Monday, October 20, 2008

Silverlight 2 - Templating Video


Today we released a free video that covers templating in Silverlight 2. This video is just under eight minutes in length and can be found here. It covers some of the high level concepts of templating in Silverlight 2. A lot more of the technical details can be found in Silverlight 2 in Action.

Thank you for reading and watching!

P.S. I apologize if I sound congested in the video. I was under-the-weather when I shot it. I'm better now though :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Silverlight 2 RTW - Forward Ho!


I am excited about two things right now. First, as you have probably heard by now, Silverlight 2 has reached RTW (Release To Web). Second, Silverlight 2 in Action is finished. Over the course of this post I will provide you with some details surrounding these two thrilling announcements (at least IMHO).

Silverlight 2 RTW
The lead up to Silverlight 2 has been pretty amazing. In fact, I hadn't realized how amazing it was until I reviewed the official press release. Even more incredible though is the RTW milestone that was just reached. The honest-to-goodness, full-blown, install-it-on-every-machine version is available here! In addition, there are some more goodies coming as described in the press release. These goodies include:
  • More controls through the Silverlight control pack. This control pack will be released under the MS-Pl and should be available around the PDC. The controls in this pack include: Accordian, AutoComplete, DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, and more to be annnounced later.
  • Eclipse Tools for Silverlight. Personally, this makes me think of my Java days. I am very excited to see the Silverlight tool set extend beyond Visual Studio. I believe this will help the Silverlight development community flourish. If you are a Java developer, or know of a Java developer, and have questions about Silverlight, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am more than willing to share my experiences working with Java on a number of levels and comparing and contrasting them to my experiences with .NET / Silverlight and Flash
As excited as I am about the release, I have to say I am personally more excited about the completion of Silverlight 2 in Action

Silverlight 2 in Action
This project started in May of 2007 and the time requirements have steadily increased. Most recently, John and I have been working feverishly to finalize Silverlight 2 in Action, while ensuring technical accuracy with the RTW release. At this time I am pleased to announce that I literally just gave my "go-ahead" to push the print button. Printing will begin tommorow (Wednesday). Print copies will be available at the PDC conference if you are going. If you have ordered it through or another channel, thank-you, and you should receive your copy around the PDC time period. I am sorry, I do not have more specific dates to announce at this time. I am working to get the code for the book posted this week.

There are a lot of individuals to thank. Those individuals are listed in the book itself. However, for the individuals that generally read this blog, I would like to specifically thank the Silverlight team and John Stockton.

The Silverlight team at Microsoft was incredible throughout this process. To those individuals that say Microsoft is not committed to openness and interoperability, I say horse dung. From January of 2007 on I have personally witnessed a commitment to these items. I am confident with the announcment of the Eclipse Tools for Silverlight that this is a direction instead of a reaction to some naysayers. In the future, I hope to write a blog post about my experiences working with Microsoft over the course of Silverlight 2 in Action.

Next up is John. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, John had to sort of step in at the last minute and take the reigns of chapter 6. I think John did an incredible job with chapter 6. I sincerely hope you enjoy John's efforts and I definately appreciate his help with this. He has had to endure quite a bit in a small amount of time. Without John's dedication, I think this book would have been lacking in some areas. However, because of John's commitment, I believe we have a book that we are both happy with and others seem to be happy with as well. If you enjoy it, I hope you'll join us in the Facebook Fan Club.

What's Next
I have been asked what I plan to do next. I really don't like to talk about myself and I think that is beyond the scope of this blog. However, I will share what I plan to do with Silverlight now that Silverlight 2 in Action is done.

First off, I will not be writing Silverlight 3 (or whatever the next version of Silverlight is called) in Action. This experience has taken a lot of energy out of me. It has challenged me in so many ways and pushed me to my extremes. I know it sounds cliche, but I would have never guessed it going into the project. Instead I will be focusing more on the Silverlight platform itself.

This blog will return to its format before Silverlight 2 in Action. Among other things, I would like to post some details on the ListControls in Silverlight. I would like to talk about templating in more detail. I want to blog about my experiences working with MS during Silverlight 2 in Action. This is just a sampling of how I want this blog to focus on Silverlight going forward.

I also plan to more regularly speak and provide webcasts. However, providing all of this content does not directly drive adoption. That is what Silverlight needs now. In order to do that we as developers need to create applications that users want. Because of this, a lot of my time will be focused on a side project I hope to finish in the March 2009 timeframe. This project will use Silverlight and I think it will help drive some adoption. Or maybe I'm just being overly optimistic :)

Either way, go and download Silverlight 2 now. Get your development environment setup. Learn about the details of Silverlight 2 and build something smoking hot! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Silverlight 2 in Action - RC0 ready!


As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the first release candidate of Silverlight 2 was made available late Thursday evening. This exciting release includes a bevy of enhancements and changes from Silverlight 2 Beta 2. A lot of these enhancements and changes are outlined here and here. It is important to acknowledge that Silverlight 2 RC0 is only intended for developers and should not be used for applications that are publicly visible yet. This release is designed to help you migrate your Beta 2 applications to the RTW release, which will be coming in the near future. To further help you in this migration, John Stockton and I have been burning the midnight oil on Silverlight 2 in Action.

Silverlight 2 in Action has been carefully reviewed to ensure consistency with the Silverlight 2 release candidate. Because RC0 is feature complete, we will be printing the book based on this build. If you would like a jump start on the fun, the content is available right now to MEAP customers. If you would like to become a MEAP customer you can do so by visiting here. When you do this, make sure to use the coupon code "slso35 " to save an extra 35%. Please feel free to share this code with others. This is a gift to those of you that are just as excited about Silverlight 2 as we are.

At this point, John and I are running through the book one final time to ensure accuracy before we hit the physical “print” button. There is a lot of content including:

• 12 chapters
• 423 pages
• 295 snippets

A website with all of the code from the snippets and walkthroughs should be available later this week. Because of this, if you are a MEAP customer, you can get the code associated with the snippets very soon.


P.S. I’m speaking on 2 separate topics at the IndyTechFest on October 4. If you are visiting this great day of events, stop by and say “hey”.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silverlight 2 in Action - All chapters now available


I am excited to announce that the two remaining chapters of Silverlight 2 in Action are now available to MEAP adopters. This content is consistent with the Silverlight 2 - Beta 2 runtime. However, the final version of Silverlight 2 in Action will be consistent with and tested against the Silverlight 2 RTW release. Because of this, we are looking for your feedback!

The two chapters that have just been released cover a lot of the exciting features of Silverlight. John Stockton covers the networking and communications features in chapter 6. John has worked really hard to effectively demonstrate the SOAP, REST, POX, JSON, RSS, ATOM, and WCF features found in Silverlight 2 (dont' worry, Sockets will be covered in the final release of the book). At the same time, the flexible templating features are covered in chapter 10. I worked to try to detail the styling and templating features of Silverlight 2. This includes a discussion of resources, styles, templates, and the new and exciting Visual State Manager (VSM).

I sincerely hope you enjoy this content. I also hope that if you feel there is something missing, something you don't like, or something that is not made clear, you will communicate that to us in a respectable manner. You can do so by adding your feedback to our discussion thread which can be found here. We are really looking forward to your comments, especially around chapters 6 and 10.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Silverlight 2 - Discussion and Halo 3


I hope your summer is going well. Mine has been busy finalizing Silverlight 2 in Action. I have been working closely with John Stockton to make this book as solid as possible. John has stepped up and has been working really hard to provide deep and informative content around communication and services for Silverlight 2 in Action (chapter 6). I'm working with John to ensure that the content and structure is consistent with the rest of the book. This is really important because chapter 6 really glues together the content from some of the previous chapters.

With that said, we are nearing completion. We are doing a lot of editing and filling in the holes. We will wait until the release candidate (mentioned in some comments by Scott Guthrie) to actually finalize the content. While Beta 2 is looking pretty good, we really want this book to be as accurate and complete as possible. With that said, we have some time and I would like to get some feedback from YOU.

On Sunday, July 20th at 9 p.m. EST I would like to discuss Silverlight 2 with anyone interested. I would really like to find out what you really want to know about and make sure that it is in the book. I figure if one person has a concern, there are certain to be others that share that concern. The forum for this discussion will be Halo 3 over X-Box Live. I've been itching to play it as I have been disconnected due to the book. If you would like to party up, please post a comment on this post. Please include your email address and gamertag. This comment will NOT be published in order to respect your privacy. Once I receive your comment, I will send you an email and a friend invite.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Personal - Software Development Meme

My buddy Dan Rigsby called me out in his Software Development Meme. I guess it's my turn...

  1. How old were you when you first started programming?
    When I was about 12 years old, my parents were building a house. By building a house, I mean they were physically building it. During that process, there were some stages that I couldn't help with. To keep me busy, my dad showed me a book that had some old BASIC code in it. He told me if I entered all of that code into the old Commodore 64 line-for-line, I would be able to play a video game. I never got the game to work because a page was missing :)

    In reality though, it wasn't until I was 16 that I really started.

  2. How did you get started in programming?
    My high school offered a C++ class. I had an open slot on my schedule and I had to fill it. The class was awesome because it had LITTLE structure. It was the first class that I was really just allowed to run as hard and as fast as I wanted. It kept me engaged, interested, and my curiousity grew.

  3. What was your first language?
    Technically it was Commodore BASIC. In reality though, I would say C++.

  4. What was the first real program you wrote?
    I wrote a C++ application that acted like a restaurant menu. As a user made their selections, they were saved back to a .txt file. That was probably the first app that I felt like I really did something.

  5. What languages have you used since you started programming?
    Oy vey! In no particular order: C#, C++, C, Java, MIPS Assembly Language, JavaScript, Python, Visual Basic, and Farfle (It was a very primitive language that I created so no one has probably heard of it)

  6. What was your first professional programming gig?
    During jr. high and high school, I worked at the local grocery store. A lady, who owned a bed breakfast asked if I could build a website for her while I was carrying out her groceries. Though the development was very primitive, I still consider that site my first paid gig in relation to software. This site is still on the web today! From there, I moved onto doing actual application development a little later.

  7. If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming
    Undoubtedly. Personally, I would like to see programming as a required part of a high school education. I think if nothing else, learning to program forces you to think more logically than you may have a tendency to do.

  8. If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
    Create a vision and run towards it full steam. This is probably more important in relation to technology than any other field due to the rate of change. I have really learned about this in regards to my endeavors around Silverlight. I have spent a lot of time, energy, and resources trying to convince certain individuals of the value it brings. In reality, I should have just focused on taking the power that Silverlight brings and building my own innovative solutions. Which is what I will be doing when Silverlight 2 in Action is finished.

  9. What's the most fun you have ever had programming?
    I had the most fun working on a very innovative intranet search portal solution back at the turn of the century. It some incredibly cool stuff.

  10. What’s the most fun you’ve ever had … programming?
    I really enjoyed the technical challenges associated with creating a compiler. I also enjoyed building an intranet search engine that handled engineering documents. They were both very challenging and I learned a lot in both scenarios.

  11. Who are you calling out?

Friday, June 06, 2008

FREE Silverlight 2 EBook Raffle


I've been heads down working on Silverlight 2 in Action over the past couple of months. With the release of Silverlight Beta 2, we are ready to make a couple of announcements. First, I would like to announce a raffle for Silverlight 2 in Action. Then, after providing a brief history of the book, I would like to announce the roadmap for the book.


In celebration of the release of Beta, I have been given FIVE (5) coupons for one FREE Ebook to distribute. In order to provide everyone with an interest in Silverlight 2 an equal chance at this content, I have decided to create a raffle. The winners for this raffle will be randomly selected on Saturday, June 21st, 2008.

In order to enter the raffle, please visit and fill out the form. You will receive a confirmation email after you fill out the form. If you do not receive a confirmation within 10 minutes of submitting, please post a comment on this blog. My web hosting provider has been having some issues, and I want to make sure your entry gets in. Regardless, please note that you may only enter once, duplicate entries will be removed.

On Saturday, June 21st, 2008 I will randomly select FIVE (5) winners. On that day you will receive one e-mail that will inform you if you or another individual has won. If you win, you will have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond within 48 hours, another particpant will be selected and you will not receive the coupon.

Your e-mail address WILL be kept private. In addition, I will NOT spam you to buy the book. If you do not win, don't worry, you will still have the opportunity to get the content thanks to Manning Publishing's Early Access Program. If you are not familiar with this process you can find out more here.

Silverlight 2 in Action - History

Believe it or not, I started this book in the middle of May of 2007. In other words, this book has been in development for over a year. I spent a lot of time playing with Silverlight and WPF to help me write the content. I want to publicly thank the MEAP adopters that have provided some excellent feedback. Especially Ben Hayat. Ben has been encouraging and a positive voice. He has also provided some excellent feedback. I also want to thank my publisher, Manning Publishing, as well as my editor, Cynthia Kane, for their patience and guidance on this project. But we're not done yet...

Silverlight 2 in Action - Moving Forward

Currently, there are 8 chapters available through the MEAP program. These chapters are going through some finalizations. Because of this, there are still some remnants from SL2 Beta 1. Those will be fixed before we publish. If you see "bugs" in the content, please do not hesitate to let me know. I have some time scheduled to go over the whole book one final time to make sure it is all correct before we actually publish the book. MEAP customers get the updated content as it becomes available.

In regards to the remaining 4 chapters, those will come very quickly. In fact, I just sent off the o.k. to prepare chapter 12 for MEAP-ing. So that should be available next week. Chapter 4 is about 90% complete. Chapter 10 is about 80% complete. I will be focussing on Chapter 10 this weekend and I hope to finish it up. Chapter 6 is sort of in limbo right now. It is a bit of a long story, but I hope to make an announcement around that content during my next blog post.

Thank you and Good Luck!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Silverlight 2 in Action - Co-Author


In an effort to ensure that Silverlight 2 in Action becomes available in a timely fashion, I have asked to bring on a co-author. I am excited to announce that Michael Schwartz will be writing one of the chapters in this book.

Michael is a Microsoft MVP and seasoned Silverlight professional. In fact, I believe that Michael was one of the first three non-Microsoft individuals to get on board with Silverlight. That number may be off slightly. However, I do not think by much. Michael was an extremely early adopter.

We are hoping to MEAP some more content very soon. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Silverlight 2 - Your LINQ to a Better Experience


This Saturday, April 26th, 2008, I will be presenting on Silverlight at the Indianapolis Code Camp. My presentation is called "Silverlight - Your LINQ to a Better Experience". The slides for this presentation can be found here (you are free to use them, just please mention Silverlight 2 in Action if you use these slides).

During the course of this presentation, I will walk through the implementation of a really cool master/details page (I'm not just saying that, it really is cool, not what you're expecting). This will give attendees the opportunity to see how Silverlight can address three of their most common development tasks:
  • Retrieving Data
  • Loading Data
  • Presenting Data
Personally, I am very excited about this presentation. As someone who has been working with Silverlight since day 1, it is very exciting to be able to turn the focus to more day-to-day types of solutions. In addition, this is the first time I have given this presentation in public. With that said, if you would like me to give this presentation (or another Silverlight presentation) in your area, please let me know, we'll see if we can make it work.

Book Update
At the moment, there are eight chapters available. I was sincerely hoping to finish chapter 10 and get that available to MEAP customers. However, there are some items in the current beta that just make this chapter impossible to MEAP at this time. However, we are still working to get Chapter 6 available to MEAP customers in the near future. Chapter 6 covers networking and communications which is a very important and interesting part of Silverlight development.

Shout Out
Personally, I am somebody who installs very few third-party components on my machine. I like to keep my machine as clean as possible. However, I have recently found myself using a plugin called Xippee more and more. There is a 1-minute video on the site that shows how it works. Check it out (this is not an advertisement, I haven't received a dime for mentioning it :)).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

DataGrid and DeepZoom Info Available in Silverlight 2 in Action

Today we released two new chapters to Silverlight 2 in Action MEAP customers. With that in mind, I want to give you some information related to the new content, as well as the previous content. In addition, I also want to let you know what you can expect moving forward.

New Content

The new chapters cover two very exciting and important aspects of Silverlight: Data and Media. This information is covered in chapters 4 and 7.
  • Chapter 4 – This chapter covers a wide range of data-related topics in-depth. These topics include: data binding, data templating, using the DataGrid, and an overview of LINQ. The content in this chapter is pretty meaty. This has personally been my favorite chapter to write thus far. The reason why was primarily because of data templates. Data templates are really, REALLY cool (if you don’t believe me, come to my presentation in Indianapolis, IN on April 26th). In addition, I am pretty impressed with the DataGrid, even though it is still in its infancy.

  • Chapter 7 – The focus of this chapter is media, including deep-zoom. In this chapter you will see an old-friend from Silverlight 1.0: the MediaElement. This will include information related to the properties and lifecycle of this element in Silverlight 2. You will also see information about playlists and interactive playback. In addition, there is a high-level overview of the content access (a.k.a DRM) features of Silverlight 2. From there you will get a detailed tour of the imaging and deep zooming features.
Collectively, these two chapters span 61 pages.

Previous Content

I have received some comments / questions regarding the current MEAP content. These items have generally expressed concern that the content was outdated with Silverlight 2. In fact, if you mentioned this, you are correct.

I’m still not sure what happened, but some previously released content was re-released. This was unintentional because the content originally covered Silverlight 1.1. I will say that the MEAP content that has just been released still has some Silverlight 1.1 stuff (especially in chapters 1 and 2). However, the necessary changes have been made to be consistent with Silverlight 2. I hope that by the next MEAP release, this will be resolved.

With that said, if you still feel there is content out-of-date beyond chapter 2, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Another common question that has been asked has been “is the MEAP version the final version of the content?” The answer is definitely NO. For instance, in chapter 4, I already know that I will be updating the DataGrid section and fixing up the LINQ portions a bit. Currently, both of these sections provide a lot of content as-is. However, there is still more that needs to be included in this book (like the sorting features of the DataGrid coming in Beta 2).

I really want this book to be a solid resource. Because of this, if you want something or feel something is missing; please do not hesitate to let me know. I will see if it can be worked in.

Currently, I am working on chapter 10. This chapter covers resources, styles, and templates. I’m hoping to finish this chapter up by the end of this weekend. From there, MEAP customers will get the content approx. 1 week after I finish the chapter.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have seen thus far. Now, I’ve got get back to writing the actual book.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Silverlight 2 in Action - New Content Available

Hello, kick it on

I am very excited to announce two things. First, there is more content available for Silverlight 2 in Action. Second, I would like to extend the opportunity to you to make some easy money promoting the book (if you like it). After providing the details surrounding those two announcements, I will discuss how and when future content related to the book will be released.

Announcement 1 - Content
To coincide with the Silverlight 2 beta, we are making 6 chapters of Silverlight 2 in Action available. These chapters cover a wide variety of items. These items include things that you have seen in 1.1, but also a lot of stuff that has not been available until now. To give you a sneak peek at what is currently available, please look at the following list:

Chapter 1 - This chapter, which is available for free, provides an overview of Silverlight and XAML. This overview explains several of the key reasons to use Silverlight. I refer to these drivers as the "Three P's of Silverlight". These are: Performance, Portability, and Productivity. This content was provided because, like you, I have individuals that I must report to. Because of this, I need to be able to confidently answer why Silverlight is a responsible choice for web application development. Considering Silverlight is a newer technology, I assumed that you may need to have similar discussions. Based on the large amount of misconceptions I have seen floating around the web, I am really glad this material is in the book. Some have mentioned they felt this material was not technical enough for this kind of book. I respect that viewpoint. However chapter 2 switches gears and goes uber-technical.

Chapter 2 - Throughout chapter 2, you will learn about Silverlight's tight integration with the web. This chapter will explain, in detail, how to add Silverlight to any new or existing web application. This includes adding Silverlight to any ASP.NET, PHP, JSP, or [name your webby server technology] application. From here, the chapter will turn to examining the Silverlight application model. Then, their will be an indepth discussion over Silverlight's rich HTML DOM APIs. This content will empower you to manipulate a web page's HTML from managed code, specifically with C#. In addition you will learn how to call managed code from the scripting world.

Chapter 3 - This chapter shifts the focus to the UI. This chapter will cover the intricacies of layout including the Canvas, StackPanel, and the Grid. In addition, the irreplacable TextBlock will be detailed. Significantly, this chapter will discuss the core visual classes in Silverlight: UIElement and FrameworkElement.

Chapter 8 - This chapter details the things you have probably already seen. These items include the 2D graphics features. These include shapes, geometries, brushes, and transformations. Significantly, these items are really an important component of what is possible with Silverlight. These items are a critical component of animation, which is the topic of chapter 9.

Chapter 9 - This chapter covers the powerful animation features within Silverlight. This is covered in detail with a number of illuminating figures. In addition, this chapter will teach you how to use animations from managed code.

Chapter 11 - This chapter shifts the focus back to items new in Silverlight 2. This includes the cross-browser-session enabling isolated storage feature. In addition, you will learn how to dynamically load XAML at runtime. This powerful feature can be complemented by the useful BackgroundWorker class. This class empowers you to perform a task behind-the-scenes, naturally, it will be covered. In addition, this chapter will explain, in detail, how to asynchronously download content on-the-fly! And finally, this chapter will conclude with a discussion around the impressive Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR).

As you can see, there is a lot of content. The breakdown of the content that is currently available is as follows:
  • 6 chapters
  • 167 pages
  • 142 code snippets
  • 38 figures
  • 2 walkthroughs featuring Blend
  • 57521 words
  • 397678 characters
Whew... it's been a lot of work, with more to come. However, it has been incredibly educational. I'm really excited about Silverlight 2. I'm really excited to see what kind of applications we'll be able to create and consume in the near future. Hopefully, this book will help you accomplish that. If it does, and you enjoy it, I want to give you the opportunity to make some money by promoting the book.

Announcement 2 - Promotion

Everyone likes money. If you like the book, and would permit a small advertisement on your blog, you can make some money. This advertisement would be the "Silverlight 2 in Action" animation you see along the right side of this blog. This animation is 138px wide and 173px high. If you have an interest, read on.

One of the really cool aspects of Silverlight is the number of ways you can deploy such content. One such way is with Silverlight Streaming. This option is used on this blog to host the previously described advertisement. In order to add this advertisement to your blog, you can follow these steps:

  1. Sign up with the Manning Affiliate program. Manning is the publisher of Silverlight 2 in Action and they have a referral program. This program keeps track of individuals who purchase the book by clicking the ad on your website. The payment details are discussed on the site. It probably won't be much, but if it is something you are interested in, please continue.

  2. Add the following script to your web site:

  3. Add the advertisement where you see fit. The following HTML/JavaScript will add the advertisement to your page.

  4. Change the initParams property value to point to your affiliate link. This link is available by logging into the affiliate site you registered with in step 1. It is important that you enter this value correctly to ensure you get credit. After you set the initParams value, test the advertisement. It should redirect you to "". If it doesn't please post a comment on this blog.

That's it. As you can see, the Silverlight Streaming service opens the doors to some new possibilities. Silverlight Streaming will be discussed in chapter 12 of "Silverlight 2 in Action". Chapter 12 will be coming in the future.

Silverlight 2 in Action - Roadmap

Over the next couple of months, early adopters will get the remaining six chapters. These chapters will be distributed as soon as they become available. In addition, there will be a website that contains the book's content. I was going to get the site up for this initial release, however, the site currently looks like crap. I didn't want it to reflect poorly on the book, so I have decided to withhold it for the moment. But there will be a website. And finally...
  • Feel free to join the Silverlight 2 in Action Facebook Group
  • If you have comments related to the book, please feel free to share them. It is not too late to change content.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy Silverlight 2
kick it on

Monday, March 03, 2008

Silverlight Info


Today I noticed two awesome Silverlight-related items that I think you may find interesting. These items are a great way to pass the time if you are chomping at the bit for Silverlight 2.
  1. Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint - Very cool stuff if you are doing line of business applications.
  2. Using Web Analytics with Microsoft Silverlight - Some really great information if you have a Silverlight application you want to expose to the search spiders.
A quick update on stuff I'm personally working on.
  • Silverlight 2 in Action - When the Silverlight 2 Beta becomes available (we know its soon), I will have a total of six chapters of my book available. I am pretty excited about these six chapters. I personally feel they are VERY solid however, I will let you decide for yourself. The remaining six chapters will come rapidly afterwards. However, we will NOT release a printed copy until we are confident of the quality and technical accuracy of the book (I have worked very hard to make sure things are as accurate as possible).
  • Over the next 2 weeks, I have two other FREE surprises up my sleeve. Stay tuned to this blog for more info
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why I'm Excited About Silverlight - Part 1

At this point, I feel confident in saying there is a lot of excitement swirling around Silverlight 2.0. I think it is to the point where individuals are counting down the days until Mix08. The timing of this conference will coincide with the next public release of Silverlight 2.0 and a non-commercial go live license. Because of this, I think that now is as good of a time as any to explain one reason why I am so excited about Silverlight.

Why I am Excited About Silverlight

I think there are a lot of individuals who are excited about the rich user interface possibilities created by Silverlight. At the same time, I believe there are a lot of individuals jazzed about the .NET features we have started to see with the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha. This is where I come in. I hope to provide a simple explanation of why this is such a big deal.

Before you read any further, I want you to answer the following question: "What is .NET?"

Your response to this question will probably determine where you fit on Scott Barnes' RIA Role Spectrum. Personally, I am slightly more to the developer side, however, I would definately consider myself an RIA Architect. Because of this, both aspects are important to me. So, when I'm asked "What is .NET?", I have to have a response that fits both sides of my personality (sounds like a frosted mini-wheats commercial). Well, I believe that .NET is about two and exactly two things.
  1. Integration and
  2. Innovation
I refer to these as the two I's of .NET and these are why I want to be associated with it. I think if you understand that .NET is about these two things, it is pretty easy to get excited about Silverlight. The reason why is because the value in learning the .NET components of Silverlight go far beyond user interface scenarios. It really enters the realm of desktop applications, system-wide services, workflow applications, and many others (this one is really cool).

I realize this post isn't very deep. However, my writing juices are focused elsewhere. I posted this simply to start some discussions. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. In regards to comments on this blog, they are moderated. However, I will publish ANYTHING, positive or negative, that is related to this post. I have recently rejected comments related to a "FREE PS3" and "Testing". I want to make sure that everyone feels welcome to post their opinions. However, it has to be relevant to this post to respect everyone's time.

Thank you for reading! kick it on

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Silverlight - A Gold Medal Winner

During the Consumer Electronics Show keynote presentation, Bill Gates announced that Silverlight will exclusively be used by NBC for the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

This is REALLY cool. This should definately help to get Silverlight installed on more individuals machines. You can find out more about the announcement here.