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'Moonlight' makes progress on Silverlight for Linux

Mono project head Miguel De Icaza to demo an alpha of Silverlight running on Linux at Mix conference later this week.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

The open-source Mono project will show off an early version of Microsoft's Silverlight browser plug-in running on Linux later this week.

Work on the plug-in, called Moonlight, was started only in May, after Microsoft's Mix conference. Moonlight uses version 1.1 of Silverlight, a browser plug-in for displaying interactive Web applications, which is due in the fall.

Once completed, Moonlight will allow Linux users to see Silverlight content on the Web, such as videos, and run rich Internet applications.

According to Miguel De Icaza, Mono project leader and Novell open-source president, Mono engineers have been working 14-hour days to create an implementation of Silverlight on Linux using Mono, an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .Net software.

An alpha version of Moonlight will be ready for showing off later this week at a Microsoft Mix conference in Paris. (Microsoft also plans to show off its Silverlight-based Popfly mashup builder there.)

Moonlight, a Linux version of Microsoft's Silverlight, is already in alpha. Mono project

The Moonlight implementation was written in 21 days, De Icaza said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. He said it's not clear when it will be completely finished.

"We are pretty much feature-complete on the engine, but we have not done extensive testing, so right now every app shows stuff that is missing, but we will have something ready to release to the public by the end of the summer," De Icaza said.

Moonlight is written with a combination of C++ and C# code.