Silverlight in IE?

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-03-10 Print this article Print

What are your plans for implementing SVG [Scalable Vector Graphics] in IE?

I think that vector graphics is certainly an important area that we want to take on in the future. When we started planning what we could do in IE 8, we looked at what the most critical specs were and what the more critical standards were for interoperability, and we took on the ones that we thought we could do very well and in a very detailed way. And I think that we're shipping the right set of things in IE 8. Certainly SVG is going to be very interesting moving forward.

Will you be providing a more coherent "undo" stack?

We've actually started looking at editing as an area that could really be leveraged a lot more than it has been. There have been some interesting statements around that by a few people in the Web development community as well. I think we are going to look at doing better support in that area. How comprehensive that gets with undo. ... If you could do things like adding object model transforms and object model manipulations, too, that is kind of a deep research area right now, I think. It's hard to tell how far you could go with that and how well you could do it if you took it to that level of detail.

What kind of help will you provide for developers around the contentEditable system?

I think that the idea of contentEditable is still a really great one. I think it's a fantastic thing that we introduced back in IE 4. And I think that some of the other browsers are starting to pick up on that now. I know at least one of them implements contentEditable. It's getting added in HTML 5 in some fashion. I think that getting that sort of rich editing capability as a control or capability in the interoperable standard would be a great thing. And we certainly want to encourage that and be right there in sharing it in our implementation, too.

Will Silverlight become part of IE at some point?

I don't know that there's really an answer to that question. Silverlight as it is is a platform that shares some characteristics and interoperates with the Web standards platform, but it is in some ways a separate platform with separate scenarios that it's trying to hit. Whether it would be delivered in IE or not is something that I'm not really up on. I don't really know.

For performance sake, will there be any JIT-ing [Just-In-Time compiling] in IE 8?

That's a good question. I don't have a really good answer to it right now. I think that we've been looking at a lot of ways to improve performance, and if JIT-ing looks like the right way to go in JavaScript, certainly it's not out of the question. I'm not positive it's the best way to go yet.

What would be some of the alternatives?

There are a lot of other investments we could make around performance, and if our resources would be better spent there, that might be where we would start. Certainly longer term, I think JIT-ing or some form of either compile on the fly or even offering pre-compile capabilities would be interesting if we could get that across implementations.

When Silverlight runs in the browser, is there communication between Silverlight and JavaScript?

So as I understand it, there is communication between Silverlight and JavaScript. They are separate runtimes with Silverlight 2, but you can certainly share communication back and forth.

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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