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Open source Silverlight

Blog post at http://davidburela.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/is-it-time-to-open-source-silverlight/

For all intents and purposes Microsoft now views Silverlight as “Done”. While it is no longer in active development it is still being “supported” through to 2021 (source).

However there is still a section of the .Net community that would like to see further development done on the Silverlight framework. A quick look at some common request lists brings up the following stats:

* 5,720+ votes to release Silverlight 6 https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3556619-silverlight-6
* Feature requests for Silverlight http://dotnet.uservoice.com/forums/4325-silverlight-feature-suggestions
* Microsoft connect list of active Silverlight feature requests: http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/SearchResults.aspx?KeywordSearchIn=2&SearchQuery=%22silverlight%22&FeedbackType=2&Status=1&Scope=0&SortOrder=10&TabView=1
Rather than letting Silverlight decay in a locked up source control in the Microsoft vaults, I call on them to instead release it into the hands of the community to see what they can build with it. Microsoft may no longer have a long term vision for it, but the community itself may find ways to extend it in ways Microsoft didn’t envision.
Earlier this year Microsoft open sourced RIA Services on Outer Curve http://www.outercurve.org/Galleries/ASPNETOpenSourceGallery/OpenRIAServices, it would be great to see this extended to the entire Silverlight framework.

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    David Burela shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    75 comments

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      • jams commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        They are spending all this effort on Blazor...running Mono in a browser with WebASM, when what they should have done, was port the Silverlight engine to run on WebAssembly....and retarget Silverlight to use NET Standard/NET core

      • Henry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No. Microsoft will not spend millions of dollars vetting all of the Silverlight source code and releasing it as open source.

        Pretending that it costs $0 is a non-starter.

      • David "Einstein" Burela commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        YAAAAS! What a great Idea. I love silverlight almost as much as I love writing VB macros for MS Access. While they're at it, I hope they open source Internet Explorer 4 and Microsoft BOB too so I can relive the glory days

      • Marc commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If MS won't open source the VB6 programming language they are unlikely to open source SilverLight.

      • James Chorlton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @"S Collis" they have pulled support for Silver Light from VS2017. What makes you say that WPF is dead?

      • S Collis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If Silverlight (and by extension WPF) are genuinely over, then they should just pull support from Visual Studio and let them die.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The problem is Microsoft.

        Microsoft abandon developers.
        They abandoned Silverlight developers
        They abandoned LightSwitch developers
        They abandoned VB6 programming developers

        If you use Microsoft you just know they will abandon you too.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The problem is Microsoft.
        Microsoft abandon developers.
        They abandoned Silverlight developers
        They abandoned LightSwitch developers
        They abandoned VB6 programming developers
        If you use Microsoft you just know they will abandon you too.

      • Jonathan Wilson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It wouldn't surprise me if there are bits of Silverlight that Microsoft cant open up even if they wanted to (the media playback and copy protection bits in particular)
        That said, open sourcing all the bits that they CAN open source would be a good thing.

      • Christian Findlay commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with this completely. But, I perhaps think that the goal post is shifting slightly. Silverlight fell out of favour basically because browser plugins fell out of favour. It now seems as though the tide will turn. Web Assembly will probably reverse the entire trend away from browser plugins (http://webassembly.org/). Web Assembly will allow binaries to be deployed through a browser in a properly sandboxed environment safely. I recommend that Microsoft open source Silverlight, and hopefully provide a pathway for Silverlight to be deployable over Web Assembly instead of as a browser plugin.

        I started this thread here so please make your voices heard:
        https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/silverlight/en-US/0d1d2e04-7092-4f38-8bc1-4365c808f873/silverlight-over-webassembly?forum=silverlightgen

        The Avalonia project (https://github.com/AvaloniaUI/Avalonia) looks as though it will eventually take over where Silverlight left off, but Silverlight is already a developed product. Why not port the graphics library to .NET Core so that it can be deployed over Web Assembly? We can't wait for a product like Avalonia which is only a community based project that is not officially produced by Microsoft.

        Please make noise about this. There is a future for the Silverlight graphics engine, or Avalonia if Microsoft put their weight behind it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Instead of abandon it, Microsoft could of spend the time to remake Silverlight as plugin-free. It is technically feasible, since they already done Azure RemoteApp on HTML5 client (which they then killed). Opportunity lost Microsoft!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        rewrite silverlight for webassembly to run without plugins.

        There are complex unity games already running on webassemply, why cant we have a good UI framework like it was Silverlight?

      • Roy Tinker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I second the suggestion to check out Fayde (XAML implementation in JavaScript), although the link Ronmenator posted is dead and appears to lead to a malware/phishing site. Here's an updated link: http://fayde.io/

        Also, I just came across this VS extension. it looks promising: http://www.cshtml5.com/

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