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04 February 2010, 11:28

Moonlight 3.0 Preview released

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Moonlight Logo The Mono Project developers have presented a first preview of the next major release of Moonlight 3.0, their open source implementation of Silverlight. According to a blog post by Miguel de Icaza, Novell Vice President of Developer Products and Mono developer, the preview release contains a number of changes and updates to the 3.0 support, "mostly on the infrastructure level necessary to support the rest of the features".

The release features MP4 demultiplexer support, initial user interface (UI) virtualisation work to handle large datasets and a Platform Abstraction Layer, meaning that the core of Moonlight is now separate from the windowing system engine. de Icaza says that the abstraction layer should allow developers "to port Moonlight to other windowing/graphics systems that are not X11/Gtk+ centric". The developers also note that, unless compiled using FFmpeg, there is currently no H.264 decoder.

Other notable changes include several updates to the 3.0 APIs and support for the new 3.0 Binding/BindingExpression. The first Moonlight 3.0 preview is considered to be at an alpha stage of development and, as with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised.

The latest stable release of Silverlight is version 3.0. In mid-November at the Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, Microsoft released a developer beta for Silverlight 4 that includes several new features and developer tools.

More details about the release can be found in the release notes. The Moonlight 3.0 Preview is available to download for 32 and 64-bit systems. Moonlight is primarily licensed under the GNU LGPL 2 licence, except for the Microsoft Silverlight Controls and Unit Test Framework which is under the MS-PL licence and some managed code and tools under an MIT licence.

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