Gaining Control

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-10-13 Print this article Print


Moreover, Microsoft will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish the technical specification for the Silverlight XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) vocabulary on the Microsoft Developer Network. The SCP, which augments the built-in control set in Silverlight, includes controls such as DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete, Goldfarb said. Meanwhile, the Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification will better enable ISVs to create products that can read and write XAML for Silverlight. In addition, Microsoft released the Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification under the Open Specification Promise. In addition, Goldfarb said Microsoft will be innovating rapidly with the control pack and updating it every month.

"The Silverlight Control Pack under the Microsoft Permissive License really addresses the needs of developers by enabling them to learn how advanced controls are authored directly from the high-quality Microsoft implementation," Miguel de Icaza, Novell vice president, engineering, and founder of the open-source Mono project, said in a statement. Mono is an effort to deliver a Linux implementation of .NET and is the foundation for Moonlight, a project to deliver a Linux implementation of Silverlight.

"By using the OSP for the Silverlight vocabulary, they further solidify their commitment to interoperability," de Icaza said of Microsoft. "I am impressed with the progress Microsoft continues to make, and we are extremely satisfied with the support for Moonlight and the open-source community."

In response to a query from eWEEK about the relationship between Silverlight and Moonlight, de Icaza said:

"I love Silverlight 2. That is the only reason we did Moonlight; 1.0 was interesting, but nothing earth-shaking. When we saw 2.0-at the time, a subset called 1.1-we were all over it. And of course, I think it's brilliant that Microsoft is starting to open up. Their new MS-PL controls will help us deliver Moonlight 2.0 shortly, but it also will jump-start folks that want to learn how to author widgets for Silverlight 2. Silverlight 2 has a fascinating control architecture, and they are just helping developers skip a whole cycle of learning by giving out the sources to the controls."

Microsoft announced Silverlight 2 on Oct. 13 and said the technology will be available for download on Oct. 14 at Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight will be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 2. A technology preview of the Soyatec project is available at, with a complete version available in the second half of 2009.

Meanwhile, regarding ubiquity, Goldfarb said Microsoft estimates that one in four computer users have access to Silverlight.

"We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft, in a statement. "Silverlight represents a radical improvement in the way developers and designers build applications on the Web. This release will further accelerate our efforts to make Silverlight, Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio the pre-eminent solutions for the creation and delivery of media and rich Internet application experiences."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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