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Introduction to Silverlight. Alan Cobb Independent .NET Consultant Alan Cobb & Associates, Inc. Sacramento, CA alan -at- alancobb -dot- com Friday, March 7, 2008 10:15 am – 11:45 am. About Alan Cobb. Independent consultant since mid-80s on Microsoft platforms .NET, C#, C++, WinForms, WPF

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introduction to silverlight

Introduction to Silverlight

Alan Cobb

Independent .NET Consultant

Alan Cobb & Associates, Inc.

Sacramento, CA

alan -at- alancobb -dot- com

Friday, March 7, 2008

10:15 am – 11:45 am

about alan cobb
About Alan Cobb
  • Independent consultant since mid-80s on Microsoft platforms
  • .NET, C#, C++, WinForms, WPF
  • One of directors of the SacDotNet User Group
  • http://www.alancobb.com
presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • What is Silverlight?
    • How does it relate to other client-side technologies? How important is it?
  • What can it do?
    • Feature details and demos
  • Silverlight app development walk-walkthrough.
    • Expression Blend. Visual Studio 2008.
what is silverlight
What is Silverlight?
  • Like Flash:
    • Browser plug-in: cross-browser, cross-platform
    • Animated ads, video, applications (like Flex)
    • Benefits:
      • Write-once-run-everywhere,
      • Adds functionality not in HTML / AJAX
versions of silverlight
Versions of Silverlight
  • v 1.0
    • RTM in Sept. 2007
    • Code behind – JavaScript only
  • v 1.1 / 2
    • .NET based
    • SL 1.1 Alpha introduced in Spring 2007.
    • SL 2 Beta 1 released at MIX08 in March 2008
    • RTM maybe Q3-2008? For Olympics?
    • Code behind - .NET languages C#, etc.
    • Partial .NET class library
inside silverlight 2
Inside Silverlight 2

Silverlight 2:

GUI “eye-candy”:

XAML, Layout, Styling, Animation

.NET “plumbing”:

CLR, Base Class Libraries

comparing client platforms
Comparing client platforms

Desktop:

Web:

Silverlight

Flash /

Flex

WPF

WinForms

Win32Win16

HTML / CSS / JavaScript / AJAX

competing technologies
Competing technologies
  • Web-based:
    • Adobe Flash / Flex
    • “Ajax”: HTML + CSS + JavaScript
  • Desktop based “smart clients”
    • WPF on high end
      • 3D, Hardware acceleration
    • WinForms: (Mature, proven)
  • Desktop-web hybrid (?):
    • Adobe AIR
silverlight and wpf differences
Silverlight and WPF: Differences
  • WPF:
    • Windows only
    • Requires 50 / 200 MB .NET 3.x runtime
    • Steeper learning curve
  • Silverlight:
    • Cross OS, cross browser
    • Small download (approx. 4 to 5 MB)
    • Reduced feature set
    • Sandboxed – Secure but limiting
how important is silverlight
How important is Silverlight?
  • This is a big deal
  • Once-every-20-years event
  • Existing client-side web technology has reached the peak of its life-cycle
  • Fresh start of a new client GUI technology
  • Web is where the action is
    • The network is the computer
sl2 feature summary
SL2 Feature Summary:
  • GUI system features:
    • XAML, etc.
  • Controls:
    • What controls come “in the box”?
  • Data:
    • Features related to database-type apps
  • Communications:
    • Web services
gui system features
GUI System Features
  • WPF subset
  • Vector based vs. pixel based
    • Scalable – Looks good at multiple resolutions
  • Dynamic layouts
  • XAML – Similar to HTML
    • Declarative
    • Designers and programmers work in parallel
  • Rich customization is easier
    • “Lookless” controls
    • Styles and templating
non gui features
Non-GUI Features
  • More than just “eye-candy”
    • OpenFileDialog
    • Threads
    • Direct cross-domain access rather than proxied by your server.
sl2 features controls
SL2 Features: Controls
  • Controls:
    • Extensible control base classes
    • Common controls:
      • Textbox, Checkbox, Radiobutton, etc
      • TabControl, Slider, ScrollViewer, ProgressBar, etc
    • Layout controls:
      • Grid, StackPanel
    • Data controls:
      • DataGrid, etc
sl2 features data
SL2 Features: Data
  • Data:
    • 2-way data binding
    • More LINQ support:
      • LINQ to XML
      • LINQ to Objects
sl2 features communications
SL2 Features: Communications
  • Communications:
    • REST, POX, RSS, and WS-* communication
    • Cross domain network access (coming)
    • Sockets (no cross-domain yet)
    • WCF? (How much client side?)
sl2 features other
SL2 Features: Other
  • Isolated Storage:
    • Secure
    • Size? (100KB, expandable to X?)
  • Security
    • See Perry Birch’s talk from 1:30-3:00
feature unknowns
Feature Unknowns (?)
  • Local client integration?
    • Read and write local files?
    • Read local mic and webcam? (Not in Beta 1)
  • Depth of class libraries?
    • Pay-for-play
resources
Resources
  • Recorded videos:
    • Sessions from MIX08, MIX07
  • Forums:
    • silverlight.net / forums
  • Books:
    • Adam Nathan’s WPF book
    • Silverlight 2 books in the pipeline
other possible demos
Other possible demos
  • tafiti:
    • Search front-end from MS in SL
  • Popfly:
    • Mashup builder from MS in SL
  • Silverlight.net / Showcase:
  • Seattle PI Reader (WPF currently):
    • Shows possible future for SL (Rich text)
silverlight tools
Silverlight Tools
  • Expression Blend:
    • For graphic designers
    • GUI builder
  • Visual Studio 2008:
    • For programmers
    • Includes a more limited GUI builder