Friday, December 5, 2008

Lots to talk about, so little time

I can't believe all the stuff that's been going on that I haven't blogged about! Obama is on his way to the White House; our own politicians back home are acting like children at best, idiots at worst (and I mean all of them, Harper, Dion, Layton, the whole lot); I spent 10 days in Hawai'i; I did a presentation on WPF Data Binding at the Microsoft Tech Days conference here in Winnipeg; and many more little things that I've been itching to spew opinions on. Oh, and my wife is 7 months pregnant.

Unfortunately, life has been a bit of a maelstrom and I just haven't taken the time to nurture this web site. Hopefully this post will be the beginning of the renaissance here at Chez Code Baboon.

So, with all the amazing things happening right now, what am I going to talk about first? A petty annoyance with a technology, of course!

At Tech Days everyone received a free copy of DVDs containing videos of every presentation from Tech-Ed 2008. I was pumped, so this evening I plopped a DVD into my computer and got ready to see what all was on there. There is an absolute boat-load of content, so MS has provided a Silverlight app to allow you to search and discover the content and figure out what disc it will be on.

Sounds great, right?

Well, it would be if the app on the DVDs wasn't written in Silverlight 2 Beta 2. You see, I like to stay current, and Silverlight 2.0 RTW has been released so that's what I have installed. You'd think the final release would be able to handle running an app written in Beta 2 of itself, right?


That's right, the DVD tells me I need to install Silverlight (specifically Silverlight 2 Beta 2). It provides me with a link to the Silverlight download site, but that site kindly informs me that the page I was redirected from is running an old version of Silverlight and needs to be updated to the latest version. Seriously, check it out (you may need to click the image to see it in full size to read the hilarious text in green):

Kinda hard to update something burned onto a DVD.

I tried to uninstall Silverlight and follow the link again, but it just had me install the 2.0 release again (since it is the latest version, after all). In order to actually view the content on those discs, I ended up having to Google search for the Beta 2 bits where I eventually found them on some filehippo site. I downloaded and installed it anyways; I mean, if you can't trust filehippo, who can you trust? Of course, the upshot here is that I now can't view any Silverlight sites written for 2.0. Sweet!

I've noticed problems like this before with Silverlight apps. It seems like there are about 25 different versions of the Silverlight framework out there, and none of them can view apps written in older or newer versions than themselves.

MS needs to sort this crap out; this is not the path to becoming the Flash/Flex Killer they aim to be.


CanuckConsultant said...

Although its not the Silverlight experience, you can still view the presentations with the synched PPT and audio, but going through the folders and double clicking the .WMS file.

Glad you got to speak at TechDays. When I had talked to Rod about it last, it didn't sound like any IRC people were going to be available.


Dave Harris said...

It was also pointed out to me that the program manager for Silverlight addressed this a month or so ago on his blog:

That said, the bigger problem in my mind is not the DVD gaffe, but the fact that none of the versions of Silverlight seem to be backwards compatible. Every time MS releases a new version a developer has to update his online app in order for people to continue using it? That's not a good model.

CanuckConsultant said...

That's because we've been spoiled with .NET frameworks on the desktop that can run side by side...or apps for that matter. Silverlight seems to take the IE way of updates (read: clobber the old and replace with new). Something Silverlight devs will need to keep in mind when developing. Also makes it a challenge for doing non-web deployed applications (like the DVD stuff).