Have MSFT eaten Parrot's lunch?

ben@bpfh.net ben at bpfh.net
Wed May 23 16:41:40 BST 2007

I don't know who else here has been keeping up with Microsoft's latest
project, known as Silverlight.

Version 1.0 is nothing at all - just a browser plugin with some Vista
graphics chrome ported to it.

Version 1.1 contains a dynamic languages runtime, which is a subset of
the full CLR/CLI infrastructure, which can run in a browser or on any
.NET system. Yes, it works on Mono, too.

It supports 4 languages currently - Python, Ruby, JavaScript and a new
version of VB. Thus, Ruby will now have first-class support on both the JVM
and .NET as well as its' own C runtime. Oh, and it will work inside 
the browser too (on Windows and Macs, at least).

The Ruby implementation will be released under a BSD-alike license, and
the official advice from the implementor is: "if we at MSFT start doing
things with your Ruby implementation, then take what we've done and fork

There are at least 2 other OSS languages being written for the platform
(or being ported to it).

Anyone feeling chilly yet?

Some links:

Composability of software (general background on the future of software,
software, not Silverlight-specific, but excellent commentary 
from some of the really big names in language design):


Silverlight links:


An ecosystem map for Silverlight 1.1:


Silverlight 1.1 elements:


Jim (IronPython) Hugunin's post about the DLR's type system and how 
different languages can see different views of the same object:


OK, I've said my bit.

Fling away, folks.


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