I’m a cynic. I admit it. No… I’m proud of it.
A quick search of my posts will show you I also don’t like Adobe flash much. Flash isn’t a bad technology – few technologies are intrinsically good or bad – but flash is put use as the technology to annoy people with pointless animations on web sites that don’t have anything to say and to animated adverts which distract you from what you’re trying to read. And now Microsoft has a technology called Silverlight – and everyone calls it a competitor to Flash. Like flash it is cross platform. My reaction has been “Oh great. Now the technology used to annoy everyone will be a Microsoft one.”
But I’ve seen a couple of things with Silverlight recently which are making me change my mind. One is the instant wow of a new site called TAFITI – the beta broke cover only a few minutes ago.
I’m tempted to say that No-one can be told about Tafiti – you have to experience it for yourself . But here goes Tafiti (which means “do research” in Swahili) does a search (using live search as the Back-end) and gives you Books, Feeds, Images, News, and Web pages, and it uses Silverlight to produce a nice Visualization these (including a rather snazzy tree-view of web pages – try clicking the arrows to make it spin faster). It has “shelves” in the main view that you can drag your results to; click on a shelf and you get the images, pages, news clips etc that you’ve dragged to it; and you can publish the “Shelf” with your results to live spaces, or E-mail a link to it to someone .
Now the Cynic in me still says that Silverlight is going to be put to some annoying uses but after a few minutes with Tafiti, I have to say it’s Nice. Very Nice.