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Interview: MLB.com on Their Use of Silverlight

by James Vastbinder on Feb 27, 2008 |

Henry Belmont and Thaniya Keereepart are part of the driving force behind MLB.com for Major League Baseball. Last year they relaunched the site and one of the marquee additions was the ability to watch the games in a Silverlight media player. 

They began working with Silverlight and the Microsoft product team when the technology was in its early alpha release stage.  However, with the website’s back-end written in Java and much of the user interface built with JSP, MLB.com is not your typical candidate for adopting Microsoft’s newest technology for building Rich Internet Apps. 

Learn why they made the decision to choose Silverlight and gain insight from their successful implmentation.

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Re: why they went with silverlight by Branden Root

Because Microsoft offered them a giant buttload of money/free support for using an untested, alpha product over something 99% of the rest of the world uses (Flash).

Re: why they went with silverlight by Beverly White

Oh brother...lets see...you are saying that 1.You didn't read the interview 2. We should always use what we already have and what is "proven" even if something new comes along that looks attractive and helps us do more of what we want to do 3.That getting support (unless you pay a [butt load is it?] of money yourself) is bad. and 4.Do what others are doing (your Mom had to give you the standard line on that one...when are you jumping off the cliff?).

Does this mean you will not be using the NEW Adobe tools for rich Internet apps? or you won't be developing anything that hasn't already been done before? I suspect you don't need to worry about that...no one will hire, or keep you for very long, if you are someone who refuses to move on. Change is scary...isn't it? You might have to learn something.

MLB.TV Demo by Danny Douglass

I saw your link on DotNetKicks and took a look at the video. I would like to write a blog post promoting the interview, but first wanted to experience the media player on MLB.TV. The Demo for the player is not working properly. Any chance you could offer a different link so I can grab a few screenshots?

Thanks!

Re: why they went with silverlight by Danny Douglass

If I had to put money on it I would say that Branden works for a government organization. =]

No offense meant Branden, but I think Beverly made some good points. Silverlight does have an uphill battle against Flash for widespread implementation. However it is a very powerful and rich tool that should not be dismissed simply because it is new. Personally, I am really looking forward to working with the Silverlight 2.0 beta!

Re: why they went with silverlight by mlb.com doesn't work very well

Don't be so smug Bev. MLB.com is too big of an outfit to be charging me $20 a month to deliver a product that doesn't work. My machine is rather new with a 7mb connection and I still can't get a decent picture with Silverlight. I don't want to be a beta tester for Microsoft, I just want to watch baseball. For my money, stick with the tried and true until all the bugs get worked out.

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