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When working with Silverlight 2, most will be working with managed code (c#, vb, etc.).  But likely people are working with Silverlight as an additive value to their web application, providing some enhanced user experience to an application.  there may be times where you will still need to call back into the hosting html context.  For then, you'll want to be familiar with two objects HtmlDocument and HtmlPage. 

Both of these objects provide access to the page context hosting your silverlight control.  If you need to seek things in the HTML DOM, you could use the HtmlDocument class.  For example, let's say I need to change the innerHTML property of some <div> element:

using System.Web.Browser;

HtmlDocument doc = HtmlPage.Document;
doc.GetElementById("mydiv").SetProperty("innerHTML", "<b>hello world</b>");

Also, i might want to interact with existing client-side functions, perhaps from client-side frameworks or other library utilities you might have developed on your own.  If I have a function on my page called "foo()" I would invoke it like this:

using System.Web.Browser;


And if I had parameters in a function, like "foo2(theAlert)," I would invoke it like this:

using System.Web.Browser;

HtmlPage.Window.CreateInstance("foo2", new string[] { "tim heuer" });

This may not be the norm with your Silverlight project, but I hope this helps clear some things up!  I am including the "using" statements in my c# samples so you know where in the namespace the class library exists.

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i've spoken a few times about axosoft.  they are a local ISV that does some great work.  their ceo, hamid, does a great thing every year for his employees (maybe more often) in encouraging and icubating new projects.  they have a core product, but also have incubated some great ideas.  some haven't lasted, but some live strong!  either way it is great to see what kind of ideas their group comes up with.

PureChat is one of those new ideas.  this is an idea that was just released.  it is for asp.net sites and is built using c# and asp.net ajax as well as the ajaxcontroltoolkit.  one of the developers, jonas, writes:

PureChat is written entirely with C# and javascript, against the 2.0 .NET framework. It uses Microsoft's ASP.Net AJAX, as well as selected controls from the AJAX Control Toolkit. Before I go any further, I just want to say that the Atlas (I think I'll always call it Atlas, it's shorter and sounds better) javascript framework really adds a lot of value and productivity for doing any sort of extensive work in javascript. Major kudos go out to that team at Microsoft. (emphasis mine)

very cool.  i just downloaded the free single operator key (this means operator, not incoming chatters) and installed onto my site in < 10 minutes.  i can't get it to play nice with subtext right now, but i'm going to see if the subtext list can help me out (httphandler collision and all).  as an operator i get a complete operator panel that gives me:

    • view of all chats
    • access to transcripts of chats
    • abandoned chats
    • multiple chats

it looks like this:

the end user gets a chat window they communicate with which looks like...well, a chat window.  what's cool is there is nothing for the user to install, and this runs in the browser using asp.net ajax technology.  i was really glad to see jonas' comment about how that framework enabled a lot of things a lot easier for him...that is good to hear.

so if you want to enable web-based chat on your site, you can get a free single operator license or right now they are doing a promotion for $5 for a 5-operator license.  this would be great if you need to provide online customer service in your site/application.  i don't think the intent is to put it on a blog (personal) or anything...at least i don't think that would be a good scenario for me i should say.  the operator has to be logged in.  but for scenarios where you have a product and customers, it would be a good thing to quickly add to your site (or product) and be able to directly communicate with your users.

good work axosoft...i can't wait to hear some behind-the-scenes stories on how it was to leverage the ajax framework for asp.net!  maybe they can add a silverlight UI at some point :-)

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recently i've been getting a few notes/questions about working with web services and asp.net ajax.  my colleague, rob bagby completed a series of great web casts last year covering the topic of the ajax libraries in detail, one of which deals with web services.  there are also two webcasts that deal with calling WCF services using the ajax libraries.  i highly recommend checking them out!

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the leaders of the have convinced that phoenix is nice in march (and it is...spring training baby!) and he should visit.  they've organized a super user group meeting and you can find information on when/where here.  it will be hosted at scottsdale center for the arts, which is a pretty killer facility.  i'd recommend carpooling and not messing with the no parking signs (those scottsdale folks like to watch those meters).

having ScottGu come to phoenix immediately after MIX08 is a great thing for the community.  if you couldn't make it to MIX, you'll be able to see some new things from scott in what no doubt will be an exciting, new and learning experience.  there are some great things coming out of his group at MIX and this event in phoenix is a must see.  i'm sure he'll cover some great new web stuff, updates on and we'll all be enlightened by how he still manages to stay close to the code while serving a growing army in the developer division!  be sure to block your calendar now!

i know scott won't be able to cover everything, so we'll ensure that will cover some of the gaps.  be sure to subscribe to the feed to know when we'll be coming back through phoenix -- we'll be updating it soon!

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in a world of changing technology, when we look for places to put our apps, we're probably looking for people who are on the cutting edge of the frameworks as well.  i want to draw your attention to .  why?  well, for one their feature set rocks.

    • free iis7/.net 3.5 hosting during the beta (one of the early adopter hosters)
    • real-time data backup tools
    • great sql support with tooling as well
    • silverlight support (meaning they support the default mime types)
    • your own apppool
    • asp.net ajax and ajax control toolkit support
    • etc., etc.

if you are a microsoft web developer and need a place to host, you should give them a try, and the price is great as well.  when you sign up as well they will give you 3 MONTHS FREE HOSTING!

but there is another reason why i like discountasp.net.  they support our communities well.  through my involvement with user groups over the past 12 or so years, there are many vendors that really support communities well, and these guys are one of them.  in the past they've provided community organizations a free hosting account to get going and build their communities.  i think this level of commitment to building and supporting a broad developer ecosystem is great.

so if you need a host, check them out and take advantage of their 3 months free for their plans!