After my initial resistance to using Silverlight, I have to say that I have been using it heavily for the past month and am very impressed with it. When I look at Silverlight as a web technology, I am amazed by the stuff you can do with it and how extensible it is.
My apprehension was due to web standards. And I still have concerns here. Microsoft had a big win when they got SL to work on Macs as well as Windows. But the lack of a Linux version still bothers me (the Mono guys are working on this). The biggest blight on the technology is lack of iPad support.
I like HTML and I feel comfortable with it. When ASP.Net webforms were released 10 years ago, I felt Microsoft were trying to bring a Visual Basic-type development experience to the web. I canât tell you how many developers Iâve met who profess not to know html. They only know the very basics of html and a bunch of tags like <asp:Button>. With php, classic asp, and the new MVC framework, you have more control of how your page renders in different browsers because you wrote the code to do it. I guess Iâm a purist in this area.
But Silverlight is not html development. Itâs also not flash. Itâs more like writing a client application which runs on the desktopâbut has to play safely in a web sandbox. The rules are all different. All calls back to the server are asynchronous and you canât stop and wait for them. Binding is very heavily used, and the code-behind works better than in ASP.Net because there are no postbacks required.
In the past month, Iâve really geeked out. I spend most of my time thinking about the project Iâm working on and how I can improve it. Iâm reading my fourth book on Silverlight in the evenings and spending the days coding away. You might think thatâs sad (it has been said to me), but Iâm really enjoying it. It wonât last forever, so you need to take full advantage of enthusiasm when you get it.
Anyway, I take back some of the things I said before about Silverlight.