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Silverlight...meh

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  • User profile image
    pepper

    I installed the vaunted Silverlight tonight. :O

    I first tried it out in Firefox, and tried to view a few of the creations in the Silverlight 1.0 gallery. The piano demo was kind of flat, because it didn't even play music (I thought it would) and only a few of the keys worked.

    Perplexed

    Then I downloaded some of the demos to try them offline (Page Turner, Silverlight Pad). Both of them half-launched and then broke with Javascript errors. wtf? Sparkle Ball worked, but most of the time the ball disappeared and reappeared just as it passed my paddle.

    Mad

    I went back online through IE6 to the Silverlight main page and bam! I get a message box with a 1001 error. Works fine in Firefox, though.

    Sad

    NOT a good first impression.

    P.S. And why are there so few examples in the gallery anyway?

  • User profile image
    Nightengale

    I got the piano one to work with Firefox. Reminds me of the games and gadgets (demos) that were around when windows 3.0 came out, I love it. I also remember that all the best games were DOS based. Man, windows has come such a long way.

  • User profile image
    AdamKinney

    Did you see the Showcase?  http://silverlight.net/showcase/

    The newest samples show up there.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    AdamKinney wrote:
    

    Did you see the Showcase?  http://silverlight.net/showcase/

    The newest samples show up there.



    All I see with Silverlight is numerous sites trying to imitate You-Tube. If you're not in the video redistribution business there seems little point.

    I clicked on the SQL Server 2008 "showcase" site using my 4 grand Dell Vista laptop and my supposedly 8MB broadband on a Saturday morning when things are relatively quiet. All I got was broken jittery speech and lockups, culminating when the thing finally finished stuttering its way through a lacklustre set of stills the message "Error code: 4001. Media Error. AG_E_NETWORK_ERROR". I don't think I've ever seen anything approaching that with that level of incompetence with the "rival" Flash product!

    I'm afraid it all smacks of the whole mobile phone technology of a few years ago (My memory's so bad I've forgotten the name already - was it WARP?).

    Not seen anything yet that says "If you're not in trying to sell movies/TV over the web" you need to see Silverlight.

    Went to see "Silverlight on the big Screen" in Dublin with three colleagues from work last week and all the folks I went with came away with the same "underwhelmed" impression (didn't help that it had been hyped as a "big screen" experience with a member of the Silverlight team when what we got were some pretty ropey demo's and PowerPoint slides projected onto a small section of a cinema screen by someone who came across as a marketeer rather than a developer).

    When 1.1's out (my guess is May next year at the earliest) then things may start to get interesting, but in the meantime unless you argue that it's an easy way to start getting into WPF (by learning WPF "lite" first via Silverlight) there's way too much other stuff to get to grips with that seems way more relevant and usable in the real world.

    And I got my first view of Channel 8 through following the MixUK showcase link - man, I know times have changed but even in my day  of doing Computer Science with punched cards and paper tape when we were all pretty nerdish it would have been hard to find two student "presenters" less well prepared for the task given to them. Was the first requirement "Have you had a personality bypass and look like a deer trapped in headlights whenever someone points a video camera at you?". Sure seemed like it. I had to stop the "interview" with Guthrie 2 minutes in  because I just wanted to curl up and die (or, as a Brit, email the man an apology that his precious time had been so wasted). It's hard for anybody to make a Guthrie interview dull, tedious and body squirming but that "showcase" certainly did it.

  • User profile image
    pepper

    AdamKinney wrote:
    Did you see the Showcase?  http://silverlight.net/showcase/

    The newest samples show up there.
    Thanks...

    But it's buggy, too! I hovered over an AOL gadget, and it turned into the "MSN extra free time" gadget. Then when I moved the mouse away sometimes it would turn back into the AOL gadget, and other times it would remain as a MSN thing. This happens on several other things I hover over.

    Not ready for prime time, methinks.

  • User profile image
    bart7simpso​n7

    I installed silverlight. In firefox I can see demos and stuff but the video player from channel9 is replaced by the "Get Silverlight" image. In IE works.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    AdamKinney wrote:
    

    Did you see the Showcase?  http://silverlight.net/showcase/

    The newest samples show up there.



    I always have problems every time I go looking for Silverlight demos. Either it's for 1.1 (and I'm not installing beta stuff on this machine) OR the most common problem is that pop-up blockers stop me from doing anything.

    I have the Google Toolbar pop-up blocker and the built in IE7 blocker running all the time and they only get in the way with Silverlight stuff. When the Tafiti demo first came out I couldn't figure out why clicking on links did nothing even if I held down CTLR and now the Silverlight demo page does the same. I have to temporarily allow popups to get links to work by clicking on the popups button in the google toolbar AND go to TOOLS/Pop-Up Blocker/Temporarily Allow Popups in IE7.
    I'm assuming holding CTRL only works with plain HTML links?

    Videos buffer quite allot too and some of them are full of horizontal lines when there's lots of fast motion. It's worse than bad interlacing.

  • User profile image
    AdamKinney

    irascian: 
    I agree, there are a lot of media-focused samples out right now.   A few others that have been released that are different include:

    The Podium '08 - an information aggregator
    ComponentOne Controls demo - a demo of upcoming controls
    Windows Vista Emulation - a lot of items loaded, but interesting to look at as far as possibilities go.

    Its a shame that the SQL 2008 demo didn't work out well for you, it play as a rather nice video brochure here.  I'm guessing it has to do with the availbility of the media itself.  You can find the path to the videos in the playlist xml, if you're interested in testing.

    I hadn't seen the Ch8 interview or heard of the Big Screen event, I'll take a look at those.

    Next week one of my sessions at REMIX Boston is focused on the idea that there is more you can do with Silverlight beyond building a better media player for WMVs.  About two-thirds of the talk is covering 1.0, so I'd be interested in getting your feedback.  Not sure I'll jave a video to share, but I will at least blog about the different samples and concepts.

    You do make a great point though, Silverlight is great way to learn XAML and WPF concepts.

    pepper:
    I agree, selection is sometimes tricky in the current showcase.  I look forward to an update.  I think it was orginally written to support one row of samples.  If anything you can click the small preview picture directly and skip clicking the "see it!" button.

    bart7simpson7:
    What version of Silverlight do you have installed?

    dentaku:
    Yes the popup blocker can be quite sticky to work around.  Part of it has to do with the fact that its plugin asking to open a new window, another part has to do with how click new windows are requested and also the amount of code that is run before the new window request is made impacts the popup blocker's decision as well.

    I spent a fair bit of time investigating and its getting around popup blockers isn't really something the creators want you to do easily.  My idea is to only use new windows if you really need to.  Most people get the Back button concept and will come back to your site if its worth it.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    AdamKinney wrote:
    dentaku:
    Yes the popup blocker can be quite sticky to work around.  Part of it has to do with the fact that its plugin asking to open a new window, another part has to do with how click new windows are requested and also the amount of code that is run before the new window request is made impacts the popup blocker's decision as well.

    I spent a fair bit of time investigating and its getting around popup blockers isn't really something the creators want you to do easily.  My idea is to only use new windows if you really need to.  Most people get the Back button concept and will come back to your site if its worth it.


    It looks like there's no easy answer. Most people have no clue how to disable a pop-up blocker so if it doesn't work right away all of the time people will just ignore it. That's not good.

  • User profile image
    Nightengale

    AdamKinney wrote:
    

    Did you see the Showcase?  http://silverlight.net/showcase/

    The newest samples show up there.



    Oh wow looks great thanks. I'm checking it out now.

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