Why have Silverlight for Mac?

Here are some bits to enlighten you on why you should have Silverlight for your Mac. This Microsoft software was designed to act but not be like the Adobe Flash. It first served as the latter’s competitor as a browser plugin (may your browser be Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome). This plugin enables your browser to stream media, load graphics, animation and any other media that were built on its platform.

Having Silverlight on Mac computers will provide you with an application framework not only used for running RIAs (rich internet applications) but also for writing them. This allows you to create a much richer content integrating interactivity with videos, graphics and animations. Having this in your computer will enable you to create engaging web contents or applications and even apps for mobiles. With this tool, you will have a much deeper and richer interactivity with the users.

One can create excellent applications with Silverlight in many ways. You can make use of its framework to create and manipulate graphics with dynamic languages. This software can also work with professional development tools for coding or layout like the Visual Studio and Microsoft’s Expression Blend.

Want to have a multimedia that you can drag, magnify or zoom out or even rotated directly from the browser? This can easily be done with Silverlight! See how easy it would be!

Silverlight Features

This development platform is a product of different technologies combined to enable you to choose among the other excellent tools and programming language that would best answer your necessity. The following are some features of Silverlight that you may enjoy:

  • Through the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) technology which is a subset of Silverlight, you are provided with elements that can be used in building User Interface (UI) not just with HTML but also XAML, which has declarative markup syntax.
  • It has JavaScript extension which you can use to have control on UI.
  • ASP.NET Ajax Code and JavaScript are integrated to give full functionality.
  • It has access to .NET framework.
  • HTTP over TCP support enables you to connect to ASP.NET Ajax services, SOAP, WCF and to receive RSS data, XML or JSON.

Creating and Running Silverlight

Applications can be created with Silverlight for Mac using .NET framework tools like C#, JavaScript or Visual Basic while web pages can be built using both WPF and HTML elements. And XAML like HTML enables you to create application user interface through declarative syntax making it more powerful.

Running Silverlight would only require a user to have a browser plugin, which is free and takes no time to install. However, a user may opt to run the application on an online browser or have it outside the browser.

Functional Silverlight Differences between Mac and Windows

Having Silverlight on a Macintosh differs in some way in having it in a Windows-platform computer.

There is the difference on the “Input events.” Different input events result to diverse behaviors depending on which platform. Windows users can avail of the mouse right click function through Silverlight’s MouseRightButtonDown and MouseRightButtonUp events while a Mac does not have this physical button without a mouse. However, Mac users can still have this event by using various input techniques that would result to the same. Mac mouse that have virtual mouse wheel will be rendered useless due to the absence of forwarding mousewheel event in Mac platforms.

Another difference is the “Window Mode.” This mode is not present in a Mac while Windows enables a user to display Silverlight content area either through a Window mode or windowless mode, having the former as the default setting.

Additional difference can also be observed in keyboard handling. There are set of keys common to both Windows and Mac but there also keys that vary between the two. For more information on this particular issue, you may refer to Silverlight keyboard support.

There also exist numerous differences on CLR Library API Behavior between the two platforms which can be shown as how they behave in certain .NET framework feature. The list is quite long but one can refer to Silverlight .NET framework class library.

Silverlight compatibility with Mac

Silverlight can be installed on an Intel-based Macintosh OS 10.5.7 and above but can only be run on Safari 4+ or Mozilla Firefox 3.6+ browsers. Other than Mac browsers, it can run in almost all kinds of browsers. Aside from the browser, Silverlight requires a minimum of an Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or higher processors from a Mac and with a minimum of 512mb of Ram.

Now, if you already have installed Silverlight for Mac, you can now enjoy building superb rich interactive multimedia content or applications! You can see Microsoft’s tips on how to get started with Silverlight and the some technicalities it entails.