Letters from Readers
Silverlight Debate in the .NET Survival Guide
In our January cover story, ".NET Survival Guide," we published a series of capsule explorations of various .NET development sectors, including one capsule focused on Web and RIA development. Here, readers respond:
You may want to clarify your summary section to say "cross-platform and cross-device Web development target." Silverlight's totally valid otherwise, but your statement infers that ASP.NET is the only way to go. Although I love ASP.NET, that's not accurate. I agree Silverlight's not the way to go if you're targeting iOS, Android and so on through the browser, because it just doesn't run there.
"Silverlight may have a future in mobile development, but it's no longer a primary platform for the Web."
Um ... according to whom? This is mystifying to me and negates the entire article.
Microsoft has been doing huge "damage control" on the "Silverlight is going to be depreciated" issue. I can't imagine where you got your information that it's out as a Web development tool. Good gracious.
VSM Tools Editor Peter Vogel responds:
I appreciate the defense of Silverlight -- it's a terrific platform. And, if you're developing an application to be used on your organization's intranet or by company employees on approved browsers, there's no reason why you can't use Silverlight. (I would even recommend that to my clients.) But if you want to deliver a cross-platform solution, delivered in any browser, anywhere, and maintained at the server -- in other words, if you want to create an actual Web application that runs on the World Wide Web rather than some arbitrary subset of it -- then ASP.NET is the .NET tool that you should (and will) be using.
To suggest that ASP.NET is a niche product to be used when you're targeting the iPhone is wrongheaded. Silverlight is the niche product to use when you're willing to not target everyone -- when you don't want to create a Web app. Many companies may choose to give up part of the Web for the benefits of using Silverlight. Most, I suspect, will not.
This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.