Moonlight Shines on Obama’s Inauguration

by Peter Galli on January 23, 2009 12:45am

Microsoft and Novell joined forces this week to make sure that Linux users were able to watch the Barack Obama Official Inauguration stream with Novell's Moonlight, an open source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight 1.0.

The issue was that while the inauguration stream was fully Moonlight compatible, as the full set of Silverlight 2 codecs are in the codec pack for Moonlight, the player used managed code and the  Moonlight 1 beta only supports Javascript.

The solution? Developers on Novell's Mono team sprang into action the day before the Inauguration and worked late into the night so that Linux users and those with PowerPC Macs could watch the stream with Moonlight.

This is yet another great example of how co-operation can play out to the benefit of all involved, and underscores how the advantages of the relationship between Microsoft and Novell play out in the real world.

As Ben Waggoner, the Principal Video Strategist for Silverlight, said on his blog, using managed code in the player left out Linux users of the Moonlight 1.0 beta, as well as PowerPC Mac users. "We've heard a lot of requests to add support for those platforms, and so we teamed up with the Moonlight team at Novell and they've created a Silverlight 1.0 version of the player that works great in both Moonlight and PowerPC Macs," he says.

Once the CLR/DLR is supported as part of Silverlight 2 compatibility, players like the Inauguration one will work without modification. But, that something like this could come together on such short notice is "a testament to the chops and passion of the Moonlight team and the great platform we're both implementing. I'm glad we got this chance to demonstrate how serious we are about this collaboration," he says.

For his part, Novell's Miguel de Icaza's noted on his blog  that  Microsoft worked late into the night to get them access to the code that was used during the inauguration so it could be tested with Moonlight. 

Ars Technica also has an indepth article about how this was all turned around in a day, which is worth reading.

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