Despite the benefits of Silverlight.js, using the helper file requires active involvement on behalf of the Web site administrator. As the Web ecosystem changes over time Microsoft will have to continue updating the Silverlight.js file. When we do, web admins who want to take advantage of new functionality will need to download the latest version of the file, stage it, test their Web site, and deploy to production.
In Silverlight 1.0 we wanted to provide a lighter-weight approach for Silverlight installation and instantiation which would give developers many of the benefits of Silverlight.js without requiring the maintenance costs of Silverlight.js. Specifically, we wanted a model which met the following criteria:
After several proposals and lots of testing we found that the <object> tag method, combined with several cool sever and control technologies, provided us with the ability to meet the requirements above in the most scalable fashion. I will get into the details of how this works in a future post, but here's a summary of what you get by using the <object> method:
As you would expect, both models still exist because there are scenarios which are met by one and not the other.