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I’ve been doing a lot of asking and listening lately…to you, the Silverlight developers!  I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and “thank you for asking” comments and it has been real encouraging.  If you haven’t seen some of them, here’s some of my recent inquiries:

    If you have thoughts on these, please share them at the links above.  We’ve also been capturing ways of looking for feature suggestions.  One experiment has been using a ‘wisdom of crowds’ type approach.  Previously Joe Stegman (group director for the Silverlight runtime) had spelunked the forum questions, blogs, etc.  Check out what he has to say (emphasis mine) about a recent effort to collect some suggestion feedback:

Tim Heuer and Scott Barnes have established a more community focused way of tracking Silverlight 4 feature requests.  You can find their feature tracker here: Silverlight Feedback Forum.   Other than a few items that our outside our control (iPhone, bundling), you're likely to see at least a few of the top items in the next version of Silverlight. source: Joe Stegman.

Hmm…some hints to the future?! :-)


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9/8/2009 5:27 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
I would be somewhat cautious about your approach. Generally, I think it's good, but I also think that there's some risk that you'll end up in an echo chamber. Don't get me wrong, the people you have today who actively use the stuff are people you absolutely need to listen to, but "outsiders" are also helpful to understand how to expand your market. I'm not sure how you reach out to them.
9/8/2009 9:11 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Jeff - our best critics are those that are actually using (or struggling to use) our products. The outsiders who merely have speculated or looked at information only could not possibly give the deep feedback we receive from those who are working with it constantly.

That said, I agree that the 'outsiders' as you put it need to be reached. I'm open for suggestions, but those who simply troll for 'you suck' comments aren't value add either.
9/8/2009 9:14 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
How about bundling it with Windows 7? I know the legal issues, but it's not fair that Apple can bundle everything they do with their OS, but MS can't bundle something as key as Silverlight. Until we get market penetration, Silverlight is (IMO) mostly an intranet tool only. Internet sites will continue to use Adobe to reach the maximum people possible.
9/8/2009 9:20 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
John -- while I (and others) would love to, there are probably (I'm not privy to them so I'm speculating) legal reasons. Additionally, there were likely ship cycle reasons as well. Win7 had a specific timeframe and justification bar for anything that might be included in it (and not a lot was). Unlike WinXP, Flash hasn't been included in WinVista or Win7 though...it is usually through the OEM deals that this exists now...and we've got a few of those in place I believe.
9/8/2009 9:47 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Jeff,

The "outsiders" are posting, haven't you seen the "Give it up" suggestions? :) Seriously though, I don't know how you can reach out to the other side easily online, I think you would need to go to their users group meetings or other gatherings or seek them out personally.
9/8/2009 11:47 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
One problem I always had with Silverlight is the lack of a clear message from Microsoft about its vision and goals for Silverlight. And it makes it very hard to make a commitment to the new technology without knowing where it is going, especially if it is essential to your business.
I started using Silverlight from its first Beta and it wasn't easy. After investing over 2 years in Silverlight, my personal fear is that Microsoft will change Silverlight's direction or de-prioritize it, and I will have to switch to Flash, turning all that time spent learning it into waste.
I am not concerned too much about individual features. If Microsoft goes in the right direction, then appropriate features will be introduced in due course.
9/9/2009 9:47 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Bill - you are absolutely right. And I believe our field evangelism teams are doing this (at least I used to :-)).

Denis - Where do you have concern that we are going to de-prioritize? I can only see the opposite. 3 releases within < 2 years. Rapid iterations. Support from top management (ScottGu). Integrating tools support and creating new tools (Expression). Seems like a big investment we are making and making it a priority.
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9/9/2009 11:42 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
I think you had better be very careful about the "wisdom" of crowds. Sometimes crowds are a herd of sheep that have no direction. And sometimes they can be piranhas that attack everything in site, even each other! You guys need to be able to see through the noise and figure out what is important.
Case in point, everyone is voting for printing capability, which I think is great. But I would think that better text capability should be right up at the top. Text display in Silverlight is terrible. It can't even do what HTML 1.0 could do. Textblocks, even with wrap panel hacks are very weak. Despite all the glitter on the web, text is the most fundamental part of content on the web. You need to be able to do paragraphs with embedded formatting, images, hyperlinks etc. I guess in XAML terms, flow document. This isn't an add-on feature, it is fundamental and should have been there from the start. I hope you can see that even if it doesn't get a lot of votes.
You have to get the fundamentals right before you can focus on advanced features. I want to be able to take ANY web site, and rebuild it in Silverlight, with the exact same features. Right now, I can't even do that with a static HTML web site.
9/9/2009 12:10 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
I think this is an awesome discussion, and it's something I've spent a lot of time thinking about in relation to book proposals, my frustration with Twitter stupidity and what not. I really agree with everything said here.

I wonder if the "you suck" crowd is a significant portion of the outsiders/uninformed or just the loudest. Technologists in management in architecture roles that I've known in my career aren't typically like that, but I'm working off of anecdotes and not any real data.

Regardless, that there are people on the ground, real developers, PM's, evangelists and random nerds like me putting their experiences out there, helps enormously. What is non-helpful is things like that awful Silverlight 3 launch promo site with the goofy video things. Developers are like teenagers, in that they can sniff out what smells like a phony.
9/9/2009 12:40 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Jeff - true, unfortunately there will always be marketing ;-). And I mean that in the nicest way. I think back to my consulting days where I'd walk in to a customer who's exec just got handed a book from some Anderson guy on the way things should be -- and says 'do this.' Unfortunately things aren't always that way and as you know the grunts do the real work. I think marketing sites, launch promotions, etc. are those execs -- they are meant to titilate other marketers, not technologists...and when done poorly or when problems arise (as did with the Silverlight one) it reflects poorly on the product (note: the inverse is also true). The smart ones like yourself can separate the two...but it just gives fodder for the outsiders/you suck crowd.

Tim Anderson wrote today "It is a large company problem: maybe too much bureaucracy, conflicting kingdoms, little budget following initial launch, everyone knows it is a problem but nobody knows who should be fixing it, that kind of thing." (source:www.itwriting.com/.../...-confusing-web-sites.html) I love that statement and how true it is.
9/9/2009 3:08 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
The kingdom thing is something I've criticized Microsoft for since the dawn of .NET. Fortunately, I think the company has made huge strides in that area. I'm interviewing in the STO group right now, and I'm happily surprised to see how relatively concise and consolidated it is, even if it isn't entirely efficient in terms of how it interfaces the community (yet).

You've got a great job... because everything you're involved with is on the verge of greatness. It might actually be there already, it just needs the adoption of the world.
9/9/2009 9:27 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Silverlight Feedback Forum is an excellent way for us to express our wishlist for the next Silverlight version, great idea!
9/13/2009 9:05 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Printing Support and Full Trust App (Exception Case) by configuration (doing Desktop in SL more complete)
9/14/2009 10:55 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Silverlight should have non-administrative install too.
Because, in internet caffe's computer or school computers I can't install it.
I am Windows 7 user so C:\users\username\My documents\Silverlight would be perfect.
Ofcourse, admin install should exist too...
9/29/2009 9:35 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
While I wish I could applaud this PR move, I don't.

I think it will end up bloating the core Silverlight runtime, inflate the download time for users, reduce adoption, and displace focus on Silverlight's mission of simplifying WPF.

The people most likely to want so-and-so feature requests seem to be WPF developers wanting to port their apps to Silverlight.

I told some MS architects/designers this would happen.

I just never believed MS would set-up the community to encourage such a bad idea.

I'll say it again: My job where I work is to fight complexity, not encourage it.

Some people just don't appreciate saying "no."
10/7/2009 11:45 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Tim, where is the Silverlight support for other devices ? Flash already is supporting a lot of devices now (by the end of the year). In my opinion if it's not coming soon, we will see a lot of developers shifting to Flash.
10/8/2009 8:22 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
PM-SilverCrux -- we continue to be committed to our mobile strategy and have recently noted that WinMo7 will have Silverlight. Additionally Intel announced their port of Silverlight for the Moblin platform.
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10/8/2009 1:45 PM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Can you guys get together with Apple and add Silverlight support on the iPhone?
7/25/2010 11:20 AM | # re: Silverlight feature suggestions
Last post: 2009...

My suggestion(s):
Silverlight is rich media platform. But to make it more* like this, you may:
1) Allow accessing media encoders and decoders at user machine. (Maybe quick instalation of codecs at runtime with notification, if user dont have it installed) (Access to codecs and encoding/decoding process should be as simple as possible)
We can implement custom encoder/decoder, but why not use already made one?
2) Some way to show WebCam settings dialogs. Fix (stride <= 0) fliped webcam using custom VideoSink. (Additional lines are not good way with simplicy)
3) 2d gradient brushes, 3D.
3) Nicer installation process. First, everything* should happen in browser; Second, it should show installing, but not downloading; (Many users do not download silverlight and say it is a virus)
4) Quality and Performance contrast. Silverlight runs cute on multithreaded systems with super CPUs, but it look lame on a bit older bussines PC. Such setting to choose from Quality and Performace would be very nice at this situation.
5) Silverlight application source security: IE8 => DEVTOOLS => Locate URL of XAP file => Download => *.XAP => *.ZIP => Extract => Locate DLL => Use .Net Reflector => COPY / PASTE => A BIT OF ANALYSIS => IT CONSUMES WCF SERVICE. YAY! => LET'S CRACK IT!!! (Apocalipse...)
TIME FOR JOKE****) Sandbox security: dont allow to communicate with servers without policy files inside!(It is ironical, but I forgot how to fill app.config in my WCF selfhost so it could be used by silver app... 8th time... i will google)

 
Please add 5 and 6 and type the answer here:

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