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XM Radio Player Part III : Choices

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WPF, AJAX, or Silverlight RIA?
I gots more options than a block of Velveeta.
XBAP? XCOPY? XAP files are just ZIPs!
Let me run my bits on your silicon chips.

When I started to think of what my XM Radio Player would look like, I could only picture two things:

  • Rectangles with rounded corners.
  • Gradient color fills.

Given this detailed initial vision I knew I had to pick WPF.

What about Silverlight?

I considered Silverlight, but three factors kept me away. One issue would be the cross domain calls to the XM Radio domain. Although XM does put a crossdomain.xml file on their server, it only allows calls from *.xmradio.com, which meant I’d have to deploy a web service just to thunk calls over to XM, which isn’t hard, but added one additional piece of complexity. Secondly, I’ve been up to my ears in Silverlight a few times this year and wanted to try something new. Thirdly, it’s been some time since I’ve written a desktop app and I wanted to have some fun, and also take a look at Prism.

magellings Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So a silverlight app does not allow web requests to other domains natively? Is this a security restriction of just silverlight apps?
scott Wednesday, December 10, 2008
@magellings - that's correct. It's the same security restriction as the XmlHttpRequest, exception Silverlight can will look for a crossdomain.xml or clientaccesspolicy.xml file in the root of the web server to see if access is allowed.
Ian Patrick Hughes Thursday, December 11, 2008
I actually have not written a full Silverlight app in 2.0. However, I did build a large proof of concept seating chart application when it was still referred to as "1.1". I found that I was much happier including an additional web service layer by default. But as you mention, it is an additional piece to throw into the mix.

Nevertheless, I think by choosing WPF you have an opportunity to attract more webdevs (back) to desktop development by creating an engaging and inviting project. Similar to what Scott Hanselman did with BabySmash, but more applicable to those of us who have not produced any "deep copies".
Donn Felker Monday, December 15, 2008
Prism is pretty fun. I'm doing a Silverlight LOB app with it right now. Pretty cool stuff.
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