Preview Release of Moonlight 2.0, Silverlight for Linux
Article by George Norman
On 07 May 2009
The development of Moonlight, or Silverlight for Linux for the less technically oriented users out there, has reached another milestone with the release of Moonlight 2.0 (preview release for testing purposes). With this release the development team added some of the features included in Silverlight 3.0 to Moonlight 2.0.

Novell Developer Platform Vice President and founder of the Mono open-source project, Miguel Icaza, comments: “As we were implementing the 2.0 APIs a handful of features from 3.0 fit naturally into our design. So instead of going the extra mile to limit things in 2.0, we just expose the 3.0 APIs in a forward-compatible fashion.”


The Silverlight 3.0 features included in Moonlight are:
- Out-of- the browser support. The catch here is that for the time being this process is manual, not automated. It also comes without GUI.
- WritableBitmap class.
- 3.0 pluggable media pipeline.
- Support for SaveDialog.

Here are the other bits and pieces you can expect to get from Moonlight 2.0:
- Silverlight Unix SDK (software developer kit) for developers to use in developing Silverlight apps entirely in Unix.
- Microsoft MS-PL controls, meaning that Moonlight 2.0 reuses Microsoft’s open sourced Silverlight control as opposed to reimplementing high-level controls like buttons, checkboxes, listboxes, containers, calendars, sliders, and so on.
- Support for a variety of programming languages, including IronRuby and IronPython.
- Visual basic runtime.
- Adaptive streaming, meaning that a developer could create his own transports to “fetch media and not be limited by HTTP”.
- DeepZoom.

The one thing to keep in mind is that Moonlight 2.0 is a preview release. Miguel Icaza explains: “By [preview release] we mean that we are not yet feature complete with Silverlight 2.0 feature-to-feature but we are relatively close. For example, we do not yet pass the entire Silverlight GUI 2.0 test suite that was provided to us by Microsoft and you can spot glitches in various web sites.”

If you would like to get Moonlight 2.0, a download location is available here.

Tags: Moonlight, Silverlight
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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