# Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Recently Microsoft presented quite a lot of sessions on PDC10. Unfortunately for a lot of adepts there was one technology missing somewhat: Silverlight. Quite soon a lot of news was spread around that Silverlight was dead or near to death… Not so actually. Microsoft apparently took the time to brew some new stuff for Silverlight vNext and will have a full dedicated day of presentations during the Silverlight Firestarter on December 2nd.

Silverlight-Firestarter-2-December-2010-LandingPage-Banner

The following agenda will dominate this exciting day jam packed with demos:

Time Presenter Session Details
8:00 am   Breakfast
9:00 am Scott Guthrie  Scott Guthrie The Future of Silverlight
10:45 am Jesse Liberty  Jesse Liberty Data Binding Strategies with Silverlight and WP7
11:30 am Yavor Georgiev  Yavor Georgiev Building Compelling Apps with WCF using REST and LINQ
12:15 pm alt Lunch
1:00 pm Dan Wahlin  Dan Wahlin Building Feature Rich Business Apps Today with RIA Services
1:45 pm John Papa  John Papa MVVM: Why and How? Tips and Patterns using MVVM and Service Patterns with Silverlight and WP7
2:45 pm Tim Heuer  Tim Heuer Tips and Tricks for a Great Installation Experience
3:30 pm Scott Guthrie   Mike Cook &
  Jossef Goldberg
Tune Your Application: Profiling and Performance Tips
4:30 pm Jaime Rodriguez  Jaime Rodriguez Performance Tips for Silverlight Windows Phone 7
5:15 pm alt After Party!
Keynote : The Future of Silverlight

Be first to hear the official news about what’s coming up next for Silverlight from Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Corporate Vice President.

Data Binding In Silverlight and Windows Phone

Jesse Liberty walks us through the fundamentals of data binding, including binding to traditional and non-traditional data sources, binding to elements, binding in both Visual Studio and Blend, binding in code, data conversion and much more.

Building Compelling Apps with WCF using REST and LINQ

In this session we will cover how to build a WCF-based backend web service to provide data to the Silverlight application. We will demonstrate the use of LINQ in the service to retrieve objects from our database, and cover some details of how those objects are serialized to Silverlight. We will cover the use of faults for debugging and for driving production logic, as well as authentication strategies for internet and intranet deployment. We will finish with a look at how to access third-party REST/HTTP-based services from Silverlight.

Building Feature Rich Business Apps Today with RIA Services

Silverlight provides many different options for accessing distributed data including Web Services, REST APIs, sockets and more. This talk will walk you through the benefits that WCF RIA Services offers and demonstrate how it can be used to simplify n-tier programming and provide a flexible and productive way to access, validate and modify data in Silverlight applications. Topics covered include creating a domain service, simplifying asynchronous programming with the domain context, leveraging object tracking features, sharing data validation code between the client and server and writing domain services that can be used with any backend data access technology.

MVVM: Why and How? Tips and Patterns using MVVM and Service Patterns

See how good patterns and practices apply to Silverlight applications on the desktop, in the browser or on the phone. Learn how to integrate MVVM, Service Providers, design time data (aka Blendability), into your Silverlight applications to promote code reuse and create a highly maintainable application.

Tips and Tricks for a Great Installation Experience

Tired of seeing the spinning blue balls from Silverlight as the application loads? Your users probably are as well. The simple fact is that it is very easy to customize your complete application installation experience down to the plugin level. During this session you’ll see understand how Silverlight works with install/upgrade scenarios and how you can completely customize the installation experience. Additionally you’ll see custom ‘splash screen’ demonstrations on what you can do to further brand your application. If you are building an out-of-browser application with Silverlight we’ll discuss and demonstrate some of the tips/tricks to provide a good acquisition experience there as well and some tricks on automatically installing applications.

Tune Your Application: Profiling and Performance Tips

There are some common pitfalls that can negatively impact your Silverlight application’s performance. In this session we’ll demonstrate how to use some of the tools that are available to profile and identify performance issues. We’ll cover the available techniques with the performance tools that can help you to analyze your Silverlight application memory usage, rendering and CPU usage to help improve performance and avoid those common pitfalls.

Performance Tips for Silverlight Windows Phone 7

This will be a comprehensive deep-dive into Windows Phone performance. We will begin with the threading model changes and optimizations made to Silverlight run-time to take advantage of the GPU on the phone; we will then cover the most common pitfalls, the troubleshooting techniques, and close with the workarounds to create snappy Windows phone applications.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 19:13:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 21 August 2010

Microsoft released training material on how to create high performing application in Silverlight for their upcoming Phone 7. Check it out.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 21 August 2010 09:53:13 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 22 May 2010

This week the long awaited Silverlight 4 tools for Visual Studio 2010 got released. With it ships version 1 of WCF RIA Services.

Of course new technology needs some guidance and there’s a great training kit made available.

If you like to read books then I suggest you take a look at Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Services Cookbook, of which I’m a reviewer, and the book I’m currently reading: Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginner’s Guide.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 22 May 2010 10:11:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Silverlight 4 Training Course includes a whitepaper explaining all of the new Silverlight 4 RC features, several hands-on-labs that explain the features, and a 8 unit course for building business applications with Silverlight 4. The business applications course includes 8 modules with extensive hands on labs as well as 25 accompanying videos that walk you through key aspects of building a business application with Silverlight. Key aspects in this course are working with numerous sandboxed and elevated out of browser features, the new RichTextBox control, implicit styling, webcam, drag and drop, multi touch, validation, authentication, MEF, WCF RIA Services, right mouse click, and much more!

You can find the material here: http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/Silverlight4/.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 09:06:39 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Microsoft launched .toolbox, a new site dedicated on learning Silverlight and Expression.

toolbox

.toolbox features two core learning paths: Design Scenarios and Design Principles. Both begin with teaching basic techniques and build skills and knowledge incrementally. In Design Scenarios, designers and developers learn to create dynamically-rich Silverlight applications using Expression Studio. You will learn to add code-free functionality to designs by following step-by-step tutorials that illustrate how to create interactive user experiences. In Design Principles, you will learn fundamental design concepts (e.g., choosing the right colors and the right fonts) along with tips and techniques in how to apply them to your creations.

One can go for either track and earn leves with that. Each track can be done one by one following a stack or go through the matrix:

toolbox_track

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 13:23:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 27 January 2010

From the Swiss MSDN blog:

In this 108 page hands-on lab you will learn how to use Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2010 and Beta 1 of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to create a data driven line of business style rich internet application that implements many of the new features that Silverlight 4 introduces. We will base our solution on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) RIA Services.

The solution will be an order-management system that shows a list of orders in a data grid and details of a selected order in a details pane. The system will validate user entries and have the capabilities of printing order reports and exporting order lists to Microsoft Excel.

Download the hands-on lab manual in PDF and Word format, the database and the final sample solution.

These features are implemented in the lab:

  • True multi-tier architecture.
  • Entity framework and service layer definition.
  • Data filtering, paging, sorting and grouping.
  • Data modification and validation.
  • Foreign key management.
  • Projections.
  • Programmatic printing from a Silverlight application.
  • COM interop with Microsoft Excel and running full-trust out-of-browser.

Silverlight4WCFRIAServicesHandsOnLab

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010 07:33:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 19 November 2009

A lot of cool stuff's coming out soon and there are already beta bits available. With beta bits there are also already videos available to look at and get familiar with what will be available.

Enjoy watching them.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 19 November 2009 17:23:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Since WPF and especially Silverlight, since version 3 recently was released, have similarities it’s nice to have an overview of what both technologies have to offer and where Silverlight’s left out on certain things. I found such an overview on Codeplex: http://wpfslguidance.codeplex.com/.

Taken from the project description:

WPF and Silverlight are both XAML based platforms but there are some important functionality and implementation differences between the two. This project contains content illustrating these differences and the best practices for developing against these platforms.
Content posted to this project includes a whitepaper detailing what is similar and different between the two platforms as well as how to code against both platforms getting as much code reuse as possible.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 12:00:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 13 July 2009

Going on vacation to Greece without pc or internet connection (but in very good company) is nice but you always find when coming home that new cool things have arrived. This time it turned out to be the long awaited Silverlight 3.

There’s an interesting video on Channel 9 with Scott Guthrie on the new things that shipped and also a new dedicated site. Be sure to check these out.

With the new version there’s also need of a tool to build compelling RIAs with. This is still in Release candidate but you can already check out Blend 3.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 13 July 2009 18:02:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 25 March 2009

What can you do to compete with something that’s already established for years like Adobe Flash? Deliver something decent yourself but most importantly have content for it. Good content that can interest people. Microsoft created during the past years some great technology that can compete with Flash: Silverlight. Used during the last Olympics gave it already a great boost but that was last year. Continuous delivering good content is important to reach new people. Here comes marketing into play. Well it seems there’s some good content for Silverlight and Deepzoom:

  • World telescope. A great way to discover the universe around us.
  • Playboy cover to cover. Apparently the old numbers are scanned in and viewable. Guess a lot of people will have a lot of reading to do. From what I heard there are some pretty good articles in it.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 19:31:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 23 May 2008

Just found out about this little tool that seemed interesting to me: Kaxaml, a lightweight xamlpad alike tool. Apparently it's also free which is always a nice thing.

screenshot_small

I found out about this tool by navigating around on the site of Blendables, a vendor of WPF controls. And I got to know about this particular site thanks to Gill.

Grz, Kris.

Kaxaml | Silverlight | WPF | XAML
Friday, 23 May 2008 09:06:23 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 22 May 2008

Just found out about this site about security: Hellosecureworld. Take a look at it. It's in Silverlight (always a good reason to check something out) and it has comics (another good reason). What are you waiting for: click the link!

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 22 May 2008 20:35:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 19 May 2008

Wow, this is a cool application. Be sure to check it out and have Silverlight installed. Funny thing for me is that I worked in a team in 2001 that was also into adding/upgrading a software tool for patient handling in hospitals. If we only had the UI possibilities of Silverlight/WPF in those days to work out everything...

Personally, I foresee much more of these kind of applications with these great technologies.

Grz, Kris.

MSDN | Silverlight | WPF
Monday, 19 May 2008 20:06:05 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 11 April 2008

Tim Sneath, a well known evangelist of Microsoft was in Belgium yesterday. I got invited for a meet and greet with him by Microsoft Belgium. The first part was technical, Tim talked about Silverlight and we had the opportunity to ask questions. It was very interesting for me. The other fun side about it was that I got to know new people as well. Something I enjoy a lot since I'm quite a social person.

Afterwards we went with the group to a restaurant and enjoyed a very tasty meal in good company.

Here are some pictures that were taken:

IMAGE_006

IMAGE_005

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 11 April 2008 02:52:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Thursday, 27 March 2008
It seems Microsoft recently put up a couple of new sites that might be of interest to you:

  • A revamped site dedicated to the Expression family: There's lot to find already, tutorials, starter kits, forums, ... While the Expression family's mostly targeted towards designers I also used Expression Web in the past and currently am taking my first steps in Blend 2.5 preview to get to know Silverlight 2 a bit better.
  • TaskMarket: a new place for freelancers to find each other for short term assignments.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 27 March 2008 09:04:21 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 20 March 2008
I just found out about this one: Silverlight Essential Training. Extra video material for free. Man, I really need a couple of weeks off soon to dive into the cool stuff.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 20 March 2008 12:14:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 17 March 2008
Just noticed this one on the blog of Brad Abrams: Silverlight 2 Developer Poster. Always nice to have such very visual representation of the possibilities of a new technology.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 17 March 2008 13:28:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 05 March 2008

It's MIX and that always means great stuff coming to web developers. This year it's the ASP.NET MVC Preview 2 and Silverlight 2. Great times are ahead of us.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 05 March 2008 20:31:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 23 February 2008
Scott Guthrie has written an exhaustive series of articles of the upcoming Silverlight 2. I guess this is the version the majority of developers is waiting for. Take a look here to find out about what's coming to you. I'll also be looking at it when I get back home from work this evening.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 23 February 2008 09:04:59 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 17 December 2007

I noticed on Gill's blog that there's an interesting contest.

Header_ESC_thumb

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 17 December 2007 21:46:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Actually I wasn't expecting this one for a couple of weeks but I just read on the blog of Scott Guthrie that they just released it.

Something else I'm waiting for is Visual Source Safe for Visual Studio 2008 so I can install it locally on my new dev machine. Unfortunately it's been delayed for a couple of weeks.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007 09:07:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 01 November 2007

Yesterday evening I attended an MSDN event in Utopolis Mechelen dedicated to Silverlight. Not a really deep dive technical session and you could tell by seeing quite a lot of designer in the audience as well. Tom Mertens did a little keynote about the different versions of Expression Studio and where to locate  and Gill Cleeren presented the session. It was very interesting though not very technical but a nice showcase of what's possible with it and which products one can use to visually create stunning RIAs (Rich Interactive Applications).

Afterwards it was a nice gathering in the Movie Café. Nice because I had the chance to see some familiar faces that I haven't seen in years. Afterwards several people hooked up together to get something to eat in La Fleche. They served quite a good lasagne. A very nice evening: some tech stuff, good food, nice company to talk with.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 01 November 2007 18:41:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 20 October 2007

I was just working on my new macBook pro reading my blog news when I stumbled upon this news: Popfly beta by Somasegar. I had the Silverlight plugin already installed on my Windows Vista/IE7 but wanted to try it out on Mac OSX too. I tested with both Safari and Firefox and both worked very smoothly. Nice to see that Microsoft also provides their plugins for other OS.

Talking about Silverlight, did you know that on October 31st my friend Gill Cleeren will be presenting the next MSDN evening about Silverlight? If you didn't register yet you'd better hurry. I already played with some of the quickstarts but hope to start developing with Silverlight soon.

Also I obtained a copy of NDepend. I haven't played with it but after my next deadline, coming wednesday, I'm planning to let it loose on the code we produced during our last SCRUM iteration.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 20 October 2007 18:31:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 25 June 2007

One of the nice things when you gather with a bunch of tech minded people like yourself (Microsoft VIP Community Offsite 2007) is that you get to know urls to interesting tech stuff. Apparently already very known, except by me are the MSDN UK nuggets. Some small, interesting videos that highlight a specific topic in 10-15 minutes. I sure do like the idea as most webcasts are too long or they want to cover as much as possible in an as short as possible time span with as endresult that nobody gets the message.

Another one that I found related to that, and one that seems very new so most of my tech savvy friends don't know about it untill when they read my blog is this Nibbles site. It seems to only have some tutorials at the moment, especially focussed on Blend and Silverlight/WPF. As I'm keen on learning both I'll sure be checking this one out.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 25 June 2007 15:50:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 01 May 2007
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 08:11:54 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 30 April 2007

The Silverlight forums, where I'll also be playing a moderation role, just went live. Go check them out! Of course there's not only the forums but also a getting started part, a learn section where already several videos are available. Whitepapers and quickstarts are also available.

Grz, Kris.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

Monday, 30 April 2007 18:02:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 16 April 2007

Somasegar blogged about it. Finally the new name of WPF/e is known and it's Silverlight. I still have to get used to the new name but think it's better this way because it makes it easier to understand for less technical people that it was little to do with WPF. Microsofts hope is of course that it'll be a Flash killer but they have quite some downloads to go. But on the other hand I hope more games will be coming out soon like these: WPF/e games. Of course it'll be Silverlight games then.

You can also see a small video about it on10.

Grz, Kris.

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Monday, 16 April 2007 19:07:27 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |