If I were to inquire Linux users about how would they scrutinize various applications on the Web if the functionality gets closer to that of Microsoft; their answer would perhaps be Moonlight 1.0 which had been released to provide them the feature parity with Microsoft’s Silverlight 1.0.
The first beta of the Linux implementation of Silverlight, the Novell-sponsored Moonlight project has been released. Moonlight is an open source implementation of Silverlight, primarily for Linux and other Unix/X11 based operating systems. It is designed is a way that Linux users can access additional content and where Microsoft delivers the content to the non-Windows users. With this it can be drawn that now onwards Linux users won’t miss any interesting when it comes to Web content.
Moonlight 1.0 delivers compatibility with Silverlight 1.0 media with some features from the Silverlight 2.0 specifications, which has officially been available from Microsoft recently. In fact Moonlight 1.0 has almost every facet which is available in Silverlight 2.0.
The main initiative behind the Moonlight 1.0 is to enable the compatibility for running of Silverlight applications on Linux, to provide a Linux SDK and to reuse the Silverlight engine that is being built for the desktop applications.
The key delivery mechanism is the web browser which ultimately provides Silverlight compatibility to Linux users. The moonlight extension presently supports Firefox 2 and 3.But there are plans to work on the Webkit version which would be supported by Apple Safari and Google Chrome users like the same. The team which has been working on the Moonlight project is also aiming towards something known as ‘desklets’ that would get the Silverlight applications to the desktop. This is possible only after Moonlight 2.0 will be available which is being targeted for September, 2009. As currently Silverlight is available for both Windows and Mac OS (Intel platforms only).
Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a browser. Some of its features include;
- For playing VC-1 and WMV video, and MP3 and WMA audio within a browser, it has built-in codec support.
- It supports the ability to progressively download and play media content from any web-server.
- Built-in media streaming is another feature
- It is now easy with Silverlight to build rich video player interactive experiences. Silverlight also provides the ability to resize running video on the fly without requiring the video stream to be stopped or restarted.
With Silverlight support on Linux these features will be available to all the Linux users. This compatible Silverlight run for Linux is what is called the Moonlight. Moonlight will run on all Linux distributions, and support Firefox, Konqueror and Opera browsers. Hence, with the plethora of controls that have been enabled, the Moonlight project can finally utilize those controls to build Silverlight desklets. The Linux users can now spice up their desktop applications, as well!