Spying on Silverlight
The success of Microsoft Silverlight, as seen in the recent Beijing Olympics, shows the capabilities of the technology and is attracting more developers. The addition of end-users and developers using Silverlight will also drive more tool development and one such useful tool is Silverlight Spy by First Floor.
Silverlight Spy is a free .NET 3.5 tool which allows for detailed inspection of web pages hosting Silverlight 2 content. This tool uses its own built-in browser which allows users to navigate to any web site and inspect the Silverlight.
The features of Silverlight Spy include:
- Convenient explorer providing access to all application details
- Extensive search (still in development)
- View and export XAP package contents
- View and export assemblies and assembly resources
- View .NET types and members including statistics
- Decompile .NET types and members (requires Reflector)
- Explore Isolated Storage structure
- View and export files in Isolated Storage
- View and export Default Control Styles
- View and export Application Control Styles
- Explore UI object model with visual feedback in application
- Find UI elements by selecting them in application
- Read and write UI element properties
- View regenerated XAML of (parts of) the UI object model)
- View UI statistics
- Preview isolated parts of the User Interface (still in development)
- Monitor events raised by UI elements
- Microsoft Silverlight Configuration
- Inspect and validate cross-domain access policy files
- HTTP monitor provides insight in HTTP/HTTPS traffic
Requirements for installing and using Silverlight Spy are minimal:
- Internet Explorer 6 or higher
- Silverlight 2 (Beta 2)
- Windows Installer 3.1
- .NET Framework 3.5 runtime
Chris Koenig posted a review of Silverlight Spy on his web site. Chris had good thoughts about the tool:
So far, after just a little bit of use, I really, really dig this tool. I know a lot of people jumping on the Silverlight development bandwagon and I know this will be a big help to them, both from a debugging as well as a learning experience. The integration with Reflector puts this tool totally over the top! I highly recommend you get out to First Floor’s web site Download Silverlight Spy today!
Silverlight Spy can be downloaded from the company's web site which also includes additional information.
The "success" of Microsoft Silverlight ?
I think Silverlight has the potential to become a great technology, but it's very young, and they change a lot of things at each new beta release (like Adobe did, when they began with Flex - versions 1.0, 1.5 and 2 very different).
And Silverlight tools like this spy are very important in the adoption of the technology, particularly in the Open Source community.
Flash has a huge user base and it will be a long time, if ever, before MS sees those numbers with Silverlight.
"The Olympics online were a joint production between NBC and Microsoft, and an opportunity for Microsoft to build a user base for Sillverlight, its new media player."
A joint production... from what I've seen in past projects with MS tech, NBC could even have been paid by MS for this.
But people are fooling themselves if they think that Flash is going to remain the only game in town in the RIA space.