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Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting! Below is a list of entries related to the tag listed above.. My site contains more than just the information below and I'd encourage you to visit the home page to view current information as well as other items/categories that might be of interest.



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Silverlight 5 Released with awesome samples in the Silverlight Toolkit

Silverlight 5 is finally released!  Congratulations to the team for getting through some of the toughest parts of finishing a product and validating with customers.  It’s been a pretty crazy year for the Silverlight team and this is a really good release for the product bringing some solid features to the platform for folks to leverage in building their apps. In addition to the platform having a release, I was really pleased to see an update to the Silverlight Toolkit, which has been one of the most popular things almost every Silverlight developer/application uses.  If you didn’t know where...

Windows Store details announced and a contest

Today there was an event in San Francisco which introduced the Windows Store for Windows apps as well as some details on revenue sharing and policies.  As a part of that Antoine LeBland, Vice President for Windows Web Services, also opened up a new dialog about the store specifically in a new blog Windows Store for developers.  This blog will help developers learn about aspects of the store as well as serve as a place for dialog between the store teams and you, the app developer.  I think it is great that the store team is following in the footsteps...

XAML Sessions at BUILD

By now hopefully you’ve seen a lot of the revealing of what the next version of Windows has in store for developers.  Trust me there is a LOT to absorb as the week continues and you should absolutely keep your eye on the BUILD conference site where session information will likely start to appear. I know that a lot of readers here will be interested in the XAML-specific sessions so I thought I’d iterate them here real quick.  NOTE: Anything on the agenda with a “C” after the session number is a chalk talk...

Silverlight 5 RC available for developers

The Silverlight 5 Release Candidate (RC) is now available for developers to download.  As with previous preview releases, this is a developer-focused release, which means no production releases, no go-live license, etc.  This is made available for you to test your apps, upgrade to get latest features and to deal with the changes from beta to RC. The beta was a great release and preview of what the team had introduced as new features.  You can read back on my Silverlight 5 guide to new features post regarding if you haven’t understood the latest and greatest additions.  However there...

Silverlight 5 Beta–A guide to the new features

At the MIX11 conference Scott Guthrie announced the availability of Silverlight 5 Beta.  I suppose this doesn’t come at a surprise to most as this is now a regular annual occurrence.  In fact it is almost exactly a year ago when Silverlight 4 was released. The team has been working very hard to deliver on the features we discussed at the Silverlight Firestarter event last December 2010.  That was a flurry of revealing that happened in December showing the world what the Silverlight team has been working on.  There was no rest for them of course and they continued to complete...

Silverlight 4 February 2011 Update Released Today

Today (at approximately 10:00 AM PST) our team released an update to the Silverlight 4 runtime.  This update, dubbed internally as “GDR3,” provides an update in the following key areas (KB2495644): Timestamp issues with media playback and VC-1 codec Visual Studio IDE crash when profiling a Silverlight application which has a pixel shader Enabling Silverlight to run as a 32-bit process in 64-bit Firefox on OSX DRM fixes for a “6207” error when playing protected content after upgrading to a version of Silverlight Memory leak...

Silverlight Toolkits now on NuGet

Last night after a quick e-mail exchange with Phil, David and Scott I revised my Silverlight Toolkit “NuPack” packages I had previously created when NuPack NuGet first came out.  At the time there were a couple of things still not supported and frankly, I got busy and never bothered to check back.  Scott had seen something on a forum inquiring why Silverlight stuff, namely our open source controls, aren’t deployable via NuGet.  There wasn’t any other reason other than resources not currently scheduled to add this to the build flows, etc.  So I spent a few minutes revising the packages...

Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed

Today we had the SIlverlight Firestarter event and revealed to the world for the first time, not only the plans for the next version of Silverlight, but also a slew of demonstrations of some key features. If you weren’t able to attend live or online real-time, we have recorded the sessions which will be available later this week on Channel 9. There has been a lot of confusion on the future of Silverlight.  Microsoft wants to ensure we have a great developer platform portfolio that supports all great technologies like HTML5, Silverlight and WPF.  We’ll continue to invest in these technologies for...

Silverlight is dead. Long live Silverlight!

Well PDC10 is over (note: head on over to the PDC site to view all the sessions).  There was a lot of talk about Internet Explorer 9 (and another preview update) as well as general web development.  There had been some reports on the 2nd day of PDC commenting about the shift in strategy about Silverlight. You may have read the initial story from Mary Jo Foley which led to the tsunami of information about Silverlight being done, over and killed except for the Windows Phone 7 platform.  Other popular news outlets picked up on the story,...

Welcome New Silverlight MVPs for October 2010

Just a quick shout-out to congratulate the latest Silverlight MVPs to the program.  The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) program is a recognition program that is in place to recognize and reward those individuals who have been identified by individuals (peers, Microsoft staff, etc.) as experts in their technology field and global contributors to the technology.  As of today (01 OCT 2010) we welcome some new folks to the Silverlight group: Colin Melia (@colinizer) Kunal Chowdhury (@kunal2383) Tetsuji Kato (@iwiz_sophy) Kelps Leite...

Understanding Silverlight releases (and the September 2010 2nd service update)

Recently our team released a service release for Silverlight on 1-Sep-2010.  We affectionately call these “GDR” releases (general distribution release). NOTE: Other teams have different names for different things.  I’m not sure why Microsoft doesn’t have a standard on these things and it’s funny to hear marketing teams argue the benefit of one name over the other.  For what it is worth, in my eyes, if it isn’t a major milestone release (or at least a ‘dot’ release [4.0->4.1 for example] then it is a service update.  Call it a GDR, Wave X, Service Pack, R2, blah blah. In the GDR1 release...

Windows Phone 7 Developer Training events

It looks like the MSDN team has arranged some deep dives into Windows Phone development across the country.  I am sure that for Microsoft developers Windows Phone 7 represents a new opportunity to get out in the marketplace with your XAML skills and get recognized (paid) for your work!  It has been exciting to see a lot of interest from Silverlight developers in Windows Phone 7. If you are one that hasn’t had the time to soak in the platform or simply haven’t been paying attention, you are in luck.  There are a series of launch events...

Handling picture orientation in CameraCaptureTask in Windows Phone 7

I was spelunking around playing with Silverlight in Windows Phone 7 and specifically the CameraCaptureTask.  The “tasks” are APIs that allow you to interact with phone-specific functionality like the camera, picture picker, phone dialer, etc.  A whole list of the available tasks in the Microsoft.Phone.Tasks namespace can be found in the developer documentation. I was basically creating a simple application that would allow you to choose (PhotoChooserTask) or take a picture (CameraCaptureTask) and then display the picture (and later post it online or something).  Here was my basic XAML structure: ...

Lt. Bennett returns and brings his Silverlight source code with him!

Three years ago I wrote about one of the first full-featured casual games built in Silverlight (at the time Silverlight 1.1) which we called Zero Gravity.  It was a game featuring Lt. Bennett a character who was lost in space and your job was to navigate him through simple puzzle boards back to his space ship.  It is a fun little game that can keep you busy for a while and even get you frustrated on some of the harder mazes.  The project was done in concert with Terralever, an agency who has great experience in building great online casual...

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tips and Tricks

On the heels of the Windows Phone Developer Tools and Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit releases I saw a lot of exhaling going on in the hallways today.  Apparently Jeff saved his largest one for an avalanche of knowledge on Twitter in the late afternoon.  Jeff Wilcox is a developer on the Silverlight team and has been working on the Silverlight for Windows Phone initiative as well as the toolkit released today.  He was headed out on vacation but decided to throw out some words of wisdom for Windows Phone developers working in Silverlight.  Here’s some of those nuggets –...

Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone 7

Well, the official Windows Phone Developer Tools are out!  Go get them. (warning likely some caching issues..direct installer here.) The awesome Silverlight toolkit team is at it again, this time for Windows Phone 7.  The team is releasing a series of controls/libraries to help WP7 developers fill some gaps and simply make things easier and more consistent.  The initial set includes the following: ContextMenu control DatePicker and TimePicker controls ToggleSwitch control GestureHelper library WrapPanel control These...

Writing plugins for Seesmic Desktop

Today, Seesmic more broadly launched Seesmic Desktop, a refreshed platform for interacting with various social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, etc.  Seesmic has been one of the leaders in this space providing client applications on various platforms across web, desktop and mobile and providing us with unified views of our interaction with others online. You may have remembered seeing Loic on stage at MIX last year demonstrating their first preview of this updated platform and inviting developers to be a part of extending the shell.  That’s right…their platform is extensible!  A great application that I can also...

Introducing JetPack–a new Silverlight 4 application theme

After a longer-than-should-have-been delay (you can blame me for that) allow me to introduce JetPack. I’m really excited about this theme and the work that our team put together here.  You may have see Tsitsi talk about theming in general and introduce this theme on Silverlight TV.  The challenge behind this theme was to take some of the excitement around other Silverlight themes and create a great looking overall theme that could be used for line-of-business applications, but also extended as desired by any other application. Working with the team at Pixel Lab, our small team...

Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme

September is here (apologies for being late - in all honesty I wasn't inspired by this months' selections)…time for an updated Windows 7 Smashing Magazine theme pack! The September themes seem to be continuing the focus on 'summer' things.  So here is your September 2010 Windows 7 Theme Packs for wallpapers – unfiltered and uncensored – about 75 wallpapers in all. Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme (calendar) Smashing Magazine September 2010 Windows 7 Theme (no calendar) Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper: September 2010 (original post) For details on these...

Storing and playing media on Windows Phone 7

In talking with a friend about some Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight stuff recently.  He was giving me some great feedback about a few things (all of which I’ve passed along).  One of the things was what I felt was a common task that might exist in the mobile space but admittedly isn’t as clear if you are just coming to WP7 development.  The scenario is that of downloading media files and storing them for later playback. WP7 does not have a storage mechanism like SQLLite on the device, but since it is Silverlight, you do have Isolated Storage you can...

Pano versus Pivot: Windows Phone Design Days content available

One of the biggest discussions I started getting into when Windows Phone development was announced to the world was sparked with this single question I posed to our internal Windows Phone developer teams: What is the use case for when you would want to use a Pano versus Pivot application layout? I asked this in the context of an application for Yelp that I was writing.  Information was similar but not identical.  It was only similar in the sense that the data was all about user reviews and venues.  In my eyes I saw this like the fact...

Quick Steps to displaying data using PivotViewer and Silverlight

Last week or so the PivotViewer control was released, which is from the Microsoft LiveLabs team.  It’s a Silverlight control that enables you to visualize data information in a DeepZoom type experience.  Be sure to check out the PivotViewer learning section for some initial information if you haven’t seen any demonstrations. I received an email a few days back hoping for a more quick “how to” on using this control.  After all, it is a control for Silverlight and requires some implementation.  Honestly, I hadn’t even used it myself until I got that note.  I thought I’d jot down...

Hosting cross-domain Silverlight applications (XAP)

In the Silverlight world, there are two types of “cross-domain” things that may leave some banging their head against a wall for a while.  The first involves making network-based calls (WebClient, HttpWebRequest, etc) to services hosted on a domain other than the one that is the site of origin for the XAP.  This is solved by ensuring the service provider enables a clientaccesspolicy.xml file for their service.  More information here: Cross Domain Policy Files with Silverlight. NOTE: “site of origin” is a term you might see a lot with regard to Silverlight.  This refers to the URI domain of the Silverlight...

Expression Studio 4 launch–Blend, Web, Encoder, Design

Today (7-Jun-2010) at Internet Week in New York, Microsoft announced the general availability of Expression Studio 4 which includes upgraded versions of Expression Blend (including Sketchflow), Encoder, Web (including SuperPreview) and Design. You can find out the details of each product and download a trial at http://www.microsoft.com/expression right now. With this release comes a free Upgrade for licensed version 3 (Studio or Web) users!  All you need to do is install the trial version of v4 on top of your licensed version of Expression Studio 3 or Expression Web 3 and the installer will find your license and upgrade it to the...

Silverlight 4 Theme refresh including RIA Services templates

The feedback from the Silverlight 4 application themes released and the latest in process have been overwhelmingly toward the positive.  We appreciate the feedback and hopefully you appreciate the transparency in the process.  As a developer I want my fellow brethren to appreciate good design and use it whenever possible … even as a default if you don’t have designers on board. In the initial release we had some issues getting the RIA Services ones out at the same time but we’ve got those finished now for Silverlight 4 Business Application Template.  Download the refreshed Silverlight 4...

Silverlight 4 minor update–June 2010

Today we released a service update for Silverlight 4.  This is a minor release that addresses some items found immediately after release that have now completed our test passes with those who reported them.  Most of the items found won’t affect all users, but media developers will want to get this update for their applications and encourage their users to upgrade. This update (4.0.50524.0) addresses a few media-related items found by some of our media customers.  A few items were serviced for DRM users as well as 2nd monitor usage for media on the Mac platform.  If you are...

SNEAK PEEK: Another Silverlight theme pack preview

Building on the positive feedback of the previous Silverlight application themes released last month (Cosmopolitan, Accent Color, and Windows) the design team is working on another theme targeting business application developers.  We don’t yet have an ‘official’ name for this one yet (and to mitigate the confusion of internal code names again, I’ll spare you the code name), but I wanted to put up a preview.  We’re turning this theme around FAST and I wanted to throw it out here in an initial iteration for preview and comment.  This is the ‘dark’ version of the theme and there will be...

Silverlight XAP Signing Certificate promotion from Thawte

And the offers keep coming in!  Another one of our key partners for testing XAP signing for trusted applications was Thawte.  Their group helped provide us with valid certificates to verify their process and signing worked as expected (and verified) for Silverlight 4.  Today I just got an email from their marketing department that they would like to offer Silverlight developers a discount on Thawte code-signing certificates to $89 for a 1-year…about 70% off their current rate.  That’s pretty amazing of them to do. Here’s their terms and details on how to get it… Terms ...

New Silverlight 4 Themes available–get the raw bits

NOW OFFICIALLY RELEASED: DOWNLOAD HERE A while back I posted a sneak peek preview of 3 new themes that we were working on for Silverlight 4 applications.  Our team wanted to do more than just the overall base theme and provide the themes for the core, SDK and some Silverlight Toolkit controls as well.  In addition, there was a lot of internal chatter about how cool these new themes were and a lot of teams wanting to adopt them as default, including WCF RIA Services. While we finalize a better distribution plan for these templates (and some may show up as defaults...

Get a Silverlight XAP signing certificate for cheap thanks to GoDaddy

One of the new features in Silverlight 4 is the ability to sign your XAP applications so that your out-of-browser trusted applications look more friendly (trusted) to your users, they come from a verified publisher, and they can take advantage of the auto-update APIs in Silverlight. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s some resources for some background: XAP Signing in Silverlight 4 HOWTO Video: Sign Silverlight 4 Applications Basically if you are writing a Silverlight 4 trusted application, you WANT to be signing your XAPs. ...

Seesmic and Silverlight Provide an Extensible Social Platform

This week, Seesmic announced a new Seesmic Desktop platform.  They finally revealed more details to the public and released developer previews of their shell, SDK and some sample plugins.  You can get them on the Seesmic Developer Wiki. The best part?  It’s built on Silverlight 4 and the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)!  This is awesome news for those of us who have been using various clients that have been locked down to specific use scenarios.  There always is a few things I want/need/etc in software and it’s great now that (at least in this space) I can...

Backward Compatibility with Silverlight 4 applications

Each release of Silverlight it is the goal to make sure existing Silverlight applications continue to work.  Since I think what this means causes some confusion I’m going to do my best to explain what we mean by this. Silverlight 3 application working with Silverlight 4 Okay, scenario 1 is I have a Silverlight 3 application (XAP), will that still work as-is in Silverlight 4?  Yes, this is the situation we refer to as backward compatibility.  What this means is that existing compiled XAPs under previous versions should continue to work as-is even if your users...

Silverlight Client for Facebook updated for Silverlight 4 release

Yet again, we’ve updated the Silverlight Client for Facebook for the Silverlight 4 release version.  In order to use the updated one, you must follow these instructions: First, uninstall the previous version you have.  This can be done in Add/Remove Programs on Windows or by just deleting the app on Mac. Ensure you have Silverlight 4 installed.  If you are using the development tools and have installed Silverlight 4 developer tools, that’s fine.  If you are not a developer, visit http://microsoft.com/getsilverlight to get the latest Silverlight 4 version (4.0.50401.0). ...

Silverlight 4 released. Availability of tools announcement

Today’s the day!  Tuesday at DevConnections in Las Vegas, Scott Guthrie just announced the ‘launch’ of Silverlight 4.  We wanted to take the opportunity at DevConnections to let a large audience of our customers online/offline know that we’re done and shipped Silverlight 4.  As of today it’s now available for you to download/use.  Here’s some helpful quick update information for you: Download the bits Understanding what is in the bits RIA Services Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools VS2008 and VS2010...

Using XNA libraries in your Silverlight Windows Phone 7 applications

I recently got an inquiry to my Microsoft Translator sample on if this would work with the Silverlight in the Windows Phone 7 SDK.  I hadn’t tried it before, so I created a sample Windows Phone 7 application and copied the code over.  I used a basic UI to mock up the similarities: And then clicked the button.  The text translated fine, but no audio.  I didn’t get any warnings that the WaveMSS code sample I was using wouldn’t work.  Then I remembered about XNA. NOTE: I actually think this is a bug...

Watch the Silverlight 4 Launch event and LIVE QA with ScottGu and others

Next week on 13-April at 8:00 AM PST Scott Guthrie will deliver a keynote address for the DevConnections conference being held in Las Vegas, NV.  Scott will provide updates on the progress made in Silverlight 4 and will provide the details of availability of the developer tools, runtime and other news. Mark your calendars and return to the Silverlight community site to tune into the LIVE event.  After the keynote, Channel 9 will be hosting interviews with Scott and other key members of the Silverlight and Expression teams.  I’ll be hosting one of those interviews as well...

Managing service references and endpoint configurations for Silverlight applications

You’ve written your service.  You’ve written your Silverlight application.  You Add Service Reference to your application and got the client proxy code.  Your app ‘works on your machine’ and you push it out.  FAIL. NotFound. Crap.  You forgot that your service reference had your local URI endpoint in there and when you moved it to staging and/or production it failed.  You start cursing Microsoft and the Silverlight team and add to the threads in the forums or perhaps initiate a new wishlist item for the team and throw it out on Twitter and encourage votes. ...

Congratulations to latest 2nd quarter Silverlight MVPs

Congratulations to all the new/returning MVPs from all competencies, but I wanted to call out the newly awarded Silverlight MVPs for this latest round.  Please join me in congratulating them: Xuan Qin (China) Mark Monster (The Netherlands) (@Mark_Monster) Rene Schulte (Germany) (@rschu) Seungmin Ha (Korea) Jaana Metsamaa (Estonia) And a specific call out also to Colin Blair (@SLColinBlair).  Colin’s work in the WCF RIA Services space gained him recognition from the connected systems division.  Since Colin...

MSDN Radio follow-up answers: Prism for Silverlight, DomainServices and relationships

This morning I was on a weekly (new) radio show from MSDN, hosted by Mike Benkovich.  The show, MSDN Radio, features live call-in questions that you can ask.  It was a better format than the typical live meeting text-based QA I thought.  I think hearing questions gives you a better chance of articulating your inquiry more.  Thanks to all those who listened and asked questions.  I know it seemed short and there were a few more questions in the queue – feel free to send me questions you may have. UPDATE: The audio from the show was just posted here. There were...

Installing Silverlight applications without the browser involved

One of the features we are introducing in Silverlight 4 is a ‘silent install’ mechanism for out-of-browser applications.  Currently every out-of-browser application (trusted or not) starts from an in-browser mechanism.  In some instances where you want to deploy the app via managed desktop software or perhaps via CD-ROM, you don’t want to have to tell the user to start on an HTML page first. Now I’m not going to write here about the merits of why you might want to do this other than to point out what I believe to be the 2 prominent scenarios: managed desktop deployment and CD/DVD...

MIX10: Yet another way to view video content sessions using their OData feed

Well, MIX10 is over.  It was a great time to meet a lot of people and see friends from afar.  As anyone knows, the networking is a HUGE part of being in-person at any conference…that vibe, value and friendship cannot be matched online. But the sessions – there were a TON of them.  It is quite impossible to be in 3 places at one time.  Thankfully the MIX team record all regular sessions and make them available for viewing online or offline.  For you Silverlight developers here are my picks to ensure you watch: EX55: Building the eBay...

Silverlight Client for Facebook updated for Silverlight 4 RC

If you installed the Silverlight Client for Facebook, and also upgraded to the release candidate for Silverlight 4, you may have noticed it stopped working :-). NOTE: Applications compiled on Silverlight 4 beta will not work on machines with Silverlight RC runtime.  This is known/expected.  As with all pre-release software, this type of breaking can be expected. We’ve recently updated the Facebook application, and you will have to re-install.  Follow these steps: Uninstall the Silverlight Facebook client.  You can do this in a few ways.  First on Windows through the Add/Remove Programs or by...

Make your Silverlight applications Speak to you with Microsoft Translator

One of the announcements that happened during the MIX10 conference was the availability of the V2 of the Microsoft Translator API.  This is the engine that powers the translation behind http://www.bing.com/translate and some other Bing-related properties as well.  A lot of research has gone into the engine from Microsoft Research and others.  Language translation isn’t an easy task especially taking into consideration cultural significance of words, etc.  I have heard that the most challenging in machine translation is to Asian languages.  I will admit to not speaking any of them, so I don’t know how well we are performing here...

Simulate Geo Location in Silverlight Windows Phone 7 emulator

If you’ve been excited about Windows Phone 7 development and the platform being Silverlight for application development, you probably rushed and downloaded all the tools (which are free by the way).  You may have even got the samples from the SDK and noticed the Location services example…but wondered why it doesn’t work. If you are just getting started, I created some quickstart videos to help you through some of the basics.  You can view them here. In case you haven’t figured it out: Location services (aka, GPS) is not emulated in the developer tools CTP.  As you might expect, this makes it...

Getting Started with Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Development

So the news is out!  Silverlight IS the platform for Windows Phone 7 Series development! Sweet.  We also made available an update to Silverlight 4 that you might be interested in too! You may be wondering how you get started.  If you are new to Silverlight, I recommend getting familiar with Silverlight first.  You can find all the tools you will need at the Silverlight community site.  In addition to the core tools you’ll want to get the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP.  This will add to your Visual Studio 2010 installation (or install Visual Studio Express) to enable Windows Phone...

A guide to what has changed in the Silverlight 4 RC

UPDATE: Silverlight 4 is RELEASED!  READ HERE! At MIX10, Silverlight 4 released an update, the Silverlight 4 RC (release candidate).  A few things have changed since the beta which was released in November.  If you haven’t read my guide to Silverlight 4 you may want to check that out.  The features still exist, but there are some changes to the implementations of some of the features as well as some new ones.  Please go read the previous post to familiarize yourself with the features.  This post will be complimentary to that and identify new/changed. First let’s get you going with the tools: ...

SNEAK PEEK: New Silverlight application themes

‘Twas the week before MIX, when all through the tubes Not a developer was sleeping, not even the noobs. The laptops were paved removed of their glitz In hopes that they soon will get some new bits. A developer was coding, building an app Trying to build the next greatest XAP Battleship gray?! Now that’s obscene Check our designers’ latest theme Okay, so I’m not going to win any poetry awards.  Our UX design team for Silverlight has been thinking about app building a lot this past year,...

Learning the M-V-VM pattern for XAML development

Quick, what’s the most popular thing in XAML development?  Yeah, thought so…MVVM or Model-View-ViewModel. It’s one of the most popular subjects I hear about when people talk about developing applications with WPF and Silverlight.  However, as much as it is talked about and as much as frameworks are born every day, there isn’t a ton of just simplified ‘here’s how you do it’ information in one place.  I mean, sure there *is* information, but I have to admit I think it is a bit scattered all over. One of the pioneers of promoting this pattern for WPF development,...

Using Silverlight Media Framework for simple playback

If you aren’t aware of the Silverlight Media Framework, you should take a look.  This is a media playback framework for Silverlight that is based off of a lot of best practices from such implementations as the NBC Olympics, Sunday Night Football and others.  It has a lot of features built-in to the framework such as: Logging DVR-style features Fast forward Slow motion Media Markers etc Basic stuff plus some great included features and extensibility points. Missing Features...

Quick FAQ on Visual Studio 2010 RC release (February 2010) and Silverlight development

Yesterday Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate was available for MSDN subscribers and would be generally available on 10 February 2010 for the public.  This release represents a significant improvement in the overall Visual Studio product and a lot was based on beta tester feedback. Of course, as a Silverlight developer you will be wondering: Can I still develop Silverlight 4 applications with the VS2010 RC? Here’s the simplest form of a FAQ I could provide for you: Q: What was released this week for Visual Studio 2010? A: The Visual Studio...

Silverlight DataGrid quick styling tip: keep selected row focus state

A developer asked me this question and while a simple answer, I thought it would be a good quick tip to share for those who may be in similar situations. The scenario is the classic master-details scenario where perhaps you have a grid of data and when a user selects the row, the details are enabled in a form (or perhaps the child of the element) for editing.  Maybe something like this: See you can see the row clearly selected (note: this is using the default DataGrid styling).  But watch what happens when you go to the form to edit: Notice the focus...

Reading MP3 metadata with Silverlight and drag-drop

I’m working on a little sample application for music management in Silverlight using WCF RIA Services and some other new Silverlight 4 features.  One thing that I wanted to add to the application was the ability to drag an audio file and either lookup the data and/or add a new album/artist/song to the library automatically. Audio formats have a ‘tag’ format known as ID3.  It’s a format used for audio file metadata that is used in Windows Media Player, iTunes, and various hardware devices as well.  Over the years there has been an evolution of this format, with the...

Silverlight Client for Facebook available

Remember the final moments of the Scott Guthrie keynote presentation at PDC09?  Where Brian Goldfarb came on stage and demonstrated a completed application using a lot of the features of Silverlight 4?  Yeah, that Facebook application.  Well, it’s here now! The Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook has been released as a developer preview sample.  In order to use it you must have Silverlight 4 developer builds installed. NOTE: When you run this application you’ll be installing the developer builds of Silverlight.  When Silverlight 4 releases, unless you are a...

RIA Services and relational data

As we’ve all been guilty, when you see demonstrations of technologies most of the time the data samples show single table solutions.  When was the last time you’ve developed a single-table system? :-)  Thought so. In RIA Services demonstrations, most of them have been single-table samples as well.  So how do you go about retrieving relational data (master/details type) with RIA Services?  Here’s an option.  I’m using VS2010, Silverlight 4 and the WCF RIA Services preview using the below sample.  I’m also using the Chinook sample database which has become one of my favorite simpler relational data samples to...

Deploying your Silverlight and WCF RIA Services application

UPDATE: Please read the updated information on RIA Services deployment and troubleshooting on MSDN.. So you’ve been playing around with Silverlight and WCF RIA Services (the artist formerly known as .NET RIA Services) and you are ready to deploy.  You’ve been living in your happy Visual Studio environment, perhaps even relying on the built-in web server (a.k.a. Cassini) to serve up your pages/XAP to test.  All has been well, you’ve done your testing and you are ready to publish to your server.  You compile one last time and then right-click in Visual Studio on the web project and click Publish.  You...

Building extensible Silverlight applications with MEF

At PDC09, Glenn Block delivered a great presentation on building extensible RIAs using the Managed Extensibility Framework (FT24 from the PDC09 sessions).  Glenn is one of the PMs and face-man for MEF.  He’s been traveling all around singing the praises of MEF for .NET developers and gathering feedback along the way.  You may remember Glenn from his work with the Prism framework as well.  I snagged Glenn at the end of PDC to grab a sound-byte: Glenn has already started a series on MEF in Silverlight starting with the basics and then continuing along deeper. ...

Silverlight 4 NotificationWindow and Queuing multiple notifications

One of the cool features for Silverlight 4 Out-of-browser applications that was announced as a part of the Silverlight 4 beta release is the NotificationWindow class.  Most commonly referred to as “toast” these are the little notifications that popup in the system areas of your operating system to provide helpful (and sometimes annoying) information.  Any user of Microsoft Outlook no doubt has seen them.  They look something like this (Windows system tray area shown here): After reading Corey’s post showing a quick FAQ on customizing the experience of the NotificationWindow, I was drawn to the comment he...

Fixing Visual Studio 2010 and Blend Preview for .NET 4 integration

If you’ve been working with Visual Studio 2008, Expression Blend 3 and Silverlight (or WPF) development, you’ve likely used the Open in Expression Blend feature in Visual Studio.  This occurs when you right-click on a XAML file in your project/solution and you’ll see that option as long as you have Expression Blend 3 installed. Well…if you are an eager developer and have installed VS2010 and the Blend Preview for .NET 4, you may have noticed that integration broken. Problem 1: VS2010 and Blend Preview for .NET 4 on a clean box – NO LINK You’ve just fired up a new virtual PC or...

RIA Services templates not showing in Visual Studio 2010?

Last week, the Silverlight 4 beta release included the Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010.  This single installer would perform the following (assuming you had either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer Express 2010 already installed: Install a Visual Studio 2010 service pack (KB976272) Install Silverlight 4 Windows developer runtime (4.0.1108.0) Install Silverlight 4 SDK Install WCF RIA Services (November 2009) That is all you really needed.  But some may have had an experience afterwards of launching VS2010 and...

Microsoft PDC09 and Silverlight Round-up

Well, PDC09 is over and it was a blast.  What a relief it is to finally be able to show the world what the Silverlight team has been working on since Silverlight 3.  Based on the feedback at the conference, people are excited to dig into the new bits and start building solutions.  As a round-up of resources from PDC, I’m putting some of my favorites here. Video Content For some of the PDC09 key Silverlight sessions, these are what I recommend: CL01 – Microsoft Silverlight 4 Overview (Karen Corby) ...

Silverlight 4 Beta – A guide to the new features

At the Microsoft Professional Developer (PDC) conference, Scott Guthrie announced the availability of Silverlight 4 Beta. UPDATE (March 2010): Silverlight 4 RC made available!  Go read my updated post on what has changed after you read below about the core features. WHAT?! That’s right, we’ve released an early beta of the next version of Silverlight.  It’s really amazing to think what the team is accomplishing at the pace they are accomplishing it!  Silverlight 3 released just over 3 months ago and here we are with yet another release full of features that our community has been asking for.  This beta release...

Two Silverlight SDKs released – Bing and Facebook

Two SDK libraries have released this week, helping developers integrate Silverlight experiences into their applications. Bing Maps Silverlight Control At TechEd Europe, the Bing Maps team released version 1.0 of the official Bing Maps Silverlight Control!  This is a replacement for the previous Virtual Earth Javascript control and provides a great DeepZoom experience for using the mapping platform.  Here’s some of the great features for Silverlight developers: Built on Silverlight 3! Designer support for Expression Blend Support for out-of-browser Vector in Pushpin...

Grouping data in a Silverlight DataGrid

I previously wrote about DataGrid grouping using the declarative model of adding GroupDescriptors.  Unfortunately that feature (the declarative part) never made it to the release of Silverlight 3.  It was pointed out to me that I should update that post and it has been on my //TODO list for a while.  Here’s an update… First, I’m still using a sample data class of Person as my test data: 1: using System.Collections.Generic; 2:  3: namespace...

Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development

Previously I made note of things about the release of Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 with regard to Silverlight development.  I’ve gotten a few questions about if people should start using it for Silverlight development.  Perhaps I can help provide you with the best information I can to make that decision…so here it goes. Go-live support Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 both have “go-live” support as indicated in the license terms (which are available on the VS2010 download).  If you have never bothered yourself with previous go-live products at Microsoft you may not understand what that...

Silverlight Toolkit adds DragDrop targets!

One of the cool things I came across the in the October 2009 Silverlight Toolkit release was the addition of drag-n-drop targets for some of the core controls.  Now I know you are thinking great, another drag-n-drop useless control?!? and you’d be wrong.  I’m talking about things that make it easy to do do things like moving items from one list box to another, without writing code, but with it actually doing what you expect. Let’s take the simplest example here: ListBox and moving items from one to another.  Using Expression Blend I’ve set up my XAML to be like this: ...

A plea to my developer brethren about designer/designers

Since we appear to be in another revolution on user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX), I’ve seen a lot of people, companies, sites refer to the designer-developer workflow, including Microsoft.  Heck we’re building tools around it for Silverlight and WPF development!  One thing I see too often though is the conversation being diminished to UI only.  I’ve heard conversations between developers saying things like yeah, now we just need a designer to make things look pretty or we take what the designer made pretty and put functionality behind it. I have a plea for my developer brethren: please stop...

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and Silverlight updates

Today (19 Oct 2009) the Visual Studio team released the second beta for Visual Studio 2010 to the public.  This is a significant milestone for the team and a huge improvement over the previous beta in my opinion as a user.  As a developer, you can find out how/when you can download Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 beta 2 from here. After installing the tools, one thing you may notice right away is a different look of branding of Visual Studio going forward for now.  Gone is the beloved multi-colored infinity looking thing (that’s what I call...

Updated Silverlight getting started for beginners

If you’re a pro Silverlight developer, this post isn’t for you.  Just a brief update that I’ve updated some of our getting started material for beginners – those who really haven’t done anything.  These will be showing up on the Silverlight Community Site soon, but I wanted to post a link to it here first. Getting Started with Silverlight Development is a 7-part series where I aim to do my best in trying to stuff as much as possible about Silverlight development in a simple application we develop at different steps.  It uses: Navigation ...

Changing DatePicker in Silverlight to show current date

This past weekend during a conversation about Silverlight controls at the San Diego Silverlight Education Day, someone asked about the DatePicker control and why the “15” is there and how come they can’t change it.  Here’s the control that was being referred to: The calendar displays an icon to the right of the text box area which, when clicked, displays a drop-down calendar picker.  The icon always says “15” and is intended to look like a little calendar date sheet (you know, like those desk calendars). The question was how to change that icon.  Well, easily. ...

Congratulations to Q3 NEW Silverlight MVPs

Just a quick shout-out to congratulate the latest Silverlight MVPs to the program.  The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) program is a recognition program that is in place to recognize and reward those individuals who have been identified by individuals (peers, Microsoft staff, etc.) as experts in their technology field and global contributors to the technology.  As of today (01 OCT 2009) we welcome some new folks to the Silverlight group: Rick Barraza (@rickbarraza)– wicked interactive design/developer with kung-fu XAML skillz Bryant Likes (@bryantlikes)– great contributor to the...

Silverlight Firestarter Seattle videos online

Mithun just posted that the videos are now available online from the Silverlight Firestarter Seattle event.  You can view the videos here in WMV form, but I also took a quick stab at putting them together in a playlist using the Silverlight Expression Encoder templates.  Here they are: You can click the little icon in the upper right to see the playlist option and to navigate.  NOTE: The offline mode doesn’t seem to work and likely because I didn’t populate the playlist option with the sizes of the videos, sorry about that,...

It’s Silverlight week in Seattle

I’m a little late to the game posting information about it, but there is a plethora of Silverlight stuff to do this week in the Seattle/Redmond area this week.  Sleepless in Seattle…definitely not – Silverlight in Seattle baby! Allow me to interpret Adam’s vector goods… 14 Sep (tonight!): Jesse Liberty is presenting at the .NET DA user group meeting on .NET RIA Services. 15 Sep: Nerd Dinner!!!  Just a casual gathering of people who speak in acronyms and like food.  Bellevue Crossroads food court (awesome choices for anyone). ...

Army of One…and Silverlight

Just doing some getting caught up from my holiday recently and I was reminded of a “line of business” application that was completed in Silverlight for the United States Army.  It is a bit of a supply chain management application…where the supply is soldiers! This is a pretty cool application that was taken from a full client (Windows Forms) application and brought to Silverlight by ProModel.  They specialize in supply and demand issues.  Take a look at the interview/demo that Adam Kinney did with Dan Hickman of ProModel.  Sure, it would have been cool to have a drill sergeant...

Silverlight feature suggestions

I’ve been doing a lot of asking and listening lately…to you, the Silverlight developers!  I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and “thank you for asking” comments and it has been real encouraging.  If you haven’t seen some of them, here’s some of my recent inquiries: Do you have a need to convert Flash applications (not just assets, but ActionScript)? How do you prefer to learn Silverlight (and how do you decide on choosing Silverlight)? Are you using the provided Silverlight Toolkit themes in your applications? If you...

How you chose and learned Silverlight

A few of us in the Silverlight team have been talking about various things and speculating on how we think the universe works.  We’ve been wondering how people best learn at different levels and how they come to decisions on what tools of their trade to use, etc.  I had a novel idea – let’s ask them.  I’m curious if you might help us stop speculating and get a broad picture of these ideas.  If you would, that would be great and help us understand better where we need to fight for prioritization of certain resources.  Please forward this along...

Compiling pixel shaders for Silverlight

I saw a note on Twitter come through yesterday about building pixel shaders for Silverlight in Visual Studio.  The question, from @blamborn was: Does anyone know if there is a Shader Effects BuildTask like the #WPF one here http://bit.ly/gCkNT only for #Silverlight? I replied that you can use the same build task and thought I had written my work around on how to do that, but apparently I never clicked published somewhere along the line.  I recall doing some work for this for a presentation a while back on VSLive and started to write...

Silverlight minor update released today

Small public service announcement here for Silverlight developers…we released a minor update to the runtime and SDK today.  You may see this referred to as Silverlight 3 GDR2.  Formally it is version 3.0.40818.0.  Usually when a release pops up people are curious about what is in it and why there wasn’t some major announcement. NOTE: “GDR” is Microsoft-speak for general distribution release. If you are interested in the full release history for Silverlight it is always available online (click the deployment section).  This latest minor release really had several updates for improving some media and network scenarios, but namely the main driver...

Help drive VS/Silverlight user experience

One of my colleagues, Corrina, pointed me today to some research her team is conducting on user experience with Visual Studio and Silverlight.  From her post today, …that my co-workers on the Visual Studio User Experience Team are doing focused on professional and non-professional web/application developers. The research involves… A short survey A telephone interview to discuss your development experiences A gratuity will be offered to individuals selected to participate in the telephone interview,...

Silverlight community samples – what do you want?

I normally hate short posts – but my friend John Papa put a poll up that I wanted to make sure gets some attention…please provide your opinion on this poll: What kinds of samples would you most like to see in a community Silverlight code sharing site? Help John out shape something useful! tags: silverlight, riaservices, ria, xaml, communityThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Silverlight and localizing string data

While I was at the Silverlight Atlanta Firestarter event I had a chance to meet some great people.  One of them was Sergey Barskiy.  Sergey was doing a session on deployment and while in the speaker area we were chatting about overall feedback on Silverlight.  One of the things he mentioned was what he thought was a bug in Visual Studio Tools for Silverlight.  It was around RESX files and the modifier setting (Internal, Public, etc.).  More on that later.  Sergey was using RESX files for localization.  While investigating the bug for him, I realized how many people might not...

More Silverlight application themes and fixes

When Silverlight 3 launched, we also published several additional application themes for the navigation and business application (for .NET RIA Services) templates.  I just uploaded two more themes from one of our designers, Corrina, to the Expression Gallery.  There are versions for both navigation application template as well as the .NET RIA Services business application template. Mediterranean Sun (RIA Services): Seeing Sound (RIA Services): Additionally, several fixes were made to the existing templates that some users reported.  I also added .NET RIA Services templates for those that were missing based on requests (Retro,...

Upcoming Silverlight events

I have the pleasure of being invited to participate in two Silverlight events coming up soon (one very soon).  These are a part of a “firestarter” event that is intended to get you familiar with certain technologies, in this case Silverlight, rather quickly and gain a better understanding for the overall platform offerings.  I’m excited to have been invited to participate in both the Atlanta and Seattle events. Silverlight Firestarter Atlanta The first one will be in Atlanta, Georgia on 22-August!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to Atlanta and I’m very happy to be going...

An out-of-browser install pattern for Silverlight

One of the features that a lot of developers seem to enjoy is the out-of-browser feature in Silverlight.  This is the feature that allows you to take your Silverlight application and run it like a desktop application (without some of the trust levels right now).  If you aren’t familiar with the feature, take a moment and familiarize yourself with it…here’s some info: Silverlight 3 Out of Browser developer APIs Sample Application Feature overview (from the PM that owns the feature) Now that you have some...

Silverlight 3 “toast” notifications

I was messing around with a new internal application the other day and made a wise crack about some of the features out in the open.  And by wise-crack, I mean ‘feedback in the nicest way possible’ of course.  On one of my suggestions someone pointed out a RTFM moment that the feature was actually in there but had a dependency.  The feature I was requesting was “toast” notifications. What is “toast”?  Aside from a delicious breakfast treat, it’s a term that most people refer to those little notification windows that popup from applications in the Windows system tray. ...

Silverlight DataForm and confirming deleting an item

I was talking with a good friend the other day about some feedback about DataForm.  It’s great to get raw and honest feedback…that’s where you improve more than ‘it sucks’ type feedback.  One of the use cases he felt would be common with the Silverlight DataForm control (available in the Silverlight Toolkit) was the concept of confirming the delete action.  I agreed as well that confirming permanent delete actions is a common line-of-business application pattern.  It got me thinking about some things… The Problem DataForm is a great control.  I love it.  It will benefit many developers in...

Silverlight at Microsoft PDC09 – we will be there!

It’s getting to be that time of year again…PDC!!!  For those who may not know, “PDC” is the beloved TLA for Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference.  This is it.  The geeks conference.  If you are a bit twiddler, this is for you.  PDC is where most of the forward-looking stuff is revealed.  It is also where certain executives come out for their semi-annual keynote ;-). PDC is in their 14th year!  Amazing.  The conference, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 17-19 NOV (with pre-cons happening on 16-NOV), will be awesome.  Learn about new stuff, see things...

Silverlight 3 Multi-touch: The Basics

One of the new features to Silverlight 3 is the ability to add multi-touch capabilities to your application.  When I posed the question on Twitter, I got some responses of ideas people would use this for.  Honestly most of them could be accomplished with mouse events today and X/Y calculations.  These would be the touch applications that are pretty singular.  But I did get some multi-touch ideas that I think I’ll try to explore.  First though, let’s look at the basics of what Silverlight provides for multi-touch application development. Hardware Hopefully I’m stating the obvious here, but your...

FloatableWindow source on CodePlex

I got enough feedback and suggestions that I figured it would be better just to put the code up on CodePlex rather than package zips on my blog :-).  Here it is: FloatableWindow project.  The latest build I have is up there which incorporates some feedback that I’ve received. UPDATE: If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! Basically the ShowDialog() API operates the same way that ChildWindow.Show() does today.  No changes there, popup is used.  But when you just want some simple MDI type windows, use Show() which will not use Popup but rather add the elements...

Silverlight 3 Bouncing plane gratuitous demo

I’ve received a few emails about updated code for the Scott Guthrie MIX09 keynote demo referred to as “bouncing plane” Silverlight demo.  A screenshot of this demo is seen here to refresh your memory: There really isn’t anything ‘new’ about this demo code for SL3, other than being recompiled.  Perhaps the only real change is to accommodate the new requirement that pixel shaders are resources of the project.  You’ll see the Effect1.cs code file where the constructor code for the shaders uses: 1: pixelShader = new PixelShader(); 2: pixelShader.UriSource = new Uri("/BouncingPlane;component/ShaderBytecode/Ripple.fx.ps", UriKind.Relative); If you are writing shaders,...

Building Silverlight 2 and 3 applications with Visual Studio 2008

As we’ve noted before, Visual Studio 2008 doesn’t have multi-targeting support for Silverlight development.  Generally speaking what this means is that if you install the Silverlight 3 tools, you have a Silverlight 3 development environment with VS2008.  True multi-targeting for Silverlight in the IDE will come in Visual Studio 2010 (you can see how that works in this post). NOTE: Visual Studio 2010 beta 1 (current version available at the time of this writing) does not fully support Silverlight 3 *release version* (also referred to ‘RTM’ or ‘RTW’) development.  There are a few things missing in VS10 beta 1 for full...

Silverlight 3: Cached Assemblies and you can to!

One of the new features I mentioned in my What’s new/changed post on Silverlight 3 is the fact that any application developer can take advantage of the cached assembly functionality provided by Silverlight.  Let me show you how and start with the current situation. Current Situation with Silverlight assembly references If you are building a Silverlight application, chances are you are referencing assemblies either from the SDK, Silverlight Toolkit or other great Silverlight third party controls/frameworks.  When you Add Reference to these controls/frameworks, their assembly is copied to your application and packaged up in your XAP.  For some situations this is fine...

Silverlight 3 Released! What is new/changed?

At last, Silverlight 3 is released!  It has been a long road…wait a minute, actually it’s only been 8 months since the last release!  Whoa, that’s some wicked supersonic Microsoft time there!  Anyhow, we are finally released.  A while back I wrote a post on What’s New in Silverlight 3 and it still all applies.  I’d encourage you to read that post as well.  There are, of course, some subtle changes in a few things from an implementation side of things, but those are all documented in the release. Here’s where you go to get the exhaustive goods.  First...

Silverlight 3: 7 additional application themes!

With the Silverlight 3 Tools for Visual Studio, developers get access to the Silverlight Navigation Application template.  By default the styles (which are located in the project’s Assets/Styles.xaml file) are really good and neutral for the application layout.  Now, keep in mind this is an overall application layout style and not control styles/templates. In addition to the default look provided by the tools out of the box with Silverlight 3, we’re providing 7 additional application template themes for you to enjoy, extend, whatever.  Corrina and team had developed these for the community to consume and we’ve put them up on the...

Silverlight FloatableWindow update: start position and resizable

UPDATE: FloatableWindow is now on CodePlex for easier community contributions and management of latest source and builds.  FloatableWindow CodePlex Project. If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! A while back I wrote a post where I refactored the Silverlight ChildWindow to create a non-modal window and I called it FloatableWindow (you can see why I’m not a good marketer…hey I could have called it Microsoft Silverlight ChildWindow Refactored Edition Express).  A few folks found it useful, for which I’m appreciative of the comments. My buddy Karl Shifflett decided to use it in Glimpse as the diagnostic window –...

Silverlight Coding Competition – win USD $10,000!

I was honored to be asked by ComponentArt to participate in a judging panel for their just now released 2009 Summer Silverlight Coding Competition.  The grand prize is USD $10,000.  Yes, that’s right: USD $10,000! ComponentArt is even kicking in 2 runner-up prizes of licensing to their products, which is also a sweet deal!  The contest is simple, and you are not required to use ComponentArt controls…in their words: Applicants are not required to use ComponentArt's products to enter the competition (or as the legal jargon requires us to say: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY). We'll obviously let you use our products...

.NET RIA Services roadmap update

Today, we posted on the .NET RIA Services forum an updated roadmap for the timing and thoughts around the product offering.  What is .NET RIA Services? Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the...

Check your Silverlight 2 apps for compatibility with Silverlight 3

One of the goals of new versions of Silverlight is to be be backward compatible with previous versions.  We make this a priority goal so that people can keep their previous applications deployed while not worrying that people with newer Silverlight will have a broken experience. Silverlight 3 has been out in beta form since March 2009 and hopefully if you are a Silverlight developer you’ve had a chance to work with the new features and tools.  If you have existing Silverlight 2 applications that are deployed, I wanted to draw your attention to some action items if you...

Google Wave: the sky is falling and Flash/Silverlight are dead

At the Google I/O conference this past week, they announced Google Wave.  Almost immediately, I started seeing Twitter replies, blog posts and various articles talking about how Google Wave is going to kill Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX.  None of these made sense to me…and at that point I’d yet to see anything about Wave anyway.  I posed a few questions on Twitter as to why people felt Wave was an RIA platform killer (that’s what I was reading into a lot of the buzz against things like Silverlight).  I got more confused with all the replies :-).  So I had a moment this...

Silverlight DataForm helpers

If you looked at the updated RIA Services Business Application template which had the authentication built-in, you may have seen the login screen with a little icon next to the password field: When you hover over this some helpful information displays in tool tip form: So how did that get there?  The power of the data annotations.  If you look at your model definition, you can add a DisplayAttribute and provide some additional information.  Let’s take a look at a simple example.  Here’s the simple model: ...

Clearing some air in Silverlight, Blend and Visual Studio Beta land

In a previous post I wanted to call attention to the multi-targeting and design surface improvements for Silverlight developers with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1.  There has been some comments on that post and a few emails and Twitter replies as well with some great follow-up questions.  I thought I’d post a sort of what works with what information to help you navigate Betaville as a Silverlight developer. NOTE: We’re talking about Beta technologies here.  That means things may not work, that you shouldn’t count on them for production releases at this time, etc.  In the ‘release...

Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

Well today was the public release of Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1.  It is the first time developers will have the chance to take it for a spin and kick the tires.  I wanted to share some information specific for Silverlight developers with regard to Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1. Visual Studio 2010 is the first IDE that will support two key features for Silverlight developers: multi-targeted Silverlight development and editable design surface for Silverlight.  The second point also comes with things you might expect (like data binding wizards and dialogs as well – I’m lumping all of that...

Silverlight powers Netflix in Media Center

I’ve not hidden my love affair for Netflix both as a consumer and as a Silverlight developer and how they’ve implemented the technology.  Long before the instant watch came to the desktop and the XBOX, there were a lot of folks wanting the Netflix experience on their Windows Media Center boxes and extenders.  One such person was Anthony Park (who is now with Netflix as of this writing), who picked up a the MyNetflix media center plugin a while back. Well, today Netflix officially has a Media Center solution for their customers.  I just got done firing my media...

.NET RIA Services Update with new Silverlight project template

We’ve update the .NET RIA Services build for May 2009.  The updated May preview can be downloaded here: .NET RIA Services May 2009.  You may have to uninstall your previous version before installing this one.  What is .NET RIA Services? Microsoft .NET RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support...

Silverlight Best of MIX in Phoenix

I’ll be joining Dan Wahlin and Rob Bagby on 18 May in Phoenix for a Best of MIX event.  I’ll be presenting Silverlight 3 and building data-driven line-of-business applications.  All demo, all tech, all Visual Studio as my presentation tool :-). Come out and join us for the event! Best of MIX Agenda Monday, May 18, 2009 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Wells Fargo Conference Center 100 West Washington Street, MAC S4101-017 Phoenix Arizona 85003 What’s New in Silverlight 3? ...

Refactoring Silverlight ChildWindow for a non-modal use

UPDATE: FloatableWindow is now on CodePlex for easier community contributions and management of latest source and builds.  FloatableWindow CodePlex Project.  If you like this idea VOTE FOR IT in the Silverlight Toolkit! I’ve seen a few comments/requests incoming lately that people like the ChildWindow control in the Silverlight 3 SDK.  This is a great control that creates a modal dialog for you.  When you use it, it disables your root layout application and shows the dialog you provide: This is great for those true modal needs.  It responds to normal windows DialogResult type responses if you have buttons, etc. – great...

Silverlight Contest app updated with new RadialPanel

Isn’t RSS great!?  Today I saw something wonderful pop in the feed from Jeff Prosise.  One of the problems with the ‘contest wheel’ app that Arturo and I did, was the CircularPanel we were using really at the time was only built for demo purposes.  There were issues in the spacing when different data items were bound to it. This morning, Jeff released some code for a RadialPanel (same concept).  It’s wonderful.  I just swapped it out for the contest app quickly and got it working.  I’ve updated the code: Replaced panel with Jeff’s code...

Expression for Art’s Sake – Silverlight and Blend in Wellington, New Zealand

What do you get when you invite 14 companies for 3 1/2 days and throw a bunch of new stuff in their face and ask them to use it?  Well, in Wellington, it was called Expression for Art’s Sake.  This was a bit of an ‘artist in residency’ program where Microsoft invited some companies to bring their developer and designer staff to this event to learn a little bit about Expression Blend and Silverlight.  Coming after WEB09 and ending our Auckland trip with a proper visit to a rugby game (here’s a scrum meeting for you agile developers),...

WEB09 – Silverlight and Blend in Auckland, New Zealand

I’ve just returned this past week from a trip to New Zealand with Arturo Toledo.  We were invited to come by Nigel Parker, who if you live in New Zealand and don’t know him…take a moment and subscribe to his site for information about what’s happening in that area. Our first stop in New Zealand was the WEB09 conference, which was organized by John Ballinger.  Prior to the actual conference, John managed to get all the speakers together for a reception and then a dinner afterwards.  Within those 4 or so hours of time, I’ve met more...

Paste your REST API definition as strong types

If your a developer that spends any time with web services, you’ll basically probably end up working in one of two camps: REST- or SOAP-based services.  Now with SOAP services you’re likely used to having a WSDL document describing the service, providing type definitions, etc. – something you can use developer tools like Visual Studio to Add Service Reference and get a strongly-typed object model to work with. If you’ve been doing Silverlight or ASP.NET (or any other technology really) development with mashup services, you probably have been working with REST-based services.  These are services that don’t self-describe themselves in...

Adding jQuery to your site with Glimmer

Last week I was wanting to do something on my site sort of a ‘breaking news’ style banner that would span the entire site width but only when I wanted it too – based on a cookie or something else.  And I didn’t want to do something server side, because I was sick of doing stuff like that. Not having played with jQuery, I thought I’d take a dive.  Prior to MIX09, I’d been testing something that the MIXOnline team had been toying with, which has just been released: Glimmer.  Glimmer is described as a jQuery Interactive Design Tool. ...

Arizona: Silverlight, MVC, MEF, WPF

It’s that time of year my friends in Arizona.  No, I’m not talking about when the air conditioners start get turned on, nor how the golf green fee rates are reduced or the snowbirds fly away…although those are good things as well. I’m talking geek fest time.  Mark your calendars: 26 May 2009 – 8:00 AM The community leaders in the area have organized another big event for your benefit.  So who is coming?  Here’s the rundown: Glenn Block – come see why you should get addicted to MEF.  Don’t know what it is?  That’s...

Learning WPF at the WPF LOB tour and XAMLFest events

There seems to be a lot of buzz around Silverlight lately and I admit, I like it :-).  But I also think that there is a huge misconception about Silverlight “replacing” WPF.  I get emails a lot about people asking me questions about Silverlight and after a bit of prodding, I see that their target platform for their application is Windows.  I then begin my rant on why it should be WPF if that is the target platform.  I’m usually met with some weird looks being that I do a lot of Silverlight, but I state my case accordingly. The...

Silverlight installation experience guidance posted

I’ve been promising this for a while and I’ve ranted about creating good installation experiences for Silverlight applications before as well here and here.  Well, our team rallied and created some new guidance and sample code to provide for you to implement the best possible experience.  The guidance whitepaper can be found on the Silverlight Community Site in the whitepapers section and includes: Documentation for defining a good user experience Sample code for media applications Sample code for non-media applications Sample code for implementing various states: not...

Grouping data in Silverlight DataGrid

UPDATED: If you found this post via a search, the below information was for Silverlight 3 beta and no longer works in Silverlight 3 release.  Click here for an updated tutorial on grouping in the Silverlight DataGrid for Silverlight 3. I got this question on how do you add grouping to the DataGrid in Silverlight without using the RIA Services ObjectDataSource.  Frankly I didn’t know off the top of my head either and I’ve since learned it isn’t obvious.  Allow me to explain the steps. In my simple app I have a static class that supplies some hard-coded data: 1:...

Startups welcome here – get a jumpstart with software you need

Are you a startup organization?  Perhaps your the next greatest Silverlight control vendor or have a great app?  I want to help.  If you’re a Silverlight startup (or any startup really for that matter), reach out to me.  If you haven’t heard of BizSpark yet, you’re potentially missing out. If you meet the following criteria: privately held company in business less than 3 years generate less than USD $1 million in revenue you may qualify to get access to production licenses for development tools,...

Managing Silverlight 3 navigation behavior

I’ve been playing around with the Silverlight 3 navigation framework some more (thanks for the comments/thoughts on the last post about sharing data).  I got a few emails about understanding how the navigation works and people coming up with interesting uses.  Let’s take a moment to explore two of these concepts: out-of-browser navigation and controlling your navigation in your app. Navigation Basics If you are using Visual Studio 2008 and the Silverlight 3 tools, you’ll notice that when you choose to create a new project (or perhaps you didn’t notice and this will be new to you) that...

Share DataContext among navigation pages in Silverlight 3

I got an email the other day about if there was a way to pass an object between the navigation pages in Silverlight 3.  The scenario was that the developer wanted to use the same data, but represent it visually in different ways. Silverlight 3 introduces a new navigation framework in the runtime making it easier to navigate to different areas of an application and assist in ‘deep linking’ concepts for applications.  More resources: Silverlight 3 Navigation Overview Silverlight 3 Navigation URI...

WEB09: Silverlight coming to Auckland!

In a few weeks I’ll be making the journey with Corrina and Arturo from ‘the states’ to Auckland, New Zealand for the WEB09 conference.  I’m honored to be joining some great folks like Ryan Stewart, Dan Rubin, Jarred Bishop and more.  I’m looking forward to learning a lot from this conference and having discussions about user experience and RIA development. The team at WEB09 released an introductory video for the conference and I must say, someone put a lot of effort into this video: WEB09 Intro Video I’m very much looking forward to my time at WEB09 and the time in New...

Silverlight for WordPress

I’ve made no hiding the fact that my blog is build on Subtext and that I’m very happy with it right now.  Lately though my wife has been blogging more (that’s another story) and she also started her own business.  Being curious about all the WordPress love, I decided to start checking it out. Thankfully, the Web Platform Installer helped me get started on WordPress without any troubles at all and I was up and running on my Windows server (I didn’t want to start another hosting account anywhere).  I have to say, I really like what WordPress has done, especially...

Silverlight 3: Navigation URI Routing

One of the new features in Silverlight 3 is providing an application navigation framework via the Frame and Page controls in the APIs.  If you saw my guide to Silverlight 3, you may have seen the section on navigation which describes the functionality and as well has a link to a video tutorial about it. I wanted to augment that tutorial with some additional information about URI routing, which I think is one of the great features of the framework.  You see typically your UriMapper might have a 1:1 mapping and look something like this (note in my sample here I’m...

Silverlight 3 Sample Application: Slidentity

One of the great things about the Silverlight team is that usually in the home stretch most of the feature samples of numerous ‘hello world’ type examples start shaping into creative ideas to demonstrate various features.  One such example is a full Silverlight 3 application that Mike Harsh created to actually demonstrate various features and it is what he used to present his session talk as well.  He currently calls it Slidentity and it demonstrates: Various skinned control usage Perspective 3D (when you view the slide show) Open/Save...

Silverlight 3 Out-of-browser Update Model

PLEASE READ UPDATE: While the API for checking for updates has changed, the update model *after* that method call to CheckAndDownloadUpdateAsync is the same as described below.  See this note for updates since this article to the Out-of-browser experiences. Wednesday at MIX09 was a great day.  I was exhausted, but after the keynote I was so high on excitement it was great.  Throughout the day Twitter was buzzing (or is it fizzing?) about all the news around Silverlight 3.  In one conversation around the out-of-browser experiences with Silverlight, I caught a conversation on Twitter about it with questions about the update...

A guide to Silverlight 3 new features

Well, by now the interwebs are getting busy with the news about Silverlight 3 details announced at MIX09.  The team has been hard at work (and still aren’t resting) pushing out this beta release.  Over the next week you’ll see lots of blog posts by team members and Silverlight MVPs who have been enthusiastically waiting to share what we’ve been working on and show you some sample applications they’ve been working on.  Quite frankly, so will I :-). But in the meantime, allow me to share my thoughts and perhaps some deeper details with you if you can’t discern them in...

Silverlight Smooth Streaming: UX Simulator

I’m sure you’ve heard of the IIS7 Smooth Streaming information and perhaps even experienced it if you watched some of the NBC Olympics streams last year or the Presidential Inauguration this past January.  It’s a great experience for online media being able to seamlessly deliver quality media online without constant buffering when latency occurs in networks you don’t control, such as your customers’ ISP accounts. You may have wanted to try out this experience yourself to see exactly what it does and how it works…as well as to simulate bad/good bandwidth.  Well, you can.  Here’s what you do: ...

Follow Silverlight updates on Twitter

I was just thinking the other day that I have some decent subscriber numbers here, but the same volume isn’t matched on my Twitter account.  For those who don’t know about Twitter, it’s a great short message service that kind of works like a global messaging system.  The best description I’ve heard has been: Twitter is like an ongoing conversation at a party.  Come in and listen/participate whenever you want with whomever you want.  Leave at your leisure.  Come back often if you’d like. I use Twitter to communicate along with friends, family and...

Silverlight Business Application Development faster with IdeaBlade

Okay, about a month ago I was shown this demonstration by my new favorite friend Ward Bell of IdeaBlade.  Why is he my new favorite friend?  Well besides being a great guy, wait till you see what he has to show you.  I briefly alluded to my excitement via Twitter as a teaser.  I previously mentioned that we saw some sneak peeks of Silverlight 3 added features for line-of-business application development with Brad Abrams.  Today, check out what Ward has to show you: I am...

Silverlight Guidance: Whitepapers on SEO, Security, Media

Did you know that there are some whitepapers on Silverlight development?  Just recently released is one on security in Silverlight development and deployment.  You can view some others (some older, but there are still some gems): Security Guidance for Silverlight Applications Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Silverlight Applications Silverlight and Web Analytics Content Protection Silverlight Migration Guide – Upgrading Online Media These can all be found on the Silverlight community site in the whitepapers section.  We’ll be...

Using Silverlight for workflow creation

The other day I was given a peek at a company who implemented a full-frame Silverlight application that when I saw it it was one of those “wow” moments.  A lot of the public-facing Silverlight examples are very different from one another and sometimes you see some that are full Silverlight applications that really give you a glimpse of how people are thinking about using the platform and how creative you can get.  Colaab is one such example that I saw at PDC last year (check it out if you haven’t). Another example is a recent one called SnapFlow. ...

New Silverlight media experience for WindowsClient.net

Our team is working on a new design for the Silverlight Community Site and one of those aspects includes a new media experience for the online media/video portions of the Silverlight, Windows Client, and ASP.NET sites.  Today we rolled out the new experience first on the Windows Client community site.  It’s a subtle update but hopefully a welcome one. The older experience was a basic playback experience and was a Silverlight 1.0 application.  This update brings a few new things, but primarily is a Silverlight 2 player with some fun features to engage the viewer.  We’ve added some new...

Get a free ticket to MIX09 for having fun with Silverlight

Did I mention I’m going to MIX?  Will I see you there?  I could imagine that some have tight travel budgets, training budgets shrunk, yada, yada.  I’m telling you…if you are a Microsoft developer in the web and WPF space, you need to be at MIX09.  In an effort to help there are a bunch of ways to reduce some costs…here’s some: Register before 27 Feb 2009 with RSVP code: MIXLastChance and get $300 off the registration fee Share a creative picture about Internet Explorer (details and post yours here) and get...

POLL: Silverlight developer patterns

My friend Joel Neubeck is doing a survey on his site about what patterns people prefer for Silverlight development.  I’m very interested in these results as well, so if you have 2 seconds, please post your vote: Link: Poll: What separation pattern do you prefer in Silverlight development? tags: silverlight, mvvm, mvc, mvp, xaml, wpf, patterns, m-v-vm, viewmodelThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

Integrating Silverlight and ASP.NET MVC

[previously named "Silverlight as the V in ASP.NET MVC" but changed per comments] One thing that I’m excited about is learning new technologies.  Moving to the Silverlight team, I’ve moved away from a breadth of technology knowledge to something a bit more narrow.  Now I feel like all other developers trying to keep up with the technologies we are releasing.  As such, I’m a beginner for most.  One such technology is ASP.NET MVC, which was just released to release candidate stability. I thought I’d play around with it in the context of Silverlight and use Silverlight as the “view” in the model-view-controller...

A comprehensive list to Silverlight Controls for developers

I’ve written a few times about some of the controls that have been provided by organizations like Telerik and ComponentOne.  I figured it would be a good idea to do a larger dump of those that I’m aware of (and hope you add comments to point me to others so I can amend this list) and help make you aware of them as well.  There are a ton of great resources out there for Silverlight developers and I’m always impressed how our developer partners are extending our platforms to make tools for developers (and most of the time better than...

Silverlight Docking and Ribbon controls

A company called divelements has had Windows Forms products for a while that produced, among other things, the “docking” effect that you see with some applications, including Visual Studio.  This is the ability to drag a window to another area and have it automatically dock to that particular position of the parent window: This product is also available for WPF and for Silverlight.  So if you need to add this type of dynamic window moving to your applications, you can check out the SandDock for Silverlight controls. What is great is that in looking at what else...

I’m going to MIX09, will I see you there?

I have to admit, when the first MIX was happening it confused me.  Yet another conference?  In my usual pessimistic self I tried to convince people that it was wrong, blah, blah.  But I was wrong.  MIX has become of of my favorite conferences to attend.  Not only for the announcements that likely happen, but for the networking with industry folks in an area I’m most passionate about. Enough gushing though.  I’m going to MIX09.  Will you be there?  If you register before 13 Feb 2009, you’ll be able to get $400 off the registration fees!  Register on the MIX09...

Updated SLS Plugin for Encoder Available

The Encoder team has updated their Silverlight Streaming (SLS) plugin for Expression Encoder 2.  On the surface pretty much nothing has changed, but it essentially updates the ability to use the plugin to publish Silverlight 2 templates to SLS automatically without getting the random error that you’ve probably seen if you tried. Since the new Silverlight 2 player templates are completely parameter-driven, which is awesome, it did present a small challenge for the plugin.  When you use the new plugin with a Silverlight 2 player template, you’ll notice that the resulting application uses a bootstrapping method to launch with...

Amazon S3 Publishing Plugin for Expression Encoder

One of the great things I like about some of our platform products is that they are building in extensibility more and more.  Take Windows Live Writer as an example.  It’s no secret on this blog that I’ve got a geek affair with that tool.  I use it daily and have customized it (via plugins) and my blogging platform (Subtext) to make it even more of a best experience for me for web authoring. Writing plugins for Writer has been a lot of fun and a great way to get the functionality I want/need into a workflow without having...

InitParams in Silverlight Live Streaming services

One of my favorite implementations is to leverage the initParams feature for the Silverlight plug-in.  This enables you to send parameters to your application prior to it starting up.  These parameters are in plain text and can be seen in the HTML source of your page, so obviously you wouldn’t want to include any sensitive information there like passwords, connection strings, etc., etc.  But it can be very helpful for re-using application logic while providing an configurable experience.  You can view a video demonstration of this and other methods of using initialization parameters on the Silverlight Community site here: Using...

Using Encoder 2 templates for existing media

In an email dialog today I saw someone asking how he could use an existing Encoder 2 template for existing media or streaming URIs when you don’t have something to encode.  After a few explanations, he replied that someone should blog this – and I agree :-). So what did he mean?  Well, when you use Expression Encoder, you are typically going to be encoding media to a format to consume.  Encoder also gives you an additional option in the output settings to generate a media player for that encoded content.  These are all based on templates that I’ve...

Source code for Silverlight controls published

The source code for the Silverlight 2 controls was just published!  This is the source for the controls as shipped in the runtime and the SDK.  When you download the project you’ll see the structure: The source, released under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL), includes the source for the following controls in the runtime: ButtonBase Button HyperlinkButton CheckBox RadioButton ToggleButton ...

Screencast of Silverlight installation on Linux

If you haven’t been aware, there has been a team at Novell working hard to make a version of Silverlight for Linux.  This version, called Moonlight, has been in development since WPF/e it was first shown at the MIX conference (which by the way is happening in March with some really exciting stuff, so be sure to register for MIX09!).  Moonlight hit beta this past December 2008 and the team has already been working on Moonlight 2 which is the Silverlight 2 compatible version. Right now, Moonlight 1.0 serves as a functional equivalent to the Silverlight 1.0 runtime, which...

Hosting Silverlight content on a CDN

Over the holiday this past week I got a ping from Scott Cate about some Silverlight media questions, namely a player and Silverlight Streaming.  The gist of the conversation was that the Encoder 2 SP1 templates and the SLS Plugin don’t play nice together (yet).  I know that the team has been testing some updates to the plugin for uploading Silverlight 2 templates to SLS, but for now if you tried to do that you’ll get a random error message that won’t make sense to you (something along the lines of template not found). After talking with Scott and...

Deep Zoom style on iPhone – Seadragon for Mobile

Who, didn’t think I’d see “Microsoft Corporation” listed in the Apple AppStore for iPhone this quick.  Want to view gigapixel images on your iPhone?  The team at Live Labs just announced their approved iPhone App – Seadragon Mobile. So what is Seadragon?  it was the original Microsoft Research project that many products are now based on.  Most popular probably is the Deep Zoom technology brought first to Silverlight 2.  This is the process of taking gigapixel image and providing a smooth viewing experience viewing that image over even lower bandwidth speeds.  One of the most popular Deep...

Event (analytics) tracking in Silverlight

A few days ago Google announced “event tracking” for their Google Analytics platform.  My account was invited to participate in this initial wave so I decided to take a look.  The main reason of course is because of a keyword in their email they sent to me (emphasis mine): “Event Tracking allows you to track interactions with Web 2.0 style content such as Flash, AJAX, Silverlight, social networking apps, etc.” I have the script already running on my site for general analytics so I figured I’d whip up a quick sample to see how...

The Silverlight Application Corner

One of the things that we have heard in feedback is the need to surface more end-to-end samples.  While the atomic learning videos/samples are great as are more in-depth tutorials, there is still a desire to see how to package all these things up into a single application.  Seeing from start to finish helps absorb the learning process and see how these atomic things fit together and interoperate. Today we added the “application corner” to the Silverlight community site.  Yes, I know the name is less than exciting, but hey I’m not a super cool marketing person with unlimited...

Silverlight install experience best practices

First a word on the “continuum” I keep hearing about for applications.  I’d like to apply it to my digital lifestyle.  You know that vision where you only have one place to keep your music, but can access it anywhere, etc., etc.  I still haven’t hit nirvana like that yet, but for movie watching it’s getting close. I used to be a customer of Netflix when they first launched.  To be honest, at that time their pricing was singular and I just wasn’t watching enough movies at home to warrant the cost, so I ended my relationship.  Now I...

New Silverlight Showcases and Feeds

If you want some great Silverlight information, be sure to subscribe to at least two feeds: Microsoft Silverlight Bloggers and Silverlight community feeds.  I’ve recently just added a bunch of great feeds to both of these including all the members of the Silverlight Toolkit team and some Silverlight MVPs such as John Papa. There are also a bunch of resources being added to the Silverlight community site over the next month.  We also added 27 new showcase entries to the Silverlight Showcase on the site.  One in particular that I think is interesting is a project Gantt representation done...

Øredev 2008 Summary

Sharing Knowledge.  That was the theme of the Øredev conference held this past week in Malmö, Sweden.  I was invited this year to participate in this conference in the Scandanavian area to speak on Silverlight technologies.  I am very humbled to have been invited.  This was truly a great conference and let me tell you my impressions. I’ve attended Microsoft’s PDC, TechEd, VSLive, DevConnections, etc.  I’ve got most of them all under my belt (as an attendee).  They are all good in their own regard.  The ones that are most interesting, however, are those that have an intensity about...

WPF Toolkit and Silverlight compatibility

At PDC the WPF Tookit was made available which provides several new controls to WPF to help bring even more compatibility to the WPF and Silverlight story.  The new controls were the DatePicker, Calendar, DataGrid and the VisualStateManager concept to WPF.  Ribbon controls were also provided to the WPF Toolkit, but are not covered here. With the introduction of this toolkit, developers now have a way to get some even more common XAML code-base between projects. Let’s take a look at a very simple example of both UI and code sharing with WPF and Silverlight.  Here’s the simple...

Use Styles for an editable Silverlight ComboBox

Sometimes I think reading materials get overlooked in SDKs and we miss some hidden gems.  One such gem I’d like to bring to your attention is the ability to add some subtle styling to an AutoCompleteBox from the Silverlight Toolkit to provide you with a cheap version of an editable ComboBox. Sure Silverlight 2 has a ComboBox as part of the core controls now, but as I’ve previously noted, the ComboBox in current form exhibits only DropDownList behaviors.  I’m sure this will likely change with future versions, but if you have a need for an editable ComboBox feel, here’s...

Silverlight 2 Launch Party in Portland

PDX baby.  That’s where I’m headed next week.  The Portland area user experience group (a SIG formed out of the Portland .NET user group) is hosting a Silverlight 2 launch party next week (11 NOV 2008).  They’ve invited me to attend and share some fun stuff about Silverlight 2.  I’m very excited to be going there because Portland is one of my favorite towns.  It has some of the best public transportation there and I think that makes for a great downtown experience and a lot of personality in the city. Aside from the city itself, there are some...

Using Encoder Templates in your Silverlight Application

I received a comment regarding the new Expression Encoder SP1 Silverlight player templates and how they can be used within your own application.  Right now the templates appear to stand on their own.  That’s only because the output of an Encoder action will be an encoded file, the template you chose (XAP) and an HTML page to host the Silverlight player application. But what if you already have an application and are trying to integrate media playback within it?  How can you take advantage of the Encoder templates, but just drop them in your existing application?  Let’s take a...

Using Silverlight AutoCompleteBox on custom types

The other day I wrote a simple little Silverlight application using a DataGrid to help navigate the TechEd DVD contents.  My code was admittedly quick and dirty.  I loaded up some data, and based on some events re-filtered and re-bound that data.  After thinking about it I am not sure why I didn’t just use some existing controls to help me do that work.  I found that AutoCompleteBox from the new Silverlight Toolkit would do this for me. One thing that the AutoCompleteBox does quickly is provide filtering for simple string data.  But what about custom types?  My data in the...

Expression Encoder SP1 now available

Apparently “soon” means “the next day” to the Encoder team :-).  On 28 OCT James Clarke told us all about the goodness that is coming to Encoder SP1 and noted it would be available “real soon.” Little did we know he had already clicked the publish process to the download servers.  What are you waiting for, go start the download for Encoder SP1 and I’ll share my thoughts on some things here. What’s in it?  I’ll pick my favorites: New Silverlight output templates, H.264/AAC support and IIS7 smooth streaming support. H.264/AAC Device Encoding Support SP1...

Silverlight Tools RTW

UPDATED: See last paragraph about offline installation. Sorry for the short post, this is more of a public service announcement.  When the Silverlight 2 runtime shipped, we shipped the Visual Studio tools along with it.  The tools download was labeled “RC1” and caused some confusion.  There were some reasons for this, but regardless it still targeted the Silverlight 2 release runtime. Today we released the RTW (Releast To Web for those who are wondering what that means) of the tools.  There is no need to re-download the runtime or anything.  All you need to do is download the...

Silverlight Toolkit Released – More controls!

Today at Microsoft PDC, Scott Guthrie demonstrated some of the new controls that have been provided as a part of the Silverlight Toolkit.  The Silverlight Toolkit was what was previously named the Silverlight Control Pack in the press release when the runtime was released.  This toolkit provides a set of controls and themes for Silverlight 2.  In this initial release, they are: AutoCompleteBox Chart DockPanel ...

Silverlight 2 Watermarked TextBox Control

In the early days of Silverlight 2, one of the included controls was the WatermarkedTextBox.  In Beta 2 the control was removed from the runtime for among other things, WPF compatibility.  The control source code was made available for people to look at as it was referenced in a few projects, namely ScottGu’s Digg sample application.  There was hinting about future plans but nothing concrete.  Now that Silverlight 2 is released, the control is not there :-).  I’ve gotten enough requests about it that I wanted to provide some action for you.  First, let me say that there...

SilverlightContrib releases Silverlight 2 Controls

Last week I had the pleasure of talking with the crew from the Herding Code podcast.  Among the questions was one about the open source community and Silverlight.  There was mention about MVCContrib and how that community sprouted almost instantly with the ASP.NET MVC initial releases.  I let the Herding Code crew know that I believe there already is a vibrant open source community around Silverlight and pointed to things like DevExpress’ AgDataGrid control which is free and provides source.  I also mentioned a project that did start right away around Silverlight 2 initial releases: SilverlightContrib.  The project, started by...

Silverlight.net updated code samples

With the release of Silverlight 2 many people faced the task of ensuring their applications/code written targeting Beta 2 was upgraded to release.  The team at the Silverlight community site was no different.  We’ve updated almost all the content so far, but I wanted to draw your attention to a few things. Get Started – http://silverlight.net/GetStarted As noted on this page for those getting started, there are links to Scott Guthrie’s 8 part example of building a Digg client in Silverlight (and then using that code for a WPF desktop application).  Scott has updated his code, so that...

Honoring your user’s culture settings with Silverlight

One thing that I’m just as guilty as probably most of some of my peers is creating US-centric applications.  Forgetting to think globally for your users is something that I think happens too often.  We operate in our US-centric worlds and forget that sometimes even the simplest things can make a difference. Take for instance, honoring your user’s culture settings (region/locale/whatever you want to call it).  Even if you have a US-based application for a US-company, how do you know that a user might not be of French origin and still perhaps like to view their operating system information...

Silverlight and ADO.NET Data Service proxy generation

One of the nice little additions to the data client services in Silverlight 2 is the removal of the need to drop out of Visual Studio to do some proxy code generation.  Prior to Silverlight 2 release, if you wanted to consume an ADO.NET Data Service (the artist formerly known as Astoria), you had to drop into a command line and execute something like: 1: datasvcutil.exe /out:"MyDataService.cs" /uri:"http://foo.com/MyDataServiceEndpoint.svc" While that isn’t difficult, it just wasn’t convenient as a developer productivity workflow.  I mean who wants to have...

Calling secure (SSL) services from Silverlight 2

Now that Silverlight 2 has been released, one of the features (or should I say fixes) that is included is the ability for non-secure applications to call secure services.  Previously this was not allowed and we referred to it as “cross-scheme violation.”  That means that a particular protocol scheme (file, http, https) could not access another.  Prior to release this meant that a XAP hosted in an HTTP context could not call a secure service.  Now we no longer have that restriction with the release.  There are some things you have to do, so let me take a brief moment...

Silverlight 2 Released: New controls, tools, announcements!

Whew, we made it!  Silverlight 2 is now released (and available for download)!  (Official press release here.)  I know we’ve always said “by the end of the year” but the team has worked really hard to get Silverlight 2 released well before then so you can start building and deploying your applications.  A lot of people don’t realize that “Silverlight” is actually a team of many that make up the runtime, media, tools, controls, etc. teams.  Hats off to all those involved who pushed hard to get Silverlight 2 out the door (and are already working on the next version)!...

Silverlight in SharePoint web parts

Are you using SharePoint and want to know how to leverage Silverlight?  Have you seen the Blueprints project on Codeplex?  But what if those particular implementations don’t meet your needs and you want to create your own contained web part with your Silverlight 2 application? Kirk Evans writes about a method of doing this in a recent post: Hosting Silverlight in SharePoint.  Take a look at Kirk’s post with a step-by-step guide of getting started with his method.  In looking at the method he describes, it is conceivable that you actually could make a more generic web part that...

Update your Silverlight Gallery Samples!

Did you know that the Silverlight community site has over 150 Silverlight 2 Beta 2 samples submitted by the community?!  These range from short samples of specific functionality to full-fledged applications that people can use.  I recently spoke of 2 of the multi-file uploader controls that were features in the gallery.  There is a lot of good information being shared by our community. WE NEED YOUR HELP – UPDATE YOUR SAMPLES! Today I sent around a note to those who I could identify who had submissions in the gallery with some information pointing them to Silverlight RC0 information...

Silverlight 2 UI Templates

One of the things I hear a lot about it wanting well-designed control templates/styles for developers to use in Silverlight (and WPF).  As someone with that missing creativity gene, I agree.  While we wait for some of these galleries to emerge (and designers to contribute), there is some hope for the rest of us today. For WPF developers, there has been a commercial resource available (not free) in the templates provided by XAMLTemplates.net.  They provide various styles available for purchase for WPF templates and styles. There also have been some emerging in the Silverlight.net community gallery (look for...

Writing text on a Path in Silverlight

One of the things that I’ve wanted to do since Silverlight released was two things with text, enable a Stroke and layout text on a Path.  Both of which in Silverlight 2 aren’t readily available.  Luckily we have a great ecosystem of developers and MVPs who love to extend our frameworks and create new capabilities for developers. Bill Reiss has done just that.  You may recognize Bill from some XNA and Silverlight gaming fame.  His game of Dr. Popper still remains my daughter’s favorite computer game!  Bill has created a new Silverlight user control he calls PathTextBlock control.  Bill...

XAML Power Toys for Silverlight

If you live in the WPF world, you may know the name of Karl Shifflett.  If you’ve heard the name, but just not have met the man…next time you’re at a developer conference, look for the guy in the Hawaiin shirt, shorts, some ink on the arms and is probably passionately talking to some other geeks about the innards of data binding in XAML. Recently, Karl has joined Microsoft to work on the “Cider” team.  The Cider project is a key part of the developer story for WPF and Silveright.  It is the XAML designer/editor/etc for Visual Studio.  Some...

Software Mockups using Balsamiq

Lately I’ve been putting more design thoughts onto paper.  I used to try to prototype in HTML a lot, but it just got too easy to draw it out.  I liked the feel of being ‘less tech’ when it came to mockups, etc.  I was turned on to this program recently called Balsamiq Mockups.  It is a software program that basically allows you to quickly mock up web/software designs using wire-frame elements.  I know there are other methods (please post your favorites in the comments), but there is something about this product that makes me like it...

Silverlight and Web Service Errors

When working with data and Silverlight there has often been the questions of wondering why when a service call fails that Silverlight returns the HTTP 404 status code.  In fact I’ve written about troubleshooting those types of issues in the past and tools you can use to help investigate some problems. Still people mostly ask "if there is an exception, why is Silverlight telling me ‘not found’ instead of sending me the exception?'”  Eugene Osovetsky from the connected systems team aims to answer those questions in a recent post with a little more detail than has been provided in...

MediaStreamSource sample for Silverlight

You may be reading the title and wondering what is MediaStreamSource?  MediaStreamSource is a piece of the Silverlight runtime that removes a the influence of a media file's container, giving developers direct access to APIs for manipulating encoded elementary audio and video streams. Huh? Basically it can enable you as the developer to implement file parsers/etc. in managed code instead of Silverlight, enabling support beyond the native built-in formats for media.  There hasn’t been much information about these types of topics, and I’d agree that for the mainstream, they may be a bit more advanced media scenarios for when...

Installing Silverlight Offline

I’ve gotten a few questions (including a great comment) about needing to install Silverlight under offline or administrative-restricted environments.  There are two ways you can install this. First, you’ll still need the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio installer.  Next, make sure you download the Silverlight Developer Runtime (Windows).  There is a Mac runtime for developers as well, but if you are wanting to install the developer tools for Visual Studio offline, I’m guessing you are on Windows :-). Okay, here’s the two options.  These really should only be done if you need an offline install experience.  If you don’t, let the installer...

Silverlight multi-file upload controls and patterns

One area where Silverlight can plat an interesting role for your web applications is wherever file uploading to your server needs to be done.  This may sound odd to think of it that way, but if you’ve ever done file upload in web apps (for larger sizes, chunking, etc.) sometimes it is no fun and involves a lot of Javascript.  There is a video demonstrating on how you can do file upload with Silverlight 2 and also helps demonstrate the OpenFileDialog API within the runtime. I remember seeing a multi-file uploader that Jose Farado had started back in Silverlight 1.1 days. ...

Silverlight 2 RC0 Released for Developers

Today we released Silverlight 2 RC0.  This release is for a very specific purpose and although the information will likely be repeated, I wanted to try to help answer a few questions. What is this release? RC0 is a developer release only!  The intent of providing these bits is to provide developers with ample time to have access to the release candidate runtime/controls for Silverlight with the primary goal of making sure that developers with Silverlight 2 Beta 2 applications that are live today prepare for the release of Silverlight 2. What should a developer do? ...

IsolatedStorage as a Silverlight object cache

Someone posed this question (“Can you use IsolatedStorage in Silverlight as a more reliable browser caching technique?”) to me and I answered with my usual optimistic “in theory, yes” answer.  Of course I had never tried it which is horrible to answer that to someone without trying it.  In working on creating some Silverlight business application samples, I figured I should probably look at this scenario to see if a) it would work and b) it makes sense.  I’ll at least try to answer “a” here. The Setup Let’s look at the setup.  The goal here is to...

Expression Encoder 2 SP1 Announced

The Expression Encoder team has announced the plans for SP1 of their product (announced, not released).  You can read all the details on their team blog for more information, but two things caught my attention that are probably of most interest: H.264 encoding and a Silverlight 2 template in the box. The H.264/AAC encoding support is a result of customer feedback (as well as preparing for future Silverlight support).  While the profiles in this service pack will be limited and may not meet the needs of everyone immediately, it is a great step and will probably meet the needs...

Add mouse wheel support to ScrollViewer

As you may know, most wheel support is detected at the browser level.  In Silverlight, this makes adding mouse wheel support an interop action with the HTML host.  While people have implemented it, it has mostly been for the use of DeepZoom applications.  In fact, the latest DeepZoom Composer tool actually adds this support now if you choose to have a Silverlight project as a part of the output of the collection. But what about other controls, namely ScrollViewer?  Having content in ScrollViewer enables ScrollBar functionality but doesn’t automatically respond to mouse wheel actions.  Adam Cooper has solved this...

Silverlight Casual Game Series

Silverlight MVP and friend, Joel Neubeck, has started a series in the Expression Newsletter.  The first article is available now and is part of a 6-part series in building a casual game in Silverlight: Getting Started – Architecture / framework Movement and collision detection Design – Sprites, boards and dialogs Animations and sound Initialization and Deployment Advanced concepts (Physics, Multiplayer, Optimization)...

Some Silverlight effects libraries

While you can do a lot within Silverlight with effects, as demonstrated by techniques used like seen in Shine Draw, you may also want some helping hands to implement these.  It’s not always fun to write some code for when you just want to be able to drop in an effect on your application.  You want to concentrate on your application logic and get assistance in creating some of the visual effects. If you didn’t know, there are some libraries out there that can help.  I’ll highlight two of them here (if you know of more, please post in...

Some cool Surface examples

Saw some posts today over at Don’s site about Surface.  The Surface SDK is starting to get more visible whereas before it seemed a little black-boxish to me.  Turns out (as we all knew) it really is just WPF with some unique Surface-like behaviors in the SDK.  Take this quick demonstration from a program manager on the SDK.  With using the same concepts that we use in WPF and Silverlight for data binding, etc. you can come up with a quick application using the inherent gesture support from a Surface device: Pretty cool huh?  Same XAML concepts...

H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight

So you want H.264 support in Silverlight?  So do we.  In fact we will be showing a preview of H.264 and AAC support in Silverlight at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) this week in Amsterdam.  Scott Guthrie comments on this saying: “At IBC 2008 we will be demonstrating a technology preview of H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio playback support in Silverlight, and H.264 authoring using Microsoft Expression Encoder and Windows Server 2008 for delivery. Until now, Silverlight has supported the SMPTE VC-1 and Windows Media formats, as well as MP3 for audio, enabling customers to take advantage of...

Silverlight install experience too hard?

Man, I feel like I’m constantly on this soapbox about creating a good non-installed experience.  I’m recently sparked again by reading a recent post from Pascal Leloup entitled “Silverlight – It’s too damn complicated to setup.”  These are the times that I wish I could sit next to every developer at the moment they experience this frustration. Part of the time it can be dealing with beta software (as is the case in one of Pascal’s scenarios here), and others I think just take some time to understand the why behind certain things.  Let me take a stab at...

Silverlight Slider and Absolute values

If you use the Slider object in Silverlight (or WPF for that matter) you may have experienced some similar frustration that I have recently.  Let’s take a look at what the Slider is first. The Slider is a simple control on the surface providing a track and a “thumb” (if you aren’t familiar with that term) that enables value changing.  Some of the key properties are: Minimum – the number that represents the lowest (left or bottom) value Maximum – the number...

Silverlight resources for Flash developers

Two new resources came to my attention recently that could be helpful resources for Flash developers wanting to learn Silverlight.  The first has been out there for a bit actually, but the other is new.  Let’s start with the new one, Project Rosetta (video).  As Adam Kinney said this week while in meetings in Redmond, “because we need another web site.” Project Rosetta describes itself as: Project Rosetta is a site dedicated to helping designers and developers build applications in Silverlight while taking advantage of skills they already know. There are two articles...

Silverlight and MS CRM Services

Had enough media players, games, and animated shapes with Silverlight?  How about integrating into some line of business applications?  Microsoft produces an application called Microsoft CRM, now in it’s 4th release (those closer to the CRM information can correct me if I’m wrong…I’m actually not too familiar with the roadmap/releases of CRM).  What is CRM?  What you’d expect, a customer relationship management system…define your use of those systems as you wish.  There are many CRM systems out there, but what struck me as interesting about MS CRM is based on a demonstration I saw about a year ago when v4...

Troubleshooting data/service access in Silverlight

A while back I pondered doing a “live” debug session with people who were/are working with Silverlight 2 and data access via services, etc.  I really like a live concept because it allows people to ask real questions and feels more conversational than a one-way presentation.  After some consideration, I’m not sure I could quite guarantee the environment I was looking for to accomplish this type of style. So as a second best, I’ve set up a webcast: Troubleshooting Silverlight Data Access.  I hope to keep the question channel open during the webcast though and answer as many questions as possible. ...

4 new Silverlight hands-on labs

We just put up 4 new hands-on labs for Silverlight 2.  These labs are based around some of the training that partners and early adopters had received over the past few months.  A guided lab document and source code (before/after) is provided. The 4 labs include building a web application based around a travel site. Building the UI: using different layout with Grids, StackPanels, etc. Styling the UI: use styles, templates and VisualStateManager…work with default templates in Expression Blend Binding...

Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com

How does 2000+ machines sound?  Transforming a Saturday Night Live recording area into a live commentator section full of workstations and bloggers?  Scoble had a chance to sit down with Eric Schmidt from Microsoft to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes information about the NBCOlympics.com Silverlight experience.  Despite the video quality not being great, the information is very good.  I recently saw a few other partners involved in the NBCOlympics.com project talk about things and kept feeling like they were really missing a great opportunity to talk about one of the key aspects in the implementation.  Eric covers the basics...

ReMIX UK – 18 SEPT

Well, I wish I was going to this event: ReMIX UK!  For one, it would be starting the day of my birthday and would be a great birthday treat!  Secondly, I would be able to meet up with my fellow escamoles chaps and maybe take in some local cuisine instead. If you are in the UK, or for some reason really wanted to see the current value of the US dollar, make sure you head to ReMIX UK!  The lineup is pretty incredible when you look at it…here’s some Microsoft favorites: ...

Some Silverlight ecosystem updates

I’ve had a couple things sitting in my inbox for a week or so and rather than call them out individually and take up your precious aggregation space, I’ll summarize them here. 3rd Party Silverlight Controls Got a note from Valentin about the roadmap for the Telerik Silverlight controls.  As they’ve previously noted, they are planning a set of controls: Window, Menu, TreeView, TabControl, PanelBar, Cube, ComboBox, Upload, Calendar, DatePicker, NumericUpDown, MediaPlayer, Range Slider, ProgressBar, WrapPanel, DockPanel, UniformGridPanel.  Right now it looks like they are incorporating the feedback provided and doing some polish work like adding Blend tool support for skinning, etc. ...

Play Olympic Games in Silverlight

With the Olympic ceremony only days away and being able to enjoy the Olympic experience online via Silverlight, why not get a little excited and play some casual games, Olympic style.  All of these were build using Silverlight and the Popfly game creator: Torch Lighting Soccer Track and Field Archery Long Jump ...

Compare on Kelley Blue Book with Silverlight and DeepZoom

Have you seen those television commercials about used car markets and someone standing in a white background and as they vocalize their automobile preferences the selections fly in and around them.  That’s what I was reminded of when I came upon the new feature on Kelley Blue Book’s comparison feature on their site.  I had previously written about some innovative uses of DeepZoom with Jose’s samples and I like what KBB has done here as well. They’ve leveraged Silverlight with DeepZoom in a way that provides some good user functionality but at the same time provides a line-of-business application...

IronNails = Silverlight + IronRuby + Patterns

If you already pay attention to the IronRuby dev group and are on the distribution list, apologies for the dupe.  I’ve just got back from a camping trip and rifling through all my emails now.  I checked in on the IronRuby group and noticed a new project emerging from someone. It’s from Ivan Porto Carrero and he calls it IronNails.  It was previously called something else (quite frankly I liked the other name better myself) but there was already a project named after his chosen name.  So alas, IronNails it is!  Ivan describes this as: ...

Silverlight tip: shortcut simple properties

I’ve seen the rumbling a few times now about property setting in Silverlight.  The rumblings are along the lines of “why do I have to use SetValue for setting simple properties like the x/y positioning?”  To those points, I agree from a fundamental standpoint.  From a technical standpoint SetValue is there and serves a great purpose for providing a common way of setting properties on XAML elements regardless of the element.  As a developer, I like it actually.  I do, however, see the point about wanting to set simple properties and it just looks a little verbose.  Take for instance...

Silverlight data binding and value converters

If you are working with Silverlight and data you most likely are going to leverage data binding at some point and run into some needs to format the data in the XAML.  Luckily this can be done using value converters, which have been available for WPF since it’s inception as well.  Let’s explore what I’m talking about using a common formatting need: dates. Consider this list box output binding: 1: <ListBox x:Name="FeedList"> 2: <ListBox.ItemTemplate> ...

Silverlight at Gamefest

This week I had the privilege of attending and helping with some Silverlight in casual games presentations at the XNA Gamefest conference happening in Seattle.  I say helping because the real game experts were there. Two Silverlight presentations were given.  One by Bill Reiss/Joel Neubeck and the other by Mike Snow.  Between the two sessions we covered concepts in Silverlight game development as well as a walk-through of starting out to create a simple game.  I consider these guys to be the foremost experts on the topic given their experience in creating games like Dr. Popper, Stack Attack, Zero...

Providing startup parameters for Silverlight

One of the things that makes Silverlight 2 great is the ability to create a very flexible framework application that others can use and can be embeddable with some dynamic properties.  This is the method used in the SL2 Video Player to provide a completely dynamic player that is portable. How?  Using the initParams property of the plugin.  There are a few ways you can do this.  I’ve just uploaded a video demonstrating three of them: Creating App Resources Passing into the root visual constructor...

Making SL2 Video Player an Encoder Template

Now that the Silverlight 2 Video Player is available from Codeplex, I wanted to make it a template for Expression Encoder.  I’ll attempt to articulate the steps below.  It’s actually pretty trivial.  In fact in the current incarnation, you have to throw some extra stuff in there you may not need :-). Step 1 – Creating the template folder While I’ve covered this in previous posts and this is also well documented in the Encoder SDK documentation. First you’ll navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Expression\Encoder 2\Templates\en and you’ll see the existing template folders.  The folders do not represent...

Updates to Amazon S3 and Silverlight

After posting my sample implementation of accessing Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3) via Silverlight, I reflected quickly and also chatted with some AWS engineers. Cross-domain Policy One thing that you should never do is just deploy a global clientaccesspolicy.xml file blindly.  Often times in samples, we (I) do this.  I need to be better about this guidance to be honest, so I’ll start here.  As an example, for the S3 cross domain policy file, we really should add some additional attributes to it to make it more secure.  Since we know it is a SOAP service, we can...

Embedding Fonts and File Upload in Silverlight 2

Two new videos were just posted on the Silverlight learning section. Embedding Custom Fonts in Silverlight 2 This video demonstrates the supported method for embedding your custom font files into your Silverlight applications and how you might use them in your application as well as how to provide fallback fonts for your application. OpenFileDialog and File Upload in Silverlight 2 Two for one.  Check out the OpenFileDialog control and how you might even use it with UI-less Silverlight applications.  Also, look at OpenFileDialog in conjunction with uploading files via Silverlight 2 applications. Make sure to...

Accessing Amazon S3 with Silverlight

I ran into an interesting situation last week…the desire to access some of my Amazon S3 services from within a Silverlight application. Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3) is a pay service provided Amazon for object storage ‘in the cloud.’  Although there is no UI tool provided by Amazon to navigate your account in S3, a SOAP and REST API are available for developers to integrate S3 information into their applications or other uses.  You can view more information about Amazon S3 on their site. What is S3? Since S3 is a pretty flexible service, it can be used for many different things including...

Updating Silverlight.js and Firefox 3

I’m hoping this post will help explain a few things with regard to Silverlight detection scripts that some sites may be using.  This is related to the silverlight.js Javascript file that was deployed with a lot of Silverlight 1.0 applications/sites and is also available as a part of the Silverlight 2 SDK tools. What the heck is this Silverlight.js you speak of? Simply put, Silverlight.js is a helper file which enables Web sites to create advanced Silverlight installation and instantiation experiences.  It was a resource file that was initially shipped along side several templates and helper projects to aid in the detection...

Line Rider rides on Silverlight 2

One of probably the coolest casual ‘games’ I’ve ever seen is Line Rider.  It’s a fun game, but really gets exciting when you have an artist behind it.  Basically it’s a blank canvas for you to draw a route for the main character to hop on his sled and ride.  Sound lame?  Not when you see what some have come up with.  For example, here’s a very popular ‘ride’ on YouTube. Well, the Line Rider team has recently modified their beta version and implemented in Silverlight 2!  They’ve also added some social networking integration using Live Messenger and the ability to...

Silverlight community controls contest

I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these efforts for Silverlight and I love it.  In fact, INETA will be sponsoring the 2008 INETA Silverlight Challenge soon, so you should sign up for more information about that as well.  But until then… But until then, check out what some of the community MVPs and leaders are doing on their own!  They’ve started the Silverlight Control Builder Contest ‘08.  Two main organizers (Page Brooks and Dave Campbell) have put some time and thought into how they can get the community excited about developing solutions for the community and alas...

Some new Silverlight videos

Some new videos just got posted to the Silverlight community site.  Topics included: IsolatedStorage usage HTML DOM Integration Dynamic Assembly/XAP loading Working with Syndicated Data As always, feedback and ideas are welcome.  Ben’s been leaving some great comments here on suggested topics and I’d love to see more.  I’ll be starting a new ‘series’ soon…more to come on that in a week’s time. As a reminder, these videos are meant...

Silverlight 2 Media Player project now open source

Over the past few months Joel and I have been back-and-forthing modifications to his original great idea and goal “build a re-sizable video player using no custom user controls, but instead leveraging controls styles and templates.”  Joel started in Silverlight 2 Beta 1 and implemented using the style method (aka ‘the MIX model’) available at that time.  I took it and added some functionality of scaling and startup parameters.  After the VisualStateManager model for styling was released, this project made perfect sense to demonstrate those abilities and thus I transformed the great styling work that Joel did into the VSM...

ATMs, design and XAML

I’ve been a Wells Fargo customer for a long time.  As a financial institution it has served me well.  I’ve never really put much thought into the services I use and the interactions I have with their systems.  Actually I take that back – I make heavy use of the online banking system and have noticed some likes/dislikes, but overall pleased. Over the past year, the automated teller machines (ATM) have undergone some design changes that, while subtle, have been impressive and welcome additions to the ATM experience for me.  It really made me actually notice a change in...

Firefox 3 and Silverlight

Well today (17 JUN 2008) will be the release of Firefox 3, a seemingly much anticipated browser update.  I checked out an earlier build (I think beta 2) and it was a nice browser.  I’m not a browser zealot, I use what works for me and IE works for me, has some tools that I like, etc.  Firefox is a fine browser as well and I do use some plugins from time to time in my Firefox install. Today, I assume a lot of people will be downloading FF3 whether by explicit choice or by a prompt from their FF2 browser...

Updated Silverlight media player using VisualStateManager

I’ve just finished updating my modification of Joel’s original concept.  Joel had a really great base for me to build off of and used styling and templates to create simple controls for a standard Silverlight media player that could be embedded.  I took his sample and made some minor adjustments to accommodate automatic sizing as well as make it a bit more parameter-driven.  The end result was (what I think at least) a fairly nice player that could be flexible if needed: Joel made great use of styling primitive controls to be able to leverage core...

Telerik drops some Silverlight control goodies

One of the things I love about the Microsoft developer ecosystem is the partner channels that are enabled to create great add-ons to our platforms and frameworks.  Our partners in this space usually get to the better implementations before we do, taking on the task of filling some gaps in unique implementations while our teams can focus on providing the best framework for enabling that construction. In December of last year, Telerik showed their intentions of making a control suite for Silverlight (then v1.1).  Well now that beta 2 is released for Silverlight 2, they’ve updated their RadControls for...

Silverlight cross domain services and a helpful tool

I’ve been getting a few notes on issues relating to people trying Silverlight beta 2 and WCF or other services.  The most common issue I’m seeing reported is “my exception is showing a 404-not found error message, but the service is there and works!” Okay, there could be several things happening here, but let’s tackle the “make sure it is plugged in” type situations.  I don’t mean to make light of the error, because at first I, too, was banging my head against a wall.  Sometimes it helps to have a second set of eyes or a deeper understanding...

Getting started with Silverlight 2

Now that beta 2 is out and some of the features or more solid, and a majority of the breaking changes have been announced, there is no excuse to hold back anymore.  Oh yeah, and there is a commercial go-live license available now, so no more excuses :-). So where to get started?  Well you should first head over to the Silverlight community site and visit the Get Started section.  There you will find a rather simple formula to get started: Download/install the tools ...

MIX Essentials Mexico and unique cuisine

Well, I have about 3 hours until I leave this little city called Mexico City.  Sarcasm of course, did you know there are roughly 25 million people in Mexico City.  I didn’t.  It is amazing.  Traffic, however, is something to be desired.  I’m told that a 3 mile trip at times could take 1hr, 30 minutes.  Maybe I should stop complaining about my commute when I do it?  No, it still sucks. Anyway, on to business.  Yesterday I attended and spoke at the MIX Essentials Mexico conference.  These events are happening worldwide and if there is one coming up...

Free Silverlight DataGrid with source code!

Um.  Whoa. Okay, DevExpress rocks.  I think this will be very well received by the community and you’ll have to watch their page for when it is available and to get your license. From their site: As the release of Silverlight draws near, DevExpress has invested the engineering resources needed to deliver a feature-rich grid control for Silverlight. Not just a "preview" of what is possible with Silverlight, the AgDataGrid Suite was developed to fully exploit the power and flexibility of the platform… It looks like it will support pretty much everything you’d expect in a DataGrid and more…wicked cool.  Congratulations and thank you...

A new Silverlight control - TabControl

Silverlight 2 brings a suite of controls for designers and developers to leverage within their applications.  With the Expression tools helping us to be able to skin these controls, also comes some new controls you may not have used yet as well as a new one introduced with the latest release of Silverlight 2. Introducing TabControl. UPDATE: Video walk-through is now live. The TabControl is implemented in the System.Windows.Controls.Extended class library and not in the Silverlight core.  To use it make a reference to the Extended assembly and it will be available to you.  In Expression Blend you’ll see TabControl in the Custom...

Silverlight and the VisualStateManager

If you’ve heard the news about Silverlight 2 Beta 2 and Expression Blend 2.5 (June 2008 preview), you will notice something else in addition to being able to skin your controls easier.  Remember how you may have had to create different states for your element using “MouseOver State" and then create storyboards to transition to states?  There’s now a better way. Enter VisualStateManager. Let’s take a look and see if we can simplify this down a bit a basic understanding.  Let’s use something that most everyone should be able to relate to with states: Button.  A button has...

Skinning Silverlight controls just got easier

This has been one of the features that I’ve been excited about for a while since I heard we were changing it.  With the release of Silverlight 2 Beta 2 and the updated preview of Expression Blend 2.5 (June 2008), skinning and styling controls within Silverlight gets a bunch easier. When Silverlight 2 Beta 1 was released there was the possibility of styling/skinning controls.  It wasn’t impossible, but perhaps a bit obfuscated to the eye for people with short attention spans like myself.  You can read more about those methods here and here.  WPF designers were...

Reading data and RSS with Silverlight and no cross-domain policy

So you want to read an RSS/Atom feed on the interwebs and saw the SyndicationFeed class you could use in Silverlight to give a nice RIA display of the syndicated data.  Great, no problem right, just wire up an WebClient, point it to the RSS feed on something like http://silverlight.net or something and boom, done.  Wait, what’s this 404 Not Found error?  In most cases this is going to be a result of a cross-domain issue.  If you haven’t started working with services yet, Silverlight requires a cross-domain policy file to be in place to access remote data not on...

RIApalooza wrap-up

I just finished up a day attending the Chicago RIApalooza event in, well, Chicago.  First, I must say that I love cities with great mass transit systems.  I’ve said this before and I keep threatening myself to move to one. For this event I paired up with a super designer Corrina Barber.  Corrina works as a user experience designer at Microsoft, is wicked smart and was a perfect compliment to this event.  Most of the attendees at RIApalooza I believed to be interactive developers, so most having a knack for design.  I figured rather than a developer...

Innovative use of Silverlight and DeepZoom

Take a few minutes and look at this video of Jose Fajardo re-demonstrating one of his ReMIX features shown using Silverlight and DeepZoom.  Are you kidding me?!  Seriously, Jose has a great imagination and an incredible sense for effectively demonstrating things. In this video he answers questions posed to himself like “what if all web images were DeepZoom-able?” and “what if all the documents on the web were DeepZoom-able?”  Then he gets crazy and suggests that people could collaborate with a DeepZoom image and demonstrates this using a Silverlight chat experience built using network sockets.  I love his context...

Silverlight Flickr Badge

Taking another cue from some great stuff Joel is doing, I liked his implementation of the ‘Leopard Screen Saver’ but wanted to make it more ‘real’ for me.  So I wired it up to my Flickr account.  Result here (using Silverlight Streaming): I only had to change a few things. First, in the Page_Loaded event, I removed the timer start function.  This was because with interacting with Flickr it was going to be async.  I didn’t want the timer to start until I knew the image collection was built. My BuildCollection function now looks like this: private void BuildCollection() { // get...

NY Times Reader on Mac with Silverlight

A while back the team at the New York Times newspaper produced a digital reader for their content, dubbed ‘Times Reader.’  The technology powering that reader experience (“the digital newspaper that reads like the real thing”) is Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), part of the .NET Framework.  It is a remarkable experience for viewing digital news in a traditional format.  It provided online and offline reading capabilities mixed with some new and innovative ways of viewing related stories. Portions of the reader were even transformed into a starter kit framework: Syndicated Client Experiences Starter Kit.  This kit provides the initial...

RIApalooza – I’ll be there!

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to attend the RIApalooza event in Chicago in a few weeks (31 MAY).  What is RIApalooza? RIApalooza promises a platform agnostic and "PowerPoint-Free" zone, which means we are going to forgo the boring marketing pitches in favor of talking technology. RIApalooza is about creating Rich Internet Applications; how to go about building them and what is being built.  source: riapalooza.com I love the PPT-free zone aspect of it.  I loving having the maximum time to show some real working code, answer questions and see what...

Write Silverlight, win XBOX

Want a Silverlight-branded XBOX console?  Yeah, me too, that would be cool.  Well, there isn’t one of those, but there is a chance for you to show your Silverlight prowess and win some cool stuff. The RIA development portal at DevX is currently running a contest (which ends next week, yikes, hurry!) for creating games in Silverlight 2.  The contest seems relatively simple: Step 1: Create wicked cool game in Silverlight 2 Step 2: Host it on Silverlight Streaming How simple is that…oh yeah, except for the ‘creating game’ part.  There are a few...


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The opinions/content expressed on this blog are provided "ASIS" with no warranties and are my own personal opinions/content (unless otherwise noted) and do not represent my employer's view in any way.