Saturday, January 17, 2009

Silverlight

The Presidential inauguration team has chosen Microsoft Silverlight as the platform of choice to stream inaugural events over the Internet. While I appreciate their efforts to embrace this technology to make the event accessible, I wish they would instead use a public domain codec sufficient for large-scale dissemination.

I felt similarly about the recent House and Senate YouTube channels when they were announced, wishing they would operate under a Creative Commons license and make the content freely available to download in a number of formats (as the Change.gov site has already done). However, it appears that feature is slowly being rolled out.

2 comments:

Bryan said...

I'm a bit late on this, but...

What are the advantages of using a non-Silverlight platform? I'm not really up on any of this.

Jeremy said...

Well, Silverlight itself supposedly outperforms Flash and is easier to work with, (being based on a programming language and not a scripting language). Its only drawback right now is that it doesn't ship with any browsers, requires a plugin to be downloaded, and doesn't work across all platforms (i.e. Linux).

There's nothing wrong with using Silverlight per se, or Flash. I'd just rather see the federal government avoid exclusivity with companies, especially on issues for which they've preached technological freedom. We shouldn't need Windows (or Adobe) software to access government data.