Friday, May 18, 2007

Silverlight - Book


I am currently working on a book aimed at Silverlight 1.1. I am seeking comments from you regarding any of the following:
  • What are somethings you really like in your technical books?
  • What are somethings you really dislike in your technical books?
  • Are there any items you would really like to see in this book?

I will be posting a variety of code samples, thoughts, and other mumblings throughout this authoring endeavor.



John said...

Today, books need to add value to on-line documentation. On-line resources are particularly effective at providing referenence, so don't do that.

Make sure you pace yourself and your reader. There's a lot of books that start with a potted history, then a lot of detail on really simple topics. Then the author runs out of time and starts chasing through advanced topics with little explanation. That's where we really need the detail. For contrast Charles Petzold is a great example of an author who keeps the pace even.

I loved "Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing" for the way it presented the thought process as well as conclusions.

As well as the techology, I'd think there was a lot of value for developers in tackling the new challenges we face:

-How to collaborate with designers.
-Enough detail on capabilities to know where to look in the reference, and how to explain those capabilities to usability engineers.
-Background to the technical decisions made by MS, such as the full screen notification. So these can be explained to business decision makers, rather than spending time trying to subvert them.
-Real world architectures e.g. interacting with CMS systems.

Anonymous said...

hey there, that's great you're writing a book, I'm looking forward to these new WPF books, unfortunately in NZ there's not much of a community yet! anyway I have a couple of things I don't like in books so I thought I'd contribute my two cents...

1. I don't like books that focus on building one project throughout the entire book - it makes it really hard to pick up the book and go straight to Chapter 9... plus it can make it hard to apply the skills to different projects. So a variety of different examples is good.

2. I think the biggest problem with text books is that they take 800 pages to say what could have been said in 50 if they cut straight to the chase - I don't have much time, so I really appreciate it when chapters are summarised and indexed correctly!

And a spaced out layout always makes reading easier.

Hope that helps... can't wait to read the book,


Anonymous said...


this was posted in may so may be i m late for this but here are my comments. It would be really helpful if you can demonstrate practicle example as well as hello world example. It is very important to understand where silveright can be used in real world applications. We are know we can create dynamic watch from it :). Some illustration would be nice too. i.e. core design of slverlight

Anonymous said...

I'm an architecture and systems person and guess i find a contextual statement helps me understand what it is i'm dealing with, ie black box description of the component parts around Silverlight, both Client and Server side. Then Hello World, then in the case of Silverlight, data IO and UI manipulation, ie integrating Browser and Silverlight programming approaches, then beef up the Silverlight XAML examples, timelines, then discussion of data communications with WebServices, and then deployment. In my experience good books address the difficult challenges and address practical examples of real world uses. Hope that helps... and you'll have at least one customer!!