Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Silverlight 2 in Action - New Content Available

Hello, kick it on DotNetKicks.com

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 "http://www.manning.com/campbell/". 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
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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.