of Silverlight screencasts that go deep.  Jon Udell piles on with  podcast with Jon Lam discussing the dynamic language runtime, Silverlight and Ruby.

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  • swiatecki wrote:
    Havent seen it yet - but it sounds nice


    I wish people would stop making "lolol first post" type posts.....
  • Nicholas Swiateckiswiatecki .net - love it
    Havent seen it yet - but it sounds nice Big Smile

    EDIT: well, im sorry
  • Vesuviusvesuvius Count Orlock
    prencher wrote:
    
    swiatecki wrote:Havent seen it yet - but it sounds nice


    I wish people would stop making "lolol first post" type posts.....


    I second that. Obviously one is aware that a new video is out, and relishing the prospect of intellectual edification, if it's related to a technology you're interested in. This is what gives people the idea that computer enthusiasts are "geeks", when people behave in such a geekish manner, people usually say "you ought to go out more" promulgating such offhandish trifling remarks.

    To be absolutely pedantic about things though, how can you hear - quote "but is sounds nice" - something you've not heard (it's a video and there is no audio download)?

    The proof of the pie is in the eating!
  • blindlizardblindlizard monsterliza​rd.com
    wow, ok well I did actually watch it, and am amazed.  The one thing I was wondering is can you write stand alone apps in silverlight like you can do in Flash?  Something that can run from say the CD drive.
  • NuTcAsENuTcAsE नमस्तॆ
    Wait a second... wathing the video Scott mentions that the .net framework will be included with silverlight for Mac... and he also mentions LINQ, network stack, etc....

    Now is this the same .Net framework we know and love in Windows? or is this some stripped down version? Does this mean we can run .net apps complied for Windows on Mac? or at least compatible versions?

    Or am i just making a big deal of this?
  • DCMonkeyDCMonkey What?!?
    blindlizard wrote:
    wow, ok well I did actually watch it, and am amazed.  The one thing I was wondering is can you write stand alone apps in silverlight like you can do in Flash?  Something that can run from say the CD drive.


    I imagine you could if you embed it in a local web page or an .HTA
  • ChadkChadk excuse me - do you has a flavor?
    NuTcAsE wrote:
    Wait a second... wathing the video Scott mentions that the .net framework will be included with silverlight for Mac... and he also mentions LINQ, network stack, etc....

    Now is this the same .Net framework we know and love in Windows? or is this some stripped down version? Does this mean we can run .net apps complied for Windows on Mac? or at least compatible versions?

    Or am i just making a big deal of this?

    Isnt it the compact framework, maybe?

    EDIT: I just watched it. Its not.
  • Definitely real cool wow!

    Congratulations!

    Cool
  • Very nice.

    One thing I am glad to see is that the Silverlight CLR supports any .NET language.  The original WPF/E CLR specs said that only C# and VB.NET would be supported.

  • PerfectPhasePerfectPhase "This is not war, this is pest control!" - Dalek to Cyberman

    Wow, that's a lot of screencasts, should keep me amused for a while Smiley

    I think it's a great idea to link talks like this to screen casts to expand on some of the topics from the main video without spoiling its spontaneity.

  • Wow, just watched the whole video, and I can definitely recommend it, this stuff is WAY COOL!

    I think you have every right to call this Web 3.0.

    Congratulations Scott and your team!

    Back at the time when Macromedia was up for sale I was very very disappointed that Microsoft didn't buy it, but now I start to believe that you really can pull this thing off and create a completely new web experience without the need of Flash.
    You already had THE BEST platform for server side web development, and now with these amazing client side experience everything "blends" nicely together! Smiley

  • In the video you mention ASP.NET WPF controls.

    What is available yet?
    For example, will you provide us with a rich full-featured datagrid that can deliver the full power of a windows forms app inside the browser?

  • rhmrhm
    Wow, I was just about ready to go off on a big rant about how the silverlight rendering technology was way cool, but you couldn't do anything with it that you couldn't do with Flash because it was limited by having to use Jscript.

    And now you're telling me I can use proper .NET code? That makes it a whole different proposition.
  • I've seen something of WPF and a little of the former WPF/e but I've not worked with it directly yet so I've got a couple of questions (and some of these may be born of ignorance of what the platform is trying to offer);

    • Are many/any of the changes made to the Silverlight CLR coming back into the main CLR - I assume you're not going to be cutting out those colour structs but where code was altered for size was this passed on? Will we see the full .net runtime download reduce in size somewhat?
    • Will a 'full fat' version of the CLR be made available for the Mac? (with VS support)
    • Can we develop applications in visual studio in a silverlight compatible mode; i.e make certain aspects of the codebase silverlight compatible but still (for example) has Windows Services, applications and web applications in the same solution.
    • In fact what are the deployment options like on a Silverlight app? can XAML be compiled into the application; are we talking about a single dll type object (equivalent to a SWF?), multiple ones? Can we dynamically load in code as required? Or even emit it?
    • You say there's a network stack; does that mean things like remoting (I presume there will be support for web services -WCF?). Has any thought gone into interop with full .net?
    • Is it fair to say that Silverlight is a superset of the compact framework - or do we have another subtly different set of features available?

      I haven't watched the screencasts yet but I'll make an effort to watch a few later - I must admit this technology looks more interesting than I first thought.
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty

    Don’t you know that Scott Guthrie will cut you? Don’t you ever tell Scott Guthrie to “draw out something” on the whiteboard! Scott will put you in a headlock and make your world turn black! Scott will insert patent cubes up you! You sit there and let Scott talk!

    [A]
  • rhmrhm
    rasx wrote:
    

    Don’t you know that Scott Guthrie will cut you? Don’t you ever tell Scott Guthrie to “draw out something” on the whiteboard! Scott will put you in a headlock and make your world turn black! Scott will insert patent cubes up you! You sit there and let Scott talk!



    lol - yes, Charles' request for a diagram did fall a bit flat Smiley

    ScottGu is very cool though I have to say. I hope Microsoft is paying him lots of money - you've got to keep hold of people like that.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Just great stuff guys.  Can't wait to start using.  Did you say wcf was or was not included in SL?
  • Absolutely smokin' demo.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    The great thing about Scott is that he can (and did in this case) whiteboard without physically whiteboarding: his articulation of complex concepts is so clear and coherent that he does not need to draw diagrams to support his explanations.

    If you listen carefully, it should be clear that this conversation is actually a Going deep episode without the need for diagrams and demos.

    C
  • Sven GrootSven Groot Don't worry... I'm a doctor.
    "15 times faster than a competing plug-in"? Come on guys, just say Flash when you mean Flash. Tongue Out

    I have a bit mixed feelings about this. Of course it's fantastic that the CLR goes cross platform and provides this rich interface for client-side web development etc. But do we really need Yet Another .Net Subset? We've got the full .Net, the Compact Framework, the Micro Framework, and now this? It's going to be hard to keep track of which feature is or is not supported in which one for people who use more than one.
  • kierepkakierepka Yes it is me :)
    And can anyone say me what is going on with XNA? You are talking about XNA support but what kind of support? Real support on PC and XBox360 - but there is no Silverlight on CompactFramework...? Do you talking about XNA parser for Silverlight or Sliverlight with XNA embedded?
  • Sven Groot wrote:
    I have a bit mixed feelings about this. Of course it's fantastic that the CLR goes cross platform and provides this rich interface for client-side web development etc. But do we really need Yet Another .Net Subset?
    ya kinda sucks but, its better than nothing Tongue Out
  • hey Charles, i have a question for you, in the interview you said (somewhere @ 0:14:57): "... on Windows i install Silverlight, i don't have for some reason, i don't know why, i don't have the framework ..." do you have some info about how many computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP have .NET Framework 2.0 or 1.0 installed, would be great to know, thanks.
  • Its good..

    I never knew silverlight has so deep roots and huge support of .net framework like, System.Threading even..

    I have a question though, would anybody be able to program it (using those base framework classes and libraries?) using code? or is that only for embedding one or more video and streaming only!!
  • caffeineHicaffeineHi Trevor Lowing
    This has to have been one of the coolest projects to be a part of. All the challenges of implementing all this in 4MB in a cross-platform browser plugin.  You can see this guy's enthusiasm.
  • Hey, first off congratulations Microsoft finally no longer has to use Flash for *rich media* on it's own websites.. As a Flash/3d Artist, i just had a look at it, now i like to mention a few things.. here i go:


    [Silverlight VS. Flash VS. AJAX VS. DirectX10 VS. Nextgen WEB 3d - PART 1]
    Silverlight, compared to Flash is:1. missing a rightclick menu:
           - Settings
           - About Silverlight™ (logo or text)
    2. not allways using a (system-) handcursor for button actions
           (not sure if this was just turned of by the artist.. )
    3. not offering (~advanced) effects like blur, dropshadow etc.
           (flash now has, and it's great)
    4. loading way slower and less smoothly then flash
           (flash's compiled code is running better then xaml? anyway..)


    That so far, but since i followed the whole Vista/WPF thing i really expected more then microsoft just jumping badly on the (flash-) bandwagon..  so what about 3d now??^


    [SHORTTERM]
    Basic Hardware 3d
    (DirectX8, backfalling to CPU rendering on 3rd party OS, using lower texture res. etc)
            -> on user request: "The website contains 3D Content, like to      show? Yes/No"
           -> btw, www.holomatix.com, great software, uses java..


    Search Engine Compatibility

    -> Timeline-page-system
         - The Authoring tool's (Flash?Smiley)  timeline is divided into "pages"      (comparable to stages in flash)
             ..by that, the authoring automatically outputs any text/image content also as (x)html+CSS, trying to match the applications layout.
    -> the *<div id="container">* is switched by .js to the Silverlight content
    -> Searchengines  (who can't read .js,) read the (x)html
    -> Users without plugin read the xhtml + CSS

    [LONGTERM]

    Advanced Hardware 3d Mode (not just for games..)
    "This website likes to show Advanced Hardware 3D Content:
       Your WEI-rating is sufficient.
       Like to show this content? Yes/No?"

    -> Full DX10/ Pixelshader support (..inside the sandbox?)
    -> Ready to use game-engine features
             - shader model 4.0 pixel shaders
             - render-to-texture reflections
             - parralax-normal-mapping
             - multilayer textures
             - HDR Lighting system
             - Soft shadows etc.


    ..Can't be so hard as a  worldleader™Smiley To be continued..
  • The mac a closed platform? Well OS X supports all OPEN and STANDART video and audio codecs wich windows does not, Safari has a large support of web standarts which IE does not (remember SVG for example!!! or maybe the acid test!!!), the kernel of OS X is OPEN SOURCE AND FREE (i don't need to mention windows here isn't it?), any kind of Unix/Linux applications can run natively on OS X which of course windows can not do, and any kind of Windows applications can run on mac (think about virtualization solutions), .......and this guy is calling the mac a closed platform, ....... Hummm i smell BS....
  • MS sells an OS for a open platform dummy. Mac is a closed platform which has nothing to do with what the OS supports.

    Platform refers to specific computer hardware configuration. Sometimes even an assemblier and hardware confiq but doesn't really have to be releated to the OS running on top. ie linux and windows run on the x86 platform.
     
    Mac uses a closed platform and an open source kernel. I don't see them opening the source for all their code so what's the difference.
    Windows runs on an open platform called x86.
    It's always seemed strange to me that people think a company that forces you to buy only their hardware on top of only using their OS is somehow less of a monoploly?

  • I want to make sure I understand what I am hearing.
    .Net in the client browser?

    I had a feeling that when vista got released microsoft would have some answer to the javascript problem I am glad they were able to basically have .Net itself rather then a new JScript type solution.
  • Beautiful in concept, very nice in execution (1.1 in alpha).  I *loved* your Silverlight Airlines demo!

    I'll be looking to use it in a production environment when it goes gold.
  • Since the have a derived version of the .NET runtime running on a MAC, I'm assuming it would be pretty simple for them to release the full .NET runtime for the MAC -- any plans to do so?
  • ExceptionException Caught in a Catch

    It was a gr8 video. I just want to see a glims of what can SilverLite do...So if I can get any site or something which is developed using the SDK It would be again gr8.

    Thanks mate and Take care
    :)Ruptapas

  • MGM04 wrote:
    Beautiful in concept, very nice in execution (1.1 in alpha).  I *loved* your Silverlight Airlines demo!

    I'll be looking to use it in a production environment when it goes gold.


    Ummm what Silverlight Airlines demo?  I saw no demo in the video.
  • FlatlinerFlatliner With our thoughts we make the world.
    Question for ScottGu, how much of the MAC version of the CLR is based on the Windows version? Is it exactly the same GAC? I guess the reason I ask is, from a memory and perf perspective are we going to see differences large enough that we should care how we write our code specifically for MAC's?
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Flatliner wrote:
    Question for ScottGu, how much of the MAC version of the CLR is based on the Windows version? Is it exactly the same GAC? I guess the reason I ask is, from a memory and perf perspective are we going to see differences large enough that we should care how we write our code specifically for MAC's?


    From what I heard in the vid, the SL clr is the CLR with #if defs defined to trim it where needed.  So the same source builds the SL clr, but less.  The clr's hardware abstraction layer takes care of the platform differences.
  • Hi guys,

    I'm really excited about this. I'm a desktop app developer, and Silverlight would let me easily move my skills to web development. Excellent!

    I've got a question. What's the status of 3d support? Being able to embed 3d in a web browser has been something of an impossible task without any "boil the ocean" kind of schemes. Does Silverlight include any of the 3d technologies included with WPF?

    *edit* oops, just watched the video, and I see there is no 3d support in Silverlight. Well, can't say I blame them, it would certainly bloat the download and restrict the target platforms.
  • After being a .NET developer for a few years and also developing in Flash I'm impressed, this has huge potential. Thanks Charles and Scott for the video, that explained a lot.

    I've got a question about control development. After playing with Expression Blend and using the new BookViewer control (very neat) there looks to be a huge potential market for Silverlight custom controls, just as there is for .NET user controls, Flash components, etc.

    On first glance, the disadvantage for component developers appears to be the difficulty in protecting IP. XAML and JS are all clear text - great for passing through the firewall, but easy to reverse engineer.

    Sure, you've got your code-behind file that's compiled, but the majority of the functionality of many controls will be rendered in XAML, which can be read by all.

    Maybe I'm missing something? Takeup of Silverlight will be enhanced by having 3rd parties providing ready made controls, what's Microsoft's plan to support this secondary market?

    The Plow

  • shuff1203 wrote:
    Since the have a derived version of the .NET runtime running on a MAC, I'm assuming it would be pretty simple for them to release the full .NET runtime for the MAC -- any plans to do so?


    Well?
  • Keep up the great work Scott,

    How is this different than a Java applet?  I'm not a Java expert but isn't this at a high level pretty much the same thing?

  • First of all thank you very much for knowledgeable video.

    I have a little query about Silverlight CLR.

    If we want to use Silverlight with Visual Studio 2005. We need to create a class library with reference to Silverlight. Would you please let me know, about how that works differently then normal way of using Silverlight with Orcas.

    I dont know if it's same conceptual!
    Please let me know about it.


    Thanks a lot,
    Parikshit
  • It was real good. Are there any plans in future of silverlight to add features similar to what Adobe AIR can do currently?
  • Video was really cool. Are there any plans in future releases of Silverlight to add features similar to what Adobe AIR currently has.

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