John Mandia's Points of Interest

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May 2007 - Posts

Points of interest #9

Well this week was a nice rest, most of it spent relaxing with my wife. So it was a non-coding week but a range of links did catch my interest:


Open Source Related





Note: If I come across a link which I think may be interesting but also has a commercial benefit (i.e. Products that have promotions to raise awareness etc) then I will add them under a Commercial heading to make it clear.

  • StyleSpread - StyleSpread is a CSS tool. Now you have TopStyle, the css editor within VS and in other tools such as Expression Web and Dreamweaver so you may be thinking why would you need another (which is what I thought as well). Now I haven't used this tool so I can't comment on whether or not it is more usable than the others but the video clip looks interesting and may be worth a watch. Now if only they offered the option to integrate it with VS (you could always say open file with and select the tool) or Visual Web Developer Express. Competition is always good so it will be interesting to see how StyleSpread does. For bloggers interested in the promotion they can find out more here.

Have a good bank holiday weekend (For those of you in the UK)!


Points of interest #8

Another week has shot by. Didn't have any time to look at Silverlight although I have managed to download the Orcas Beta and get everything set-up so I'm good to go (whenever I find a spare moment).

Links that have caught my interest this week are:




That's all for this week.


Points of interest #7
Wow this week went quickly.

On the Silverlight front I've managed to watch a few more Mix sessions and even though I still have been harping on this week about the need for reach and search engine optimisation I saw a mention of persistent links within Silverlight so I'll be looking at that to see how that can be used.

Links that have caught my interest this week are:

Open Source Related

Unit Testing





That's all for this week!


Points of interest #6


Yes it has been a while once again :D

But I've just installed Live Writer and it seems very cool (well lets see how this post goes first).

A lot has happened since my last Points of Interest post so some links may be a bit old but still useful.


I really want to like Silverlight but it's still too early to tell if I like it or not. As a developer yes it's cool but from a business perspective it is still a way off (i.e. the benefit of a Flash Solution is that you can guarantee most consumers have it and a lot of corporates allow it to be installed).

I think Silverlight will really start to be installed once 1.1 is released and I think it would be in Microsoft's interest to get some of the more popular sites using it (luckily Microsoft own a few of them) to encourage installations. Will Silverlight appear as an optional download on Windows Update? We'll have to wait and see.

I've seen a few posts and viewed a few of the mix sessions and it seems like the question of whether or not linux would be supported has come up. It seems Microsoft won't be supporting Linux yet as there doesn't seem to be a real business case behind it (Windows and Mac have the majority market share) although it was mentioned that if things changed they would support it. It looks like the Mono team have decided to take this forward which is good news. I hope Microsoft give them support as it only adds to the business case for using Silverlight. It would be good if the Mono team then went onto create a version of Silverlight for the Symbian OS (I've heard Microsoft will be tackling the Windows Mobile OS next) so that you have total mobile and desktop coverage (now there's an arguement for using Silverlight).

I don't know the numbers but I have a feeling that there would be a case for supporting Silverlight on Windows 2000, ME & 98. At the moment there are lots of corporates and people (I know family members who are still on ME) on one of these operating systems. Since Internet Explorer and Firefox work on these systems and Silverlight is a plugin for these browsers (and does not require the .net framework to be installed) I would say there was a case for this.  Yes having people/corporates remain on these operating systems is less than ideal (and everyone should be on XP/Vista) but there are a lot of people who are happy with their PC and don't want to change. Why cut these people out when you have Adobe supporting them via Flash (especially if you wish to light up the web for everyone)?

Anyway to sum up the above paragraph - help the Mono team add Linux support and look at adding support to your older operating systems (i.e. any operating system that supports Internet Explorer 6). It will allow everyone to see how Silverlight can light up the web!

My next thought (again from a business perspective more than a developer one) when I heard about Silverlight was: If I develop an application for Silverlight how will it be indexed by the leading search engines?

For people without large budgets (or even those with large budgets) SEO is an important factor since there is no point having the best site in the world if no-one can find it and you can't afford to promote it.

Macromedia/Adobe have/had (not played with Flash since Flash 4) this problem and I see Silverlight having it as well. Please please please consider Search Engine Support as a main requirement!

I've not looked at WPF in any great detail (yet) but I guess the ideal would be that google/add your favourite search engine here would index the xaml as it would html and silverlight buttons/links would allow search engines to follow it (and people go to the relevant view when they clicked on the search engine result).

A possibility would be populating divs with indexable content related to the current Silverlight view, associate the view with a url and perhaps have a http module that translates this url to a Silverlight view. This is just some late night rambling but what I'm trying to say is make it easy to have your site/application indexed by the major search engines as it will make selling Silverlight that much easier.

Anyway, I digress; here are some of the links that have caught my interest over the last few months:

I didn't wish to add any other Silverlight links (apart from the Mono one) as there have already been lots of blog posts about it. I'm sure there will definately be posts about it in the future though :D


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