The Flash vs Silverlight debate has been on for a while now. And of course, there is much to be said for both sides. However, those who do choose to work with a young platform like Silverlight in spite of Flash being the dominant industry platform definitely have some good reasons to do so.
There is no denying that Adobe Flash is a mature product that has been around for more than a decade now, but Silverlight manages to hold its own even in the face of such tough competition. Of late, Silverlight has emerged as a powerful development platform for creating rich media applications and a variety of business applications for the Web, desktop, and even mobile devices. Some of the most important factors that make Silverlight an amazing web application framework are as follows:
- While the Flash format has no option of animation other than transformation matrices, Silverlight supports the WPF animation model. This is not only time based (unlike Flash, which is frame based) – but also allows you define the start and end conditions and helps you get there.
- Secondly, while Flash stores its shapes using binary shape records, Silverlight on the other hand uses XAML. As XAML is text based and can be output using a simple XML object, it emerges to be more user-friendly and effective. You do not need to buy special libraries for writing files – all you need to do is stream some text to a particular file and you’re nicely done.
- Thirdly, though Flash supports multiple video formats, you need to know that the original video codec is actually a mutant version of the Sorenson’s proprietary H.263. But, Silverlight can implement industry standard VC-1 codec for videos, as well as offers support for WMV and WMA.
For someone who has been working with Flash on an ongoing basis, the latest versions of Silverlight would definitely be pretty amazing. And developers can only be happy now that they have competing platforms with different strengths to work with!