New Ballistics App

Winchester has developed a new external ballistics web app.  You can find it here. First impression is that it’s written in Microsoft Silverlight, which is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Flash.  This means I needed to download a plug-in in order to see it.  Flash is the standard for this kind of thing.  Why did they choose Silverlight?

Once I got the plugin issue squared away, looks like this one only does ballsitics for Winchester cartridges, and is very simple.  Far from sophisticated enough to use for reloading or serious shooting, which Winchester also makes components for.  Basically it would appear to be a marketing gimmick, rather than something genuinely useful for serious shooters.  If you’re looking for something that does useful ballistics, I’d suggest Joe Huffman’s Modern Ballistics.  I’ve also had luck with the iPhone app Ballistic.

3 thoughts on “New Ballistics App”

  1. Um. I apparently don’t have the latest Flash and am constantly asked to install that, so using one technology over another isn’t always so cut and dry.

    Plus, for us .Net (Microsoft) developers, I can reuse existing code with Silverlight. With Flash, I have to rewrite everything from scratch as far as the UI goes.

  2. Silverlight’s got its advantages. Most of them are programmer-centric — it’s very C# and WPF, making it a lot easier for people without experience to get into than Flash’s AS. You can also handle the rest of a web page from the Silverlight program, which lets you avoid the condition Flash programs often generate where much of a page ends up dominated by Flash.

    Microsoft’s also willing to bend over backwards (if not further) to encourage people to use Silverlight, especially large vendors, and especially vendors with unusual target markets. They’ve got to get their userbase up to have a chance of competing with Flash at all, and they’re willing to spend money today to get that done. For groups without a significant web development presence, this is a major help.

    The biggest advantage is that Silverlight started as a programming language, where Flash is more of a script language. With AS3 and the improved IDE, it’s more and more possible to get a number of advanced features in without going insane writing them, but the intent of the languages are different.

    That’s not to say that Silverlight’s the best choice for [i]this[/i] application — it’d be a pretty cut and dry setup within AS3 — but it does have a purpose in general.

  3. I’m gonna go with Microsoft paid them hard cash to program in silverlight in an attempt to drive up their install base :).

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