Scott Hanselman

Silverlight is Argentum in a Flash

April 27, '07 Comments [5] Posted in ASP.NET | Musings
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Doh! Silverlight! After the Silverlight podcast I kept asking myself, why are all the DLLs and Javascripts called things like aghost and agcore? Because Ag is the symbol for Silver. Silver in Latin is argentum. Thanks Alexey!

Download Silverlight for Windows here and Silverlight for Mac here. It's only a meg and is harmless.

Be sure to check out Alexy's blog post (via Mike Harsh where I stole the Silverlight Logo) with his WPF/e (Silverlight) 3D demo based on his Bubblemark 2D Benchmark that includes:

I got over under each demo. Things slowed down with 128 balls, but I greatly suspect that it's a JavaScript problem at that point, and not an animation engine problem.

ASIDE: On an unrelated note, if you ever wanted to get Windows Media working in FireFox, download the WMP Plugin for FireFox and you'll be on your merry way.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:05:40 AM UTC
Thanks, Scott! I'm glad you found it useful / fun.
Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:40:06 AM UTC
I'd assume the 128 ball slowdown is a javascript issue, as the DHTML version shows exactly the same slowdown. Interestingly enough, flash seems to have the same exact issue. Then again I am on a crappy laptop with integrated intel graphics.

I wish the XBAP version had a ball selector -- I'd like to compare and see if that was more performant.
Saturday, April 28, 2007 2:40:51 AM UTC
Wow...that's going way deep on the "project naming" chasm. After your podcast I went looking at the files for Silverlight (yeah, I'm a geek) and my first impression was...why did they name the file a-ghost? That's stupid! Now that you mention the name, it all makes sense...
Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:38:30 PM UTC
For me the Flex (cached) version in IE 6 is the best performer - higest framerate with lowest CPU usage. Here are my results on my Dell Inspiron 6400 (Core Duo 1.73Ghz/2GB 533Mhz RAM/Default Onboard 128Mb graphics card):

Flex (Cached) in Firefox - 64 balls: 39 fps / 60% avg cpu
Flex in Firefox - 64 balls: 16 fps / 75% avg cpu
DHTML in Firefox - 64 balls: 15 fps / 80% avg cpu
Silverlight in Firefox - 64 balls: 12 fps / 90% avg cpu

Flex (cached) in IE 6.0- 64 balls: 43 fps / 50% avg cpu
Flex in IE 6.0- 64 balls: 14 fps / 75% avg cpu
DHTML in IE 6.0- 64 balls: 14 fps / 80% avg cpu
Silverlight in IE 6.0 - 64 balls: 19 fps / 90% avg cpu

But the best framerate which was the Apollo Flex based version - although I couldn't seem to change to the number of balls. The performance was 127 fps / 77% avg cpu

The performance of the Apollo DHTML version was 64 fps / 45% avg cpu (16 balls only).

cheers

Stu
Stu Clement
Monday, April 30, 2007 10:52:24 AM UTC
Interesting stuff, Scott, thanks!

A note about WM Plugin for Firefox, though: you may want to inform your readers that the installer barfs on 2003 Server, which I run as my desktop OS for development. I'm getting pretty fed up with apps refusing to install on a Server OS just because of bad (or in some cases intentional?) version checking. All developers know that the Windows Server OS (2003/Longhorn) is built from the exact same code-base as the associated Workstation (XP/Vista) OS, so why prevent certain apps from installing on Server?

After jumping through many hoops I got WMP 11 working on 2003 Server, but why should this be hard? As a result, IE shows WM videos just fine but Firefox doesn't, and when I try to install the WM plugin for Firefox its installer says "Server OS not supported" - WHY?!?!

Grrr. Just had to vent a bit - you can probably tell this isn't the first time I've come across this totally pointless restriction. Thankfully we developers have Orca at our disposal (no, not the next version of Visual Studio, the excellent MSI editing tool that's in the Windows SDK - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255905 ), and after a little tweak of the MSI file's version check values most of these silly apps can be installed on 2003 with no negative side-effects. What a pain, though!
Philip the Duck
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.