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! :)