Thursday, 17 December 2009

Novell releases Moonlight 2. InScribeX Web 2 now available on Linux.

Novell has today released  Moonlight 2, their open source Linux implementation of Silverlight 2.

After trying the first Moonlight 2 preview back in May and testing out several preview versions and nine ‘beta’ versions, needless to say the first thing I checked was the current (July) release of  InScribeX Web to see if it is working at last. Sigh of relief!

InScribeX Web is software for working with Ancient Egyptian, including the Basic Egyptian Hieroglyphs added recently to Unicode (5.2). InScribeX has therefore now hit an early goal of running cross-platform on Windows, Mac and Linux.

The Novell press release ( also announced an update to their agreement with Microsoft to include Microsoft support for development/testing of Moonlight versions 3 and 4. Novell is working towards a Q1 2010 preview of Moonlight 3 for release in Q3 with Moonlight 4 to follow ‘shortly thereafter’. Miguel de Icaza describes some technical features, including parts of Moonlight 3 functionality already present in 2 at his blog,

As noted here last week, my InScribeX Web development is now targetting Silverlight 4 as 'InScribeX Web 4' for the spring 2010 timeframe. Reasons include better desktop deployment, printing, rich text support and improved InScribe 2004SE interoperability. Whether some IW4 features might find their way into a Moonlight/Silverlight 2 or 3 compatible version for Linux is an open question. As always, time is the enemy.

Caveats. Some devices such as the Amazon Kindle use Linux but are not user configurable. Hand held devices in general would not be ideal for InScribeX Web because of input and/or small screen size, even if Silverlight or Moonlight were available. Likewise games consoles where I'd need to add controller support and a redesigned interface for widespread accessability. All the same, apparently Silverlight or Moonlight implementations for Windows Mobile, XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii are in various stages of development so it will be interesting to see what possibilities arise during 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment