MIX09: Silverlight 3 Supports Offline Desktop Apps? Cool! .. Er .. Meh.

by Jon Davis 19. March 2009 20:21

Silverlight 3 will support being deployed offline as desktop apps. That’s cool. It’s official, now, Microsoft has an answer to Adobe AIR. Really cool, actually.

Then again, Silverlight doesn’t do windowing. You’re stuck in a single window. Meh. Silverlight doesn’t do rich menuing (outside of the window canvas, except for right-click context menus). Meh. Silverlight apps deployed to the desktop aren’t actually installed (no true “Application” treatment), just a shortcut on the desktop—a feature (called “simplicity”) as much as a loss. No HTML / Javascript support! Meh!

I’d be no less interested than before of the idea of taking Webkit and building a third party AIR-like solution for Silverlight today even after the Silverlight 3 announcement, if it wasn’t for the annoying fact that even if such a thing was made, people wouldn’t use it, because they’d settle for the half-baked solution from Microsoft.

Do my gladness and disappointment cancel each other out? Hm. Not really. I’m disappointed by the details (or lack thereof), but at the end of it all, if I forget about Adobe AIR for a moment, .. dude! I can deploy simple, User Experience enhanced .NET apps on Windows or Mac with no trouble at all!

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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