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Moonlight 1.0 Brings Silverlight Content To Linux 346

An anonymous reader writes "Novell has unveiled some of the fruits of its technical collaboration with Microsoft in the form of Moonlight 1.0, a Firefox plug-in which will allow Linux users to access Microsoft Silverlight content. Officially created by the Mono project, it is available for all Linux distributions, including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat and Ubuntu. Also included in Moonlight is the Windows Media pack, with support for Windows Media Video, Windows Media Audio and MP3 files."
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Moonlight 1.0 Brings Silverlight Content To Linux

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  • by gbarules2999 ( 1440265 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:11PM (#26838623)
    '[fake-coughing] Moonlight... so deadly... Choking... [laughs] Kidding! When I said "Firefox plug-in," the deadly was in massive sarcasm quotes. I could take a bath in this stuff, put it on cereal, rub it right into my eyes, honestly, it's not deadly at all. To me. You, on the other hand, are going to find its deadliness a lot less funny.
  • by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:12PM (#26838629)
    Moonlight is a neat project and Silverlight looks interesting, Flash works. But why can't an open, rich experience, open standards solution for building web sites emerge? Surely that would be better for web site developers and consumers.
    • Something like this [] perhaps?

      SVG + Video > Silverlight

      And that's only the tip of the technological iceberg. Behold the power of HTML5. Coming to every web browser except Internet Explorer.

      • Coming to every web browser except Internet Explorer.

        Perhaps you missed the last Slashdot post?

        • Which post would that be? The one where Microsoft failed to implement DOM2 events, then implemented HTML5 features based on DOM2 events and therefore incompatible with the standards, therefore not HTML5?

          Don't get me started. IE8 is a sore point for me. You WON'T appreciate what you hear. (Or maybe you will. But it won't be the most pleasant conversation.)

          • by weston ( 16146 ) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:01AM (#26839807) Homepage

            Don't get me started. IE8 is a sore point for me. You WON'T appreciate what you hear. (Or maybe you will. But it won't be the most pleasant conversation.)

            Well, if it's something to the effect that though for years, you've absolutely hated Internet Explorer 6's limitations and the fact that Microsoft all but abandoned its development, and during those years, while you put up with all its idiosyncracies you accumulated a metric ton of contempt for the company whose half-life might -- if all the issues were addressed today -- only have you wishing painful chronic illnesses on the IE product development team in 5 years, and that despite all that, you allowed yourself a glimmer of hope when you heard the Microsoft folks talking about how IE 8 would support web standards, only to discover that they're basically still planning on being 4-5 years behind everybody else while dumping a lot of effort into silverlight, but you weren't really surprised because honestly, if they had either the skill or will to keep up, they could have done it without breaking a sweat back when IE6 was actually briefly in the lead, and so your contempt, rather than diminishing, is actually pretty much cemented on a monotonically increasing curve which will eventually cause the cretins involved in IE's product development team to suffer debilitating effects proportional their proximity to you.... then by all means, do go on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by benwaggoner ( 513209 )

        I don't see anything in that demo that wasn't in Silverlight 1.0 demos a couple of years ago.

        • And I don't see anything in Silverlight that isn't similarly addressed by HTML5. Ergo, HTML5 is superior for its standardization, true cross-platform support, and competing implementations that can meet the needs of many different ideals.

          For the record, I don't have anything against people such as yourself who work at Microsoft. Many people who work there are great people. But from the inside looking out, you can't see the forest through the trees. You especially can't see the massive amount of harm and disrespect your company is paying the industry. And that harm is why I can't stand Microsoft anymore. Mr. Wilson can complain about negativity all he wants, but he refuses to recognize the trail of broken promises he and your company have given to the industry.

      • Behold the power of HTML5. Coming to every web browser except Internet Explorer.

        And IE, too, as soon as someone writes a something to render SVG + video in Silverlight. :)

        • You know, I actually did that for the Canvas tag. Except I used Java as the rendering engine. (Occasionally I even link to the demo here.) I had an entire plan for getting IE up to speed. Then Microsoft intentionally shafted the industry with their IE8 development. And then I stopped caring. I just... couldn't bring myself to feel anything positive toward Microsoft. I just wanted IE to die.

          So I no longer support these efforts. Instead, I just watch IE's market share numbers drop. 67% and falling.

          • by weston ( 16146 )

            I feel you, man, but every open technology that can be shimmed in to work under IE is a draw away from a Microsoft technology, rendering IE less and less relevant.

    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

      Because W3C standards have become functionally indistinguishable from articles on The Onion?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EvilIdler ( 21087 )

      The WebKit CSS extensions added in Mobile Safari are interesting. I wish for people to agree on a version of this for all browsers, as it would replace Flash in at least some areas. []

    • Um, portions of Silverlight are public source and moonlight *is* OSS.

      It may not be Richart Stallman perfect, but it works for even a jaded manager like me.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by JackieBrown ( 987087 )

        Um, portions of Silverlight are public source and moonlight *is* OSS.

        It may not be Richart Stallman perfect, but it works for even a jaded manager like me.

        This from the person who said Vista was faster than that bloated XP. []

        I was curious to see what type of "jaded" manager would consider public source the same as open source so I checked your history.
        You're good at hiding your "true" feelings because most your posts seem very pro-vista and critical of OSS (usually, though, with the disclaimer that you use such and such linux app. Reminds me of the Seinfield epdisode where the guy could make fun of ev

  • OK I installed this. Now what? Any sites use this?

  • netflix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jameson71 ( 540713 )
    Would this work with Netflix?
  • by sk999 ( 846068 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:18PM (#26838667)

    That seems to be the message Microsoft is sending.

    Oh yes, will it run on my ARM processor (where Flash runs just fine)?

    • No. []

      x86 only... I was kinda hoping that this would lead to a PPC version, but I suspect not - they won't be "killing Flash" just yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      That seems to be the message Microsoft is sending

      I used to think it was mass-hysteria when I heard people say what you just said. Until a while back I stumbled upon this on Novell's site:

      This protection extends far beyond our broad Novell Indemnification Program; you also benefit from the Novell and Microsoft patent cooperation agreement. It ensures that when you buy any Novell productsâ"whether Linux-based or proprietaryâ"you receive a patent covenant from Microsoft.


      Under the Novell and Microsoft patent cooperation agreement, when you buy any Novell productsâ"whether Linux-based or proprietaryâ"you receive a patent covenant not to sue from Microsoft. Microsoft's covenant not to sue a Novell customer applies to a Novell offering independent of the channel of distribution and licensing terms, and whether any code is covered by GPLv2 or GPLv3.

      Here is the direct link: []

      Suffice it to say, I no longer use OpenSUSE :)

  • Cool, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndrewStephens ( 815287 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:33PM (#26838803) Homepage

    Don't get me wrong, I think its cool that projects like this exist and I am not going to criticize anyone for spending time working on it.

    But Silverlight really seems like a solution in search of a problem. Flash provides nice interactivity at the cost of an annoying plugin, and HTML5 is quickly catching up and should be the long term method of constructing web apps.

    The only advantage of Silverlight seems to be the unified language for both backend and content, but that doesn't seem compelling to me. Anyone here using Silverlight for anything interesting that couldn't be done in Flash or HTML?

    • Re:Cool, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:56PM (#26838981) Homepage Journal

      It's designed to directly compete with Flash. The "problem" that it solves is that Adobe is dominating a market that Microsoft wants. You may notice that most of Microsoft's products attempt to solve similar problems.

    • Yeah.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd DOT bandrowsky AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 13, 2009 @12:05AM (#26839041) Homepage Journal

      I got a bid in a gig for Silverlight, and, the thing is, Flash is actually a bit better for some of the special effects. I think its fair to say that Flash and Silverlight are designed to do two different things. Flash has more fancy graphics options, but, Silverlight is easier to assemble content dynamically with. You could go one of two routes with Silverlight. One way is to send out the binary blob ala Flash, but you can also just send out xml straight out to it.... that makes it a bit more like working with a normal web server paradigm. In that sense, you can view Silverlight as more of a stopgap to HTML5 than you would Flash.

    • Smooth Streaming! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by benwaggoner ( 513209 ) <ben DOT waggoner AT microsoft DOT com> on Friday February 13, 2009 @12:22AM (#26839161) Homepage

      On the media side, check out: []

      I encoded the "Big Buck Bunny" clip up there :). It's still in pre-alpha, but you should be able to get the idea

      This uses a new API called MediaStreamSource, which enables file parsers and protocols to be built in managed code, and then hand off the video and audio bitstreams to Silverlight's built int decoders.

      In the case of Smooth Streaming, every two seconds of the video is a seperate http request, and each of those chunks is available in six different data rates. Managed code heuristics running inside of Silverlight dynamically pick the right bitrate for the next chunk based on available CPU power, network speed, and window size (no reason to download 720p if the brower window is shrunk down in a corner of the stream).

      And because this is based around small http requests, chunks get proxy cached, so 100 people watching the same video behind the same firewall would only need to get a single copy, providing much better scalability than traditional unicast streaming.

      Anyway, this is something that Flash certainly can't do, and I haven't seen any hint of HTML5 being able to do. Pulling it all together requires some pretty specific characteristics of the video decoder (the ability to switch resolutions with a new sequence header without any pause), an API like MediaStreamSource, and having a performant enough runtime to be able to run all the heuristics and parsing without using much CPU.

      I blogged the authoring workflow for this and some other details here: []

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      To me I'm just happy if it can provide something html/css/svg/javascript/.. don't. I really hate flash so ..

  • All I have to say is I can now watch in Linux without the freaking hassle I used to have. It's getting very close to the point of not having to dual boot much longer.

  • by hacker ( 14635 ) <> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:36PM (#26838837)

    Well, even with this, I STILL can't watch anything on Netflix's "Watch It Now" section... because THAT requires Moonlight AND ActiveX (and I still had to forge my UA just to get that far).

    We're no farther along than we were before.. as always.

  • It's Sun's fault (Score:3, Insightful)

    by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @12:01AM (#26839013)

    Sun could have owned this market, but Java was a piece of crap for multimedia and video applications, and so people dropped it. Instead of coming up with nice looking, robust, real-world solutions, Sun was busy building a platform designed by committee and with some of the world's most bloated and least tested APIs on it.

  • You know what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moniker127 ( 1290002 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @12:23AM (#26839169)
    We all can bash silverlight, but but theres nothing wrong with it. Its a newer, and from what i've seen, more stable alternative to flash.
  • by MarkKnopfler ( 472229 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @12:35AM (#26839259)

    Keeping up with the microsoft tradition novell unleashes a much touted piece of software which really does not work. Typically inept.

    Firefox 3.0.6 32 bit Intrepid

    Randomly tried some different stuff from the microsoft showcase []:

    Lasercopter: Cannot work with 1.0 compiled for 2.0
    autocosmos tv: Does not even detect the plugin
    Meshviewer: Does not detect the plugin
    Lorenzo Reca: Does not detect the plugin
    Manic Miner: Does not detect the plugin

    My teeth start gnashing and give up

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

      Even with Silverlight they majority of the demos don't work or work so entirely poorly that they make Flash look good.

    • by dalleboy ( 539331 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:33AM (#26840741) Homepage
      This is probably due to the Silverlight initialization Javascript which only works on Windows for IE, Firefox, and on OS-X for Safari. Unless the Silverlight initialization Javascript is updated on the webserver which hosts the Silverlight application, which I doubt Microsoft will do, there is almost no way that this will work in Moonlight.
    • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @07:58AM (#26841465) Homepage

      It is not only that in practical terms it doesn't work. There is something else here. If you look at the press release for the Moonlight 1.0 release, they tell you about a number of things Microsoft had to do to allow this to happen. For example, releasing their codecs for linux, providing patent indemnification, releasing some microsoft code as open source.

      This tells you that Microsoft has complete control over Moonlight in terms of allowing it to progress or not. I am sure that for Moonlight 2.0 there will be another bunch of things that Microsoft will need to do (or not) if they decide to make it happen.

      So what do we have? a free implementation of a non industry standard solution that can't exist without the approval from Microsoft.

      Moonlight is just meant for the MS marketing drones to be able to tick the box when users ask about multiplatform.

  • So what... (Score:2, Informative)

    by kdekorte ( 8768 )

    The HBO example page they use works just fine with gecko-mediaplayer and mplayerplug-in, that Linux users have had for years.

  • Odd that this is just now breaking on Slashdot. According to the Mono project's Moonlight page [], the final version of Moonlight 1.0 was released Jan. 20 -- just in time for Linux users to accept de Icaza's invitation to watch President Obama's inauguration over the Internet [] via Silverlight.

    To answer somebody's earlier question, Moonlight 1.0 is licensed under LGPL [].

  • Sorry I'm late. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:51AM (#26840245) Journal
    It's a bit late in the conversation but I was simply astonished that nobody had said

    And nothing of value was gained.

  • Significantly... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:27AM (#26840427) Journal

    Moonlight features codecs that have already been licensed by Microsoft from major media companies. Moonlight users are indemnified against litigation that might arise from their use in Moonlight due to the Novell whole agreement...thing. In other words, everyone's safe from the (possible or otherwise) threat of litigation, honest!

    Also, Moonlight 1.0 has been tested with, and passed, all the regression-testing tools Microsoft tested with Silverlight. Meaning a guaranteed high level of compatibility.

    Of course the motivation behind this isn't of course Microsoft's "throbbing heart" for the FOSS community; it's purely and simply that it wants to blow Flash out of the water, and is even willing to Open Source, support, and invest heavily in OSS to do it if necessary.

    And that's good because it means Adobe will have to raise the bar on flash now someone's invading it's territory...put another way, did you REALLY think you'd get 64-bit flash support on Linux from Adobe if Silverlight hadn't been released?

APL hackers do it in the quad.