Open source project quickly builds Linux version of Microsoft browser plug-in

Mono project will show port of Silverlight this week

The head of the Mono project this week plans to preview an open source Linux-based port of Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plug-in.

Silverlight 1.1, a part of the .Net Framework, lets browsers run multimedia and rich applications. Silverlight, which is expected to ship this fall, had its debut in April at Microsoft’s MIX07 conference and is the company’s answer to Adobe Flash.

The Silverlight project is called Moonlight and took Mono developers 21 days to create, according to a blog post by Bruce Lowry, Novell’s director of global public relations. The Moonlight Web site says that the technology is still a few components shy of being a complete port.

But Moonlight will be demoed June 21 at the European version of MIX07, which is being held in Paris.

The Mono project is sponsored by Novell and is the creation of Novell vice president for developer platforms Miguel de Icaza, who promised two months ago he would develop a version of Silverlight 1.1 running on Linux.

The Mono project is an effort to recreate Microsoft’s .Net Framework managed-code programming model so Windows applications can run on others platforms, such as Linux and Mac.

Microsoft issued this statement via email: “We are aware of Miguel de Icaza’s announcement to build Silverlight for Linux. We think it is a testament to the incredible developer and designer excitement about the types of media experiences and [rich interactive applications] made possible with Silverlight. However, at this time we have no specific comment regarding his announcement.”

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