In his blog last week, Mono Project leader Miguel de Icaza explained why implementing WPF has never in the past been a high priority. But Silverlight is another matter, he wrote:
…Unlike WPF [which ]requires people to rewrite their software to take advantage of it, Silverlight is aimed at the Web and it will become a nice complement, a way of spicing up existing web applications without rewriting what already works.
It makes tons of sense for us to start looking at an implementation of Silverlight on Linux with Mono. There is already a XAML loader, it is the perfect excuse to use Antigrain for high-speed graphics and that only leaves the pesky media issue to be solved.
In fact, am kind of happy that Microsoft did not do the port themselves as implementing this sounds incredibly fun and interesting.
Now it’s official. No sooner had MIX 07 attendees left the bright lights of Vegas, than the Mono Silverlight project page went live. It’s called Moonlight.
The announcement is especially interesting given Microsoft’s recent overtures to Novell, the official sponsor of the Mono Project. Though no Microsoft spokeman at MIX 07 ruled out a Linux implementation of the Silverlight CLR, the official response to the question has been that the Company wants to make sure that the 98% of the market represented by Windows and Mac is covered first. In a Channel 9 interview made the week before his keynote at MIX, Scott Guthrie suggested that mobile devices had a higher priority than Linux in the near term because of their enormous reach. But in a panel (”Why Can’t ASP.NET and PHP Just Get Along?”) on the last day of the conference, Brian Goldfarb, manager of Platform Strategy in Scott’s group, said, if I may paraphrase: “In light of our new relationship with Novell, the idea of a Linux implementation of Silverlight is a lot more interesting to us now.”
Stay tuned, as they say.