Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 Wish List (part 2)

Michael Schwarz on Friday, December 21, 2007

I got a lot of feedback for my last post about Silverlight features that are currently missing [1]. Because it is Christmas time we are allowed to wish everything we want, what we get is another thing. Here are some additional features currently missing and are maybe important for everyone.

<li>Socket Support: I don't see this in real life because firewalls will block nearly everything by default. But Sockets are interesting if we want to built peer-to-peer applications (online games and maybe streaming from other web users). </li> <li>What happen if you print an Silverlight application? There are some ideas to render forms to print. Well, I would'n use Silverlight for printing, maybe generating a <a href="">XPS</a> or <a href="">PDF</a> document is much easier. </li> <li>More space in local isolated storage to store documents or any other data. This should be easily made configurable in the <a href="">Silverlight configuration</a>. </li> <li>Web browser history support: well, we have the same problems with the web browser's history feature. When clicking prev/next buttons and go back to the Silverlight web application we will see the initial starting UI instead of the last screen. It would be very nice to have a built-in feature that will resume at the last <em>position</em>.</li> <li>Many Silverlight demonstration web sites are still using images (PNG or JPG) for icons/symbols instead of a XAML representation. Well, we will ever have some images in our Silverlight applications. What I would see are some bitmap filters and effects like shadow, blurring or glows.</li> <li>Better debugging support: I think sometimes it would be nice to have the XAML source available to see where we are.</li> <li>One thing I would like: I don't want to see more different Media Players. I think you agree that there is only a very small range of web developers that have video or audio content to deliver. The media support is very good when i.e. looking at <a href="">HD video streaming with Silverlight</a>. I would like to see real-world applications instead (my greetings to <a href="">Oliver Scheer</a>). The first <em>real </em>application using WPF for a big user range is the <a href="">Yahoo! Messenger for Vista</a>.</li> One comment for the feature wish no. 3 (running standalone Silverlight applications) in my first post [1]: maybe you can compare it with Adobe Flex [2]. You can run the application in a browser or taking a flex application to the desktop [3]. WPF is not working as it is only supported on Windows desktop PCs. I would like to see Silverlight applications on desktop PCs and, the more important, on Windows Mobile devices. I don't want to connect to the Internet always to run a Silverlight application. Does this make sense?

Conclusion: with the current public available CTP (alpha) of Silverlight [4] 1.1 (now 2.0) we are at the very beginning of a new way to build web applications. Microsoft has done a great job this year (think about AJAX, MFC, VS.NET 2008, .NET 3.5 and all the non-web-related stuff like Windows 2008 Server, SQL Server 2008)!!