So I’ve been a very, very busy bee with a bunch of projects, and there’s been no lack of well-deserved teasing for not posting to this blog in 8 months. I guess the best way to silence the critics would be a good-old-fashioned link-off. Here’s my list of high quality Silverlight 3 content that you’ve got to check out. [More]
Image via Wikipedia Had a really fun lunch session from the creators of the ASP.NET Ajax Control Toolkit. Looks like Microsoft released a Silverlight Control Toolkit yesterday, which will be followed later with a WPF Control Toolkit out of band from Visual Studio/.NET Framework releases. And, like the AJAX Control Toolkit, we'll be getting full source code, unit tests and project harnesses. Good stuff, indeed. About the Delivery Model A core runtime will be created and maintained by Microsoft, and coupled with an SDK/Tools release. This out of band release will be the first we'll see as developers (no timeframe mentioned). In addition, CodePlex projects will be created and maintained to keep control builds in 4 quality bands. Those bands are: Experimental - Controls may or may not be included in a future release Preview - Useful for most folks, but final version may have changes Stable - Controls are good for 90%+ of scenarios, this is considered close to final beta quality Mature - Full RTM quality, no breaking changes unless there's a security issue. What's included? In addition to getting source code, you get a bunch of other really cool stuff. Here's what's included: WPF Parity Controls - DockPanel, WrapPanel, TreeView, Expander, Label, ViewBox, HeaderedContentControl, HeaderedItemsControl Silverlight UI Components - Autocomplete textbox, NumericUpDown, Charting (supports Line, Pie, Column, Scatter charts, courtesy of Dundas). These controls will later be made available on WPF Unit Tests - Automated unit test framework for Silverlight Sample Sites - Sample web site projects that demonstrate appropriate usage of all the new controls in the Silverlight control toolkit. Themes - Expression Dark, Expression Light, Shiny Blue, Shiny Red, Rainier Orange, Rainier Purple. Themes are managed through the ISM (Implicit Style Manager) -- a new component in the Silverlight control toolkit. What's Coming?Some additional controls are coming (Accordion, ListView). Also, some major issues will be fixed in an upcoming release, as well as charting improvements, etc. These will be in a minor release later this year. Sometime around Mix '09, they'll add a MediaPlayer, TimePicker, Carousel, Rating, MaskedTextBox and more themes! Even further down the road -- InPlaceEditing, AppointmentCalendar, ImageMap, FileUpload, Menu, SlideShow Technorati Tags: Silverlight
Presented by Jamie Cool, Microsoft Corporation Yes -- his name really is Jamie Cool. I think Jamie did the best presentation of the day (so far) on developing business applications with Silverlight, and then a good taste of Silverlight futures. It's hard to say how much of the futures we saw were really Silverlight futures and how much was ADO.NET Entity Framework futures. All the same, this is what he demonstrated. Right in front of our eyes, Jamie put together a slick Silverlight 2 HR application that featured: 2-way data binding with XAML binding expressions Custom business logic extensions for ADO.NET entity framework that would make framework designers cry. New "DetailsView" control for Silverlight. Security trimming and authentication using something like a LoginView. Easy to use and easy to deploy service model courtesy of ADO.NET Entity Framework. On-the-fly validation in the business layer implemented with ease (through decoration or your own declarative programming) I know this post is really short, mostly because I was too busy lifting my jaw off the ground to keep blogging. I can't believe we're seeing Silverlight futures so close after version 2 final release (2 weeks ago). Really amazing stuff. No commitment on delivery yet, but I wouldn't think we'd hear that so soon after v2 release. Look for more posts on this blog. Technorati Tags: Silverlight
Nikita Polyakov sent an interesting link my way showing off application themes in Adobe Flex. Not to be outdone by a bunch of Adobe campers, I thought I'd put together some resources on skinning inside Silverlight (and less specifically WPF)
How-to create Silverlight themes.
Designing a blog theme using Silverlight.
How-to create your own Visual WebGUI Silverlight theme.
Nikhil Kothari's guide to Silverlight themes
What's different about these sites over the downloadable application themes for Flex? Well, these haven't been implemented as stand-alone packages, rather they are guides on how to create themes in Silverlight. For a stand-alone control skinning, I've found only a few great web links so far:
Corrina Barber has created 4 great Silverlight skins
telerik makes a great suite of controls that are also skinnable -- they haven't done a skin exchange program for Silverlight yet, but I bet it's coming.