Feeds

Silverlight glow dimmed by cross-platform concerns

Bad for web health

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

MIX07 Microsoft has been taken to task for harming the web by going solo on technology and standards and not adopting a more open development approach.

Open source advocates from BMC Software, Mozilla, project Mono, and Zend Technologies voiced their continued support for AJAX while probing Microsoft over plans to open source Silverlight, the company's proposed alternative to Adobe Systems' Flash that was released as a beta on Monday.

Microsoft was criticised during a Mix 07 panel discussion on using open source applications with .NET for dragging its feet over new standards and technologies such as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) support in Internet Explorer 7.0.

Microsoft was brought down to earth with a bump just hours after executives had preached the cross-platform and cross-browser virtues of Silverlight to web and content creatives, some using popular Adobe and Macromedia offerings.

The problem is, while Silverlight works in Safari, Firefox, and Mac versions 10.4.8 or higher on PowerPC and Intel in addition to Internet Explorer and Windows, support for Linux and Opera - to name just two other popular alternatives - is missing, with little prospect of support coming from Microsoft.

Sam Ramji, Microsoft director of platform technology strategy, told Mix 07: "Post PC and Mac we will figure out where there is a sustainable platform."

According to Ramji, Microsoft must act judiciously in committing resources to projects that have life and are more than mere one-offs. "It comes back to sustainability...we have to look at where we can do the right thing for the long term," he said

Open source representatives applauded Microsoft's work in porting to Safari, Firefox, and Mac, using more generous software licensing terms, and putting open scripting languages Python and Ruby on .NET. However, the Mix 07 panelists also listed areas where Microsoft could try harder and is creating problems.

Responding to Ozzie's criticism of AJAX earlier, as being "limited", Zend co-founder Andi Gutmans said: "While AJAX is not necessarily efficient technology, the nice thing is the reason it's popular is because it interoperates well with any browser and operating system. The market wants something that runs everywhere - the mainframe, on Linux, on Power."

Gutmans and co. believe the best way towards platform ubiquity and interoperability is by open sourcing code. Fellow panelist Miguel de Icaza, co-founder of Mono and start-up Ximian, bought by Novell, called on Microsoft to "give" more.

Ramji made it clear Microsoft has no plans to open Silverlight.

Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla vice president of engineering, said open source is vital to the creative spirit of the internet: "One of the reasons the web has been so successful is because the web is open. Anything that takes us away from that takes us away from the creativity of the web."

BMC's chief architect of open source strategy William Hurley said Microsoft has posed issues for browsers from organisations such as Mozilla because most websites and developers' default is IE. With Microsoft not supporting innovations that are founded in Mozilla, users and websites are also unable to support new Mozilla features, thereby slowing down the pace of innovation and adoption.

Two bones of contention were SVG support in IE 7.0 and the fact browser-based applications such as those from Oracle require IE. "People say I can't add this feature if it's not in a Microsoft product, so that's a very limiting factor," Hurley said. He added IE should provide more standards support "so I don't have to download IE [and] the website doesn't lose business".

de Icaza added: "Microsoft is trailing the pack and it's causing adoption problems because web developers can't count on it."®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Apple's OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud
Docs, email contacts... shhhlooop, up it goes
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.