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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.



3 Responses to “Silverlight in JavaScript (1.0) vs. Managed Code (2.0, formerly 1.1a)”

  1. Todd said

    I hear your pain. A lot of people were touting Silverlight as being beneficial for using Javascript, while at the same time talking about how Silverlight is great because it uses your managed code, like C#.

    Unfortunatley, coding in C# doesn’t exist yet as the Alpha 1.1 will probably be changing quite a bit when the 2.0 beta comes out, so unless your a MSFT partner, it’s probably not worth any effort coding in 1.1.

    And for those who say that they like being able to use Javascript, I’d say, spend a few hours learning a new language syntax, especially if you’re going to be trying to build a complex RIA. But this will come more into play after the 2.0 beta comes out…

  2. Erik said

    Casey told me this is the place to debate Silverlight issues. So, can someone explain to me why we need Silverlight, at all? If Silverlight came from some startup company, would anyone have cared about it, at all?

  3. Vertigo said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Vertigo!!!

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