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Eclipse for Silverlight

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In conjunction with Microsoft, the French firm Soyatec is developing a Silverlight development environment for Eclipse. Soyatec, an Eclipse Foundation member, is known for its eFace product, a technology that combines XAML/WPF and Java.

Soyatec's project, eclipse4SL, focuses heavily on interoperability between Java-based server and Silverlight applications. Communication is done via the usual mix of SOAP, REST, and JSON. Since Java is not currently supported by the Silverlight runtime, a C# editor is also included.

Essential for any Silverlight IDE is an XAML editor. Fortunately, Soyatec already has experience with this. In addition to the one they are building, eclipse4SL project will also be compatible with Visual Studio and Expression Studio, Microsoft's tool for graphic artists.

Milestone 1, a basic XAML and C# editor with automatic build and run is complete. This alpha release is currently available.

Milestone 2, planned for December, includes a Silverlight compiler, interoperability with Java, and a more advanced XAML editor.

The final release is planned for spring of 2009, though a Microsoft press release cites a more conservative schedule with a release in the second half of 2009.

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