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09.18.07

Moonlight a Second-class Citizen in a WindowSilverLight Wide Web

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML at 5:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A new article from Microsoft’s own press ought to remind us why Moonlight was a bad idea, just like Novell’s attempted support for OOXML.

Rather than step up and produce a Linux version of Silverlight, Microsoft is taking a halfway step. It will provide technical guidance — and even support — to Miguel de Icaza and the rest of the Novell-hosted Mono team as they work to create Silverlight on Unix….

But as smart as the developers on the Mono team are, and they are very bright, it’s hard to see how Silverlight on Linux will avoid the fate of COM on Unix-lagging behind the Windows version.

Yet again, Novell is giving Microsoft the pleasure of saying that their technologies (e.g. Silverlight, OOXML) are widely supported (never mind the disturbing notion of “licensed”) and include Linux, but:

  1. The implementations are poor
  2. The implementations depends on a single company
  3. The implementations can be obtained from a single company (Novell)
  4. The rules can change at any time (for example, elements can be added with a Draconian licence bound to them)
  5. The implementations give developers false expectations about compatibility (e.g. Windows-only DRM)
  6. The implementations assist a hijack of de facto standards, which can and will be extended

There are more issues to think about, but the take-home message is that when a burglar approaches the window, you don’t invite the burglar to enter the house. You don’t offer the burglar some tea and cookies, either.

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6 Comments

  1. Anon said,

    September 21, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    Wow… how about getting your facts straight next time you decide to write a post?

    1. Have you even looked at the code? How would you know?

    2. It is LGPL, you know…

    3. Well, they /are/ the ones writing it…

    4. IIRC, MS and Novell’s Mono team have a contract stating that MS will continue to provide test suites and technical guidance for Moonlight

    5. Windows-only DRM?Huh? Microsoft is providing not only the codecs but also the DRM to Moonlight for use on Linux.

    6. So? If you don’t let people/companies extend things, we’d still be living in caves, clubbing our dinner before lugging it back.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Gravatar

    > 1. Have you even looked at the code? How would you know?

    You can’t even look at all the code. Codecs are proprietary.

    > 2. It is LGPL, you know…

    For now. It can be later extended to contain other components under a different licence (or not contain them at all). Microsoft calls the shots.

    > 4. IIRC, MS and Novell’s Mono team have a contract
    > stating that MS will continue to provide test suites and
    > technical guidance for Moonlight

    Why doesn’t Microsoft simply support its own technology like it support Macs (partially, of course, because Mono is tied to some Windows services)?

    > 5. Windows-only DRM?Huh? Microsoft is providing not only the
    > codecs but also the DRM to Moonlight for use on Linux.

    Without delving into the moral issues of DRM, what happens when/if Novell is no longer there? There is no access to the source code.

    > 6. So? If you don’t let people/companies extend things, we’d
    > still be living in caves, clubbing our dinner before lugging it back.

    Things are to be developed in consortia and be made workable through standards and interfaces, not integration and binary ‘donations’. Some of Microsoft’s history on standards is very telling. Silverlight is no exception.

  3. Anon said,

    September 21, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Gravatar

    >You can’t even look at all the code. Codecs are proprietary.

    That’s not Novell’s fault.

    > For now. It can be later extended to contain other components under a different
    > licence (or not contain them at all). Microsoft calls the shots.

    Microsoft will be releasing their Silverlight controls as open source so that Moonlight can use them as well. Seems to me that Microsoft is being quite charitable here.

    > Why doesn’t Microsoft simply support its own technology like it support Macs
    > (partially, of course, because Mono is tied to some Windows services)?

    Are you saying you’d be “happy as a pig in sh!t” if Microsoft had been the one to provide you with a proprietary Linux version of Silverlight? This would somehow be better than an open source Moonlight? How?

    IMHO, you are just fishing for reasons to complain.

    > Without delving into the moral issues of DRM, what happens when/if Novell is
    > no longer there? There is no access to the source code.

    No source code for what? Moonlight is open source… it’s all out there (except for the codecs/DRM, but you could just write a drop-in replacement). The codecs/DRM aren’t even the hardest parts of implementing Silverlight.

    > Things are to be developed in consortia and be made workable through
    > standards and interfaces, not integration and binary ‘donations’. Some of
    > Microsoft’s history on standards is very telling. Silverlight is no exception.

    Microsoft produced Silverlight because there was no consortium working on designing something that solved the needs. Who’s fault is that? Not Microsoft’s. Not Novell’s.

  4. Mukotar said,

    December 6, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    This website is a joke! Haven’t seen so much paranoia and defiance to reason for a while.. I’m off for good.. after 10 minutes – I’ve had enough.. Have a nice time throwing your time down the drain chumps…
    In being so pro Open source you actually close linux to innovation and technologies.. Let the users choose what and how they want to use.. not the developers! .. In a way that’s what makes this site sound like another Microsoft of open source.. “We know what’s best for you”. No. You don’t. Every user knows for himself. I think Novell is wrong to a degree for coupling with MS, but they deliver much to open source!
    Look at many desktop improvements both for kde and gnome.. done by Novell developers..
    So.. what I want to say is .. this site makes me sick..
    Saying Novell sucks is easy.. matching their contribution to open source is hard.
    Have a nice day and hello from Croatia to all reasonable visitors!

  5. Russian Hacker said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Gravatar

    1) This site sucks more than anything.

    2) Its apparent that you’re running this site only for adsense clicks. Or to attract advertisers which you’ve failed to do.

    3) There are many other “better” niches that can earn you more advertising bucks.

    4) Visit http://en.opensuse.org/Novell_Supported_Projects

    5) Get a life.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Earlier today I asked Shane about dropping the ads, which would mean we have to pay the hosting bills out of our own pockets, in addition to running this site for no profit or gain.

    Why the insults and lies, “Russian Hacker”?

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