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01.04.08

Silverlight’s Linux Exclusion: Thy Name is Popfly (and More to Come) (Updated)

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 1:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Throw a dime in the tip jar and call that “support”

OOXML is badA promotional new article from Microsoft’s press makes it clear that GNU/Linux is left out of the Silverlight/Popfly universe, which is all about the Microsoft Web (see links at the bottom). On the other hand, Microsoft continues to use Novell as an excuse and semi-fdounded ‘proof’ that the FOSS world accepts Silverlight. If this seems familiar, it ought to.

Novell supports OOXML, along with other technologies that help Microsoft maginalise GNU/Linux. Why does Novell do this? Because it’s in Microsoft’s contract (see SEC filing) with Novell. Microsoft holds Novell down by the thumb, owing to the cash infusion Novell so desperately craved. And it shows.

Linux Left Out

The animations are equal to those of Flash in terms of quality. However, Popfly does have one flaw, which is no Linux support. Novell Inc. is developing a Linux version of Silverlight called “Moonlight.”

Take-home message: Novell is merely serving Microsoft agenda here. It simply must because it is too reliant on Microsoft. As we have found in OOXML, Novell employees are pushing for adoption of OOXML in Free software. The same goes for Silverlight.

Related reading (internal):

Related reading (external):

Update: Already comes the push and the shove:

Microsoft to Push Silverlight via Redesigned Website

Microsoft isn’t new to the whole “virtual” monopoly business (where a single company holds the entire market thanks to “superior technology” and “better business sense”) – it’s just not too often that they’re on the wrong side of this particular proverbial fence.

When Silverlight was first announced and PopFly, Microsoft’s social network built to demonstrate and hopefully kickoff Silverlight, were simultaneously launched; we were quick to appreciate the technical aspects of .NET and WPF taken online, but were careful to make it clear that we didn’t think it stood much of a chance.

But things might be on the verge of a big change. Large portions Microsoft’s website are in the middle of a redesign that will feature a fully Silverlight-powered interface – doing away with HTML and everything else.

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24 Comments

  1. TaQ said,

    January 4, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Gravatar

    Check this out: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Jan-04.html

    You advocate using standards that are implemented by multiple vendors. But what if none of those vendors is providing what I want? What if the vendors do not care about my opinion?

    Seems that, on the last years, that the only vendor that is providing what he wants and the only one that cares about his opinion (I think it’s the only one he cares about their opinion) is … Microsoft.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Gravatar

    Just ask yourself who has the most to benefit/earn from this. Then, ask yourself the same question and think about OOXML rather than Silverlight.

    I know Miguel does not intend to do harm, but that’s just what some of his recent work does. He gets a lot of love, but sometimes he is looking for love in the wrong places. I hope he gets back to doing the wonderful work he used to do.

  3. 5435f453 said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Gravatar

    I’m pretty sure that Miguel doesn’t give a toss about your love nor about anyone’s opinion; he’s using the framework that does deliver what best serves his programming needs. Nothing to do with love, he doesn’t do politics (or religion, like you).

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  4. 5435f453 said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Gravatar

    Besides, Roy, you always talk like Linux was a biiiig concern for M$. Have ever looked at the figures? Us Linux users make for a whopping percent of computer users; no memorable improvements during the last years and – realisticall viewed – not much in sight. If anyone ‘marginalizes’ Linux it is the much bigger competitor of Microsoft – and that is Apple. Well actually, Linux couldn’t be marginalized much more than it is now. M$ is sooooo unthreatened by Linux, that it probably couldn’t care less about it.

    So, if you’re actually looking to dangers for Linux you should re-name your site ‘boycottapple.com’.

    Not that it wouldn’t look any more ridiculous than your current website.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  5. TaQ said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Gravatar

    But you should agree that all the solutions he loved, sorry, all the solutions that fits his programming needs on the last years come from Microsoft, right? And Microsoft means technical stuff *and* politics, they are a huge company and you can’t have one without that.

  6. 5435f453 said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Gravatar

    Who cares where it came from? Java came from SUN and was used by *nixers before it became open-sourced; QT came from Trolltech and the KDE guys built a complete _desktop-environment_ arount a closed-source technology (long before it became open-sources) — and you are seriously telling me that Migues commits some kind of treason because he uses a standardized, open-sourced framework because it has its origins in a company that nobody of us likes?

    Aren’t you hypocritical?

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  7. 45b543 said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Gravatar

    I would love to discuss this further with you but Roy has just again blocked my IP and will certainly block this one shortly. So perhaps later.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  8. 454v said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Gravatar

    Also he has deleted my previous comment which listed all the then-closed-source frameworks that have been used in Linux, like Java or QT. Here few people cared where the libraries came from as long as it worked for them. While Mono is built on an open-source, open standard.

    Not liking M$ is no excuse for telling other programmers what they use.

    Well, have fun censoring, Roy.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Gravatar

    You are the only person (ever!) who abused to the point where banning was needed. Even readers wanted you banned, so it’s not just our own choice. The links attached to your comment tell a part of the story, so don’t paint yourself an innocent victim.

  10. hey said,

    January 4, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Gravatar

    Not liking M$ is no excuse for telling other programmers what they use.

    Hell yes it is.

    We now have open stuff, you know, we do not need to use closed development environments anymore, specially if your objective is to make open source free software applications that would be added to Linux default desktop. It simply makes no sense to support and push a framework that was made by Microsoft to punish competition, we should really raise our appreciation of ourselves, why in earth should we accept Microsoft’s garbage even before it becomes widespread?

  11. hey said,

    January 4, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Gravatar

    Check this out: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Jan-04.html

    The last question on that blog is quite ridiculous, “What prevents moonlight from being embraced, extended and becoming an standard?” Miguel Icaza seems to forget his own statements in which he accepted that only Novell can legally distribute moonlight and that the only distro that would be able to legally include it by default is MS-taxed SUSE enterprise…

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Gravatar

    I didn’t spot that question before. How long before he calls Silverlight a “superb standard that has been FUDed” and recommends that Microsoft buys an ISO for it and then replaces (X)HTML with its proprietary formats?

    Need is be mentioned that Silverlight, just like OOXML, has operating system-specific and operating system-boosted ‘features’ that pretty much tie the World Wide Web to Microsoft Windows?

  13. Lukas said,

    January 4, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Gravatar

    What OS-specific Silverlight features are you talking about?

    Inquisitive minds want to know.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Gravatar

    I cannot recall the exact details (I’m no XAML/Avalon/WPF/Silverlight/{whatever they decide to call it today} expert and yes… I know these are not the same), but there are some features that receive acceleration or latch onto the O/S. In fact, Moonlight is already behind, feature-wise. Expect it to always stay that way. I’ve been butting heads with some people who try to extol the virtues of this family of technologies — people who use Moonlight as some form of excuse for “cross-platform” and “open”. Miguel and his team serve Microsoft with necessary selling points right there on a silver plate.

    Have you followed the situation with OOXML? It’s the same scenario (DRM-related undocumented extension, Windows printing services and so forth). These technologies accommodate the features of the application set and the operating system, not the other way around.

  15. 5fc435 said,

    January 4, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Gravatar

    “I cannot recall the exact details”

    This is quite typical of you. Please don’t make broad claims when in fact you don’t know for sure.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  16. TaQ said,

    January 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Gravatar

    I found some interesting things here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/moonlight_definitions.aspx

    Let me quote some:

    “Moonlight 1.1” means only those portions of any web browser software plug-in developed by or on behalf of Novell for receiving and rendering, in the web browser, media and interactive web-based applications (including only such infrastructure and source code libraries that are necessary to enable the foregoing portions of the web browser software plug-in) which

    (a) when used with Media Pack 1.1, comply with and implement the Silverlight Specification for Silverlight 1.1 and pass 90% (or such lesser amount as Novell and Microsoft mutually agree) of the Moonlight 1.1 Test Suite; and

    (b) are solely for use on a Personal Computer running a Covered Operating System.

    Notwithstanding the above, Moonlight 1.1 does not include any codec or DRM functionality or the functionality of Media Pack 1.0 or Media Pack 1.1, or any application platform interfaces (APIs) other than those implemented and exposed by Silverlight 1.1 for use with other applications.

    Don’t know if I got the point, but seems that there are some limitations there. Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

  17. Lukas said,

    January 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Gravatar

    TaQ:

    All that is saying is that Moonlight implementation will comply with Silverlight, minus the media pack which is being supplied by Microsoft themselves. Hence, once you get the fully packaged deal, it is in all intents and purposes, fully compatible with Silverlight.

    There are no features (OS-specific or not) that Silverlight will have that Moonlight will not.

    Roy: I’m still waiting for the OS-specific features of which you speak. Until you find evidence, I’ll consider your statement to be a misunderstanding. I do not consider “hand waving” to be good enough evidence to support such a claim.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Lukas,

    It was amid a discussion that someone said — quite confidently in fact — that Silverlight would work better in Vista. Some source like Neowin say it might be part of IE8 as well and we discussed this here before. I can find information like this:

    Microsoft began working with XAML as early as 2005 as an application toolkit for developers working on applications for Windows Vista.

    My memory tells me that there are some things like acceleration involved in Silverlight, which are available in some platforms, but not in others. Bear in mind that it’s just an abstraction to a framework on which an O/S is based (or facilitates).

    Having encountered people who think that “Linux is behind because Mono is not as good as Microsoft’s .NET implementation” I just suppose that an unofficial Microsoft Silverlight ‘port’ is the path to making Linux play second fiddle in Web browsing — always playing catchup and lacking some features.

    You can’t beat Microsoft at its own game. It won’t let you. Remember the antitrust case involving Java and the way Microsoft crippled Java? How about undocumented APIs and O/S-specific extensions?

  19. Lukas said,

    January 4, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Gravatar

    XAML is just Microsoft’s equivalent of Glade XML (more or less). They use XAML for designing WPF user-interfaces as well as Silverlight, but obviously Silverlight just uses a subset.

    What you are thinking of is that Windows Vista’s WPF has hardware acceleration but Silverlight is pure software rendering.

  20. 5fc435 said,

    January 5, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Gravatar

    “Miguel Icaza seems to forget his own statements in which he accepted that only Novell can legally distribute moonlight and that the only distro that would be able to legally include it by default is MS-taxed SUSE enterprise…”

    You are so very wrong… How about if you inform yourself before writing such stuff? Moonlight can be distributed any way you like – it is the M$-multimedia codecs, like VC1, which can not. They will be bundled with Moonlight for openSUSE, and such a packet can not be delivered freely. Now before you scream bloody murder, you can also use Mono with other, free multimedia solutions that can also decode VC1, like ffmpeg.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  21. TaQ said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Gravatar

    Lukas, thanks for your explanation. I’m trying to collect some technical stuff about that.

    For me, the big problem is support something that it’s not yet a standard (you can think about OOXML here, on a different scale, as we already have a lot of microsoft files out there – who they are killing with the latest office SP) just presuming it will become an standard, and give them the chance, with open source software or whatever, to make a big move on the web to fit it the way they like (of course, what some developers will like also) and fill it with binary formats, open or not.

    I thank God people woke up some years ago after be stunned with Flash and stopped to make that kind of 100% Flash websites. Now people see that there are few situations where you can have some advantage with 100% Flash websites, and they are too specific. And I’m not talking about programmers, but about designers, the ones who loves all that funny and noisy things, the ones who started to use Flash as if it was the most wonderful thing in the world. Just giving this point an extra attention because they are not so influenced by some technical and “religious” stuff as us, the programmers, at least on the not-visual side of the history.

    Even without the binary thing, there were the “ie only” sites, with those proprietary tags and ways to build a web site who people also see now that are a bad thing. We can still find some “ie only” websites and some like that kind of “if(msie){}else{}” but people sees (designers and programmers) now that using standards are better to build the web: less code, more efficiency.

    Of course we could use (if using microsoft windows) microsoft internet explorer to go to those “ie only” websites, it’s a free (gratis) software, but were proved that the sites sucked a lot (sorry for this) and the web browser were not the wonders people thought it was. When some web browsers like Firefox and Opera came, ideas changed, and so the software – there were no upgrades to microsoft internet explorer till then. And here we can find some related stuff: the microsoft internet explorer is free (gratis), we can download it and use as we like (if using windows), and so moonlight will be free (and open source) and we can download it and use as we like (if using mono, at least for moonlight 1.1), but always following what the big boss says.

    As George Santayana said, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Was proven that microsoft make a mess to make things works the way they like, and the web is a huge thing to allow them to do this.

    Personally I don’t think they changed – hey dudes, they are a huge company who wants money that on the most part comes from power and politics – and after all those years fixing the mess made by “ie only” websites, I don’t think it’s a good idea give them a chance again, even with “open source” software.

    I’ll not use silverlight and will make a strong opposition to it’s idea the way microsoft wants: a wide, huge spread on the web. Let the people free to use what they want, but more important, let the web free. A common and free space as the web, for me, it’s more important than some individual freedoms and with sure more than what some companies wants.

    Of course, as Flash, there will be some specific uses. I’m ok with that, but will avoid it the same way I avoid with Flash today. :-) Going out of the political stuff, they are always too heavy and provide some functionality – if we can call this way – that, for me, does not worth the effort. Some beer sites have so many animations that someone who drinks a couple of beers and go there to download a wallpaper will vomit on the first two minutes. :-)

    Just to finish: I’m curious to see – and not see – how this will works: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/redesigned-microsoft-website-to-use-silverlight

    As noticed there, “it’s nothing that requires a RIA in the first place” and will avoid some cool things like going to Google and search for “msdn CreateDialog” and find http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms645434.aspx. Some years ago when I was programming with windows this kind of thing would be lovely than search on the msdn CDs. Some windows developers will not like lose this facility.

  22. 565gv said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Gravatar

    @TaQ: Don’t you know perfectly well that those ‘limitations’ for the use of Moonlight you keep mentioning are multimedia-codecs and their DRM only? SUSE will bundle the official M$-VC1 video codec and WMA-support which requires an agreement with Microsoft, of course. And also of course any distribution can include Moonlight with other multimedia-frameworks that can or can not decode (free decision) decode WMA and VC1. Whether you decode the multimedia-content in Silverlight-pages with official VC1 or with Fluendo-plugins or with ffmpeg really doesn’t matter.

    There is NOTHING excusive about that!

    @Roy: As always you are only speculating and insinuating like the TROLL you are!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Gravatar

    As George Santayana said, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

    You can say that to Novell again. If only Ray Noorda was still around…

    “Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
    One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave. ”

    –Ray Noorda

    And never forget many of Allchin’s words about Novell, the quote below being just a single example of nasty things he said about Novell. I can remember others that I will happily look up again and share if you are interested. Allchin was among the bigger Novell ‘assassins’ (the biggest Linux assassin was probably Joachim Kempin, who was also arrested for illegally shooting down animals, but that’s another story).

    Jim Allchin on Novell

    If you are interested in more posts that are blasts from the past, please say so. There’s plenty more where that came from, but I’, trying to focus on new stuff.

  24. TaQ said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Gravatar

    Don’t you know perfectly well that those ‘limitations’ for the use of Moonlight you keep mentioning

    “Keep mentioning”? That’s a good one. Was the first time I talk about that! :-)
    I dare you to find another comment from me on the whole world wide web about the moonlight limitations. Please don’t put words on my mouth (or on my fingers, you got it), but thank you and Lukas for some more clarifications. As I said, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m collecting some info, so I’d appreciate it. :-)

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