So as the new year starts, I’m going to take a better look at two technologies in particular: Silverlight and “Oslo”.
Silverlight has so much potential, forget about all of its flashy features, and think about it from a line-of-business (LOB) perspective. Companies have tried over and over to deliver desktop application features over the browser for years now and at the end of the day, we get these bloated clunky websites that fail to deliver what’s promised. Ajax has gotten things a lot closer, but keeping state and carrying large chunks of data around on a web application is still an issue…not only that, but the amount of code that is needed on a web application to achieve what can be achieved with WinForms is ridiculous. Prior to my last contract, I had been doing ASP.NET and back-end development for years, but building a shrink-wrapped windows application opened my eyes to the huge benefits of working outside the browser. Silverlight does a great job at bringing together the best of both worlds, it gives you a rich environment to work with and allows you the flexibility to deploy content to your users through the browser.
Oslo finally brings a model-driven development platform to developers. The ideas of Software Factories and Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) are nothing new, they’ve been around way before I heard of them back in ’04 or ’05, but there’s never been good tools or environments that would allow the concept to take off and be adopted.
As I experiment with these two, I will update this blog with samples, usage scenarios, etc.