21 day hack-a-thon produces Moonlight
A 21 day hack-a-thon has resulted in the initial stages of Moonlight, a Linux version of Microsoft’s Silverlight, which aims to take on Adobe Flash.
"I did not think we would be able to get this far in 21 days, I was hoping at most to have a simple XAML file loading and some animations going but the team really achieved an incredible project. I think we are still quite impressed that it could be done," said Miguel de Icaza, vice president for the developer platform at Novel, on his blog.
"But there is still much work left to do to before we can work flawlessly as a Silverlight plugin," he added.
De Icaza is also the lead developer of Mono, upon which Moonlight is dependent. Mono is a version of Microsoft’s .Net framework for Linux and Unix. Silverlight is Microsoft’s cross-platform browser plug-in software for video and multimedia. Currently in a prerelease stage, Silverlight is intended to compete with Adobe’s Flash Player.
A public alpha version of the open source Moonlight software is planned for September or October, said de Icaza. He added that tryouts of Moonlight will be offered to early adopters in a couple of weeks.
Although Microsoft has seen little need to make Silverlight work on Linux platforms, de Icaza stressed the importance of having Linux clients support Silverlight as a means of accessing web content, adding that Linux needs to be a first-class citizen.
"It’s a really powerful technology. In addition to supporting it on the web, we’re going to stick it on the desktop," de Icaza said.
"Needless to say, we believe that Silverlight is a fantastic development platform, and its .Net-based version is incredibly interesting, and as Linux/Unix users we wanted to both get access to content produced with it and to use Linux as our developer platform for Silverlight-powered Web sites," de Icaza said on his blog.
Go here for screenshots.