UP Computer Science Interns' Blog

May 14, 2010

Silverlight: Part 2

Filed under: mic_200706692 — lcprospero @ 6:10 pm
Tags: , ,

This week’s brainstorming session was on a  Wednesday. Yuh, it’s Silverlight again but this time, we talked about it in a more formal and informative way.

Silverlight vs. Flash

Features of Silverlight

I have been wondering what’s the difference between Silverlight and Flash. They can be used to do the same things and their features are almost identical. Luckily, we have a supervisor to help us differentiate the two for. Here’s a shortlist of some similarities and differences.

1. I didn’t know Silverlight applications are text-based. If you try to highlight something from a Silverlight application, it can be and will be highlighted. If you search the net for “LYLE”, you can see results coming from Silverlight applications with “LYLE” on its text fields.

2. If you stream videos using Silverlight, the quality and size of the video will adapt to your machine’s capacity and internet’s bandwidth.

3. Silverlight offers a deep zoom feature where you can.. well you can see for yourself here.

4. Silverlight has a plugin feature for Facebook!

5. Sadly, both are proprietary.

Brainstorming

Ideas from the Brainstorming

We had a hard time coming up with new ideas since most of the possible applications are already implemented using Flash. So we focused more on Silverlight’s unique side to create a list of potential applications. Here are some of the topics:

1. VLSM calculator

Since Silverlight has support for mobile devices, it might be handy for Network Engineers to bring phones instead of laptops to solve VLSM-related computations.

2. Virtual Tour

It would be interesting to see websites of hotels, resorts and other venues for gatherings with animated pictures rather than static ones. Owners can post pictures of parts of the venues, compiled to create a panoramic image which is probably more appealing to customers.

If they would like to, they could utilize cameras to provide a live feed of the events in their places.

3. Interactive Shopping

I would love to see items on e-bay which can be rotated or flipped. This way, I can check the items for damages in a more fun and innovative way — using Silverlight’s full 3d perspective feature.

It would also be interesting to implement deep zoom for this function, providing  a more realistic feel of the items for sale.

4. Disaster Control

Adaptive streaming can be used for monitoring and recording footages of calamities, disasters and other similar events.

Integrated with the media, it could add direct participation from the audience, like submitting live videos and footages of such phenomena.

5. Advertisement

Similar to Flash, Silverlight can be used to create advertisement banners, but with a greater variety of features than can be added. Thanks to its unique features and capabilities.

New Intern

I forgot to mention. We’re now four here! Leo, the Microsoft Student Partner from FEU, started working with us just this Tuesday.

*Photos from Junnel Villena, again*

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4 Comments

  1. Hey, just a few comments.

    “3D perspective/view”
    Also done in Flash, as early as AS2.0, though it was not native 3D so I think people played a lot using a lot of trig. I’ve never read AS3.0 docus a lot so I do not know if they introduced z coords for native 3D. If you need samples of Flash done in 3D, google “Alternativa3D”. This is an example of a 3D application done in Flash (requires Flash Player 10):
    http://alternativaplatform.com/en/demos/bunker/

    “If you try to highlight something from a Silverlight application, it can be and will be highlighted.”
    > That has been doable in Flash for a very very long time, maybe even before ActionScript 2.0 was introduced. You just need to set the text box to dynamic instead of static. Textboxes set to dynamic can be highlighted, copy/cut/pastable, etc. In contrast, text boxes set to static are read-only. Dynamic text in Flash can also pop up in Google, since Google can show [SWF] tagged results.

    “Deep zoom”
    Can you explain to me how this is any different from loading a high-resolution image in Flash then providing zoom controls? I can already see this very easily implemented in Flash by just inserting the image, turning it into a movieclip then modifying the width and height properties to zoom into the image.

    “Adaptive streaming”
    Same for this. By streaming, do you mean actual streaming (like in the old days with Windows Media Player, where you’ll get bad/choppy video quality if your connection acts up), or is it buffered streaming like YouTube?

    If it’s the former, it truly is interesting, because with old streaming the user always had to pick the right download speed. In buffered streaming though (particularly Flash), you should likely be able to implement adaptive speeds because in as early as AS2.0, you can track the download speed and progress, so you can adjust the stream from there. YouTube already lets you pick the video quality, so you can work from there.

    Comment by bernardojr — May 20, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  2. Oh, and just like you mentioned in the blog, they share a lot of similarities. Like from the image you had, Flash has long since supported mics, printers and webcams, not to mention mobile Flash apps (Flash Lite), but the latter is so crappy no one really bothers with it. Devs would rather use J2ME which was more widely supported back then.

    Comment by bernardojr — May 20, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  3. “3D perspective/view”
    I also believe this is doable in Flash.

    “If you try to highlight something from a Silverlight application, it can be and will be highlighted.”
    I also agree. I’ve used Flash back in HS. I’m aware about static/dynamic text boxes.

    “Deep zoom” and “Adaptive Streaming”
    Based from what I’ve understood, Silverlight will only load the pixels when you start zooming in it so it won’t save the full high res image into your browser.

    Silverlight has a feature where it doesn’t need to ask if you want the high or low quality version of a video — it will adapt to your pc/connection right away.

    I’m not sure if they also work in Flash that way.

    Mic/Cam/Printer
    I once played a game in flash requiring you to shout and talk. We’ve just mentioned it since this feature is new in Silverlight 4.

    So guys, sorry it this post was misleading (since I didn’t clearly mention what’s same and what’s different). I have experience in using both tools but I haven’t learned any of those by heart.

    Anyway, I appreciate these comments. I learned a few things from them. 😀

    Comment by lcprospero — May 20, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  4. Ah, thanks for the clarification. 😀

    As for the adaptive streaming… there are variables bytesLoaded and bytesTotal, so you can use those in conjunction with a timer to measure the download speed, and can also be used for FLVs.

    Silverlight might automatically do this so it’d mean less work for the developer, I don’t know. XD

    Comment by bernardojr — May 20, 2010 @ 4:52 pm


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