A Silverlight version of Powerpoint? Maybe..


I got an email the other day, by Netikatech.com in which they announced a "Powerpoint Like Demo".

"…The interface of this demo is very close to the well known MS PowerPoint application. It is possible to move the pictures, edit the text areas and almost all the items of the View menu are implemented.
Have a look at our demo page!.
The source code of the demo is available
here…"

This is a classic example of a potential RIA’s beginning in the wild. Although it’s in primitive format and obviously there is more to be done, it does produce strong hints in how Office Live could end up down the road. RIA isn’t about spitting out a branded microsite like solution (i.e. http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/) and labeling it RIA? it’s about producing solutions that empower end users to take desktop like experience and utilize the same or similar concepts, via a middle tiered environment such as Silverlight.

Silverlight is gaining momentum in the .NET community day by day, and it’s also encouraging to see folks in the Adobe/Macromedia community embrace the technology. Clearly it’s something folks are looking to the horizon for and are keen to see it push Microsoft based solutions into the next evolution of the web.

Rich Interactive Applications (RIA) have yet to reach full maturity, but as technology progresses, we just may see it replace desktop centric solutions such as Powerpoint, which in the end is ideally suited for a Rich Web experiences (which can easily lead to Rich Device / Rich PC experiences).

Comments (4)

  1. Matt Voerman says:

    Scott you never cease to amaze me. Once again you’re so far off the mark.

    The Nike+ site is much more than the ‘branded microsite’ you label it. It is a shining example of the future of RIA’s as we know them. Name me another application on the web today that combines hardware, social (community based) networking, fitness tracking and music all wrapped up within an intuitive, rich UI. Unlike a microsite, Nike+ actually offers users a tangible, long-term,(branded) service.

    Additionally – the last time I checked, Nike+ uses a RICH user interface. It’s certainly INTERACTIVE (oh and it’s also accessible via the INTERNET), and it also happens to be an APPLICATION. So what part of RIA is Nike+ not?

    RIA is NOT solely about creating desktop (application) like experiences on the web.

    FWIW Silverlight is not even in the same league as Flash when it comes to RIAs. So it can gain all the momentum it likes – it’s always going to be playing catchup. The only reason the .NET crew are playing with it at the moment is due to its shiny new, novelty factor.

    Finally, you mention that Silverlight is a "middle-tiered environment". Perhaps you’d like to expand on that. As far as I was aware Silverlight was nothing more than a rich client – but i’m prepared to be enlightened.  😉

    Matt Voerman

    Adobe

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    – Maybe I am a tougher grader in terms of what RIA is than Adobe, for me the Nike+ while it has some gorgeous content and is really well done – is – just a Rich Web Experience, more so website than application. I look at RIA solutions in Flash built by companies like Cynergy Systems (which you no doubt have seen) and I’d stack the Nike+ of this world against them and it doesn’t come close?

    – What is Adobe’s grading system for RIA and what defines what you folks establish as RIA? as lately it just appears that if it has a Flash Form in it, and even slightly hints at being an Application, therefore it’s now blessed as being RIA? I mean where do you draw the line between a Flash Web experience and RIA?

    – Middle tier as in the three tiers of UX. Good(AJAX), Great(Silverlight) and Ultimate(WPF). Apologise in terms of the wording, i should of added "Middle tier of UX" (i get used to calling it m-tier that I sometimes forget others don’t share the abbrevation).

    – Your Silverlight taunt is childish, and i’d recommend you read the next post onwards from this call "Rich Interactive Applications". As one day you’ll catch on that arrogance like this will haunt you in the end.

    – Maturity is probably something you folks need to spend more cycles on instead of haunting my blog looking to pick-apart messaging, looking for clues on how to scare the community into thinking Silverlight is just some day-dream Microsoft appears to be going through.

    – You’ll never be enlightened as you’re not open to alternative thinking.

  3. Alex says:

    C’mon guys! Stop misleading people. All right? — Your controls (at least on Windows) aren’t implemented in Silverlight. What is implemented is a bunch of hooks into the standard Windows Common Controls libs. Namely translating/ capturing events from SL into Common controls dll, etc.