While Microsoft cheers the selection of Silverlight for streaming the Obama inauguration events this week, some are upset that the Linux desktop is not a supported operating system.
Microsoft's cross platform Silverlight browser plug in supports Windows and Macintosh. The Mono project's Moonlight 1.0 -- an implementation of Silverlight for the Linux desktop, and the only open source version -- is in beta testing but the final code won't be released for several weeks. Moonlight 2.0, which incorporates many of the Silverlight 2.0 featutes, won't be out until late 2009.
Mono project chief and Novell vice president Miguel de Icaza said there might be a workaround -- but it’s not certain.
“I tried looking up the player on the Obama web site, and I guess the player has not been made public so I have no way of testing. The streaming and media codecs should be compatible with Moonlight 1.0, but the "chrome" used to paint the player might be a 2.0 app," de Icaza wrote in an email response to ZDnet blogger questions. "If people compile Moonlight from SVN, they can get our 2.0 support that might be enough to work with this, but we have not officially released that yet."
Microsoft touts its Silverlight as an open source offering -- the source code is available on CodePlex -- but the license under which it is distributed is not open source.
One very upset open source backer posted his view on Slashdot over the weekend, and criticized the Presidential Inauguration Committee for not being inclusive.
As there is no working Silverlight 2 capable alternative on these systems, everyone running Mac PPC, Linux and FreeBSD has been left out," the Slashdot reader wrote. "Should the president of USA use [and/or] sponsor a convicted [monopolist's] not-so-popular plug-in instead of popular and/or free technologies?"