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Archive for January, 2008

Silverlight in JavaScript (1.0) vs. Managed Code (2.0, formerly 1.1a)

Posted by caseyrayl on January 18, 2008

I have recently begun work on a Silverlight 1.0 project and for the first time had the (un?)fortunate opportunity to write a significant amount of JavaScript. I am not sure how hotly this topic is debated, or if it is even debated at all, but I wanted to come out and discourage anyone thinking about building a Silverlight RIA from doing it in JavaScript.

Now I am not knocking the JavaScript implementation of Silverlight. It works well enough. But JavaScript is a clunky and cumbersome development environment. Browser consistency is a problem, performance is exponentially slower than managed code, and the language has huge deficiencies like a lack of type safety and nothing close to the facilities provided by the .NET framework.

Unfortunately 2.0 is still in alpha, and I know that building anything with alpha technology is a scary prospect. While it isn’t much consolation right now, I think the beta will be a much firmer platform, and one that can be carried forward into release. If you can hold off till it hits I think you will be in a much better position. If you absolutely can’t wait, use Flex.

-Casey

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