Flash and Moonlight News

May 15, 2008

New releases of the two competing Web technologies, Flash and Silverlight, have just become available. While version 10 of the new Flash Player runs on three platforms, the Silverlight implementation, Moonlight, is designed exclusively for Linux systems.

The most important new feature introduced by the new Flash Player 10 for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows is support for 3D animations. On top of this it can use filters and effects from the Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit project. This feature is not available for GNU/Linux systems, however. The Release Notes also refer to a new text engine and color management. This is the first version of the player to have enhanced hardware acceleration which will take some of the load off the CPU and ensure interrupted playing.

Silverlight is a competitive technology to Adobe Flash. It was developed by Microsoft and was originally available for Windows and OS X systems only. This situation was not to the liking of developer and Novell employee Miquel de Icaza who called for other developers to help implement a version for Linux. De Icaza just announced the first final release in his blog.

A version without media codec support for direct installation on Firefox 2 and 3 running on 32 and 64 bit systems is available at go-mono.com. This version is rumored not work reliably with the next generation Firefox browser. To add media codec support users need to build the source code themselves. The current release supports the Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 standard. A Moonlight beta of the future 2.0 version is already available. The final release is scheduled for this summer.

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