Silverlight 5 has finally been released by Microsoft, with a lot of new features such as full 3d stack with XNA Libraries, several binding related enhancements, unrestricted File System access and more.
Microsoft had a great vision for Silverlight, a framework and a set of tools that would dominate the web development landscape, but it fell short of that. There are rumors there won’t be any Silverlight 6. If that happens, how easy is for the Silverlight developer to transition to WinRT? Some numbers show that it is pretty easy.
Microsoft has released the WCF Data Services October CTP, which targets .NET 4 and Silverlight 4. This update includes new libraries for OData version 3, and adds support for spatial data.
Though it has been hard, we have been trying to avoid reporting on rumors about the death of Silverlight for quite some time. As in all things, rumors tend to be exaggerated or out-right false. Unfortunately the end of Silverlight is no rumor; if Microsoft doesn’t change course it, as well as Flash and other plugin technologies, will be effectively unusable when Windows 8 is released.
Microsoft has announced Silverlight 5 RC ahead of the BUILD conference, making sure the are no more questions about their commitment regarding their favorite browser plug-in technology. Silverlight 5 has many new features, including: 2D and 3D graphics rendered via the GPU, remote video control, P/Invoke support, in-browser trusted applications, better performance and tools.
In what’s becoming a tradition, Microsoft has once again confused the version numbers of one of their key products. In brief what you need to target Windows Phone 7.5 is the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK and the August 2011 build of the Windows Phone Toolkit. Or you can give the PhoneGap beta a spin.
Silverlight’s asynchronous service model forces developers to deal with multi-threading from the very beginning. So it seems odd that Microsoft choose to omit the Task Parallel Library, which is the core of .NET’s multi-threading infrastructure. Fortunately there are options.
Richard Szalay is demonstrates how Reactive Extensions can be used to make asynchronous testing with the Silverlight Unit Testing Framework less error prone.
Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011 is a simplified development tool intended to speed up the creation of custom business applications. It includes pre-built components, templates, and predefined data types for the most common business needs, and allows developers to produce form-driven applications for either desktop use or deployment to the cloud.
There are many ways to handle design-time data in view-models. While some people use complex dependency injection frameworks or inversion of control containers, the simplest method is to just check the DesignerProperties.IsInDesignTool flag. Unfortunately this has the side effect of embedding the design-time data into one’s application. Jeremy Likness offers a couple ways of working around this.
The WCF Data Services June 2011 CTP for .NET 4 and Silverlight 4 includes Any/All operators for LINQ, support for properties on derived types, and an OData serializer/deserializer.
We recently interviewed Scott Olson of the MonoCross Project. The MonoCross Project is a framework for cross-platform mobile development. It uses a combination of .NET and Mono technologies.