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 These items have generally expressed concern that the content was outdated with Silverlight 2.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With that said, if you still feel there is content out-of-date beyond chapter 2, please do not hesitate to let me know.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.


Anonymous said...

really useful to know what chaps will soon be available. I hesitated to order, fearing a lengthy span before new content is available. I'll buy the MEAP when that next chapter (10) is available and will follow new chaps and updated ones as you write them. I'll also likely send a comment or two if something's not explained clearly or the pace starts plodding.

Ben Hayat said...

Hey Chad;
On the table of contents, there is a chapter 4, however Chapter 3 ends on page 84 and chapter 5 starts at page 85. Either it's mistyped or one of those chapters (4 or 5) is missing. and then after that is chapter 7.
Another very important information that would make this book very valuable, is when you have a large project with many User Controls, what should be the strategy to load these UC at runtime for performance and not use up too much memory. How they should get dynamically loaded.


Chad Campbell said...

Hi Ben,

Chapter 4 is not complete as of yet. The page numbers are really just relative at this point in time.

The user control scenario you mentioned will be discussed in chapter 12. This is hinted at in chapter 2.

Thank you for your feedback. I hope you're enjoying the book.

Anonymous said...

anonymous here again. Bought the book (as promised) and paging thru it. Competent, intense, well-illustrated. Worth the $.

I don't want a lot of intro info about XAML + .NET 3.0 WPF concepts. I got plenty of WPF books. Show simple example or 2 and move on. Newbies will ponder them, but others can move on quickly.

I'll send detailed comments to help improve the book.