D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 12:37 PM

Desklighter is a new offering from blendables which lets you create stand-alone Silverlight applications that don’t require a browser to run…very much like how you can have stand alone Flash exe’s executable from your desktop.

It’s a neat idea, although they raise a good question in their own FAQ:

We have WPF, so why would we want to make Silverlight (intended to be a web technology) work from a desktop?

Their response was a little confusing:

WPF requires that you need to have the .NET Framework 3.0 or higher installed on the client machine. Desklights (the executables created using Desklighter) require only the lightweight Silverlight plug-in along with the .NET Framework 2.0.

Am I missing something here? Both Desklights and WPF require *some* version of the .NET framework to be installed. Is the thought that more people will have .NET 2.0 installed by default than 3.0 or higher? Also, the plug-in is required…what if people don’t have it? Is there much of a leap between requiring users install the plugin and .NET 2.0 than installing .NET 3.0 for a WPF app?

I’m not trying to be difficult with this, as I think its a very kewl concept…just trying to understand the logic to argue WPF vs. Desklight.

D




Feedback

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

Sounds like a hammer looking for a nail... 9/3/2008 1:18 PM | Peter Ritchie

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

Maybe it has to do with the size of the .NET framework that they are trying to optimize for...

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/SmallestDotNetOnTheSizeOfTheNETFramework.aspx

A 4 MB Silverlight plugin is significantly less than a full-scale .NET Framework plugin... perhaps that is the reason. 9/3/2008 8:00 PM | Kelly

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

@Peter - That's sort of what I was thinking too.

@Kelly - But you still need a full scale .NET framework installed, just the 2.0 version. 9/3/2008 8:58 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

I agree with you D'Arcy. If you are creating a new application targeting desktops, then WPF is the way to go. But if you have an existing Silverlight application that you want to share offline, then the Desklighter comes handy.

We have updated our FAQ to make this point clear. 9/4/2008 1:09 AM | Sameer C Thiruthikad

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

I would see Desklighter as a handy tool to demonstrate some silverlight apps. Most of the guys who blogs may not have a website to host their SL for a live demo. With desklighter you can create an exe and attach it with the blog. That is just one neat use I am thinking of. 9/4/2008 12:58 PM | Jobi

# re: Desklighter – Making Desktop Silverlight Apps

One possible implementation scenario that covers all the facts:
Desklighter crates executable that instantiates lite tcp server that streams provided silverlight xap. In the same time another (or main) thread creates windows with browser controll that requests xap content.
Created application is .NET 2.0 application (icon easy recognizable from Windows Forms). 1/15/2009 10:44 AM | Stojanco Tudzarski

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