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Moonlight Is Dead, So Is Silverlight

Miguel de Icaza, the creator of Mono, and Moonlight has announced that Moonlight will no longer be maintained.

Moonlight was not in a very healthy state. de Icaza told me during an interview that there are many reasons why Moonlight could never become a true alternative of Silverlight, why services like Netflix could never work under Linux.

In a recent interview de Icaza has made it clear that Moonlight is now dead. “We have abandoned Moonlight. These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.”

But why is his company Xamarin suddenly dropping Moonlight? de Icaza explains, “Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought would have to become.” In addition, “Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming.”

Isn’t it a wakeup call for developers to stay away from Microsoft technologies such as C#, .NET and Mono. Why to enrich the ecosystem of a company which is known for abusing its power to weaken free software?

A reddit user sums it very well, “From my non-C#-user point of view, the main reason people possibly dislike Mono (the reason I dislike Mono, and my view wont be alone) ist that by using Mono and C#, you enrich an ecosystem that “belongs” to Microsoft, like ObjC “belongs” to Apple. You have a foe, and instead of using a language that originates in your ecosystem, and writing a library that benefits your ecosystem, you’d write in your foe’s language and your lib would benefit your foe’s ecosystem. The best analogy would be being a scientist in the US or Europe, but publishing your research solely in Chinese journals in Chinese language.”

Microsoft’s Silverlight was not a technology developed to progress computing or out of market demand. Microsoft created Silverlight only as a competitor to existing solutions, namely Flash. Linux’s support for Silverlight through Moonlight was never good. It was mainly due to Microsoft’s own restrictions. Now, all the hardwork done on supporting Silverlight has gone down the drain as Microsoft has left Silverlight in a state of limbo. It is poorly maintained yet there are many sites still using Silverlight such as Amazon’s LoveFilms and Netflix.

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Another reasons for companies and developer to not use Microsoft’s non-standard technologies.

Slideshow Image:
Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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