Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

Day 1, General Session (Keynote): I’ve seen the future

I’m writing to you now from inside the Venetian Convention Center, listening to the MIX07 Keynote address with Michael Arrington, Scott Guthrie, and Ray Ozzie.

The writing that’s on the wall is that there will no longer be traditional designers and developers, going forward that line will become more and more blurred as developer tools are being made available to designers within their native tools, and design features are being abstracted to developers. There may come a day when one person with adequate background in both art and code will be able to fulfill the role of a duo of professionals today. Luckily for both sides of the evolution, finding those cross-trained persons is inherently difficult, but the evolution will begin today.

SIlverlightSilverlight™ (aka, Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) is the “next big thing.” A fresh install of the plug-in (which is similar to the flash player plug-in) installs in just about 20 seconds… and without causing you to leave your site (and it’s content) to go over to someone else’s site (perhaps never to return). That’s always been a pet peeve of mine, after you’ve invested so much time and energy getting people to come to your site, why on earth would you want to shovel them of to another site for a plug-in, then hope they return?

With Silverlight, a javascript sniffs to see if the plug-in is present, and if not presents you with a link that, when clicked, downloads the installer, click open (and approve it’s installation), and you’re done. That’s it.

We saw some amazing demos of what’s capable with the revolutionary technology including a full-screen 720p movie download proof-of-concept from Netflix. We saw an amazing demo of to present live video feeds of games with live statistics, buddy lists and chat, your personal player roster, and allowed customizable data overlays to show all this meta data via a translucent overlay (which fades into opacity when you mouseover, and fades down to about 20% when moused out).

We also saw an online video editing tool from Metaliq (written in less than one month). Go back and read that again: online video editing. Yes, over the internet, in less than 50kb. Yes, 50kb. Utterly amazing.

Now, SilverLight is a plugin bu nature, but Microsoft will have a release of v1.0 for major OSes and major browsers this summer (v1.0 beta is available today, and v1.1 alpha was released while the keynote was being presented; the final release of 1.0 will be made available to the public “Summer 2007”). Whether this will be a pushed update to Windows users through Windows Update wasn’t mentioned, but with how FAST it is to install, I don’t see why it needs to be.

What’s of particular note is that this extends the .NET framework away from just the Windows platform. Demos were run on a Mac using both Safari and Firefox.

I’m sure we’ll get much, much more, so stay tuned!


You may also like...

Leave a Reply