Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moonlighting the Olympics

There's been a lot of interest in Moonlight lately, largely by people who hope to use it to watch the Olympics at http://nbcolympics.com, unfortunately Moonlight isn't quite ready to view this content :-(

The good news is that we are furiously hacking away on Moonlight 2.0 in the hopes of making it usable as quickly as we can.

The first roadblock is that NBC Olympics site is using an old Silverlight.js initialization script and currently requires one of the following browser/OS combinations to work:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7 for Windows (Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
  • Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Windows (Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
  • Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Mac (OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)
  • Safari 2 & 3 for Mac (OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)

To get past this roadblock for use with Moonlight, you first need to download and install the User Agent Switcher Add-On. Once you install that and restart your Firefox browser, you'll need to go to Tools/User Agent Switcher/Options/Options. This will bring up a configuration dialog allowing you to add custom User Agent strings. You'll want to click on the Add... button and enter the following information:

Description: Firefox 3.0 (Mac)
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008061004 Firefox/3.0
App Name: Firefox
App Version: 3.0 [en] (Intel Mac OS X 10.5; U)
Platform: Macintosh

I think the only required field is the User Agent, the other fields can probably be set to whatever you want (thanks to Larry Ewing for the User-Agent string and for explaining to me how to do this).

Now that you have a Firefox 3.0/Mac User-Agent string, you'll need to select the "Firefox 3.0 (Mac)" radio button in the Tools/User Agent Switcher Firefox menu. Once you've done that, you should be able to navigate to the NBC Olympics video pages (although you still won't be able to view the video content quite yet... we're still working on writing the code to make that work).

3 comments:

theSamo said...

oh, real useful stuff.

not to sound cynical, but first there was mono, and all i got was some gnome apps i never use (where's XNA? where's Unity3D?).

then came moonlight with the promise of keeping linux users in the loop with next-gen internet apps. and the first time it's used in any useful/popular way. we get nothing.

i know i'll be called a troll, a freetard, etc. but seriously i dunno why you guys bother.

Jeffrey Stedfast said...

Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 (the Silverlight version being targeted by the NBC Olympics website) isn't even released to the public yet, so your cynicism seems a bit unfair, don't you think?

As far as XNA, there's actually a Mono.XNA in Google's svn that some students were working on. We don't have the resources to tackle that and the vm and the compiler and an IDE and the class libs, and... you get the idea.

There's just too much. Being that you must be a developer if you are interested in XNA, there's no reason you couldn't contribute to it. There's no reason you couldn't contribute to Mono in general (you aren't gonna get XNA in Qt or Gtk, afterall, so if you really care about having it on Linux then Mono is the only potential option).

As far as Unity3D... you realise it targets Mono, right? So I'm not sure what your complaint is there?

The Mono project never promised to deliver applications, it promised to deliver a platform that was simpler to write software for. Everyone agrees that Mono has delivered such a platform (even the anti-Mono trolls agree).

That's why we bothered in the first place and that's why we continue to work on Mono (and related technologies).

Anonymous said...

I've been using moonlight 0.7 to view quite a range of silverlight sites without a problem, so thanks!

You guys are doing an amazing job!

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