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05 May 2009, 11:58

First preview of Moonlight 2.0

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The developers of Moonlight, an open-source implementation of Silverlight, have presented a first preview of the next major release 2.0. The existing functions are compatible with Silverlight 2, though not all features of Microsoft's rich internet technology have yet been implemented. For example, the Silverlight GUI 2.0 test suite is still missing.

Moonlight's developers had actually intended to present this release at the Mix09 web design and development conference in March, but they had to wait for a security test environment, which was implemented for Moonlight 2 for the first time with the CoreCLR sandbox. They say that security tests haven't been completed yet.

Apparently it is now possible to develop Silverlight applications with UNIX systems using the Silverlight UNIX SDK. This requires Mono 2.4 and the -devel package from the Moonlight SDK. Moonlight 2 also uses the Silverlight controls made available as open source by Microsoft. Support is included for IronRuby and IronPython implementations of scripting languages, and for Mainsoft's Visual Basic run time. Some Silverlight 3.0 APIs, including the WriteableBitmap class, SaveDialog support and the modular media framework, have been included in the new release.

Although Silverlight 1, and consequently also Moonlight 1, exclusively executed JavaScript code and were therefore only suitable for simple calculations, or for playing back videos, Silverlight 2 includes a lean .Net framework and runs pre-compiled code in C#, Visual Basic and scripting languages like Python and Ruby. It also contains many GUI components to help achieve rapid results in the design of user interfaces for web applications. Microsoft presented a beta of Silverlight 3 at Mix09.


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