2/21/2009

Flash vs Silverlight

Some interesting observations I read recently from a Flash blogger:

  • Flash was not intended for RIA applications.
  • ActionScript was created for animated vector graphics; queuing messages on a single thread.
  • It was hijacked to support Flex with complex content; but the threading model didn’t change.
  • But Silverlight was built from the start for fully fledged applications.

I’m looking forward to the MVP Summit and MIX to see what’s coming in Silverlight 3. Currently, I’m developing real – world application with Silverlight. I’m putting together pieces and utility classes that I expect to be able to use going forward.

For me, the clear winner is having a feature – complete subset of the .NET Framework to code with, being able to share my creations in both Silverlight and the full .NET Framework, and not having to deal with the intricacies of the ActionScript learning curve to get what I want. I’ve been coding C# since 2001 and at this late stage of the game I feel pretty comfortable. I’m not particularly interested in learning Python, and certainly not the idiosyncrasies of ActionScript, whether compiled or not.

There’s no question in my mind that Silverlight was built with a view toward enterprise-level, multithreaded LOB application capabilities. I think the playing field is primed to get a lot more interesting in the next six months or so.

I’m giving two presentation at the MVP Summit in Redmond next week, one on Silverlight Object Encryption, the other on Silverlight Fast Binary Serialization over the wire.  We’ll see where everything leads.