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Javascript/HTML v.s Silverlight4....

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  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    I am starting this thread so that I can get some clarity from all the great developers on channel9

    on the future of browser based UI development.

    I remember having a discussion a while ago about wether we needed to "invent" xaml and why we could not just evolve HTML instead. Looks like we have a clear answer now thanks to the community who pushed for HTML5. What a waste of time and resources with all the investment in silverlight and xaml, if it is going to die eventually as it should! There was all this emphasis on GPU support and rich graphics that wa available via Silverlight. Looks like that is not the case any more with IE9.

    Funny I though that this Mix conf was about highlighting silverlight4; now it looks like the silverlight funeral with all the announcements on HTML5 support; i see no sense in silverlight anymore , am I missing something?

    I was just getting ready to invest time in Silverlight4 for browser UIs; maybe it seems much more sensible to invest in HTML5 + Javascript; Can we get some more intelligent comments to help clarify? 

    So far it seems to me that Javascript  wins by a knockout with IE9 support! 

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Yeah, no.

     

    HTML5 + JavaScript still does not provide the experience that Silverlight (especially with v4) can do. Besides, HTML5+JS is purely a browser technology, Silverlight is not limited to that anymore.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    PaoloM said:

    Yeah, no.

     

    HTML5 + JavaScript still does not provide the experience that Silverlight (especially with v4) can do. Besides, HTML5+JS is purely a browser technology, Silverlight is not limited to that anymore.

    Paolo could you please elaborate on your comments? What features do you have in mind that provide a richer experience? Did you see all the rich interaction and graphics for IE/HTML5 that was demoed at MIX? I think that does change the equation significantly.

     

    And maybe we can work out a way to build a CLR runtime for Javascript so it can eventually run outside the broswer and even be compiled as well. 

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    DevJunkie111 said:
    PaoloM said:
    *snip*

    Paolo could you please elaborate on your comments? What features do you have in mind that provide a richer experience? Did you see all the rich interaction and graphics for IE/HTML5 that was demoed at MIX? I think that does change the equation significantly.

     

    And maybe we can work out a way to build a CLR runtime for Javascript so it can eventually run outside the broswer and even be compiled as well. 

    The fact that developing in HTML5/JS is a horrible mess should be good enough to show how Silverlight is definitely ahead in this comparison.

     

    I am also thinking about seamless font embedding, media manipulation, out of browser experiences, printing control, etc etc...

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Dev:

    I would say that SIlverlight is very very very far from dead.  Flash too.

    why? many details but here are a few issues:

     

    HTML5 does have a video tag yes... but it does not address issues like DRM and business like cable companies and pay-per-view will not go with a NO-DRM solution.

    also related is that HTML5 does not specify one video format so site owners face a problem of do they make every video on like 3-4 formats (possibly more?) or use something like Flash or SIlverlight to keep one video format?

     

    leaving video now lets look at JavaScript/EcmaScript:

     

    if i am trying to make money on the web and i use script + html then i am totally left open to copying of my work by any 12 year old kid.

    while silverlight does not totaly protect me it at least packages the work and makes it slightly hard to copy.

    also if i want to distribute a silverlight app i can send a xap file to folks all packaged.

     

    and now what about a browser that has scipt disabled? or the script engine is bugged? a plain html page w/o any client script can still use and run silverlight.

     

    also not everyone will have html5 right away... some folks may never get it in some corp. network cases.

     

    and silverlight can run out of browser with no internet connection....

     

    and you can use other programming languages than just C# and VB .... with javascrip you can only really use that....

     

    also the XAML markup can create layout that can be very hard to do in html.

    and html does not render the same on all browsers....

    and silverlight can "chnage pages" locally which standard html does not do.

     

    and there are many other details of why SIlverlight compliments html and they are not exclusive to each other.

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    Seeing as how HTML5 hasn't really been hammered out yet, no browser supports it completely.  Therefore HTML5 means you need a new browser, while Silverlight means you can keep your browser, you just need a plugin.

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    figuerres said:

    Dev:

    I would say that SIlverlight is very very very far from dead.  Flash too.

    why? many details but here are a few issues:

     

    HTML5 does have a video tag yes... but it does not address issues like DRM and business like cable companies and pay-per-view will not go with a NO-DRM solution.

    also related is that HTML5 does not specify one video format so site owners face a problem of do they make every video on like 3-4 formats (possibly more?) or use something like Flash or SIlverlight to keep one video format?

     

    leaving video now lets look at JavaScript/EcmaScript:

     

    if i am trying to make money on the web and i use script + html then i am totally left open to copying of my work by any 12 year old kid.

    while silverlight does not totaly protect me it at least packages the work and makes it slightly hard to copy.

    also if i want to distribute a silverlight app i can send a xap file to folks all packaged.

     

    and now what about a browser that has scipt disabled? or the script engine is bugged? a plain html page w/o any client script can still use and run silverlight.

     

    also not everyone will have html5 right away... some folks may never get it in some corp. network cases.

     

    and silverlight can run out of browser with no internet connection....

     

    and you can use other programming languages than just C# and VB .... with javascrip you can only really use that....

     

    also the XAML markup can create layout that can be very hard to do in html.

    and html does not render the same on all browsers....

    and silverlight can "chnage pages" locally which standard html does not do.

     

    and there are many other details of why SIlverlight compliments html and they are not exclusive to each other.

    good points figurres! Can anyone who is an expert in HTML/Javascript please respond. 

    A couple of comments I do not have any solution to you question about code security. But maybe the revenue model is not from selling the code and protecting it but by getting ad revenue? 

    ..if the Javascript engine is turned off it could also be the Silverlight plugin is not installed. 

    Also we do not have silverlight for all platforms linux for example?

    The Javascript experts would argue that you do not need other languages and that Javascript is a pretty good language. And Eric Meijer was talking about using Javascript as the "assembly language" for the web; so  you could imagine generating Javascript from other languages soon. 

    The html standards we can all hope will remove some of the other problems you mention.

     

     

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Anything that is "standards" based will inevitably lag horrendously behind what can be accomplished by a proprietary plug-in from a single vendor, be it Silverlight or Flash or whatever. This will always be the case, because the very nature of attempting to standardise an idea will always introduce a massive delay. Even if HTML5 were to include everything in Silverlight/Flash as they are today, by the time the HTML5 spec was complete and ratified in will be aeons behind where Silverlight/Flash are. Standards will always be playing catch-up.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    DevJunkie111 said:
    figuerres said:
    *snip*

    good points figurres! Can anyone who is an expert in HTML/Javascript please respond. 

    A couple of comments I do not have any solution to you question about code security. But maybe the revenue model is not from selling the code and protecting it but by getting ad revenue? 

    ..if the Javascript engine is turned off it could also be the Silverlight plugin is not installed. 

    Also we do not have silverlight for all platforms linux for example?

    The Javascript experts would argue that you do not need other languages and that Javascript is a pretty good language. And Eric Meijer was talking about using Javascript as the "assembly language" for the web; so  you could imagine generating Javascript from other languages soon. 

    The html standards we can all hope will remove some of the other problems you mention.

     

     

    JS is a good language, and well suited to it's common web-page interaction, but that doesn't mean it's well suited as a general-purpose language for all applications.

     

    HTML/JS are a good fit for the standard stateless web model of the internet, but again, that doesn't make them them best fit for all web applications, or all environments.

     

    For instance, I can see scanarios on Intranets, where business applications could be built using lightweight (relative to wpf) silverlight front-ends, that are quick to deploy but provide rich UI experience and tighter integration to the network services.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    You raised a good question. But, I simplest concept would be. WC3 commitee is slow. Standard is always behind innovation. It is always there to clean up the mass from all sorts of innovations. So, it is always slower than what you would want. And as developer, we want to push further, so, a lot of thing from WC3 standard won't be enough. Flash and Silverlight at least has faster upgrade cycles, with automatic update as well. So, this makes them evolve faster and you don't have to worry about "legacy browsers".

     

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Bass

    Silverlight is a pretty decent migration path from your standard Intranet apps. It has the added benefit of making them more portable, at least to Mac OS X and maybe Linux in the future. But for a Internet-facing website? Not so much.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I wouldn't call myself a web developer, but I see HTML+JS and Silverlight/Flash as two totally different things. I hate websites designed completely in Flash/Silverlight. I have to download a plugin to view them, I have to put up with slower loading times, and I have to put up with the inevitable animations and flashiness. HTML+JS gives me fast loads, and is supported by any modern browser OOB.

     

    I see Flash/SL as tools to make components to be placed on web pages and nothing more; therefore HTML 5 poses no threat to them (aside from <video>)

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    spivonious said:

    I wouldn't call myself a web developer, but I see HTML+JS and Silverlight/Flash as two totally different things. I hate websites designed completely in Flash/Silverlight. I have to download a plugin to view them, I have to put up with slower loading times, and I have to put up with the inevitable animations and flashiness. HTML+JS gives me fast loads, and is supported by any modern browser OOB.

     

    I see Flash/SL as tools to make components to be placed on web pages and nothing more; therefore HTML 5 poses no threat to them (aside from <video>)

    i do agree with part of your post spivonious.

    that a web site should offer a fast clean simple face to mass viewing and for folks who do not want some of the crazy overload stuff.

     

    but i can also see that for some things sl gives a better use / exp case.

     

    in some cases yes a silverlight or flash "part" but in other cases yes a whole silverlight screen *if* what it needs to do merits it.

    the problem is always that folks get all hyper / crazy to use the next new thing and then use it in places and in ways that just do not work.

    the need to ballance the old and the new.

     

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    figuerres said:
    spivonious said:
    *snip*

    i do agree with part of your post spivonious.

    that a web site should offer a fast clean simple face to mass viewing and for folks who do not want some of the crazy overload stuff.

     

    but i can also see that for some things sl gives a better use / exp case.

     

    in some cases yes a silverlight or flash "part" but in other cases yes a whole silverlight screen *if* what it needs to do merits it.

    the problem is always that folks get all hyper / crazy to use the next new thing and then use it in places and in ways that just do not work.

    the need to ballance the old and the new.

     

    Can you give an example of a page that uses a whole silverlight/flash screen to its advantage? The only one that comes to mind for me is the new Bing Maps, but examples like that are few and far between, and aside from the smoother transitioning between zoom levels, it isn't really an improvement over the old.

     

    I agree that annoying sites are often the fault of the developer/designer, but looking at the big picture I still don't see a reason to worry that HTML5 will take marketshare from SL/Flash.

  • User profile image
    sysrpl

    Developing text based content, such as a news article, a forum for users to exchange messages, a listing of online products, is so much easier than producing audio or video based content such as a news video, a voice chat message board, or an interactive animated product brouchure.

     

    As such...

     

    HTML and JavaScript = The standard for delivering web sites. Everyone uses it, everything supports it, does just everything you need.

     

    Silverlight/Flash = You want some video, sounds, and animation in a web page. Fun to use, but mostly impractical.

     

     

  • User profile image
    DevJunkie111

    sysrpl said:

    Developing text based content, such as a news article, a forum for users to exchange messages, a listing of online products, is so much easier than producing audio or video based content such as a news video, a voice chat message board, or an interactive animated product brouchure.

     

    As such...

     

    HTML and JavaScript = The standard for delivering web sites. Everyone uses it, everything supports it, does just everything you need.

     

    Silverlight/Flash = You want some video, sounds, and animation in a web page. Fun to use, but mostly impractical.

     

     

    it is still early days, but with all the audio and video support in HTML5 and IE9;

    Javascript and libraries like JQuery

    backend services based on  ODATA (a.k.a ADO .net services) or GDATA or REST in general

     we have a good platform for building good cross platfrom browser based applications. 

    with all available what are we getting with silverlight.

    Look at apps http://www.zoho.com/ or all the Google apps (Gmail included) they demonstrate that this works quite well. 

    How do we justify all the investment in silverlight? I thought that is was because we could provide a rich experience (including audio/video) but that is all changed now that we have IE9 and HTML5 isn't? Could some one from the IE and silverlight teams comment? 

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    spivonious said:
    figuerres said:
    *snip*

    Can you give an example of a page that uses a whole silverlight/flash screen to its advantage? The only one that comes to mind for me is the new Bing Maps, but examples like that are few and far between, and aside from the smoother transitioning between zoom levels, it isn't really an improvement over the old.

     

    I agree that annoying sites are often the fault of the developer/designer, but looking at the big picture I still don't see a reason to worry that HTML5 will take marketshare from SL/Flash.

    Here is one.  now this is an internal thing not for the general public.

     

    our main customer has about 250-300 sales staff. due to the specifics of this they requested a way to view the status of sales, deposits and cash-drawer close outs during the day esp. at shift change.

    they di not want a desktop applications as key managers and owners are often on the move to store locations to deal with on going business.

     

    the solution i built for them is a silverlight app that can run full screen or full browser page size to show the data as a kind of grid where each block is one staff person whth summary totals and color coded red/green/yellow

    the whole thing updates on a timer so that it is within 5-10 seconds of real time.

    they can at a glance see how many red blocks are at the top of the screen and then check on why they are not zeroed out and in ballance.

     

    not the end of the world and not the best app ever but it does it's job of letting them get a fast look at the status of the cash flow in a minute or less.

    it updates totaly smoothly w/o page reload or flicker.

    HTML would not do for the relatime nature and as it's run form a secure web site they can view it from any store or the office or at home.

     

    later this year we may take the admin site and move parts of it to silverlight to make some complex functions and tasks run better on the client pc. we may even move the whole admin backend to a catalog of silverlight modules. that may solve several problems we have today with html pages.

    sure simple listing pages and data entry pages can be done with html at some level.

    but when the business asks for more and more complex processes html starts to be an issue, javascript and ajax do not always work as we have seen right here on C9 many times....

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    figuerres said:
    spivonious said:
    *snip*

    Here is one.  now this is an internal thing not for the general public.

     

    our main customer has about 250-300 sales staff. due to the specifics of this they requested a way to view the status of sales, deposits and cash-drawer close outs during the day esp. at shift change.

    they di not want a desktop applications as key managers and owners are often on the move to store locations to deal with on going business.

     

    the solution i built for them is a silverlight app that can run full screen or full browser page size to show the data as a kind of grid where each block is one staff person whth summary totals and color coded red/green/yellow

    the whole thing updates on a timer so that it is within 5-10 seconds of real time.

    they can at a glance see how many red blocks are at the top of the screen and then check on why they are not zeroed out and in ballance.

     

    not the end of the world and not the best app ever but it does it's job of letting them get a fast look at the status of the cash flow in a minute or less.

    it updates totaly smoothly w/o page reload or flicker.

    HTML would not do for the relatime nature and as it's run form a secure web site they can view it from any store or the office or at home.

     

    later this year we may take the admin site and move parts of it to silverlight to make some complex functions and tasks run better on the client pc. we may even move the whole admin backend to a catalog of silverlight modules. that may solve several problems we have today with html pages.

    sure simple listing pages and data entry pages can be done with html at some level.

    but when the business asks for more and more complex processes html starts to be an issue, javascript and ajax do not always work as we have seen right here on C9 many times....

    You can't really use C9 as an excuse that JavaScript and AJAX don't always work. Application that don't work can be developed on any platform. If you look at apps like GMail, Facebook or Google Reader, you can see that heavy usage of JavaScript and AJAX can work great. The fact that C9 does not work as it should is not to be blamed on HTML, JavaScript or AJAX, but on the C9 development team.

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