Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Mar 4, 2011, 02:14 PM   #1
macrumors 603
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The Cool Part of CA, USA
Silverlight vs. Flash: MS outdoes Adobe

I haven't had much opportunity to use Silverlight since the Olympics, but I just had an amusing experience with it that I thought I'd mention.

Background: I am not a fan of Flash. I hated it LONG before Apple started their anti-Flash campaign, because it routinely pegged the processors on my MBP, ran dog-slow, crashed and brought Safari down with it, or all of the above. Installing ClickToFlash was the single biggest improvement in the day-to-day websurfing experience with my Mac that I have ever made.

Well, I should have known that there was only one company capable of out-doing Adobe when it came to harmful software, and it's all to perfect that it would be with the only competing technology for Flash (apart from HTML5, if that counts). Silverlight was in the running when I discovered during said Olympics that if you left a window with a Silverlight video in it minimized it would write a steady stream of errors to the console, and it completely filled the boot drive on my HT Mini overnight--the only time my Mini has EVER crashed when it wasn't running Windows in a VM.

Well, yesterday I discovered on Bing's maps, the aerial photos of my town are WAY better than Google's (Arcata, CA; Google's are almost entirely clouds over town, while the surrounding fields and forest are clear). I figured I'd check out Bing's streetview equivalent; no streetview of my town, so I switched to a city and browsed around.

After a couple of minutes, Safari starts beachballing. Then I realize that the entire computer--a brand-new 17" MBP with 4GB RAM and not that much open--has slowed to a crawl. Activity Monitor reveals why: Silverlight is using 1.3 Gigabytes of RAM. That's real, physical RAM, not virtual. And it apparently wanted more, because the system was busy paging everything it could to disk. It had also hung, and of course hung Safari with it, plus increased Safari's real memory allocation by about 100MB to boot.

The only plus to this is that killing the Silverlight plugin didn't bring Safari down too, since it's a separate process.

So congratulations, Microsoft: You've managed to bring a well-equpped four-core CPU to its knees with a simple web browser plugin.
Makosuke is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 2011, 07:09 PM   #2
macrumors 6502
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Colorado
I've actually found that Silverlight works much better than Flash, at least for video. I can watch the HD movies from Netflix (which uses Silverlight), but HD Flash videos are VERY choppy.
Cboss is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 2011, 12:11 PM   #3
macrumors 604
Melrose's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Watching C-Beams glitter in the dark.
I was originally very against Silverlight - but to fair I am also against 99% of the common uses for Flash.

In the end, Silverlight is one of the recent examples of Microsoft really trying to get something right. Sure, it's not innovative by any means, but it solves some flaws in Flash, which took a huge nosedive after Macromedia was bought by Adobe.
32GB Silver iPhone 5s 13" rMBP Haswell + 21" ViewSonic iPad 3 AKG K240 MKII
I Love Music, Coffee, Astronomy, History, Guitars, My Cat Bob, Design & Typography, & Photography.
Melrose is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2011, 03:01 AM   #4
Thread Starter
macrumors 603
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The Cool Part of CA, USA
I suppose in Sliverlight's defense, if you're ONLY using it to stream DRM'd video, it does seem to work quite well--the Olympics stream last year was better than the Flash-based Hulu of right now, although that also works reasonably well.

But that doesn't excuse bugs that cause it to bring your computer down by dumping 50GB of crap in the log file, or trying to grab over a gigabyte of RAM while poking around a panorama.

My point isn't that Silverlight is a useless technology, just that it's got even more disastrous bugs than Flash, which is unstable and resource-intensive, but usually just crashes quietly. Well, that, and while I've heard of other apps going berserk with junk in the system logs, I have NEVER seen a program try to grab that much RAM due to a bug. Heck, apart from photo and movie editors, I've never personally had a program grab that much RAM, period.

Last edited by Makosuke; Mar 7, 2011 at 03:10 AM.
Makosuke is offline   0 Reply With Quote

MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Silverlight and Flash player cuase CPU usage to 100 percent in a few seconds tsm012 iMac 1 Dec 23, 2013 12:44 AM
Adobe Flash me43 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 3 Jul 17, 2013 02:02 AM
How many of y'all use Adobe's Flash? davidg4781 MacBook Pro 8 Feb 9, 2013 10:04 PM
iPad: Adobe Flash lizardofwoz iPad 15 Nov 7, 2012 04:08 PM
adobe flash??? YellowScream MacBook Air 12 Aug 19, 2012 04:50 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:24 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2015, MacRumors.com, LLC