Silverlight 5–Future Features Unwrapped

At the Silverlight
Firestarter
event today in Redmond (And broadcast live around the world) Scott
Guthrie kicked off the show with a very exciting look ahead at some of the planned
features for Silverlight 5. There were two strong themes to these new features “Premium
Media Experiences” and “Business Application Development”.

The enhancements to media include Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 using
GPU support improving performance for lower power devices as well as “Trick Play”
capabilities to play videos at different speeds (Up to 2x) with pitch correction.
Improved power awareness will keep the screensaver from appearing while video is playing,
but also allows the system to sleep when video is paused. Remote control support will
also be added to media.

On the “Application” front, features improving text clarity and layout performance
and “Fluid” layout capabilities. OpenType support has been enhanced and tracking/leading
have been added. Enhancements have also been added for MVVM support and Databinding
enhancements.I swear I could here Josh Smith’s excitement all the way in here in NC
when he heard that Markup Extensions were being added as well. I think one of the
coolest demos of the day was John Papa setting breakpoints in XAML (Yes, in XAML)
and having the debugger stop when bindings were hit, providing the ability to step
through the binding process and make solving problems easier. A GPU accelerated API
was also shown, providing rich 3d visualization capabilities.

If you’re interested, a complete list of future
features is available here
as well as be sure to check out Scott’s
Blog
, Pete’s
Blog
, and Tim’s
Blog
for the latest info. (For info on the latest release of the WCF
Ria Services Toolkit, check out Jeff’s Blog!
) The information shared today was
a strong indication of the continued commitment Microsoft has to Silverlight, and
the exciting opportunities that exist for developers on the web, on devices, and on
the desktop with Silverlight!

 

More Great Silverlight Training

Save a spot on your calendar for the Silverlight Firestarter event on December 2,2010.
This LIVE event in Redmond, WA is being broadcast live “Everywhere”. We’re working
in arranging a venue in the Raleigh/Durham area to get together an view the event,
bringing together some of the local Silverlight community. If you’re interested (or
have a venue to host us) drop me a note or watch for details here.

For more info, or to register for the LIVE Streaming event please visit the Silverlight
Firestarter site

 

PDC 2010 Followup: Show of Support for Silverlight

In a show of support for Silverlight and it’s future at Microsoft, Bob Muglia, President
of the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft provided
a blog post on the Team Silverlight blog
. In his post Mr. Muglia better explained
the context of some of his comments.

Among other key points, he very clearly states:

“Make no mistake; we’ll continue to invest in Silverlight and enable developers
to build great apps and experiences with it in the future”

In the post he also outlines some key trends the Silverlight targets:

“Customers are demanding the richest possible client experiences, and developers
are increasingly looking to build premium, tailored experiences optimized for specific
devices.” 

“Customers want to be able to deliver client experiences that are optimized
for specific form factors.”

“Media delivery across the Internet continues to accelerate dramatically. 
Customers want HD, studio quality, premium media content.” 

“Lastly, there has been massive growth in the breadth and diversity of devices
made by a wide variety of vendors providing both open and closed systems.”

And lastly, relating to the positioning of Silverlight and HTML(5)

“The purpose of Silverlight has never been to replace HTML, but rather
to do the things that HTML (and other technologies) can’t, and to do so in a way that’s
easy for developers to use.  Silverlight enables great client app and media experiences”

These echo some of the comments made by Steve Ballmer about Microsoft wanting to fully
support HTML but also using Silverlight to go beyond those capabilities in a variety
of client and application solutions.

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Raleigh Windows Phone 7 Firestarter

If you’re in the Raleigh/Durham area and are interesting in developing applications
for Windows Phone 7 be sure to check out the upcoming “Firestarter” training event
on Wednesday September 8th.

Event Registration link: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032456599&Culture=en-US

Event Overview

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 9:00 AM – Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:00 PM Eastern
Time (US & Canada)
Welcome Time: 8:30 AM

North Carolina State University – Jane S. McKimmon Conference & Training Center
1101 Gorman St
Raleigh North Carolina 27606
United States

Dream It. Build It.

The power to build smart, visually stunning games and applications is right in
your hands with Windows Phone 7. Want to see what’s under the hood? This full-day
series of learning events for developers will take you behind the scenes with an inside
look at the philosophy, design language, and the fundamentals of Silverlight and XNA
coding for Windows Phone 7. You’ll also see how the Windows Marketplace provides exciting
new distribution and monetization opportunities for developers and application publishers.

Join your local MSDN Events team and get ready to amplify your creativity, productivity
and market opportunities.

Morning Sessions:

Introduction to Windows Phone Development and the WP7 platform

Meet Windows Phone 7! We’re proud to introduce the innovative Windows Phone 7
platform and explain the philosophy behind its all-new user experience design. We’ll
also outline the Metro design principles and cover the basics of building applications
for Windows Phone 7. Finally, you’ll tour the Windows Phone Marketplace and get an
overview on its exciting revenue opportunities for developers and application publishers.

Building Windows Phone 7 Applications with Silverlight

You’ve heard the fundamentals; now it’s time to dig a little deeper. This session
will focus on building Windows Phone 7 applications with Microsoft Silverlight. You’ll
see first-hand how to use Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend to develop and debug
projects. You’ll also learn about the built-in templates and the many available controls
and styles for WP7. We’ll wrap by covering how to consume services in the cloud.

Building Windows Phone 7 Applications using XNA

Microsoft XNA has been a favorite with game developers for many years. Now game
developers will be able to harness the power of the XNA framework to create highly
immersive and responsive games for Windows Phone 7.. We’ll charge full-speed into
XNA to outline the basic Windows Phone model, explore its core device characteristics,
and review the highlights of the XNA phone framework. Finally, we’ll show you some
of the cool and impressive games that have been developed specifically for Windows
Phone 7.

Lunch (included)

Afternoon Sessions:

Monetizing Your Apps with Marketplace

Windows Phone 7 will launch with a fully loaded Marketplace and the opportunity
for developers to sell or distribute their applications. . In this session, you’ll
get the details about how to navigate the certification process and publish your application
including updates. Learn how to increase discoverability as well as deepen your connection
with your customers through the powerful business intelligence capabilities of the
marketplace.

Windows Phone 7 Services

Get ready to build more engaging user experiences with Windows Phone 7 and several
powerful cloud- and phone-based components. First up is the Microsoft Location Service,
which allows you to obtain location information based on GPS, cell and Wi-Fi signals.
Next, we’ll cover the Microsoft Push Notification Service, which provides “live” updates
for apps running on the device.

Light Up Windows Phone 7!

Device integration is how an application becomes an experience. In this session,
you’ll learn how to create the compelling and interactive mobile experiences which
users have come to have expect by tying into device hardware such as the keyboard,
touch input and accelerometer. You’ll also learn how to incorporate audio and video
into your rich media solutions.

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Silverlight 4 Training

On the heels of the release of Silverlight 4, Adam Kinney and John Papa have put together
an online Silverlight
4 training course over on Channel 9
. Units in the course cover the new features
in SL4 as well focusing in on how many of the new features enable Silvelright base
line of business (LOB) applications. They dive into WCF Ria Services, User Registration
and Authentication, Drop Target, Webcam, Clipboard, Printing, and even MEF. Download
the Silverlight 4 Training
kit FOR FFREE and get up to speed quickly and all the
new goodness.

image

 

What’s new in Silverlight 4?

With the release of Silverlight 4 quickly approaching, there is more excitement than
every around developing with Silverlight. While there’s a wealth of information all
over the place on new features and how to do things, I strongly encourage anybody
looking for Silverlight 4 information to start here:

What’s New in Silverlight 4?

READ FIRST

Want to know the feature-by-feature ‘what’s new’ information? Read the What’s
new in Silverlight 4 whitepaper
for more detailed technical information.

Silverlight 4 delivers a full suite of powerful capabilities to business application
developers, bringing the best-of-breed .NET platform to browser-based experiences.
Silverlight provides an ideal platform for developing and deploying modern business
applications for both customer facing and staff-facing applications.

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Silverlight 3 DataForm Part 1

Along with the launch of Silverlight 3, a number of new controls were introduced in
the Silverlight Toolkit. One control worth taking a look at if you deal with any sort
of data entry forms in your applications is the DataForm.

The quick and dirty demo is to take an object, in this case Photo.cs

    public class Photo
{ public int PhotoId { get; set;
} public string Title { get; set;
} public string Url { get; set;
} public string Description {
get; set; } public int Rating
{ get; set; }
public DateTime DateTaken { get; set; } public bool Printed { get; set; } }
Add a DataForm control, set it’s CurrentItem property to a person obect
 <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot"> <Grid.Resources> <local:Photo x:Key="MyPhoto"/> </Grid.Resources> <dataFormToolkit:DataForm CurrentItem="{StaticResource
MyPhoto}" Width="300"> </dataFormToolkit:DataForm> </Grid>

And there we go, a DataForm!

image

Just like that, the control auto-generated the fields for us and wired them up to
the object. In the case of the bool it selected a checkbox and uses a calendar control
for the date taken field. Labels are also created based on the property names.

This is all well and good, but what if that’s not exactly what I want. For example,
what if I don’t want to see the PhotoID and should not be able to change the url?

What if there was a way that we could somehow tell the system how we want it to handle
the display of our photo class? System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations to the rescue!
Data Annotations give us the ability to add attributes in our class that the data
form looks at when generating these fields. Below is the photo class updated to hide
the PhotoId field, make the URL read only, and update the label text for the DateTaken
property.

 public class Photo
{ [Display(AutoGenerateField = false)] public int
PhotoId { get; set; } public string Title
{ get; set; } [Editable(false)] public string Url
{ get; set; } public string Description
{ get; set; } public int
Rating { get; set; } [Display(Name="Date
photo was taken")] public DateTime DateTaken { get; set;
} public bool Printed { get; set;
} }

And the result is

image

One of the additional things that can be done with DataAnnotations is data validation.
By adding an attribute of [Required()] to the title, the Dataorm will pickup the validation
requirement and automatically display an error message.

image

You will notice the OK button at the bottom of the form. I added AutoCommit=”False”
to the DataForm XAML to allow me to notify the dataform that I was committing changes.
In addition to required there are Range, StringLength, RegularExpression validators
available.

In Part 2 I’ll go over how you can take even more control over the form by specifying
content.

 

 

Remember the Silverlight Toolkit!

Every time I present on Silverlight I make a point to make sure people check
out
download and install the Silverlight Toolkit. After installing the developer
tools, this should be your next step?

Why you ask? Controls! Controls! Controls!

In order to ship more frequent updates of controls and not be as closely tied to the
runtime and SDK releases, Microsoft has selected to use CodePlex as the delivery method
for all of these addition controls. (Please check out the list of controls below)
The site also acts as a feedback mechanism to allow input from you and I on bugs and
requested features. The source code is even available!

There are many great controls to use right out of the box, making that much more productive
day 1 with Silverlight.

Now go download! http://www.codeplex.com/Silverlight/

 

[Details from the CodePlex site]

image

What is the Silverlight Toolkit?

The Silverlight Toolkit is a collection of Silverlight controls, components and utilities
made available outside the normal Silverlight release cycle. It adds new functionality
quickly for designers and developers, and provides the community an efficient way
to help shape product development by contributing ideas and bug reports. It includes
full source code, unit tests, samples and documentation for 26 new controls covering
charting, styling, layout, and user input.

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Building Business Applications in Silverlight 3

If you’re interested in Silverlight 3 and building business applications you’re not
going to want to miss this excellent free Silverlight training opportunity!

Join us at Advanced Home Care on Tuesday, 7th July, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. (Dinner
& Meet & Greet: 6-6:45 p.m.)

Directions link: (4001
Piedmont Parkway, High Point, NC 27265).


Overview:

Silverlight 3 is expected to hit the web sometime soon this summer and in this
presentation you will learn about some of the new features applicable to developing
business applications with Silverlight 3. We will look at building solutions with
the new navigation framework, accessing, validating, and updating data with .NET RIA
Services, working with the new capabilities to make your Silverlight applications
SEO friendly, and a few more things as well.

Agenda:

6:00 – 6:30          Dinner &
Meet & Greet

6:45 – Presentation

· General Announcements

· Building Business Applications in Silverlight 3.0

Presented by:

· Jim Duffy is founder and president of TakeNote Technologies, an award-winning
training, consulting, and software development company specializing in .NET software
developer training and helping clients create business solutions with Microsoft technologies.
Jim is a Microsoft Regional Director, a Microsoft MVP, an INETA speaker, and is an
entertaining and popular speaker at regional user groups and international developer
conferences. He is also a co-host of Computers 2K9, a call-in radio show on WRBZ (AM
850), 850 The Buzz, in Raleigh, NC. You can find additional information about Jim,
TakeNote Technologies, links to his blog, as well as a public training class schedule,
on-site training information, consulting information, and software development services
at at  
http://www.takenote.com

Please see the www.triaddev.org site,
or click the
Directions link.

So be sure to RSVP today! Note: You may RSVP in reply to this e-mail, or
to
www.triaddev.org

 

 

Silverlight 3 at TRINUG Web Apps Sig

image

Tonight the gang at the TRINUG Web
Apps SIG (Special Interest Group) decided to take a break from their monthly MVC and
JQuery fun to take a look at some of the new features of Silverlight 3.
The screenshot above and link below is the completed code sample that I was walking
through to show some Silverlight basics and look at a few of the new features.

The sample includes Perspective 3d capabilities, element to element bindings, and
Pixel Shader Effects.

Download SigDemo
SL3 Code

The Silverlight 3 Out Of Browser Slide application demo that we took a look at as
well is available
here on Mike Harsh’s Blog
.