Microsoft has announced availability of Silverlight 2, an update to its cross-platform web browser plug-in for developing rich Internet applications. At the same time, Microsoft announced funding for Silverlight development via Eclipse, primarily through a relationship with Soyatec to lead a project to integrate Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE. Soyatec plans to release the project under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge and submit it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project.
Additionally, Microsoft also will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary. The SCP, which will augment the built-in control set in Silverlight, will be released under the Microsoft Permissive License, and includes controls such as DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete. The Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification, released under the Open Specification Promise (OSP), is aimed at third-party ISVs to create products that can read and write XAML for Silverlight.
"The Silverlight Control Pack under the Microsoft Permissive License really addresses the needs of developers by enabling them to learn how advanced controls are authored directly from the high-quality Microsoft implementation," said Miguel de Icaza, vice president, Engineering, Novell. "By using the OSP for the Silverlight vocabulary, they further solidify their commitment to interoperability. I am impressed with the progress Microsoft continues to make, and we are extremely satisfied with the support for Moonlight and the open source community."
Beyond funding development in the Eclipse IDE, Microsoft currently delivers tools for Silverlight with Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2. In addition, support is now extended to Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, which is a free download.
Silverlight 2 features include:
- .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.
- Built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
- Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look-and-feel of an application.
- Deep zoom. This enables interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.
- Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that integrate with existing back-end systems.
- Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.
- Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.