Convert Flash apps into Silverlight apps automatically with one mouse-click

The death of Flash: upgrading to Silverlight

Flash-to-Silverlight conversion wizards mark the beginning of the end of Flash

A simple wizard like SilverX, which has just been launched, can convert a legacy Flash file directly from the old SWF file into a ready-to-use Silverlight app.

The resulting SIlverlight app is fully editable and maintainable, even if you've lost the original Flash source file or FLA file, because the software utility also generates Visual Studio project complete with managed source code.

Flash has enjoyed a monopoly for too long, and Adobe has been resting on its laurels for so many years releasing new versions of essentially the same tired old software. Competition in this market and alternative technologies are most welcome.

As a product, Flash falls short of what the best developers and designers want and need in order to evolve the next generation of web experiences, and begin the new era of interactive entertainment.

Silverlight has raised the bar for browser plug-ins and development environments. Above all, unlike Flash, Silverlight offers us a real IDE, true separation between design and development (the best designer isn't necessarily the best programmer, and vice versa), real programming languages, and an efficient, high-performance, almost infinitely versatile browser plug-in. Silverlight also frees us from the limitations of expensive proprietary development tools; for example, any Silverlight app can be developed in pure JavaScript.

22 July 2009

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Tim Acheson (24 Aug 09, 09:08)

A new online Flash to Silverlight/WPF converted was launched today as a free public Beta:-

SilverBoom

I've been impressed with all of the available Flash-Silverlight conversion services so far, and would be interested to hear from others who have tried them.

Lisa Larson-Kelley (25 Aug 09, 01:55)

Tim,
While I agree that competition is healthy and good, I don't agree when you say Adobe has been "resting on its laurels for so many years releasing new versions of essentially the same tired old software."

Adobe has been innovating and forcing competition by doing things like adding new codecs to the player (H.264, Speex), making full-screen playback a standard feature in media players, multi-bitrate streaming, DVR functionality in live streams, native 3D, pixel effects, the list goes on...

You're obviously a fan of Silverlight, so I'm not trying to start a Flash vs. Silverlight war, but I just wanted to set the record straight on that one point.

Thanks.
// Lisa

Tim Acheson (25 Aug 09, 12:30)

Thanks, Lisa, for making that point. It's true, of course, that Adobe has been adding to the features available in a Flash app. I can still remember the days of Macromedia Shockwave Flash, before Adobe took over, and the technology has certainly improved since then. It could be unfair to suggest that Adobe has been "resting" in that sense. Although whatever features Flash offers to RIA developers, it's still ultimately the same technology, dated, highly proprietary, and inflexible. Working with Silverlight really opens your eyes to that. E.g. in a Flash app you're always limited by what goes into the SWF file, whereas in Silverlight you're not (in fact you don't even need to deploy an XAP file, the entire app can be generated dynamically on-the-fly). The unlimited creativity of designers/developers makes Flash seem more versatile than it is.

However, it's the development environment that has really fallen behind in Flash. Adobe falls very far short of the standards required of a modern dev env, while ActionScript and aspects of the object model are simply buggy and inconsistent. No wonder I frequently encounter third-party Flash apps afflicted with nasty workarounds and major memory-leaks.

You're right, I am a fan of Silverlight. It's easy to be impressed by new technologies. But I genuinely am persuaded by the technical case for it. I appreciate that the business case will take time to establish. I do value Flash -- what it has done and what it can do for the web. I've worked with Flash a lot over the years, and continue to develop Flash applications now. Market-penetration of Silverlight is playing catch-up, and there's still a big demand for Flash apps.

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