Silverlight, HTML5, and SVG vs Flash


SVG is still not out of the box and at its full potential. It has powerful animation features that allow it to do things which make one would think of Flash. It has elements for video and audio. But support in browsers is virtually limited to static images; they are scalable.

HTML5 is what is coming next; Firefox already supports it and IE 9 will support it It allows videos to be embedded and interactive.

Silverlight is here now; It has many of the features of SVG but not the filters. Video is an element that can be made interactive – it is no longer limited to a box.

Silverlight files are called xaml and contain the content IE

<Canvas Width=”300″ Height=”300″
xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007&#8243;
xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml&#8221;
>

<MediaElement x:Name=”media” Source=”514/xbox.wmv” Width=”300″ Height=”300″ />

</Canvas>

would load the xbox.wmv file as a media element and start playing it. Storyboard commands animation the properties of the elements.

<Storyboard x:Name=”animation”
Storyboard.TargetName=”ellipse”
Storyboard.TargetProperty=”(Canvas.Left)” RepeatBehavior=”Forever” >
<DoubleAnimation To=”280″ Duration=”0:0:10″ />
<DoubleAnimation Storyboard.TargetName=”ellipse2″ To=”0″ Duration=”0:0:10″ />
</Storyboard>
</BeginStoryboard>

silverlight works across browsers by using a javascript to load exactly what is needed for the operating system and browser being used. Although it is not nessary required the following HTML would be complete. One assumes the silverlight plugin is already installed.

<html>
<head>
<title>Display Date</title>
<!– Define Loaded event handler for TextBlock. –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function setDate(sender, eventArgs)
{
sender.text = Date();
}
</script>
</head>

<body >

<!– Define XAML content. –>
<script type=”text/xaml” id=”xamlContent”><?xml version=”1.0″?>
<Canvas
xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007&#8243;
Background=”Wheat”>
<TextBlock
Canvas.Left=”20″
FontSize=”24″
Loaded=”setDate” />
</Canvas>
</script>

<div id=”silverlightControlHost”>
<object type=”application/x-silverlight” width=”100%” height=”200″ id=”slc”>
<param name=”source” value=”#xamlContent”/>
<param name=”onload” value=”onLoaded” />
<param name=”iswindowless” value=”true” />
</object>
<iframe style=’visibility:hidden;height:0;width:0;border:0px’></iframe>
</div>
</body>
</html>

Here would be an example using the javascript to load silverlight and if necessary load the plug-in.

<html>
<head>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”Silverlight.js”></script>

</head>

<body >

<center>
<div id=”placeholder”>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
Silverlight.createObjectEx(
{
source: “Hello.xaml”,
parentElement: document.getElementById(“placeholder”),
id: “silverlightControl”,
properties:
{ width: “600”, height: “400”, version: “1.0”, background: “silver” },
events: {}
}
);
</script>
</div>
</center>
</body>
</html>

Apple by not supporting Flash for the iPhone, iPod and iPad May usher in the end of an era.

Flash was invented because it was necessary – At the time web designers had to deal with competition between browsers who wanted to do things differently and did not deliver Dynamic HTML to people in the same fashion.

Flash came in to save the day. It was a plug in by one company that plugged into all browsers.

Apple concludes today:

Conclusions.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

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One response

  1. Good article. Ultimately, open standards HTML 5, will beat plugin technology Flash, however I don’t see this happening for at least 3-4 years as IE7 and IE8 will retain a much greater market share than non-flash supported devices. And you never know what Flash will be capable of in the next few years..

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