Posts Tagged ‘ CLR ’

HTML5/Javascript as Assembly Language

This is the continuation of this post on the future of Microsoft development.

Scott Hanselman had an interesting post about how HTML5 and Javascript are assembly language for the web.  I won’t repeat his post (you should read it yourself), but basically it’s Turing Complete so you can write any program in it, it will be runnable by any browser soon, and we don’t necessarily need to read it.  There are already options to program in higher-level languages and compile to Javascript.

Okay, so in my last post I commented on the whole Microsoft-HTML5-Silverlight debate.  Here’s my subversive idea:

We’re already seeing systems where the build target is variable.  For example, Microsoft’s recent release of Visual Studio Lightswitch can build your business apps for the desktop or the web.  And they’ve stated there’s no reason it couldn’t compile to HTML5.

Microsoft should implement the CLR in Javascript.  Let me repeat that.  Microsoft should implement the CLR in Javascript.  And the Silverlight framework.

Imagine if you had a choice of deployments!  If speed is an absolute necessity, run your application in the Silverlight plugin.  If portability is the desire, just reference a javascript file that implements the Silverlight framework.

Think about it:

  • XAML is much more productive than HTML.  C# is much more productive than Javascript.  You could use the right tools to build your site or app, and the right tools to deploy your site or app.
  • Universal Silverlight.  It would run on an iPad, or an Android phone, or any future device that implements HTML5. (Which will be all of them.)  No need to make deals with the other platforms.  Silverlight would be able to run anywhere.
  • No more need for the plugin.  Some corporate environments don’t allow it.  Some folks at home don’t want to install it.  But it wouldn’t be necessary anymore.
Microsoft has always focused on developers and made tools for professionals.  This would be an amazing way to make professional development possible in any environment.  Can it be done?  It would certainly be a task to reimplement the CLR.  But the Mono team has done it.  It’s not impossible.  And it would make a huge number of Microsoft .NET-based systems (even existing ones) instantly web-enabled and portable across all mobile devices.  Microsoft:  Go for it!  C# is for coding.  Javascript is for execution.  Shake the world up.
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