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At the Google I/O conference this past week, they announced Google Wave.  Almost immediately, I started seeing Twitter replies, blog posts and various articles talking about how Google Wave is going to kill Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX.  None of these made sense to me…and at that point I’d yet to see anything about Wave anyway.  I posed a few questions on Twitter as to why people felt Wave was an RIA platform killer (that’s what I was reading into a lot of the buzz against things like Silverlight).  I got more confused with all the replies :-).  So I had a moment this morning to listen to the Google I/O Wave keynote.

I first heard Vic Gundotra come out and describe Wave as a “…personal collaboration and communication tool…” followed very soon by an introduction of Lars Rasmussen who immediately also came out and introduced it as a “…communications and collaboration tool…” as well.  Hmm, okay, so it’s a tool?  This is where I was at so far less than 10 minutes of the presentation.  In fact everywhere it is being described so much as a tool rather than a platform.  In their post they help differentiate a bit more calling it a product, platform and protocol.  The keynote session finally got to this point as well.  Great, now I get to learn about the platform.

After about 40 minutes of the presentation I’ve seen a very interesting project/product, but haven’t seen it as a platform that is replacing anything like Silverlight.  Stephanie Hannon, the lead product manager, unveiled the Wave product as an HTML5 application built using Google Web Toolkit (GWT).  Since GWT can be used today, I was curious what aspects were HTML5 in the app – I didn’t feel they elaborated at all – someone correct me if they did please.

At least 40-50 minutes of the demonstration was all about the Wave experience, a lot of looked to me like a tight(er) integration of Gmail and Google Talk…both of which are products I admire and are great examples of rich web applications.  There absolutely were some cool features such as the real-time communication updates (no more waiting for Tim is typing).  The “playback” feature was pretty cool/fun to see as well, but I’m not sure how much I’d use it.  Obviously demos at conferences are contrived and so as cool as it was, I can’t wait to test it out in the “real” interwebs.

The drag/drop feature of images from desktop to the Wave was also cool and raised my eyebrow.  Then Stephanie points out that this is something HTML5 cannot support and that feature requires Google Gears.  They mentioned they are working on a proposal to HTML5 to accommodate.

The other promise of Wave was that it would be “open” – a phrase that seems to have become a buzzword among anything web.  Open at what level I wonder?  Even Lars himself mentioned that they would “…open source the lion’s share…” of the Wave product experience (and demonstrated one minor skin customization).  But what isn’t in the lion’s share I wonder.

So the product got a lot of attention then about 20 minutes or less of the platform/protocol.  The platform seemed to have been demonstrated with the use of gadgets (embedding a map in the Wave, embedding the Wave in Blogger, etc.).  In fact the only aspect of the platform I felt was shown was embedding (they even referred to an embedding API).  The protocol also claims to be open.  Great!  There were some minor demonstrations of this (I admit, kind of hard to ‘show’ a protocol), but didn’t really get emphasis I felt.  So of 3 pillars of the Wave announcement, really only one of them (product) got any real depth.  Granted (and they admitted several times) that the whole Wave concept is in early form and limited access given to developers.  Frankly I was surprised no Android-Wave integration was shown.

From a product standpoint, it looks like a fun collaboration tool.  I have some concerns about the user experience like collaborating with LOTS of people.  Their UI seemed to make use of avatars and make the assumption of collaboration of 3 or less.  I routinely collaborate professionally with large groups and personally with groups more than 6 (think homeowner association).  What does Wave look like with groups or large collaboration…could a Wave look so spaghetti that it becomes unusable?  I suppose that is the intent behind playback.

Nothing that I personally saw (and I’ve yet to get my hands on it) led me to draw comparisons/conclusions to Wave threatening RIA platforms like Flash, Silverlight or JavaFX.  Sure, Wave as a product is a demonstration of a great web app/RIA…but that’s an implementation, not a platform.  So is HTML5 really what people are talking about here?  Okay, help me understand how HTML5 Wave in the scenarios they demonstrated?  Even they admitted that some of them were using Gears.

One of the more forwarded articles was one by the Zoho executive staff titled Microsoft Silverlight vs Google Wave: Why Karma Matters.  Sridhar in that article should really change the title.  It’s misleading and he doesn’t prove the point of the title.  What he explains is the buzz behind early alpha like Wave versus early stuff from Microsoft.  The excitement around Google announcements is generally huge and positive (although some don’t think it’s the cat’s meow) contrasted with Microsoft releasing something and everyone usually being a skeptic.  Sridhar tries to draw some analogy to Silverlight, but I think fails.  He’s just throwing more FUD around Microsoft in general.

What I also find interesting is this buzzword of “open” – something Google is praised for.  Let’s take a look at Google Wave Federation Protocol.  What’s open about it is that they’ve created something and put it out in specification form (and put a .org domain around it).  If that is the definition of open, then why is Microsoft hammered for XAML?  We have a spec out there?  What about C#?  Heck, that’s an ECMA standard.  I see a bit of a double-standard here.  I’m not saying that organizations like Google and Microsoft shouldn’t continue this practice…in fact, the opposite.  But it does seem odd that a protocol built to serve a specific need that wasn’t already available in existing standards is being praised when that is what other organizations have been specifically slandered for in the past.  Seems odd.

So is Wave going to threaten RIA platforms?  I don’t know.  Is it even an RIA platform?  I just think that all the messages about how Wave is pushing out things like Flash, Silverlight or JavaFX are unfounded at this point.  They all serve purposes.  Is HTML5 really what people are talking about here?  Fine, then draw that comparison and put some meat around it.  As far as I could tell, HTML5 is a working draft still.  To me as a developer (and as a user) this means that even once ratified as a standard, browsers will have to decide to support that (I know some have already)…and even beyond that-people have to use those new browsers.  The slowness of standards leads me to believe that RIA platforms will be around a while as there is some flexibility in providing RIA frameworks from commercial vendors.

If I’ve misunderstood something, please correct me.  I really want to make sure I’m seeing the whole picture.  But in the short days after a keynote only demonstration that was admittedly baked, I’m not sure the sky is falling for RIA frameworks and platforms.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


5/30/2009 2:23 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
great article Tim...you nailed with your analysis. HTMLv5 will potentially reduce the necessity of things like Silverlight, Flash, and Air for some applications but that is a separate discussion from Google Wave. Wave is an app and new type of communication tool. Wave could be implemented in Silverlight or Flash apps just in the same way they demoed their "terminal Initech" applicaiton.
5/30/2009 2:33 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
You are right Tim, although it looks cool and has my imagination running wild it is not a RIA platform. I think people are goign buzz word carzy with their comparisons. We arent talking apples to oranges here.. This is apples to shoelaces or apples to horses.
5/30/2009 3:17 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tim. I was watching the demonstration and wondering if Google Wave was ever going to be released as an appliance (think google search) towards a SharePoint compete for intanet / extranet / internet collaboration.
5/30/2009 3:25 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@The excitement around Google announcements is generally huge and positive (although some don’t think it’s the cat’s meow) contrasted with Microsoft releasing something and everyone usually being a skeptic. Sridhar tries to draw some analogy to Silverlight, but I think fails.

I think that it's different. Microsoft is a platform company, focused on providing the best platform API for its partners, whereas Google Wave is Google's first real step into platforms.

By the way, the best read to this day about the future of the Internet is still Phil Greenspun's free and publicly downloadable PANDA book: "Philip and Alex's Guide To Web Publishing" (Alex is his dog). The book is actually a recapitulation of an earlier book by him, "Building Database-Backed Web Sites". When those books were written, the bestselling book on web site design was "Creating Killer Web Sites" b/c it showed how to use a 1pixel transparent image as a spacer to correct browser inconsistencies. How time flies, eh, Tim?

@He’s just throwing more FUD around Microsoft in general.

There should be a saying: "When you fling FUD, it eventually gets flinged back." MS practically invented FUD, now it is hurting their image.
5/30/2009 3:30 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I agree with you completely... I think there's a disparity as to application vice platform. Yes, I see some neat integration that you could do with Google's Application Engine, but I also see this as a completely different market than what Microsoft provides through Silverlight, or Adobe through Flash. Alas, marketing at work :-/
5/30/2009 3:32 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Ted -- yes, I agree...that's the better analogy to draw -- toward collaboration applications/frameworks. Not to a platform framework. Wave seems targeted toward one use-case: collaboration. It's hard to draw a comparison toward a framework (Flash/Silverlight) which cover many use cases.

One thing that struck me as well was their collaboration was all email/IM...if it is collaboration...why not show Google docs integration? Where's the Google apps tie in there.

Again, I understand it is very early, but I was hoping for something beyond real-time character synchronization :-).

I didn't see a ton of what I'd call innovation. The immediate language translation was very cool, but isn't new. MSN has had an IM bot you could add to your conversation for a long time. The real-time nature of it is interesting, but until translation is complete, real-time translation looks confusing (as it did in the demo, when the sentences weren't really making sense until completed).
5/30/2009 3:33 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Another way of discussing this is the analogy my boss loves. He talks about Enterprise-sector vs. consumer-sector software, and what tolerances and expectations each stereotypical end-user will put up with in each sector.

Even though Microsoft is a platform company, my experience has been that it can be difficult to collaborate with them and help them build the best platform possible. Usually, I get the shocking reply, "We can never do that, it's too well designed for our customers to understand." Then on version 3.0 10-12 years later they go ahead and do it, anyway.

10-12 years is way too long a time frame if MS expects to remain at "the head of the table"
5/30/2009 3:41 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
John - I'm not arguing that *Microsoft* has a long way to go to win back good karma (as the ZoHo exec calls it). We are a different Microsoft today then we were 10 years ago. Does that mean anything? To some, no. To those less skeptical, hopefully people have seen the changes in at least the organization that I work in under ScottGu (and the various open source code we've put out there for ASPNET, AJAX, Silverlight, WPF, etc.). Windows and Office? Sure, they aren't open source :-)

My problem with all the Wave hype (and the buzz Sridhar's article is getting) is the analogy of a *framework* to a *product* -- it's wrong, incorrect and has no foundation. His title is titilating (as is the one I put here I suppose :-)), but should be Microsoft vs. Google -- not Silverlight vs. Wave...it doesn't make sense.
5/30/2009 3:42 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Agree - a "Wave vs. Silverlight" flame war is a wrong headed category error...it's HTML5 vs. Silverlight which is the relevant discussion but that isn't Wave (the protocol), but IS Google's bet on the future in contrast to other RIA platforms.

The 'here and nowness' of SL is one thing, but by definition won't last as an advantage. For me, the sophistication of the client-side programming model is what's compelling (particularly being able to adopt patterns like that in PRISM). And of course a serious competition from something other than Flash will keep the competitive innovation cogs for Silverlight at MS oiled.

On this note, one immediate example I hope the team is paying attention to, is that multi-file drop-target feature they demo'd. Raised my eyebrows too. Knowing you can get that with Google Gears is interesting...I hope they put it into the HTML5 standard...hope even more that Silverlight incorporates it much sooner (like in V3! Still got a couple-a months!!!).

Being a drop target (as opposed to using a FileOpen dialog) is the same functionality available today but far more natural in many circumstances. I can't see a significant difference between the two with regards to the security implications. The app would still be getting the anonymous FileInfo object(s). At worst you could inject a system-standard confirmation dialog in the mix asking the user if they intended to drop the files (but please don't :)).

For me...I'm excited to start building Wave functionality into my Silverlight applications. How was it an SL killer again? Oh, that's right, it's not...it's a different thing entirely, and Google has designed it, with it's open-source strategy, for other groups using totally divergent technology, like Silverlight and .NET, to build on top of.

If anything I see it as an Exchange (in the enterprise) competitor. And even then it's open-source strategy is to encourage enterprise tool providers to build Wave servers. MS could compete here by building an alternative thing and couple it to Exchange. It would be much better if they didn't, and rolled Wave into the Exchange story. If they don't, I'm sure there will be a raft of other parties doing this. And that's a good thing - if it's all talking the same, standard, open, free, sharable protocol under the hood.
5/30/2009 3:58 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Not sure what you meant by the lack of Android integration. It is a browser application that they showed working on Safari, Firefox, an iPhone, and an Android phone. The latter two side by side.

Wave, assuming it is successful (could you easily explain how to use this to your grandmother?) could be the "killer app" for HTML5. If that is the case, then I suppose the comments about it being a 'threat' to other RIA frameworks might be accurate. I think it might be a bigger problem for Sharepoint or Exchange but I'm no corporate strategist.

The term "Open Source" is the new "Organic" - commonly appropriated by large firms that formerly opposed it. I'd much prefer for everyone to just say what license they are using for X and let me look up a synopsis of what that actually means.
5/30/2009 4:00 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I agree that MS is different now than 10 years ago. There is a lot less FUD. However, even as of a year and a half ago, there is still FUD: My friend Matt had to change his last name b/c some people in MS (not technical people) really disliked what he had to say, and basically somebody or a small group within MS used their power corrosively.

This is NOT your fault. You're pretty much awesome: compassionate about your customers and passionate about your own company.

However, MS is so HUGE that I think that one hand often doesn't know what the other is doing. If it wasn't for smart product managers, they'd really be in trouble. (BTW: Did Lars calling Stephanie the world's best PM get at your ego? :-) just teasing/being silly)

Also,

@ His title is titilating (as is the one I put here I suppose :-)), but should be Microsoft vs. Google -- not Silverlight vs. Wave...it doesn't make sense.

No... it should be about the customer. For instance, I'm moving in the direction of working with the Mono community on some issues b/c I just feel MS dropped my ball. Actually, it's opened my eyes to the fact Novell can do more for me than MS in some cases... that could shift thousands of dollars Novell's way.

As an aside, a lot of Google's stuff is a fad that MS just needs to wait out rather than waste time chasing. Clouds are a fad. What isn't a fad is highly-clustered, highly-available self-healing networks. I think MS's biggest competitors there will be IBM and Oracle (both wanted Sun in part for this), long-term, not Google or Amazon.
5/30/2009 4:01 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Ben -- what I meant is that if it was a true whiz-bang-collab and the day before they made a big deal about Android, why not show the demo (SMS, push notification integration of some sort is what I'm talking about).

Killer app for HTML5 -- okay, I'm not saying it isn't, but other than mentioning HTML5 they said nothing. Specifically what in the app is HTML5 is what I'm curious about.

Totally agree on the license comment...and I love the organic reference :-) -- I was a part of a company that was going through 'organic growth' before they imploded months later :-)
5/30/2009 4:04 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim, one correction for you. They did show both Android and iPhone apps built on top of Wave.

I think your analysis of Wave is spot on. This is not a Silverlight or Flash killer. In fact, as the last poster stated, the whole point of their presentation was to tell an audience of developers to go out there and build cool stuff on top of it. People will definitely turn to Flash and Silverlight to do that. If people want to compare what they saw in the demo to Flash and Silverlight then that is really a discussion about HTML5 plus Gears.

What I do think Wave gets right is that it puts "the conversation" first, instead of "documents". That's the piece that I think Google did a great job of demonstrating in their demo. As the last poster said, this is more about competition with Exchange + IM + OneNote w/Sharepoint Integration + Outlook, and then making it easy to bring the other conversations and content people find on teh web through blogs forums, etc. into a centralized place. Think about all the times you replied to a blog and then never come back, or responded to a question in a forum and then never came back? Or all the times you were going to post to your blog, but you simply didn't want to invest the time. I see Wave making a lot of those tasks just as simple as pressing a button on top of a conversation you are already have had or are having.
5/30/2009 4:07 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Sean -- they did?! How did I miss that? Could have been when my kids were screaming as I was watching it :-) -- if you know what timestamp, I'd love to quickly review it -- the mobile-instant-collab space is something interesting to see how folks are innovating there, especially with push notification APIs on various platforms (I assume Android has one)
5/30/2009 4:15 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
RE: Microsoft "FUD"

I do agree with the Microsoft "FUD" comment. EVERYTHING Microsoft DOES is "FUD", where as everything Google does is the BESTES AND GREATEST and oh yes OPEN (open for debate). I guess that's the reason the EU is FUDing with Microsoft. So my question to all of you is: if Microsoft is such a FUDDEN company, then why use their FUDDEN products, why not use the Linux product set which works great is free and is a really neat FUDDEN product/platform/network which is FUD free. Oh I forgot, Bill Gates has a FUDDEN machine gun stuck on EVERY Microsoft user in their... Oh you know what the FUD I mean...

LET'S GET RID OF MS, LONG LIVE GOOGLE, LINUX, ETC...
5/30/2009 5:13 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I think what's interesting is that with Wave, Google appear to be nailing a differentiator with RIAs in that they are playing the standards game, saying you don't *need* proprietary RIA platforms/frameworks to build rich, in browser experiences. Wave is simply their latest and greatest demonstration of this philosophy. What proprietary RIA platforms need to do is sharpen the message and focus of the answer to the "Why not HTML5/Javascript?". This is what people resistant to RIAs are asking. I know how cool Silverlight is from a .net developers perspective, but i'm not sure i can easily answer the Wave proposition just yet. Drag and Drop is surely one area where it gets RIA-like, is this really HTML?? Where are the boundaries where we can't just augment the HTML standard? Physics engines??
5/30/2009 6:01 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Keith, I agree with you. Having been working in the past 12 months on a similar realtime collaboration proposition that is both web (through Silverlight) and desktop oriented (Full .Net) I find Google's approach to do everything with plain old HTML/Javascript more of a religious/philosophy than a real proposition of a platform.

On the technical side, I am with Tim that absolutely nothing of what has been shown of Wave is really a platform thing. It was flashy, yes, it was cool, yes. They solved pretty interesting collaboration problems, yet. It was predictable, yes, if you have been exposed to the kind of algorithms they have implemented. The thing is that they choose to do it with GWT in the browser, they could have easily choosed to do it in Silverlight, or WPF or Winforms, the real platform just doesnt matter, what it really matters is the concept.

Lets put it this way, the most important part of the Wave technology is hidden behind the Google's servers (the conflict resolution algorithm) the rest is just a layer that you can implement in whatever technology you want. Furthermore, the entire Wave experience is no more and no less than an excelent example of leveraging the byproduct of being able to reconciliate a shared state seamlessly.

For more technical information I have posted more information at my blog.

Greetings
Federico
5/30/2009 7:58 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Next up. Octomom vs. Silverlight
5/30/2009 8:40 PM | # RE: Microsoft "FUD"
"LET'S GET RID OF MS, LONG LIVE GOOGLE, LINUX, ETC...", so said the man who links to a site hosted on Microsoft Office Live Small Business?
5/30/2009 11:50 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Organic growth. Bwahahahahaha!
5/31/2009 1:02 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Great stuff Tim. Was just tweeting with someone asking why they thought Wave was going to kill Silverlight, Flash, etc. I watched the video and didn't get that impression at all. But, some people love to say that the sky is falling. Makes them feel better I guess.
5/31/2009 3:01 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
The distinction between this being a platform and a product is an important one. We at Etherpad have built and released a really real time collaboration product to the market and were pleased that the Google Wave team acknowledged Etherpad in their white paper as the existing web app that achieves the real-time experience they're seeking: www.waveprotocol.org/.../operational-transform

Interestingly, the pace of innovation in this space is such that the white paper is already out-dated a day after its release; we rolled out rich text formatting for EtherPad late last night. We are also excited that the "PlayBack" feature has found its way into Wave, where editing history can be played back in sequence. We posted a playback demo some months ago that animates an essay being written, letter by letter, as stored in EtherPad's edit history: http://etherpad.com/ep/pad/slider/13sentences. This feature, which we tentatively dubbed the "time slider", will find its way into EtherPad soon as an invaluable tool for tracking contributions to a document.

We think the Wave platform could be incredibly powerful and certainly validates the potential of the really real time collaboration space for improving communications and work flows. In the mean time, we would love readers to check us out and send a few comments on etherpad.com our way.


5/31/2009 3:51 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Anyone that thinks HTML 5 will reduce the need for Silverlight or Flash hasn't read the spec. HTML has and will always be a horrible joke, and HTML5 doesn't change that. The fact that they are shooting for ratification in 2022 (really, that's not a typo) demonstrates how broken the standards process is. I think there are over 500 people on the committee, and even with that, they didn't manage to add the ability to get a byte stream from the file input control. Sorry, keep relying on 3rd party plugins for decent upload abilities. What did they come up with? My oh my, a <dialog> element, BRILLIANT!

The truth is, if Microsoft hadn't invented XMLHttpRequest there would be no AJAX. Why? Because the standards clowns would still be arguing over it. It's unfortunate that you guys chose the standards route with IE8 and the headaches that has caused with absolutely no value added. I wish you guys had made it LESS standard, flat out said that HTML is nothing more than self inflicted gun shot wound, and that you're moving on. In essence, that's what Silverlight is, the beginning of the end for HTML, and that's why the ABM crowd hates it, and is looking for anything to be the Silverlight killer.

Unfortunately for this industry, HTML has allowed 4th rate hacks to put together barely functional web sites. Now that first class developers have a real web platform to target, people will begin to see how web sites SHOULD look. In a couple years, when the hacks present their typical shoddy work, they're going to get asked, "This looks like shit, why did you do it in HTML?"

The modern day John Henry is coding in HTML, and unfortunately for him, Microsoft has released its steam engine.
5/31/2009 4:52 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Oh yes, and silverlight is just crap. It can't even render text properly and missing many many easiness of html. Yeah you have gradients but so does html(minus IE) . What to do with silverlight if I can't read a text without hurting my eyes. Forget it. HTML will be the winner and current world wide webis a live proof to that.

I am a pro SL developer, the guys who think SL is great just saw a few demo apps and nothing else. Show me one serious non beta web application written with SL. and oh no I said too much
5/31/2009 5:56 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
IMO Silverlight was initially pushed out too fast - version 1.0 was mostly a video player. Version 2.0 started to build in real things we could use to build applications (and read 100's of blog posts on how to draw a square), Version 3.0 appears to be what I would call the typical MS version 2.0 software.

When I can deploy silverlight on an iphone , on a phone, in linux, etc...

MS is very tied to IE, is very tied to Windows in general. I think that strategy will eventually fail.

Many developers around me are now buying macs - running Eclipse etc... I'm awaiting for Visual Studio on the MAC, building iphone and mac applications, against SQL 2008 for the MAC on a IIS installed on the MAC. (everywhere I have MAC, add Linux as well).

I really like where I see Silverlight going - I think it needs more embedded capability in phones, iphone, etc... and we need more enterprise, building stable good application posts rather than how to use eclipse and blend. ie. using RIA.NET with a DTO layer that connects to a custom generated DAL layer. These are just the realities of many companies - they aren't all running Linq to Sql or EF. And many good shops I've been at would never pass their repository domain objects down to the client - they use mappers, etc... (ie.. Fowler EPA, Evans).

What does this do ? It gives dev shops more ammo. I can goto my boss and say 'this is more than just a typical good demo app from MS, we can build real solutions with it'.

Currently it is missing things I can easily do with jQuery. Standard controls right now - I have to spend another $1000 a developer for a license to a control company so I can have a good monetary mask textbox or good masked control textbox. The Datagrid seems buggy and can't handle much data. The default styles are just awefully boring (I see some templates for SL 3 that are getting better). Load times seem slow, and fonts are still blurry.

I'm like the guy above, I'm pro SL. Seriously. I just think more efforts need to be coming on adhering to best practices and architectures ...lets see more MVVM presentations at TechEd , I think we get a watered down, mom and pop demo - is that who MS is targeting ? Some kid in his basement or real developers making million dollar contract apps for the state ? More work on 'how to connect to a non-EF or non-LS app - because although that is fantastic to see - it doesn't match what most of us see out there in the real world.

I could have used SL in my last project but in the end it just wasn't deemed ready yet. I have a lot of high hopes for Silverlight 3. I'd like to see more progress on it and more examination of how devs and architects need to design their apps. I'm not too impressed with what P&P is doing with Prism, it seems to be moving very slowly - like I said SilverlightFX is delivering some great stuff but still needs Blend and UI support (2010 ?).

I still don't really know what wave is, I saw some neat ajax stuff - but I've seen that all before.

Personally, when I can do anything in Silveright just as quickly and easily as I can in ... ie. jQuery - then it will be ready. It's getting there, just taking time :) The first question in many shops will be... how do I take my existing 5 year old+ Webform mess and convert it to Silverlight ? And is Silverlight 3 going to be out soon, how soon will 2010 be out, will it include RIA.NET/ADO.NET support and DTO/Mapper support ? (I say this because its a client side app and these are the very important pieces to really build a good foundation on). Will Silverlight 3 run on every machine ? Will it eventually run on phones and iphone ? If not, do I need to pick a different technology.

Google seems a bit disjointed to me - I have Chrome, but it's advertisement and attraction to the general population is slow... My firefox is still my favorite with all my good addins... Wave... something to keep an eye on - I don't see it yet as a Silverlight killer.
5/31/2009 6:12 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Onur - I don't think you are pro SL. You might be a very good web developer, but you certainly have no experience on real world development in Silverlight.

Besides the fact that, even though text rendering on Silverlight 2 is bad, it is still usable and somewhat acceptable(we have been developing things on it since Silverlight 2 Beta 1 released), you either don't know what intensive client computing is, what mission critical applications are and why HTML just can't make it.
5/31/2009 7:13 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Microsoft's problem is that its software is not free of charge, and it keeps putting out code that does not work on Linux and Mac machines. Google stuff works everywhere and does not cost the user. Looking at the entire world, who is in the majority -- persons who can afford MS stuff, or everyone else who can rely upon open source? In the long run, the reality is this: Microsoft makes money on a lot of stuff that people can have for free. IN addition, the rate of innovation at MS is many times slower than at Google.
5/31/2009 7:57 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Steve- Microsoft has been saying since the Silverlight 2 beta days that they will have Silverlight on phones. They have a preview version of Silverlight 2 running on Linux right now. Your comment about the developers you know are buying Macs and running Eclipse is funny since Micosoft supports developing Silverlight apps with Eclipse. You can right now develop RIA Services apps with any DAL. There is nothing stopping you from you POCO Objects, web services, XML, etc for you DAL in RIA Services. Just think of RIA Serivces as the plumbing that talks to the Silverlight client and the webserver. Silverlight has a great ecosystem for the third party controls and many of these are free. Have you used the Silverlight Toolkit? With the Silverlight Toolkit and the standard built in controls you have a solid foundation to work with. I agree that I would like to see more code samples from Microsoft using the MVVM pattern because I think it is a great pattern to use for building enterprise applications.
@Onur- Microsft announced at Mix09 that they would fix their text rendering problems for the release version of Silverlight 3
5/31/2009 8:55 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
EdoRoshi -- hmm, really? Because you can get Visual Studio for free, SQL server for free, Silverlight tools for free...seems pretty...um...free to me :-). The only one that isn't available in free form is Blend...and there are (less powerful) alternatives if you want to avoid the best. We work with developers to fund an initiative around Eclipse development for Silverlight as well -- so a free IDE for Silverlight developers on a Mac. Addition to that we have jumpstart efforts (BizSpark) for startups to decrease initial costs. And not working on a Mac? Silverlight supports Windows and Mac...and we work close with Miguel and team to ensure Moonlight has the best support for Linux. In spite of this, yes we make money on things you can get for free like Visual Studio. People are willing to pay for things that are the best of breed...but if you aren't, there certainly are free alternatives. If you are a startup, there isn'y anything you *can't* get for free from Microsoft now.
5/31/2009 9:53 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I just can't trust that Microsoft would do the right thing with Silverlight. The choice between treating Silverlight on Windows better than on Linux seems like a no brainer when Windows is your bread and butter. I don't blame Microsoft for this it just seems inevitable what platform will get better support. Given that a lot is still proprietary doesn't help either. The last thing the world needs is another flash or even worse a world where surfing the web is better on one OS than another.

From a users perspective Google Wave seems pretty brilliant. None of it seems original but neither was the iPhone. It seems like a merge of technology old and new in a tool that just seems obvious in retrospect. After watching the demo, I'm pretty pissed I have to continue using plain old email for another 6 months.

The interface could use some work but the entire thing is open. I'm counting on others to build a better UI and foster this new way of communication.

I don't know what Google Wave is or isn't in competition with but the world needs this ASAP. It's so far more advanced than what all of us are using to keep in contact right now.
5/31/2009 10:56 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Great stuff. Google wave would be a no killer. There are many communication and collaboration tools we have today. Wave will definitely throw up some new things but I am not very sure how much it will affect the others. Google should reinvent search further as in coming times it is going to face stiff competition from Bing and Wolfram Alpha.
5/31/2009 12:16 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
This isn't a SL v. Wave contest, but a total-package contest. I think MS has turned the corner--or at least has a fabulous opportunity to turner the corner--on things the last couple of years and I believe is well positioned to make some big gains. MS just needs to keep doing and building upon what it has been doing recently: developing and releasing good tech and tools; .net 3.5/40, SL, Azure, XAML, XBox/Zune, WF and WCF. I wish I could have added WinMobile 6.5 to that list but I think that is the only thing MS may--I say "may" because it's not out yet and I'm only going on what others who are in the "know" have said--have had a mis-step on; then again, who wasn't caught off guard by Apple's rather fantastic iphone release.

MS has a golden ace in their pocket too: Xbox. If MS can keep focused on integrating develop between SL, WinMobile 7, Xbox/Zune/Xbox-Live, Office, and Windows 7, they will have a total-package that will be very difficult to beat let alone match; for instance, I read not too long ago that someone ported the XNA 2D libraries to SL. Google, which api of yours can be used on your non-existent PC OS plateform and on your non-existent Music device and on your non-existent Gaming system? Yeah, exaclty; not to mention I look forward to game comparisons between Xbox and Chrome. Call of Duting on Chrome anyone? I'd love to eat my words if they can pull such a feat off.

Xbox has been a screaming success and with more development tool/api integration in places where it makes sense (a lot of places I think) MS will have a very strong total-package. This kind of development integration, along with a package that includes a game system, is powerful and needs to continue at a competitive pace if not at a fevered pace; Apple knows this and is busily making the iphone/ipod touch into more of a gaming platform with the iphone itself becoming more of a happens-to-be-a-wirless-device-too device instead of the other way around.

So, MS needs to make note of Wave and then put it's head back down and do what it has been doing quite well the last couple years.

Now, if only MS can make a tool that will help their/my beloved Seattle Sounders break this horrid tie run; yeah, I have "XBOX" stitched to my chest at Qwest stadium every Saturday their home. Hey, I have a fabulous idea that is brain-dead simple to implement and only takes one fully functional pen.. and a check :)

Cheers,
sham
5/31/2009 1:55 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Tim Wave on the iPhone and Andriod at about 25:45 into it.
5/31/2009 4:32 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Stephen
@I just can't trust that Microsoft would do the right thing with Silverlight. The choice between treating Silverlight on Windows better than on Linux seems like a no brainer when Windows is your bread and butter.

Whoa... don't be silly. MS has been fully committed to cross-platform with Silverlight. e.g., just read Nick Kramer's MS blog about cross-platform keyboard support.

Hyperbole only hurts consumers from making the right decision...
5/31/2009 6:07 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
From what I got out of the Wave keynote, they've built a new client server protocol to "replace" email and Google's UI implementation is mostly based off AJAX/DHTML.

Google's business is the web, so they attempt to stay away from proprietary plugins where they can (google gears usage shows the web standards suck). That said, there is no good reason why there can't be a SL, Flash, WPF or JavaFX client for this application. Hell, even an Outlook plugin...

5/31/2009 6:35 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I remember long long ago when "wavelet" compression was supposed to the the be all end all of video playback codecs. It turned out *NOT* to be, so when I hear "waves" and "wavelet" mentioned again at this stage of the game I start laughing HARD...

All of this I can't trust Microsoft stuff is just a crock for someone who really hasn't looked at the company today and how it's transformed itself from the inside out..

HTML 5 is nice but there are still monsterous gaffs or should I say gaps in how a tag or a browser finds itself interacting with a database and how that interface is going to work across different backend technologies. Yes HTML 5 holds promise, but it's not going to replace RIAs like Flash and Silverlight. I say Flash because it's ubiquitous on browsers today, even though companies like Apple are trying to keep it off their hardware platforms (like iPhone and iPod Touch)..

It's nice to hear a Microsoft style take on this technology but I am more interested in hearing from Adobe on this one and how they see it effecting Flash. I am betting they say the same thing Tim is saying in this blog..

As for Apple hardware owners I see a lot of them booted into Windows when I arrive at an organization. I find it hillarious that over 90% of them dual boot..

You should ask Apple why it won't let flash on the iphone. It's by now certainly not a security or hardware limitation.. I have played with HTML 5, sure it fixes somethings but opens up holes in completeness for applications now in other areas that weren't at issue before..
5/31/2009 8:30 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead

I saw the keynote.

The first few minutes were promising. They said they've been working on Wave for over 4 years. I thought to myself "uh oh this will be rather good, its their best kept secret for over 4 years". Only to be disapointed..

To find out what Wave is: some kind of IRC / Bulletin Board hybrid with some picture albums thrown in. Revolutionary? Well maybe 20 years ago at the dawn of IRC. Technically I would see more people using Facebook if they
implemented this real-time typing thing (if people are going crazy for that) than of people actually installing a whole new product that does basically the same technology-wise that was already wide and far available.

And the feature of real time typing, that was absolutely useless. I often use backspace just to rephase myself in more diplomatic terms! I dont want all my text to appear on someone's screen until after I had time to reflect on it.

On the audience, I think they actually paid people in there to applaud. I mean.. applauding for a spell checker. Come on. Applauding for real time text to show up. Yay! There even was a guy waving around his laptop in excitement over his head. If he were on my staff I'd fire his butt as obviously the guy hasnt been paying attention the last 10 years.

Most likely they paid all the homeless people in the city, dressed them up as developers and gave them a fancy mobile phone just so they can look smart. It was particularly suspicious when they went on to say "By all means
applaud if you like it, there's no limit of the amount of applause we can handle!" This is translated to be "Clap you lousy audience, we arent paying you for nothing we need appear more interesting than Bing!" :-)

On another note I think some companies are actually riduculing the open source concept. They dont "open the source" but they say "Ok here's what we made so far, you take it from here". I mean come on Google can't we at least have some kind of project guidance and vision as to what this problem this product is trying to solve?

I think the worst example of this so far has actually been JavaFX. Upon its "release" it wasnt really much
of anything. Just some concepts hacked together. We dont really know what it is but you say want it to be like this and that? Oh ok its open source, you make it!

All in all I thought the keynote was done lousyly done. They were ill prepared and their prized product kept crashing. Well done Google, you just lost 10 points of esteem in my view.
5/31/2009 8:46 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I can't understand why everything has to be some sort of contest. When one makes a technology decision, i've always thought it would be as easy rememebering 1. To use the right tool for the job (not the tool that makes the buzz) and 2. that you get what you pay for (for the more expensive stuff, it's someone you can sue/have their head chopped off when things go awry)
5/31/2009 10:38 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
IMO it was the Google keynote (not really Wave) that had people wondering about HTML vs Flash / JavaFX / Silverlight

radar.oreilly.com/.../...e-bets-big-on-html-5.html
6/1/2009 4:40 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
They WILL open source server and client software for creating OWN Wave servers and web clients with the use of Google code and no payment for that software. That is really strong help to the adoption of the standard.

Open source here not just about standards, but about everything except existing Google Apps server-side code that is doing cloud automation for Wave servers.

They want to push the changes in the convergence of email, IM, blogs, wikis, forums. That is VERY important for industry and for 99% of internet users, because current approach of communication is bad. It's based on XMPP for communication and that is making adoption much easier and natural.

Nothing stops you from developing Wave servers on .NET and client side on Silverlight or anything else. But what MAY really weaken RIAs is embedding of custom rich gadgets inside waves. Because they will be DHTML one. And it will be hard to do SL wave client and accept such gadget inside wave. But there is an option - embed DHTML part with that gadget inside SL and provide it with duplex connection to the Wave API.


Regarding DHTML/RIA IMO: DHTML is a painful thing for development - it's weak, it's type unsafe, it lacks good IDE, you have to fight with browsers even with latest GWT in hands, it's very slow in math or lots of calls (yes even on Safari 4/Chrome/FF 3.5), it doesn't have lots of important things like binary access, bitmap pixel access and so on. What is the reason to embed application in browser? Because it's easier to run? What about Click Once/Java Web Start/embedded things?

I believe AIR/SL/JavaFX is better option for many applications. But none of them are shining.
1. WPF/SL has good and promising UI model, but there is no WPF outside Windows (and that becomes more and more problem, because users want to have options in OS choice). Moonlight still too weak and slow and uses GTK# inside instead of OpenGL (so it would be incomparable to WPF based on DX for years). No phones support except .NET CF which doesn't have SL/WPF UI model and how long will it take to use OpenGL ES under the UI on .NET based phones? I'm waiting for SL3 final with adequate type rendering, but to be honest - WPF type rendering sometimes really awful too.

2. JavaFX is WEAK and SLOW. If they will throw huge amount of resources - it might be good option. But for now they are far away from AIR/SL.

3. AIR can't be used for all parts of the systems and makes them heterogeneous. And it's scripting language even with some OO isn't something really strong.
6/1/2009 7:49 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Commas. Please use them. They are your friends.
6/1/2009 8:21 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
One thing that Microsoft does that Google doesn't (so far)...
Patent their ideas! You can publish your specification all you want, but if you patent them, you take out 90% of the players who would otherwise use your tech.

Why? Because history has shown, the minute business takes a downturn, the legal department tries to augment the profit margin with infringement lawsuits. Often, it would seem, without the knowledge or consent of the major management teams.

Who wants to be at the mercy of lawyers? Or to hinge their business on their mercy? That's a huge risk. Microsoft needs to reverse their old direction and give up on software patents. It has only hurt them, and will continue to do so until software patents are abolished.
6/1/2009 8:36 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Software patents are a necessary evil to protect against predatory patent holders.

I don't think patents hurt MS. What hurts MS is a slow TCP/IP stack and poor package management (ClickOnce is a joke of an attempt, and solves every problem at the wrong level of abstraction). Linux would never get a foothold if not for these problems.
6/1/2009 9:31 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
This anti-Microsoft sentiment is childish: the company has for decades done far more for computing at every level than any other contributor. These style-vs-substance glibs give Apple a pass for its closed source iPhones and OS, while justifying the EU's absurd rape of MS and Intel. These same children ratify Wave before understanding it, well, because it's from Google. If my new homepage, entitled Bing, was from Google it'd be all the rage. If style-superior Sony Vaio Windows-based equipment had a MAC label, they'd all buy it. The reality is, if it wasn't for Microsoft's decades of innovation most of you would still be working at Blockbuster.
6/1/2009 10:08 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
This article is trolling; google wave is massive, simply watch the video and fully comprehend it in a foresightful manner
6/1/2009 10:17 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
simon -- is as trolling as the "karma" article which this is in a response to. I am not disparaging Wave in this article...merely asking questions and pointing out that those comparing Wave to RIA platforms/frameworks is wrong. If you want to start talking about HTML5 vs. RIA platforms fine, but even some of the features demonstrated in Wave were admittedly Gears.

As to 'massive' -- that's where I will disagree. The only innovation I see is inline reply to specific areas...that's cool. Real-time character syncing? I'd be turning that off all the time. How many times do you type what you really want to send the first time? I think that feature will get people in trouble :-).

Since it is not open yet I'm holding my actual feedback, but based on what I saw, it wasn't massive at all, but a new paradigm on existing technologies (email, IM, IRC, etc.). Personally what I saw was an upgraded/integrated GMail/GTalk.
6/1/2009 10:18 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Ok I'll qualify it. Consider the general public, those who consider the internet as a communication tool and a shopping network (facebook, myspace, amazon, ebay, ...): this will BE the way in which they communicate. Put this product in some form in front of a child, and they would not ask for a lot more. Children are our future, etc.

For techheads (excuse the generalisation...essentially, anyone reading this), there's far more grain to Wave. For the rest of the planet, for some amount of time, a "wave" will be the first thing they go to when they unlock their communication device
6/1/2009 10:35 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
This is a nice discussion and I agree with Tim, the title is all wrong because what was shown was really a product, a nice platform, but from that product to all the buzz that's happening there's a long way to go. The battle is HTML5 vs RIA platforms of course, in same part RIA platforms appeared due to the HTML/Javascript restrictions and so, this is the real battle.

I also think like Phil Jacobsen about the anti-Microsoft sentiment, and go a little further, because is not only childish but also stupid, because everyone talks about how customers are the most important part (AND THEY SHOULD ALWAYS BE), and then place a huge barrier in front of Microsoft because they are evil. Of course they are, they are in business for a long time and they've done very much for the IT industry, and in terms of innovation they've done like no other, of course they are not as COOL as GOOGLE or APPLE, of course not, they are in so many spaces in the IT industry that the COOLNESS gets afected, because when companies go into Enterprise level software or Hardware all the Coolness goes away, and we can try thinkng of IBM, ORACLE, SAP, SIEBEL CISCO, SUN, NOVELL, and much more, do they have any COOLNESS factor with them? I don't think so because they are in a level were no mistake is possible, and in a level that everything is important and expected to work with high quality, and so only the strongest will survive them and no Marketing stunts or even coolness factors will make customer less demanding with the vendors.

About Microsoft's changing, this is a real fact and if you try to get out of that Anti-Microsoft suite and put on an observer one, you should be able to see some changes, like http://connect.microsoft.com, this shows clearly that Microsoft now hears what customers have to say. If you think of www.codeplex.com, you can see that many Microsoft teams place some code drops their that will become drops on the new product version releases, and this has the source code associated in there so you can see the code and even contribute if you like. Maybe this is not Microsoft changing, maybe this is only the "dark-side of the force trying to spread they're power to the resistence" (Get real, their's Dark and Resistence sides, theirs only one, that is you being able to get all your preconceptions aside and thing what's better for your customer in that problem, because I think we should se all this vendor products and platforms as "tools in our toolbelt" and pick the right one's for the job, and maybe sometimes we will use Microsoft and others Google, Linux, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, SalesForce, Amazon, and so on.

Sorry this is only my opinion, because I'm a little sick and tired of seeing people battleling about this vendor subjects when they should be talking about what's BETTER FOR THE CUSTOMER.
6/1/2009 10:37 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
So yeah take the time to read, and we agree: "a new paradigm on existing technologies (email, IM, IRC, etc.)". Love how reading works when I follow through with it.
6/1/2009 12:59 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
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6/1/2009 3:00 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I like the part you wrote about HTML 5 support and how browsers will have to decide whether to support it and how it will take a long time for everyone to upgrade. That is a GOOD ONE! Just think of IE 8. Does it even fully support HTML 4 and CSS? I like Silverlight, but, it really is quite sad AFTER ALL THESE YEARS that Microsoft can't even adhere to web standards 10 years old. If IE is supposed to be so compliant and better why does it only get a 20/100 at http://acid3.acidtests.org/? I wish Microsoft would rewrite IE in .NET. Maybe then it wouldn't have so many buffer overflows. Then again, I'm not even sure .NET itself is that implemented in CIL.
6/1/2009 3:06 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Jon - The whole Acid test thing is a bit funny...people point the finger to IE all the time about not passing, but look at their own charts...not many do! As to IE8 and standards...I'd argue it does. Have you taken a look? It was built with CSS 2.1 spec in mind http://www.webstandards.org/action/mstf/
6/1/2009 3:09 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Both the android and iphone demos were simply hitting a webpage, not a native app. This is still the powerful message of the Google Web Toolkit.
Did anyone else notice how flakey what should have been a scripted demo was? It looks like they have a long way to go on this. I want that audience for my talks, they clap for anything!
I think Google has put a lot of pressure on themselves now, if the application is hugely success then the GWT has proven itself as a platform but what, if like all other hugely javascript RIA, it chews memory and constantly needs to have the page refreshed to recover?
I saw nothing really new in the individual concepts, the first IRC I ever used showed indv chr as you typed - I thought we had moved on from watching people correct their spelling?
What is ambitious is running all this in one browser window, it will be a big challenge and I hope Google can make it happen to pave the way for other developers.
6/1/2009 6:59 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Sorry for posting another topic here.

I just checked some cool features of HTML canvas tags and found that Microsoft should really support it in IE. It is really funny but think that, if designers can make dynamic banners in canvas instead of Flash, it will really hurt Adobe and weaken its competitiveness in the market.

That won't affect Silverlight and Flex/AIR much, because they are mainly targeting full RIAs. But as Microsoft has so many .NET devlopers working in enterprise computing area, Adobe could get hurt much more seriously if canvas gets commonly adopted on all major browsers.
6/1/2009 7:26 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Just a little note on HTML 5 replacing Silverlight / Flash / Flex. I don't see it happening. The main premise of those platforms is that when you code your application for such a runtime it will run equally well on all supported computers be it Mac, Windows or Linux.

I don't need to tell anyone here that coding Javascript against (D)HTML is a horrible nightmare especially when you consider every browser does it slightly different.

The same thing happens with J2EE. Even though its a standard, IBM, Sun and others all have their own extensions making writing for the "Platform" rather difficult. Its either choosing one or the other.

So in that regard, having Microsoft steer the direction of Silverlight solely isnt that bad. At least its going to get somewhere. I think this is also the key point to Silverlight having caught up to Flex this fast.

HTML 5 is supposed to be ratified in 2022 as official standard (no joke!) I guess its safe for me to get another cup of coffee until that happens.
6/1/2009 10:34 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Interesting this Wave. I hope smart people at MSFT can help out. Many of the concepts are valuable and point to the value of communucation convergence. But it also is a classic example of an underdeveloped concept. In my job there is a person of some influence who loves OneNote. Good technology and has it's place. But when you have a dozen people working with an ad-hoc organized (or not organized) dataset that combines all sorts of stuff, it takes about a day before it's impossible to find anything. Now think of the roughly 1500 emails I received last month. Let's say for arguments sake that it represents 100 waves. That's 1200 waves in a year (just from email). Add to that if all of my IMs, and some documents and miscellaneous other stuff was in there.

I think the conceptual problem is that its trying to replace useful things, instead of defining how it's going to be itself a useful thing. Nifty but not scalable, cool but not usable. Whatever it is, it appears that Google recognizes that it's easily copied and not patentable. Hence the open approach. Seems like a good way to get a lot of people to use Google equipment to share relationship meta-info that can be used as a basis for search algorithms and as a lock in for google search tools. Eyeballs. That's the Google OS.
6/2/2009 12:40 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I've been developing enterprise apps for the past eight years and was there when customers started asking for web applications for realy everything. I was also there when customers started complaining about high development costs on projects because they couldn't understand that Web is not Windows. Time and time again I explained that that one neat UI thingy would cost them 20k in development, because it just wasn't as easy in Web technology.

Right now I'm actually working on an enterprise app in Silverlight 2 (have a look at my blog and see) and it does a fine job so far. I don't see how the fonts are any worse than on other web interfaces, let alone some of the Windows applications in my field.

Is Google Wave anything like a RIA? Not more then AJAX is, which isn't a RIA IMO.
So Wave going to kill RIA? No way! Is HTML5 going to kill RIA? Do you want to go back to the stone age? Don't think so.

As to is Silverlight that bad? I don't think so. It does allow me to do quick development. If you don't like spending $1000 a dev on controls, build your own controls, because it's not that hard anymore. If you ask me just writing C# and XAML and publishing it to the web is great (or would you like to build an enterprise app in Action Script?). There are still a lot of things that could be improved, but that goes for any technology out right now (or show me one that's perfect and I'll use that).
6/2/2009 2:11 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim,

guess I'm basically what's called a lurker. technically, I have nothing to add, my programming skills are good to very good, I go back with MSFT when I was building a trading floor platform for Bankers Trust in '92 - they tried in Smalltalk but couldn't find enough programmers (some of whom were making 2K a day in '92), so the switch was to Excel 3, a custom live data feed via DDE supported by Sybase on the back end... by 2001 I was developing in C#... sick of all the VB'ers, inc. myself..! Damn, took so long for .Net to take off in my sector - banking. My strength is my knowledge of asset classes...

I'm rambling. Up all night here in Cambodia editing hours of great footage. Following the genocide trial here of Keng Kek Iew (Comrade Duch of S21 infamy).
My plan is to use these Hi-Def clips in a future Silverlight based browser app. for educational purposes.

It is an unique to stand a mere 50 feet from a man accused of torturing and murdering 18,000 at Tuol Sleng prison. Only a large pane of glass (I assume bullet proof) separated us...

you mention the 3 pillars... which made me remember what Churchill once said, "the British Navy is built on 3 pillars, rum, sodomy and the lash"
(also used for a Pogues album title)

keep up the great work Tim...

6/2/2009 8:53 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
MS could never have designed something so elegant, simple and powerful as Wave... they do design by committee, they have no taste and no imagination. You get a bunch of propeller heads with a lot of high tech wizardry and little common sense design a complex roller coaster when all you asked for was a rubber tire swing...
6/3/2009 6:27 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim,
I loved your thoughts and explanation on the topic. I am a C# developer and this information worried me some but only because of the "open source" referance. Keep up the good work, dont let the haters get you down. Whats so sad is that we ARE ALL END USERS. People tend to forget about that. Thanks again.
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6/3/2009 6:37 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim,

Nevermind Wave, please continue the efforts with Silverlight. C# did not get the acclaim it has in a year or so. Microsoft must make a committment with Silverlight and assure people that there will be no Goldlight or Spoonlight coming in to replace it. Things like dropping enhancements on LINQ to SQL spooks developers off. The worst thing that Microsoft can do now is show signs of replacing one technology with another too quickly.

I think Silverlight is a step in the right direction from Microsoft. Please continue the good efforts. It is an excellent and exciting way of developing RIA applications.

For people who want everything to be open sourced - they need to understand that Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc are companies (with trade secrets) doing business. Not everything can be open sourced. Google will never open source its search algorithm(s), will it? Apple may not give away techniques used to develop iPhones, etc.

It is also true that Microsoft has improved a lot over the years. There are still issues to be sorted out with many products, however, the improvements to Windows (coming in version 7), Hotmail, C#, Silverlight (coming in version 3), SQL Server are shiny examples of good work. Personally, I think Hotmail is much better than Gmail now. Google has been average with user interfaces and are always over-simplistic with their designs.

Lets focus on Windows 7, .NET 4, Silverlight 3 and other good stuff coming from Microsoft! :)
6/3/2009 7:12 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@John "Z-Bo" Zabroski: "Whoa... don't be silly. MS has been fully committed to cross-platform with Silverlight."
- You DO remember IE for Mac don't you?

I can't get excited about a platform which will so obviously run far better on one platform than the others - and Microsoft's track record isn't good here. If the past repeats itself, then we can expect Microsoft to lessen development on non Windows based implementations just as soon as their technology achieves dominance.

I applaud Google for taking a more "open" approach (if I hear 'but C#s an ECMA standard' again I'll scream - sections of the platform ARE patent encumbered, unlike HTML5), but what choice did they have? Invent yet another proprietary plug-in... that's the last thing we need.
6/3/2009 8:08 AM | # Newsbreak: Microsoft Doesn't Suck
People = Sheep.

This whole trend of bashing MS for anything and everything is really getting old. Apple sells overprices PCs by harnessing the power of ignorance and emotion. I just don'g get it... The only thing "better" about Apple's product line is the iPhone -- I'm eagerly awaiting Windows Mobile 7 :). My point being, so many people are unable to recognize what an industry-changing innovation Silverlight is because they are too busy snubbing MS so they can seem like they know what's up!

Quite frankly, I am fine with the naive cold-sholder that many know-it-all "professionals" are so apt to give MS as it gives the rest of us a larger market share. However, if there is anyone who is on the fence about the subject, watch Brad Abrams' 75 minute Silverlight 3 demo. The game has changed and Silverlight will be the next King.

Thank you Microsoft. Thank you for changing for the better.
6/3/2009 9:48 AM | # Thanks for the sanity :)
Tim, thanks for the sober assessment! I love how you point out the awesome things HTML 5/Wave/GWT. They're cool. They're just maybe not what people think they are :)
6/3/2009 12:55 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
There is no doubt that Silverlight is capable of some wonderful things, as is Flash and I'm sure JavaFX will be there soon enough once the JVM is modularized and has a good set of components.

However, I will not support it because it will lead to a 2 tier web:
One will be accessible to all
One will be accessible to whoever Microsoft wants.

You could say that Adobe already do this, and that is true, but at least it doesn't matter to them what platform/device you are using.
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6/3/2009 2:33 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Thustle: Adobe's Flash was not supported properly on Linux/Unix for a long time. Silverlight is supported across all major platforms and browsers. Check out Moonlight for Linux/Unix.

Silverlight does not lead to 2 tier development. That choice is yours to make.
6/4/2009 2:38 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Sam: Yes, I agree - I'm certainly not saying that Adobe are faultless here.

As for Moonlight, it is far behind Silverlight's progress and will likely never catch up with it, which is a shame.

Indeed it is our choice to make and right now the choice is easy. Microsoft's history of supporting cross-platform products will make many dev managers wary of implementing wholly Microsoft owned technologies for use over the web.
6/4/2009 4:38 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Well, that't too much criticism for my taste. OK, let's see it first and then judge, but come on people, can you imagine this post and all the replies on the Wave? If you can't, I'm sorry for you.
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6/4/2009 6:41 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Thustle: You can't keep looking back and just keep ignoring all the good that's coming our way from Microsoft now. Silverlight as it stands works on all major platforms. Fact is, Linux is a very very low market share - yet there is Moonlight. Have you developed any website or application using Silverlight? May be you should watch the demo listed above:

http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX09/T40F

and many many more...
6/4/2009 11:40 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Thustle
@I can't get excited about a platform which will so obviously run far better on one platform than the others

This is like people complaining about a video game port from the Xbox 360 to the Ps3 sucking (or the other way around). My reply: So don't buy a video game on an inferior platform. What you are really doing is saying the *marginal cost* of buying a xbox 360 to have the best gaming experience for that game isn't worth it to you.

@(if I hear 'but C#s an ECMA standard' again I'll scream - sections of the platform ARE patent encumbered, unlike HTML5)

Uh.... dude... by the time HTML5 is ratified, most of those patents will be no longer enforceable in court... and we'll be at Silverlight/Moonlight 10.0. Also, MS product managers like Tim will never say this, but Silverlight is Bill Gates's little baby: true networkable graphics.

I also am not bashing MS... I use Linux at home, MS at work, and a Mac at church for A/V. I try to provide a fair and informed opinion.
6/4/2009 12:18 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Thustle
@As for Moonlight, it is far behind Silverlight's progress and will likely never catch up with it, which is a shame.

You don't know what you are talking about. Moonlight is in some respects ahead of Silverlight. Developing this sort of application is different on Linux than it is on Windows. Without any "systems programming" experience in these areas, you probably cannot appreciate the platform differences and the way of thinking about how to build systems. One is the UNIX philsophy, the other is not.

As an example, Moonlight runs trivially out of the browser. In fact, it is tested by Moonlight developers outside the browser. The thing that has slowed Moonlight down more than anything, according to Novell developers, has been making sure they get the security sandbox right -- because the consequences of getting it wrong are unthinkable! This is a problem you solve ONCE, get it RIGHT from the START, and NEVER come back to again. (Unlike the philsophy of the IE team, which is to basically put patches on a sinking ship.)
6/5/2009 12:49 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
The upcoming Moonlight 2 has already provided quite a few Silverlight 3 features. The difference between Silverlight 3 and 2 is very small on running applications (API level), especially for those business applications which are not so graphic intensive.
6/5/2009 1:21 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I'd just like to point out for purposes of accuracy that it was IBM that created FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) a long time ago. I believe Microsoft was either in its infancy or may not have even been around at that point in time. That said, I am not claiming that they have not every used the technique or, indeed, that they have.

For what its worth, I think that in 5-10 years time RIAs will be loaded in browser tabs directly, much like happens with PDFs today (depending on your browser settings etc). This will, in my opinion, lead to browsers supporting the different RIAs and HTML at a tab level (or whatever metaphore then in use) thus each of them being treated as equal peers, commercial drivers notwithstanding.

Who disappeared from these "wars":

Windows vs Linux
Netscape(Mozilla) vs IE
Oracle vs SQL Server
Java vs .NET

My point is that in this messy world there is rarely a clear "winner" and a clear "loser" in IT. Just a variety of technologies IT departments have to support.

BTW, yes you could argue 'OS2 vs Windows', 'Lotus 1-2-3 vs Excel' or even 'WordPerfect vs Word' but the so called winner still has competitors and some of these so called "losers" still exist!!!
6/5/2009 1:54 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@John "Z-Bo" Zabroski: This is like people complaining about a video game port from the Xbox 360 to the Ps3 sucking
- yeah, apart from the fact that it's nothing like that at all.

@You don't know what you are talking about. Moonlight is in some respects ahead of Silverlight.
- Maybe you are right - I had no idea that Moonlight was ahead of Microsoft's own specification for Silverlight. Look, as far as I was aware I thought Moonlight was going to run into some serious work to implements the more flashy effects in Silverlight (e.g. hardware acceleration and 3D). If this is not the case, then fair enough.

@by the time HTML5 is ratified, most of those patents will be no longer enforceable in court
- HTML ratification is always stupidly late and way after the technology has already has been implemented and had settled down as a standard... yes it's daft.

Look, I'm not a Microsoft basher - I like Visual Studio and think that C# is a fabulous language. I have studied Silverlight for a recent project for a client, but in the end decided on Flex for a number of reasons.

All I'm saying is that, although it's a well thought out platform, there are some obvious barriers to it's acceptance on the web (I'm sure it will be very popular for intranet based apps). I really hope Microsoft address these and help make it better, but people saying "Oh, but look at this video to see what it can do" are really missing the point I'm trying to make. I know it's a good platform, but there's so much more that Microsoft needs to do.

Anyway, to get back on track - I agree Wave v Silverlight is a poor comparison, but I thought the wave technology was a little too eagerly bashed in this article.
6/5/2009 2:31 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Thustle -- I don't believe I 'bashed' Wave here at all -- I merely tried to present two things: that the Silverlight/Wave comparison is wrong (which you agree with) and that Wave looks interesting, but there are questions I have (since I don't have an account). Those questions, I pose here both in where the innovation is (which I admit is cool in some areas) and as well where the big HTML5 features are specifically. It keeps being touted as an HTML5 app. Great, can someone from the Wave team dissect which areas are HTML5 so we can learn from that...because some of the cool features they showed had nothing to do with HTML5 but more to do with their protocol communication and some Ajax updating.
6/5/2009 5:29 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
@Thustle
@Maybe you are right - I had no idea that Moonlight was ahead of Microsoft's own specification for Silverlight.

Novell likes making some things explicit before Microsoft does. Way before Guthrie promised Out-of-the-browser, Novell was demo'ing Moonlight's SLOOB capabilities. Novell has introduced quite a number of VM innovations in areas where the VM Ecma spec was vague, they decided to make the spec crystal clear (making customers very happy).

The biggest thing right now is that it's basically GTK# under the hood, which isn't too impressive but functional nonetheless.

Silverlight's acceleration abilities aren't too impressive compared to WPFs, btw... As for 3D... Linux has in some respects been way ahead of Windows on this front. It has to do with how X-based Window Systems are designed.

@- HTML ratification is always stupidly late and way after the technology has already has been implemented and had settled down as a standard... yes it's daft.

Already been implemented and fifteen browsers all disagree on how to present it. :)
6/5/2009 5:59 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Just saw the video. This seems more like a Facebook killer to me. I see the draw for developers looking to have a realtime messaging app to go up against the likes of Facebook, etc, but it can't even be compared to Silverlight.
6/6/2009 7:20 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
RIA today (Silverlight, Flash) are simply ahead because of the programming language, tools, cross-browser&platform compatibility and hardware acceleration.

The new HTML5 tags are obviously good features but they are so late.
Can anyone explain to me, because I am probably missing something, why tags like a canvas or video didn't appear in HTML until 2009?
What was so hard to implement such a basic drawing feature directly in HTML so programmers can use that and browser render it?
Especially canvas tag I mean.

The biggest advantage of Silverlight is the C# language, .NET library and tools (Blend & VS2008)
6/7/2009 3:51 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
For all the Microsoft bashing out there – and there is plenty of it – I do not believe that there is a faster development environment for building a RIA than VS2008 (and soon VS2010) and Silverlight. What I have accomplished in a year showcases Microsoft’s commitment to building tools that make rapid prototyping and development exceed my wildest dreams. I had never programmed in C# (nor VB); I had never built a web service; and I had only built a couple of web pages in my life. In just over a year, I have an fully Silverlight-enbled Internet application that calls upon 11 WCF or ASMX service that allows sports teams to upload their videos; that encodes the videos for download in minutes; that has a full video editor that allows coaches to draw upon the video, pause them, put them into slow-motion, put any number of videos elements within another video, drag in geometry, text, protractors, magnifying glasses and save off the comments so athletes can view the drawn and written comments over a running video – all, of course, on the Internet using IIS, SQL Server, and Silverlight. A user can build communities for privacy, chat over duplex communications, build written reports tied to the extensive SQL Server database for which a PDF can be downloaded, and receive email notifications. And, in just a few months of being online, we have had 40K video downloads (primarily from high school and college rowers as I am a virtual rowing coach) – many with the drawn and written coaching comments attached.

The reason I could do this – one person – is the great environments that Microsoft offers from Silverlight (try drawing upon video with HTML), Visual Studio, SQL Server, IIS, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Expression Encoder, and Microsoft Expression Blend. Add in the Toolkit and Fiddler and any number of great tools… The point is simple, I do not believe that there is any other means by which I could accomplish this in this period of time. This is not about Silverlight vs. Google whatever. It is about commitment to a purpose of providing great tools. I do not care whether Microsoft can or cannot design Wave. But I care deeply that Microsoft gives us the tools so that we can.

I do not feel badly putting the web site address here since the readers of this blog are probably not potential users of the site. This is no sales pitch but instead, proof positive of what can be accomplished by a single person using the tools Microsoft has given us: http://www.coachmesports.com
6/17/2009 5:40 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Trust me, I want to code with the tools and language I'm most comfortable with (C#) as much as the next developer, but I'm on the fence here - Microsoft needs to give us some assurance. i.e. I want to see Microsoft step up and offer us a guarantee that Silverlight will be automatically installed in Windows 7. A useful statistic could be, what percentage of users opt to install Silverlight after visiting a page which prompts them for it? The tools are great, but without users it will be tempting to invest more time into .htm and .js, rather than .xaml and .cs
6/17/2009 8:21 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
queryable - Silverlight will not be automatically installed with Windows 7.
6/19/2009 2:34 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
My take on the whole RIA vs HTML thing is that EVERYTHING my kids do online is in Flash or Silverlight. They are the next generation, and expect for the web to react like an RIA. HTML has its place, it's how I earn a living. But I prefer Flash and Silverlight.
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6/26/2009 2:54 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim,
At least there should be an option in the Windows 7 installation process to install Silverlight. Why didn't the Bing team use Silverlight? MSN videos are not using Silverlight either. Microsoft has to do more on its own sites to promote Silverlight adoption faster.
6/26/2009 2:57 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tom -- Bing did use Silverlight in some areas. For the video playback, they hadn't for this initial launch. Part of that reason is pulling in video from all sorts of different areas -- some of which may have different encoding issues.
9/30/2009 6:15 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
I installed mono. But this still doesn't work
http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX09/T40F

9/30/2009 8:31 AM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
linux: mono != moonlight. You would need Moonlight and you'd need to make sure you are using Moonlight 2 (which isn't out of beta just yet).
10/25/2009 1:29 PM | # re: Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead
Tim, Great article. You developed this argument (that was brewing in my own head) with good clarity, and in a unbiased way. Google wave will have its place but won't own the market place. I agree with pretty much everything u said and feel quite reassured now the sky isn't falling. :)

 
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