Moonlight 2 Preview 4, testing differently

I read we now have a new preview of the Moonlight runtime. It’s already the fourth preview. I’m giving a test run, just like I gave preview 1 and preview 3 a test run. But this time I did it differently. For the release notes see this page.

What size is the Moonlight runtime actually?

Currently it's about 9 MiB, what does this mean? That’s this runtime is small as well. That this size is about 50% higher than the Silverlight 3 beta release which has a size of about 6 MiB.

Hunger for resources?

Something else I wanted to see is the resources it’s using. Let’s see what’s happening to the CPU usage when running the Silverlight Toolkit example page? If it keeps running of course. But as the screenshot shows the CPU usage of Firefox the parent process for Moonlight is consuming about 50% of the CPU. When running for a period it keeps consuming around 50% to 80% of the CPU.

Moonlight running the Silverlight Toolkit example page.

Let’s compare the same page to Silverlight, running in Chrome, you will have to search the correct process, because each Chrome Tab is running in it’s own process. But then again it’s still not consuming as much CPU as Moonlight is. It’s around 2% CPU usage.

Silverlight running the Silverlight Toolkit example page.

I would say, besides a lot of problems, the moonlight team definitely will have to work on the performance, because you can expect a little bit of difference in performance but this isn’t what I would expect.


In the last preview the Silverlight Toolkit wasn’t running the charts. It is running it now, isn’t it? Well, for a small period of time it was running, but while writing some parts of this post it stopped running.


Is it running my own website? Of course for me is this very important because I now have a 3D-TagCloud running in Silverlight.


It’s getting better, but still a lot of work. But I like the approach the Moonlight team has while developing the new Moonlight version. It’s more public, compared to Silverlight 3 which only got one beta, and I don’t expect more to arrive because the RTW of Silverlight 3 is announced to be on July 10th.

Do you have Silverlight sites I need to test drive during the next test drive?

  • Gravatar Sebastien Pouliot June 8th, 2009 at 19:47
    Please keep in mind that the previews are "pre-beta". It's not feature complete, nor does it pretend to be. They are made so we can get feedback, like bug reports, not reviews ;-)

    Moonlight previews contains full debugging symbols. This makes them larger than the final release will be. OTOH the codecs are not part of the plugin download (but a separate one). A bit hard to predict now the final/total download size.

    Same goes for performance. Almost no time has yet been devoted to optimizations (since Moonlight 1.0 times). Again having debug builds is not helping. You can try to run Firefox from a terminal console and see if it's writing a lot of debugging message (since can slow down things a lot). If there's (almost) nothing then please fill a bug report, since >50%, versus 2%, is abnormal.

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