The Beauty of Moonlight

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-12-17 Print this article Print


In a blog post about Moonlight 2.0, de Icaza said:

"Moonlight 2 is a superset of Silverlight 2. It contains everything that is part of Silverlight 2 but already ships with various features from Silverlight 3:

??Ç         Silverlight 3 Pluggable Pipeline, this allows developers to hook into the media decoding pipeline at various points:

??Ç         Data fetching (this is how adaptive streaming and smooth streaming are supported). Test it out at Experience Smooth Streaming.

??Ç         Demuxing (this is how the Moonlight Ogg container can be fed into Moonlight and Microsoft's Silverlight).

??Ç         Codecs (this is how our Vorbis and Dirac support work on both Moonlight and Microsoft Silverlight).

??Ç         Easing animation functions

??Ç         Partial out-of-browser support

??Ç         Writable bitmaps

??Ç         Some of the new databinding features of XAML in Silverlight 3

We are moving quickly to complete our 3 support. Microsoft is not only providing us with test suites for Moonlight but also assisting us in making sure that flagship Silverlight applications work with Moonlight. "

Moonlight is part of a technical collaboration announced by Novell and Microsoft in September of 2007. Microsoft has provided Novell with access to its test suites and specifications for Silverlight, and provides Novell end users of Moonlight with free access to the Microsoft Media Pack, a set of licensed media codecs for video and audio. To download or learn more about Moonlight, visit 

Meanwhile, Goldfarb said the "beauty of the way the Moonlight team is building Moonlight is that any of the tooling available for building Silverlight/Moonlight applications -- including Visual Studio, the Eclipse-based tools from Soyatec, or the MonoDevelop tool set -- can be used to develop Moonlight applications.

"Going forward, that's very important, that we have Visual Studio, Eclipse and MonoDevelop all working together," de Icaza said.

In a blog post on the new tools, de Icaza said new features in MonoDevelop 2.2 include:

??Ç         MonoDevelop code is now LGPLv2 and MIT X11 licensed. We have removed all of the GPL code, allowing addins to use Apache, MS-PL code as well as allowing proprietary add-ins to be used with MonoDevelop (like RemObject's Oxygene).

??Ç         User interface improvements: the first thing that MonoDevelop users will notice is that we have upgraded the UI to fit modern ideas. We borrowed ideas from Chrome, Firefox, Visual Studio, Eclipse and XCode.

??Ç         ASP.NET MVC support, you can now develop, debug and build ASP.NET MVC applications from MonoDevelop.

??Ç         New T4 Macro processor (Text Template Transformation Toolkit) integrated directly into the IDE (Mono's T4 is also available as a reusable library for use and abuse in your own programs).

??Ç         Moonlight Project Support: you can now build, debug and run Moonlight applications using MonoDevelop.

??Ç         New MacOS and Windows support. Check our feature matrix for details.

??Ç         New Debugger support allows debugging Console, Gtk#, ASP.NET, iPhone and Moonlight applications.

??Ç         Extensive text editor improvements


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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