Expert Texture Home Contact me About Subscribe Digipede Connect on LinkedIn rwandering on Twitter rwandering on FriendFeed

rwandering.net

The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Silverlight to be announced for the iPhone soon?

Interesting announcement this morning from Apple: that non Apple dev tools can be used to create iOS apps:

In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.

Nothing in the release mentions the browser.  In fact the part that says “apps do not download any code” seems to imply not allowing RIA at all.  This part is a bigger pain point for users.

But if the Silverlight runtime (full .NET?) or Flash can be used to built full applications, that is pretty cool.

904 days ago I posted Counting the days till Silverlight announced for iPhone.  That sure was more than I expected, but how many more days now?

Tags: , , , ,

Some thoughts on Chrome

image

Google releases a new browser.  The world declares “browser war” with some apprehension and  relish.  Web developers are cringing because browser compatibility is a major source of effort, cost, and frustration for software developers.

Q. Why would Google do this to us?  Just to take away Microsoft browser share? 

A. No.

Q. Are they doing this to extend the “Google OS” to the desktop in a way they control?

A. Probably, but that isn’t even their first concern.

Q. So, what is going on?

A. Well, I’m glad you asked.

Google is working to make their JavaScript-view of the Web as powerful as possible.  This makes sense given their enormous investments in JavaScript and in their own application suite.

Contrary to the approaches of Microsoft and Adobe with their Rich Internet Applications (RIA) frameworks, Google has focused on JavaScript. Where Microsoft and Adobe are building a better user experience inside of a container, Google is creating a better user experience through dynamic HTML and AJAX techniques.

Their developer model includes building out tooling to make it easier to author AJAX applications.  This includes the efforts made in the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) to enable modern IDE tooling for AJAX development. This allows developers to build maintainable object-oriented applications (in Java) that get converted and optimized to JavaScript.  Plus it promises cross-browser compatibility.

On the client side, they have Google Gears to enable local storage, improved caching support, and offline mode.

Q. So what have they been missing?  A browser? 

A. Not exactly.  They’ve been missing a JavaScript client runtime engine.

Google has made great advances in AJAX application development and tooling, but they have had to rely on others to provide reliability, responsiveness, performance, etc.

And that is what Chrome is about: taking control of the runtime engine for Google applications.  This makes the Google applications way more compelling.  More specifically, Chrome is about delivering that engine.  As Google says, they would love it if other browsers adopt the engine too.  I buy that.

Of course, by that time Chrome will be differentiated from its JavaScript engine.  By then Chrome will be about the Google OS.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Counting the days till Silverlight announced for iPhone

Now that we have the Adobe CEO saying, We’re bringing Flash to the iPhone.

How many more days until we hear Microsoft publicly commit to Silverlight on the iPhone?  I bet we hear it within two weeks.

Why do I care?  It validates some of my earlier arguments.  Here and here.

Scott Guthrie?  What do you say?

Update: Adobe clarifies CEO’s iPhone Flash comments.  Maybe Apple will fight to keep their platform closed after all.

Tags: , , , , ,

Schonfeld wrong on why Microsoft adopted Flash Lite

Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch reports that Microsoft Adopts Flash Lite For Windows Mobile As a Stopgap Measure.  For those not keeping track of this, Adobe stopped supporting flash on Windows Mobile some time back.  And now it looks like Microsoft has licensed the Flash Lite run time for Windows Mobile directly.

This is good news for Windows Mobile users, but Shonfeld is wrong about Microsoft’s reasons.  He says,

… for Microsoft, this is just a stopgap measure until it can gain more traction for Silverlight, its Flash-competitor. The mobile version of Sliverlight 2.0 does not ship until the second quarter. Making WinMo more capable won’t detract from Silverlight’s appeal. There is a desperate need to get a full Flash-like experience on a mobile device. Flash itself is supposedly too slow on mobile phones. That leaves an opening for Microsoft win over converts to Silverlight by bringing video, animation, and other rich-media experiences to mobile. Nokia is already on board.

Does he really think that Microsoft would get into bed with Adobe Flash just because the Silverlight runtime doesn’t ship for one more quarter?

No way.

Microsoft is licensing Flash because they realize that they are losing to the iPhone.  Simply put, Microsoft wants to make Windows Mobile better.  Only running Silverlight would be a limitation, not an advantage.  So they license Flash.  My guess is that they’ll have a pre-installed Java runtime too.

On a related note, licensing ActiveSync to Apple has been much debated.  Was is a good thing for Microsoft?  Yes, and it is consistent with Microsoft licensing Flash Lite.  Why?

  • I think Microsoft has made the decision that Windows Mobile has to compete on its own merits (and not because it is a part of a greater lock-in with Microsoft Office). 
  • Microsoft also wants to protect their back-office Exchange licensing; what better way to do that than to make it easier for mobile handsets to support Exchange?

Adopting Flash is a step in the right direction.  And licensing ActiveSync forces this point home.

Tags: , , , , , ,