SharpGIS

#GIS from a .NET developer's perspective

Mix07 Keynote

The big topic of today’s keynote by Ray Ozzie & Scott Guthrie at the Mix07 was Silverlight. Today several new things were unveiled:

  • Silverlight 1.0 beta was released
  • Silverlight 1.1 alpha was released / unveiled
  • Silverlight Streaming was unveiled
  • Silverlights new community website was unveiled at www.silverlight.net
  • Blend Expression was released to day (we all got a free copy too)

And to me the biggest news of them all:

  • Silverlight 1.1 alpha has support for .NET code inside the Silverlight application!

Basically this means that you now can use C#, VB, IronPython, the all-new IronRuby (also unveiled today) and any other .NET language in an app that runs inside the browser crossbrowser AND crossplatform. Through .NET you can also work with and manipulate the HTML DOM, use REST services etc. No more JavaScripting! (and I was just about getting to a point where I really started to like JavaScript)

Scott Guthrie demoed a cool Silverlight-based chess application that used both JavaScript and C# for the AI, and had the two languages “compete” against each other. According to Scott, .NET is 400-1000 times faster than JavaScript, so it could calculate a lot more moves in the same time. Of course .NET won the simulated game :-) There were a lot of other cool Silverlight demos by non-Microsoft companies, including a kick-ass video-editing app running in your browser.

“Silverlight Streaming” (http://silverlight.live.com/) is Microsofts new website for sharing video (A Youtube killer perhaps?). You can freely sign up for 4gb space, and supports up to DVD-quality videos of up to 10mins. You can completely integrate videos streaming from Microsofts servers onto your webpage through Silverlight. So the next time you upload a really cool video to your website with the risk of overloading your server, Silverlight Streaming might be your answer.

So, Silverlight 1.0beta is out now, and will be finally released in the Summer 2007. 1.1alpha is out now too, but the final release is still to be determined. This includes a subset of the .NET framework, similar to what they did to the compact framework.

They also showed that through Visual Studio Orcas you can now remotely debug Silverlight applications that run on a Mac, set breakpoints, change properties on the fly etc. REALLY cool stuff.

Hi I’m a Mac. Hi I’m a PC and I can control you remotely! ;-)

You can download Silverlight 1.0b, 1.1a and SDKs at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/silverlight/default.aspx

So basically this means you now can use .NET for a larger array of purposes:

  • ASP.NET (Webserver)
  • XNA (XBOX)
  • CF.NET (Pocket PC/Phone)
  • Silverlight (Webclient – Crossplatform!)
  • WPF (Desktop)

I can’t wait to get started with this!

The other sessions I attended today was pretty good too (although missing most of the one I wanted the most because the hotel got my reservation screwed up), none of it was really new stuff we haven’t seen before. Hopefully there will be some more WOW tomorrow…

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