Yes, it wouldn’t be in my character to hold off on yet another opinionated post!
And while I’m on this topic, I’d venture to say I believe the same solution I’m going to propose would be good for Adobe’s Flash/Flex applications as well.
I think the biggest concern I have isn’t whether ‘Linux’ can run Silverlight (we have Moonlight), it’s more along the lines of ‘any device anywhere’. Let’s take the iPad or Xoom – these new devices, that I predict will continue to infiltrate businesses as they have consumers – will lead us to requests such as ‘why can’t I view this Silverlight webpart in my internal Sharepoint site that was done in Silverlight’.
There have been two tools that I know of, that in my opinion solve a big chunk of the plugin issue: Google Web Toolkit (GWT) – and Script#. Now, Script# was supposedly used on Microsoft’s Office on the web, but it’s currently done by one person and it’s not really supported, and it’s usage has some issues imo because of this. So, for now I’ll just look at the model Google has provided with GWT.
So – that is my scenario – we have Silverlight that is producing a plugin that can’t run anywhere. It can’t run on iPhone, iPad, Xoom, it can’t run on different systems. It’s a ‘foreign entity’ in that it doesn’t comply with html standards and usability – that all said – the development environment of Silverlight is great – top of the line really – as your writing C# code and using a very flexible XAML.
It’s ironic, and I’m going to take note of this – the webforms model was an attempt to abstract away the web. And it’s abstraction in many ways became a hinderance. Doing simple formating requires knowing all these custom controls – how to bind and postback on a GridView for instance. And what I’m proposing is even more of an abstraction.
That all said, I see potential in Microsoft leveraging the development model of Silverlight to produce what Google has accomplished with the GWT. So I would take that toolset and provide those capabilities. Seemlessly to the point of being able to do things such as ‘creating a silverlight webpart that produces compliant html5’, etc…
What do you think?