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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 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.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linumax ( 910946 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:22PM (#26838703)
    If Adobe is finally taking Linux seriously, it's because they are afraid of Microsoft. Best outcome we can have is Adobe and MS each taking a 50% share of this market. We'll reap the benefits, regardless of OS of choice.
  • by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:29PM (#26838763) Homepage

    XmlHttpRequest, the 'X' in AJAX, started life as a Microsoft only, proprietary ActiveX object back in IE5.

    Given that, your post doesn't really make sense.

  • 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:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by erayd ( 1131355 ) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:36PM (#26838841)
    Which I think they probably are, noting that 64bit flash was available on the Linux platform before any of the others.
  • Re:Miguel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:42PM (#26838877)
    short memory you have there. before MS started working on silver light a decent flash player on linux was but a pipe dream. say what you want about them, but anything MS takes an interest in ends up with savage competition that benefits us all.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 ( 1010381 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:48PM (#26838939)

    Making the web dependent on binary plugin formats....users are probably the only ones who DON'T win.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @11:49PM (#26838947)

    There must be a non-ActiveX version of the page if it works on Macs... keep at it! :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by 2muchcoffeeman ( 573484 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:21AM (#26839581) Journal

    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 [].

  • by homerhomer ( 669677 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:54AM (#26840035)
    I haven't seen any good come out of this junk. Every time I want to watch something with some importance, I have to use Silverlight. I really get the feeling that the reason companies go with this tech is not because of application ubiquity, but because some jackass made a deal with Microsoft. Just give me Netflix and I'll be happy!
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:10AM (#26840323)

    It's crystal-clear:

    XmlHttpRequest is a "de facto" standard, yes. It was introduced by Microsoft, yes (it was not intended for AJAX, though), and IE implements it right by definition.

    On the other hand, it's not possible to do AJAX if if the DOM and every thing else in the browser is not standards conformant, and boy, Microsoft has troubles doing that! It's the same old problem with JavaScript, only much worse.

    Makes sense now?

  • Permisive MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jlebrech ( 810586 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:01AM (#26840587) Homepage

    The only reason Microsoft is allowing Moonlight on Linux is because there is someone to hurt!! (Adobe)

    If there was anything else MS wasn't market leader in they would probably hint novell into making a clone of that too.

  • Re:Permisive MS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:23AM (#26840697)
    Excellent point. If Silverlight took off and Adobe became an "also ran" there would be a patent-protected, copyrighted "Silverlight 3" that could not run on non-M$ operating systems.
  • by thetartanavenger ( 1052920 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:34AM (#26840745)
    Because the longer it exists, the more people will use it, the less content linux users would have access to without it. There may not be much now but for better or worse it will grow.
  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @06:39AM (#26841073)

    As for cross-platform, Moonlight 2.0 should be able to run SmoothHD just fine, and more importantly a whole lot of content published using that platform.

    Cross-platform....... Using a blob of codecs that are almost certainly not going to be updated or even there in a few years' time.

    I don't think you understand quite what cross-platform means.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by javilon ( 99157 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @06:48AM (#26841119) Homepage

    If Adobe is finally taking Linux seriously, it's because they are afraid of Microsoft. Best outcome we can have is Adobe and MS each taking a 50% share of this market. We'll reap the benefits, regardless of OS of choice.

    If Adobe is finally taking Linux seriously, it's because they are afraid of Microsoft. Best outcome we can have is Adobe and MS each taking a 50% share of this market.

    Supporting Silverlight is not necessary for that. In fact it can be the quite the opposite. If Adobe sees having a Linux plugin as a competitive advantage, they'll give it a lot of love. But if Silverlight is (badly) supported in Linux, it gives them the wrong message. Basically it is just another tick on the box, and they don't need to make it work properly, just pretend that it does, exactly like Microsoft is doing.

  • 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.

  • For example, offered a fallback to an IE embedded WMP ActiveX component. I agree that more sites could do a nicer job of it, and we're talking to them about improving that experience.

    Oh good, we can fall back to the older, less secure Windows model?

    Cross-platform compatibility is the key. And I don't think one can reasonably trust anything based on a Microsoft standard. It doesn't mean I won't install moonlight anywhere, but it does mean I won't ever, ever be using silverlight.

    If the system doesn't fall back to something actually standards-compliant without me having to do anything, then it is a gigantic fuckup. I don't want to do it Microsoft's way, I want to do it the right way, the standard way, the correct way.

  • Re:One Word (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nahdude812 ( 88157 ) * on Friday February 13, 2009 @08:56AM (#26841831) Homepage

    Just out of curiosity, does it prompt you for permission to download? I'm wondering what sort of protections they have against someone using either their own codec (thus downloading arbitrary executable content - presumably they don't allow this), an obscure codec not typically used (this would greatly increase the attack surface area since it effectively becomes any bug in any codec supported by the platform whether or not you have it installed), and finally against man in the middle attacks that allows someone to deliver you a false codec when you're trying to download a normal one.

  • Choice. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @09:11AM (#26841967)

    Any other reasons why you'd want Silverlight?

    Say it with me, "Monopolies are bad."

    Just because it's Microsoft doesn't make it evil. What's truly evil is being forced to rely on something like Flash to bring you content--no matter what.

    Am I the only person dismayed by the fact that flash video is *so* horrible, you can't full screen youtube's HD stuff on a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 machine?

    I mean, FFS, Adobe had Flash ready for the iPhone in months.... But we can't even get a native x64 version of it on ANY OS. If Microsoft can force some swift kicks in Adobe's ass (which they should for forcing me to download a damned plugin to save to PDF in Office 2007 anyway) and vice-versa, I see nothing but good things on the road ahead.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xabraxas ( 654195 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @11:20AM (#26843943)

    Making the web dependent on binary plugin formats....users are probably the only ones who DON'T win.

    Then I have something for you. First read the article. It is about this thing called Moonlight. It's open source. As a content creator you can create video, animations, and other interactive content using free and open source tools that can be viewed with free and open source plugins.

  • Re:One Word (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xabraxas ( 654195 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @11:55AM (#26844541)

    Sooner or later Microsoft will pull the plug on Silverlight, or at least get lots of open-source stuff dependant on it, and then kill it. OH noooOOes now I can't use my $1 million dollar application because Microsoft did something legaly & I can't use Silverlight anymore.

    I keep hearing this but no evidence supports it. The only evidence you can provide is "Microsoft is evil". Despite your quite common belief that Mono is some kind of Microsoft plot, Microsoft has been actively helping Mono. I don't think this is going to change anytime soon and just like any company Microsoft has, and will continue to change. I think when Ballmer leaves you're really going to notice a change. As more and more of Microsoft's developers have experience with Linux and acceptance of Linux the attitudes will change, they already are. Can you imagine if Windows released their proprietary codecs freely to Linux systems 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago? Of course pure software purists would not accept them but a lot of people would have been very happy to have freely licensed codecs to legally watch video on Linux. Now when they do it it's made out to be some kind of plot. It's a little tin-foil hat-ish.

    They're still a business and they're still going to try to push their solution over all others but this isn't anything different than any other business out there, including Linux companies like Red Hat but comapanies are not monolithic, never changing entities. Those that don't change with the times die and Microsoft knows that. They can't just depend on being installed on 99% of computers anymore and no amount of lawsuits are going to change that in this global economy.

  • by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Friday February 13, 2009 @11:57AM (#26844567)

    Really all it is, Microsoft gave Novell $300 million for a mutual indemnification agreement. That's a hell of a lot of money, and any reasonable person would believe that Microsoft is more worried about infringing on Novell patents than vice versa.

    Any naive or willfully ignorant person would believe that. Microsoft made this deal around the time they were claiming Linux violated their patents. In return for the upfront cash to Novell, Microsoft gets royalties on any future sales of Novell. It divides the Linux community between those paying protection money to Microsoft and those who don't. Open source and patent royalties are incompatible.

  • The second link is about how the stuff in the first is authored, and doesn't require Silverlight. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    That part was clear. My issue was that the content of the first link was not clear. I assume from the name it's a site that streams HD videos. Which means... well, nothing. Absolutely nothing to me. There's a variety of sites that already do that. Without more information, I can't understand why your site is superior enough to make me install Silverlight.

    The challenge with offering multiple sizes is that in forces the user to know what their system and connection can play

    Complete nonsense. The idea of "SD" vs. "HD" has been so ingrained into our culture at this point, that it's quite easy for users to figure it out. Take this movie website as an example: []

    It streams the trailer in computer resolution by default and gives the options for smaller versions (iPod/iPhone) and larger versions (HD). No one complains that they can't see the trailer. It either just works, or they select a resolution more appropriate to their device. Plus they're made aware that they can watch the super-hires stuff by the "HD" link. Apple's website [] gives users the option of "Small/Medium/Large/iPod". Again, no one complains that they can't figure out how to get the video to work. They complain far more about having to install Quicktime. (Sort of like I'm complaining about Silverlight.)

    Ah, that's the point! Smooth Streamings gets us out of having to wait for everyoen to be able to do HD to use it for mass audience content

    You're completely missing the point. Multibitrate does not matter. Consider how many people link off to the Youtube versions of the Star Trek trailers! Those are of terrible quality. Yet the convenience and real-world benefits are more important to them than HD resolutions.

    HD will catch on when the hardware gets here. And the reason why it will catch on when the hardware gets here is because that is when the best experience can be offered. It's not about HD vs. non-HD. That's a red herring. It's about providing a better service overall. HD video is a bonus and nothing more.

    I understand that you've probably put a lot of heart and soul into making multibitrate work. But what you're working on is the modern equivalent of sending VOC files to the PC Speaker. A nifty technology that never saw wide distribution because it attempted to close a perceived gap that simply wasn't there. In the end, users upgraded to SoundBlaster sound cards rather than supporting the VOC->Speaker technology.

    There's a lot of flexibility in how a site can present the install option.

    You aren't listening. I don't care about the install option. I don't want to install Silverlight. It's the job of the website to convince me that "Yes you do!" The website does nothing to convince me. It merely gives me an ultimatum: We won't show you what we're about until you install this plugin. So install it or leave.

    I leave.

    In comparison, Youtube can be navigated without Flash. A user can understand what the site is about, why they might want the service, and ultimately make an informed decision about installing Flash.

    For example, offered a fallback to an IE embedded WMP ActiveX component.

    Good to know that they made the effort to support my Mac, cell phone, Nintendo Wii, PS3, set-top box, Linux, etc. No, wait...

    I agree that more sites could do a nicer job of it

    Indeed. They could use multi-platform H.264 codecs and thus support nearly every web player on the market. From HTML5 video to the widely deployed Flash 10.

    Whoops. That wasn't what you mean

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.