A new version of the Silverlight open source implementation for Linux has been made available for download this week. Linux users can now access the first preview release of Moonlight 3.0. As the version number implies, with Moonlight 3.0, Novell, which is adapting the Silverlight plug-in for Linux, is working to deliver compatibility with version 3.0 of Microsoft’s implementation of the .NET Framework for building media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Meanwhile, the Redmond company continues to be one step ahead of Novell, having delivered the first Beta of Silverlight 4 in mid-November 2009, albeit the release is developer-only and lacking a go-live license.
“This release contains many updates to our 3.0 support, mostly on the infrastructure level necessary to support the rest of the features,” revealed Mono Project founder Miguel de Icaza. However, as those that followed the evolution of Moonlight already know, Novell has already included some of Silverlight 3.0’s features into version 2.0 of its equivalent for Linux.
The final version of Moonlight 2.0 was offered to Linux users in December 2009. At that time, de Icaza promised that Novell would wrap up Moonlight 3.0 in approximately one year, with the delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2010. Moonlight 3.0 Preview 1 is certainly a step in the right direction for Novell, including such Silverlight 3.0 subsystems as pixel shaders, local messaging, and the client http stack. According to the official description of the technology, early adopters interested in testing the release should treat it as they would any other Alpha development milestone.
Miguel de Izaca noted some of the features that Moonlight 3.0 Preview 1 brings to the table, including:
“- MP4 demuxer support. The demuxer is in place but there are no codecs for it yet (unless you build from source code and configure Moonlight to pick up the codecs from ffmpeg).
- Initial work on UI Virtualization.
- Platform Abstraction Layer: the Moonlight core is now separated from the windowing system engine. This should make it possible for developers to port Moonligh to other windowing/graphics systems that are not X11/Gtk+ centric.
- The new 3.0 Binding/BindingExpression support is in.
- Many updates to the 3.0 APIs.”
Moonlight 3.0 Preview 1 is available for download here.