Silverlight, Flash, and HTML5? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Adobe has just dumped Flash for mobile apps in favor of HTML5. 

    Per ZDNet .....

    "Silverlight? Microsoft’s one time rival to Flash? It’s toast."

    This points to Silverlight and LS.   Will LS be going HTML5? 

    It would be ***great*** to be able to deploy to iPads / iPhone. 

    Myron Oakley
    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 8:13 PM

All replies

  • This topic has been discussed already for few times here.  According to LS Forum experts, because LS is built upon MvvM pattern, it would be a matter to replace it's client from Silverlight to HTML.  If thats true/possible and if thats what LS team have in mind, then......... yea.. it would great to see our apps in all platforms.


    But LS Team never confirmed/denied anything, so.. we need to wait and see for V2.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 9:06 PM
  • It is *definetely* possible to the Silverlight client to be swapped out for something else (a huge benefit of the MVVM pattern)

    The LS team have confirmed that this will occur if required (probably being worked on as we speak), just not "when", or what "technology" will be used in replacement client application. The most likely candidates are SL5, or HTML5/Javacript.

    But Silverlight will continue to function in W8's "desktop mode", & will be supported (like any other product) for 10 years from the date if it's release (& SL5 hasn't even been released yet).

    Yann - LightSwitch Central

    (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!)

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    Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:41 AM
  • Bala,


    I believe as well that plugging in other UI technologies like MVC4 could be possible in LS and I also believe that things are designed with this in mind, but I don't see why you both mention in this context the MVVM pattern. MVVM has only relevance when the underlying UI technology support full duplex binding, in such a way that the viewmodel is at any moment an accurate "object-mirror" of the view.

    As far as I know, this is not possible as such in html-based technology, unless fancy stuff like knockout is used (see:

    I think that RIA services has a more prominent place in the multi-UI story. In earlier versions of RIA services, only silverlight was supported, but in current version there is support for JQuery. (

    Anyhow, I'm also very confident that microsoft will support other UI technology in future versions of LS. Nonetheless, at this very moment Silverlight is really the best you can get, and as Yann mentioned it will NOT disappear in the next 10 years (were COM and VB6 not dead already 10 years ago? Com is still everywhere) !


    paul van bladel
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 6:36 AM
  • Hi Paul,

    The reason that *I* mentioned MVVM, is that with the separation of data & its presentation that using MVVM gives you, it would be very difficult to "swap out" the presentation layer. Seeing as that pattern has been employed by LS's architects it will be relatively easy to do so.

    You might be right about the HTML binding stuff, I don't know much about it. That's something they'd have to sort out, yes.

    RIA services definitely plays a part, but again without the data/presentation separation that MVVM gives you, it would be difficult to present the data supplied by RIA services in a new way, as easily.

    Yann - LightSwitch Central

    (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!)

    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, remember to "Mark as Answer".

    This will help people find the answers that they're looking for more quickly.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:02 AM
  • Discussions about whether we get a LightSwitch with HTML5 underpinnings go far beyond the notion that SL will be supported for a long time.

    For many of us, a LightSwitch with HTML5 is the only viable entry into the LightSwitch world.   These days, having SL as a pre-req is problematic for many customer sets.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:37 PM
  • Even if Silverlight continues for another 10 years, we have to contend with the perception that it's a dying tool and the future of LightSwitch is uncertain. It would be a good time for the LightSwitch development team to confirm a clear plan.  Even for my own development, I'm feeling a little uneasy about committing large portions of my time to something that is clearly not a top priority for Microsoft.
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 7:55 PM
  • The perception that Silverlight is dead is certainly out there and we cannot change that. As mentioned in another post somewhere a month ago, one of our customers almost lost one of their biggest customers due to using Silverlight, but fortunately they were able to be pulled back at the last minute. That same customer already has an HTML version of the Silverlight/LS app on the radar in the very near future to counter that kind of resistance.

    However much I like Lightswitch (and I've vested a lot of time and effort into it and really, really like it) I cannot see myself starting any self-initiated future Lightswitch projects before it supports an HTML UI as the risk of customer rejection is simply too high for me.

    I would urge MS to bring out that rumored HTML/HTML5 version of Lightswitch sooner rather than later!

    • Edited by novascape Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:42 PM
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:37 PM
  • I think it a bit odd to speculate on what happens 10 years from now in this business or make current decisions based on that. HTML5 is not even fully cooked yet and it will not survive 10 years. It will be something else. Same with wpf and sl, and everything else.

    Use what works today.  Besides, everyone is still forgeting something. SL is way more then a UI. It is a BCL and a runtime for managed code and all the end-to-end dev goodness. I see that nowhere in html5. Don't be too quick to jump between the next best thing until it really is next best. Based on speed of html changes, we have a long wait yet. 

    Friday, November 11, 2011 3:28 AM
  • @William, everything you say above is correct. From a technical perspective we know Silverlight works well, but it is the customer perception where we face an uphill battle.

    I deliberately stated HTML/HTML5 meaning that either or both will be great. I also get more and more requests about having the apps work on iPads.


    Friday, November 11, 2011 3:37 AM
  • Hi nova.  I would also love having ability to use a html based version of the same app for that reason and have the option to deploy either or both based on need. But customers always want the new shinny ball, even if they don't know it bounces yet. AFICT, to acheive that goal would mean a complete .Net to javascript Compiler that would also compile and link all BCL into native javascript. And deal with all the side effects and edge cases that would fall out (i.e. managing issues in both runtime domains and new onces caused be translation issues) . Otherwise, AFAIK you would still need a CLR runtime plugin deployed which I think would just bring us back to the same issue around deployment and non-MS devices. I mean the reason SL even exists in first place is that native dev in javascript and html is not that great of an experience. I think event HTML5 bufs would have to admit they are chasing SL in this regard so we can thank SL for html5 in many ways. Drop that at the next html conference and run :-)
    Friday, November 11, 2011 5:15 AM
  • I would actually be happy to choose one or the other (either SL or HTML) per project. Supporting both simultaneously for a single project might be a tall order and will cause extra effort when it comes to maintaining two sets of custom controls, etc.

    The jQuery-based RIA quoted by Paul above may make all of this possible sooner than what we think!


    Friday, November 11, 2011 9:26 AM
  • I have been working on a number of applications that heed a HTML "front-end". This is really no big deal because you simply make .aspx pages that point to the SQL server that LightSwitch is using.

    What I have found is that I only make .aspx (HTML) pages when I must allow access to people who may not be able to use Silverlight.

    But, I pay a huge productivity both in time to create the pages and in the usability by the end-users.


    Make Them Ask: That's a LightSwitch App?

    Friday, November 11, 2011 7:48 PM
  • Some further reading (draw your own conclusions):

    ps. Future versions of Lighswitch that *may* support HTML will have to be backwards compatible (or provide a one-way upgrade path) to ensure that effort spent now will be usable later.

    Friday, November 11, 2011 8:43 PM
  • @nova.  Yes, either or.  I did not mean both at same time.  This things I we care about is .Net support and xaml going forward (which they commit too). If that silverlight or SLVNext or something else, does not matter that much imo. I know they probably need to refactor things to get crossplatform and crossui support in a general way.  But that is ms playgound, and they do that well.

    Friday, November 11, 2011 9:55 PM