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Microsoft Introduces Dynamic Silverlight

by Robert Bazinet on Mar 14, 2008 |

The Dynamic Language team at Microsoft recently introduced its latest technology called Dynamic Silverlight (DSL) at the MIX08 Conference in Las Vegas.

What is Dynamic Silverlight?

Dynamic Silverlight is the technology that integrates the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) languages with Silverlight.  DSL is packaged as a Silverlight extension and can be downloaded in addition to Silverlight as-needed.

DSL consists of a runtime as well as an SDK component. This runtime consists of two assemblies:

  • Microsoft.Scripting.dll
  • Microsoft.Scripting.Silverlight.dll.

The language assemblies are also needed, consisting of:

  • IronRuby.dll and IronRuby.Libraries.dll for Ruby
  • IronPython.dll and IronPython.Modules.dll for Python

The runtime component is a small additional download where the IronRuby Silverlight runtime is just a 712KB download, taking less than 5 seconds to download over broadband.

An SDK component is also part of DSL with a piece of software that developers interact with is a local web server called Chiron.  Chiron provides an interactive development environment using the your local file system.  It also dynamically packages everything needed to run a DSL application into a XAP (ZIP file with a different extension name) and serves it up to your browser. The core DSL runtime pieces and the IronRuby assemblies are in the file, along with all of the other files that generated in the application.

Dynamic Silverlight in Action

John Lam has a series of tutorials on his blog showing how to use DSL in various interesting scenarios.

John also gave a recent presentation at MIX08 covering DSL, called Microsoft Silverlight and Dynamic Languages.   This presentation covers all of the interesting points covered by this new technology.

More information about DSL can be found at the Dynamic Silverlight website.  Here's a link to the download of the Dynamic Silverlight SDK.

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