Three months after releasing the final 1.0 version of its Silverlight-to-Linux port, the Moonlight team has posted a downloadable preview version of their 2.0 release.
Novell Developer Platform Vice President and Mono Founder Miguel de Icaza blogged about availability of the Moonlight 2.0 preview on May 4:
"This is really the release I have been looking for since Microsoft first introduced Silverlight 1.1 and ever since our 21-day hack-a-thon to bring Silverlight to Linux.
"This is the ECMA VM running inside the browser and powering C# and any other CIL-compatible languages like Ruby, Python, Boo and others. You can use Moonlight/Silverlight as a GUI (this is what most folks do) or you can use it as the engine to power your Python/Ruby scripting in the browser."
Moonlight team lead Chris Toshok blogged that the steps leading up to the first 2.0 test build haven't been easy:
"We’ve had innumerable hurdles (in the form of technical, legal, and process hiccups) to pass to get to this point. But now that we’ve finally ironed out the big issues, previews should start flowing along weekly on our way to the 2.0 release."
Microsoft, for its part, already has released a beta of Silverlight 3.0. Toshok said that the differences between Silverlight 2.0 and 3.0 "are much, much smaller than the differences between 1.0 and 2.0." He noted that the Moonlight team has been able to add support for some of Silverlight's planned 3.0 features to the Moonlight 2.0 preview, including:
- Easing functions for animations, including user-supplied ones.
- SaveFileDialog, a safe way to allow users to save content from Silverlight applications
- MultiScaleImage (the heart of Deep zoom) API additions
- MediaStreamSource now supports PCM audio data, RGBA and YV12 video data. "This along with other extensions makes it very easy to write codecs entirely in managed code, that you can then distribute with your xap," Toshok said.
Silverlight 3.0 is slated to ship before the end of calendar 2009. I'm not sure when Moonlight 2.0 -- and the inevitable follow-on, Moonlight 3.0 -- are slated for release.