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.
With all the focus on Silverlight, and more recently HTML 5, a lot of people have been wondering about the future of WPF. This in quite understandable, as silence from Microsoft’s press machine often means that the project is on hold, possibly forever. However, it could also mean they aren’t ready to reveal what they are working on.
Under the mantra, “We love .NET more than Microsoft”, Mono has been making the promise of cross-platform .NET development a reality. First there was the native toolkit support for iOS and Android, now they are opening up the world of Android tablets to Silverlight developers.
Silverlight on the browser is better than ever. It is getting the same kind of performance improvements seen with HTML 5 while still benefiting from statically typed languages and JIT compilation. So why is Microsoft barely willing to talk about it at MIX?