Silverlight 2.0 - where to start?

    As much as I am familiar with Flash technology, as much as I wanted to learn how to use it. I wanted to be able to draw cartoons, interactive sites, games that work right in the browser.

    I put Macromedia Flash, downloaded the lessons, went through them step by step, but quit before reaching half. The lack of design skills made itself felt. In general, I have already come to terms with the thought that it was not given to me to become a prominent flasher. And invisible too.

    About a year ago, the non-urgent company Microsoft introduced its own solution to the problem of creating "beauty" on the Web under the name Silverlight. Its first version was downloaded, inspected by me and rejected for my own use. In fact, it was not much different from regular Flash, "only in profile."

    But the fresh wind of marketing brought fresh news to us from across the sea - it turns out that the future will be with the so-called Rich Internet Applications, that is, (roughly speaking) programs that will work equally well both online and in the absence of this very online. And the most interesting thing is that the already popular and familiar AJAX is completely inconvenient for creating an RIA, but we need something completely different. There were many options for the “other”. Many companies rushed to build the “other” based on what they already had. So there were JavaFX , Adobe AIR , Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 and others ...

    Of all the above, it was Silverlight 2.0 that I liked. It is very different from the first version and provides much more features. At the same time, even such an inveterate programmer as I can easily use it without knowledge of design.

    In a series of blog posts, I will try to tell about my process of studying this technology, and thus, perhaps, make it easier for someone else to study it (unless of course this topic will be interesting to at least someone other than myself).

    To begin with, let's see how the new Silver Light differs from the old one so much that it was renamed to 2.0 from version 1.1?

    The first Silverlight was actually an extension of Microsoft WPF technology, taking into account Internet orientation. The first versions were called WPF / E (E = everywhere). That is, in pure XAML the desired design was described, the necessary functionality was scripted in JScript, and displayed in browsers. In general, it was not very simple and not so super-cool (RIA, etc., you remember ...).
    Therefore, it was decided: we have a wonderful .NET Framework, which has a lot of useful things in it, so let's use it!

    It became immediately clear to everyone that writing a plug-in in a browser to support a certain analogue of Java applets, only based on .NET, is not difficult. But since the framework itself, which will be necessary at the same time, has a noticeably rather considerable weight (and not everyone has installed it), it is likely that this technology will suffer the same fate as the same Java applets.

    Therefore, Microsoft programmers made it easier - the applet responsible for the Silverlight 2.0 application in the browser does not need a complete framework at all, since it contains a very impressive part of it, while keeping within less than 5 mb.

    In general, I would like to finish this introduction, and move more to practice. More details about the differences between versions 1 and 2 are written on this page .
    To get started - what is needed for Silverlight development?
    • Directly browser plugin. Beta version can be downloaded here . There are versions for Windows (checked in IE and Opera of the latest builds) and for MacOS (did not check, but I think it works).
    • The Silverlight SDK containing sample tools and documentation is available here . Honestly, I haven’t downloaded it yet, so the utility level is unknown.
    • Silverlight Tools For Visual Studio - allows you to develop SL projects directly in the Visual Studio IDE. At the moment, the Express version is not supported, but support is promised with the release of the final version.
    • Microsoft Expression Blend 2.5 March 2008 Preview . Something between a development environment and a graphical editor for developing WPF applications. Starting with this version supports Silverlight 2.0.

    • Next time I will tell and show with pictures how to create our first Silverlight application.
      Thank you for your attention, I will be glad to any constructive reviews. In particular, on the appropriateness of continuing.

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