The beta of Silverlight 3 is out (http://silverlight.net/getstarted/silverlight3/default.aspx), and I have to say, I’m fairly impressed by what is in there. My favorite feature is the OOB (Out of Browser) capabilities that are built-in. Sure, this is essentially a click-once implementation on steriods, but that fact that it works on both Windows and OS X makes be happy (for those that don’t know, I use OS X a lot at home).
I’ve been working and planning a cross-platform app for a good amount of time now. I have prototypes of various pieces of the application, but in order to truly be cross-platform I’ve had to use C++ and OpenGL (yeah, there are other options, but this is one of the easier for me). I don’t really want my app to be a web-application, however, SL 3 is making me re-consider a lot about the project.
Now one of the requirements of my project is to be able to rendering large numbers of 3D models on screen… this is one of the possible deal breakers for me. SL 3 still doesn’t “support” 3D, but all that really means is that I need to write the library or make use of existing ones like Kit3D (which I’d love to check-out, but codeplex.com is down and has been down for the whole day, COME ON MICROSOFT!).
Another possible showstopper is the lack of local file system access. One of the limitations of the OOB is that you get an isolated storage area under the web context. This is possibly the most crucial piece. I have been thinking of ways around it though, network storage is a possibility (haven’t validated it is actually supported in SL 3 yet) and might actually be an interesting workflow with the project.
Well… that’s all for now. If you haven’t checked out SL 3 yet, go check it out. It’s looking pretty sweet. 🙂
(fine print: I work at Microsoft and I also work on products to build Silverlight apps.)