Sunday, 21 March 2010

Silverlight back from the dead.

Microsoft have probably just saved Silverlight. Their recent announcement of the Windows Phone 7 Series, and more importantly the development platform for that phone (Silverlight of course) means Silverlight is important now. I was always pretty sure WPF would become the defacto standard for desktop applications (and what with Visual Studio now being written in WPF, perhaps it will), but I couldn’t quite see a compelling reason behind Silverlight. Now there is one!

Have Embarcadero backed the wrong horse (again…)? They’re targeting the MAC with their next compiler. Probably because they think that is where the future is. Perhaps the future is with Seattle and not Cupertino!

They have Delphi Prism of course, and you can develop for Windows Phone using that. Having said that, no one has ever answered my question? Why should I use Delphi Prism and not C#? Now before I get a 1000 comments telling me that Pascal is easier to read than C#, I just want to say I agree. I love Prism! I wish I could use it every day. It’s awesome. Can I praise it anymore? I need a reason to use it though. One I can go to my boss with. I’d like to be able to go to him and say, “you know that project we were about to develop in C# (the one we decided to NOT use Delphi native Win32 for!), well I think we should use Delphi Prism because….”

If anyone can complete that sentence for me, I’d love to be able to use it. I wish Microsoft had approached Remobjects and partnered with them rather than Embarcadero. The only way my boss would agree to Delphi Prism would be if it sat along side C# and VB.NET in the default install of Visual Studio. That wouldn’t guarantee anything, but I’m sure the added exposure would garner quite a few new followers.

9 comments:

Mason Wheeler said...

I dunno. Your assertion that Windows Phone 7 makes Silverlight suddenly important is based on the unspoken assumption that Windows Phone 7 is important. Is there anything to indicate that it will be any less of a joke in the marketplace than previous incarnations of Windows Mobile or the Zune?

Anonymous said...

What's the point?

Go for C# and use a modern standardized pure OO-language, one you can do myString.length instead of length(myString).

The same is true for java.

"Pascal is easier to read" is the statement which is used by people which pascal is the only language they know.

Anonymous said...

Nice article.

I've been a delphi users since V1, and C# developer since .NET 1.0.

I see the Windows Mobile as DEAD.

Android is killing it, along with the iPhone.

The removal of Windows mobile 6.x compatibilty and restricting to silverlight will only kill it further. Do they seriously think Tom Tom or others will rewrite ? When they can get more market share with Android and iPhone ?

Html5/Javascript is moving forward.

I love the idea of silverlight, but only recently (this week actually). Given up on the tech...

Why ?

No Silverlight for Android, iPhone, Media PC's, Pads, Netbooks etc etc... And Mono is a half finished hack.. (again I love the tech/played with mono etc.. But its way way to buggy still for commercial use).

Also jQuery/Dojo/etc all are doing amazing things with HTML/Javascript.

Similarly..

.NET 3.5SP1 was a DOA..

500Megs to install on a machine with no updates.. They are joking.

Yes 4.0 will be 30-60Megs.

For what ? Yes a nice runtime.

BUT.. Try and roll that out at a school on 1000'pc which are LOCKED with deepfreeze or similar.

Winforms are SLOW.
WPF is even slower unless you have the right video driver.

Memory usage is higher, etc..

I LOVE .NET but i'm actually looking to refocus on DELPHI..

YES.. Going to the tech.. Not away.

Which I never ever throught would happen..

I'm 100% pro C#, just the runtime/deployment/speed is becoming a factor for MY clients.

Delphi needs a few things.

1) Updated libs (regex, threads, collections, strings)
2) Cross Platform (osx, linux, android, iphone)
3) 64bit

Yes its not perfect.. I had given up on Delphi around 2007 myself..

But silverlight (other than olympics) and some partner sites is going nowhere..

I'm all for HTML5/Javascript now.

NO LOCKIN.

Mike said...

... because .net + VS is open to different languages. You can do it. Not more not less. As long as we do not consider language features the spread of languages with different features ... standing for very equal concepts ... don't see the C# vs. any other language discussion very amazing.

The differentation is no longer the language the difference is the plattform that can be supported tomorrow. Business is always what can be achieved tomorrow. Today is as it is.

It is a pain to have a boss.

Silverlight: Why not - on Windows. With .net 4.x it is comes close to what one can do with WPF not in every szenario but ... will work for the Windows desktop too.

Mike said...

You will have no chance to convince a boss that thinks in packaged products;-) You are funny. This is why you don't get an answer.

I think this decision is done a a different level. There is a believe that the compiler for Windows is C# and I think this has been suggested so long by MS... hard to compete.

Being somewhat realistic the MS world in enterprise apps is so what unimportant (except of some ASP.net things) compared to the Java world - where you already have settled infrastructure ... :-). In product market it makes sense to stay on what communicated standard ...

So I will continue using Chrome compiler.

On a long term view - under these conditions it is a lot more wiser to face different OSes at a level that cannot simply be changed by the OS vendor itself or a database vendor ...

Sean said...

Yoy probably won't be able to use prism to develop for Windows Phone for a while. At the moment it is c# only, not even vb.net works.

Mike said...

The Market for Smartphones is estimated by Adobe to a number of 250 mios... number of devices.

@Mason
They simply need a way to bring apps because one fact in decision making for a device is the number of apps in the corresponding store ... I think we all know how to think about this ...

--> The somewhat different Message from MIX10 is that Silverlight even it is very limited at the moment has been used together with SOA as frontend on the desktop. --> This is a change because currently the picture for WPF + Ado.net vs. Silverlight + xxx was unclear but the alternative was not decided.
If we take into account that Microsoft really will bring - short after the .net 4.x launch the WCF related extensions SOA infrastructure (planned in Dublin, WS Discovery, routing) then there is at least an offer to companies
a) to be in the position to move to desktop apps to RIA solutions
b) a runtime that is capable of nearly the same functionallity as the android ...
--> The picture still remains somewhat unclear - I don't know in how far it is correct that the office runtime for the future is Silverlight ... if this is true then the decison where the MS ressources for desktop related apps will go to beside ASP.net for sure.

If all this happen we don't know, ... but for me at least a change on the infrastructure side is a lot realistic --> This is the inhouse "cloud" or at least a heavy technology stack on the severside and the missing part for apps built with Expression (expression is so simple that even a dumb nut like me concerning web design can simply build a RIA app ... I did this in the evalution period).

But there is no reason any more for a wide range of apps to move away from CS.

But this is still guessing. This is the picture I have combind with what I know from my customers ...

deksden said...

An idea: what if Embarcadero let other compilers to fit in RAD Studio IDE? Let it be FreePascal.. )))) Maybe it boost usage of RAD Studio itself.

Steve Trefethen said...

Here at Falafel, from the consulting perspective, we're seeing Silverlight explode all over and clients are requesting it far more frequently than WPF. The fact that MS made it the standard on Windows Mobile will certainly further drive adoption and I think with Microsoft's dev tools they'll have all the pieces in place to seriously bring to bear their developer masses.

The new MS phone platform will be interesting to watch whereas the old was a completely non-starter.